The biggest difference coming from World of Tanks is that there are no hit points. Like in War Thunder: Air Forces, your vehicle is a bundle of subsystems and crew members – if enough of them get knocked out, you've been killed. Likewise, your shots do not do a fixed amount of damage. Penetrating hits can have wildly different effects, depending on where they hit, what kind of shell you used, and how lucky you are. You might blow up a tank’s ammo rack or kill its entire crew on your first shot, while an enemy’s shot might pass harmlessly through your tank.
It’s important to study the internal layout of all the different tanks. War Thunder provides a very helpful tool, similar to World of Tanks’ "Tank Inspector" program. Unlike Tank Inspector , this viewer can be found within War Thunder’s garage. With a tank selected, click Preview or Customize, then the button in the bottom right corner labeled “Armor Layout.” This will show you all the different armor thicknesses on a tank, including the effective thickness at different angles. Click the same button again to go to “X-Ray Mode,” which shows where all the crew members and systems sit within the vehicle. Pay careful attention to where the ammo racks are!
Whenever you score a hit on an enemy tank, a little “kill cam” appears in the upper right, showing where the shot landed and if it bounced. This will help you diagnose whether you’re aiming for the right part of the tank or if you’re bouncing off of some weirdly curved or angled piece. If you score a penetrating hit, you’ll see what your shell did inside the enemy tank, so you can see if you’re hitting critical systems. Likewise, when you get killed, you’ll see where the shot penetrated and why it counted as a kill. It’s really handy and a great way to learn from your mistakes.