War Thunder dev disables in-game chat to stop "political discussions"

A tank sits ominously in the foreground, as an enemy tank smolder in the background
(Image credit: Gaijin Entertainment)

Multiplayer military game War Thunder's in-game chat has been disabled to prevent players from arguing over the war in Ukraine.

The game's developer Gaijin Entertainment has decided to temporarily remove War Thunder's in-game chat feature to prevent what it described as "political discussions", referring to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, that might "offend other players".

Speaking to Motherboard, the developer said, "We've always stayed out of politics and we feel that it's important that people from all over the world can have fun together in a safe space."

Although Gaijin has turned off all global voice and text chat for War Thunder, some communication tools are still usable. "Quick commands are available in the game sessions for players in your team and voice chat is active for squad members," according to the game's patch notes

Communication is important in a multiplayer combat game such as War Thunder, and with the lack of voice chat, fans are finding it more difficult to play. "It's annoying when I see torpedoes, for example, and can't warn the guy next to me who is a lil blind," War Thunder player Alex Diaz told Motherboard.

As inconvenient as it may be, Diaz understands the need for silence between players during this time. "We hate [the chat ban], but, honestly, even I have wanted to s**t talk Russian sympathizers," said Diaz. "People are dying and a big player base in these games is Eastern European. More so than in other games."

Gaijin has not provided any information on when chat might be re-enabled in War Thunder. 

Last year saw a War Thunder player in violation of the Official Secrets Act by sharing classified military documents because a tank design was "not quite right".

We recently spoke with dozens of game developers in Ukraine to find out what it's like working and living under the shadow of war and discussed how the video game industry is rallying around Ukraine. If you want to see what else there is to play then check out the 10 best war games.

Freelance Writer

Originally from Ireland, I moved to the UK in 2014 to pursue a Games Journalism and PR degree at Staffordshire University. Following that, I've freelanced for GamesMaster, Games TM, Official PlayStation Magazine and, more recently, Play and Games Radar. My love of gaming sprang from successfully defeating that first Goomba in Super Mario Bros on the NES. These days, PlayStation is my jam. When not gaming or writing, I can usually be found scouring the internet for anything Tomb Raider related to add to my out of control memorabilia collection.