A look at IL-2’s new effects

Although visual effects are often best seen in motion, I’ve done my best to cover a number of the new effects that have just released this past week with IL-2 series patch 3.006. There are new fire effects, particle effects and debris, and so much more so let’s have a quick look and see if you can spot some of the differences.

Smoke, fire, debris, there’s more of everything

One of the most visible changes is the new fire effects which, as I’m going to say with everything, look best while in motion rather than captured a single frame at a time. The old effect was really quite good and had a convincing flicker to the flame and the new effect builds on that while adding details to the animation that just weren’t there before.

See below for comparison sake (the old effect first and the new effect later).

Although this is certainly up for artistic interpretation, my general feeling is that the new effect looks really good when paused but it looks so much better in motion (there it is again).

There are also several new hit effects. I can’t find an old screenshot to compare this first one to so you’ll just have to enjoy this Hs129 getting hit by bullets. The old effect didn’t look great but the new one is superb.

New bullet hit effect

Now, when we feature more explosive bullet hit effects I have some screenshots that kind of show off the new effect although its gets hard to compare without having planned ahead (I didn’t).

There’s also a new oil on goggle effect for planes with more open canopies. The effect doesn’t look great in screenshots as the oil moves quickly and is constantly in motion but here it is anyways just so you can see it.


The fire and smoke effects also apply to ground vehicles and ships. The new smoke effects on ships seem to be able to take advantage of light sources and are now appear to pick up some of the light cast by intense fires. It gives them more texture.

Another cool one is the rocket smoke trails which give off a nice ‘puff’ of smoke when launched.


An entirely new feature is the full throttle smoke effect which comes from the exhausts of aircraft under full throttle (and presumably a rich fuel mixture). These new effects apply to all aircraft but only appear under certain engine conditions. They have a practical effect as well as looking interesting as the effect has a tactical impact – when you see an aircraft emitting smoke suddenly, you know that he’s probably gone to full throttle.

The effect is very subtle but then most of these new effects are fairly subtle unless you really go looking for them.

There are also new fuel leaks, new water splashes and so much more to check out but I wanted to highlight some of the key differences between pre and post patch.

Overall impact

There aren’t any earth shattering changes to the way that IL-2 looks with these new effects. In the average scene you won’t notice anything different and its far less dramatic than what we saw when 3.001 came out launching IL-2: Battle of Kuban and doing things like increasing the draw distance.

This a is more nuanced revamp of effects that have been in the series since the early days of IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad.


Here are a series of screenshots showing off the new effects that you can have a closer look at. Enjoy!


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Nil says:

    I am really loving the new effects. Our mighty dev team did not have to do that , but they did it, very impressive. It shows how much they love this sim.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. William T Taylor says:

    The new effects though besides the fire effects, are small detail oriented changes stand out strongly to long time IL2 pilots. I have noticed small things that make it more realistic like they have thinned the smoke effects for fuel engine and coolant damage. this means that while it also looks more realistic that in my experience as a primarily online player that the smoke effects load in faster and the tendency for smoke effects to be rendered only when the damaged aircraft is in screen (especially with Track-IR ) the smoke effects load in before a pilot can see the aircraft the effects are coming from are in frame and further out… a lot of the work based on patch notes were to lower CPU and GPU load and its showing in small ways that to be honest stand out in a thousand small ways. like with your train busting screenshot i find my self trying to dodge the particulates that now fly from the locomotive as it explodes even though i know im out of the damage radius and as best i can tell the new particulates are not a threat.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s