The Yak is the primary attack plane of the Soviets. It is strong against infantry and light armored vehicles. The Yak is fast and has very high visibility range, making it the best game unit for scouting. Like all aircraft, the Yak is not well armored and is weak against anti air units. The Yak cannot stop moving except when it lands on an airfield, and so controlling it properly requires practice.
The Yak is particularly vulnerable to mobile flak attacks. If it engages a single mobile flak with full health, it can destroy it and retain some of its health. However, it is easily destroyed by 2 or more mobile flaks without causing them significant damage.
The Yak is also vulnerable against Longbows, because the Yak can't shoot at air units.
The Yak is a popular method to destroy artillery. However, for vehicles with better armor or health, the Yak needs to make several striking rounds. The Hind is better in that regard; it can remain stationary and keep shooting until it runs out of ammo. However, the Yak excels at speed, and at quickly destroying many units and then pulling out.
A Yak cannot kill a fully healthy V2 in one shooting round and has to circle around for a second strike. This can be solved by attacking with 2 Yaks simultaneously.
The Yak cannot stop mid-air. When idle, the Yak will fly around in counter-clockwise circles.
The Yak cannot make sharp turns and can only shoot forward, so it can be hard to maneuver. Attacking one enemy at a time by clicking on them is usually inefficient; Once the Yak takes down the target, it will switch back to its circling behavior. When a player clicks the next target, the Yak will need to realign itself because it is only capable of shooting forward. Realignment can take time if the target isn't in front of the Yak.
It is therefore better to target several units that the Yak can destroy quickly and attack them in a single engagement using a command queue. Assuming the units are positioned in front of the Yak, the Yak would destroy them all without ever needing to circle around or realign. Such an attack can be devastating to unprotected artillery and is a great way to counter it.
As an alternative to queueing commands, one can use the attack-move command.
(Sometimes known as a "Yak Suicide" or "Allahu-Yakbar") When destroyed, the Yak will crash-land. If timed properly, this can destroy infantry standing below.