5 Tips for Tanks

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by BengalTiger, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. BengalTiger

    Following up on the "5 Tips for Infantry" thread, I'll do my best to introduce some of the basics of tank combat.

    1. The tank belongs to the field.

    Not the area next to a watchtower.
    Not the courtyard of a contested base.
    Not the canyon with enemies on both sides.
    And not the forrest in Amerish where the enemy Light Assault troops are waiting in the trees, C4 charges in hand.

    The tank has mobility, which it should use. Don't be afraid of going off road- some of the best firing positions are found by climbing uphill through a narrow valley. It is very useful for the team when the enemy's Sundy gets spotted and destroyed. If the tanker has enough ammo- free kills vs spawning infantry that will spawn from that specific Sundy before it blows up.

    2. Tanks have big guns.

    These are to be used for various purposes. The basic gun an MBT comes with is armed with HEAT shells.

    These do a good job at killing:
    -Other tanks (combining the firepower with mobility allows to flank the enemy, hits to the side hurt a lot, hits to the rear are a quick and painless way of blowing stuff up)

    -Infantry. A direct hit from any tank gun gets the job done. Against moving targets, it's a good idea to aim at the ground where the enemy will most likely be by the time the shell gets there. A Vanguard's HEAT shell blowing up at someone's feet is also likely a kill.
    When the enemy is on a cliff, but the ground they're standing on is visible, it's good to aim at it instead of the enemy- a shot aimed too high will fly past the target, one aimed too low will still do splash damage when it explodes on the nearby ground.

    -Planes. A hovering ESF (Empire Specific Fighter) takes 2 hits to kill using the Lightning's 100 mm gun, and a single incomplete burst of the basic 75 mm autocannon it comes with stock. A Vanguard will kill enemy ESFs in a single shot.
    Due to the low rate of fire of all guns but the Lightning's C75, it's good to wait until the ESF hovers before firing. Tanks have gun elevation of some 30-45 degrees.

    3. Armor.

    Tanks are like Claymore mines:

    That's front and front only. Hits to the sides are painful to MBTs and dangerous to Lightnings. 2 bazooka rounds to the rear will destroy any tank, and a Lightning will be on fire after the first hit.
    The top is a bit stronger than the rear, but weaker than the sides in PlanetSide 2. Keep this in mind when thinking about driving up to the walls of an enemy base.
    In a perfect world Your tank's front will be facing the enemy tank's rear.

    The tank's bottom is also very thin. Watch out for anti-tank mines.

    4. Hull down and Turret down positions.


    Finding a hull down position allows to have only the heavily armored turret exposed to enemy fire. This works best with the TR tank which has the smallest turret (but due to the tall hull such positions are harder to find compared to the NC MBT), and doesn't work at all for the Vanu Magrider- its gun is mounted on the floor, so the whole tank must be exposed to fire it.

    All MBTs are able to use the turret down position. The remote operated turret is useful when the whole tank is behind cover- for both shooting and observation.

    The hidden position is also viable, but the tanker must leave the tank and walk up the hill. Having a rifle with a good scope is useful to do recon before driving into an unknown area. A good commander will leave his/her tank quite often to be sure he/she is not driving straight into the enemy tank rush.

    5. Tanks are just part of the bigger picture, not the Alpha and the Omega.

    Communicate with friendlies, watch the battlefield and look for friendly soldiers pinned down by machine guns or snipers. Assist them by offering armor (tanks are bulletproof vs hand held guns), and mobile firepower.

    Report other tanks and coordinate with friendlies so that someone definitely gets a good side or rear shot.

    Stop for stranded soldiers when driving alone in an MBT, that secondary turret is useful, and the friendly soldier will be thankful he/she doesn't have to sprint for 2 miles to reach the next shootout.
    • Up x 39
  2. Niv

    real life tanks get massive dmg from underground explosion since the inside tanks floor not thick like the sides, only in ps 2 seem the tank back weak like is floor :confused:.
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  3. BengalTiger

    Good point, post edited to also warn about mines, under the "Armor" section.
    • Up x 1
  4. Cluzore

    You forgot 6
    6. The Prowler sucks
    Just reroll a new char.
    • Up x 1
  5. Fear The Amish

    Good post like the hull down part because it shows a major disadvantage to the magrider.... as a person who is well rounded in tank tactics it is one of the things that drive me NUTS about that tank... i cant go hull down, i cant scoot and shoot, i can kinda peek a boom.
  6. BengalTiger

    After blowing up a Prowler in Beta with a Lightning (armed with the L100 HEAT 100 mm gun), both with and without flanking (the guy I flanked tried to repair his tank under fire, the guy I didn't flank was very inaccurate, so this could be the players' fault that I succeeded), I'll have to agree it sucks.
    I also wrecked a Magrider while driving the Lightning (from a hull down position; he tried to charge across a meadow), so getting the right position matters a lot.

    I'll probably create a character for each faction to test drive each tank in stock form. I'll be able to give a few words of advice in a couple days on how the tanks compare against each other.

    P.S. Doesn't the Prowler reach some really high, near Lightning speed off road? I know it goes 65 km/h max, so I'd expect it to perform just as good in rough terrain.
  7. BengalTiger

    Sorry for double post, this wasn't up when I was writing the previous one.

    Judging by being on the receiving end, I'd say the Magrider's upgraded AT turret has a punch similar to the Lightning's 100 mm, so what's turret down for the other two tanks is in fact quasi- hull down for a p!mped Mag (although this tactic needs a gunner for best results).
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  8. Niv

    i just hope they will buff up all tanks so they wont made from glass armor and be more like ps 1 tanks that can get hit by 10-15 nc AV missile before blowing up, in ps 2 just 5 AV missile and tank will die, or 2 missile in the tank back he die .
  9. Bentos

    Lol, truth.

    I've played both NC and VS extensively.
    Vanguard is a good, solid tank.
    Magrider is a manuverable, useful tank.

    I have been reasonably taken out in a fight with a magrider vs vanguard, or in a vanguard vs magrider.
    I can't think of a time i've lost a 1 v 1 or any other such fight against a prowler in either tank. I see prowlers, and its like seeing a lightning, i get all giddy with the thought of an easy *** kill.
  10. Recca

    The prowler is fine, people are just playing it wrong. I really hope they leave it alone. It has it strength and weaknesses.

    I just think the Magrider/Vanguard have an easier learning curve.
  11. o.Solei.o

    These are a very good addition to the community's knowledge base. Keep em comin'! :D
  12. Calaerin

    I miss that one Armor thread on the beta forums, the one where Gunny from Full Metal Jacket gave us grunts the know-how on how to field tanks.. :D

    Anyone know if that thread is still around? Would be awesome to incorporate that one with the info above...
  13. Caztra

    nice post!
  14. VoidMagic

    You can buff the Prowlers Anti Armor abilities when you Nerf it's AI abilities. If I were you, I'd leave it alone, it's a beast against infantry where as both Mags and Vannies are very susceptible to infantry...
  15. BengalTiger


    Absolutely incredible off-road, and even off off-road abilities, especially when rolling up small hills. A steep climb of some 20 meters makes the Mag lose only about 10 km/h. I've also navigated a pipe above some frozen lake/river in Esamir with this tank.

    The top speed is in the same league as the Vanguard- 50 km/h on flat terrain.

    It's also quite a big vehicle, and I got my first one stuck by backing into a safety barrier @ the Warp Gate (the barrier hit it in the belly and it was immobilized). It's impossible to see where you're going in reverse, a clear symptom of its limited observation abilities.

    The tank's firepower is good when one can use it, very low bullet drop, high bullet speed.
    A real life equivalent would probably be a hovercraft Jagdpanther. Long range gun, hull mounted, and the whole thing floats above the ground. Tank buffs should know what this demands in terms of gameplay to be successful. :p


    -The tank can strafe, but it can't rotate its gun at all, so it requires a different approach than a turreted vehicle. Think of it as an ESF/infantry hybrid.

    -Keep a distance during combat and use its good mobility to reach creative firing positions when nobody's looking.

    -The Mag is the absolute worst tank for close combat with infantry, it's impossible to roll up closer, show the enemy the sides in a worst case scenario and shoot everybody up.
    Shooting one infantry position gives the neighboring one a clear shot in the @$$.

    -Forget about hull down position without an upgraded secondary gun. It just won't work.
    In fact parking behind an obstacle will block the gun even if it doesn't block the view.

    -The Mag has pinpoint accuracy on the move unless it hits very irregular terrain. Charging from long to medium range while blasting away is a valid tactic.

    -The Mag is much easier to aim with from long ranges than any other tank, another reason to stay back and snipe.

    How to defeat one?

    -Use a Lightning, get behind the Mag and stay behind it. The Mag is defenseless when operated by a single player.

    -It's impossible for a Mag to nearly instantly turn and shoot. If it's heading in some direction, being 90 degrees or more away from the gun barrel's axis means complete safety, for both infantry and vehicles. It also gives an early warning it will look in a given direction by rotating slowly, so it's possible to hide before the driver notices somebody is sneaking up on him/her.

    -Close the distance quickly, use its limited visibility to defeat it in a chaotic battle.

    -Don't try to defend against one across a large open field, unless the defense has good hull down positions.
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  16. Gary

    Nice tips. Might i add that under no circumstances should you need side armor or rear armor upgrades. if your going to take an armor upgrade make it the front!
  17. Uben Qui

    There is no such thing as rear armor upgrades. Side upgrades basically make it so you have the same armor on the front and the sides.
  18. Cluzore

    The weaknesses far outweigh the strength.
  19. ElementalFiend

    Pretty good info for new tankers.

    I disagree on point 1. It totally depends how you equip your tank. If you are equipped for Anti-Infantry those places are exactly where you want to be. Your job is to flush those infantry out in that case. Of course, keeping your rear un-exposed is always something that should be in the front of your mind.

    Magrider top speed is lower than Vanguard if you don't have Magburner equipped. A Vanguard can easily catch and outrun you on flat terrain. But with Magburner you can keep pace with a running Vanguard.
  20. BengalTiger

    I'm giving descriptions of how to use tanks the way I've tested them- bone stock (at least until I reach the Lightning, which I tested in all 3 major configs).

    Then there's the personal playing style that will be reflected to some degree, I generally drive around the enemy base and blow up the Sundies they send as reinforcements. :p



    2 guns are fun. The recoil from the first shot doesn't significantly delay the second one, especially at closer ranges.

    This tank has a very small turret, but it also has a tall hull, making hull down positions a bit harder to find, but with good results when successful.

    The Prowler's big hull must have a big engine in it, this MBT climbs hills with ease. It also seems to have the best turning rate. Top speed- 60 km/h, and it reaches and sustains this speed easily. I got it going in the 70's down a hill that wasn't really steep.
    In other words- it could nearly keep up with a Lightning.

    Like the Magrider, this tank can simply drive up Mount Everest if it ever gets implemented in PS 2.

    The closest thing to this would be a Leclerc tank. Good firepower, light and nimble.


    -The Prowler is not a good tank for direct battles of large scale on an open field, unless it gets deployed in a hull down position. It's best to learn tank combat in a Lightning, as the defensive and constantly moving playstyle is what the Prowler requires to get good results with.
    This tank is hard to start with when people still don't know the map too well and are stuck with head on battles.

    -The twin gun allows for twin infantry kills.

    -The Prowler is excellent in maneuver warfare, it was built to break the line, not to hold it.

    -This tank could pretty much keep up with Lightnings in quick dashes from cover to cover, however it brings more firepower and some more armor. Shoot and scoot. Skirmish with the light tanks.

    -Don't try to duke it out head on with other MBTs. The Vanguard has enough frontal armor to laugh at the 120 mm guns, the Mag is more accurate at everything but point blank range.

    -More close range chaos = better. That's because shooting Vanguards in the sides denies them the use of their excellent frontal armor, and Mags can only shoot straight forward.

    -The Prowler's high mobility gives it the ability to make strategic maneuvers- going to a neighboring hex in order to attack the enemy from behind for instance. This is the Prowler's greatest strength, but it's well hidden from players who are just beginning their career in it.

    How to defeat one?

    -Keep it at a distance when driving a tank. All tanks have reverse, so even moving backwards it's possible to keep the front pointed at them.

    -It's slightly under-armored compared to the other 2 MBTs, so a team of 2-3 HAs could bazooka it to death quickly even shooting it in the sides.

    -Watch your flanks. If there's no swarm of Prowlers sneaking up from the sides, flanking them will work wonders. Taste of their own medicine.

    -Contrary to the Mag, these tanks are very easy targets when attacking across an open field. They don't have the accuracy to snipe reliably, and they don't have the armor to push across a wide open area.

    -Do not select a tight space to defend against Prowlers, when they reach their speed, they'll run around dodging bullets and getting behind cover instantly just like Lightnings do.
    Counterattack when they're still out in the open, lead to a stalemate and grind them down.
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