[Guide] Identifying Tank Cannons

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by ColonelChingles, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. ColonelChingles

    After this thread where I was puzzling over what tanks cannons were being used, I made a quick guide for my outfit to use. Sure you can wait for the tank to shoot at you to figure out what it is, but why not earlier?

    One thing that I want to do eventually is to try and identify the different VS plasma blobs, which all look different. Not sure if Prowler/Vanguard shells are visibly different based on what cannon you're using.

    Lightnings are also missing, which will be added.

    Since this guide was originally written for an NC outfit, Vanguard cannon are missing. I might throw that in later for completion sake.

    Otherwise, I hope this guide can at least be a little helpful for new tankers out there!


    Because we don't always have the luxury of viewing enemy tanks from an upper-right angle [the previous outfit guide relies on stock images of the cannon like these], it also might be useful to be able to identify the weapon an enemy tank is using as they're aiming or shooting at you. The following is a quick guide based on geometry details for identifying enemy cannon pointed at you.



    The Magrider AP cannon (FPC) is a horizontal rectangle with a trapezoid on top side of the rectangle and a circle resting on it all.

    It's also worth pointing out that the Saron has funny rectangular "ears" on the side of the weapon... these are not found on the PPA.


    The Magrider HEAT cannon (PC) is a vertical rectangle with a circle in the middle.

    You can see the PPA in this picture, which as noted above lacks the rectangular "ears".


    The Magrider HE cannon (VC) is a horizontal rectangle with a smaller rectangle in the bottom half.



    The Prowler AP cannons have spikes on the muzzle, which when viewed from the front look like dots.


    Prowler HEAT and HE cannons are difficult to distinguish. In the above picture of the Prowler HEAT cannons, the muzzle wall is fairly thin, while the barrel bore is wide.


    The Prowler HE cannons on the other hand has a thick muzzle wall and a more narrow barrel bore. Again, it may be difficult to ID a HEAT Prowler from a HE Prowler because the differences are relative. Otherwise the HEAT and HE cannons look pretty similar.


    If anyone has other tricks on identifying tank weapons (possibly even from a distance), please add them! :)
    • Up x 3
  2. Flapatax

    If it kills a bunch of people all at once and the driver has a learning disorder, it's a HE cannon.
    • Up x 2
  3. FateJH

    No, that's definitely not how our HE cannons work.
    • Up x 2
  4. FieldMarshall

    If you want to study tank cannons in detail, you can also go to the VR for a closer look.

    Also, do the different cannons make different sounds when fired?
    If so, that could be a fairly easy way to tell what's shooting.

    Another thing. If the shell dont make a splash explosion when it lands, its probably AP
    • Up x 1
  5. ajma

    HE was severely nerfed a while ago. From an infantry perspective, it's very hard to differentiate between HE and HEAT judging from the effects of the gun. If you are in a vehicle, then it's very easy, as it will only tickle you.
  6. z1967

    For future notes, the Python AP has a small circular barrel endpiece similar to the Prowler HEAR/HE piece. In good lighting, you can also make out the little notches on the side as well. Biggest threat to vehicles, and they have better DPS than magrider main cannons as well.

    Python HEAT has a rectangular piece on the end that has rounded corners. It also much bigger and more squarish than the Viper cannon so you don't get confused. Not a huge threat since the HEAT nerf, but still should be treated seriously.

    Python HE has a big fat endpiece that makes it really hard to mistake, since it is the thickest of the four and is circular. Also the biggest threat to infantry is this gun (and the viper, sometimes).

    The Viper has a small, rectagular barrel end piece and the barrel is also smaller. These are fairly easy to identify and I feel you don't need to go into further detail about them. If they don't shoot you immediately they are reloading, exploit that as fast as possible to get C4 on them or to run away.

    The Skyguard is so unique, even on potato MLG graphics you can see a massive difference compared to the other barrels. Look for four, small, circular barrels. These really aren't a threat unless you are flying around, so don't worry too much about them.
    • Up x 1
  7. Ransurian

    People still use HEAT / HE?
  8. BengalTiger

    Vanguard Main Guns:

    Titan-150 HEAT:

    150 mm caliber, High Explosive Anti-Tank, barrel has no muzzle brake.

    Titan-150 AP:

    Armor Piercing, has a muzzle brake made of flat plates welded together. Sticks out to the sides a lot.

    Titan-150 HE

    High Explosive, has a muzzle brake made of a casting, rounded surfaces, note the upper side has cuts in it on either side of the barrel. Isn't as wide as the AP variant.

    Faction specific secondaries:

    Enforcer ML-85:

    85 mm caliber, apparently "Missile Launcher", has a long angular barrel. Fires with a distinct "whistle".

    Enforcer C-85 Modified:

    Canister. Short barrel, shoots lots of pellets in one go.

    Regarding sound effects - all guns have different ones, but each variant of a gun seems to use the same exact sound effect.

    I'll add screenshots of the shells and explosions tomorrow.
    • Up x 2
  9. Bindlestiff

    If a shot from a Magrider falls to the ground almost immediately after leaving the turret and then obscures the MBT with an obscene plasma effect, it's VPC.

    If a shot from a Magrider looks like it has originated from a thick erect phallus that appears to be aiming at air vehicles or something way in the distance, but is actually just trying to shoot the guy 3m in front, AND the shot travels through the air like Hulk through molasses, AND falls to the ground marginally in front of where the VPC would land, AND has a less impressive plasma effect, that's PC.

    If a shot from a Magrider looks like it has originated from something you'd get in Ann Summers, thats FPC.
    • Up x 1
  10. ColonelChingles

    As an addition to your introduction, here is what the various cannon look like from the front:


    The AP Vanguard cannon has a wide and straight-edged horizontal rectangle. Although it looks similar to the HE cannon, there are enough differences so most of the time you can tell the two apart.

    Vanguard secondaries though are much more difficult to discern. The Enforcer, Canister, and NS Halberd are all essentially tubes with sights on top, so there's only so many details that can distinguish them. The Enforcer pictured above is unique among the NC options that it has the sight sitting directly above the barrel.


    The HE Vanguard cannon has a muzzle break, but this one is less wide than the AP cannon and has rounded edges.

    The Canister on top of this tank has an offset sight (compared to the Enforcer). It shares the exact same sight with the Halberd, however. The difference between the Canister and Halberd is mostly in the area under the barrel, which is a bit more filled out for the fat Canister than the skinny Halberd. Again, it's not easy figuring out which secondary weapon an NC tank is using, but on the plus side at least the Canister is fairly rare.


    The Vanguard HEAT cannon is very distinctive, being a round little cannon without a muzzle brake.

    The NS Halberd on top of the HEAT tank has the offset sight which differentiates it from the Enforcer, and is a skinnier model when compared to the Canister. If there is still confusion over whether the secondary weapon is a Canister or Halberd, the safe bet is on the Halberd.