1. Website

Check the T.A.N.K.S website for news and updates:


2. Donationware

T.A.N.K.S is donationware. This means that if you like T.A.N.K.S, feel free to send a donation to the T.A.N.K.S development team. The donation can be money or something else you find appropriate.

Contact address:

tanksdevelopers ATT kenjin.net (replace " ATT " with @)

3. Starting T.A.N.K.S

Unpack Tanks.zip or Tanks.tgz to any destination of your choice, then start the game using one of these methods:

Generic (platform independent)

  1. At a command prompt, cd to the Tanks directory.
  2. Type java Tanks

    This requires that you have a Java Runtime Environment (JRE) installed. If you don't, you can get one from one of these sites:




Windows 95/98/2000/NT

  1. Go to the Tanks directory.
  2. Double-click Tanks.exe

    This will use Microsoft's Java Virtual Machine (comes with Internet Explorer 4 and above) to start T.A.N.K.S. If it doesn't work, try the generic starting method above.

4. Settings

If all went well, the settings window will appear:

T.A.N.K.S settings window

Player settings

  1. Enter your name or alias.
  2. Select a tank type. See below.
  3. Select a tank color or join one of the teams.
  4. Select a map. The players who select the same map will play together.
  5. Switch sound on or off.

Advanced settings

There are two networking modes to select from:

Multicasting - Doesn't require a server. Only works on multicasting-enabled networks. TTL is the multicasting broadcast range (you normally won't need to change the default setting).

UDP Server - Requires a running T.A.N.K.S UDP server. IP address is the address of that UDP server, which you'll have to type in manually.

Tank types

There are three tank types, all with different size, speed (motion and rotation for both the tank and its turret), shell damage, armour, barrel heat sink time and shell reload time.

Bafta tank A large and powerful tank with a high shell damage
and lots of armour, but poor speed.

Nugget tank A middle-class tank with average shell damage,
armour and speed.

Cricket tank The smallest and fastest tank. Quick shell reloading time
but poor armour and low shell damage.

After making your preferred settings, push the start button to bring up the network connection box which will try to establish a network connection. After a successful connection, the game will start.

5. Gameplay

Game concept

T.A.N.K.S is a multiplayer-only network game where you navigate your tank in the terrain and try to eliminate enemy tanks. You can play on your own or in a team.

The idea is to score as much points as possible for yourself or your team. The scores are as follows:

+1 point for each enemy tank you eliminate

-1 point for each member of your own team you eliminate

There are two ways to eliminate an enemy tank, either hit it with your shells or ram it (Kamikaze style!).

The number of shell hits you need to eliminate a tank depends on how much damage each of your shells inflict and how many hitpoints the tank has left.

Ramming your enemy can be hazardous. For instance, a Cricket doesn't stand much chance against a Bafta unless the Bafta is very low on hitpoints.


If the network connection and everything else went fine, the main game window will appear:

T.A.N.K.S game window

Game interface

Descriptions of the screen elements:

Gameboard - The main game display where the combat takes place.

Message center - Write a message with your keyboard and send it to the other players over the newtork by pressing [enter]. Delete the last written letter with [backspace] or [delete]. The text area above the message field displays messages sent from other players and status messages (status messages are indicated by white color and a '#' infront of them).

Barrel heat indicator - For each shell you fire, your cannon barrel gets a bit hotter. When all lamps on the indicator are lit, the barrel is overheated and your firing rate will decrease. Wait a while and the barrel will cool down.

Hit point indicator - This indicator shows the health of your tank. Your hitpoints will decrease every time your tank is hit by a shell or is rammed by another tank. Your tank will explode when you don't have any hitpoints left.

Scoreboard - The points for each player and team are displayed here. Also, if a player's tank isn't alive, the color of the player's name and score will be darker. The score for each team is the sum of the scores for each player in the team.

About button - Opens the credits window.

Back button - Leaves the current game and goes back to the settings window.

Exit button - Exits T.A.N.K.S.

Game controls

[arrow up] Moves the tank forwards
[arrow down] Moves the tank backwards
[arrow right] Rotates the tank to the right
[arrow left] Rotates the tank to the left
[control] Fires a shell or deploys/resurrects your tank at a
random starting position
[mousebutton] Same as for [control]
mouse pointer Aims the turret


To deploy your tank, you must click inside the gameboard with your mouse (or press [control]).

6. UDP Server

T.A.N.K.S supports two networking modes - multicasting and UDP server (see above). To use the UDP server mode, you need a running T.A.N.K.S UDP Server to connect to. To start one yourself, do this:

Generic (platform independent)

  1. At a command prompt, cd to the Tanks directory.
  2. Type java UDPServer [map] [-nogui]

    map is a number between 0 and 9 that specifies which game map the server will serve

    -nogui starts the server in text-mode.

    Both parameters are optional. By default, the server starts in GUI mode with map 0 selected.

Windows 95/98/2000/NT

  1. Go to the Tanks directory.
  2. Double-click UDPServer.exe

    This will use Microsoft's Java Virtual Machine (comes with Internet Explorer 4 and above) to start the T.A.N.K.S UDP Server. If it doesn't work, try the generic starting method above.

    Starts in GUI mode with map 0 selected by default.


For best performance, we recommend a dedicated machine with a fast internet connection for running the server.

7. System Requirements

You need the following to run T.A.N.K.S:

  • Java Runtime Environment 1.1 or later.
  • Network connection with support for multicasting or atleast UDP (ask your network service provider).
  • Reasonably fast computer for best performance.


We strongly recommend you to use Java Runtime Environment version 1.1 and not 1.2 since the graphics rendering is slower in 1.2.

According to SUN this will be fixed in Java Runtime Environment version 1.3.

8. Credits

The T.A.N.K.S development team
Kenneth Jonsson - graphics engine, user interface, sound, graphics, maps
Christer Kaivo-oja - network engine, maps
Thomas Eriksson - network protocol, sound, maps
Jonas Nordlund - tank behaviour and physics, collision detection
Urban Liljedahl - tank behaviour and physics, collision detection

Guest appearance

Mathias Bergh - explosion animation

9. Known Problems

Read the BUGS.txt file found in the docs directory.

10. Legal Notice and Disclaimer

The T.A.N.K.S development team is the sole copyright owner of T.A.N.K.S.

You may

  1. Spread the T.A.N.K.S archive file as much as you like, as long as the content of the archive remains unchanged.
  2. Distribute T.A.N.K.S on collection cdrom's and similar, but please let us know about it first.

You may NOT

  1. Gain money by distributing or selling T.A.N.K.S in ANY WAY unless you make an agreement with us first.
  2. Modify T.A.N.K.S without our permission.


Copyright © 1999-2002 T.A.N.K.S development team