The Sidewinder's missile (also called Snake) is slightly larger than a Basic's bullet. It has mini-cannons appended to its rear, making it looks like a miniature Artillery. Though only its middle 'cannon' fires bullets (called Snake Bullets) , and it fires like a Machine Gun.
- The Sidewinder has a low muzzle velocity, even when compared to the Basic. However, Snakes are propelled by Snake Bullets they shoot backwards. This makes Sidewinder about the only tank whose bullet speed increases over distance, except the Skimmer. This feature is similar to, though less drastic than, the Rocketeer.
- The Sidewinder's FoV is slightly larger than the Hunter's.
- Snakes are slightly stronger than a Twister's or a Skimmer's missile, but weaker than the Swarmer's hive.
- Strong Against: Tanks that are far away, tanks with low Reload, tanks with low Bullet Penetration, tanks with low speed, trapper branch
- Weak Against: Other Hunter or Assassin upgrades, tanks that are near the Sidewinder, tanks with high Reload/Bullet Penetration, drone users, rammers, spammers.
As the Sidewinder
- A low muzzle velocity means more time for your enemies to determine your missile's direction and to dodge them accordingly. This is especially pronounced in close-distance shootouts. As such a sidewinder should almost always avoid getting too close to any healthy enemies. Upgrading movement speed helps doing so.
- For the same reason, despite its FoV, the Sidewinder is not generally good at long-range sniping battles in open areas. There are ways to compensate though. First, try to keep yourself out of your enemies' FoV (such as fighting in the vertical rather than horizontal direction) so that they do not get to read your initially slow missiles and that their high accuracy cannot be utilized to its full potential. Second, keep your tank behind your walls of Snake Bullets. It makes the greatest difference when fighting the likes of an Assassin.
- Snake Bullets are critical to Sidewinders. In close combat, a Sidewinder struggles against the fact that its Snakes may get destroyed or circumvented before producing enough Snake Bullets. In long-range combat, however, a Snake together with its bullets can often one-shot glass cannon builds (the Snake Bullets will be traveling forward as they are traveling backward only relative to its Snake).
- In scenarios where the Sidewinder's shortcomings are irrelevant, it can be quite powerful. Such scenarios include exchanges along corridors (where there is little room for your enemies to dodge), group fights (where enemies have greater difficulty to keep tracks of all the bullets and you have the option to fire safely behind your in-fighting teammates), or shooting large and slow-moving targets (such as Dominators, Motherships, and Bosses, even if they are out of your screen).
- One interesting fact is that the Sidewinder is actually very suitable for players with lag issues to use in a team game. As they are not going to thrive in close combats which take quick and accurate response anyway, they might as well do some support and off-the-screen shooting.
- The sidewinder supports both a survival build and a glass cannon build. A survival build emphasizes movement speed and health. It keeps a safe distance and prey on unaware tanks far away. A glass cannon build specializes in bullet health, damage and reload to gain effective weaponry. It deters assailers and supports teammates from behind.
- The Sidewinder's missiles have some noticeable high penetration, which can be useful when shooting through multiple enemies or a less-crowded bullet storm. This does not become effective when the bullet storm became more compact or crowded, or if bullet spammers are present, so it's best to retreat. However, the Sidewinder could penetrate the bullet shield made by a Sprayer-type Elite Crasher.
- Against Rammers, there is little a Sidewinder can do. Moderately skilled Rammers can avoid most Snakes with minimal investment in their acceleration unless you have very high bullet speed. Just try to move away from them unnoticed when you spot them on the verge of your screen.
- Against the Spawner branch, be aware that a single Snake is usually not enough to destroy a minion and you are unlikely to be hitting and punching through the same, weakened minion on your second shot. This makes Spawners difficult matches. You may try to get past their minions, but be prepared for a skilled player that can dodge most of your missiles. A safer approach is to wait til they dispatch their minions else where, then you make a few shots afar. Flee if you fail.
- Against the Annihilator, head-on attacks will not work as it has a similar reload but more powerful bullets that block most of itself from you. Retreat out of its FoV while firing (it cannot pursue fast while defending itself). You may also try to disable auto-firing if they have it on. You may land a surprise shot.
- The power is when, at close range, the snake bullets may perform a kill in a few shots, if not a single shot.
- To avoid drones you need to get rid of the tank's drones by directly shooting them, you need to get up close and shoot them in the body.
- To counter spammers, one should use high penetration to pierce through their bullet wall.
Against the Sidewinder
- Do not be afraid to dodge into a few Snake Bullets from a Snake.
- The Sidewinder is relatively weak in close combat. Push it back and corner it if you can manage.
- Rammers are extremely effective against the Sidewinder. Do not feel discouraged after getting a few hits: The Sidewinder is considerably weaker at close range. A very slow and no-bullet Snake will not do much to one as sturdy as you. Also note that the Sidewinder has a weak recoil, and thus a slow escape.
- Drone tanks like Overseer are also effective. The claw technique could easily defeat the Sidewinder, as it cannot defend itself properly from two sides where the drones would clamp together. Beware though, if it cannot shoot your drones, it shoots you.
- The Octo tank and the Cyclone can kill a Sidewinder quite easily given they have high movement speed and good piloting.
- Bullet spammers might take a Sidewinder, much more easily in close combat; both sides will try to shoot their opponents from aside. Retreat is not recommended when both you and the Sidewinder are low on health.
- The Sniper branch, as noted above, may outperform the Sidewinder in long-ranged combat. Even if the Sidewinder adopts the mentioned strategy, a Predator can still suppress a Sidewinder for its zooming ability and its powerful third bullet which easily penetrates a Snake Bullet wall.
- You can easily see the trajectory of the snake bullet, as well as generally where the sidewinder would be aiming.
- Sidewinder is a common name for a superfamily of snakes that travel by a large wavy side-to-side movement known as sidewinding. The Arras tank Sidewinder may be named after it for the wavy trail of Snake Bullets left behind by a Snake.