The supposed big bad of the infected masses, the Tank is actually fairly easy
to deal with if you know what you’re doing, and have the right situation on
hand to help you deal with him. Even very skilful and comptetent tanks are no
match for a team of Survivors working together to bring him down.
For presence, the Tank could not possibly be more obvious if he had a giant
50 foot neon sign strapped to him blaring “I AM A TANK” over loudspeakers.
Aside from the music changing to a very ominous and threatening tune, the
ground shakes with the Tank’s footfalls and he constantly snarls, grunts and
roars loudly. Every single thing he does pretty much loudly announces him.
The Tank can punch you and send you flying, dealing a huge amount of damage.
He can also rip chunks of concrete out of the ground and lob them at you,
these also do an absolute ton of damage. Needless to say, don’t EVER get hit
by him or he’ll likely follow up with several more attacks and incap you.
As long as you’re in green health, you run at the same speed as the Tank so
if you can keep ahead of him you can dodge his attacks. If anyone is yellow
or below however, they will limp and this will cause problems, because the
Tank will likely go straight for them. If you have pain pills on hand, give
them to yellowed or redded survivors as soon as the tank music starts up.
Also on certain maps with deadly falls, the Tank can punch you straight off
cliffs or edges, which can result in instant death. It is also able to punch
large objects at you which will instantly incapacitate you if you are struck
by them, so beware in areas with any large, loose objects, paticularly cars.
The Best Situation
The absolute best situation to deal with a tank is a wide open area, with all
survivors in green health, with no other specials interfering with the fight.
This situation obviously won’t always be on hand however.
The other best option for dealing with the Tank is to set him on fire.
As detailed in the Molotov section, the Tank will simply drop dead
after cooking for around 40 seconds no matter how much health he has.
Auto Shotguns used to be good for dealing with Tanks, but the Jan 14th patch
gave them resistance to Auto Shotgun fire. Just take whichever weapon you
think you will do best with.
Another weakness the Tank has is to explosions – whether from a Pipebomb,
Propane/Oxygen tanks or from a Boomer. If the Tank is caught in an explosion,
he will momentarily stagger and be unable to act – this is your cue to get in
his face and blow it off as fast as possible while he is unable to defend
himself. Just make sure not to linger too long, else the Tank will snap out
of it and treat you to several knuckle sandwiches. Laying down gas cylinders
as a trap for the Tank is a good strategy, though a good Tank may realise
what you are up to and try to circumvent it. Don’t count on hitting a Tank
with a pipebomb however, unless he’s REALLY stupid.
Watch your back
Beware of other special infected while the tank is around. Though the Tank
pretty much commands all attention in the area, don’t forget to rescue any
other survivors who are pinned or ensnared. If they’re incapped on the ground
it is likely the tank will ignore them, but Hunters will possibly try to
finish them off. Generally, you should judge how far away the Tank is while
considering whether or not to revive teammates. The second the Tank notices
you doing it he is likely to stop at nothing to prevent you from reviving
them, so only do it if he is a large distance away, and not likely to pay
attention anytime soon. Give the revived survivor pills if you have any
on hand, otherwise they’re likely to just get punched down again.
Especially beware of zombies and boomers – fighting a tank while blind can be
nasty, but being slowed down by zombies whacking you as a tank approaches
amounts to a death sentence. Both at the same time? Worse than a big bag
of worse things. Oddly, I don’t tend to notice Boomers around when a Tank
is present very often. It doesn’t discount the possibility, though.
However, if the Boomer is near the Tank for any reason, then shoot it if it
presents no risk to your teammates – it acts like any other explosion for the
Tank, causing him to stagger and allowing you a moment to blow him away.
Take note that apart from increasing how many Tanks will appear in a game,
the Jan 14th patch also standardised Tanks across both teams. If you come
across a Tank during one section of the map, you will get the Tank at that
same spot too. This means the element of suprise is lost on the second team
to play, but makes for a much more fair match.