The optimal hull to use with a Railgun is a fast hull (because of speed and acceleration) as the Railgun gets its maximum potential with fast speeds. Using Hornet or Wasp allows you to use the typical peek-a-boo tactic very nicely as you can get in and out as fast as is necessary. This tactic works against basically any type of enemy due to the high amount of damage a single Railgun shot can do. This tactic also helps to protect you during the Railgun's long reload time. Medium hulls are also seen with Railgun, although they cannot fit in camping spots as well as the small hulls, nor do they have the high speeds and acceleration necessary for many Railgun tactics. Heavy hulls such as the Mammoth or the Titan are generally considered inferior when using the Railgun because their hp doesn't keep you alive for as long as the Railgun takes to recharge. For instance, either the freeze or the firebird can kill a Mammoth using only one full charge of ammunition, which will kill the mammoth before it can fire a second time. Also, the slow speeds of the Mammoth and Titan make them unable to keep out of range of short- to mid-ranged turrets. Why have lots of hp when you can simply not take damage in the first place? This is why light hulls are generally used by the best and most skillful Railgun players.
The key with Railgun is accuracy, accuracy, accuracy. Railgun is one of several weapons in Tanki with a very high skill ceiling - you can be rewarded greatly for being good with Railgun. Even if you drug constantly, if you can't consistently aim your shots you are next to useless. You will also fail when you use it with a light Hull, like the Wasp. Because of the Railgun's laser animation, enemies will know or can guess roughly where you are after you shoot. This can lead to disaster for you, especially if you miss your first shot. Due to the Railgun's extremely high penetration power and impact force, it is exceptionally good at knocking off aim and stopping a hull's momentum - If you manage to hit an incoming Freeze, Firebird or Isida by the tip of their hull, they'll be knocked slightly aside, giving you more time to get some distance away from them in order to deal the finishing blow without dying yourself. This also works extremely well against opposing Railgun's if you can shoot them while they are charging their shot.
What stops players from becoming a pro at this weapon is the 1.1 second interval for the gun to fire and its slow turning speeds. If you're out in the open with a Railgun and are about to fire, especially if you are using a light hull, a well-aimed Thunder, Smoky, or Ricochet, (or basically any other gun with good knock back), can cause you to miss - leaving you out in the open with a light hull and unable to damage anyone for another 5-6 seconds. In fact, you're probably dead. This means that, in an ideal situation, you should hide behind a wall and come out just as the Railgun is about to fire. Of course, this isn't that easy to do due to the timing necessary, as well as the difficulty to aim in a split second while coming out of cover, but if you use the Railgun long enough, you will become quite good at it. The slow rotation speed of the Railgun means that you should have the turret already pointed in the direction you want to fire. A slightly harder (but more versatile) way is to turn your hull at the same time as you turn your turret. With enough practice you can manage to do this and hit your enemy even if they shoot you in the corners of your hull. This way also means that, if you want, you can spend less time hiding behind walls and, more importantly, increase your overall accuracy.
The Railgun's damage is nothing to laugh at either. One good thing to do is to use Railgun to kill-steal, as you want to be keeping up in score with the higher DPS* weapons such as the Firebird. However, if you can get an attack bonus, an M0 Railgun can one shot even an M0 viking or M0 dictator, giving it the power of the shaft but with much less recharge time. Another good thing to do is, when given the chance, to try to aim down a line of as many enemy tanks as possible, as the penetration property of the Railgun leads to damage for them all. Also be wary of other skilled players who know how to play against Railgun. Your accuracy skills might not account to much if the enemy knows what they're doing. Some enemies may bait you - They pretend to drive into your line of fire, then drive into cover. You fire. They come out and kill you. This tactic is especially good against the railgun, due to the 1.1 second firing delay. Therefore, be careful about whether you fire or not. Very occasionally, you may want to purposely draw out an enemy by missing. However, this leaves you vulnerable, so you only ever want to do it when you have teammates around you that are aware and can follow up.
Because of the Railgun's long recharge time, you should try to learn and recognize any Railgun protection paints and how much protection they give - Railgun paints can give a significant advantage to your enemies if they happened to use one. To use an example, I'll use the Railgun and Wasp. Usually, a Railgun can one-shot a Wasp. If the Wasp uses a paint with Railgun protection, it takes 2 shots to kill the Wasp! This leaves you vulnerable during the long recharge time. By the time you have another shot ready, the Wasp, being a Wasp, will probably have come within range of and killed you. Forester, Tundra and Prodigi are some examples of the paints that have very good protection against Railgun. Learn what these - and other good Railgun protection paints look like and play more defensively when you face them in battle.
*DPS = damage per second
- Is commonly used as a sniper more than Shaft.
- A very common gun used in the game even in small maps due to its attack power.
- Is great for parkour.
- There is special battle modes that only allow this gun and light hull to enter.