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Let’s get to the basics. This week we explain Railgun, the primary weapon of Worbital. How does Railgun work and what are some hacks you can use to make it more bombastic?

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Worbital Pre-Alpha Railgun

Two weeks ago, we showed off Worbital Colonizer. It was a somewhat different kind of weapon, meant not for destruction but for expanding the playing field. This week, let’s take a look at a more traditional weapon. Perhaps, the most traditional of them all—Railgun.

How It Works

If you are familiar with our previous game,
Interplanetary (Worbital’s grounded turn-based cousin), you know how railguns work. It is the most basic weapon in the game and one of the first structures available to build. Simply: it fires a metal slug that obeys gravity and causes moderate amount of damage wherever it lands. Aim, shoot, boom.

Interplanetary Railgun

Worbital Pre-Alpha Railgun Closeup

When you click on a Railgun built and charged on your planet, the targeting trajectory-line appears in space.Twist this line around to adjust direction, velocity and angle of your shot until you have your best possible trajectory. Then click and slugs away! Well, it is almost that simple. Like in Interplanetary, gravity is king. Movement of objects in the planetary system and shifts in their gravity fields can affect your shot. Luckily, because Worbital is played real-time, you can get the general idea of the movements from simply observing. Some gas giant is in your way? Just wait it out.

Worbital Railgun Targeting Pre-Alpha

Projectile Split

Railgun is not the most powerful weapon in the arsenal, but if you use it sensibly, it might very well bring you victory. One of the tricks to increase Railgun’s effectivity is
projectile split. After a slug is fired, you can activate the split which will break the projectile into multiple smaller pieces, with each fragment causing smaller damage than the whole slug.

Projectile split is also the key difference between Railguns in Worbital and Interplanetary. The split was already available in Interplanetary, but it was a default action that automatically happened every time you fired Railgun (Coilcannon in the Enhanced Edition). In Worbital, you can activate the split precisely at the moment you want, or not do it at all.

Worbital Railgun Split Pre-Alpha

So, if split decreases the damage of your shot and it’s optional, when would you ever use it? First: to cut your losses when the projectile misses. If it looks like you’re not quite hitting your target you can split the shot to increase your chance of hitting at least something. Or, you can create a wider opening for blasting to the planet’s core.

Another way to use split could be when confronting enemy projectiles in space. Say, your opponent's shot is approaching. Firing and splitting a projectile could provide you with a sort of a shield, allowing you to potentially shoot down the enemy slug. Or, it could be the opposite. If an opponent is trying to shoot your slug down, you can split, increasing the odds that at least part of your shot will stay on the course to the enemy planet.

Such is Worbital Railgun. Soon enough, you’ll get a chance to have some fun with it on your own! Until then, we keep on working.

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