Learn your "Gyroscope".
"Gyroscope? Wut?" Many players have come out of testing or practicing with Vulcan confused by this auto-turning feature. Let's admit it - it's tough to master. But, let's establish firstly and foremost what it does. This is the most important thing to learn with Vulcan. Here is the gist of it. Gyroscope only takes affect when you begin shooting. When shooting, your turret will automatically stay in the same line even when your tank is turning. Thus, your turret "automatically moves" when you are turning. However, your turret is still able to turn by itself.
Let's quickly dissect that phrase. You see an enemy; you start shooting him with your Vulcan. Now, does that mean you can just drive around turning your hull and you're guarantee to just keep on hitting him? Absolutely NOT. Why, you ask? Surely my "gyroscope" means that even if I turn my tank and my turret automatically turns to face the original direction. You're right. But you forgot to factor in one thing. Enemies move. Yep, no joke Sherlock. The enemies do move, and if you turn your tank all your Vulcan is going to do is be shooting the thin air where your enemy was. So you have to adapt your turret. People somehow have this belief that your Vulcan locks onto enemies when you start hitting them. Wrong. You must be in control of your turret.
§ When shooting, Avoid turning your hull
So, the simplest of tips for beginners to begin with. When you start playing Vulcan, drive like your normal self but when you engage in shooting, avoid turning your hull. All it is does is confuse things when you start off. Just focus on your Forward-backward movement and your turret. That's enough to think of without worrying how your turret will move laterally.
Practice is the key for Vulcan. You've got to just do the easy stuff first, before attempting doing too many things difficult. As many of us have found out, turning your tank too early in your practice with the weapon will inevitably lead to missed shots and embarrassment, particularly if you are a higher rank. Keep it simple to start with.
§ When "gyro-scoping", your turret will turn in the opposite direction to your tank
If you've decided to get off the "baby-food" and try using Vulcan like a pro, test this for yourself. Enter a battle with your Vulcan and then shoot, and press the Right hour. You'll see your turret turning left. Likewise with the Left Arrow. Fact. You may already know this, but it takes a while to settle in your mind. Keep it in your head.
Accompanied by this comes the knowledge that your tank turns faster than your turret. So don't think with this logic - If I turn my turret right while I'm turning my hull right, it will stay straight in line with my hull. Because if you think this way, you'll unfortunately be greatly mistaken. Unless you've got a Mammoth, your hull will turn much quicker than your turret, thus disorientating you.
Again, this comes with practice. Join a battle and try out aiming long distance at an object like a house window, whilst turning your tank and your turret. Perfect way to get to grips with the weapon.
If someone is behind you and you want to shoot him, turn your hull the opposite way of your turret, but keep shooting. For example, if you want to turn your turret left, then turn your tank right, this is will make you turn your turret faster. This is because of the game mechanics: when your tank turn, your turret turns the opposite way at the same rate which will give you the illusion that your turret has "detached". So turning your hull the opposite way will add onto the rate in which you turn. This has been proven with all hulls.
§ Charge early.
Another quick pointer. Vulcan charges for a second when rotating its barrels before it begins shooting. So, naturally, if you want to get maximum benefit out of your weapon, charge a second before you go into the open. Genius, huh? But be aware that you will want to be careful when you pop out with your Vulcan. Try not to leave yourself exposed whilst your barrels are getting ready to fire. Not wise. Think Railgun pop-out. That's what you've got to use on this weapon too.
§ Release space-bar when you can't see an enemy
Duh. But point stands. You don't want to overheat unnecessarily. Shooting indefinitely is not wise with Vulcan. You may think Infinite Ammo is a reason to put a brick on that space bar, but the aspect of overheating is surely reason enough for you to release shooting when no enemy is in sight. Also, make sure you're careful too, even when you see enemies to be aware of your health. No reason to start overheating when you are sniping and have extremely low health. Suicidal - quite literally.
§ Automatically resist the temptation of moving close-range
Don't. Please don't. Let's be straight here. Vulcan is not a weapon to use for flag-carriers. As we've established, it's pretty difficult to shoot clearly while driving - and even if you've mastered this, the purpose of Vulcan is its fantastic Damage per second - from range. Vulcan is also brilliant at precise accuracy from distance. So avoid wasting your turret's wonderful abilities by running into short-range confrontations. You will often win, especially if you're good at close-range accuracy, but it's a waste of a wonderful weapon. Of course, there are unavoidable events, like, when you have to return a flag. Then, it would be sabotage to not to move towards it.
But in most circumstances, range is good. However, I would say that if your position is a drought of opponent tanks, and you must move closer-range to be able to find some prey then go for it. There's no purpose staying somewhere for the purpose of being "long-distance" when you have nobody in your eye-line half of the time.
§ Don't be afraid of overheating in Team Battles
I'm sure you've heard the phrase "Take one for the team". Vulcaners will be having to hear this phrase a whole lot more, with their self-damage effect. I said earlier that you don't want to hold space bar when you can't see enemies, and combined with that, even if you see enemies, try and avoid overheating. But, on the flip side, if you've got enemies to aim at, especially in a team battle, then don't be afraid to over-heat. Now, overheating doesn't do too much damage to yourself, even though it can be costly. This overheating business is another reason why Vulcan is normally equipped with the heavier hulls, to ensure health does not drop too quickly.
But, if you're in a good position in the enemy base which isn't particularly secure but is annihilating many of the defenders, then don't say to yourself "You know what, I'll stop shooting." Sooner or later, a player will come after you and kill you anyway, so you may as well use the time you've got to keep shooting. Say there's a Freeze Mammoth in defence for example, and his "pet Isida" has died. You should probably just keep shooting him to clear him out of the way, whether or not you will do yourself significant harm at the same time, because waiting will mean the Isida will probably get back to heal. Discernment is the key. It's making sure you're not stupid and throw away all your health but at the same time, using the fantastic damage you have got to benefit your team.
§ Equip some Firebird protection
In the light of this, equipping Firebird protection is smart. After all, if you didn't know, your self-burning effect will be lowered if you defend yourself with Firebird prot. So might be wise to get a paint with a chunky piece of Firebird protection when using Vulcan. Bit like a Thunder using Thunder protection. Not much needed to say here, but do keep in mind that your Firebird protection, unless it's Zeus, won't do a massive amount if you use your Vulcan wisely and avoid too much after-burn. Still, it's a good use of a paint.
§ Double Powers are perfect
Perfect - pushing it, you might say. But Vulcan, in my opinion, like Hammer, is one of the best weapons to use a Double Power with. Why, you say? Firstly, think maths. If you have 24 Chickens and you multiply them by two, you will get 24 extra chickens. If you have 10 Chickens and you multiply them by two, you'll only get 10 extra chickens. Weird analogy, but it's applicable to Vulcan. The high DPS means that with a Double Power, you are basically doubling a high DPS - making a pretty unstoppable force. Secondly, a Double Power does not affect your after-burn. Yep, so you'll only be burning the same amount as you were. Thirdly, Vulcan's long-distance shooting means it is less likely for you to withstand shooting, meaning that Double armor and nitro aren't such a big deal. So, Double Powers are perfect. Basically.
§ Play it like a Railgun-Viking
Approaching the end now, and this is almost a sum-up of the type of Game play you should use with Vulcan. Railgun-Viking. Especially applicable if you use Vulcan with a medium hull, which in my opinion, is certainly the most effective to use this weapon, unless you plan to use it as a brute-force camper. Railgun-Viking game play is something most of us tankers will be familiar with as two of the most popular hulls in the game. A pop-out, stay in cover style player. And Vulcan is really effective at it. Mirror your Railgun-Viking game play with it, and you'll be surprised at the effectiveness. Of course, you will have differences as you will be in the open more often, but it's a similar style. Just something to maybe keep in your mind as you try to use Vulcan effectively in your battles.
§ Pick a vantage point in the Enemy Base
Finally, a direct point about where Vulcan should be used. My personal preference with Vulcan is either in a camping spot in the Enemy base, or in your base. However, describing game play in your own base - after all, it's sit; camp; hold off attackers. In attack, however, it's much more diverse. Running away from dangerous defenders whilst damaging those disgusting defensive Isidas. It's great fun. And that's what Vulcan is.
So in picking your vantage point, bear in mind a few things. Firstly, you must have the freedom of the campers to aim at. It's important to be able to damage those who are really the threats to your attacking players. Secondly, have a go-to route to escape if you are turned on. And thirdly, discern your self-damaging. Leave yourself cover to re-charge if you are on low health. The below picture describes what I feel is a pretty good position to use with Vulcan in Silence. Of course, it depends on what the defenders are, but if they're all short-range this is a great place to fire on them and get some dividends for your efforts.
Best Matching Hulls
A good hull for this type of turret would be viking. The type of hull is perfect for this turret type. It has a good combination of both health and moderately good mobility. This tank also is hard to knock over while shooting and also has a very good stability.
Vulcan: PROs and CONs
Has high rate of fire.
Has high damage output.
Can shoot infinitely if cooled.
Starts to take damage if you shoot for too long.
Slow turret rotation.
Guide against Vulcan
The Vulcan lets you stay on aim of the target because of the gyroscopic effect, but is that actually good? Is there a way to use this against the turret itself? That is what we will work on and many other things here too!
In a lot of cases, this will wipe you out in no time. Here are the ways to counter those pesky Vulcan users from draining your health within seconds.
Wasp is a very versatile and speedy hull good for many situations. You can use this to your advantage against a Vulcan by quickly dodging his point of fire. Although if, depending on the type of gun the Wasp user has, it can take him out in short time most of the time. The Vulcan user is in trouble if he cannot hit the Wasp player.
Similar deal with Hornet as with wasp, though you have more health but a little less speed to combat a Vulcan when in a battle. The best way to use Hornet against Vulcan is to use it with freeze because Vulcan already has limited movement and taking away what little turret movement he has left will cripple him.
Hunter is good to use against a hornet because of its good health, speed, and agility as far as Hunter goes. You can equip a powerful gun with this tank and take out the Vulcan in seconds.
Dictator is a greatly versatile hull which can be used to mount almost any gun such as hunter due to its balanced health, speed, and mobility. Because of this, Dictator is a big trouble for Vulcan users unless they have a big open shot on you.
Viking is not generally the best to use against Vulcan but it is balanced. So unless you are using it with railgun or a longer range turret or just the fact that you can sneak up on him and take him out.
With Titan you have quite a bit of health but not enough speed so you want to stay out of a Vulcan's way and if he sees you, try and dodge his shots. You are not able to know off his aim as easily because of the gyroscopic effect. Before he starts firing, you have a short amount of time to score some hits on him due to the fact that the gun has to charge up first slightly. Because of this, you can get a chance to move away also.
With mammoth you have a lot of health but it will drop quite quickly if you can't get away from the point of fire fast enough. If you have a Vulcan equipped, and the other Vulcan user has the same set up as you, it just depends on who gets the first shot and who misses the least.
For all short-range guns, try to keep slipping in between obstacles. When you finally reach the Vulcan, make sure their turret is pointed away from you so you can get some essential damage in with Firebird before it can be turned around to shoot you. Also, while the tank turret is turning to shoot you, you can also move around the tank as to continue dodging the shots.
Make sure you have a slope or a wall next to you when you shoot, so you can shoot the vulcan, and reload in safety.
For all short-range guns, try to keep slipping in between obstacles. When you finally reach the Vulcan, make sure to come up from behind their turret so you don't get hit, then freeze away. Because of Freezes special effect which freezes you, it will slow down his tank and his turret rotation so he cannot hit you. This is easily one of the best strategies to use.
If a Vulcan faces itself, there is 1 main fact that will happen, 1 person will die. The person who wins will either have more health than the other tank or have gotten the first shot on the tank. To help reverse that, make sure to micro-upgrade your Vulcan, or use a defensive hull with more health such as Mammoth or Viking. If you have the same hull as the other player, make sure that you get the first shot on them. If you have less health than the other player and have no supplies, start firing at him and try to run away at the same time. If you die, you have at least inflicted some damage on the enemy Vulcan.
For all short-range guns, try to keep slipping in between obstacles. When you finally reach the Vulcan, make sure he/she is distracted by another tank or not looking in your direction. Then strike, if you get hit, heal by continuing to attack the Vulcan.