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This article appeared in Quake II  

Tank Commander


Will gib when health is


Attack Damage
Found in

These Tanks are a special class, designed to secure the Inner City from infiltrators.

—Quake 2 Manual

In Quake 2, the Tank Commander has the most health of any regular Enemy in the game. Like the regular Tank, the Tank Commander has a Rocket Launcher, Machine Gun and a powerful Blaster.


The Tank Commander is a heavily armed and armored behemoth of almost identical design to the Tank, with black and red armor and a golden Commander's insignia on its chest plate denoting its rank. Like the Tank, its movement speed is drastically cut by the weight of its armor and armaments. They only appear on active duty in the Palace area towards the end of the game.

Its black armor gives it a massive 1,000 hit points, which is only overshadowed by the bosses. Due to the Commander's high health, it is best to save up the ammo for the game's most powerful weapons. In the Palace, there are plenty of Icarus who drop Cell pick ups so you will always have the BFG10k ready to use when you confront a Tank Commander. See below for more details.

Tank Commanders only appear in Unit 9 of the game (The City/Palace). Here they are a common enemy in the Outer Courts and Lower Palace and are rare in the Upper Palace.



The Tank's right arm is a Machinegun, which works differently from the one used by the the Enforcer or Gunners. It shoots in a wide arc in the players direction, with barely 1 or 2 bullets actually hitting at long range. However, the closer the player is to the Tank, the more times the bullet spray will connect, becoming extremely deadly at point blank. It is thus recommended to either take cover or move as far away from the Tank as possible.

Light Blaster[]

The Tank's left arm is a Light Blaster that fires three blasts in a row, dealing high damage. While it is possible and easy to dodge this attack, the damage it deals is not worth the risk so it is much safer to take cover, wait for the attack to finish and then continue with your own attack.

Rocket Launcher[]

The Tank's most powerful attack is a shoulder mounted Rocket Launcher. The Tank's Rocket Launcher is among the deadliest attacks in the game and makes fighting the Tank in open ground something to avoid at all costs. The Tank can launch a seemingly unlimited stream of rockets which it can aim where the player is about to move to whilst dodging the one before it. For this reason, it is important to face the Tank where there is cover available. If the player takes cover when the Tank launches this attack, it will only fire three rockets before moving to the next attack.

Death Messages[]

  • Player was pumped full of lead by a Tank Commander (Machinegun)
  • Player was blasted by a Tank Commander (Blaster)
  • Player almost dodged a Tank Commander's rocket (Rocket Launcher)
  • Player ate a Tank Commander's rocket (Rocket Launcher)


The Tank Commander spotting an opponent
The Tank Commander being injured
The Tank Commander being killed


  • Alone, treat the Tank Commander like you would a regular Tank; circle strafe it and use powerful weapons. A BFG10k blast will take off quite a bit of its health in one shot, so you should use it as soon as you see a Commander. After the BFG blast, a few Railgun shots will finish it off.
  • With other enemies, it should be the first enemy you kill. Like the Tank, it can do major damage to you if you ignore it, and it can kill you real quick on higher difficulties. A BFG blast will do major damage to it and inflict some damage to nearby enemies, so you really should use it. Save up on cells for your BFG.
  • Keep a distance from it, you will have a better chance to avoid its rockets, which will do a large amount of damage to you, especially if you are playing on higher difficulties.


  • A heavily-wounded Commander on an operating table appears in the Hangar hub, which tries to sit up and face you after stealing his detached head. However, you can't fight them until you've reached the Palace hub.
  • When a Tank is gibbed, the player can see part of a human torso, which explains why Tanks produce blood.
  • Sometimes when the player dies, a tank commander will walk to the player's corpse, look directly at the screen, procede to crouch, swing its blaster arm in the air, and slam it on the ground, like a victory pose. After that, it will stand up and continue their idle behavior.
  • While Tank Commanders appear to have some sort of orange-yellow liquid leaking out of their stomach area, it's more likely to be piping or wiring lit up by yellow lighting on the side of their chest plate.
  • Tank Commander's machinegun sweep attack seems to be more powerful than Makron's blaster sweep attack: Tank Commander's shots are hitscan and do 20 damage, while Makron's shots are not hitscan and only do 15 damage.