Getting Started with Scorch 2000

What Is It? | Registering | Joining a Game | Stuff to Buy | Playing the Game
Tips | More Stuff to Buy | Hosting a Game

The Basics

What Is It?

Scorch 2000 is a clone of the old DOS game "Scorched Earth".

The game is very simple - there are a bunch of tanks that sit in one place and shoot each other with various weapons. You pick angle and firing power and the weapon to use on each turn.

The game is also a lot of fun, due to the challenge of battling your friends online and the wide variety of grossly overpowered weapons at your disposal.

The official homepage of the game is at All screenshots are taken from that site.


First things first - create an account. Go to, click "play 800x600", then click on "New player". This will let you create a username/password for yourself. You need this before you can play or host.

If you specified a game password, it will try to get you to join that game (see Joining). Otherwise, it may give you a "create game" dialog. Hit "cancel" if this happens.

Joining a Game

To join a game, click on "play 800x600" again. In the starting dialog, enter your login and password, and enter the game's password. Then click on "Log in".

If you do this while the specified game is open, you'll join the game. If the game isn't open (if it already started or if you have the wrong resolution or game password specified), you'll get the game hosting screen. See Hosting a Game for more information on hosting a game.

Once you've joined a game, select a tank, and click "OK" to proceed. The tanks all act the same; they just look different.

Stuff to Buy

Before each round of the game, you'll have the option of "going shopping" (this is automatic in the first round). This lets you buy weapons, shields, and other supplies that you will need during the game.

You usually won't have much money, so plan carefully.

Hit "confirm order" to buy. Do not hit "cancel order" - it leaves the buying screen, and you buy nothing. Instead, use "remove" for the items you don't want to buy.

You need:

You want: Weapons.

A key point to the game is that while fancy weapons are nice, they aren't vital. Buy defenses first. When you're ready to buy weapons, these are ones that work well:

Playing the Game

The Rest


Here are some extra pointers to keep in mind:

More Stuff to Buy

The purchase screen has a wide variety of items for sale. Here is a brief guide to what's useful and what's not.

If you have money, the following are also nice:

These aren't worth the money. Don't use them:

Hosting a Game

If you try to log in to a game that doesn't exist, you end up in the game creation dialog. This is how you start your own games.

To join, your friends need to know the resolution you used and the game password you specified.

The first dialog you see is the AI dialog. Use this menu to add "shooter", "cyborg", and "killer" AIs.

AIs are a bit funny. Their aim can be deadly-accurate - even the "shooter" - but they don't buy anything, so in a rich game they're at most irritants. Three hits will still take down your shield, though, so they're nothing to sneeze at.

A couple of "shooter" AIs will round out a game, but beyond that, they're not terribly useful.

The second dialog you see sets up the game parameters. On the left is a list of the people who have joined so far; use it to tell when your friends have all joined. On the right are boxes with numbers.

The number of rounds defaults to 5. For most games, 3 is a better number, because beyond that you already know who's going to win (they have lots of money). In games where everyone is given lots of money, the game is more balanced, so you can play longer without a guaranteed winner.

Don't touch the gravity box unless you have a good reason.

Initial cash is picky. Good values are:
Set the wind select-box to either "no wind" or "changing wind" for easy or near-impossible aiming, respectively. "fixed wind" is pretty pointless.

"Sound effects" and the tank selection apply only to your own machine. Others can always hear sounds if they want.

There's a countdown in the upper right corner of the screen while you're working in the second dialog box. You have 3 minutes to start the game before the system assumes you're just sitting there and logs you out.

To prevent this from being a problem, make sure everyone has a login and is ready to play before starting up the game.

Once you start the game, you enter the purchasing dialog for the first round just like you would as a player.

Written by Christopher Thomas. Last modified 14 April 2003. Happy Scorching.