World of Tanks fans build wild IRL tank team setup with CO2 cannon

Rebecca Hills-Duty
World of tanks epic setup header

A video has emerged showing a three-person team using an incredible set of realistic controls to run a game of World of Tanks.

There are a variety of reasons why players make custom controller setups for their favorite games. A custom controller could offer enhanced immersion, like this viral World of Tanks setup which is as complex as it is cool.

The setup, posted on social media features a working CO2 cannon and requires multiple team members to function, much like a real tank. Firstly, there’s a driver, who steers the tank itself using a Volkswagen steering wheel.

Secondly, there’s a spotter, who uses an Oculus Go VR headset to check sightlines and aim the tank’s cannon using a series of cranks. The third member is the loader, who has rigged up with CO2, the “working” cannon requires you to load up empty bottles of Mountain Dew before firing.

The rig itself is meticulously set up to simulate actual tank combat, with a series of wires seemingly working together to function. World of Tanks on PC does not support the use of a controller natively, meaning that all input must be translated through some kind of keyboard and mouse emulator, overriding the inputs from the cannon, cranks, and wheel to be interpreted from the hardware.

The Oculus Go VR headset is likely hooked up to a “camera from gunner sight” setting in the game’s menu, with a toggle on the right-hand-side of the headset to seemingly enable the view on that window, which has been done, likely through the use of mods.

Stringing together complex input methods to a single cohesive controller is no small feat, but input translation tools like JoyToKey were likely used to facilitate the use of this gigantic setup.

On the cannon itself, it’s possible that internal sensors for their DIY CO2 setup can sense when ammo has been loaded or exhausted, requiring some kind of API hook from the game to detect when ammo has been used and exhausted, ditching the empty “ammo” bottle.

Obviously, this is not a practical setup for most people, as it requires not only three people but also a large amount of space and an investment in several physical props and electronics. Not to mention the effort involved with wiring everything up so it works as intended with the game.

Some commenters on X/Twitter mentioned that they wished to see the set-up in action in a game that has a greater focus on realism, such as ARMA 3 or War Thunder.