Essentially, it's a simplified version of World of Tanks, with power up crates, as well as being smaller in size. It used Adobe Flash for the first few years of its life, making it pretty easy to pick up and play from any PC, but has since been available to download on Android and iOS. The developers also went ahead and made a Steam version on 2nd March 2017, alongside upgrading the web version run on HTML5 instead of Flash the following year, in preparation for Flash's demise in web browsers like Firefox and Chrome.
Tanki Online provides examples of:
- Allegedly Free Game: The game doesn't even have a separate currency for paying customers. They simply buy however many crystals they see fit. The downside for non-paying players is that you only get decent payouts for crystals by being on the upper half of the scoreboard at the end of a match.
- Awesome, yet Impractical: The initial response to getting a new toy to play with: generally, it's going to be a direct downgrade on that fully-upgraded one you just swapped over from, but a little bit of grinding can remedy that.
- Boring, but Practical: While there are fairly few standard cannons, one of the most overpowered weapons (according to some people) is the Twins, a comparatively dull-looking turret with a pair of cannons. At lower levels, the Smoky can be this as well, as it is a sort of jack of all stats - not near as hard hitting as the Railgun, not as fast shooting as the Twins, and it can't eat enemies alive up close like the Firebird can, but the fact that it lords over one in the territory of the others means that it is fairly useful to have at low levels - which is nice, since you might not have anything else.
- Bribing Your Way to Victory: Done to get around the otherwise excruciatingly slow rate of gain for the crystals. Less patient players (that is, just about everyone) can spend however much they see fit (ranging from a penny to thousands of dollars and every increment in between) on the game for a fair amount of crystals. However, most paint jobs get expensive quick, especially once you get to the point where they give you damage resistances. Level restrictions are also enforced, however - one can't bring a Mammoth with the Shaft to an early-game fight simply because they had deeper wallets.
- Combat Medic: The Isida turret fires a bolt of electricity that either drains enemy health (and heals you), or if turned on an ally, heals them, making any tank equipped with one fit this trope.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory!: The game uses the arrow keys (instead of WASD) and ZXC+Spacebar to rotate the turret and shoot.
- Dueling Games: One would expect this from a tank game from Russia, given that other popular play-for-free tank game from Russia, but there doesn't seem to be much of a crossover demographic.
- Kill It with Fire: The Firebird is the absolute worst thing to run into on a close-quarters urban map if you're a heavy tank, as it can very, VERY quickly sap your health to nothing.
- Magikarp Power: Every tank hull or weapon will be a very flat downgrade on the hull or weapon you traded it in for. By grinding up the ranks and saving up (or buying) crystals, however, can turn a direct downgrade into a formidable vehicle.
- One-Hit Polykill: The Railgun has this going for it, as it passes through all targets until it hits the scenery behind it.
- Tank Goodness: Built from the ground up to be about this trope.
- Videogame Flamethrowers Suck: Averted, most likely. A player sticking a Firebird on a light tank chassis is the absolute bane of anything slow with a slow-turning turret - if the lighter tank gets the drop on you, no amount of powerups will save you. On open maps, however, they are quickly less effective - which is fortunate (for the Flamethrower) that open spaces are very few and far between.
- Your Reward Is Clothes: Some ranks only unlock new paintjobs.