The basics, how to use, how to counter.
Guide to Hamster Ball
Here are a few basics on what the Hamster Ball is, its basic abilities and cosmetics you can earn from using it.
“What is the Hamster Ball?”
- The Hamster Ball (AKA “Hamsterball”, “Hamball”) is a vehicle for 1 person in the game Super Animal Royale (AKA “SAR”).
- It looks like this (when it has taken no damage):
“How does it move compared to not being in one?”
It travels faster than chaining super jump rolls (the fastest you can go without a vehicle), however, it has weight to it meaning that turning around usually takes a bit of time unless you bounce off a wall (more detail on this in the later section, Control).
“Can it deal damage?”
Yes, more on this in the later section Uses as a weapon.
“Are there any cosmetics associated with it?”
Yes, there are 2 milestone cosmetics you can earn from getting 10 kills and 25 kills with a Hamster Ball, these are the Swag Glasses and Emoji (Rock and Roll) Death Explosion respectively. The Swag Glasses are available to all players, however, the Emoji (Rock and Roll) Death Explosion is only available to players with the Super Edition DLC.
There are no cosmetics that customise the appearance of the Hamster Ball itself.
Before you can use the Hamster Ball, you first have to find one. Here is what to know about finding them.
“Where can they appear?”
There are certain set spots on the map where Hamster Balls can appear, each one has a 45% chance of actually spawning a Hamster Ball. Learning where these spots are by playing a lot of rounds is very useful in being able to have a good chance of grabbing one when you want one.
The spots can change if a new location (such as the Super Animal Super Stage) is added, since the places where Hamster Balls can appear need to fit with the new location, so keep this in mind if an update adds a new location.
“Can I repair them?”
No, Hamster Balls cannot be repaired, once they take damage that damage to them is permanent so be careful not to end up with too many enemy bullets heading straight for your Hamster Ball, otherwise you’ll have to find a new one.
Here is what the Hamster Ball looks like when it’s taken 1 point of damage and 2 points of damage respectively:
Before using the Hamster Ball as a weapon, it’s a good idea to practice controlling it until you can drive through places like the bamboo stalks with few bumps and at a relatively fast speed.
“What are its speed and acceleration like?”
The Hamster Ball has a maximum speed a bit higher than that of chaining super jump rolls, making it good to either search for loot faster or to escape the closing circle of gas.
The Hamster Ball’s acceleration starts off slow however then quickly builds to full speed. This makes it not so good in getting away when an enemy is already shooting at you, but good for getting away if an enemy has just spotted you.
“How is turning like on it?”
The turning circle of the Hamster Ball isn’t overly large so making a 90 degree turn isn’t too much of an issue, however, when attempting to turn around 180 degrees it slows to a halt and then must re-accelerate. This is very slow and so not good.
“What if I need to reverse my direction?”
Bouncing is the solution here, if you collide with a wall and instantly reverse your direction as you hit the wall, you’ll turn around instantly and your momentum will be conserved. This is fast and you’ll stay at top speed which is good.
If you aren’t near to any walls, getting out of and then re-entering the Hamster Ball is what to do.
“How do I move through an area like Bamboo at top speed?”
Practice. Once you use the Hamster Ball a lot you’ll get used to the turning circle and the weight of it, when you have that down it’s partially memorisation of the different parts of the map, but even just having good control of the Hamster Ball in an unfamiliar part of the map goes a long way.
Uses as a Weapon
The Hamster Ball isn’t just used for fast movement, it can also be used as a weapon and this is where it is extremely good.
“How is it used as a weapon?”
If you are travelling at least 1/4 of the Hamster Ball’s base maximum speed and roll over the top of another player or an emu, they will take damage.
“How much damage does it do?”
At maximum speed, the Hamster Ball is a 1 hit kill. It does 100 damage* and ignores enemy armour making it the most powerful weapon in the game. This is doubly good in that armour won’t affect your damage, but also that if the enemy has higher level armour than you or you’re in need of fresh armour you can go collect theirs undamaged after you roll them over.
The damage from the Hamster Ball scales from doing 1 damage at 1/4 of maximum speed to doing 100 damage* at maximum speed, enemy armour is ignored at any speed.
*It actually does a higher maximum damage on ice, since ice grants a speed boost. It’s still a 1 hit kill however it makes it so you can kill even a bit slower than top speed on ice. In the picture below you can see that the Hamster Ball actually did 117 damage.
“What happens if 2 Hamster Balls collide?”
Both Hamster Balls will take 1 point of damage, if only one of the Hamster Balls takes damage it’s most likely due to the ping of one or both of the players.
“What punishment is there for my Hamster Ball being broken?”
You will be unable to fire a weapon for 0.25s. Also if you get in a Hamster Ball just as it breaks and then try to roll away after it breaks your roll is super slow (can’t tell if it’s intentional but it probably has to do with this 0.25s cooldown on weapon firing).
“I was going full speed but the Hamster Ball did 99 damage not 100”.
This sometimes happens yeah, probably some floating point error or input dropping. To combat this, going at about a 45 degree diagonal angle rather than up, down, left or right whilst rolling over someone tends to lead to less 99 damage situations and more 100 damage ones at least in my experience, however note that you can still get 100 damage going in a straight line and the diagonal tactic might just be placebo and confirmation bias so if you find another way to mitigate 99 damage moments that’s better, use that. In the image below I’m going at a slight angle but still mostly straight down and a “random” 99 occurred with the enemy then shotgunning my Hamster Ball.
Another way to make 99 damage situations less of a round destroyer is to bring a Bow and Sparrow, Sparrow Launcher or Dogna’s Dart Gun as one of your weapons. These do damage through armour so 1 shot from them will finish an enemy who has taken 99 damage from a Hamster Ball. Dogna’s Dart Gun is the best choice since it does no armour damage whereas the other two will do 1 point of armour damage in the process of killing the enemy. In the image below I have a Bow and Sparrow on hand, this enemy didn’t have any armour but if they did the Bow and Sparrow would do 22 damage, still finishing them off.
“What about enemies hiding around corners?”
This is where being able to control the Hamster Ball really well comes into play, being able to manoeuvre around corners and keeping momentum from bouncing off walls allows you to chase down enemies faster than they can run away.
If you get very experienced with the Hamster Ball you can start to kill people even hiding in tight spaces around corners by using high precision control of the Hamster Ball.
“I keep getting shot out of my Hamster Ball, how do I approach the enemy without them breaking my Hamster Ball first?”
Finding something to hide behind as you roll up to the enemy is key to getting Hamster Ball kills, most areas in the game will have at least something to use as a shield but some are better than others for this.
Purely open areas are not good for Hamster Ball kills, however, even in some of the most open areas there will be a rock or house you can use as a shield, these areas tend to use mind-games more which shall be discussed in the next section.
Here I have 2 enemies trying to attack me in a relatively open area aside from trees which if I’m not careful I could get stuck on, I should get to some better cover like the containers:
After getting behind the containers, I can roll around to see if I should run or can go in for a kill. They’re distracted fighting each-other which is a great opportunity for me…
…to swoop in for a kill!
“What weapons should I watch out for the most and which can I rush against?”
Each weapon does the same damage to Hamster Balls as it does to player armour with 3 exceptions. The Sniper Rifle and Hunting Rifle do only 2 points of damage to the Hamster Ball (rather than the 3 they do to players) and Dogna’s Dart Gun does 1 point of damage to the Hamster Ball (rather than the 0 done to players).
The Shotgun and JAG-7 will destroy the Hamster Ball instantly if at least 3 of their pellets connect, i.e. if you are close to the enemy and they use either of these your Hamster Ball will break.
Fast rate of fire weapons such as the SMG, Thomas Gun, Pistol, Silenced Pistol, AK, M16 and Minigun can shred your Hamster Ball if you’re not careful.
Magnums and Deagles are decent rate of fire weapons but do 2 points of damage per shot and so can be quite deadly against Hamster Balls.
The Bow and Sparrow, Sparrow Launcher and Dogna’s Dart Gun aren’t very effective against the Hamster Ball. The Sniper Rifle and Hunting Rifle can be rushed against with a Hamster Ball due to their slower fire rate.
One of the strongest aspects of the Hamster Ball are the mind-games you can do with it.
“What tactics are there for mind-games with the Hamster Ball?”
One of the tactics is circling your opponent many times before engaging them, it will keep them alert since they know if they let their guard down they might get instantly killed by the Hamster Ball. This can throw them off and distract them from another enemy, if they get themselves into a battle you can swoop in for the kill.
Another tactic is bouncing off walls near them, since it demonstrates control with the Hamster Ball and the opponent may start to worry about how well you can control the Hamster Ball and that they will not feel safe even behind corners or in houses.
Something that’s not strictly a mind-game but is very useful and at the core of the other 2 points here, is varying up your movements. The more unpredictable you are the less your opponent will know how to respond. In the pictures below I see an enemy hiding in the corner of the room, engaging from the angle I’m at with the speed I’ve got isn’t gonna happen so I roll down past the room.
From the direction I’m going, it looks like I might be leaving the Bamboo Resort, however, I bounce off the wall to keep my momentum and use the bounce to turn back to where I came from.
The enemy, possibly not expecting this, goes out to attack. Unfortunately for them there is now a Hamster Ball rolling straight for them and they have little time to react, even with their SMG.
“Why are mind-games useful with the Hamster Ball?”
The Hamster Ball may be the strongest weapon in the game, however it’s fragile and can break really quickly. Mind-games can make people hesitant to want to face it and attack it until it’s too late and they have been rolled over.
Uses as a Defensive Tool
Hamster Balls can be great on the offence, but they can be equally great on the defence.
“What situations is the Hamster Ball good for in defence?”
Primarily, escaping a conflict. The Hamster Ball has high top speed and grants effectively +3 armour with the added bonus that Hunting Rifles and Snipers will not destroy it instantly.
The best areas to flee from using a Hamster Ball are semi-open areas, enough room to leave with a bit of margin for error but at the same time not lacking cover which would allow the enemy to get clear shots at you.
“How/Where should I move to best make a getaway?”
Try to keep some form of cover between you and the enemy, permanent terrain is the best but wooden boxes and such will do as well.
Try to swerve in a way with little pattern, this will make it harder for the enemy to line up their prediction shots, however, the Hamster Ball has a big hitbox and whilst this makes it great for attacking it also means it’s easier for it to be attacked.
“Are there any other situations it can be good for in defence?”
Yes, they can be used to block off areas e.g. doorways in buildings with at least 2 points of entry/exit. They can also be used as a general shield if you ditch them and run away, keeping the Hamster Ball between you and the enemy.
A precautionary measure you can also do with Hamster Balls is healing/taping behind them, this makes it so if someone tries attacking you whilst you’re doing this the Hamster Ball being in the way will buy you some time to run away. Here I’m healing behind the Hamster Ball so if I spot someone I can get back in and roll away, or I can just super jump roll away if they catch me off guard with the Hamster Ball buying me some time.
The Hamster Ball sounds very powerful and it can be, however, there are things you can do to shut down an attack from an enemy using one.
“What range should I keep away from a Hamster Ball?”
Preferably you want to stay far away from the Hamster Ball whilst still being in shooting range, so having the enemy Hamster Ball near to the side of the screen is optimal, this way you can shoot at it but they can’t retaliate from within the Hamster Ball at least. Keeping in an open area is also good since then the enemy cannot hide their Hamster Ball behind cover.
“What weapons are the best counters to it?”
The best defensive counter to a Hamster Ball, is another Hamster Ball! You can evade the enemy and they can’t kill you while you’re inside of it.
The other weapons were mainly covered in the last section in Uses as a Weapon, in short most weapons are good against the Hamster Ball but the key is to not be caught out by surprise.
The weapons you don’t want to use against it if possible are the Bow and Sparrow, the Sparrow Launcher, Dogna’s Dart Gun, the Hunting Rifle and the Sniper. The Minigun is good but only if you have it revved up and ready for when the Hamster Ball enters your screen. In the example below an enemy Hamster Ball is rolling up to me and I have Dogna’s Dart Gun out which is not good for defending, I super jump roll backwards to get some distance then I swap to and fire the JAG-7 to try to break it.
Here I should swap from using Dogna’s Dart Gun to using the JAG-7
“But the Hamster Ball can kill me in 1 hit!”
From the last section, mind-games are a big part of what makes the Hamster Ball strong, if you can stay calm and collected with a plan then a lot of what makes the Hamster Ball good at killing won’t work any more. For instance, an SMG or Thomas Gun can destroy a Hamster Ball in 0.28s at constant distance, so if they’re approaching you it will be even faster destruction of their Hamster Ball.
“I died even though I dodged out of the way, what’s that about?”
This will be due to ping, not only your own but also the enemy’s since up to 250ms ping hit detection is clientside (it is likely this number will go down to make the threshold stricter if new server regions are added) so even if your ping is 0ms you can still get killed by someone else with high ping even after dodging out of the way of them. Be extra cautious if you see someone in a laggy looking Hamster Ball.
“What if I get caught out in a fight and then another person in a Hamster Ball comes?”
Shoot the Hamster Ball with whatever you’ve got whilst continuing to super jump roll from the fight you were caught out in, try not to super jump roll in a straight line as that makes it easier for the enemy to line up a shot since they know where you’ll be.
Here are some miscellaneous questions about aspects of the Hamster Ball.
“How does ping affect the Hamster Ball when I’m trying to dodge it?”
Up to 250ms ping on the attacker’s end their damage will be clientside meaning that they may kill you even if you dodged out of the way. If they have higher than 250ms ping their attacks will need to be serverside so the killing after you dodged out of the way should happen less. If you as the defender have a high ping that could also result in you being killed even after dodging out of the way.
“How long will I need to practice for to be able to chase down opponents for the kill?”
Practice takes different amounts of time for different people, however, even just being able to roll around semi-decently in a place like bamboo can help a lot in trying to evade an enemy since the Hamster Ball effectively gives you +3 armour so being able to escape opponents is a very valuable use of them as a defensive tool.
“Why/When should I use the Hamster Ball instead of something like the M16?”
The Hamster Ball will preserve enemies’ armour on their death and is a quick 1 hit kill, this can help out a lot if you have a mostly or fully broken armour or have low tape reserves.
“Some of the images you provided are just bot kills, is the Hamster Ball viable against players?”
It’s for sure viable against players. The main reason some of the images are from bot kills are because they’re better as demonstration images in general and so to get the images for this guide it was easier to use the clearer bot kills in examples to better explain concepts, especially as I mainly just started recording to get images for this guide. If in future I get some clear player examples recorded I might swap out the images but there are a few in here already.
Here is a short recap/TL;DR of the guide:
- The Hamster Ball is a non-repairable vehicle that can deal 1 hit kills without breaking the enemy’s armour, which makes it good to use if you’re in need of some fresh armour.
- It has weight to it so takes time to get going or turn around, however, bouncing off walls reverses your direction and keeps your momentum.
- Practice rolling around in tight winding areas at high speed, this can help you chase down fleeing enemies and also give you cover.
- Roll at a diagonal (or find your own better method) to try to prevent 99 damage moments and to instead get 100 damage which is optimal.
- Try circling your opponent or bouncing off walls near to them to do mind-games, it makes the Hamster Ball a lot more powerful. Varying up your movements/strategies can also keep opponents guessing as to what you’ll do next.
- Ditching the Hamster Ball and using it as a shield whilst you run away can be a good idea in dicey defensive situations, healing/taping behind it can also give you extra safety.
- Try not to fall for the mind-games yourself and stay calm when you’re defending against a Hamster Ball, they break very quickly with most weapons.
- Finally, practice will improve your knowledge of the Hamster Ball the best, for both offence and defence which can lead you to be top of the food chain!