I don’t get to play more than about once a week, and I haven’t gotten tired of it yet.


My best game tonight was a 4th place where I was extremely assertive. I generally boosted aggressively at the first snake I saw and I tried to loop snakes more than normal. I ended up harassing the 2nd place snake and I had him in three-quarters of a loop before I hit an innocent bystander, who you can just see peeking out on the bottom of the frame in the above image. I think I could have had him, and it would have been glorious, like this:


Ah well, it is a pity.

6 thoughts on “ update”

  1. Wasn’t there a game similar to this that we used to play at Qualcomm? I can’t quite remember but there is something familiar.

    On, I’ve gotten into first once (with only 16000 length) and have gotten into second a few times now, biggest length around 50000. My general strategy is:

    1) Head to the middle at the beginning. It costs nothing to die, and the rewards are high. There is a lot of death and destruction and big, reckless snakes there who are more lucky than good.

    2) Small snakes, say under 500, are very agile and big snakes aren’t. Go after the big snakes.

    3) It’s all about the angle. If someone’s getting aggressive with you and are close-by and alongside, turn away slightly. If they turn with you, you’ve got them.

    4) Once you hit around 3000, get conservative. That means only cut across or alongside dead snakes and try to encircle your share of food. Don’t get greedy. This is also when I move to the outside.

    5) Big snakes in the middle are often not that good, big snakes on the edges usually are. But the opposite is often true for small snakes. On the outside it’s often easier to trick smaller snakes into getting aggressive with you so you can take them out.

    6) Once you hit 10000 or so, your snake turns so slowly that you can’t let any small snakes get near your head. This is easy if you stay outside, though, because boosting costs essentially nothing. Not only in relative terms — the big snake head picks up a lot more food so boosting is basically net-zero. But boosting further increases your turn radius.

    7) When you have encircled prey, a lot of small snakes will circle around you on the chance that your prey manages to kill you. If they are going the opposite direction as you, you can often move suddenly out to let them into the circle and close them in it.

    8) You’re small when you’re circling so it’s easy for a big snake to trap you. If you are really big and the circle is big and they are going the opposite direction, you can do the trick from #7, you just have to move out a lot earlier before they can see you doing it. Trapping a snake that is trying to trap you is the most satisfying thing you can do in this game.

    The frustrating thing though is I can’t quite find controls that I like. The keyboard responds way too slowly and imprecisely. The trackpad is quick and precise but it’s hard to execute tight turns. The mouse is even worse than the trackpad.

  2. So I have some new favorite tricks. First of all, playing in the middle is a lot more fun so I do that much longer now even though I could get big grinding it out on the outside. The really good, really big snakes that survive in the middle make figure 8s and let other snakes suicide around them, safely picking up food when they can. I still go to the outside when I’m that big but I may try this.

    Second, I’m boosting a LOT more now, even at small sizes (250+). It’s more fun to get to the middle quickly vs. slowly and I’m finding I can grow faster than I’m shrinking by chasing the moving food and cutting snakes off. So as soon as I hit 250ish I’m off to the races.

    Third, and this is really mean, when I’m about 8000+ I’ll slowly circle around one of the bigger snakes in the middle, jogging in every now and then to just touch them and jogging back out to create a gap. When a snake comes circling the other way, I make sure I get the outside and they run into a dead-end where I jogged in.

    1. This one time I was fairly large and was boosting next to another large snake, both of us trying to get in front so we could cut the other off. Then we blew past this other snake going parallel between us, and we decided to put apart our disagreements, got real close and cut him off…

      I always stay in the middle. I started looking around outside after your previous comment and it is interesting what you can find. The snakes out there are better and there are some huge ones.

      They talk about the poker player who gets bored quickly and just wants some action. That’s definitely me in slither-io. Take risks and be dynamic because if you die you could restart and be enormous within a minute.

  3. So I just realized something that is probably already obvious to everyone else, but the scale of screen changes as you grow. I always wondered why I’d see these giant snakes and then I’d never get that big even though I’d get to 30-40k. I FINALLY noticed that the tiles get smaller and smaller the bigger you get.

    One implication of this is that when you are big and small snake enters your screen, they can’t see you yet. This helps offset some of the mobility disadvantage. In theory, you’ve got about maybe a half second or a second to get better position before you enter their field of view.

    The corollary to this is that if you are small and enter the field of view of a big snake they have already seen you. So you can’t really surprise them. You can only try to outsmart them.

    One question I still have is whether there is efficiency loss when a snake is killed and eaten. Also it would be fun to have a friends tournament if we could think of a way to do it.

    1. I hadn’t thought about big snakes seeing little snakes earlier. That’s interesting.

      I don’t think there’s any efficiency loss… I imagine the glowing thingies are the same energy density as the snake body and the server converts one to the other directly when a snake dies.

      It would be so fun to play this against people that you know. And I guess I already said above it would be so neat to be able to track play statistics over time like a lot of the FPS games let you do. I wonder how many servers they have running. It can’t just be one, right?

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