Enemy engineers
Bad Engineer
An enemy engineer in its engine room
Attack Using guns, chucking coal
Abilities Commands tank
Health Engine room health
Game(s) Steamlands

Enemy engineers are the only enemies in the game Steamlands. They control all tanks the player fight against, and vary in different strategies.


Enemy engineers appear very similar to the engineer the player controls. They have a white head, and where a black mask and white goggles. The rest of the clothes they wear is all black. The only differences they have from the engineer the player controls is that the player's engineer has a different white head and smaller eyes.

Steamlands guy

An enemy engineer image that can be seen on the Nitrome Facebook adver-
and as an avatar

Game information

Enemy engineers are the only enemy the player actually encounters in the game (Enemy saboteurs and grapplers are not considered enemies). They control all the tanks the player will ever encounter in the game, other than the player's own tank. They are likely employed and are minions of the pirate commander, who is the commander of the pirate organization who patrol New Britannia. Enemy engineers are possibly separated into teams to go about the land. All enemy engineers know how to use all weapons and man blocks, and don't seem to be that different from the player except for their faction and appearance.

They are often not located far from other members. In later levels of Steamlands, more enemy engineers are found in tanks, and are more likely to use better strategies. Enemy engineers also team up on the player in later levels, having both sides of them under attack. For unexplained reasons, enemy engineers in early levels are usually found partly damaged, with damage to their guns, engine room, and armour. It is possible this is caused by rivalry between to engineers, or by attacks by inhabitants of towns.

Attack settings

See also: Dev mode (Steamlands)

In Steamlands, enemy engineers have specific settings for combat with the player. These settings are made known in dev mode, a type of program in Steamlands that allows the player to make their own levels. Several settings exist, all which are used in the main game of Steamlands.


Ambush is a type of setting that when turned on, will cause two enemy tanks to simultaneously attack the player. When this happens, a tank will move on to the screen from behind the player and in front. For the health crate to spawn and for the battle to be over the player has to destroy both tanks. This is harder to do as the player has to act more quickly, as they are receiving more attacks. Only one ambush is possible per level.

In dev mode, ambush can be set to off, wait, or charge. If off is selected, no ambushes will be done. It is not certain what the option wait does, but from its name it will possibly cause a battle with a tank in front of the player, then sometime during the fight a tank from behind will come. When charge is selected, when an ambush initiates a tank will charge from behind the player.

According to the help file for dev mode, a tank that ambushes the player is beforehand placed under the floor[1], then when ready to ambush the player, pops out of the floor and is placed on the surface. The tank is pushed leftwards behind the camera to hid its entrance [2].

Death trigger

The death trigger is another feature. It is kind of minor compared to the other settings. It can be turned on and off. The setting, when turned on, instantly starts the fight for that tank when the tank in front of the enemy tank is destroyed.


Personality is a setting that defines how enemy engineers act. All enemy engineers have a personality, and are either easier or harder to destroy because of it. There are five personalities.

  • None - There is no specific personality.
  • Gung ho - Enemy engineers set to gung ho will charge at the player at full speed when the player passes into their territory. They will aim at random blocks on the player's tank, and unlike most tanks who retreat when all guns are lost, enemy engineers set to this personality will continue to fight, using coal toss on the player.
  • Sniper - Enemy engineers set to sniper will calculate the easiest way to destroy the player, based off the "player of value". It fires at parts of the tank the player is trying to protect, and ignores armour. They keep a moderate distance away from the player.
  • Timid - Enemy engineers set to timid will stay as far away from the player as possible, along as shooting at random parts of the player's tank. They will always be moving backwards, and stop when they meet the boundary for the next enemy tank. If the player also moves backwards, the enemy tank will not follow them.
  • Novice - Enemy engineers set to novice will keep a moderate distance away from the player, and shoot at random parts of their tank. This setting is used in easy levels of the game.

Decision delay

Decision delay is another minor setting for enemy engineers. It determines how long the enemy engineer waits before making a decision, and unlike other settings, this cannot be toggled on or off. In dev mode, decision delay is specified in seconds, the number of seconds inputted being the amount of time that has to elapse before the enemy engineer makes a move or attack.

Swat delay

Swat delay is a variation of decision delay. It is used for specifying how many seconds the enemy engineer must wait before making an attempt to swat an enemy saboteur off their tank. It is specified in seconds.


  1. Help file for Steamlands dev mode provided by Aaron Steed: A tank set to ambush on will be activated when the player engages another tank. In reality it is positioned under the floor, and then popped to the surface when the player first enters battle.
  2. Help file for Steamlands dev mode provided by Aaron Steed: The tank will be pushed leftwards behind the camera to hide its entrance.

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