Spiders require a great deal of skill to fly well, but they can be extremely deadly (and annoying) ships to fight against. They are they only ship that can obtain cloaking. Cloaking allows the spider to be invisible on the screen to all enemy ships (teammates can still see you). Cloaked ships have many tactics that allow them to take advantage of weak enemies, or sneak up on unaware opponents. In flagging zones, they can also be used to attempt to infiltrate the enemy base and remain undetected. Enemies can reveal cloaked ships by using X-Radar, but this requires that they actively enable the item and look for you on screen. The downside to cloaking is that it does take energy to cloak, which means when cloak is enabled, your recharge rate will be slower than normal. Combining the Spiderís Cloak with Stealth allows the spider to be totally undetectable to enemies without X-Radar turned on.
Subspace Chaos Quote:
The Spider is of average speed, average handling and weakly armed. Its one great advantage is that of cloaking. The cloak device, when turned on, makes the Spider invisible to the naked eye, giving it a huge advantage in terms of intelligence. The Spiderís best form of attack is to zoom in from the side of the targets vector, deliver a volley of rounds, then egress to the rear of the enemy and disappear again. The rearward egress forces an additional delay on the enemy that he has to reverse his vector to follow you costing him precious moments that allow you to change direction again and give him the slip. Once at a safe distance, the Spider can turn off the stealth, recharge his batteries and repeat the process until a kill is achieved. The Spider requires great self restraint however as you must always hold in reserve enough energy to remain in stealth until you are a safe distance away. A disciplined Spider pilot will wait until he sees the enemy visually then pound him with 5 rounds before disappearing away again into the black. One particularly sneaky tactic a Spider pilot can use is to hover around a powerup while cloaked (without actually picking it up) and when an enemy approaches the powerup, the spider pilot can fire a volley of bullets at the unsuspecting pilot, potentially killing the player before he even realizes he is being shot at. A Spider with Stealth and the Cloaking device, which makes the ship invisible to the eye and on radar, is one of the most potent weapons in the game. The nemesis of the stealth is the X-RADAR which reveals all stealthed and cloaked ships on radar. However X-RADAR costs energy to maintain and you should not assume that even if a ship has already demonstrated XRADAR that it is always on. To fight and win with the Spider takes cunning and skill but there is great satisfaction destroying an enemy without him ever knowing of your existence until its too late.
The Spider is special because it starts out with stealth built-in, and can alone receive the cloaking upgrade. Other than that, however, it is basically an average ship. It is certainly not crippled, and indeed has decent maximums in most upgrade areas. However, if you fly the Spider and do not use cloaking frequently, you're missing the point. The Spider is unmatched in its ability to deceive and annoy the enemy with its cloaking device. You can perform stunts of such excessive ferocity and/or cheesiness that they will make your opponents gasp in dismay. Since the advent of the base-oriented flag game in the War Zone, the Spider has become a spectacular ship to play. It is indispensable for stealing your opponent's flags undetected, and no team should be without several Spider players.