GunBound is a turn-based game, which means players take turns to act. Therefore, the order in which players act is of great importance.

Delay is the game mechanic in GunBound used to determine the order in which players act. Think of delay as a measure of a player's speed; the lower the delay a player has, the faster and sooner they act.

Remember that your objective is still to cause damage to the enemy. A good understanding of delay will not win the game alone, but can help achieve your objectives.

## Theory

A player's delay can be thought of as a number, which changes throughout the game.

### Game start

Each player's delay starts at 0 and increases as the game goes on. In the beginning, turn order is randomized, with the constraint that teams alternate. So a player from one team moves, then a player from the other, and so on...

For example, say you have a 2v2 game with players Alice and Bob versus Charlie and Diana (A, B, C, D). The turn order might get randomized as follows:

```A 0
D 0
B 0
C 0
```

This is the turn list, which is shown in-game. The player's delay value is shown next to their name. They all start with 0. The player at the top of the list is the next player to act.

### Taking a turn

During a player's turn, they may take any number of actions within a time limit of 20 seconds. The last action a player takes is to shoot; when a player shoots, their turn ends and the final delay is calculated.

A player can force the turn to end without shooting. This costs less delay than shooting. (See also detailed stats per mobile.)

Each second on the timer adds to the delay by 10 (or 12 if Turtle is used). Most of the time, delay occurs in increments of 10.

After the turn ends, the player's delay is calculated and the turn list is updated. Continuing our example, let's say player A completes an action which costs a total of 780 delay. Then player A would move to the bottom of the list, like this:

```D 0
B 0
C 0
A 780
```

This can be thought of as a first-in-first-out queue, like the line-up at a store.

To get an idea of how much delay typical actions cost, a typical action costs around 800 delay for a "fast" action, and 1500 for a "slow" action. For example, consuming an item in-game may cause an action to be significantly slower, or cost more delay.

### Who is next?

If everyone took actions with the same delay, the order would be the same all the time, very predictable. However, players take actions with different amounts of delay. The order of movement may change frequently in battle. Continuing with our example, let's say D takes a move with 940 delay. Then the turn list gets updated:

```B 0
C 0
A 780
D 940
```

So far so good. D took an action that was slower than A, so they move after A. Then, let's say B takes a faster action with delay 800. The turn list would become:

```C 0
A 780
B 800
D 940
```

Notice that B cuts in front of D, because B has less delay than D. To finish this example we'll have C take a slow action with 1600 delay:

```A 780
B 800
D 940
C 1600
```

It is now A's turn to act again. As you can see, the GunBound turn list behaves like a priority queue.

### Beyond the first turn

If we continue our example, let's make A take another turn. The delay of the second turn is simply added to their existing delay. For example, A takes an action with 760 delay. This gets added to their existing delay, so they now have `780 + 760 = 1540`. The result becomes:

```B 800
D 940
A 1540
C 1600
```

Notice that A cuts in front of C, because A still has less delay than C. It is possible for a player's turns to get "skipped" due to taking very slow actions. Still, there are situations where slow actions are strategically sound, such as using an item to deal more damage.

This rule is continuously applied throughout the game. This is all you need to know conceptually about delay. Things only get more interesting from here.

## In practice

Conceptually, each player's delay increases throughout the game. In practice, the game does not show increasingly large numbers throughout the game.

### The turn list: relative delay

This can be thought of as a blessing for the player. Would you want to do mental math to figure out where your next action would place you when the numbers are so large? Like this:

```A 6850
B 7200
C 7730
D 8020
```

Instead, the game shows you something different. Suppose you are player B in the above example. Assuming your previous action cost 900 delay, you will see this:

```A -350
B 900
C +530
D +820
```

Now you might be confused, but let's break down these numbers.

• Next to your own name, you will see the delay of your previous action. This does not affect the other numbers on the list.
• Next to everyone else's names is shown the amount of delay they have relative to you.
• In addition, your own name is highlighted (shown in bold here).

This allows you to estimate your position in the turn list after your next action without doing so much mental math. You can use this information to help make decisions on what to do on your next turn.

In the above example, you can be assured of taking another turn before D, as long as you take less than 820 delay on your next action.

So, it should make sense that after A's first turn, the turn list from A's point of view would look like this:

```D -780
B -780
C -780
A 780
```

What happens during your turn? You might see something slightly different. Continuing the above example, suppose A has moved and has become +600 (below C) and now your turn immediately begins. At this point you select an action costing 800 delay, and your turn timer is ticking down. What do you see?

```C -270
A -200
B 800
D +20
```

Surprise! Everything has changed. But relax, there is still somewhat of a method to this madness.

• Next to your own name, you will see the delay of your currently chosen action if it is executed immediately.
• Next to everyone else's names is shown the amount of delay they will have after your action is executed.
• All the players with negative values will be above you, while the ones with positive values will be below.

This is why, for example, C shows -270: `+530 - 800 = -270`. This tells you that once you execute your action, C beats you by 270, and will move before you. C will become "270 delay faster than" you conceptually. On the other hand, D will still move after you since you are "20 faster than" D.

If you completed your action with 800 delay, then you will move faster than D. This effectively allowed you to move twice before D got another chance to move! (This is known as lapping in racing game terminology, for when a player passes ahead of another player by more than an entire lap.)

### The timer

Now remember that during your turn, delay is increased by 10 every second. This also changes what you see, but it shouldn't be so surprising -- for example, after one second, it will look like this:

```C -280
A -210
B 810
D +10
```

What happens if the timer ticks longer? Say, by 5 more seconds? This will happen:

```C -350
A -260
D -40
B 860
```

Notice that D has moved above you. Since you allowed the timer to tick longer, D will become faster than you, and so will move before you after you execute your action.