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(Up to Schemes)
Click to watch (W:A + Beta Update required) W:A replay: Excellent Hysteria Game
with Auto, Dario, KRD, Muzic & Husk
Download · Info
Click to watch (W:A + Beta Update required) W:A replay: How NOT to play Hysteria
starring Snoots, Rioter & AlMightyBob
Download · Info
In Hysteria, the player's turns are only 1 second long.
Game setup
View scheme settings
Any open island map
As many as the map will support for automatic placement

Hysteria is a special scheme where quick thinking and reflexes are vital. Each turn only lasts for a meagre one second, in which the player must select and fire a weapon.

There is one weapon available on each of the function keys, and they all come in infinite supply, except for 1 cow. Each turn also has 10 seconds of 'hot seat' time before it, which gives the player time to think about their turn.

Sudden death occurs in 10 seconds. However, because the turns are only 1 second long, the timer will not decrease unless a player runs out of turn time, meaning that matches can last indefinitely provided no player times out. When Sudden death occurs, the water rises very quickly.

Each player also has infinite jet packs. These require that the player instantly drops a weapon after equipping them, so they have an additional 5 seconds of retreat time during which the player can get to otherwise hard-to-reach places.


First off, use the hotseat time to think out your move. Think of which worm to hit, which weapon to use for it and where you want to end your turn, as you're going to need that worm another turn later on, preferrably with plenty of health points left.

The jetpack retreat

The jetpack retreat

The jetpack retreat is an invaluable move. Simply activate the jetpack, plant a mine, and use your five seconds of retreat time to fly to your destination. Since your turn-time is a second long, you have just enough time to make a very short flight before you plant that mine—good for attacking a nearby worm before carrying on with your journey. The mine need not be the only attack—with an extra key-press you can release a cow, for example.

Even after you've dropped your weapon you can still make an attack. With careful manoeuvring you can use your jetpack to push mines onto nearby enemies. Or if you're using a particularly unhealthy worm, you can drop onto an enemy worm from a great height for a suicide bombing. The jetpack knock is the hardest trick of all—time your retreat so that when time runs out, your worm falls and knocks another worm down.

While choosing the weapon to drop from the jetpack, keep in mind where you want your worm to end up. If you're stuck in a deep hole and want to get out, it's very likely that your worm will end up close to the upper edge of that same hole. As a consequence, your worm is easily shot back in again and if that happens, you most certainly don't want to land on the same mine you dropped only a turn earlier! In such cases, it is perhaps better to drop a grenade from the jetpack (or a bazooka) since the additional fall damage is not nearly as high as the one you'd get from an additional mine explosion.

Some people actually go so far as to activate the mine they dropped in that same turn. This is a very risky manouver, since recently dropped mines have a delay before they are activated, giving you about a second to move away from the mine before it is activated. Since this action spells disaster virtually all of the time, DarkOne's law has been formulated: never activate a mine you just dropped. The penalty for breaking this law is self-inflicted damage, though like in reality, the system is not perfect.

Worm rotation abuse

If you have fewer worms than your opponent you can abuse the worm rotation to get easy shots. Teleport your worm next to an enemy worm such that you'll get another turn before he does. If you only have one worm, you can do this to all his worms until he too only has one left.

This tactic can be countered by having your worms close together, so that your opponent can always be attacked regardless of which worm's turn it is.

Worm rotation abuse is one of the reasons why you'd want to damage all your opponent's worms before you start killing them off: a kill at the start gives him/her the opportunity to use this tactic to easily reduce the difference in health points. Even in doing this, you should be mindful for the jetpack suicides you inevitably enable your opponents to if you damage a worm to almost 0 hp.

Summoning the flood

If the flooding will bring you a tactical advantage, then try missing a few turns to activate Sudden Death. This works best when your enemy has too many worms near the bottom to stage a mass evacuation. If missing a turn is too costly, use the shotgun to get one shot in, while missing the second.

Sometimes, your opponent will position a worm to the side of the map, hoping for strong wind and basically firing the bazooka until it hits (either by luck or skill depending on the person using these tactics).

Having said worm on that edge also places it lower than your own worms. Though trying to hit them is of course possible, it's still more difficult than vice versa, which makes these placements an opportunity to set off sudden death.

Knowing who to kill

Most Hysteria games end up with players firing bazookas and grenades across the map. Getting a hit takes a lot of skill, so you might want to plan ahead and make it easy for yourself by killing off the more skilled players first, while the game is still in its chaotic infancy.

Keeping a healthy worm

The end-game of firing bazookas and grenades everywhere usually takes place between distantly separated worms, because no worm is healthy enough to risk getting close for an easy shot. With the full health of 80 points, however, you might be able to chase a weak enemy around the map, safe in the knowledge you can survive a hit and return the favour with a fatal shot.

Some people try to realise this healthy worm for the end by keeping it in an isolated space until the time has come to bring it out. Although this definitely can serve its purpose, be mindful that some people will see through these tactics and will purposefully lose a worm in order to use the worm rotation abuse. They will then place their worm close to your isolated worm to be able to kill it or deal sufficient damage to be able to kill it in one shot later on.

Isolating one worm also results in that worm being most likely useless for the duration of the isolation; if you both have 4 worms left and 1 of them is isolated, this means that while your opponent has 4 opportunities to deal you damage, you will only have 3 turns to do so.

In addition, the most isolated spots are usually at the bottom of the map. Having your worm there makes it vulnerable to triggering of sudden death.

Picking the right weapon

When picking your weapon, you must pay attention to the landscape, the wind and whether there are still mines scattered around. Grenades are well suited against worms hiding inside holes, since they naturally go to the lowest point until they explode. When a big chunk of land is protecting your worm from direct from shotguns or bazookas, it's possible to bounce a grenade from the wall to the opposite of your opponent. Very useful to deal damage and blow them down into a hole where they are very vulnerable to grenades. Sometimes in these situations, it's better to use a bazooka. This is only possible if the wind blows away from your opponent, so the bazooka will pass over the land and then blow back towards your opponent. Note that this is possibly the hardest kind of bazooka shot to do.

Sometimes, people place their worms on an almost vertical part of land. If there is no land to the side facing your worm, then the opponent's worm is vulnerable to bazooka attacks. Make sure the wind is turned towards your opponent as wind away from your opponent makes it much harder to hit and even impossible if the wind is strong.

Naturally, there might also be land above your opponent's worm in order to protect it from direct grenade throws and bazooka shots (specifically if there's no wind!). In these instances, you can use the protective roof against them: a petrol bomb is the weapon to use now. This is a weapon that's also effective against worms hiding on the edge of the map. The protective roof should be hit and the burning petrol will rain down on your opponent, making them fall into a hole or the water.

Don't forget about shotguns! Though this weapon is not often used in hysteria games, sometimes this weapon can be be very useful. Sometimes, what seperates you from your opponent is a plethora of small objects. Using a bazooka will only proof useful if you shoot them over those objects, while the same is true for grenades. However, with the shotgun, you get 2 shots and it shoots in a straight line, regardless of wind, making the shot less complicated.

Petrol bombs can also be used to simulate a napalm attack (although less powerful). Throw a petrol bomb somewhere close to your enemy on a flat piece of land, so all the petrol gets concentrated in one spot. Next turn, create an explosion close to the firepit and the fire will fly up and rain down over a large area. Though each little fragment will cause little damage, it will limit the moving possibilities of your opponent and it makes it easier to damage distance worms (or even drown them in case of worms on the edge).

Sometimes, you face an opponent who doesn't kill your worms until the very end (as described above). You may find yourself in a situation where your opponent has one healthy worm, while you have 2 worms with almost no health points. This could be the perfect opportunity for a suicide teleport/jetpack.

Save your cow for when it really matters. Using it at the start of a game, while there are still many worms in play gives your opponent the chance to abuse worm rotation, meaning he or she can catch up in health points. The result of this is that while you both will have equal health points later on, your opponent still has a cow with possibly devastating attacks while you do not.

Location, location, location

Placement is everything in this game. If your position is superior to your opponents', skills in weaponry may not matter much. It's an art in itself to find a position where you can easily hit your opponent (or work your way through to him/her) while your opponent will have a hard time doing the same.

Some players prefer putting a worm on the edge of the map, particularly when the worm is nearing its death. Staying on top of the map is then not a good idea, as your opponent will have a far easier time hitting you (the game engine seems to favour wind directed towards the majority of the map while on the edge). However, placing your worm low on the map will allow you to dig through the land towards your opponent, giving you the tactical upper hand.

Players hiding in the interior of the map are best countered by digging holes from above, preferrably not a very straight one, as that gives them the opportunity to shoot bazookas. Grenades with big timers can bounce around until they hit their targets and petrols can then be used with great effect. Around the end of the round, you may want to use your cow right around then.

These are just a few examples of placement strategies. With time, you will find out that every placement has its merits and its faults. For every placement, there's a different strategy and it's best to find the spot that can be best exploited with your strengths.


The scheme was created in March 2007 by Run [1] who wanted to do something with 1-second turns (which had recently been made available by the beta updates). Expecting it to be a massive flop like all his other schemes, he was most surprised to find that it has since become one of the most popular schemes, appearing in a few leagues and tournaments.

After much arguing, the scheme was named Hysteria on Wyv's suggestion [citation needed].


Recently, Low Gravity has been added to the scheme by most of the players, which adds new possibilities to your shots. Having LG in your scheme will not change the way your shortkeys work, except you'll need to press ` twice in order to be able to use it. So far, the response to this addition has been positive (except from KRD and Reg).

Additional weapons

One of the scheme's defining characteristics is that there is only one weapon per Function key (F1-F12). Yet, some versions feature more weapons.

Such variation comes from the LigaWorms official league scheme (Histeria), which includes a Mole as an additional F5-key weapon. The purpose of the Mole is said to serve as an aid against darksiding in league matches.

Also, some players in WormNET have added a Homing missile to their Hysteria scheme as a second F1-key weapon and unlimited Drills and Girders as second and third F7-key weapon.

No worm rotation abuse

Some players dislike the Worm rotation abuse that is known as "telecow/jetcow". So, these players apply this as a rule, typing "no telecow/jetcow" in the beginning of the game or while in lobby. Another option is to set the rotation order as random in the scheme, although this might affect a bit of the strategy.

Randomised Hysterias

Click to watch (W:A + Beta Update required) W:A replay: A "typical" randomised Hysteria
with Run, Parker and Splongul
Download · Info

Another Random Scheme Editor is capable of generating Hysteria schemes with a randomised selection of weapons. Power settings are also randomised, giving players a few 'turns of discovery' in each game as they test the various weapons.

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