Each vehicle in the Twisted Metal tournament is equipped with a pair of machine guns (or more, depending on the vehicle) that serve as a backup weapon in case the competitor has no weapons in their inventory. While relatively weak, machine guns have an unlimited amount of ammo and, in some games, can even be used indefinitely. The machine guns are usually placed at the front of each vehicle, with one on each side of it. The actual design of the machine guns may vary by vehicle, but do not overly affect the performance of the weapon. Wide mounted guns may only have one hit, while the other misses if not aimed.
The machine gun alternatively fires each mounted gun one bullet at a time (by holding the R2 button by default). The process can be sped up if the secondary fire button is pressed rapidly, however this usually only fires bullets from one gun at a time instead of both.
In most Twisted Metal games, machine guns can be fired as long as the player holds down the machine gun fire button, without worry of overheating. This system was used in Twisted Metal 2, III, 4, Small Brawl and 2012. In these games, since the machine guns cannot overheat, they are relatively weaker than in the games where they can overheat.
In the other games, however, the machine guns can overheat if used for an extended period of time. If this occurs, the player must wait for the overheat icon (red) to turn green again before the machine guns can be used. This system for the machine guns was used in Twisted Metal (1995), Twisted Metal: Black, and Twisted Metal: Head-On.
In Twisted Metal (2012), the player can choose from a variety of sidearms besides machine guns. The machine guns are identified as Mounted Guns in this game, and are available by default. They do 1 point of damage per shot. Mounted Guns are the only sidearm that do not have to charge or be reloaded if used too much, as it has an infinite ammo.
Machine Gun Variants
- Mega Guns, a separate pick-up that significantly increases both the fire rate and damage of the machine gun.
- Tri-Guns and chain guns, as seen in the Special Weapons of Darkside (TM:2012), Death Warrant, Roadkill (TM:2012), Outlaw (Black & 2012), Shadow (Black), Talon, and in team games, Juggernaut.
- In Twisted Metal 2, Minion is unique in the fact that he fires three machine guns instead of two: The standard two machine guns in front of his vehicle, and an extra one in the back that fires backwards. The backwards machine gun actually fires Mega Gun bullets, and dish out twice the amount of damage his front machine guns do.
- Some vehicles have more or less than two machine guns equipped on their vehicle. Some examples of this include many of the vehicles from Twisted Metal: Black (one machine gun) and General Warthog from Twisted Metal 4 (four machine guns).
- In Twisted Metal (2012), if a sidearm other than the mounted guns is chosen, the machine guns cannot be used, despite the fact that they are still attached to the vehicle. Then again, they still must be attached to the car for Mega Guns to be used (which explains why one cannot remove them).