The Harvester is a bulky vehicle, featuring a large grey cargo hold with 2 tubes and 2 cooling fans, a pair of metallic claws used to harvest Tiberium on its front, and three big wheels for locomotion. GDI Harvesters are yellow colored, while Nod Harvesters are red colored.
The Harvester is a source of income, yielding approximately 300 Credits each time it docks at the Tiberium Refinery's bay. It is slow moving but heavy armored, and able to slowly replenish its health over time, akin to Mammoth Tanks.
Harvesters follow a predefined path and will constantly do so, no matter what situation might be occurring. Being an automated vehicle, players cannot enter into it and drive it around. Harvesters can only ram over people that are directly in front of its path.
Harvesters appear from the vehicle production building (Weapons Factory/Airstrip) at the beginning of a match, and another one will be constructed at the same building after a set time should the former one get destroyed. Harvesters will be delivered via airdrop if the vehicle production building has been destroyed.
Attacking the enemy Harvester
Rushing towards the opponent Harvester is a tactic usually employed at the beginning of large matches to earn points and deny the opponent team the credits from the Harvester's first load. Afterwards, keeping the Harvester destroyed by tank fire will assure less credits for the enemy, which equals in delaying their plans to prepare a vehicle or advanced infantry rush, while yielding them less chances to mount a counter-offense against rushes as well.
Since Harvesters are heavy armored, throwing C4 at them is the best option in taking them out before they can dock at the Refinery. For the beginning of the game, only infantry such as Grenadiers or Flame Troopers can do decent damage with their weapons to Harvesters, although a mass infantry rush of any class will ensure its destruction.
Always keep the enemy Harvester destroyed on maps with a small vehicle entrance, since it can block an entire rush by standing in the way.
Defending the allied Harvester
Knowing that the opponent team will be coming for the Harvester, players can prepare by getting Engineers to repair it as soon it gets struck and Officers to mow down the rushing infantry. C4 on the Harvester's front can be easily disarmed by standing in front of it and getting pushed, while C4 on the sides might be a little trickier to disarm due to the Harvester moving; still, players can let the C4 explode and repair the Harvester afterwards, provided that the number of C4s will not suffice to destroy it.
If tanks are shelling the Harvester, Advanced Engineers can be employed to outrepair it, as long they can perform repairs from a safe distance. Note that the Harvester can be used as temporary cover for retreating infantry and vehicles.
Sometimes, it is more beneficial for the Harvester to get destroyed, especially when getting ready for a rush in maps with narrow vehicle paths so it does not stand in the way.
This technique can be used to sneak into the enemy base. The infiltrator will follow the Harvester from behind and on the sides; the Harvester will provide cover for them, blocking the view of automated defenses, thus leading the sneaky player inside unharmed. For example, when the Harvester finishes collecting Tiberium outside the base, an Advanced Engineer can follow it, "hugging" it from behind, thus creating an artificial safe entry point allowing for sneaking, and then proceed to sabotage a building, usually being the Refinery or the Advanced Guard Tower/Obelisk.
Stealth Black Hands employing this tactic could place Superweapon Beacons on the Refinery's bay, especially when the Harvester is docking, which will cover the beacon from Repair Guns, increasing the chances of the beacon to succeed.
Patrols are advised to check their Harvesters to avoid infiltrators employing such technique.
- Harvesters are commonly abbreviated as "Harv" or "Harvy".
- The Harvester's path that they follow on each map is drawn by the mapmaker.
- Rarely but possibly, Harvesters will take different routes from the aforementioned one, this is most likely a glitch.
- It is possible to park a Stealth Tank in the Refinery bay when it faces the back part of a map, such as Islands and Complex, in order to block the Harvester from unloading its cargo. Depending on how much attention is present on the enemy team, it might be a while before they realize they have less credits than excepted and something is wrong.
- Occasionally the Harvester will get stuck in the docking bay and stop moving due to map glitches; sometimes it is possible to liberate it by ramming it with vehicles.
- The Harvester is jokingly mocked as a team hamper by players, due to it pushing vehicles out of cover, even Mammoth Tanks, thereby exposing them to enemy fire, making vehicle circulation difficult, and possibly providing unintended cover to enemies from snipers.