What are Bounty Snakes?

Our Bounty Snake program is a unique way for event sponsors to interact directly with Battlesnake developers and spectators. It’s a fantastic way to meet attendees and showcase your engineering team and technology stack. Above all, it’s fun for everyone :-)

Bounty Snakes are extra challenges offered by the event sponsors, and they are comprised of two parts. First, your team will program one or more Bounty Snakes to play the game in whatever way you want. Second, you will create a unique challenge that participants can overcome to win prizes - your “Bounty Snake Prize”. Throughout the event Battlesnake developers will be encouraged to visit your booth to challenge your Bounty Snake and win your prize.

Bounty Snakes can take on many forms, and Battlesnake sponsors are famous for their creativity. We’ve seen Bounty Snakes that range from difficult 1v1 scenarios, to custom game modes that introduces new game mechanics and difficulty.

Bounty Snake Prizes can be equally creative - sometimes they’re simple giveaways or swag. Some sponsors give entry into a draw or raffle for larger prizes. Your Bounty Prizes can be as simple or creative as you want. Each Bounty Snake sponsor will have an opportunity to present their prize(s) on stage throughout the event.

Bounty Snake Tournament

As part of the event all Bounty Snake sponsors may also submit their snake into the special Bounty Snake Tournament that will be featured on the main stage. Bounty Snakes will then be pitted against each other for the entertainment of all participants, with the tournament winner becoming Bounty Snake Champion. The champion sponsor will earn a trophy that can be displayed on their table and help them stand out from the other bounty snakes.

Creating an Engaging Bounty Snake

Ensure that it is easy for developers to participate in your Bounty Snake challenge. Ideally, customization or optimization should require less than an hour if they already have a functional snake to work with. Consider that event participants are likely submitting snakes to the main event tournament and other Bounty Snakes as well.

When designing the experience consider the types of developers you are interested in engaging with:

  • Senior developers with more problem solving experience?
  • Intermediate developers investigating new technologies?
  • University students looking for co-op or post grad opportunities?

Are you able to showcase the one or more of the tech stacks that your company uses? Can the Bounty Snake tell a story and attract the types of developers you are looking to recruit or connect with?

Building a Bounty Snake

Your Bounty Snake should be created and available on play.battlesnake.com - that alone is enough to participate. Where you go from there is up to you, your team, and your creativity.


Getting Started Guide - A walkthrough of the steps in creating a new snake and getting it running on the site.

Game Rules - Discusses the rules on how snakes should function and interact with the game board.

Starter Snakes - A collection of snake templates in a variety of languages designed fast track development.

Battlenake Official Github - The repository for all open source Battlesnake code including starter snakes in a variety of languages and technologies.

Bounty Snake Ideas

There are a lot of ways to engage with the developers and crafting that experience to meet your goals is important. Below are some ideas

Challenger Snake

Create a snake with a difficult or strange behavior. Developers must challenge the snake in 1v1 matches to see if they can beat it. Winners receive company swag or a chance to win a grand prize draw. Matches could be single elimination or best of X showdowns.

Food Grabbing Snake

A developer snake competes against the Bounty Snake to grab X food in as few turns as possible.

Snake Gauntlet

Create several Bounty Snakes, each with a progressively more challenging algorithm. Developers enter their snakes into the challenge and earn a score depending on how far their snake got through the gauntlet.


Developer snakes repeatedly battle the Bounty Snake to earn a place on a leaderboard. The leaderboard could be ranked by wins or the snake that survived the longest. The top ranking snake or snakes then earn a prize.


Build out a bracketed tournament that allows developers to both compete with your snake and other developer snakes in order to win a top level prize.

Unique Game Engine

Customize the Battlesnake engine to create a new type of board with unique challenges that need to be overcome. Your Bounty Snake would already be aware of these challenges and how to work through them. Participating developers need to provide a snake that can adapt to the new environment and demonstrate that they understand the problem space.

Have a Wild Idea?

If your team has some other more involved concept and needs some support in determining feasibility or how to use our engine, contact us

See something that could be improved?
View the source and submit a pull request on GitHub.

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