######################################################################## ######################################################################## TEAM FORTRESS 2 (hereafter referred to as TF2) Screw ASCII art. CLASS, WEAPONS AND EQUIPMENT GUIDE **Now with Unlockable Weapon Info** Version 2.3 Aug 26, 2008 by Lappy e-mail ######################################################################## UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE NEWS NEWS NEWS On June 15, 2008, I wrote a farewell message indicating that I would no longer be adding to this guide, due a large number of obstacles to writing/playing TF2 in my schedule. This, as it turned out, was a poor idea, and one that I am no longer pursuing. :) I have had a flattering amount of feedback from the community, thanking me for my work, sad to see it go, generously offering to update the guide in my stead; and I came to realise that I enjoyed writing this guide as much as you all enjoy reading it (all three of you) and would make time to continue working on it despite my schedule. So Lappy's Class, Weapons and Equipment Guide is back in business, and I look forward to updating it in the future. (A huge thank you goes to MetalGearManiac, who offered to write my guide in my stead and reminded me why I enjoy writing so much, and to Valve for reducing the achievements required to earn new weapons... 22 is a lot better than 36. :P) Thanks again, everyone, happy fragging. Don't forget to Spy check. Lappy ######################################################################## VERSION CHANGELOG THAT MOST PEOPLE SKIP BUT EXISTS FOR THE SAKE OF POSTERITY version 2.3 (08/26/08) Edited Weapon Upgrades section, added Heavy Weapon Upgrades. version 2.2 (07/30/08) Edited Weapon Upgrades section, to be current with latest patch. version 2.1 (07/25/08) Several minor edits. Fixed goof-up between "Weapon Upgrades" and "Everything That Wouldn't Fit Above" sections. More info on Sentry Guns added to Engineer section. version 2.0 (07/15/08) Guide updated, author comes to senses. Pyro article edited, Weapon Upgrades section added, with Pyro and Medic weapons. Many thanks to MetalGearManiac for his inspiration and generosity. fake "Final" Version (06/15) Manly tears shed as I ponder leaving the guide to rot. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed. :) version 1.4 (05/07/08) Articles regarding the unlockable weapons. "Teleporter Etiquette: A Guide" was also edited due to a new TF2 patch. version 1.34 (04/14/08) Minor edits; clarified rocket jump procedure in Soldier section. version 1.33 (03/01/08) Revised "Critical Hits and You" article; corrected ammo counts for Demoman. version 1.32 (02/29/08) Updated Soldier and Demoman ammunition reserve count; edited Flamethrower section. version 1.31: (11/12/07) Added the Detonator to Engineer equipment. version 1.3: (10/29/07) Edited the entire body of the guide, again. I'm never satisfied. Also added the article "Teleporter Etiquette: A Guide." version 1.2: (10/25/07) The article "Ammunition: Smoke 'Em if you Got 'Em" is added, which I had meant to include from the start yet somehow forgotten to write. version 1.1: (10/24/07) The guide is edited again, and articles "Intel on the Intelligence" and "Critical Hits and You" are added. version 1.01: (10/23/07) The guide is edited, and submitted to good ol' GameFAQs. version 1.0: (09/29/07) The guide is born, the product of a series of sleepless, frag-filled nights. TF2 is still in Beta, and the guide is unreleased. ######################################################################## TABLE O' CONTENTS Introduction How This Guide Works The Nine Classes Foreword (The Weapons and Equipment Guide) The Scout The Soldier The Pyro The Demoman The Heavy The Engineer The Medic The Sniper The Spy The Weapon Upgrades Everything That Wouldn't Fit Above About This Section Ammunition: Smoke 'Em if you Got 'Em Intel on the Intelligence How To Kill A .. ..Scout ..Soldier ..Pyro ..Demoman ..Heavy ..Engineer ..Medic ..Sniper ..Spy Master of Disguises: A Spy's Repertoire Teleporter Etiquette: A Guide Critical Hits and You Outroduction Dedication, Thanks, Contact Information Credits Attention Thieves/Copyright Information ######################################################################## INTRODUCTION Hi there, welcome to Lappy's often imitated, never equalled TF2 guide. Let me start things off by saying "Holy Crap" what a game. I'm not the only one who's been playing this thing since Beta went live and I've continued to be impressed by the depth of the game, especially its emphasis on team-oriented play as the only effective way to victory. As impressed as I was, I had a lot of questions about the game as I played it. Shooters are my favorite type of game to play, and whenever you get into a new game that noone has ever played before, there is this wonderful period of learning where nobody really knows the ins and outs of the maps, the strengths of each weapon, or the full potential of each class. I love this period of discovery in new games, and with TF2 my experience was no different. Being confined to bedrest due to an upcoming surgery, I've played the hell out of this great game; and while I'm by no means an expert, I have played hard trying to see how each class works so that I could share my experience with others who, like me, may be wondering about just what each class can do with the tools that they have. So, welcome aboard. I hope my guide helps you, in whatever way it can. This is my third FAQ at GameFAQs, and looking at my previous two it's clear I'm a junkie when it comes to writing about fun online shooters. Now, Onward! ######################################################################## HOW THIS GUIDE WORKS Read it with your eyes. Seriously, I think you'll get the most out of this guide if you understand what I'm trying to accomplish with it. Soon, I'll be describing each of the nine classes in TF2, in the same order as they appear on the class select screen. Every time I describe a class I'll approach it in the same way. First I'll give you a statistical overview of the class' max health total, the weapons and equipment they use, and how much ammunition is given to them. If I don't list an ammunition amount, that means the weapon can be used continuously without needing to reload. I'll then go in-depth about what makes the class unique, and what sets it apart from the game's other classes, and then discuss each individual weapon or piece of equipment, its operation, and any other tidbits that I find helpful. I'm not perfect, nor do I pretend to be, so I am always open to suggestions and feedback, as long as it is constructive. At the end of the meaty part of the guide, I'll finish up with some details on upgradable/alternative weapons, class weaknesses, and other supplemental info. My information about the Unlockable Weapons is after my main discussion of the nine classes, as an understanding of the starting weapons is kinda important when considering the newer weapons. A note: Some of my class descriptions are longer than others. Do not interpret this as me devoting more space to classes that I think are superior to the others. Classes like the Spy and Engineer have more equipment than a Scout or Sniper, and take me more time to talk about. All classes are equally viable, and equally useful to their team. I will NEVER EVER tell you what class to play, or that any class is better than the next. The classes are what you make of them, and I will always be of the opinion that the best class is the class that is the most fun for you. I can't stand FAQs that say stuff like: "X class/weapon sux LAWL use Y class/weapon cuz tats wut I use!!!one!1" Use what makes you happy, and helps you help your team. Hokay? :) ######################################################################## T H E N I N E C L A S S E S ######################################################################## FOREWORD A final word before I begin with the classes. If you're new to this game (and since I'm writing this two weeks after the Beta was released, I'm guessing you are) you'll notice that there is an Achievement you can unlock called 'Head of the Class', which is awarded to players who play a full map round with each class at least once. I recommend that every player try to get this Achievement first. No guide can substitute for in-game playtime, and by forcing yourself to stay with each class for a full map round, you'll get a good idea of not only how that class plays, but how other classes respond to it. The more familiar you are with a class, the better suited you are to combat enemy classes of that type, and the better you'll understand and adjust to the limits of the classes your teammates are playing as. No class in this game can win the game by himself. This is *Team* Fortress 2. My guide will not help you find a class that will enable solo victory, but will attempt to show you what makes each class the best for certain situations. Combining the best aspects of each class as a team is what enables victory. Don't forget that. Now, on with the FAQ! ######################################################################## THE SCOUT Health: 125, 185 with Medigun buff Weapons: Scattergun Ammunition: 6 Shells Reserve Ammo: 32 Shells Pistol Magazine Capacity: 12 rounds Reserve Ammo: 36 rounds Melee Weapon: Baseball Bat WHY THE SCOUT IS THE BEST CLASS TO PLAY: Think of the way you play other shooters. Do you like to hurl yourself at objectives with little regard to yourself? Are you the sort of player that enjoys strafing and leaping to throw off enemy aim? The Scout is the best class for this style of play, hands down. The thing to keep in mind when playing the Scout class is that your greatest weapon isn't a gun, it's your speed. Scouts are CRAZY fast. They fly across maps, and the best Scouts never run in a straight line; they zigzag across maps so that the Heavies, Demoman grenades and Soldier rockets never hit them. What more, a Scout is the only class that can do a double-jump ala Mario; and just like Nintendo's plucky plumber, the Scout can change direction in mid-air. Use this to your advantage as a Scout. Spin around your enemies, speed into capture zones (Scouts even capture control points twice as fast as other classes) and most importantly: Never. Stop. Moving. A Scout doesn't have the health bar or the raw weapon power to outlast opponents, but he doesn't need them, because of his ridiculous speed. Scouts are the ideal flag-runners (although in TF2 we steal Intelligence briefcases, and not flags.) He's the running back to his team's offensive line. Sure, you may not get a touchdown right away, but no class is better at swooshing past enemy defenses, nicking the dropped Intelligence, and hopping away before anyone can react. If they shoot you again, so what? You can run faster than they can relocate their defense, and you've already reset the Intelligence timer. The points are practically already on the board. Scouts are the perfect decoys, keeping defenses busy while your offense pushes in. Besides being natural Intelligence runners and always appreciated in a cap zone, Scouts can quickly (see the emphasis here?) move between offensive and defensive fronts to help where he can. Every team should have one. WEAPONS SCATTERGUN: Most Scouts fall into one of two archetypes, those who prefer the Scattergun, and those who prefer their Baseball Bat. Really, each playstyle is valid, and boils down to a matter of preference. When you try out the class, give each a go and see what works best for you. The Scattergun is an ideal weapon for the Scout. Similar in output to the standard Shotgun many classes carry as a secondary weapon, the Scattergun packs a bit more oomph and a bit wider of a spread. This is really the best sort of primary weapon a jumpy, speedy class like the Scout could ask for, as the spread nature of the weapon means the Scout doesn't have to slow down and aim in order to take a chunk of health out of his opponent. That said, the more comfortable you get aiming with the Scattergun, you'll find that it can be very, very powerful, capable of one-shotting weaker enemies like Engineers, Medics and rival Scouts if you're close enough - and with the speed of the Scout getting close shouldn't be a problem. The Scattergun isn't as useful as the other classes' Shotgun at longer ranges... as useful as a Shotgun can be at range, anyway. The Scattergun is amply suited to destroying enemy Dispensers and Teleporters, but even a Scout isn't fast enough to outrun a Sentry Gun; leave those for the Demomen, Soldiers and Spies. And remember, as the Scout loads new shells into his empty Scattergun (shells which I suspect are filled with nails, as the TFC Scout carried a Nailgun) you can interrupt the reload to fire off whatever shells you have currently loaded. So if you're reloading and backpedaling and a Demoman launches a few grenades your way, by all means double-jump away and fire whatever you've got to scare him off. PISTOL: The Pistol that Scouts carry shoots straight, reloads quickly and fires as fast as you can click the mouse. It is a reliable secondary weapon for finishing off a fleeing opponent when your Scattergun is empty, although many Scouts, due to their speed, prefer their Baseball Bat in a similar situation. The Pistol is also useful at longer ranges, where the Scattergun becomes less effective. Don't expect to outdo your team Sniper, but if you need to finish off a fleeing, burning opponent without putting yourself in harm's way, the Pistol will be a surer bet than your Scattergun. BASEBALL BAT: The Scout's small Baseball Bat is his melee weapon of choice and primary weapon of choice for many career Scouts. The Bat isn't any stronger or weaker than the other melee weapons in the game; like them all, it will deal a small chunk of damage in front of an opponent, and more if you are behind them. What makes the Bat so deadly is its pairing with the Scout's unrivaled speed. See a Heavy wailing away across a bridge? Zig-zag across, double-jump over his head, and with a few BONKS! the Heavy won't be a problem anymore. While the Engineer perhaps gets the most use out of his melee weapon, I'd say the Scout comes close, for some. Sure, it's dangerous to take a bat to a gunfight, but it can be fun as hell too. It's at least worth trying out, to see if it works for you. ######################################################################## THE SOLDIER Health: 200 | 300 with Medigun buff Weapons: Rocket Launcher Ammunition: 4 Rockets Reserve Ammo: 16 Rockets Shotgun Ammunition: 6 shells Reserve Ammo: 32 shells Melee Weapon: Shovel WHY THE SOLDIER IS THE BEST CLASS TO PLAY: Soldiers are hostile, versatile, integral classes to the success of any offensive push. Demomen may have more explosive power, Heavys more raw firepower, and Scouts more maneuverability, but a good Soldier can still do it all, right when his team needs him. At 200 Health (300 buffed by a Medic), a Soldier is one of the most resilient classes in the game, second only to the Heavy. Demomen may be able to bounce grenades around and lob Sticky Bombs, but there is no substitute for the all-range, all-purpose devastation that the Soldier's Rocket Launcher brings to a fight. Good Soldiers frustrate their enemies constantly by outlasting them with their combination of high health and offensive power. Pyros and Scouts who rush up close either catch a rocket to the face or several rockets exploding on the ground and walls around them. The Pyros and Scouts are in pieces; the Soldier is at half health and reloading; ready to send a barrage of rockets across the map to a Sniper nest, or pop around a corner, firing with precision at Sentry Guns. Though the Soldier runs slower than some, he is still faster than the Heavy, and in a crude way shares the Scout's airborne mobility: Firing a rocket at the ground and jumping at the same time propels the Soldier high into the air and forward... and over walls, over defenses, and into capture areas. With practice, a Soldier can get almost anywhere he needs to be, when he needs to be there. Every team should have one. WEAPONS ROCKET LAUNCHER: As a Soldier, you're going to be shooting this a lot, so lets get the details straight up front: The Rocket Launcher can shoot 4 rockets at a time, and shoot them fairly quickly. This may startle those of you out there who are used to traditional Rocket Launchers in shooters that are single-shot and take a while to reload (DoD:S, I'm looking at you.) The next happy surprise is the speed with which the Soldier reloads his rockets. If, for example, the first four rockets don't get the job done, a fifth can be fired pretty quickly. Remember, you can interrupt the reload process to fire... you don't have to wait for the Soldier to load four more rockets. You'll be called to a variety of tasks by your team as a Soldier, all of which your Rocket Launcher should be able to handle. Soldiers are excellent at removing Sentry Guns in the absence of a Demoman or a Spy, esepcially at longer ranges. When you fire at stationary targets like those built by Engineers, be sure to take time to line up your shot - the goal is to demolish the Sentry quickly so your team can advance. Don't worry, the Soldier's ample health will keep him alive long enough to line up a proper shot. Against moving targets, you'll find that the slow propulsion of the rockets makes things trickier. One of the best tips is straight from Valve (the people you bought the game from.) Aim at the ground. Enemies, especially those rascally Scouts, can easily sidestep rockets fired from afar - but when you aim for their feet, or a nearby wall, the splash damage of the explosion will either kill them, or at least wear them down for a friendly Heavy or Pyro to finish. As a Soldier, you aren't a Heavy, but you're the next best meatshield there is. Follow your Medics (actually, have them follow you :p), and when you hear "UberCharge is up! Go buddy Go!" charge forward and blow up that enemy base. SHOTGUN: You'll get more use out of this baby than you might think when you start out as a Soldier. Rockets are powerful, but when they miss and the Pyro is charging you, or the Demoman hailing you with grenades, the Shotgun will get you out of a jam if you don't trust your up-close Rocket aim. Of course, the Shotgun is also a natural clean-up weapon for targets of your own who are wounded from the explosions, or passing enemies who've been lit on fire and aren't really worth the rocket. My advice: get some experience playing the class, and decide for yourself when the Shotgun best helps you. SHOVEL: I like the collapsible Shovel that the Soldier carries, but maybe that's just my DoD:S experience talking. As a Soldier I find I will more often than not finish off an opponent with my Shotgun, but if you can get behind an enemy and resist the urge to blow them up, by all means thwack them with this. ######################################################################## THE PYRO Health: 175 | 260 with Medigun buff Weapons: Flamethrower Can be fired for 200 seconds, fully loaded. Shotgun Ammunition: 6 shells Reserve Ammo: 32 shells Melee Weapon: Fire Axe WHY THE PYRO IS THE BEST CLASS TO PLAY AS: Who doesn't like running around setting things on fire? The Pyro is a class unlike any other, and is easily the most deadly close-range attacker in the game. As a Pyro, your goal is simple: set as many people and objects on fire as you possibly can. People on fire who are foolish enough to stay in your jet of flame will die at a quicker rate than those smart enough to run away - who will still die, either from burning alive while running around (which is hilarious to watch) or being shot while burning alive, many times by the Pyro's trusty Shotgun. But the fire does more than quickly eat away at enemy health bars: it disorients them, and confuses attacks. A Pyro crouched around a corner, or underneath a ramp, or just inside a door is ideal; When the incoming attackers or defenders are suddenly ablaze, their coordination breaks down, their vision is blurred by flames on-screen, and their ranks break in search of a Medic, medkit or pool of water to stop the burning. When the enemy defense is occupied with a frontal assault, a backdoor attack from a Pyro and an UberCharged Medic can create unrivaled chaos. Heavys, Soldiers and Demomen love the "I'll set em up, you knock 'em down" nature of the Pyro. Defensively, Pyros melt fragile cloaked Spies, Scouts, Medics and Engineers with ease, keeping the capture point or Intel safe from attack. Every team should have one. WEAPONS FLAMETHROWER: The Flamethrower is instantly fun, very lethal, and can also be a bit frusterating if you don't understand the mechanics of it. With practice, however (and a handy FAQ to read :p), you'll become more and more comfortable with it. With the Flamethrower, the closer an enemy is to the Pyro's jet of flame, the quicker his health will decrease. The best thing to do then is trap your opponent in a corner or narrow hallway, where you will have an easier time keeping your flame centered on your hapless opponent. Obviously, people don't like being lit on fire, and they will do everything they can to escape your deadly flame, from running, jumping, and of course, shooting at you. The best idea here is to strafe around your opponent in such a way that forces them towards a wall, while keeping you safe from counter-fire. True, even if that Soldier or Demoman hits you with an explosive in the face, you'll probably melt him to death anyway (Opponents will stay on fire and lose health unless they find a Medic, medkit, pool of water or Dispenser), but its better to live to burn again. The biggest hurdle new Pyros tend to encounter when playing is the range of the weapon. It is easy to light someone ablaze, see that the enemy is on fire, and chase them with your trusty Flamethrower spewing, thinking that, since the enemy is still on fire, he is still within your Flamethrower range. One way to know for sure if you're searing your opponent is to listen for a "sizzling" sound (think bacon frying in a pan) which you will hear when your Flamethrower is still on target. Also, the length of the Flamethrower flame is longer when the Pyro is standing still, and shorter when he is moving. Often, if chasing an opponent refuses to ignite them, stopping for a second (extending the length of the flame) will work! Bottom line, if you aren't sure, I'd switch to your Shotgun. Finally, due to the close-range nature of the weapon (and class), you should understand that a Pyro does not belong in open areas or at the end of long corridors alone. Your Flamethrower can't help you there. That said, the Pyro does have a nifty tool he can use to help him at long ranges against rocket-firing Soldiers and grenade-launching Demomen: a blast of air! By hitting alternate fire, the Pyro shoots a non-lethal blast of compressed air from his Flamethrower, which can be used for all sorts of things - sending rockets back into the face of the Soldier who fired them, clearing away Sticky Bomb traps, even separating Medics from their Medigun targets! In fact, a Pyro is the only class that can dissolve an UberCharge by physically separating a Medic from his partner, making the air blast definitely something worth perfecting, and making the Flamethrower a very formidable, reliable weapon. SHOTGUN: Pyros are tied with the Engineer in my book as the class most reliant on his Shotgun, although both rely on the weapon for different reasons. When I started playing the Pyro class, I didn't really use the Shotgun. Why? I thought. I have a Flamethrower... I'm a Pyro, I light people on fire. What I didn't realize is how quickly a Shotgun can finish off a burning opponent. The Flamethrower burns people pretty quickly, as you'll see the first few times *you* get lit on fire. The tendency for most new Pyros is to chase people down with their Flamethrower, and opponents will take advantage of this and just run away, creating a distance disadvantage for the Pyro. If you fall into this category, listen to me: pull out your Shotgun early in the fight, and unload it. You will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly the Shotgun will either put them down, or accellerate your enemy's death-by-burning. And don't be afraid to hold your ground as a Pyro. You may not have the health of a Soldier or Heavy, but 175 health in a fire-proof suit is nothing to sneeze at, especially with a Medic around. (Fun Fact: Pyros take damage from Flamethrowers, but do not burn over time.) The Pyro Shotgun, like all of the Shotguns, reloads quickly, has decent stopping power, and surprising range. Use it. FIRE AXE: The Fire Axe is a fitting weapon for the Pyro, although many Pyros are so comfortable at close range with their Flamethrower, they forget to use it. I like to take out the Axe against opponents like Heavys and even Soldiers, who have tons of health (particularly with Medics.) Heavys burn for a long, long time, whereas a Minigun can shred a Pyro in seconds. If you can get close enough to a Heavy, I think it better to stow the Flamethrower and Axe him in the back. See what works for you. ######################################################################## THE DEMOMAN Health: 175 | 260 with Medigun buff Weapons: Grenade Launcher Ammunition: 4 grenades Reserve Ammo: 16 grendades Sticky Bomb Launcher w/ Detonator Ammunition: 8 bombs Reserve Ammo: 24 bombs Melee Weapon: Bottle WHY THE DEMOMAN IS THE BEST CLASS TO PLAY: Hands down the most explosive class in TF2, the Demoman can frustrate enemy attacks better than any other class, shelling them from afar with his Grenade Launcher, booby trapping routes and defensive areas with Sticky Bombs - and never putting himself in the line of fire. Nothing disrupts enemy advances, and encourages retreat like a steady hail of grenades, tumbling over cover, around corners, into buildings and control points; but it's not just infantry that Demomen can assault. Engineers learn to loathe a good Demoman, as grenades and Sticky Bombs are the best (and only) way to indirectly destroy otherwise well protected Sentries and sheltered Dispensers. Spies can Sap them, but they put themselves in harm's way to do so. A Demoman need never even see the Sentry, he just waits for the successful explosion. Sticky bombs do more than defend control points, they allow the Demoman to create choke points. Seemingly safe waypoints are transformed into an explosive death trap, forcing the enemy to either retreat or push on through the ensuing detonation - and into whatever trap the Demoman sets up next. Every team should have one. WeAPONS GRENADE LAUNCHER: The Demoman is a unique class to play, as all of his weaponry is indirect. He doesn't have anything that shoots bullets or shells - which changes the way you have to approach certain combat situations. The best thing to do is play to the Grenade Launcher's strengths. The best part about playing a Demoman is that you don't have to put yourself in the line of fire to rack up kills. Grenades work best when bounced off walls, around corners, down hallways, into rooms an enemy is defending, pretty much anywhere you would expect the other team to be. Unless your grenades hit your opponent directly (and if so, watch as he goes BOOM) they will take a few seconds to explode, at which point your opponent will usually retreat. Don't think of this as a failed attack - keep the pressure up! Even if you aren't blowing up your opponents, you'll be forcing them back and back, allowing your team to advance. Remember, although you'll fire off 4 grenades pretty fast, the Demoman can interrupt his reload to fire off an emergency grenade or two if need be. The more practice you can get using the Grenade Launcher to ricochet grenades into enemy bases the better. As I said above, there's really noone better suited to dispatching enemy Sentries and Dispensers safely than a Demoman; as you become more practiced in placing your grenades where they need to be, you'll find few problems you can't solve with an explosion or two. STICKY BOMB LAUNCHER: Sticky Bombs are wonderful or terrible, depending on whether they're friendly or not. These small, round spikey doodads can make capture points impossible to take, and choke points impossible to pass, if a wary Demoman is present. Sticky Bombs are always the color of the team of the Demoman who shot them. So if you're RED, don't run over blue bombs, and if you're BLU, don't run over red bombs. By holding down the fire button, the Demoman can "charge" his shot, propelling each Sticky Bomb as far as he needs to.. into Sniper nests, at out-of-range Sentries, etc. And when these babies explode, they can do massive damage, especially in clusters. Only the Demoman can detonate them, but he can do so whenever he needs to, regardless of what weapon he is holding, by clicking secondary fire - even if the bombs are in mid-air! A Demoman can place up to eight Sticky Bombs at a time. If he shoots a ninth, the first Bomb that he launched will explode. There really isn't a bad place to put these bombs, and true to their namesake, they will stick to anything, including walls and ceilings. Putting them in plain sight on top of control points discourages smart opponents from advancing, and encourages dumb opponents to set them off. But the best thing to do with Sticky Bombs is create your own choke points, luring your enemies into following you (or as a defense against enemies who are chasing you.) You can coat the floor with Bombs in a pinch, but if I have time I like to stick them around the outer edges of doorframes and support beams, behind crates and along rooftops - guaranteed to shake up a few hapless opponents, and make the rest of their team think twice before taking that route. Sticky Bombs are also wonderful ways to destroy entire Engineer bases. The idea is to launch as many Stickies into the base around the Sentries and Dispensers as possible, because unlike grenades, all of the bombs will explode at once when detonated, giving no time for repair to the Engineer (who will instead likely be in pieces.) I think, though, that practicing this sort of Sentry extermination with your Grenade Launcher is important, in addition to using your Sticky Bombs. Why? Because it saves you from having to detonate your Sticky Bombs, which you may have already set as a defensive trap, and take longer to shoot and reload than the Grenade Launcher's grenades. Granted, there are some jobs that only a Sticky Bomb can handle, but a good Demoman doesn't rely on his Sticky Bomb Launcher alone; he uses both of his Launchers together to trap his opponent in an explosive demise. :) Oh, and before I forget - a Demoman can use his Sticky Bombs the same way Soldiers use their Rockets to reach high places. By detonating a Sticky Bomb underneath his feet, the Demoman can make a powerful leap (in the old days it was called a 'pipe bomb jump') to get to hard-to-reach areas, and set up ambushes from there. BOTTLE: Now, at close range, the Demoman doesn't have many options, and short of a direct shot with a grenade, or quick, mid-air Sticky detonation, the Bottle is the only other thing a Demoman can turn to. (That was a pun.) But hey, the Bottle can get the job done up close, especially if your enemy has been weakened by grenade/Sticky Bomb explosions. When it comes down to the difference between taking potshots with grenades and wildly swinging an empty whiskey Bottle, I think personal preference should be the deciding factor. ######################################################################## THE HEAVY Health: 300 | 450 with Medigun buff Weapons: Minigun (Sasha) Ammunition: 200 rounds Shotgun Ammunition: 6 shells Reserve Ammo: 32 shells Melee Weapon: Fists WHY THE HEAVY IS THE BEST CLASS TO PLAY: Absolute, unrelenting firepower. There are many powerful weapons and lots of creative equipment in TF2, but *nobody* outguns the Heavy. There is simply no outshooting a Heavy. If you like to be the guy with the BFG, the Heavy is for you. The Heavy is like a mobile upgraded Sentry, sweeping the Minigun back and forth, mowing down enemy troops, laughing all the way. If you need a class to hold the line or capture point, you need a Heavy. Offensively, Heavies are like battering rams, punching through enemy lines with their powerful Minigun, marching towards control points, clearing the way to the Intelligence. Will he be shot at? Sure. Will he care? Likely not. Rockets and grenades blow up the other classes with a single hit, but not the Heavy. Pyros melt down Scouts, Spies, Medics, Demomen and the like with ease, but not the Heavy. Why not the Heavy? It's simple, really. Medics look for Heavys all the time, because when buffed with the Medigun, Heavies carry a whopping 450 health. That's not a typo. Heavies are always getting shot at, but with a health pool that big, and a Medigun trained on him, he's going to outlast any class shooting at him, unless his opponent outguns him. And nobody outguns the Heavy. Every team should have one. WEAPONS MINIGUN: This is the reason you play as a Heavy, to get to use this weapon. Arguably one of the more satisfying weapons in the game to fire, the Minigun is like a death hose, the ultimate example of quantity over quality. With practice, there are few weapons as lethal as a Minigun, as long as it is used in the right situations. Heavies aren't very fast to begin with (300 health is a lot to lug around) and firing the Minigun slows him down even more. So, there are things to keep in mind when using this weapon to compensate for the Heavy's sluggishness. First, you need to get the barrel of the Minigun spinning before it will actually start to fire. If you hold down primary fire, the Heavy will lower his weapon, there will be a delay as it begins to spin, and then it will fire. A good Heavy, however, will hold down his secondary fire button, to spin the barrel of the gun ahead of time. This is useful when rounding corners, entering enemy buildings, and anticipating attacks, as you can fire immediately when you see an enemy. Spinning the Minigun barrel gives off a kind of whine, which will alert nearby enemies to your presence; but hey, you aren't a Spy, you aren't trying to hide, and given his size, the Heavy would have a job hiding anyway. The second thing to remember when using the Minigun, is that although your forward, backward and side to side movement is slowed when the gun is lowered/firing, your aiming speed does not slow down. This is very important to remember when dealing with Pyros and Spies who are going to try to ambush you up close, and also pesky Scouts who will be running circles around you. You can pivot as quickly as you can move your mouse, and short of a backstab, there is nothing as lethal at close range as the Minigun. The Minigun is unstoppable at all but long ranges, but even so, it is unwise to plod into enemy territory alone. The Heavy is a big target, and as good as the Minigun is, it works much better with teammates. Cover your teammates, and they'll cover you. Finally, as I mentioned above, Medics are very fond of Heavies, especially as recipients of UberCharges - but you must communicate your ammo level to any Medics following you! Some Medics are twitchy when it comes to their UberCharge and hit you with it as soon as it's up, but it does your team no good if the Minigun is empty. Fully loaded and invicible, there is little the Minigun can't accomplish. SHOTGUN: The Heavy's Shotgun is just like the others used by Engineers, Pyros and Soldiers, but often doesn't see as much use, and understandably so. At the ready, a Minigun will be a much more effective tool for Heavies at killing. However, an ambushed Heavy who doesn't have his Minigun ready to fire wastes precious seconds getting it going, and in these situations I like to rely on my Shotgun, rather than my health bar. Alternately, you can use the Shotgun to conserve Minigun ammo before an UberCharge. Although the Heavy is slow, the Shotgun doesn't impair his speed, giving him the most mobility he can get when he needs it most. With a few quick shots, the Shotgun will hopefully beat ambushers back long enough for the Heavy to start up his Minigun, if not finish them off. FISTS: Heavies rely on their knuckles to solve any problems up close. True, the noise that the Minigun makes, the Heavy's naturally slow speed, and his impossible-to-miss size makes sneaking up on anyone about as likely as a Sniper getting an UberCharge; but overcoming those odds and delivering a knockout punch is very satisfying. Just don't get your hopes up :). ######################################################################## THE ENGINEER Health: 125 | 185 with Medigun buff Weapons: Shotgun Ammunition: 6 shells Reserve Ammo: 32 shells Pistol Magazine Capacity: 12 rounds Reserve Ammo: 200 rounds Melee Weapon: Wrench Equipment: Construction PDA Detonator Metal Carrying Capacity: 200 pieces WHY THE ENGINEER IS THE BEST CLASS TO PLAY: Do you like to set up impenetrable defenses, enabling victory by bolstering your teammates, creating moving bases that suffocate enemy defenses? The Engineer is the class for you. There is nothing like a good Engineer. While on their own they aren't as powerful or healthy as ther peers, their devices make or break victory for their team. Harvesting metal from the weapons of fallen enemies and destroyed devices, Engineers construct powerful Sentry Guns to hold off enemy advances, and use that same metal to upgrade their Sentry to an even deadlier model. But the Engineer isn't limited to building guns. Engineers create Teleporter entrance and exits, providing their team with quick access to vital defensive points, or secret access to their opponent's base. Engineers also create Dispensers which serve as stationary Medics, replenishing health and ammo to nearby teammates, and slowly refilling the Engineer's metal supply. Good Engineers not only defend their base, they create forward bases as their team advances, building Teleporters and Dispensers, encouraging their team to press the attack. There isn't a friendlier sight in the world when turning into enemy territory than seeing an Engineer banging out a Dispenser behind cover. Every team should have one. WEAPONS AND EQUIPMENT SHOTGUN: The Engineer's Shotgun is the same model that the Soldier, Pyro and Heavy carry, and is just as reliable. As a primary weapon, it certainly doesn't stand up against the others (but hey, you still out-gun the Spy!). Your Sentry Gun is really more of a primary weapon; it's the Shotgun's job to assist and defend the Sentry, and it'll be working overtime. When you're out in the open scavenging for metal, or if you have to defend yourself in the middle of a build, the Shotgun can get you out of a jam. The Engineer reloads it quickly, and the Shotgun has decent range and spread. Hopefully, if you have to resort to your Shotgun there will be teammates nearby to assist you. In fact, I recommend budding Engineers to always travel with their teammates; they can keep you safer than your Shotgun can, and buy you time to build stuff. PISTOL: The Engineer's Pistol is just as good as the Scout's Pistol, firing as fast as you can click, reloading fast, and with surprisng accuracy at longer range. The Engineer also packs a whopping 200 extra rounds for his Pistol. Maybe it's spillover from the Sentry Gun ammo. As an Engineer, you'll be building and maintaining Sentry Guns, Dispensers and Teleporters primarily, so choosing to use your Pistol over your Shotgun will likely boil down to personal preference and circumstance. Naturally, I find the Pistol more suited to targets who are further away from me. Just don't expect to out-snipe a Sniper. WRENCH: Aha! Now this is probably the most used melee weapon in the game, and not for any added lethality - as a weapon the Wrench is no more or less effective than any other. Engineers, however, use their Wrenches constantly to build, upgrade and repair their devices. If, say, an Engineer decides to build a Sentry Gun, he can hit it with the Wrench repeatedly to speed up the build process. In a similar fashion, Engineers bang on damaged or Sapped devices to restore their health and save them from being destroyed. But wait, that's not all! Engineers can upgrade their Sentry Guns if they have enough metal to do so. By hitting a completed Sentry with the Wrench, metal is deducted from your inventory towards the total amount required for the Sentry upgrade (200 metal). Even if you don't have enough metal for the full upgrade, you can start to upgrade the Sentry with the metal you have, then collect more and finish the job. Also remember that any Engineer can use his Wrench to repair and upgrade any other Engineer's Sentries, Dispensers and Teleporters. For my money, one Lvl. 2 Sentry at the start of a map does a better job repelling Scouts than two Lvl. 1 Sentries. Work together, and your base will be impregnable in half the time! Soooo.. it is not uncommon for an Engineer to be found hovering over his creations with his Wrench, in a constant state of repair/defense against enemy Spies - who you may often find disguise themselves as Engineers and act as though they are busy repairing the Sentries, when in fact they are sabotaging them. How to spot the Spy? A Spy that is disguised as an Engineer will not be holding a Wrench, but instead a Shotgun. If you see a Shotgun-toting Engineer suspiciously near some damaged Dispensers, sending over a Pyro would be a good idea :). CONSTRUCTION PDA: The Engineer's Personal Digital Assistant is where he builds all of his handy constructions. Here is a breakdown of what the Engineer can build, and how much metal it costs. Lvl. 1 Sentry Gun: 130 metal -Lvl. 2 Sentry Upgrade: 200 metal -Lvl. 3 Sentry Upgrade: 200 metal Dispenser: 100 metal Teleporter entrance: 130 metal Teleporter exit: 130 metal Engineers start with their full capacity of 200 metal, and so can build anything they want to right off the bat. After selecting what to build, the Engineer will take out his toolbox and an image of what you selected will appear in front of you, so you can pick out where to place your device; just click primary fire when you're ready, and don't forget to bang away with the Wrench to speed up the process. Sentry Guns are the backbone of any defense, and should be a build priority. Once you have set up a good base of operations for yourself and your teammates, you can move on to upgrading the Sentry. When placing a Sentry, you need not worry about aiming it in a certain direction; each version of the Sentry Gun rotates and auto- shoots any enemy in sight. However, you can right click while placing the Sentry to rotate the direction it will face by default, which can be useful in speeding up the auto-target process. Keep in mind that although the Sentry Gun becomes stronger and shoots faster with each upgrade, Sentries cannot see through a Spy's cloak or disguise, and will only fire on the Spy when he reveals himself, usually by stabbing or shooting someone. And that someone is often the Engineer :). It is very important to be wary of Spies, as an Engineer without his Sentry is a sitting duck with 125 health and an ordinary Shotgun. It is also worth noting that while the bullets fired by friendly Sentries will never hurt members of its team, the rockets fired by a Lvl. 3 Sentry can and will kill the Engineer who built it, should he be in the way (or sitting on top of it whilst repairing.) It is not unusual for enemy Spies to try to bait new Engineers into walking in front of their own Sentry; when the Spy allows the Sentry to see him, it will open fire... and blow up the hapless Engineer. Fortuntatly for you, dear reader, you know better. :P Depending on your team, the map, and the stage of the game, you can get all sorts of requests on what to build. I find that initially Dispensers are great. Teammates love free ammo and health refills, and Dispensers can help replenish your metal supply automatically, allowing you to quickly build more devices to help your team. In Sudden Death, Dispensers NEED to be your first priority, because in Sudden Death Dispensers are the only source of health for your teammates other than a Medic. Dispensers can be very helpful to your team if placed correctly, and one thing to keep an eye out for is how far your team is progressing/ pushing into enemy territory. As they advance, one of the best things you can do is build a Dispenser nearby, behind some cover. If your offensive classes see that they have a fall back point nearby, they'll be much more encouraged to sustain the attack. Teleporters are also a great thing for forward bases, and also for defense. You'll need to build both an entrance and an exit for the gizmo to activate, but when it does, it provides instant transportation with only a slight recharge delay between Teleporters. Heavys, Soldiers and Medics can then get where they need to be right away with a Teleporter, and good Teleporter placement can really prolong an attack, or bolster a defense. The key with Teleporters is communication: talk to your team. Let them know that you're building Teleporters, where the entrance is, and where it will take them. In fact, communication is good across the board with the Engineer. Rather than randomly placing Dispensers and Sentries, ask your team where they will help the most, and monitor their effectiveness. Entire teams can be stopped by the efforts of one wary Engineer. ;) DETONATOR: Engineers can only have one Sentry, Dispenser and Teleport exit and entrance built at one time. They can detonate their devices with their Detonator so they can build another one, as needed as their team advances, but the Engineer will have to start over with a Lvl. 1 Sentry Gun. Engineers can salvage the metal from their destroyed buildings, making it a little easier to relocate and rebuild quickly. ######################################################################## THE MEDIC Health: 150 | 225 with Medigun buff Weapon: Syringe Gun Clip Capacity: 40 syringes Reserve Ammo: 150 syringes Equipment: Medigun Melee Weapon: Bone Saw WHY THE MEDIC IS THE BEST CLASS TO PLAY: Medics enable victory. Period. If you want to be the reason your team succeeds, the reason the Heavy stays alive long enough to hold back an attack or capture the game-winning flag - play a Medic. Medics in the right place make their team unkillable, make defenses unbreakable, and make any control point or Intelligence Briefcase takeable. Teams need Medics like Enginners need metal, or Heavys need bullets. There's just no way around it. Good Medics aren't just portable Dispensers. Medics who bust their ass every time they hear their teammates cry out not only heal them, but buff their teammates' health up to 150 percent! What more, Medics are the only class capable of rendering a teammate invincible. More often than not, an UberCharge on the right class at the right time is the only way to win a control point, a map, or both. No class is more appreciated when around, or missed when absent, than the Medic. When teams reach a stalemate, when it comes down to the wire, you won't hear "Where's the Pyro?" or "Can we get a Spy up here?" When your team needs victory, your team needs a Medic. Every team should have one. WEAPONS AND EQUIPMENT SYRINGE GUN: Playing as a Medic, you'll more often than not be called on to use your Medigun to keep your teammates in top shape. However, this being a frantic team shooter, you will be called on to defend yourself now and then. Fortunately for you, the Syringe Gun is an excellent weapon to use in these sorts of situations. The Syringe Gun shoots hypodermic needles at full auto. At 40 needles per clip, and good stopping power, Medics can hold their own when they have to - just remember that Medics really shouldn't have to. When shooting the Syringe Gun, you'll notice that the Syringes arc downward as they shoot (damn gravity) and as such you'll need to compensate when you're aiming it at range. The best idea for needling down your opponents is to get as close as you safely can to your opponent; the goal is to land lots of needles on your opponent as fast as you can, because as a Medic you're generally outgunned and weaker. Fortunately, as a Medic (particularly a Medic who has read this guide) you'll be tagging along with bigger, stronger classes with bigger, stronger guns. In the case where you'll have to use your Syringe Gun, you should have a buddy nearby to help you. No matter who you're with, keep moving and don't stop shooting till they keel over. MEDIGUN: Now this is the great part about playing a Medic - who'd have ever thought that keeping teammates healthy would be easy and fun? The Medigun in operation is kinda like the Proton Pack from Ghostbusters (my favorite movie, if you haven't seen it stop reading and go rent it... I'll wait for you.) It shoots a rubbery beam of healing energy at whatever teammate you've targeted, recharging their health, and boosting it by up to 150 percent of its normal total - but only for as long as you keep your Medigun trained on them. Note: the Medic cannot heal himself with his own Medigun - he needs another Medic to heal him, or else find a Dispenser or medkit. The most important thing about the Medigun, however, is the UberCharge I've been mentioning throughout the guide. Your UberCharge gauge starts empty, and as you heal your teammates, that gauge will start to fill. Even if a teammate is already at full health, using your Medigun on him will still fill your UberCharge gauge; however, (and this is important) healing wounded teammates fills the gauge faster. You want to fill the gauge quickly. Keep your ears pricked, and as soon as you hear "Medic!" help your teammate, and you'll also help yourself. Savvy Soldiers and Demomen often wound themselves with rocket and Sticky Bomb jumps, with the express purpose of helping a Medic charge up quickly. When the gauge is full, training your Medigun beam on a teammate and hitting secondary fire activates the UberCharge, making you and your selected teammate invicible for precious few seconds - seconds that win maps time and time again. You'll know that your UberCharge is working when you see your teammate take on a red or blue glow, depending on what team you are on. Your UberCharge will ONLY LAST if you keep your beam trained on your buddy... if you break the stream, you lose the invincibility. Which brings us to our final Medigun question: who to hit with an UberCharge? I'm not really concerned about what class you pick. Depending on what obstacle you're looking to overcome, a Heavy, Soldier, Pyro or even a talented Demoman can work. I just don't want you to waste it. You don't need to fire off the UberCharge as soon as the gauge fills, and you shouldn't just use it to save your own hide. Evaluate your team's situation and communicate with your team to set up a group attack built around the UberCharge. And don't "lock in" on one class. True, the Medic+Heavy and Medic+Soldier pairings are popular, but don't glue yourself to a Heavy at the expense of the rest of your team - spread the healing love around. And remember, I said that the Medigun beam was rubbery and flexible, so the Medic can hide behind a wall or other cover safely while the recipient of his healing beam does the dirty work. Stay alive out there! Your team is counting on it. BONE SAW: When the Syringe Gun runs out and that Pyro or Scout that ambushed you is hot on your heels, this cool-looking weapon will be what keeps you alive. In fact, the more comfortable you become with close-quarters combat, you might just stop firing your Syringe Gun early, as most opponents aren't going to expect a Medic to perform a bayonet charge of sorts. This thing'll carve your enemies up as well as any other melee weapon, but again, you hopefully won't have to resort to it. ######################################################################## THE SNIPER Health: 125 | 185 with Medigun buff Weapons: Sniper's Rifle Single Shot, Bolt-Action Reserve Ammo: 25 rounds Machine Pistol Magazine Capacity: 25 rounds Reserve Ammo: 75 rounds Melee Weapon: Machete WHY THE SNIPER IS THE BEST CLASS TO PLAY: The only class capable of a sustained, deadly long range attack. We all know what Snipers do, and in TF2 the Sniper is no different - but he is truly alone: no other class can strike from a distance with precision or lethality like the Sniper can. A lucky direct shot with a grenade or rocket will blow you up, sure, but rockets are slow and even grenades can be easy to dodge. A Heavy's Minigun is a terrible thing at close range, but over distance becomes more of a crapshoot. The Sniper's Rifle, however, is constantly, reliably lethal at any range - in the right hands, and in the right spot, a Sniper's Rifle is the deadliest weapon in the game, hands down. The Sniper's Rifle is the only weapon that offers an aim zoom, and also "charges" the Sniper's shot - vastly increasing its strength, making the Sniper not only wildly efficient at cutting down enemy troops, but just as deadly at removing Engineer constructions - all in one shot. Every team should have one. WEAPONS SNIPER'S RIFLE: The hallmark of the Sniper class, without which he'd just be a guy in a funny hat. The Sniper's Rifle in TF2, in my opinion, is one of the best Sniper Rifles of any shooter I've played, and with practice, can be extremely deadly. Often, when players try out the Sniper class, there is an adjustment period, where the players get used to aiming with the zoomed-in sights (secondary fire brings up the scope) and targeting the most vital areas. I find that adjusting to the frantic, zig- zagging pace of the game is the biggest thing for any budding Sniper to get used to before he or she gets comfortable playing the class. Like so many other games, you want to aim for the head for the insta-kill in TF2. As you practice with the Sniper (I like to think of Sniping as a practice, like law or medicine) observe these two things. Firstly, when you are zoomed-in, and ONLY then, your Rifle will "charge," increasing the lethality of your next shot. It takes a second or two to fully charge, but it's worth waiting for. The only way you're going to down a beefy Heavy in one is with a fully-charged shot to the head. Even missing a headshot and hitting the guy's chest instead could end up in a kill if the shot is charged. Secondly, when you zoom in, and as your charge builds, a little laser dot will appear at the center of your scope, helping you aim. What you need to be aware of, is that your enemies can see the little laser dot too. I promise you, you might bag a few beginners, but competant players won't leave cover if they see a little red or blue dot dancing around on the wall. The good news is you can hide this - veteran Snipers will aim so that the laser dot is on the outer edge of a wall, or nearby obstacle where your enemy can't and won't see the laser as it travels up their body and settles on their forehead. Other than those tips, the best thing you can do with the Sniper's Rifle is find a good position to shoot it from. Nobody can really contest with the Sniper at long range, so you should stay at long range, and find positions that threaten a wide area - just don't overload yourself; the more areas you try to cover, the more chances an enemy Sniper has to get the jump on you. When I pick up the Sniper's Rifle, I like to let the enemy do the work for me. As a Sniper you can count on your targets moving laterally to try to avoid you; but rather than chase them around, keep your sights at their head level, and squeeze the trigger as their movement carries them across your laser dot. In other words, you can try to put the laser dot on their head, or you can just wait for them bring their head to your laser dot, and then its BOOM HEADSHOT time. :p MACHINE PISTOL: This is hands-down my favorite ever Sniper class sidearm of all of the shooters I've ever played. You just don't usually think 'automatic weapon' when you think of a Sniper, but that's what the Machine Pistol is, and I think you'll like it as much as I do. As a Sniper, you'll always be the victim of opponents who manage to sneak into your base, especially Spies. But if you're wary (and I do encourage you to step back from your scope and check out your perch every now and then) you can mow down a potential backstabber without breaking a sweat. This gun shoots fast, shoots straight, and carries just enough rounds per magazine to take down your ambusher. I recommend that the Sniper use this weapon as he advances with his team, or changes positions; I think it gives the Sniper a better survival rate on the move, and when your team needs you to move to shoot a Heavy or enemy Sniper, survival is important. MACHETE: I won't lie to you Snipers, you're going to be getting backstabbed a lot, because it's so easy to sneak up behind you when you're looking down your Rifle's scope. That said, turning the tables on the Spy who thought he had the jump on you, and hacking him apart either straight away or after riddling him with your Machine Pistol, feels *wonderful*. Boast loudly whenever this happens. ######################################################################## THE SPY Health: 125 | 185 with Medigun buff Weapons: Revolver Ammunition: 6 rounds Reserve Ammo: 24 rounds Electro Sapper Melee Weapon: Butterfly Knife Equipment: Invisibility Cloak Cigarette Case WHY THE SPY IS THE BEST CLASS TO PLAY: I've repeated this phrase a lot over the course of this FAQ, so bear with me, but there is really, absolutely, no class like the Spy. Not just in TF2, but in any shooter I've played. The Spy is all espionage. If you want to be a master of subterfuge, the Spy is your guy. Big guns and flashy explosives are for Rambo. The Spy is James Bond. Under disguise or his trusty Invisibility Cloak, a Spy can go anywhere, safe even from enemy Sentry Guns. And speaking of Sentries, the Spy is the only class capable of directly disabling them using his Electro Sapper - making him an invaluable, if unseen, asset to any attack. As a Spy, you aren't playing to outgun your opponent, you're playing to outsmart them. Using the right disguise in the right place, a Spy can accomplish any number of dirty deeds for his team, and what team wouldn't appreciate that? Only one guy can disguise himself as a Soldier to get into an enemy base, switch disguise to a Heavy to trick the enemy Medics into healing him, sneak under an Invisibility Cloak to the Intelligence room, sabotage all of the Engineer's defenses and shoot his way back out to safety: the Spy. Every team should have one. WEAPONS AND EQUIPMENT REVOLVER: As the Spy, feel special: you are the least powerful class in the game, when it comes to raw firepower. The Medic has more health and firepower than you. What that means is that although the Revolver is a potent weapon, its limited ammunition and semi-auto operation forces the Spy to use his other tools to get in and out of hostile territory, rather than force. That said, don't be so absorbed as a Spy with Sapping, backstabbing and staying hidden that you don't use your Revolver when you need to. The Revolver is a strong weapon - the slugs it fires are much stronger than those that the Scout's and Engineer's Pistol fires. You just need to be careful with your aim - make every shot count. The limited ammo is the reason I list the Revolver as weaker than the Medic's Syringe gun. Shot for shot, the Revolver's stopping power is better. When your cover gets blown as you're trying sneak up on a Sniper, or a Pyro catches you moving toward his teammates' Sentries, drawing your Revolver can save the situation. Better to uncloak, displose of a threat, and recloak then stay invisible and burn to death. ELECTRO SAPPER: This tool is really something special, and something that makes Engineers cringe. The Electro Sapper disables Sentry Guns, Dispensers and Teleporters instantly. You'll know when you've successfully Sapped a Sentry Gun or Dispenser when you see electricity fritzing all around it. Left like this, the Sapped construct will eventually be destroyed - and it can only be saved by an Engineer's Wrench. What really makes the Sapper groovy is that it doesn't break a Spy's disguise. As I'll talk about later, using your other weapons will cause a Spy to lose whatever disguise he is wearing, but Sapping buildings won't cause the Spy to lose cover. It is no great deduction, therefore, that a good Spy needs to be using his Sapper as much as he safely can - and by 'safely' I mean to the extent that he doesn't get caught at it. Sapping a Sentry is as easy as walking right up next to it and clicking fire, but you can't be obvious about it, and you'll need to be coordinating your disguises and actions in a way that allows you to stay alive, so you can keep the enemy's defenses out of commission for good. A control point without working Sentries is like a Heavy without his Minigun: easy to attack. Sabotaging these defenses is one of the biggest roles a Spy can play for his team. Sap safely, and Sap often. BUTTERFLY KNIFE: A Spy's Butterfly Knife gets quite a lot of use, given the ease with which Spies can maneuver behind enemy targets using disguises and his Invisibility Cloak. And the Knife is the only melee weapon that kills instantly when behind an enemy. Keep in mind that stabbing someone with the Knife while in a disguise, just like shooting someone while in a disguise, causes the Spy to lose his disguise. Which means that if you stab an Engineer around a bunch of Sentry Guns, the second you get the kill the Sentries will see you as an enemy Spy and shoot your face off. Stab safely. For example, if you sneak up on a rooftop and find a Medic, Heavy and Sniper in front of you, work from back to front so that none of them see you, and then redisguise or cloak and get away. I see a lot of beginner Spies try to sneak up on someone, botch their cover, and try to stab their way out of the situation. I don't recommend this course of action, but maybe you are better suited to melee combat than I. I reach for my Revolver when things get dicey, and I'm going to suggest you do the same thing, at least until you get in some practice with the Knife. INVISIBILITY CLOAK: Everytime I use this, I feel awesome... its just so cool, watching the Spy activate his wristwatch, and suddenly be invisible, walking by hapless enemies and Sentries without drawing as much as a second glance. You don't actually have to select this tool from your inventory like you would select a weapon. No matter what the Spy is holding, tapping secondary fire (tap, do not hold the button down) will render the Spy completely invisible, giving him an easy way into or out of an enemy area. Tap the button again to reappear. Sadly, you can't stay invisible forever. A small bar at the bottom of your screen will show you how much time is left on your Invisibility Cloak, and when it's empty, the Spy will become visible. The idea then, is not to waste your Cloak, but only use it when you have to. It is much better to have some juice left in your Invisibility Cloak after a few key backstabs or Saps, to buy you time to get away or take on a new disguise. Don't worry, the Invisibility Cloak's gauge will slowly replenish itself, but not as fast as the rate which you'll burn through it. There are a few things to consider; you can't attack anyone or Sap anything while you're Cloaked. You CAN, however, prepare yourself for whatever action you need to do - readying your Butterfly Knife or Sapper, or donning a new disguise so that when you reappear you can quickly execute whatever plan you've cooked up. Also, you need to be aware of your surroundings when you cloak and uncloak. You have to be crafty when playing a Spy, and nothing will gives you away quite like an enemy seeing a supposedly friendly Scout or Heavy suddenly appear out of thin air, or disappear before their eyes. This is a good way to get Pyros to light you on fire, and when you're burning, invisibility won't hide the flames dancing around you. Cloak and uncloak when it is safe to do so, and as a general rule, never deplete your Cloak gauge.. you never know when you might need to make a quick getaway, or change a disguise on the fly, and your Invisibility Cloak can provide you with the time you need to do so. CIGARETTE CASE: The Cigarette Case is what the Spy uses to don different disguises; accessing it pulls up a menu that allows the Spy to choose which enemy class he would like to disguise himself as, and after a quick puff of smoke, he will. You'll know when the disguise has taken effect when you see a silhouette of the Spy appear on screen. Similarly, you'll see the same graphic when you lose your disguise. The right disguise and the right actions determine how successful a Spy will be. As a Spy you have to think about a few things. First, it doesn't help you to pick the same disguise and run the same route into the enemy base again and again - the other team is going to catch on to you. Secondly, when you pick your disguise, you're going to have to put a little salesmanship into it. A Spy who picks a random disguise, sneaks up to an enemy, backstabs him and then gets killed isn't nearly as effective as a Spy who keeps changing disguises, Sapping sentries, and killing when the opportunity presents itself. The only way you'll get that kind of success with a Spy is if you act as the class you disguise as. Snipers belong in Sniper nests, or at a distance from the main conflict. Engineers belong near Sentries and Dispensers, and Heavies should be up close to the action. Running around conspicuously, trying to get behind random enemies is just going to get a Spy shot. I am no master Spy...(Spying is also a practice like medicine or law :p) but I know some things that can help you. You really shouldn't be seen entering an enemy base... it looks suspicious, even when disguised. Cloaking can help you here, or at least running backwards, which looks more like a retreat. Also, when disguised, don't run with a group of your own teammates. How does it look to a BLU Sniper to see a bunch of REDs chasing a BLU Soldier, but not shooting at him? It looks like a Spy. Shooting or stabbing an enemy while disguised makes you lose your disguise, which means you'll need to have your Invisibility Cloak ready if there are other enemies or Sentries nearby. A Spy ALWAYS has to be aware of where Sentries are located, because as soon as he loses his disguise or invisibility, Sentries will shoot at him. Just because you didn't see the Sentry when you were sneaking by disguised doesn't mean it won't fill you full of holes when you start killing. Sapping, however, does NOT break your disguise. Above all else, try to have fun with the class (If you really think you're hot shit, try to get an enemy Medic to UberCharge you.) There's a lot to take in when playing a Spy, but nothing that you can't handle while still having fun. ######################################################################## That's it! I covered all the classes, all so you could get out there and play like a pro for the RED and BLU. I hope this FAQ has helped you in some way, whether it was a better understanding of how the classes work, or the intricacies of a certain weapon, or just to fill a lunch break reading about a game that interests you. And if you see me out in the servers, feel free to add me to your friends list. The Valve community and GameFAQs community have always been the best in my book. ~Lappy ######################################################################## W E A P O N U P G R A D E S ######################################################################## ABOUT THIS SECTION In this section, I'll be writing about the new weapons Valve has released for each class. When writing about the new weapons, I'll be discussing the weapons they replace, what attributes the new weapons have, and the tradeoffs a player would have to consider when deciding between two weapons of the same type. In the spirit of fairness, I'll be discussing each class' weapon upgrade in the order they are unlocked. Now, in my opinion, play with what makes you happy, and with what helps your team advance. Yes, some of these weapons require a bit of work to get, but just because you've earned one weapon doesn't mean its necessarily the right one for the job your team is working on. Remember! You aren't "locked in" on the weapons you select for each class for the whole round - you can change them as often as you like! Take advantage of this, lest your enemies take advantage of you. :) A Pyro running around in melee-only Sudden Death with the Axtinguisher sounds like fun, and shows off all that hard work earning Achievements, but is it the best idea? Read on, and find out! ######################################################################## PYRO WEAPON UPGRADES Weapons: Flare Gun Single shot Reserve Ammo: 16 flares How it's earned: Achieve the first Pyro Milestone BackBurner Can be fired for 200 seconds, fully loaded How it's earned: Achieve the second Pyro Milestone Melee Weapon: Axtinguisher How it's earned: Achieve the third Pyro Milestone FLARE GUN The first weapon a Pyro can earn is the Flare Gun, which becomes a substitute for his trusty Shotgun. One of the nice things about the Flare Gun is it gives the Pyro more options at longer ranges - ranges which had previously been restricted to the errant spread of a Shotgun blast. The Flare Gun is exactly that - a gun that shoots flares, one at a time, and will ignite people upon contact the same way that the Flamethrower does. When shooting the Flare Gun, be sure to compensate for gravity, as the flares start to trail off the further they fly. What's the tradeoff? The Flare Gun is a whole different animal compared to the Pyro's Shotgun, and several factors will apply when deciding which to take into battle. The Flare Gun is great for forcing Snipers off their perch, and Soldiers and Demomen from launching explosives from afar. That said, 6 Shotgun rounds fired one after the other finish off a fleeing, burning opponent a bit more efficiently, and afford the Pyro more room for error with his aim; this is not so with the single-shot, slow-reloading action of the Flare Gun, which also cannot be fired underwater. Then again, nothing is as frusterating as a Pyro with both a Flare Gun and careful aim. Assess your team's situation, consider the map you're playing on, and choose your sidearm accordingly. BACKBURNER If you're the kind of Pyro who likes to sneak up behind players to light them on fire (and if you're following my guide, you should be) the BackBurner is sure to delight. The Backburner functions just as the Pyro's normal Flamethrower does when fired at an enemy's front. From behind, the Backburner fires *100 percent* critical hits. That's not a typo. What's the tradeoff? The tradeoff is that the Backburner cannot fire the compressed air burst that the Flamethrower can fire. Really, this comes down to which Pyro strategy you are more practiced with - sneaking up behind enemies, or reflecting projectile attacks; and in some ways, these strategies also depend on the classes the opposing team is using. My advice is not to be so enamored by the (admittedly lethal) critical hits that you forget about the air blast. Ambushing is made easy with a speedy Pyro and a BackBurner, but when your base is seiged by UberCharged Soldiers and Demomen, a couple of Pyro master-blasters can ruin their entire attack. Pyros have a very versitale selection of weapons to light people on fire with, so picking the right one for you shouldn't be too hard. AXTINGUISHER The final weapon a Pyro can earn is the Axtinguisher, a cool-looking axe with a cool function. True to its name, the Axtinguisher is most effective when used on opponents who are on fire, scoring a critical hit every time until the bad guy drops, which shouldn't be long with this baby. What's the tradeoff? The Axtinguisher is only half as effective when the opponent is *not* on fire, and is instead, say, beating you around the head with their own melee weapon. The Fire Axe is the better choice if you prefer to hatchet enemies outright, and is always the best choice in melee-only sudden deaths, where your enemies will never be on fire. Obviously, I encourage all of the Pyros reading my FAQ to use their primary and secondary weapons to melt down their enemies. When deciding which axe to use, ask yourself if you're the kind of person who would switch to an axe to finish off an opponent instead of just burning them to death, and if all else fails, let practice decide whether the Fire Axe or Axtinguisher is the best tool for you. ######################################################################## HEAVY WEAPON UPGRADES Equipment: Sandvich How it's earned: Achieve the first Heavy Milestone Weapon: Natascha Ammunition: 200 rounds How it's earned: Achieve the second Heavy Milestone Melee Weapon: The Killing Gloves of Boxing (KGB) How it's earned: Achieve the third Heavy Milestone SANDVICH The first upgrade a Heavy can earn is the Sandvich, and any Heavy will instantly appreciate its usefulness. Reaching into his bottomless lunchbox, the Heavy produces a tasty-looking Sandvich, and when used it will restore 120 health on the spot, over the course of four delicious seconds. With an endless supply of Sandviches in tow, Heavies that have been separated from their Medics need not worry about retreating to a medkit or Dispenser when low on health; and this can mean all the difference when sustaining an offensive push, or defensive stand. What's the tradeoff? A Sandvich-packing Heavy loses his Shotgun. As I earlier wrote, a Heavy caught offguard loses time (and health) spinning up his Minigun. A Heavy caught mid-snack is immobile for the duration of his noisy, crowd-drawing chewing, which can be up to four seconds. If ambushed while eating, the Heavy has no Shotgun to instantly return fire, and instead must either spend even more precious time spinning up his Minigun, or try to use his solid-but-slow fists. And chances are, if you're ambushed eating a Sandvich, you aren't at top health to begin with. There are many situations where Sandviches are a boon, but also situations where your Shotgun will serve you better. Keep these factors in mind when packing your lunch. ;) NATASCHA Natascha is the second lady in the Heavy's life, and the second unlock he achieves. Very similar in operation to its bigger sister, Sasha (the Minigun), Natascha carries the same amount of ammunition and has the same barrel spin up/down time when firing. Natascha, however, fires special rounds that slow down enemies upon contact, making fleeing Scouts and cowardly Medics and Spies a thing of the past! what's the tradeoff? Natascha doesn't quite pack the oomph of its bigger sister, dealing 25% less damage than the Minigun, effectively taking a bit longer to finish off enemies but affording the Heavy time to do so by slowing them down. As a Heavy, you will need to get some experience with each weapon to decide which lady, Sasha or Natascha, is the best gal for the job. As always, the map you are playing on, as well as the classes the enemy team has chosen will likely influence your pick. Don't worry, each gun is capable of firing critical hits, and each is murder when paired with a Kritzkrieg UberCharge. :) THE KILLING GLOVES OF BOXING The KGB, (no, not the Soviet Union's CIA) is the last unlock a Heavy can achieve. These massive boxing gloves not only take up the entire bottom half of the screen, but reward the Heavy for each knockout he scores - each kill with the KGB grants the Heavy 5 seconds of guaranteed critical hits, for all of his weapons! What's the tradeoff? The KGB, likely due to their massive size, swing more slowly than the Heavy's good, old-fashioned fists. The critical hit bonus is a plus, but requires you to actually punch someone to death first - and a pugilist, the Heavy is often not. That said, don't let me discourage you from punching the daylights out of the enemy team if you're comfortable doing so with the Heavy. If you do use the KGB, just remember that your main method of racking up kills is your Minigun and Shotgun. Critical hits are great, but earning those five seconds of pain doesn't really help you if you kill yourself doing it. ######################################################################## MEDIC WEAPON UPGRADES Weapon: Blutsauger Clip capacity: 40 syringes Reserve Ammo: 150 syringes How it's earned: Achieve the first Medic Milestone Equipment: Kritzkrieg How it's earned: Achieve the second Medic Milestone Melee Weapon: Ubersaw How it's earned: Achieve the third Medic Milestone BLUTSAUGER When you read 'Blutsauger', think 'Blood-sucker' and it'll make a lot more sense. The Blutsauger is a jazzed-up Syringe Gun with one key modification: every syringe that lands on target not only damages the Medic's enemy but heals the Medic firing it. What's the tradeoff? The Blutsauger, for all of its restorative properties, cannot score critical hits, though it retains the Syringe Gun's ridiculously fast firing speed. Some Medics prefer the ability to regenerate health as they return fire out in the open - and when you're preparing an UberCharge for your team, survivability is very important. :) Then again, a Medic may trust his aim enough with the Syringe Gun that he benefits more from the added firepower, and this choice may make more sense if you have some particularly competent teammates around you, helping to keep you safe. I stand by my earlier statement that a Medic really shouldn't have to rely on his own (meager) offensive power to push through enemies. Pick the Gun that will keep you alive so you can keep your teammates alive. KRITZKRIEG The Kritzkrieg, once unlocked, will likely become a one of the more pondered-over weapon choices for career Medics. Why? Well, for starters, as the Kritzkrieg heals teammates it fills the Medic's UberCharge gauge 25 percent faster than the usual Medigun. What's more, when an UberCharge is deployed with the Kritzkrieg, the Medic's target will fire *100 percent* critical hits for ten seconds. What's the tradeoff? The Kritzkrieg, unlike the Medigun, does not render invulnerability in addition to the guaranteed critical hits during the UberCharge. So, the million-dollar question is: which is more valuable? My answer is: ask your teammates. Evaluate your team's position; are you attacking or defending? How many other Medics are on your team? What kind of obstacles is your team facing, and most importantly, what would help you get past the obstacle - invicibility or raw firepower? Nothing stops a Scout rush like a Heavy on a crit rampage, but a Demoman firing critical Sticky Bombs and Grenades doesn't do any extra damage to Sentry Guns and Dispensers. Talk to your teammates and especially your fellow Medics to see which Medigun would help them more. If you can work out a joint UberCharge with both a Medigun and Kritzkrieg on a single (drooling) teammate, there's little the three of you can't accomplish. ;) UBERSAW The Ubersaw, as you can likely guess, is a modified Bone Saw that a Medic can choose to use. The Ubersaw, as its name suggests, shares a relationship with the Medic's UberCharge gauge; in fact, every successful hit that the Medic lands with the UberSaw fills the UberCharge gauge by 25 percent! With some deft saw-manship (?) and help from your teammates (with larger guns), you can fill your Uber gauge in seconds. what't the tradeoff? The Ubersaw is a little bit heavier, it seems, for our Medic to swing, and as such he can wield his old Bone Saw at a noticably faster rate. Both saws are equal in terms of their lethality. As I've said before, a Medic really shouldn't have to rely on his (feeble) offensive power. The longer you play, the more comfortable you get with using melee weapons, like the Medic's saws, and you'll be able to decide which saw is the best for you. The Ubersaw is flashy, and everyone loves a full UberCharge gauge, but if a Bone Saw will keep you alive to actually *use* the UberCharge, I'd stick with it. Medics are much more valuable alive. :) ######################################################################## E V E R Y T H I N G T H A T W O U L D N 'T F I T A B O V E ######################################################################## ABOUT THIS SECTION This section is where I've filed away articles I thought about including in the main body of the FAQ, but just couldn't find the space for. These articles generally relate to all classes, and also the weapons and equipment in the game, and I've included them for your reading pleasure. Hopefully they will shed light on any questions I may have created during your reading of my guide. :) ######################################################################## AMMUNITION: SMOKE 'EM IF YOU GOT 'EM Ah, Ammunition! The thing that keeps all those weapons I described firing and all that equipment running. TF2 is a very fast-paced shooter, and with that in mind I'd like to give you the following brief advice regarding ammunition: Shoot at everything. Well, that's not entirely true... don't waste your ammo or set unrealistic goals here (I'm looking at you, Pyro vs. Lvl3 Sentry), but come on! Ammunition is EVERYWHERE in this game! Between the ammo boxes, Engineer Dispensers and Resupply rooms near your team's respawn area, the game is practically begging you to keep shooting. And remember, no matter what type of enemy you kill, running over their fallen weapon will replenish your own ammunition, including Metal if you're an Engineer. How a Pyro's Flamethrower gasoline translates into Minigun bullets, I don't know. Just keep yourself fully loaded, and when in doubt: shoot, shoot, shoot. :) ######################################################################## INTEL ON THE INTELLIGENCE Technically, the Intelligence Briefcase could be considered a piece of equipment that any class can carry; if you're just starting to play this game and came to my FAQ, I might have confused you with my references to the Intel, and so I'll talk about it here. The Intelligence is the 'flag' on capture-the-flag maps, like 2fort. Your team's job on maps like this is try to take the enemy Intel from their base and bring it back to yours, while stopping the enemy from doing the same. Players who are carrying the Intelligence wear it on their back, with trail of paper falling behind them, making them a bit easier to find. The Intel looks like a briefcase, and will be red or blue, depending on which team it belongs to. Any class can pick up the enemy Intelligence, but no class can pick up their own team's Intelligence. A Spy can pick up enemy Intelligence if he is in disguise or under an Invisibility Cloak, but doing so causes him to lose the invisibility or disguise. Trying to recloak or redisguise will cause the Spy to drop the enemy Intelligence, as will simply getting killed. Now, this is important. Dropped Intelligence will stay on the ground where it is dropped for 60 seconds. After those 60 seconds, the Intelligence will return to its usual spot in the base. However, if any player picks up the dropped Intel, the timer will reset if he or she drops it again. So, when the Intel hits the ground, you can expect a good defending team to pull out all the stops for 60 seconds: Sticky Bomb traps, Sentry Guns, Heavies spraying wildly, Pyros on Spy alert, etc. And, you can expect a determined offense to send its best Intel runners, Scouts and Spies, in a coordinated effort to 'leapfrog' the Intel to their base for the score. I say leapfrog because it is rare for the Intel to travel straight from one base to the other without being dropped, unless the attackers really work together or the defense is weak (or maybe a bit of both.) In any case, speedy Scouts and invisible Spies gladly risk death just to touch the Intel, slowly moving it towards their base while constantly resetting the Intel timer. Of course, your mileage may vary when it comes to how your team chooses to attack and defend the Intel, but now you're a bit more informed on what to expect. :) ######################################################################## HOW TO KILL A (blank)? In this section, I'd like to very (very) briefly go over each class' weaknesses. This, like the rest of my FAQ, is a work of my opinion, and so you may disagree with me, but I think that there are general, observable weaknesses for every class that any team can work to exploit. HOW TO KILL A SCOUT: Scouts are annoying because they're so fast, and are likely going to try to double-jump and circle the slower classes while firing away with that blasted Scattergun - but they aren't fast enough to outrun a Sentry Gun, or a Heavy with good aim. Remember, these guys have the lowest amount of health a class can get, and rarely get teamed with Medics because Medics can't keep up with their speed. It doesn't take much firepower to put them down, nor does it take much fire from a Pyro to melt one. HOW TO KILL A SOLDIER: Soldiers are tough, but slower than most other classes, save the Heavy. True, they have a lot of health, but the Rockets they fire are very slow, and easy to sidestep the further away you are. Bait a Soldier into firing his first four rockets at you and he'll be stuck firing slow, single shots as you close in firing. Even if he switches to his Shotgun, a good Soldier, Pyro or Scout will likely beat him to the kill. HOW TO KILL A PYRO: There is nothing more frustrating than to suddenly be lit on fire. Pyros know this, and will do everything they can to keep the heat on, and keep your back to a wall or a corner; this is what you can't let happen. Get away from the flame. It's as simple as that. As soon as you see a Pyro, retreat and open fire. The only thing a Pyro can do at long range is switch to his Shotgun, and at long range, most any class will be able to take the hothead down. HOW TO KILL A DEMOMAN: Most Demomen are going to try and bait you into chasing them, lure you into a Sticky Bomb trap, and then finish you off with the Grenade Launcher. But their biggest problem is that without their bomb trap, they aren't as tough. So don't take the bait. If you don't follow them, they'll either stay behind and be ineffective, or they'll have to advance beyond the safety of their Sticky Bombs. An exposed Demoman is only as strong as his first four grenades. Soldier vs. Demoman - each has four explosive rounds to start, but the Soldier has more health, and a Shotgun. HOW TO KILL A HEAVY: True, most Heavies have a Medic glued to them at all times (the most I've seen is 3 Medics on one Heavy) but that still doesn't take away the Heavy's two biggest detractors: his speed and size. Heavies are huge and slow. A bigger target for rockets, grenades and Sniper bullets you will not find, and is hard to miss. Also, the Heavy's broad back is a huge bullseye for speedy Scouts and Spies to backstab, and Sentry Guns don't have the firing delay that the Minigun has. HOW TO KILL AN ENGINEER: Engineers are like den mothers, rarely leaving the safety of their Sentry Guns and Dispensers, because they don't have much firepower of their own. Short of a relentless hail of grenades or rockets on their buildings, a Spy is the best bet. A good Spy can spread the Engineer thin by Sapping all of his stuff, and then backstabbing him when he tries to repair. Ideally, this will frustrate the Engineer into trying to relocate, putting him on the move and out into the open where anyone else nearby on your team can take him down. HOW TO KILL A MEDIC: A Medic is really only as strong as the buddy he's following around healing, and only then if his buddy is competent enough to watch out for him. The idea is to IGNORE whoever the Medic is healing, and concentrate on killing the doctor. Hit a Medic hard and fast. Don't try anything fancy, because the last thing you want is to get him to 1/4 of his health and have him pop an UberCharge. Putting pressure on a Medic is important, because it forces him to put away his Medigun and give up the health buff on whoever he is healing. HOW TO KILL A SNIPER: Snipers are creatures of habit. As a Spy, you can observe where your enemy Snipers like to sit and not only stab them, but communicate their usual spots to your team, opening up kill possibilities for Soldier rockets, Demoman grenades and even agile Scouts. However, an ineffective Sniper is as good as a dead Sniper. A good way to render a Sniper useless is to watch for his little laser dot. With team communication, easy targets like burly Heavies and Demomen can stay out of harm's way, and speedy classes like Scouts can try to just outrun the Sniper's aim. HOW TO KILL A SPY: Spies are flimsy, and they know it - which is why they try so hard to stay in disguise, even when under fire. Communication is the best weapon against a Spy. If anyone sees suspicious activity, especially Sapped Sentries or Dispensers, announce it. Spy-check frequently; that is, shoot teammates who look like they're doing something they shouldn't be doing. You won't hurt allies (there's no Friendly Fire in TF2, to the chagrin of some), but will damage imposters. Pyros are great for finding Spies, because their Flamethrower gives away a Spy under his Invisibility Cloak. ######################################################################## MASTER OF DISGUISES: A SPY's REPERTOIRE Here I would like to briefly go over each of the Spy's disguises, for clarity's sake. I considered putting this in the Spy class section, but decided that it was already long, and that this info is applicable to other classes in the detection of Spies. Hokay. Basically, when a Spy dons a class disguise, he looks like that class, but doesn't take on every aspect of that class. Most importantly, when disguised he can only look as though he is holding the primary weapon (or default slot 1 weapon) of that class. NOTE! This means that when disguised as an Engineer, he is holding a Shotgun, not the Wrench. And when disguised as a Medic, he is holding the Syringe Gun, and not the Medigun. You need to be aware of this. Spies can still be very effective disguised as either of these classes, but need to act accordingly to pull it off. At all times when disguised, a Spy can be healed by enemy Medics or Dispensers, and be the target of UberCharges. And it seems that the Spy slows himself down when disguised as slower enemies, such as a Heavy, but cannot make himself move as quickly as a Scout. A disguised Spy's player name changes to that of a player on the team of the disguised class, or a random name if there is no player on the enemy team playing the class that the Spy is disguised as. Example: 'Lappy' was on the RED team in 2Fort, and came across a RED Pyro with the name 'Lappy'. 'Wow!' thought Lappy, 'someone has the same name as me, how strange.' Seconds later Lappy learned that a BLU Spy was assigned his name randomly, and had been following Lappy to stab him. The Spy was successful. If this happens, laugh at yourself (and the hilarity of the game in general.) ALWAYS check player names of the people around you. You aren't always lucky enough to have the enemy Spy get assigned your name (which makes it easier to spot once you know) but communicating that name to your team will help with overall Spy detection. DISGUISES: Scout: Carries the Scattergun; moves quickly, but not as quickly as a real Scout and cannot double-jump. Soldier: Carries the Rocket Launcher, moves as slowly as a normal Soldier. Pyro: Carries the Flamethrower; is not fireproof. Engineer: Carries the Shotgun. Heavy: Carries the Minigun; moves slowly, like a Heavy. Demoman: Carries the Grenade Launcher; cannot detonate Sticky Bombs, or Sticky Bomb Jump. Medic: Carries the Syringe Gun. You do not diplay an UberCharge gauge when enemy classes look at you. Sniper: Carries the Sniper Rifle; cannot zoom in. Spy: Carries the Revolver. A friendly Spy wears a cardboard mask showing his teammates what class he is disguised as. When disguised as an enemy Spy, you do not wear a cardboard mask. ######################################################################## TELEPORTER ETIQUETTE: A GUIDE Like the above section, this is something I wanted to include in the main part of my guide, but the Engineer section was already too long. This section is a guide for all of you new folks to what I'll call Teleporter Etiquette... mainly because I've seen plenty of servers where an otherwise helpful Teleporter is lessened somewhat by, shall we say, inappropriate use. ;) I'll just come out and say it: there are some classes in TF2 that deserve to use the Teleporter before others. A Teleporter can only send one at a time, and when we're all huddled around the machine at the spawn as the Teleporter recharges, we need a way to evaluate who gets to go next. Here's my opinion on who gets priority, sorted into three Groups: A, B and C, by priority. If you're going to go by Lappy's Rules of Teleporter Etiquette (and I think you should) you should always let the classes in Group A go first, then B and then C, in the event of a crowd. :) GROUP A: SOLDIERS, HEAVIES AND MEDICS These classes should always be the first to use a Teleporter, regardless of who else is there and how long they've been waiting. Why? For the obvious reason: Heavies and Soldiers are the slowest classes in the game, and also the most dynamic with regards to offensive and defensive capability: you need them on the front line, quickly. Medics, while not as slow, are still as important to get to the front line as quickly as a Heavy or Soldier. Hell, if the Medic doesn't get there quickly, there may not be a front line left once everyone else makes it. These three guys get to go first, and in my book, the order of importance among them is Medic, then Heavy, then Soldier. GROUP B: PYROS, DEMOMEN, ENGINEERS AND SNIPERS All of these classes run at the same speed, and while not as fast as a Scout, they can certainly get to the action faster than a Heavy or Soldier, and won't be as greatly missed as a Medic. As far as usage goes, I'd say that Pyros and Demomen would get the most out of the Teleporter, and perhaps Pyros moreso as they are a more offensive class; the faster they can get up close and personal the better. Demomen can be handy to have up front too, but they are also capable of an indirect, longer-range attack than a Pyro. I could also see where on a defensive map (like Dustbowl) a Sniper or Engineer could need to get into position quickly, either to reestablish Sniper support or make some quick repairs. But let the Group A guys go first, and if there's a long line, just hoof it. GROUP C: SCOUTS AND SPIES The only reason either of these classes should step onto a Teleporter is if the rest of the team is already alive and in the battle area - and even then I'd tell Scouts and Spies to just run to the fight. Honestly, Scouts, you're the fastest class in the game. You don't need a Teleporter. In the time it takes for a Heavy to wait for the Teleporter to recharge, you could probably run there and back - and wouldn't you rather have a big, burly Heavy already there at the front lines, lumbering along, soaking up all the enemy fire? Spies used to be given away under their disguise or Invisibility Cloak by the glowing aura that persists after Teleportation, but now remain hidden successfully after a teleport. That still doesn't change my mind that other classes deserve to go ahead of Spies, who are both quick and have plenty of equipment available to them to get them safely into and out of combat zones undetected. So there. :P It's as easy as A, B, C. :) ######################################################################## CRITICAL HITS AND YOU As you try out all of those weapons that I wrote about above you'll soon discover that each weapon is capable of firing "critical" hits: bursts of fire that do more damage than they ordinarily would, with a special sound and indication onscreen. Up until recently, not much was known about exactly how criticals were calculated, but fortunately Tom Francis over at PC Gamer apparently had a chat with Valve, about just how criticals occur. Francis writes: "If you haven't hurt anyone yet, you have a basic 5% chance of a critical hit each time you fire. If you've done some damage in the last 20 seconds, it's higher than that. If you've done 800 damage or more in that time - killed two full health Heavies and a Soldier, say - you've got a 20% chance of a crit. Between 0 and 800, the chance increases steadily between 5 and 20%. Medics and Engineers get crit-credit for their patients and Sentries respectively; which explains why they have such crazy-high crit percentages overall. Melee weapons are twice as likely to crit in the first place, so the Engy Wrench and the Medic Bonesaw are rightly feared. This also explains the Soldier's seemingly endless sparkly mega-rockets ... the Soldier does a lot of damage, all the time, since it's really easy to catch people in the blast of his shots. Bear in mind that your crit percentage is constantly being recalculated, so if you do a load of damage, your high-crit window is fading fast." So there you go! I don't think I could have put it any better. ######################################################################## OUTRODUCTION Thanks again for reading this far. I'll be updating this guide as necessary over time, so as soon as classes and weapons get changed, I'll definitely adjust the guide, so as not to lead any new readers astray with outdated information. That said, if you have read my guide and found any factual or grammatical errors, or have any feedback for me, feel free to email me at redspn88@yahoo.com. I can't promise that I'll respond, but if I end up using your feedback or correction I'll certainly credit you in my credits section. DEDICATION I was diagnosed with cancer in August and were it not for the friendly, supportive, wildly efficient staff at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center I would not be writing this guide. What more, as of Oct. 2007 I am officially cancer-free; all because of these hard-working people. I don't think that the doctors, nurses, interns and staff of such a prestigious hosptial get much time off to play videogames, but they all share the dedication of this FAQ. Thank you all. THANKS A rather trying summer was weathered only by the support of my loving family, fiancee, friends and most importantly, faith in God. Thank you all, my life is a blessing that I have not earned. ######################################################################## CREDITS STEAMPOWERED.COM | http://www.steampowered.com ---------------------------------------------- Well, it's pretty hard not to know who these guys are, considering that you have to go to their website to purchase this game (at least on PC). The website didn't directly impact this FAQ (other than furnishing me the game...) but it is the best source of content updates, and where all of my patch Information comes from. The forums can also be an interesting, if slightly flammable (get it? HA!) place to visit. Thanks, Steam! THE TF2 WIKI | http://tf2wiki.net --------------------------------- I'd like to credit the fine folks who've been putting hard work into the TF2 Wiki so far. It's already a great source of information that you can't find in my guide, including different class taunts (they're all hilarious) map strategies, approximate weapon damage per distance and other tidbits like that. I was very happy to find that this website had already tabulated all of the ammunition and health totals for all of the classes, saving me a good bit of work. If any part of my guide would be useful to them, they are free to link to or quote this guide, preferably with attribution. :) Thanks guys! CBW GAMING | http://www.cbwgaming.com ------------------------------------- A fellow called Zonker Harris posted a review (apparently, a reposted review from Perfect Enemy) that listed all of the metal cost requirements for Engineer building, and this also saved me a bit of research. Thanks Zonker! WIKIPEDIA | http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Team_Fortress_2 -------------------------------------------------------- This is the TF2 entry on Wikipedia, not to be confused with the TF2 Wiki also credited in this FAQ. It is another excellent resource for TF2 tips and info outside of this FAQ, and in an earlier version of this guide I had cited their entry on critical hits. Thanks Wikipedia! PC GAMER | http://www.computerandvideogames.com/sites/pcgamer ------------------------------------------------------------- On Feb 29. PC Gamer published a blog written by Tom Francis that explained in great detail how critical hits are calculated, the first 'official' word on the topic, ending (hopefully) months of speculation and meticulous community testing. Not only is it a great read, but it made for great reference material in my own article on critical hits in this FAQ. Thanks Tom! ######################################################################## ATTENTION THIEVES/COPYRIGHT INFO ######################################################################## I own all the rights to this guide, so you need my permission before reproducing any or all of it on your website/journal/magazine/forehead. Or maybe you could go write your own guide instead. :p ~Fin ######################################################################## ######################################################################## Copyright Jason Minich 2007-2008