Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2

1,375 ratings
Team Service Announcement: Steam Guide Edition
By ♥~Krunkidile~♥
The kinda-not-really-popular SFM series, now as a Steam Guide!
Instead of reading an essay explaining why you shouldn't be the fourth Sniper on your team, why not watch a 40 to 50 second, all-encompassing, over the top short video, and maybe read a brief not-essay explaining it in further detail? That's what Team Service Announcements are all about; making you a better player while you laugh at dumb jokes.
This is a test of the Team Service Announcement system. If this where and actual game, I'd be kicking you in the shins and calling that woman you call "Mom" to tell her to activate the chip in your brain. But since it's not, welcome aboard. Feel free to watch any of the videos below. Each one features one or two essential tips, and strategies you'll need to know to be the best player you can be. Some even include common mistakes you may be making and will need to work out. In addition, each video has some notes further detailing the video's messages and offering tips on how to solve problems, and implement new strategies into your gameplay.
Class Balance

Snipers, Spies, and Engineers ultimately become less useful when there are multitudes of each on one team. Four people doing the same job leads to one guy doing all the work, and the other three wasting a spot on the team. Also, If most of the team is on the other side of the map as Snipers, turtleing at the base as Engineers, or spread out trying to get behind enemy lines as Spies, there will be fewer people around to actually fight head on, and a majority of the team are weaker classes that can be easily killed, leading to wiped teams, and defenseless objectives.

If there is already someone playing a class, it's probably best to chose another. Nine times out of ten, a team with four Engineers, three spies, and/or five snipers will get destroyed by a team made up of a diverse mix of active and passive classes. There are the few instances where multitudes of Engineers, walls of Snipers or armies of Spies can actually win you a game when on Defense, but these are very rare occurrences that only happen on poorly designed maps that favor one team, or have narrow choke points, or against an inexperienced, or poorly balanced team. Next time you choose your class, consult Krunk's Law.

"If the number of Snipers plus the number of Spies is equal to or greater than three, there are too many of either class. Additionally, if the total of Snipers, Spies, and Engineers is equal to or greater than 5, you have too many of those classes. Go play Medic."
Building Placement

Grouping sentries together in one place helps no one but the enemy team. By stacking sentries, you're making it easier for Demomen and Soldiers, who deal splash damage, to destroy the work of multiple Engineers at once. Aside from that, it's completely unnecessary to do so, as one level 3 sentry has enough range, accuracy, and firepower to defend an entire area.

If you are going to be the second (and please, let it only be the second) Engineer on the team, build in a spot away from the other Engineer that covers a different area, or use the cover the first sentry provides to build your nest further up on the map.
Minigun Spinup

Winding up the minigun to fire makes Heavies loud, slower-moving targets. This makes keeping your gun spun up in anticipation of enemies is a bad idea. All miniguns (save for the Tomislav) make a very loud, distinct noise that will alert enemies of your presence, allowing them to know you're around the corner, and avoid or flank you. You'll become very easy for Spies to simply walk up and backstab you, and Snipers to headshot you. Also, slowly waddling your way to the fight is a huge waste of time for you, your team, and any medic who is healing you.

In for any class, Team Fortress 2, standing still, or moving slowly is a surefire way to get yourself killed. Instead of slowly walking towards your enemies, jump out from behind corners, doors, and your enemies to get in close and surprise them. Like Pyros, heavies must ambush enemies instead of fighting them head on to make up for their shortcomings. The best way of doing this is to jump around corners and spin up while in mid air. You won't lose momentum, and will be ready for any enemies you come across.
Compression Blast

The compression blast (or "air blast") is an extremely useful ability with multiple uses that any pyro worth his salt fully utilizes. Compression blasts can be used to extinguish burning allies, giving you bonus points, and the undying gratitude of your teammates. A well-timed compression blast can also be used to change the direction of projectiles (rockets, grenades, arrows, ect.) to whatever direction you're facing and will deal mini-crit damage to anyone it hits. It can even be used on players to knock them back into the air, even when they're invincible. This makes pyros the perfect counter to Ubercharges,as they can continue to juggle opponents in the air, so long as they have the ammunition to do so. Separate the medic from the patient, juggle one of them until the Ubercharge runs out, or just push them off a cliff to stop them.

The Pyro is less of a crazy, "set everything on fire" class, as much as he is a tricky "Help everyone and foil the enemy's plans" class. Be the Py-bro you were born to be and help out your teammates. Any flamethrower, besides the Phlogistinator, can air blast by pressing alt-fire (right-click) so you really don't have much of an excuse not to. Just don't over do it and push enemies into your teammates, or help your enemies escape.
Pocket Medics

A team with a medic who only heals one player/ class and ignores everyone else, is essentially a team with no medic at all. The Medic's job is not to get assist kills, it's to keep everyone alive and push in with Ubercharges. One heavy/medic combo is not unstoppable, and can be easily beaten if one of them is killed, they get ambushed, or a sniper or spy headshots or backstabs them. The ten other players on the team will die if the Medic doesn't help them, and without players to heal or help them, so will the Medic.

Regardless if it's a Heavy, Scout, Sniper, or Spy everyone needs to be healed. This doesn't mean you should only heal other players if they have very low health, or are burning to death, nor does it mean you should never have a pocketed player you stay with. You should find a pocket player who can make the most of your assistance, and heal other players who are hurt, burning, bleeding, or calling for a medic. You should also make sure all nearby teammates (especially other medics) are overhealed whenever you get the chance, to help them survive longer on their own, and build your Ubercharge faster.

When choosing a pocket, judge based on ability rather than class. It's better to hang with a Soldier who knows what time it is, rather than a Heavy simply because he's a Heavy. (But don't forget to throw him a heal.)

Ranged Combat

The only class that should be fighting from far away is the sniper. All weapons except rifles, The Huntsman, and a few other exceptions, suffer from damage drop-off that increases with distance. Most weapons that fire bullets have a huge damage drop-off, that makes them do, at the most, 10 damage at long range. On top of that, shots from Miniguns, scatterguns, and shotguns spread out, meaning you will only hit enemies with one or two pellets, if any, at long-range. Rockets can deal respectable damage at long range, but are relatively slow, and are easy to dodge if they have to travel a long distance.

It's okay to use your pistol, or flare gun from far away to chip away at your opponent's while moving in, but leave the long range combat to the Snipers. The Minigun deals devastating damage that can destroy any class at close range, and the Scattergun can kill most classes with two close up shots. Rocket launchers are best used at mid-range, and/or from above, so the rockets are harder to dodge, and your enemies easier to hit. Only use rockets from far away to deal with stationary or slow targets like sentries, snipers, and heavies, or for chip damage while passing by.

Use your mobility as a scout to get in close and avoid damage, jump out behind corners as a heavy to ambush your enemies, and jump while shooting as a soldier to get elevation. If you still don't feel comfortable fighting your enemies up close, play sniper. (Just don't forget Krunk's Law.)

Bonus Tip: Turn on damage indicators and hit sounds in the advanced options menu. These will help you know when you've actually hit someone, and how much damage you've done.
Hanging Back

Engineers and Snipers have a bad habit of staying too far away from the action. Engineers will set up on the last point, and Snipers will stay scoped in at the farthest possible point and watch a small corner until someone maybe runs by. In doing this, they are of no help to their team and usually end up wasting their time doing nothing.

Both classes should set up in places that they know the enemy will be at the current time while still staying safe. If there's no one around to kill or help with your buildings as an Engineer, move into a place where you'll be of more help and can make yourself useful. As a Sniper, only scope in when you see a target you can shoot, or if you know an enemy is coming around a corner. If no one is around to shoot at, move up. I promise these tactics are much more fun than standing and waiting.

Bonus Tips: On King of the Hill maps, don't build level three sentries outside of spawn. KOTH maps are small, and encourage spawn-camping, so your buildings will probably get destroyed before, or when moving it.

Snipers, crouching doesn't improve your aim. That goes for any class. Especially Heavies. Stop it.
Over-Extending and Over-Commiting

Over-Extending is when a player goes too far into enemy territory without a safe way out of danger. Over-Committing is when a player devotes too much of their time on an ultimately meaningless or fruitless endeavor. Both end with deaths that could have easily been avoided if a little more thought was put into the plan. Evaluate a situation before going head-first into it, and it could save your life.

Also, if you're a Medic who's healing someone that's over-extending or over-committing, tell them to stop, or just leave them. Medics are the most important class on the team, and the longer you stay alive, the longer your teammates survive. Don't get yourself dragged into a bad situation for their sake.

Bonus tip: If you fail to stop a Scout or Spy and he gets behind your team, let them go and alert your team. They're either trying to distract you from fighting everyone else, spawn-camp, or will be back later. If you let your team know what's up, you can kill them when they return, pyros will know to start spy-checking, or respawning teammates can quickly switch to pyro or heavy to chase them off.

Also, spawn-camping is lame. Don't do it. I don't care what Shibby2142 told you. Stop being scared of competition, and let people actually play the game.
Metal and Dispensers

If there's an Engineer nearby, do not pick up ammo packs. Engineers need them to set up their buildings, especially during the setup phase of a round. If they don't get the metal they need to build and upgrade their buildings, they'll have to go out into harms way to scavenge whatever metal they can find, and will have to build weaker buildings while under fire.

Likewise, if you're an Engineer, don't just build sentries. You need to set up Dispensers and teleporters to help your team get to and stay at the battlefront. You and your sentry can't fend off the enemy team on your own, and need the help of your teammates.

Four things to know about medkits to truly be credit to team:

1) Medics always get first dibs on medkits
If there's a Medic nearby, go to him for heals instead of medkits. Being the top target for the enemy team, he's most likely going to need health or a quick extinguishing in due time. It's better to let him have something to fall back on, than have your team suffer the disadvantages and respawn time of a dead medic.

2) Before grabbing a medkit, look and see if anyone else needs it more
If you're just topping off your health, or not on fire, let your near-death, on-fire, or bleeding teammates take the health before you. They probably won't survive the time it takes for medkits to respawn if you take it for yourself.

3) Heavies can drop their sandvitch with alt-fire, (Right-click) which acts as a medium-medkit for other players
Your sandvitch isn't just for you. All medics love a Heavy who shares their sandvitch and saves them from burning or dying. However, you yourself can't benefit from this. If you pick up your own dropped sandvitch, you'll just recharge your food meter.

4) Heavies can fully recharge their food meter by picking up a medkit at full health
This works with any size of medkit. You can use this to "upgrade" a small medkit to a medium-sized one for your teammates, or essentially take the medkit with you for later, so your teammates don't have to retreat for health.

You can stop your opponents from capturing a point, or pushing a payload cart by simply standing on or near it. Any class near the point should at least make an effort to stall point captures if either team is close to victory. If your opponents have almost captured the last control point, or there's just a few seconds left on the clock, a lone Engineer leaving from his sentry nest to block his opponents from capturing could give his team the two seconds they need for the power classes to respawn or get to the cart and push the other team back.

Bonus Tip: Standing on a capture point your opponents have capture time on will revert their progress. Do this when a Attack/ Defense game goes into overtime, or when you're about to leave and capture your opponents points in 5 CP games.

"Oh idea how about when to use each classes melee weapon because they have a higher frog chance than projectile weapons"
- bhowar361 in the comments for "Team Service Announcement: Metal and Dispensers"

I'm pretty sure by "frog chance," he meant "frag-chance," and by "frag-chance," he meant "crit-chance."
Either way, most melee weapons in Team Fortress are actually pretty good ways of taking out opponents at close range.

Unlike other weapons, most melee weapons always do a reliable 65, damage per hit, and is safer than explosive weapons at close range, or trying to quick-scope or no-scope opponents that you can't escape from as a Sniper. And while you really shouldn't be relying on critical damage, melee weapons do have a very high crit-chance, and can one-shot most classes with 195 damage swings.

The Scout's melee weapons only deal a measly 35 damage, but swing much faster than most other melee weapons, giving you more chances at crits (105 damage), so try to attack when your enemies are at low health, or don't know you're coming.

The Spy's knives only do 40 damage with each swing, have a normal attack speed, and can't get random critical hits, making anything but a backstab completely ineffective. The slow process of stabbing enemies to death is appropriately referred to as "butterknifing" and should be avoided.

Bonus Tip: When I take out my melee weapon and come at you in a one-on-one fight, I expect you to have the goddamn courtesy to return the favor. When I want a gentleman's quarrel, you better pony up and give me one, you hobo.
And none of you other ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥s better come in ruin it with your guns. I'll come down there and make boots out of your asses when I'm done clubbing a man to death with a golden eagle on a stick.
The Revolver

A lot of amateur Spies neglect the practicality and all around usefulness of their revolvers. They rely only on the knife and backstabs for dealing damage and getting kills, resulting in foolish and easily avoidable deaths. As discussed in the last video, the Spy's knives are slow, do pitiful damage, and can not get random critical hits making them worthless for anything but backstabs.

Trying to make-up for missed stabs with "butterknifing", or trying to shimmy your way to your enemy's back in plain sight is a good way to get you killed. If your cover is blown, or you're in a tight spot, make a tactical retreat while taking shots with the revolver. You can also use it to discourage pursuers, take out weak enemies out of your reach, take out or pester Engineers and Pyros guarding sentry nests, speed up the destruction of a sapped building, and quickly kill Snipers using the Razorback.

Don't forget: You have a gun.
Attention and Initiative

If you ignore something suspicious, pretend a problem doesn't exist, or deem a threat "not my problem," it will only get worse, and will eventually become your problem. You should always keep and eye out for, and put a stop to your opponent's shenanigans as soon as possible. If you're playing a class that can't take care of it, let your team know about it, so a more capable class can.

There are tons of things you should watch out for, and most of them can only be learned with experience. Enemy fire coming from behind you, Laser sights from sniper rifles, decloak sounds made by spies, and the glowing trails left from recently used teleporters are just a few things to look out for.

Bonus Tip: Don't camp teleporter exits. Leaving the exit active so you can score a few cheap kills will only end with someone eventually killing you, and the teleporter still running. Even if you lay sticky bombs around it and wait for someone to come out, someone could show up and kill you while you're waiting. Just destroy it and go do helpful things.
Exits and Entrances

A lot of times, taking the front door is not the best option. The main entrance to a choke point on a map is usually closely guarded or will have most of the enemy team moving through it. Most maps have alternate entry points that you can take to flank around the enemy team, and avoid over-extending. Medics and their pockets can use alternate entries and entrances to launch a sneak attack, and Spies, and Scouts can use them to hassle enemies on their way back from spawn.

Four things you should know about teleporters:

1) Before you place a teleporter exit, make sure it's not facing a wall or towards a cliff.
It's very annoying, and disorienting, for your teammates to show up in a completely different place blinded and blocked off by a wall, or walk forward and into a bottomless pit. Always make sure to turn the exit so it's exit direction faces away from walls and danger using alt-fire (right-click). The blueprint that appears when carrying toolboxes will have an arrow showing which direction the teleporter is facing.

2) Follow the Teleporter priority list
Every class has a different priority over another when it comes to teleporters. This is based on the importance, mobility, speed, and positioning of each class. The priorities in order of highest to lowest are:
Engineer (needs to keep the teleporter running), Medic (most important class), Heavy (slowest class), Soldier (second slowest, but has extra mobility), Pyro (least mobility of medium speed classes), Demoman (most mobility of medium speed classes), Spy (medium speed, not usually at the front lines), Sniper (medium speed, never at the front lines).

3) Don't fight over teleporters
Don't try to shove teammates off of a teleporter, or jump on an entrance when someone else is already on it. If multiple people start piling onto a teleporter entrance, no one will go anywhere. Wait your turn, and let everyone have their chance to use it. If the line is too long, you'd probably save time by letting the higher priority classes take your spot, and run there yourself, especially if you are a Soldier or Demoman, and can explosive jump.

4) No Scouts
Being the fastest class with excellent mobility, Scouts have no excuse to use a teleporter. Even if there's nobody at spawn to use it, a Scout could easily run to the teleporter exit in the time it he would have to wait for it to recharge.

Bonus Tip: If you come through a teleporter exit an enemy is standing on, you will instantly kill them. Spies use this to infiltrate and eliminate players guarding highly cluttered sentry nests. To avoid getting "tele-fragged" stay off of teleporter exits after leaving one, and stand to the side when repairing it.
Sentry Knockback

In addition to great damage output, sentry guns, especially level three sentries have very strong knockback with their bullets. This can thwart almost all attempts to destroy them with Ubercharges. Heavies need to be close up to targets to do effective damage, Demomen won't be able to lay down sticky bombs close enough to the sentry to destroy them, and the knockback can bounce Soldiers around, making it harder to aim.

The best way to deal with this problem is for Ubercharged Medics to stay in between the patient and the Sentry to absorb the knockback. So long as he's bumpin' and grindin' on the sentry, the bullets won't push back the patient, and theycan get as close as they like to the sentry. If the Medic is targeted by the Sentry first, he can even get the sentry to kill it's Engineer by moving around it so he puts the Engineer, in between him and the sentry.
Cooperative Building

When there are two Engineers on one team, cooperation can lead to much stronger nests, and longer lasting buildings. Keep an eye out for your fellow Engineer's buildings and repair them if they're absent or have been killed. If you have metal to spare, help them upgrade their non-level 3 buildings. And of course, if you notice a Spy moving towards or sapping their nest, make an effort to alert them, kill the spy, or detach the sappers.

Bonus tip: Dispensers only have a limited amount of metal at a time, and regenerate slowly at lower levels. If you take metal from another Engineer's dispenser, you will deprive them of any they need now or in the future. Don't be a freeloader. Build your own dispenser, or get metal from ammo packs or the resupply cabinet.

Most backstabs rely on targets being distracted with something else for successful execution. So long as the enemy is occupied, they won't have a chance to turn around and check for someone coming up behind them. Therefore, if you're behind a friendly Spy moving in on distracted opponents for a backstab, hold you fire, and let him take them out.

If you attack that opponent from behind, or do anything else that would grab his attention, he'll turn his attention towards you, as well as the spy, blowing his cover, and ruining an clean kill. Don't try and shoot him at the last second so you can get assist points either, as you have no idea how fast that guy's reaction speed is, or if the back stab won't register. Either lay low, and let the spy take care of the enemy quickly, or create a distraction that will keep enemy fire off of the Spy.

Bonus Tip: Spies, don't spend forever setting up for a backstab. you should go for quick picks on high priority targets and sapping buildings, instead of chasing one Pyro who doesn't know where he is across half the map. A disguised Spy chasing someone for an extended period of time is easily identified and killed by the enemy team. If your target is out of stabbing range, and is at low heath, take them out with your revolver. Otherwise, break off and find something more worthwhile to do.
"Pop it Don't Drop it"

The optimal time to activate an ÜberCharge is right before coming within range of a sentry nest, or entering an area heavily occupied by enemies. However, sometimes you'll get attacked or put into a dire situation such as a Pyro or Scout swooping in behind you or your pocket gets killed before you get a chance to use the charge. In this case, your best option is to activate the ÜberCharge prematurely to keep you from dying, and letting your pocket take out the threat, push as far as you can with what's left of the ÜberCharge, or allowing yourself to make a break for safety.

This goes for any medigun. A sudden flash with the Kritzkrieg can be enough to save you and your patient from a surprise heavy attack. The Quick-Fix's ÜberCharge can heal you enough to withstand any incoming damage while retreating, and can keep Pyros from air blasting you away from safety. The Vaccinator can also keep you safe from random critical attacks, or crit-boosted enemies.

Bonus Tip: When you stop healing a player with your ÜberCharge activated, they will stay invincible for a short while. This means you can charge two players at once if need be. However, doing this will cause your ÜberCharge meter to drain faster, so don't go trying to make your entire team invincible every time you get the chance.
Unlockable Weapons

Unlockable weapons in Team Fortress 2 are not necessarily better or worse than the stock weapons. Most unlockable weapons like the Direct Hit have certain stats and benefits that make them better, (higher damage) as well as drawbacks that make them worse than the stock weapons (smaller explosion radius). Some can also provide you with a useful tool like the Buff Banner (chargeable mini-crit buff), but cause you to lose a secondary weapon. Their usefulness is all based on the situation they're used in and your skill with the weapon.

The stock weapons are widely believed to be the most situational of all weapons in the game. However, you should not be afraid to try any weapon you unlock, as you may prefer it over your other options. Some unlocks, like the Degreaser are widely considered to be superior to all other flamethrowers, while others are considered useless, like the Vaccinator, or the Sun-on-a-Stick. But before you blindly run out into battle with a new weapon, remember to read the stats on its description, and consider the battle plan you'll need to make it as effective as possible.

Check the Team Fortress 2 Wiki for additional, in-depth information on weapons the description might not tell you. (

The Rocket Jumper and Sticky Jumper are NOT actual weapons. They are non-damaging tools that are meant to help you practice explosive jumps, and deal ZERO damage. You can use them to jump behind enemy lines without damaging yourself, and use your melee, shotgun, or grenade launcher to attack, but you should only do this if you've practiced explosive jumping, know what you're doing, or your team has things handled and can work with a kind-of-useless leaping ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥.
Scout Combat

Many novice Scouts overestimate their class and get them selves killed very easily just for entering a fight the wrong way. Because the Scout has the lowest health of the active classes, he has to fight in a way that allows him to avoid taking damage, while still being able to get close enough to deal damage.

Here are some amateur Scout mistakes you should avoid to keep yourself from getting killed so easily.

1.) Avoid attacking from the front.
It's easier to avoid damage and surprise opponents if you aren't charging at them in plain sight. Even classes like Demomen and Snipers who do poorly in close-combat can kill youif you're not careful. Flank enemies from behind or from the side so you can get in close.

2.) Don't run in a straight line, or in a predictable fashion
You can make a fight much easier for your opponent if they know where to shoot to hit you. If you're noticed by an opponent, move unpredictably to keep them guessing where to attack. Make use of, corners, ledges, props, and your double jump to move around and fake out your opponents.

3.) Never stop moving when enemies are around
Don't stop to set up a perfect shot. Standing still, even if you're behind an enemy means your making it way too easy for everyone else to kill you. If you're going to play Scout, you have to learn how to shoot enemies while moving. Dance around enemies to make yourself harder for them and anyone else to hit you.

Although these are tips meant for Scouts, tip 2 and 3 can be applied to any class to avoid getting killed easily.

Bonus Tip:
You can practice your aim as Scout, stair stabs as Spy, or direct hits as Demoman on "tr_walkway": a map that spawns customizable bots.
Download it here:

"W+M1" refers to the tactic of running in a straight line at an enemy while blasting your weapon from far away, until you or your enemy dies. Novice Pyros will do this with their flamethrower in a desperate attempt to kill enemies, and with the high amount of damage flamethrowers cause, it would seem like a good plan, and some times does land a few kills, but usually ends with a dead Pyro due to major flaws in the plan.

1) "W+M1" Pyros have no sense of subtlety, and will charge at enemies from the front. An enemy can easily avoid and kill the Pyro with even the most inaccurate of weapons by simply walking backwards and shooting.

2) Fire is affected by movement. When you move forward, the flames of the flamethrower curve backwards, shortening it's range. Making it even harder for you to catch targets that run away from you.

3) "W+M1" Pyros suffer from extreme tunnel vision, and will never stop walking forward until death. This means they can be lead into groups of enemies, sentry nests, or even off cliffs before realizing they've gone too far. It also makes them easily confused by fancy footwork. If an enemy quickly moves outside of their field of view, they'll usually stand still and look for the opponent, or begin running around, desperately trying to find them.

4) "W+M1" is a three part plan with only two steps. Once the Pyro actually catches their target, they have no idea what to do next, so they just stand still and wait for them to die, or will continue running into the opponent. This usually ends with them getting killed along with whomever they where trying to burn.

You can use the flamethrower's high damage output to deal with low-health classes like Scouts, or classes that are weak in close-range combat, like Snipers, but rely on afterburn, airblast and other weapons to finish off stronger classes. When fighting Soldiers and Demomen, stay at a distance and wait for them to fire rockets or grenades at you so you can reflect them back with the compression blast. Stay away from direct 1-on-1 fights with Heavies unless you know they're low on health or out of ammo.

You can easily lose an Attack/ Defend match by ignoring the map's objective in favor of getting kills or spawn camping.

On Defense, spawn camping can put your team farther away from the objective. If a Spy, Scout with Bonk! Atomic Punch, or an explosive jumping Soldier or Demoman makes it around you without you noticing, they could capture the last point before your team can make it back to stop them.

On Offence, if your team focuses on getting kills rather than capturing objectives, you leave yourself with less time to capture the objective, meaning if the enemy team gets the upper hand with an Ubercharge or strong push, you won't have enough time to recover.

Focus on capturing an objective before trying to get kills. You can proceed beyond the objective on offence if you already have teammates capturing to help maintain momentum. You can do this on defense, as well, but remember to fall back to the objective.

Bonus Tip: Payload carts will not move any faster than three times it's normal speed. Unless you are using it to get ammo or health, there is no point in being the fourth guy on the cart.
Fake Players

This Team Service Announcement covers a community issue, instead of gameplay.

There are certain servers that force players to watch a twenty second ad before playing to fund themselves. These servers are usually underpopulated because nobody wants to sit through an ad when they just want to play the game. That's why these servers fill themselves with bots running Steam accounts to make it seem like it's well populated but has space for more players.

So why is this an issue?

Most people come into a server looking for a game with good players, challenging opponents, and cooperative teammates. These bots are none of these things, and are instead, just bad at video games. (Save for the occasional aimbot) They are programmed to play very simply and execute a few essential tactics, but do not communicate, and are no match for even novice players. It's very irritating to sit through an ad that continues to play even after the mandatory 20 seconds, and end up with idiotic players that keep tripping over their own faulty programming.

If you find yourself playing on one of these bot-filled servers, disconnect, report it by pressing F7, and blacklist the server, so you don't end up going back and funding the server. You can also skip ads by disabling HTML message of the days in the Advanced options menu.

Also, if you enjoy, and frequently visit a certain server, donate a few dollars to it so it doesn't have to resort to using unskippable ads just to stay afloat.

If you really want to kill bots all day, go into training mode, or play MvM. Don't give these servers money.

It's pretty easy to tell the inhuman behaviors of a bot, but here's a list of a few telltale signs to help you tell them from humans. If everyone, or most of the players on a server do these things, you're playing with bots.

1.) Most Bots do not use unlockable weapons or wear cosmetic items.
Even the newest players have at least one unique weapon, a Mercenary Badge, Ghastly Gibus, or Pyrovision Goggles. Bots just jump into the game without customizing their loadouts. However, some servers can grant their bots cosmetics and weapons on that server only, so this might not always be the case.

2.) Very little movement.
Bots don't move around as much as human players. On the attacking team, during the setup phase, they don't move at all, aside from Medics healing to get Ubercharge.

3.) Faulty programming makes bots inhumanly stupid.
Miscalculations in programming will have bots running into walls, or trying to jump onto a ledge forever, or Snipers standing in spots the enemy team's Snipers should be.

4.) Sudden jumps in skill among inhumanly bad gameplay.
Sometimes Pyros will be able to reflect projectiles shot from behind them at the last possible second while trying to give a wall the business.

5.) Bots prioritize humans over other bots.
Enemy bots will focus on you instead of the army of Heavies blasting away at them, because they know you're probably better than them. Friendly Medics will also prioritize and pocket you over all other bots on the team if you call for them.

6.) Overly aggressive support classes
Engineers, Medics, and Snipers will often times run out in the middle of battle blasting away at enemies for the entire game for no reason.

7.) Bots ignore health and ammo packs
Even when badly wounded bots will leave heath and ammo pickups for players.

8.) Bots tend to clump up and fire at the same target.
Said target is usually you, another human player, or one bot that wandered away from the rest of it's team.

You can also switch to Soldier, call for a Medic, and stare at him when he comes to you. If the Medic does nothing until you move, he's most likely a bot.
The Grenade Launcher

Many novice players neglect the power of the stock grenade launcher, shunning it in favor of the stickybomb launcher, and using it only for spamming out corners. While it does make for a good way to clear out heavily populated areas, the Grenade launcher really shines when fired directly at opponents. On a direct hit, grenades do 95--105 damage, making successive hits deadly to any class.

The Grenade Launcher is best used in tight quarters like hallways, where opponents have less space to move around, and in situations where you don't have time to wait for stickybombs to prime. They are also great for dealing with classes that need to get close to you to do damage, like Scouts and Pyros, as well as slower moving classes, like Heavies and Soldiers.

Learn the arc, and speed of grenades and practice direct hits to greatly improve your efficiency as a Demoman.
Demoknights and Battle-Medics

Demoknights are Demomen that use a shield and melee weapon instead of a stickybomb launcher. They are useful some, but not all situations. They are capable of killing enemies quickly and unpredictably with their charge ability. They also have increased resistances to explosions and fire, making them able to tank damage easily.

However, they lack an accurate way of destroying sentry nests without a stickybomb launcher. Also, they don't have as much push capability as a normal Demoman, and can only slowly damage one enemy at a time. Demoknights are essentially Spies that don't have to be as subtle. Avoid playing one if you need to make a push, or destroy buildings.

A Battle-Medic is a Medic who uses his syringe gun and Melee weapon to attack enemies instead of healing teammates. This is mostly done as a joke or to troll teammates, because the Medic is not meant for combat and can be defeated rather easily by any other class in one-on-one combat.

Battle Medics, friendly heavies, trolldiers, or any other joke classes should only be played when teams are equally matched, and can handle having a useless player. In any other situation, you'll just end up ruining someone's game by you being a wasted slot on the server.

Trying new things and having fun is fine, in fact, I encourage experimentation and being stupid. Just don't ruin everyone else's fun by being a selfish prick in the process.
The Kritzkrieg

The Kritzkrieg is a very powerful Medigun with it's 25% faster Ubercharge rate, and crit boosting ability that can clear out crowds of enemies easily. However, it should mainly be used in defensive situations, as it is almost useless against Engineer buildings, which do not take additional damage from critical hits. Sentry guns are a key part of defensive tactics, and you will almost never see a defending team without at least one guarding the objective.

The best option for Medics on the attacking team is the stock Medigun. The invulnerability will make taking out the inevitable sentry nest so much easier for your team. Also, because only compression blasts, and other invincible players can stop you, most classes that would otherwise wall your team's progress will have to retreat to avoid getting killed.
Soldiers vs. Pyros

Fighting an air-blasting Pyro as a Soldier can be difficult, especially without a shotgun. However, there are some tactics you can try to beat them, and avoid getting killed by your own rockets.

By shooting at walls, ceilings, and floors near the Pyro instead of directly at him or his feet, you can deal damage with the explosions and make your rockets harder to reflect. Also, the indirect path of the rockets will make sure you don't get your rockets sent back at you if they are reflected. This may not always work, and can be thwarted if the Pyro moves to better reflect the rocket, but it can catch reckless or inattentive Pyros off guard, and may even sometimes get the Pyro to reflect into a nearby surface, damaging himself.

The most effective way to deal with Pyros is to rocket jump over them and fire at them from above. Rockets that are fired down from above are harder to airblast, and even harder to send back at an enemy. This will also help you become easier to lose track of, and get behind the Pyro so that you may safely attack him.

If there isn't a friendly Pyro nearby, ubercharged enemies can be juggled by explosive weapons to delay their advancement. By detonating stickybombs below them, or firing rockets at their feet, you can pop enemies up into the air to slow them down, or separate the medic from the patient.

Juggling is easier as a Demoman, as Soldier juggling requires you to hit consecutive airshots on the opponent. It's not as consistent as a Pyro's airblast, but it can still be a big help for your team. If you have enough time to prepare, you can even lay multiple stickybombs in wait so you can send the patient into sentries without the medic, or the Medic off of a cliff.
Spy Checking

Spy checking is simply sweeping an area with a weapon to find cloaked Spies, or attacking a suspicious friendly player to see if they're a Spy in disguise. (There is no friendly fire in Team Fortress 2, so they'll be fine) If you're near an objective, Engineer nest, or around a Medic make sure to comb the area to put a stop to the plans of any Spy that might be lurking about.

This is one of the most important jobs for Pyros, as their flamethrowers cover a wide area, are hard to avoid at close range, and the burning effect marks enemies with a team-colored glow that persists even when cloaked or disguised. A few quick sprays of fire is all it takes.

Other classes can and should Spy check regularly as well. The Minigun, Wrangler and most explosive weapons care also good for combing the area, and Jarate and Mad Milk can mark enemies with clearly visible dripping effect they can't cloak or disguise out of.

You can even spy check players by simply walking into them. Teammates can move through one another, but enemies can not, so if you bump into a teammate you can't simply move through, they're an enemy Spy. Also, Spies will slightly decloak for a brief moment when they bump into enemies, or take damage while invisible.

Regular Spy checks can save your team from being backstabbed if they're too distracted, or oblivious to check behind them.
The Crusader's Crossbow

The Crusader's Crossbow gives a small amount of Ubercharge when used to heal teammates. While this encourages players to use it to heal instead of simply deal damage, many players have been overusing it's healing effects to get Ubercharge.

The Crusader's Crossbow's damage and healing is based on how far away you are, so it should be used to heal targets that are out of the range of your Medigun, or in a situation too dangerous for you to walk into. Otherwise, stick to your Medigun, and move in for faster, more constant, and accurate, healing and charging.

Bonus Tip: The Amputator also gives Ubercharge, but don't overuse it. When there are three or more gravely wounded teammates close by, use the Amputator's taunt in a safe place to heal them out of critical status. The taunt leaves you vulnerable, and can't heal teammates out of it's range, so use it to get your team out of the red, then finish up with the Medigun.
The Phlogistinator

The Phlogistinator is a weapon who's strengths have been recently blown out of proportion. While it can be powerful when crit-boosted, it's lack of an airblast and mechanics can be used against it.

The easiest way to avoid being killed by it is turning the other way while the Pyro is activating the crits, and running. Do not backpedal and shoot the Pyro, as players move 10% slower running backwards.

Heavies, Soldiers, and Sentries are also direct counters to the Phlogistinator, since Pytos using it are restricted to short range combat, and can't reflect rockets shot at them. Also, Pyros using any flamethrower with air blast can extinguish enemies to keep the Phlogistinator from charging. If you lead charging Phlog Pyros into these classes, or a large group of teammates when they are charging in with crits.

This was a Team Service Announcement that I was working on when the Phlogistinator got buffed, and everyone complained about how overpowered it was. Then a few weeks later, Valve removed the health restoration and increased the amount of fire damage needed to charge the "Mmmmph" meter. So I said ♥♥♥♥ it, and made this. Maybe someone will still find the information useful.
... More to Come
There's a vast well of tips, tricks, knowledge, problems, and misconceptions, regarding Team Fortress 2 that I've yet to discuss. Which is why "Team Service Announcement" is an ongoing, series with a goal of educating and improving the TF2 community. Subscribe to my channel on YouTube for more lessons, as well as other Team Fortress 2 shorts.

If you've enjoyed these videos and tips, share them with your friends and whatever. The more exposure they get, the more people they can help.

If you're a new player in need of some advice, or a frustrated player, who would like something brought up, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments here or on one of the videos, and it may become a subject of a new Team Service Announcement.

Thanks for watching.
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The Pope Jan 29 @ 12:50pm 
Out of curiosity, what was #01 and why do they start at #02?
unogut Oct 8, 2017 @ 4:33pm 
Add Pyrosharks
The Gupton Gamers Apr 27, 2017 @ 4:09pm 
Ubercharge Priority

The key to making an Ubercharge worthwhile to the team is not just knowing WHEN to use it, but WHO gets to use it. Classes who are too busy building good defenses(Engineers), try to stay out of danger(Snipers and Spies), or can dodge most attacks perfectly fine(Scouts) should be your lowest priority. Their class specific rolls can make a perfectly good Ubercharge go to waste, and should only get an Uber when in an emergency situation.

Ubercharges in general are meant to be used at the front lines, either to make a push or just cause a lot of damage. So if you're playing Medic, you should reserve your Ubers for classes you know will be at the front and can cause the most destructive power, and I don't just mean Heavies. Soldiers and Demoman are great picks because of the splash damage of their projectiles, and an Ubercharged Pyro can outright destroy an Engineer nest with little to no issue.
Kakashi Mar 28, 2017 @ 10:48pm 
It's great! I enjoyed the SFM and this is very useful for new player.
DeathByAutoscroll Nov 18, 2016 @ 5:37am 
*I posted on a video with this before but I am posting it here so i'll be seen (Well, more likely)

It's really annoying when you're healing an overhealed heavy/soldier and they call for Medic. Also annoying is when a scout is around 48 miles away from you is on 124 health and spamming E like the world is ending. I have no problems with people spamming medic if there's no-one around/gravely injured and the Medic is ignoring them. And before I forget, the people 48 miles away with 1 health that keep dodging your crusader's crossbow shots (When going closer to the target as the medic that is)
☆КоЬцs☆ Nov 14, 2016 @ 8:37am 
I always come in a team doing the "objectives" thing. It usually ends with: The enemt captured our last control point!
sinkill79 Nov 7, 2016 @ 5:19pm 
to RainingMatel
i now make class balance a thing, if you dont use class balance you now have to wear no hats and have "f2p noOb" in your name.

i see you evertime you play o-o
RainingMetal Nov 3, 2016 @ 11:04am 
Not enough people follow "Class Balance" that there needs to be a severe punishment for not following it. I propose a month-long ban.
Assassin Plum Oct 16, 2016 @ 5:44am 
We need more of these videos.
Chemo Emo Sep 30, 2016 @ 1:04pm 
Glad To See People Still Helping The Community, Bit By Bit. I Come Back Here Once In Ahwile, Just To Freshen Up.

Keep Up The Good Work, Fella's. :medicon: