Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2

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Soldier: A Brief MvM Guide for Beginners
By fingers
This is a brief guide on how to play Soldier in Mann vs Machine. It is very generalized and doesn't go into very much depth on different strategies you can use. Basing a lot off of the Two Cities tour since that's where most of my experience comes from.
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Loadout
Primary



For beginners, the Stock Rocket Launcher is your best option. Reliable damage, good for crowds, and easy to spam. It's the complete package. It's crowd control capabilities will come in handy for large groups of small robots.



The Black Box is useful for teams without a Medic or just a bad Medic. Health on hit means you won't need to get the Health on Kill upgrade, which we'll get into later. It also combos well for lots of health with the Concheror, one of the best secondary options. Getting one Clip Size upgrade is acceptable for this weapon.



The Cow Mangler is another good option, not for its charged shots but for its ability to fire without ammo. If the Engineer on your team is subpar and/or they can't keep a dispenser up in a good spot, it's a good sidegrade. Biggest downside is you can only mini-crit, so it isn't friendly to Crit Canteens and Kritzkrieg Medics.



The Beggar's Bazooka is a good option, and while its skill floor is a bit higher than other primary options, its very rewarding. It's a great tank buster and one of the best spam tools in Mann vs Machine. If you think you can pull if off, be my guest. Without a doubt has the highest potential, as it has the highest DPS of any launcher. Combos well with the Concheror.



The con of a damage penalty outweighs the pros. Damage is more important than Clip Size in MvM, Projectile Speed barely matters at all, and you don't blast jump a whole lot in MvM. Even when you do, the Blast Resistance upgrade can cover that.



-70% explosion radius is just too much to be good for crowd control and it's not worth a damage buff, faster projectiles, and mini-crit airshots. It's decent with more than 1 tick of Rocket Specialist in the hands of an advanced player because of the increased blast radius, but it's still not as viable as the other options. Wouldn't recommend.

Secondary



The Buff Banner grants mini-crits to you and nearby teammates. This can allow you to one shot many small bots and really speeds up how fast tanks will die. The damage increase can be a really powerful asset. Its biggest downside is that unlike the Battalion's Backup and Concheror, it doesn't have a passive effect, therefore you're a bit easier to kill with this equipped.



The Concheror grants a speed boost and health on hit to you and nearby teammates. Your whole team being able to heal themselves without milk or too much of the Health on Kill upgrade can make a sturdy hold against the bots. Combos well with the Beggar's Bazooka.



While in my opinion the worst of the three banners, the Battalion's Backup can still have its moments. Its crit negation can come in handy on crit-heavy waves (Example: Wave 4 of Empire Escalation, lots of crit demomen). It's also very useful on spammy waves where a damage debuff to the enemy team would be more favorable than an offense buff to your own, such as Wave 1 of Hamlet Hostility or the beginning of Wave 3 of Metro Malice.

Melee



You won't be using your melee much, so there's not many beneficial ones to pick from. Just use the Disciplinary Action. Your melee isn't there for damage, and if you can speed boost yourself and a teammate on the way back to the frontlines or in a retreat from an enemy push, do it. It may just make the difference between life or death. You never know.



Good for escaping if necessary. Best for mobility after you're too low on health to rocket jump. Also boosts your speed while moving through the air, so if you're on lower health after overload jumping with the Beggar's it can help you get a little bit more distance.








Upgrade Path
This is the general order for how your upgrades should be purchased:
  1. 3 (Full) Reload Speed (Primary)
  2. 4 (Full) Firing Speed (Primary)
  3. 1 Rocket Specialist (Primary)
  4. At least 1 Health on Kill, you can add more later if you like (Primary)
  5. 4 (Full) Damage (Primary)
  6. Some or full ticks of Resistances that apply to the wave
  7. If the mission allows it, any extra cash can be spent on Buff Duration (Secondary) or canteens (Crit or Uber).

In my opinion, Rocket Specialist can be bought after Reload Speed and Firing Speed are maxed OR if there is a Super Scout. Otherwise, I just don't find the stun that useful. Maxing the 2 best DPS upgrades first is just more useful.















Upgrade Path (Beggar's Bazooka)
This is the general order for how your upgrades should be purchased with the Beggar's Bazooka equipped:
  1. 3 (Full) Reload Speed (Primary)
  2. 1 tick of Ammo Capacity, will add more later (Primary)
  3. At least 1 Health on Kill, you can add more later if you like (Primary)
  4. 4 (Full) Damage (Primary)
  5. 1 Rocket Specialist (Primary)
  6. Some or full ticks of Resistances that apply to the wave
  7. More Ammo Capacity (Primary)
  8. 4 (Full) Firing Speed
  9. If the mission allows it, any extra cash can be spent on Clip Size, Buff Duration, or Canteens (Crit or Uber).

Note that Damage comes before a tick of Rocket Specialist on the Beggar's because it can obliterate most things that Rocket Specialist would be effective on quickly with enough put into Damage, unless you're worried about Super Scouts.

In more recent events (well, several months really), I've found out that Firing Speed actually does increase DPS. It's just not a priority. You don't need to go the Clip Size route for it to be effective. I'd slot max Firing Speed after max Reload, Damage, and Ammo, at least if you aren't super worried about resistances. Some missions resistances might be a better choice; others you will want the DPS boost.











How to Play (VERY generalized)
Any Rocket Launcher is good for crowd control. Groups of small bots should be your priority targets as you can effectively take all of them out at once. If there are none, you can focus on the giant(s) with the rest of your team.

If you know any groups of robots or giants are coming up, save your banner's charge in preparation for that bot(s). It could make the difference between killing them while still having full health and dying to them. Your banner doesn't charge very quickly on bosses for some reason, so make sure you have it ready before then.

Soldier is a good tank buster and should follow them in most circumstances (your team doesn't have a Phlogistinator Pyro already covering the tank). The Buff Banner can shorten the time it takes to kill tanks by a lot and I advise using it on tank waves. It combos well with Bushwacka Sniper if you have one of those to also help kill the tank.

Since snipers are far away and hard to reach on some maps, spamming rockets at them from afar or rocket jumping up to them to kill them right away is a good way to keep them from pestering you and your team.

When the announcer says Spies are in, rocket jump over to your Engineer and shoot around him so he doesn't get stabbed and so his buildings won't get sapped without him being there to remove the sappers.

Don't shoot Uber medics until your Demoman/Sniper/Crutch Passer Pyro takes them out or else they'll pop their Uber and you and your team will have to wait until the Uber wears off to attack again, which is always annoying.

Don't shoot pyros unless you're certain they can't reflect your rockets. It's safer in the long run for you and your team. Protip: this is especially true on Wave 3 of Empire Escalation. Just go up top on the stairs/catwalk and shoot the scouts instead. Most giant pyros (minus those on Wave 6 of Metro Malice) don't reflect so you shouldn't have to worry too much about those.

Use Crit Canteens to obliterate giant robots or tanks.

On Mannhattan, your job is mostly just to assist the Enginner upstairs near the stairs and catwalk.
How to Play (Beggar's Bazooka) (Still VERY Generalized)
Everything from the previous How to Play section applies for the most part, but there's a few extra points for the Beggar's Bazooka.

You might think to load a full clip into the Beggar's and let it all out. You'd be right late wave if you're using Clip Size+Firing Speed Upgrades, especially with Crit Canteens. But early on and if you aren't using those upgrades, it's better just to load 1 and shoot. Over and over. Spam m1. The Beggar's is one of the most powerful spam tools in MvM thanks to the Reload Speed upgrade, which is why I put that upgrade even over 1 tick of Rocket Specialist in the Beggar's Upgrade Path.

Taking out snipers and spamming from afar is harder with Beggar's, so don't. Just stay mid-to-close range and spam m1. To take out snipers, just rocket jump up and shoot while you're near them repeatedly until one the rockets hits them (On Mannhattan only because that's the only non-custom map where they spawn above you).

The Beggar's Bazooka is the best tank buster in the Soldier's arsenal. It's probably the best tank buster in general actually. Idk I've yet to test it. Point is, still go on tank with this, especially now. Use the Buff Banner to compliment its tanking prowess for those tank waves.

Crit Canteens do especially well with the Beggar's with Clip Size+Firing Speed upgrades. If you know a giant(s) is coming, time your loading to release a crit barrage onto them and they'll die very quickly.

Did I mention to spam m1 without Clip Size+Firing Speed upgrades, which you should only even consider during late waves on missions with lots of money?
Conclusion
Crowd control and tank, then giants. Use your banner effectively. Take out snipers. DON'T shoot Uber Medics. This guide is very generalized and doesn't go very far in depth, therefore don't go saying in the comments "you forgot this," as I probably didn't forget it, but rather left it out on purpose because I decided it was too specific. Or maybe I did. This took like an hour and a half to make; I could've easily forgotten something. Cheers.
Changelog
2/19/2018
Added Upgrade Path (Beggar's Bazooka) and How to Play (Beggar's Bazooka) (Still VERY Generalized) sections.

2/24/2018
Changed Loadout sections to show stats and weapons' designs rather than just the designs. Also added reasons for Liberty Launcher and Direct Hit being bad options in the hands of most.

12/14/2019

Added "In my opinion, Rocket Specialist can be bought after Reload Speed and Firing Speed are maxed OR if there is a Super Scout. Otherwise, I just don't find the stun that useful. Maxing the 2 best DPS upgrades first is just more useful." to the Upgrade Path section. Definitely will update screenshots to reflect this soon since I ♥♥♥♥♥♥ their formatting in the process.

1/06/2020

Changed the order of upgrades in the Upgrade Path section. Also added new screenshots to reflect this. Also fixed the formatting on them (they were severely out of place.)

4/13/2020

Added "In more recent events (well, several months really), I've found out that Firing Speed actually does increase DPS. It's just not a priority. You don't need to go the Clip Size route for it to be effective. I'd slot max Firing Speed after max Reload, Damage, and Ammo, at least if you aren't super worried about resistances. Some missions resistances might be a better choice; others you will want the DPS boost." to the Upgrade Path (Beggar's Bazooka) section. Will update the screenshots to reflect this eventually. Don't know when because I'm quite lazy.

7/23/2020

Added Escape Plan to the Loadout section.

Updated the screenshots in the Upgrade Path (Beggar's Bazooka) section to reflect the change noted on 4/13/2020.
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102 Comments
✿trippy Dec 14, 2021 @ 11:28pm 
turn off viewmodel bind foolish little boy
DARUDESANDSTORM1|#savetf2 Dec 5, 2021 @ 10:48pm 
I personally like to use the Original beacuse I can see the whole battlefield with it, unlike any of the other launchers.
Feet Smeller 666 Nov 25, 2020 @ 2:39am 
what about the Air Strike + BASE Jumper combo
svan Nov 10, 2020 @ 11:26pm 
nice guide
Enigma Jul 1, 2020 @ 6:57am 
Very Good Guide, helped me as a new mvm boi
killerglitcher May 9, 2020 @ 12:52am 
cool
fingers  [author] Mar 29, 2018 @ 12:49pm 
I mean, they are a little different bceause of that. It's harder to spam around right corners with the Original but it's harder to spam around left coorners with the Stock.
pulmig Mar 29, 2018 @ 12:29pm 
well the rockets come out of the middle but still
pulmig Mar 29, 2018 @ 12:28pm 
no because it's a reskin of stock
fingers  [author] Mar 29, 2018 @ 11:12am 
Because it looks like a penis?