Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2

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

Being able to rescue your buildings from a distance can be very useful, especially for Sentry Busters. Also you take less damage from spam since you don't have to be next to your sentry in order to repair it. At his core, Engineer is a support class, especially in MvM, so not having a damage-dealing Primary isn't that big a loss.

All three of these have certain niches in MvM. Each one can be useful under certain circumstances. However, since this guide is targeted for beginners, I don't think they have a place here. The Rescue Ranger is just too good to pass up for the Meta Engineer playstyle. Maybe one day in a more specific guide.


The increased range is useful since your sentry is generally in the back lines or on the flank. The main attraction is the shield though. With it, you rival the Heavy's tanking abilities and it allows you to block Giants while damaging them up close. It'll absorb damage for your team, keep Giants in place, all the while doing damage. Rebuild canteens also add to its tanking prowess but that'll be discussed later. You can counter the 3 second cooldown by picking up and replacing your sentry. In MvM, buildings have no redeploy animation (they do have a build animation if you're midwave and it was already destroyed; it only applies to redeploy). Can also sentry jump with it which allows you to go between main and flank routes quickly (as long as you have the Rescue Ranger to bring it with you that is). Shooting yourself with bullets can help your Medic build Uber.

A similar situation to the majority of Engineer's primaries. It's just outclassed. There's no need to eliminate projectiles when the Wrangler's shield combined with Building Health upgrades already minimizes the damage a bunch. It's not terrible, but the Wrangler just does a better job.


Reliable all around. Good repair rate and can refill ammo and setup again relatively quickly without Rebuild canteens if you get Attack Speed upgrades on it (nothing compared to the Jag though).

It's not necessary to use Rebuild canteens to setup again with this. While personally I roll with the Stock wrench because of the Jag's slow repair rate (which can be combatted with the Rescue Ranger), it's still a very viable option. Spies will be annoying though with a damage penalty and the fact that it takes 3 hits to remove a sapper. Luckily there's not too many of those in MvM.

Where do I begin? Mini-sentries don't have a sustainable DPS to keep up with the amount of robots provided. They don't have tanking prowess even with the Wrangler to absorb damage for the team. They can't sentry block, which is especially annoying on waves with Super Scouts. No random crits means Spies will be annoying. A good PvP weapon; a terrible one for MvM.

Not getting much metal from pickups can be very annoying since your Dispenser is mainly for your team and not you (can be countered with Max Metal Capacity but I still don't think it's worth it). It isn't worth the ability to teleport. Also the construction thing is bad, but not too bad since Rebuild canteens exist. The Gunslinger is much worse, but this is still bad.
Upgrade Path
This is the general order for how your upgrades should be purchased:
  1. 3 (Full) Dispenser Range
  2. Rebuild Canteens
  3. 1 Max Metal Capacity, can get more later
  4. 3 (Full) Building Health
  5. 2-way Teleporter
  6. Any amount of Wrench Attack Speed
  7. 2nd tick of Max Metal Capacity
  8. 1-2 ticks of Sentry Firing Speed (Note: I've heard that 1st tick works as intended, 2nd tick only applies while wrangled, and 3rd tick does nothing, but I myself haven't tested it and I generally just get 1 tick anyways. I'm not exactly sure how it works but I've head from many people it's bugged. It's more complicated than I care to do research for in a Beginner's guide.)
  9. Resistances that apply to the wave
  10. Movement Speed and Jump Height
  11. Any extra cash can be spent on more Max Metal Capacity or Rescue Ranger upgrades.

Always have at least 1 Rebuild canteen handy, even Wave 1. Waves after that I roll with 3 of them.

I put 2-way Teleporter early on the list because the teams I play with usually like to get the mission done quickly. It just allows for everyone to get upgrades quicker, even during the wave. It's not as good on Rottenburg since there's an upgrades station right there, but keep in mind it's not accessible during the wave. Having 2-way affects where your teleporter should be placed. It can be purchased much later if your team doesn't mind walking/switching classes and switching back or having to get upgrades solely between waves. Wrench Attack Speed and Sentry Firing Speed can be bought before it unless you're speedrunning or something.

Crit resistance is the most important resistance on Engineer in my opinion because of the mark for death while hauling buildings. It's not that bad since you shouldn't move your buildings when you're exposed, but it's something to keep in mind.

Wrench Attack Speed combined with the Soldier's Buff Banner can make for a decent tank buster. If your Soldier isn't using Beggar's Bazooka he probably won't be able to solo a tank, so follow it with him. It also makes refilling your sentry's ammo less annoying and time-consuming.

For Rescue Ranger upgrades, I prefer Clip Size and Firing Speed when I do get them (which I usually don't), but some people prefer Reload Speed. Find out what suits you.

Jump Height will need to be bought much earlier if you want to make use of something I'll discuss later. I'd place it around getting Wrench Attack Speed and Sentry Firing Speed. It's also useful for switching between areas quickly (2 jumps to get between main and flank on Mannhattan through Sniper's van, 1 jump on Rottenburg to get over the gate the tank smashes).

How to Play
Since your sentry does most of the work for you, you don't exactly have priority targets persay. Generally guard the flank routes and keep your sentry near the bomb if your team isn't near the bomb. Definitely keep it on the bomb if the bomb is behind the front line.

Wrangle on Giants to absorb their damage for your team and also deal more damage with the increased firing speed.

Move your dispenser as the bots change their main spawn location. This happens a lot on the map Rottenburg. They'll start on the left side, but later on they'll only be spawning on the right cliff, so your dispenser would be much better off below the hill. Make sure it's where your team is and where the robots are mainly spawning from. It also sometimes happens on Mannhattan where most of the time they spawn below by the ramp but once in a while the majority will be coming from upstairs (Ex: At the end of Wave 4 Metro Malice the only robots not spawning from the catwalk are like 3 support Scouts total, where as those on the catwalk are a ton more support Scouts and Giant Soldiers).

Sentry block Giants, especially Super Scouts.

Keep your dispenser near your team while also giving it a decent amount of cover.

How to get rid of a sentry buster safely: 1) Carry your sentry away from your team, 2) walk up to the buster with your sentry in hand, 3) walk away from the buster right after touching it. Make sure it's preparing to explode before walking away or else it might still follow you. Sometimes touching it is a bit iffy for some reason. You can also let it walk to your sentry and rescue it with the Rescue Ranger. Just make sure it's out of your team's range and that you have 100 metal before doing so.

Wrangle your sentry for Uber Medics so they don't pop before your Demoman/Sniper/Crutch Passer Pyro takes them out.

On tank waves if you have a Pyro or something soloing it, temporarily bring your dispenser with them on the tank so they can keep firing without needing to go find ammo. Bring it back to the front line after you've heard a few refill sounds that it makes so those defending the front line won't run out of ammo.

If you don't have a class dedicated for soloing the tank, you should follow it along with a Soldier if you have a decent amount of Wrench Attack Speed. Bring your sentry along too if you have at least one tick of Sentry Firing Speed. I'd like to bring an end to the mindset that Soldier and Demoman are the tank busting, when you're much better off with Soldier and Engineer so the Demoman can stay up front, especially if the front has Uber Medics. Sticky Demoman isn't that good a tank buster anyways. It just seems like he is because of the burst damage of sticky traps.

Do the same thing as the last paragraph but for a Sniper if you have one on your team. The Rescue Ranger can make this process much easier. Bring it back to your main DPS classes after you've heard a few refill sounds.

If your Heavy isn't being aggressive, move your dispenser up to encourage him to play more forward. They generally follow dispensers. Just remind him that Dispenser Range means he doesn't have to be so close to it, bringing damage towards it.

Wrangle your sentry to take out snipers if your Soldier or Scout hasn't already done so.

You can use Rebuild canteens while wrangling to add to your sentry's tanking power. Say you're blocking a Giant Heavy but your sentry is getting low on health. You just pop a canteen which allows it to stay alive and keep absorbing its damage long enough for your team to kill it. Keep in mind it only refills its health and won't put its ammo back to full.

Generally cover flank routes with your Soldier if bots are spawning on and/or using them.

Front Line Building Spots (FLBS)
This is just some building placements for good teams who aren't having trouble holding the front line. I'm not gonna discuss many spots for being pushed back since this guide is meant to be generalized. It's broken up by map and type of building. Instead of showing every single spot useful for sentry blocking, I'll just a link to a guide full of those. Character limits force to me put each one into different section but whatever.

There's a ton of useful blocking spots on every map, so I'm just gonna link this here to showcase almost every spot that can do so. Thanks to itsgalf for this masterpiece. Check out his other guides too if you want. They're very worth your time.

Here goes starting with Mannhattan:
FLBS - Mannhattan

This is a good passive spot that also covers the flank route, one of Engineer's main roles for the map.

A bit more of a range on the main drop spot. Only use if no bots (support snipers excluded) are coming down the catwalk and stairs.

The same as above but a bit more aggressive. Make sure you wrangle if Uber Medics are coming. You're also very exposed so be aware of spam.


With Dispenser Range it can still reach your team nicely while also having cover. Great for beginners.

A good combination of accessibility and cover. It can also reach you on the second level if you place it right. In my opinion, the best spot overrall.

A bit exposed but my personal favorite spot since your team is guaranteed ammo from almost anywhere they should be attacking from. Aggressive.

Very aggressive, wouldn't recommend unless your team is good. If they are though, the aggressiveness pays off with your team having high damage ramp-up and a close ammo source.

Teleporter Entrance

For 2-way Teleporter.

Not for 2-way Teleporter.

Teleporter Exit

Passive 2-way Teleporter.

Aggressive 2-way Teleporter.

Passive Teleporter without 2-ways.

Passive-ish Teleporter without 2-ways.
FLBS - Rottenburg

A very passive yet effective spot for a Meta Engineer playstyle. It can also block Super Scouts if placed just right.

A surprisingly decent range and a lot of cover. Can be very useful on waves that have large groups of Soldiers spawning on the left.

Very aggressive but pays off with the damage numbers. Can also block Giants if placed just right. Make sure you wrangle it most of the time since it's so exposed and prone to taking damage.

A good passive spot for when the bots are spawning from the right cliff. Can also block Super Scouts if placed just right.

An aggressive spot that takes surprisingly little damage for its positioning. Useful for when bots are only spawning on the right cliff.


The best spot. It has cover, accessibility to those defending the main left route, while still being a short walk for those on the right hill. Only downside is a far walk for Snipers. If placed a little off it may be in a Sentry Buster's path so be careful.

Good spot for when bots are only spawning on the hill. Don't put right against the hill though since ammo no longer goes through walls.

Good spot for when bots are spawning on hill or pushing right and your team is a bit pushed back. Don't put it right behind the wall since ammo no longer goes through walls.

Same as above but even more pushed back. The tunnel is generally easy to defend though.

It used to be a good spot. It had cover and provided reliable ammo. However, in my opinion, the change in that ammo no longer goes through walls ruined this spot.
Teleporter Entrance

With 2-way Teleporter.

Without 2-way Teleporter. Make sure it isn't right against the wall or it might lip up and make it harder to walk on.

Teleporter Exit

Passive Teleporter without 2-ways.

Passive Teleporter useful with and without 2-ways.

Aggressive 2-way Teleporter. Only use if your team is doing fine handling the front. Make sure it doesn't lip up or it'll be hard to stand on and access the 2-way feature.
FLBS - Bigrock

A very aggressive spot for teams that can fully handle the front. Be sure to wrangle if you're using this spot during sections with Uber Medics. Also blocks Giants which is nice.

A bit more passive of a spot but still manages to get some kills. Gives the Medic Picker a chance to get Medics without you being the one that pops them. Also a blocking spot.

A very passive spot that is really only meant to clean up the robots that slip by during really spammy sections, such as Wave 6 of Broken Parts. Can block if placed just right.


My favorite spot. Very good for aggressive teams.

A passive, but not too passive, spot for okay teams. Also gives ammo to Snipers, the ones that snipe from this spot at least.

Good for if you're getting pushed back a bit. Also good if your Sniper is the only competent team member. Be aware that when Giants go around the corner they will smash it.

Teleporter Entrance

Best for 2-way and without, although you should always have 2-way on Bigrock.

Teleporter Exit

Has a lot of cover while still being close enough to the front lines. Also quick access for competent Snipers that shoot from the rock it's near.

A bit closer to your team in exchange for cover. Don't bother if you don't have 2-way, but you should. It's a very big map.
FLBS - Decoy

Very aggressive spot. Obligatory wrangle for sections with Uber Medics. Can block Giants.

More passive spot for a left bomb path. Can block.

Passive spot for right block path. Can block.

I already linked a guide to a ton of blocking spots but this one just takes the cake. With walls on both sides, if you're lucky enough to get a right bomb path, it'd be very hard to lose from a Super Scout here.


For aggressive teams that have no trouble holding the front.

A bit less aggressive but still good for front line play. It's best on the right side regardless of bomb path since it can reach the players covering the upper level.

Passive spot for a left bomb path. Good for encouraging newer players to stay back during Uber Medic sections such as Wave 1 of Desperation.

Passive spot for a right bomb path.

Teleporter Entrance

Neutral position.

For 2-way Teleporter.

Teleporter Exit
These kind of confuse me for Decoy so bare with me.

Center spot that's useful for getting Snipers right to their position.

Good for left bomb paths.

Good for right bomb paths as well as getting flank classes to the upper level.

For 2-way Teleporter on aggressive teams.
FLBS - Coaltown

Passive-Aggressive Spot that can semi-reliably block Super Scouts. Gives a little bit of time for your pick class to get Uber Medics as well and also for Bonk Scouts to lose their invulnerability.

Very aggressive. Good teams only. Can block Giants that spawn left side. Wrangle for Uber Medics.

Passive for a left bomb path. Can block.

Passive for a right bomb path. Sometimes blocks.

Best spot for average teams. A bit passive but still accessible.

Aggressive for left side.

Aggressive for right side.

Passive for a left bomb path. The reason it's not behind the fence is because ammo no longer goes through walls. It's just to make it a bit easier for your team.

Passive for a right bomb path. The reason it's not behind the fence is because ammo no longer goes through walls. It's just to make it a bit easier for your team.

Teleporter Entrance

Neutral position.

For 2-way Teleporter.

Teleporter Exit

Good for getting a Sniper to an ideal position. A little bit of a walk for the rest of your team though.

Passive-ish that's close enough and works with and without 2-way. Left bomb path.

Passive-ish that's close enough and works with and without 2-way. Right bomb path.

For 2-way Teleporter.

FLBS - Mannworks

It's important to remember that on Mannworks especially wrangling can make your job a lot easier since the missions generally have more spam.

Reliable blocking spot for a left bomb path that is semi-passive.

Semi-reliable blocking spot that is aggressive. Left bomb path.

Reliable blocking spot for a right bomb path that is semi-passive.

Semi-reliable blocking path that is aggressive. Right bomb path.


Passive dispenser spot for a left bomb path. I like to peak it out a bit from the wall since ammo no longer goes through them.

A bit more aggressive of a spot that still has plenty of cover. If your team is playing around the corner it'll work just fine. Left bomb path.

Very aggressive spot with cover from the left robot spawn but is vulnerable to spam from the right dropdown. Good for aggressive teams. Left bomb path.

Passive spot for a right bomb path.

It's vulnerable to spam from both sides but in my experience it rarely gets targeted. This is one of my favorite spots since it can reach your team if they're on the corner just below. Right bomb path.

Very aggressive spot with cover initially from both sides. Although if the robots push even the slightest bit, it will get targeted. Good for aggressive teams. Right bomb path.

This is a very, very aggressive spot that I absolutely wouldn't suggest for Mannslaughter. It's great on the easier missions from Oil Spill and Steel Trap. Works wonders on aggressive teams. Bomb path doesn't really matter since you'll be killing them before they get a chance to move to either one.

Teleporter Entrance

Without a doubt the best spot for it. Works well with and without 2-way. The only downside is most people don't know that you can place buildings inside of here. If you'd rather save yourself the trouble of telling them or they are just hopeless to listen, use the next spot.

With or without 2-way.

Teleporter Exit

Good spot for left bomb path. Passive yet close to the front.

Good spot for right bomb path. Passive yet close to the front.

Sentry Buster Tricks
Force-detonating Busters on Mannhattan

In order to do this, you don't need Jump Height upgrades, but it makes the process easier because otherwise you need to sentry jump and that can be time-consuming. You simply jump on these certain crates by Gate B. The top crate will force-detonate the buster as soon as it drops down. If you want to force-detonate before it even gets a chance to drop, you need to stand on a part of the fence above the top crate. You have to be quick about it though as soon as the Announcer says that a buster is coming. As far as I know, there aren't any spots on other maps that can do this.

As soon as it drops:

Before it gets a chance to drop:
Your dispenser takes priority over your sentry. 2-way Teleporter is underrated. Sentry-block. Wrangle. Exploit busters at your own risk. Generally cover the flank. Keep your dispenser accessible to where the majority of your team is playing at all times. I will be adding building spots for Decoy, Coaltown, Mannworks, and Bigrock soon, so just know I didn't forget them. This guide is generalized for the most part, so 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. However, if you truly feel I did, I may change parts to fit whatever fix you may have in mind. Cheers.
Removed a certain part in the Sentry Buster Tricks section for sake of not getting into bad habits.

Tweaked notes regarding 2-way Teleporter and Sentry Firing Speed.

Added Bigrock to the FLBS section since I'm nearing 100 tours in Mecha and figured I've got the hang of it now.

Increased sizes of the images in the Mannhattan and Rottenburg parts of the FLBS section.

Added Decoy to the FLBS section.

Added Coaltown to the FLBS section.

Added Mannworks to the FLBS section. (I actually had these ready on the same day of Decoy and Coaltown but I was too tired to add them at the time and just forgot about them. I've gotten a new PC since then and didn't bother transferring the data so I finally decided to get new screenshots and add them.)

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heykidimsans69 Sep 5, 2021 @ 9:47am 
thanks for the help! i’m training in boot camp before i go into a real tour, and this helps a ton.
Awesomer the 3rd Aug 30, 2021 @ 7:47pm 
Dispensers are the best building in mvm, and getting dispenser range will allow your team to move around and get more kills without worrying about dying because of the dispenser giving them health/ammo. There not just for you, but your team too!
Amicdict Jul 15, 2021 @ 10:46pm 
Why should dispenser range be bought first? I think Building Health and Metal Capacity are way more important upgrades to go for initially, as they provide function al benefits that help you get past the early stages.
engineer gaming May 8, 2021 @ 7:02pm 
engineer gaming
Kebabmeister Apr 16, 2021 @ 7:56am 
Good guide I am new to MvM and this helped me a lot Thanks!
OriginalName Mar 27, 2021 @ 11:36pm 
wrangling on the 2nd spot for coaltown is pretty efficient if you need to take down bigger bots like the demo bots. You can shred those with a wrangled sentry and a normal sentry
2peed2katez Aug 30, 2020 @ 9:24pm 
i only put 2 way early on mannhattan, since the upgrade station is pretty far away from the frontline, so 2 way is really important. Unlike rottenburg, which the upgrade station isn't that far so 2 way tele isn't really necessary unless if the giant bomber is halfway through the final pit.
the notorious H.M.K Jul 9, 2020 @ 3:01pm 
Thank you so much for making this! It was really helpful, especially with a brief and not over-complicated explanation for upgrade paths. Thanks a bunch!
fingers  [author] Jun 7, 2020 @ 11:47pm 
I don't personally ever use Frontier, and the people that I know do don't upgrade it at all. As for Widowmaker, I only ever upgrade Firing Speed since I pretty much only use it on tanks. I know a couple people who like to use it for bots as well though, in which case Penetration probably couldn't hurt.
GlowDonk Jun 7, 2020 @ 11:45pm 
Say, what upgrades are good for the Frontier Justice and Widowmaker? Just need to know since I am gonna use the Justice for missions without tanks and the Widow for the ones with Tanks