Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2

425 ratings
Simple Tips for Merciless Mercs: TF2
By Ethan
A list of simple tips, hints, and tricks to help you get the most out of EVERY class. Also includes common mistakes you might make and simple strategies you can employ. And look, I'm even drawing pictures!

Well hello there.

If you're like me, then you like Team Fortress 2. A lot. And if you're like me, then you've been playing long enough to realise all the little slip ups and mistakes that a lot of players seem to make, which lead to lost points, un-pushed carts and failed games. But that's okay! Hell, we've all been there. That being said, I thought I'd put together a guide to help players both old and new squeeze the most points out of our nine favourite psychopaths.

And look, I'm even drawing pictures!

Ah, the Scout. This Boston runner can either prove to be a valuable asset in winning games, or end up being nothing but target practice for enemy miniguns. Take these tips to heart, and you might just end up as the former of the two-

  • Gotta Go Fast. There's a reason the Scout has the fastest movement speed out of all the classes. With the Scout's low health, slowing down or stopping to fight enemies will leave you vulnerable to burst-damage classes like Snipers or Soldiers. Moving around will allow you to easily dodge or avoid damage, and unlike other games, won't even lower your accuracy.

  • Get Up Close and Personal. The Scout's Scattergun can do a lot of damage up close, but from a distance it's damage output falls off completely. It's generally a better idea to get as close to your enemy as you can before pulling the trigger, instead of engaging from a distance. Shooting from a distance will also alert the enemy to your location, so they can turn around and fight back before you can kill them.

    If you DO have to fight from a distance, however, the Scout's pistol is better at range than the Scattergun.

  • Capture the Things. The Scout can naturally push carts, capture points and return intelligence briefcases faster and more efficiently than any other class. That being said, it's generally more useful for a Scout to go after objectives than to run around looking for kills. In the end, the success of your team is worth more than personal kills.

  • Keep Moving, Keep Alive. The Scout can run fast. He can also run away fast. If a capture point or section of map gets too dangerous for the scout to be in, he can easily run and jump behind corners and cover. You don't need to fight all your battle or capture all your points. In most cases, you're more useful to your team when you're alive and not... well, dead. There's no shame in keeping alive.

  • Drink Responsibly. Bonk! Atomic Punch can help your team turn the tide in a fight against a Sentry Gun, as a Bonk!ed scout can absorb the Sentry's damage and survive while his teammates take it out. Far too often, however, have I seen scouts drink a can and stand in front of a Heavy until it wears off. Bonk will wear off, so make sure you're out of the danger when it does.
The Ravishing Rocket-eer

Many people will dismiss 'ol Doe for being 'cheap' or 'easy'. Really, they're all just mad that a Critical Rocket can put a jumper-stumper on their day. And that's always fun.

  • Aim for the Legs. The soldier is probably the only class (aside from the Demo) who doesn't need to shoot exactly at their target. The Soldier's rockets explode on contact, so shooting at the floor or walls around your enemy will get them caught in their explosion damage all the same. While it will deal less damage then a direct hit, it will still only take a few rockets to kill most enemies.

  • Send 'em Flying. One thing I often see rookie players forget when playing Soldier is that their rockets have the ability to push enemies around. If an enemy is close to a ledge, cliff or steep drop, shooting a rocket next to them can push them off the map, killing them with no more than a single rocket. You can also keep important enemies like Medics or intelligence carriers from completing their objectives.

  • Jump with Caution. Yes, rocket jumping is fun. We've all seen Meet the Soldier. However, in actual game terms, rocket jumping is dangerous, and often misused by new players. Unless, you have a Medic following you, rocket jumping will deal significant damage to you. Often, newer players will rocket jump too much, leaving them with too little health to fight. Rocket jumping can be used as a last measure of escape, to get behind enemies, up to high places or to quickly carry intelligence briefcases. Use it sparingly, and manage your health.

    Crouching while rocket jumping will also dramatically increase your jump height. Fun facts!

  • Shotguns Fo Life. Shotguns are actually pretty useful for the soldier to use. While they don't deal as much damage as rockets, quickly switching to the shotgun after firing all your rockets is often all that's needed to kill an enemy. If you can actually hit them, of course.

  • Buff Smart, Buff Hard. Buff packs like the Buff Banner can give your teammates great opportunities to push up to objectives, or clear objectives that your enemies hold. Try to stick with your team when you're using them, and just remember that it takes time for the buff to come into effect after activating it. Try not to push up or die before the buff actually starts, okay?
Burn, Baby Burn
Everyone's favourite mute mercenary, the Pyro can be a force to be reckoned with, being able to both attack and defend key objectives with the power of fire. Just try not to get yourself toasted, k?

  • Get Up Close and Personal. Like the Scout, the Pyro can only deal effective damage from up close. Sneaking up and attacking close quarters will be more effective than trying to engage from a distance with your secondary weapon. In most cases, anyway.

  • Smoke 'em Out. Especially when defending, you don't need to kill enemies outright. Setting them on fire will force them off control points or away from objectives. While you could chase them down and secure the kill, you'd be leaving the objective open to more enemies as a result. FIre is a key tool in making enemies flee key areas in order to search for health or a Medic. Utilize this fear to your advantage.

  • Set and Forget. You don't need to cover your enemy in flames to their very last breath. If you've caused enough damage, you can often sit back and let the afterburn secure the kill. Let the fire do the work for you.

  • Airblast is, Like, so Important. Often I see new players use airblast-deficient weapons like the Phlog or the Backburner. However, airblast is a critical feature of the Pyro, and can support the whole team when used right. Airblast can push enemies off objectives or off cliffs (that's always fun), extinguish teammates and reflect projectiles, which can all help to protect your team. A note on projectiles: reflected projectiles cannot harm your team. Therefore, it's a good idea to reflect enemy grenades. Even if you can't reflect them back towards the enemy, you can still save them from hurting your team.

  • Check for Spies. The Pyro can spy-check far better than any other class. A single hit from the flamethrower can reveal wether a teammate is a Spy. Are they on fire? If not, carry on. If they are, however, then you've got yourself a Spy there, son.
The Black Scottish Cyclops

The Demoman, with power of all things explode-y, can be a critical asset in protecting and denying capture points and objectives. Nothing says "Go Away" like several chunks of live explosives, right?

  • Deny Access. The Demo's stickybombs and grenades can send a clear message to enemies- 'Don't go this way'. When faced with stickybombs and grenades rolling accross floors, enemies will be forced to take alternate routes to objectives, or face the consequences of gunpowder and brimstone. Use this to your advantage, to keep enemies out of key areas.

  • Bowl Your Bombs. Like the Soldier, the Demo doesn't need a direct hit on an enemy to cause damage. Unlike the Soldier, however, the Demoman's grenades don't explode when they hit surfaces. Use this to your advantage, and you can try to roll your grenades along the ground towards your enemy's feet for the best chance of dealing damage.

  • Lob. What makes the Demo so special is that his projectiles are influenced by gravity. Grenades and Stickybombs will fly through the air, but still head towards the ground. With this, you can fire projectiles over walls, into cover, or around corners where enemies may be hiding. Use your grenade's bouncing and falling to your advantage.

  • Bust the Sentries. The Demoman is a formidable opponent against Sentry Guns, as his grenades and bombs can often damage Sentries, even when the Demo is outside of their targeting range. Destroying Sentries is a key role of the Demoman, so remember your duty!

  • Eyelander: Use it or Don't. The Eyelander, or even the Headtaker, for that matter, is one of the greatest melee weapons in the game. However, it takes away from the users maximum health, which is a problem. Melee weapons are incredibly situational, too. If you don't plan on getting close to your enemy, it's often a good idea to not equip the Eyelander and keep your maximum health benefits.
Big Angry Russians

The Heavy is by far the flagship class of Team Fortress. With his big guns, big hands and tiny head, this mega sized Misha can take and deal damage like a champ. Just watch out for those pesky Spies, alright?

  • Be Vigilant. The Heavy is strong, but equally slow. While he can deal a lot of damage, he's also the most vulnerable to it. Watch out for Snipers in the distance, or spies from behind you, as they can kill a full health Heavy with a single shot.

  • Shotguns R Cool. While the Heavy works best with his trusty minigun, it still takes a few seconds to spin up before firing. With this in mind, I find that it's best to run towards combat with a shotgun in hand, switching to the Minigun when you plan to use it. That way, if you suddenly find yourself faced with a Scout, Pyro or other enemy, you can fight back properly where you would've died spinning up your gun.

  • Sandviches to Share. The Sandvich can heal a heavy, sure, but sometimes others may need it more. Right clicking with the Sandvich equipped will throw it to the ground, acting as a health pack. This is good if a Medic or teammate is low on health and requires a pick me up. It can even extinguish a fire. Somehow.

  • Fight to the Last Breath. The Heavy is slow, and therefore can't run away from danger. If you find yourself faced with danger, minigun in hand, generally it's better to keep shooting at your enemy than to run and hide. Best case scenario, you kill your enemy, and you live. Worst case scenario, you die- but at least you've dealt enough damage to the enemy to force them to retreat, or be killed by another teammate.

  • Watch Your Ammo. The minigun chews up ammo, so be sure to stay on top of your supplies. If you're running low, retreat to a dispenser or ammo pick up, or find an dead player's weapon that's fallen to the ground. That can serve as 100 bullets. Somehow.
Texan Robot Man
The Engineer solves practical problems- like grubby Blu chumps trying to get their hands on important briefcases. With his Sentries, Dispensers and Teleporters in tow, the Engineer can prove to be a great stopping power against enemies of all kinds. If you play him right, that is.

  • Build the Other Things. A common mistake by newer players is that they won't build anything other than a Sentry Gun. Even if you don't intend to use them, having a Dispenser around or even a Teleporter that moves allies a few hundred feet can help your team survive and engage the enemy. Even if you just whack them to one side and don't bother to upgrade them, it's better than having them not there at all.

  • Watch Your Back. One stab from a spy is all it takes to lose all four of you max-level constructs. You don't need to watch where your Sentry Gun is looking- it can shoot for itself. If you're not actively repairing your buildings, it's better to watch for enemies from behind.

  • Build Smart. When placing your Sentries, ask yourself- Where can people shoot this from? How far can it shoot? Can people shoot it from outside it's targeting range? Try to build your Sentries around walls or cover, and make sure they can't be shot from outside their targeting range. Remember, a Sentry can only fire at one enemy at a time, so make sure enemies can't attack from both directions. No Sentry placement is perfect, but try to get the best positioning you can.

  • Wrangle With Caution. The Wrangler can give you the power to control where your Sentry gun fires. This should be used to shoot enemies outside of the Sentry's targeting range, and that's it. The Sentry can shoot enemies within it's range with better accuracy than you can, and if you die holding the Wrangler, your Sentry is vulnerable for a few seconds. Remember, the Sentry has better short range accuracy than you.

  • Sometimes You Just Need a Little Less Gun...especially on the offensive. Regular Sentry Guns are big, and slow to build, so when moving around and following objectives is key (in Payload maps, for instance), it may be a better idea to take the Gunsligner, which can build Mini-Sentries. They're faster to build, but deal less damage. Regular Sentries are better for defense, where as quick building Mini-Sentries can help a team that needs to push.
Everyone's favourite kiwi Australian. Excluding Saxton Hale, of course. The Sniper has potential to turn the tide of entire games, or can just stand a hundred yards from the fight, throwing piss jars and curse words. Whichever way you want to play is up to you.

  • Aim For the Head. Landing a headshot with (most) Sniper Rifles will deal critical damage, often killing most classes with a decent charge level. That being said, however-

  • Body Shots are Still Okay. Shooting an enemy in the body won't do as much damage, but can still do a fair amount. Sometimes it's better to shoot for the chest than to miss completely aiming for tiny tiny heads. Dealing damage will either force an enemy to retreat, or have tham killed by a teammate. Either way helps.

    If, like me, you have terrible accuracy, I find it's best to use the Sydney Sleeper. It doesn't deal headshot damage, but coats enemy's in Jarate, which will help greatly to have them retreat or be killed by a teammate.

  • Watch Yo Back. If Heavy's are vulnerable to spies, Snipers are more so. They have limited peripheral vision outside their scopes, and if you can't hear a Spy beforehand, there's little you can do. Try to listen for telltale warning sounds- uncloaking, fellow Snipers around you being stabbed, the sound of French Laughter... if you feel like giving up a secondary weapon, the Razorback can help keep Spys off your back (pun intended). Listen for it's breaking sound, though.

  • Know When Not to Snipe. Snipers are fun and incredibly powerful- but what they can't do is capture objectives. You can't push a cart or capture a point standing from a ledge a hundred yards away. If you're team has enough Snipers (more that two, mostly), it may be better to play as a more offensive class to help with the objectives at hand.
That One Doctor Guy

He's not even a real doctor. He has a PHD of lies. Just thought you should know.

  • Play as the Freakin' Medic. The Medic can keep teammates alive, end of story. And, sure enough, Teammates are better when they're alive, as opposed to being dead. A good Medic can turn the tides of an entire game, healing allies, making sure they don't have to run back for health, just making sure they don't freakin' die. Besides, shouldering the responsibility for the life and deaths of those around you is the greatest joy simulated murder games can offer!

  • There are Other Players Too, Y'Know. Often Medics will heal one Heavy, and one Heavy alone. While Heavy's make great for great tanks with a Medic by their side, it's still the Medic's responsiblity to keep their other teammates alive. If you hear the pinging of a lower health player (allies with low health will make a soft ringing noise that only Medics can hear, fyi) and see a red Health Icon over their heads, they need your help. You don't have to completely overheal them, just heal them enough to keep them in the fight.

    I should also point out that healing players with lower health will help to build your Ubercharge faster. Efficiency, yo.

  • Know Your Tools. Every Medi-Gun the Medic can use all has a different kind of Ubercharge, and are all great for different situation. While the default Medi-Gun's Invincibility is great in most situations, the Crit-Inducing charge of the Kritzkreig can help teammates to push out and mow down enemies in dangerous areas. The Quick-Fix is also great for offense, it's charge allowing you to keep almost any ally alive while still being able to push payload carts and capture points. Look at the map and your situation, and choose the right tool for the job.

  • Healing is Better than Hurting. You're always better off healing the teammate next to you than shooting enemies alongside them. The Medic can't do much damage outright, and his weapons are really only a last resort if he's got no teammates to back him up. When faced with combat, it's always better to help you team than to try and hurt the enemy.
Sneaky, Beaky Like.

The Spy. Arguably, the hardest class to play as in Team Fortress. Also the most infuriating to come accross. Stick with me, and you'll have neckbeard gamers ranging through their headsets in no time at all-

  • Act the Part. When disguising as an enemy, think to yourself- where would this character be right now? What should they be doing? What role are they supposed to play? Nothing's more suspicious than a class where they shouldn't be (like, for instance, an Engineer or Sniper charging headlong into battle). Think about who you're disguised as, and act as they would.

  • Speak Up! Another thing that makes Spies so suspicious is that they look like they're hiding something. When you see a friendly Pyro creeping around your base, trying to stay out of sight, that immediately raises eyebrows. Using voice commands and hanging around in the open will make you look less suspicious. When you use voice commands, your class also performs animations in the third person, which will lower suspicion. The Positive, Negative, Cheers and Jeers voice commands cause your character to say things without creating messages in chat, which is optimal. Thank your Enemy Medics if they heal you, too. It's just nice.

  • Flight Can be Better Than Fight. Sometimes, playing Spy can go wrong, and before you know it you're surrounded by enemies in a bad situation. But here's the thing I see Spy players forget the most- you can turn invisible. With his low health and poor ranged damage, it's often a better idea for a Spy to cloak and hide before they can get killed by the enemy team. Seriously, just find a corner. They can't see you, remember?

  • Disguise Wise. Choose your disguise wisely- some disguises are better than others. Disguising as a Scout, but moving as slow as a Spy is a dead giveaway, so be careful. Disguising as either a Soldier, Demoman or Heavy will slow you down, so be cautious of that (that isn't to say 'don't disguise as them', but just keep that in mind). Also, if you have 'Use Player Model in Class HUD' turned on in Advanced Options, you can see the equipment your disguise has equipped. Stay away from disguising as classes with all stock weapons, as that means there's no player on your enemy team playing as that class. That'll give away your Spy status almost instantly.

  • Sneak Around the Back. Invisible or not, running headlong through battle in order to get behind the enemy lines will most often get you caught out in the crossfire. Most maps will have sneaky side routes you can sneak through to get behind enemies. It's a good idea to take these side roads playing as other classes, too.

  • Stab the Bad Guys in the Back. Don't just stand there shooting your revolver at them. C'mon, that's just dumb.
Beyond the Badlands
No matter who you're playing as, there's still a few little tidbits you can do to make sure you can keep the game as fun as possible for every player- regardless of the colour of their team.

  • Choose Your Class Wisely. Check out who your team is playing as and try to fill any niches. If your team is full of Snipers, choosing to play as a Sniper may be a poor choice. If you've got a team full of Heavies, then maybe playing Medic is a good idea. Choose your class based on who's on your team.

  • Focus on the Objectives. It's better to go after objective like capture points and payloads than it is to try and get as many kills as possible. Sure, killing enemies can help your team, but if no one's on the capture points, then maybe you should think about heading for them.

  • Trade Responsibly. If you're in the market for trading strange's or unusuals, that's fine. But don't spam the chat with a copy-pasted trading message every two minutes. If no-one wants to trade, then no one wants to trade. Hit up a trade server or forum instead harassing public games. Likewise, if someone says they don't want to trade, then they don't want to trade. I've had to block multiple players because they didn't understand that I don't want to trade my Strange Snack Attack. It's mine, go away.

  • Exorcise Exploiters. Team Fortress is prone to bugs, especially involving Teleporter exploits. That said, those who abuse the game spoil it for half of the players. Everything from teleporting Spies in spawn rooms to building Sentry's underground should be discouraged, reported or kicked. Hell, all three is best.

  • Silence is Golden. If you're having problems with mic-spammers or annoying twelve year olds (no offense, regular twelve year olds), then instead of telling everyone to shut up, you can turn of voice commands all together. Press ` (the wiered comma thing next to the escape button) to open up the dev console. From there, type "Voice_Enable 0" to enjoy pure silence in TF2. You can re-enable voice chat with Voice_Enable 1. This works in all other Source Engine games, like Counter Strike.

  • Respect the Gibus. Just because a player has nothing but the Ghastly Gibus to their name (or any other 'entry level' hat) does not mean they should be made the object of ridicule. We were all at their stage once; cold, poor and hat-less. Give them a chance to shine. Or you can Dominate them into oblivion- just don't be a d!ck about it.

  • Reading is Good for the Brain. Do you know that TF2 makes their own comics? They're pretty rad. You can read them all on their website.

  • If Someone has the Conga Taunt, You Dance. No exceptions.
Have Fun!

Well, those are the tips this cool Catt has to offer. If you've got some advice of your own, feel free to talk about it in the comments. And, if you liked the pretty pictures, here's some links you might like-




It took a lot of time to draw these nine jerks. I think I've earnt some blatant self promotion.
< >
MUTANT OVERLORD Nov 11, 2016 @ 1:00pm 
Sniper is not Australian.
◆ Turret Jul 13, 2015 @ 2:23pm 
I'm thinking about being a coach on TF2, and I will most certainly recommend this guide to anybody, newbies or veterans alike. I certainly learned a few things from it!
bbq sauce Jun 28, 2015 @ 8:30pm 
Awesome and very helpful guide
wildone333 Feb 20, 2015 @ 4:41pm 
love the art
Heck Dec 26, 2014 @ 7:20am 
As scout, when using the Baby Faces Blaster, any weapon will give you boost, you can use this to your advantage by using any of the pistols, walk to a point you think is good and unload your pistol rounds into anyone you see, then go for anything you want to.
Satsuki, the Dazzling Lady Nov 15, 2014 @ 12:52pm 
An excellent guide, comrade! This Garrosh approves!
Crenzus Nov 15, 2014 @ 12:15pm 
I doubt there will be many people that will stick to this guide...noone does. :gaper:
Pieeeeeees Nov 14, 2014 @ 5:44pm 
i rember when i used gibus,but as soon as i found it,i put paint i found when i just joined.i was lucky and nobody called me noob
Hoody Nov 14, 2014 @ 1:24pm 
lololololol nice anus
vibin' Nov 14, 2014 @ 9:26am