Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2

47 ratings
The Beginner's Guide to Team Fortress 2
By brick
The guide you should read when new to TF2.

Welcome to the team and class based FPS Team Fortress 2! If you are reading this you probably are new to the game or thinking about getting it. Because TF2 is such a big game with a lot of content, it can seem overwhelming at first. Through this guide I will talk about controls, classes, official gamemodes, and items.
Team Fortress 2 uses pretty standard pc first person shooter controls. If you have never played a fps on a computer look at this section.

One of the unique things about tf2 is it's 9 different classes. Each is very different from the other and each fit a different play style. Classes counter other classes so it is good to have many different classes your team. A team with good class composition is a winning team. If there are too many of one class, switch to another.



HP: 125
Weapons: Scattergun, Pistol, Baseball Bat
Difficulty: Intermediate
Counters: Engineer, Heavy
The scout is the fastest class in tf2. Scouts are good for taking the objectives or the intelligence. In CTF the scout's speed allows him to quickly take the enemy's intelligence, while in other game modes he captures objectives twice as fast as any other class. Scouts have very low health but can deal high damage with their scatterguns.


HP: 200
Weapons: Rocket Launcher, Shotgun, Shovel
Difficulty: Easy
Counters: Pyro
The soldier is the best class for getting to know tf2. He is a very versatile class that is good in all situations. Soldier doesn't have any hard counters, but pyros can reflect his rockets back at him with an airblast. Soldier is the second slowest class, but makes up for it by being able to rocket jump. Rocket jumping takes some time to master but is very useful. It is done by shooting the ground below yourself with your rocket launcher and jumping. Soldier is the first class you should try out when getting into tf2.


HP: 175
Weapons: Flamethrower, Shotgun, Fire Axe
Difficulty: Easy
Counters: Heavy, Engineer
The pyro is a great flanking and ambush class that can deal high damage up close. Pyros can take out most classes if they get up right next to them. The pyro's flamethrower lights enemies on fire and makes them take afterburn. Afterburn is very deadly because it damages the enemy over time, other pyros however aren't effected by afterburn, so fight them with your shotgun. The pyro can also be a very good team player as he is able to right click and airblast which extinguishes enemies who are on fire, plus you get a +20 health reward for it. The airblast also launches projectiles back at the person who fired it, which can counter soldiers and demomen. Pyros can reveal cloaked spies with their fire. Sticking around engineers and defending their equipment from spies can really help your team out. Pyro however suffers from very little range, so stick up close to your enemies.



HP: 175
Weapons: Grenade Launcher, Stickybomb Launcher, Bottle of Scrumpy
Difficulty: Intermediate
Counters: Scout, Pyro
The demoman is a high-damage dealing explosive projectile class. He is good for defending an objective or destroying enemy engineer buildings. The demoman's grenade launcher can be used to directly hit enemies dealing 100 damage, or bouncing them off the ground or walls to hit people around corners, while dealing less damage. He can also roll his grenades down hills or ramps. He also has a stickybomb launcher which can be used to set up traps and explode enemies trying to invade your base. Demoman also has an alternate play style called demoknight, which is a strong melee play style. To play demoknight you have to find or unlock the weapons needed.


HP: 300
Weapons: Minigun, Shotgun, Fists
Difficulty: Easy
Counters: Sniper, Spy
The heavy is the strongest class in tf2. His extremely high health and powerful weapons make him the tankiest class. The heavy normally does the best when being healed by a medic, as the two together can easily mow down the entire enemy offense. Due to his high health it will take a while for most classes to kill him. Even though the heavy is strong, he is not invincible. Heavy is the slowest class and will take him a lot of time to get to the front lines. The heavy also is normally focused down by the other team, which can be overwhelming. He is also the main target for spies and snipers, who with headshots and backstabs can easily 1-hit kill him.


HP: 125
Weapons: Shotgun, Pistol, Wrench, Construction PDA, Destruction PDA
Difficulty: Intermediate
Counters: Demoman, Spy
The engineer is the main defense and support class in tf2. Having engineers on your team if you are defending is your key to success. What makes the engineer so special is that he is able to create 3 different buildings, each can be leveled up to level 3 using metal. Each building takes 200 metal to upgrade, and you can get more metal from ammo packs or the resupply locker. The first building is the sentry gun. The sentry gun is a great tool for area denial, and should be using to guard objectives. Level 1 sentries are small and fire slower, level 2s are bigger and have a faster fire rate, and level 3s have a missile rack. If there are multiple engineers, build your sentries in different places on the map to get the most out of them and make them harder to destroy. Next are dispensers which resupply your health, ammo, and engineer's metal. When you level them up they get more efficient. Finally there is the teleporter, which has an entrance and an exit. The allow your teammates to get to the frontlines quicker. Upgrading them makes teleporting people faster. Spies will most likely try to take down your building with their sappers, so keep an eye out for them.
Classes (Continued)


HP: 150
Weapons: Syringe Gun, Medigun, Bonesaw
Difficulty: Easy
Counters: Scout, Soldier, Pyro, Demoman, Heavy, Engineer, Sniper, Spy
The medic is the ultimate healer on the tf2 battlefield, he is the one that keeps his team alive. The medic is the most important class in tf2, and you should always have one on your team. The medic can heal anyone on his team with his medigun, and if he keeps healing them they can get overhealed, which means they have extra health. The medic should stick around his teammates and not venture out on his own. Some medics decide to stick with one player and heal them, but make sure to heal the rest of your team as well. Medics should normally stick with soldiers, demomen, or heavies. However, if your patient dies, the medic can protect himself with his syringe gun and bonesaw. The medics best ability is his Übercharge, which can make him and his patient invisible to damage for 10 seconds. This ability allows for great offensive pushes on the enemy and can even decide the game. Medics main flaw is that the entire enemy team is going for him, kind of like the heavy. Medics will be focused down by everyone, so if you are being healed by one make sure to protect him. Medics should also get health packs before anyone else because you want them to stay alive as long as possible.


HP: 125
Weapons: Sniper Rifle, SMG, Kukri
Difficulty: Hard
Counters: Spy
Sniper is one of the simpler classes in tf2, as his main purpose is to pick of the enemy team one by one. Snipers should normally focus down heavies, medics, and other snipers. As sniper you should always try to engage the enemy in long range combat, because then you can kill them without getting hurt. Sniper is vulnerable in close combat, as he has low health and his SMG does little damage, so try to use your kukri when up close. If you see an enemy sniper, kill him before anyone else so he will not get you while you are trying to focus down another enemy. Spies will also try to pick you off when you are focused on the battlefield, so try to be careful.


HP: 125
Weapons: Revolver, Knife, Sapper, Disguise Kit, Invisibility Watch
Difficulty: Hard
Counters: Pyro
Spy is the deadly assassin of the tf2 team. He can quickly kill off important targets and sneak back away. The spy is equipped with a lot off tools that can help him infiltrate the enemy base. First, he has the deadly ability to backstab people with his knife, which is an instant kill. The spy can also take the appearance of an enemy using the disguise kit. While disguised you will look like the enemy and sentries wont shoot at you, however if you attack you will lose the disguise. While disguised try to act like the enemy you are disguised as. You can also turn invisible/cloak with the invisibility watch, it does have a timer on it and once it is up you become visible again. Cloak refills over time when not disguised, or you can get it back through picking up ammo. You can't attack while invisible. Try to avoid pyros when disguised or invisible as they can make you visible to the enemy via their fire. Finally, the spy can attach a sapper onto an enemy engineer's buildings. The sapper will disable the building and destroy until 6-8 seconds is up. An engineer can remove your sapper with his wrench, so try to kill him or distract him before he can remove it.

Game Modes
Team Fortress 2 has a lot of game modes that run on Valve's official servers. In this section I will be covering all the game modes that run on Valve's servers. I recommend playing on Valve servers before venturing into community ones.

Capture the Flag (Ctf)

Ctf is a game mode where RED and BLU try to take each others intelligence (flags) to the their base on a mostly symmetrical map. The intelligence is located in a room deep into the enemy base, so you should work as a team to push in and grab it. Scouts usually are the ones trying to take it. Engineers normally defend the intelligence with their sentries. If you die carrying the intelligence it will be dropped and stay there for 60 seconds, then will respawn in the intelligence room. Your team wins by capturing the enemy intelligence 3 times. If nobody captures the intelligence it may end in a stalemate. There are many maps to play ctf on.

Payload (Pl)

Payload is a game mode where BLU tries to push an explosives filled cart through checkpoints and eventually into RED's base while RED tries to stop them. Payload maps sometimes have multiple parts to them. RED should chose more defensive classes in this game mode, like engineers. If no BLU players push the cart in 30 seconds it will slowly roll back to the last checkpoint until moved again. The cart also gives health and ammo to BLU like a dispenser. BLU wins by pushing the cart to the last checkpoint and blowing up RED's base. RED wins by running down the clock. There are many maps to play payload on.

Attack/Defend (Cp)

Attack/Defend is a game mode with control points where BLU tries to capture all of RED's control points while RED defends. Attack/Defend maps usually have 3 control points on them, and sometimes are split into multiple parts. RED should chose more defensive classes in this game mode, like engineers. BLU wins if they capture all of RED's control points. Red wins by running down the clock. There are a lot of Attack/Defend maps

Control Point (Cp)

Control Point is the other control point game mode where both teams try to capture all the control points. Cp maps usually have 5 control points. Cp maps are normally very big, so being able to get to the front lines quick is important. Your team wins by capturing all of the control points. If the clock runs down it may be a stalemate. I don't recommend playing cp when you are new. Cp servers usually attract more experienced players due to cp being the main game mode of tf2 competitive (6s and Highlander). There are many cp maps.

King of the Hill (Koth)

Koth is a game mode where both teams try to capture a single control point in the middle of a mostly symmetrical map. Koth maps are usually pretty small and most short range classes excel on them. Each team tries to hold the control point for 3:00 minutes. When one team captures it, the other teams timer will pause. Your team wins by running down its 3:00 minute clock. There are many Koth servers to play on.

Payload Race (Plr)

Plr is the same gamemode as payload but where both teams have a cart and try to push it to the final checkpoint. Your team wins by pushing the payload to the final checkpoint before the other team does. There are only 3 official plr maps.

Mannpower (ctf)

Mannpower is basically the same game mode as ctf, but in this version there are grapling hooks and powerups. I don't recommend playing Mannpower when you are new because it can be pretty confusing. Most mannpower maps are remakes of other maps but this time they allow you to move around more freely.

Game Modes (Continued)
note: these game modes are only available in the alternate section of quick play.

Special Delivery (Sd)

Sd is a game mode where both teams try to take a single briefcase of australium to a rocket. There is a platform that slowly lifts you up to the rocket to deposit the australium. Because there is only one briefcase, it is at the back of the map. When you drop the briefcase it will be available to pick up for 45 seconds, then will respawn at the back of the map for anyone to pick up. Your team wins by depositing it into the rocket, only to see it crash in a field afterwards. There is only 1 map for sd, Doomsday.

Player Destruction (Pd)

Pd is a game mode featured in the alien themed invasion update. In the game mode you try to take beer which is dropped by other players to an alien ship, which in turn delivers it to the mothership. Your team wins by delivering the most beer to the aliens. There is only 1 map for pd, Watergate.

Medieval (Cp)

Medieval mode is the same mode as attack defend except that you are not allowed to use any weapons besides melee. Some classes have other weapons that you are able to use like bows, shields, and hatchets. Basically no guns. I wouldn't recommend playing this game mode right as you start, because you will need to unlock a lot of weapons for it to be fun. There is only 1 map for Medieval, DeGroot Keep.

Territorial Control (Tc)

Tc is a game mode similar to control points, but instead you try to capture sections of one very large map by capturing control points. Think of it as a much larger version of cp. I wouldn't recommend this starting off due to the complexity of the game mode. The game mod was removed for a very long time until recently due to it being so complex. There is only 1 map for tc, Hydro.
Introduction to Items

There are tons of items in tf2. Over the years there have been many weapons, cosmetics, and other various items added to tf2. When starting out you will have no items in your backpack, but don't fear, you should be getting some soon.

You can get most items through drops, achievements, crafting, or trading (premium only). The drop system rewards players for playing the game by giving them items. You should get an item in your first hour of play. The most common items you will get are weapons and crates (which can be unlocked with a key that's around $2.50). If you upgrade to premium, you will have a chance of getting a cosmetic item. You can also get some weapons through getting the achievement milestones. You can get some cosmetic items and reskins through some achievements or other steam games. If you craft to weapons from the same class together you get metal, which can be combined with other weapons to make new ones.

The most gameplay effecting items in tf2 are the unlockable weapons. As I said earlier you can get them by unlocking achievements, crafting, random drops, or buying of the Mann Co. Store (please don't do this though, it is a huge waste!). If you are to buy anything of the store, I would recommend keys or starter packs. One interesting thing about the weapons is that in this game they aren't upgrades to the default weapons, sometimes they are worse. However most just allow you to have a different play style which changes up. For instance, the Force a Nature is a scout primary that replaces the scattergun. It packs a bigger punch when fired, but has less ammo in its clip. Or the Flare Gun which gives pyro a long range alternative to the shotgun, and also allows him to crit burning players.
These are just a few of the many tf2 weapons.

Cosmetics (Hats/Misc)
Cosmetic items are items that you can equip on your classes. Cosmetics do not effect gameplay they just look cool. Some cosmetics can go on all your classes, while others are just for 1 class. You can only get non-achievement cosmetics if you are premium. Once you are premium you can access cosmetics. You can either get them from drops, craft them, opening crates, buying them off the store (overpriced), or trade for them. To get cosmetics easily and cheaply: first buy a key from the Mann Co. Store for only around $2.50 (this will get you to premium status!). Then wait a week and sell your key for 19-20 refined on a trading website, I recommend (make sure you have the steam mobile app before trading). Then you can go around on either sites or trade servers and buy hats with the metal! Always remember that hats don't make you better, but they are good self-esteem boosters :P

< >
aaaa Oct 22, 2018 @ 5:15am 
Use SHIFT and not CTRL for crouching. It's so much better for your pinky finger.
rel | Oct 16, 2018 @ 3:50pm 
Also, you should talk more about hats.
rel | Oct 16, 2018 @ 3:50pm 
Heavy in my opinion (This is NOT because I'm a heavy main!!!) is one of the hardest classes to play because of his mobility. Spies and snipers can one shot you, but if you know how to play heavy like a pro, this won't happen. Medic is also very hard to play since everyone is targetting you. You need to know where to position yourself and where you need to be at certain times; this could help you in many situations.:steamhappy:
[HG]Bluely Feb 17, 2018 @ 7:05am 
The pyro counter spy too
Everytime I play spy and bump into the pyro he will say " you are already dead"
The Cheshire Guy Dec 23, 2017 @ 10:32am 
Good guide, and thanks. :)
I started out (and I'm sticking) with the Soldier, which's indeed a "jack of all trades" class, however I've tried other classes: Heavy, Demoman, Sniper and Engineer.
So far, so good, except for me being backstabbed by spies almost all the time, heh.

I've also noticed that certain maps favors certain classes more than others, which's a question of getting used to them. I'll be playing with bots until I get good enough, you know.

As for classes difficulty, my opinion is this:
Easy: Demoman, Heavy, Soldier
Medium: Pyro, Engineer, Sniper
Hard: Scout, Medic, Spy
Gendo Ikari Gaming Feb 10, 2017 @ 2:37pm 
Great guide! Here's how I see the classes:
Easy: Pyro, Heavy, Medic
Medium: Soldier, Engineer, Sniper
Hard: Scout, Demoman, Spy
'Nade Chucker Oct 29, 2016 @ 10:37pm 
you forgot fatscout playstyle
brick  [author] Jun 30, 2016 @ 11:20am 
I was talking about the gamemodes running on valve pubs, not on their specific mvm servers.
Dispentryporter Jun 30, 2016 @ 10:34am forgot about a gamemode. Mann vs machine.
Mr. Underscore Jun 30, 2016 @ 9:11am 
Scout is generally considered a Hard class.