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Ned's Declassified TF2 Survival Guide

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  1. DISCLAIMER: THIS GUIDE WAS WRITTEN IN MARCH 2014. BY THE TIME YOU ARE READING THIS, WEAPON STATS MAY HAVE DRAMATICALLY CHANGED. WHILE THE TACTICS FOR EACH CLASS WILL REMAIN THE SAME, THE LOADOUT ADVICE MAY NOT BE RELIABLE AT THE TIME OF READING. PLEASE USE YOUR JUDGMENT IF YOU ARE READING THIS FROM THE FAR FUTURE.
  2.  
  3. ADDITIONAL DISCLAIMER: This guide was not made with either competitive or pub play in mind, only for people looking to improve. Advice here can be applied universally.
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  9. The scout is a fragile, yet powerful class. You have a mere 125 health, it's likely that you'll die if you run out in the open without your team. That said, you're the fastest class, running at an outstanding 133% movement speed (with plenty of weapons that can boost this, such as the Baby Face's Blaster) and a DOUBLE JUMP. Your stock scattergun has a wide spread, but several pellets that do a whopping 104 damage when they all connect. You can 2-hit kill almost every class in the game, outliers dying marginally slower.
  10.  
  11. Your close range weapon, incredible mobility, and laughable health pool encourage hit and run tactics. Stay somewhere near your team, don't stray far unless you're certain it's safe. You need them for back up. Find weak enemies, that have a small health pool or are wounded from encounters from your team, and clean up the job. You're like Usain Bolt doing janitor work.
  12.  
  13. As a scout, you move so fast it's kinda hard to aim properly. So don't aim with your mouse, aim with your movement. In combat, just strafe into position and get your crosshair infront of them and THEN fire. When they start moving, flick your mouse in their direction and keep strafing left and right, forward and backward to keep your crosshair in place.
  14.  
  15. You can take on anything when you have even the smallest advantage. Use health, height, your team, the element of surprise, anything. But don't fight fair fights. You're too weak; you can be killed by 2 rockets, 2 stickies, 2 meatshots, and other such things. So surprise them or take any advantage you can get in a fight. Use your judgment well, if a fight looks to be going badly do not be afraid to chicken out. A dead scout is a useless scout, so stay alive. Don’t over commit.
  16.  
  17. Your mobility is an advantage as well; you move faster than anything in the game and have a FUCKING DOUBLE JUMP. Abuse it, if you have to fight a proper fight, be unpredictable about your movement. Jump all over the place, strafe side to side. But don't develop patterns, your opponent is going to start to notice it and lead shots again. Are you jumping to the left too much? Start jumping to the right. Or don't, maybe they'll see that coming. Maybe jump backward. Do what you must to keep the enemy team on their toes.
  18.  
  19. A quick note: you can't dodge hitscan. You can't DODGE them necessarily, but the enemy can MISS. When you're going up against a scout or heavy, or any other enemy using a hitscan weapon, that's when you have to be careful about not making patterns.
  20.  
  21. For loadouts:
  22. 1. It's hard to compete with the stock scattergun in terms of reliability. It has 6 shots and consistently deals some good damage in close range. It's a perfect choice for the scout.
  23. 2. The shortstop has a tighter spread than the scattergun, and reloads with a clip instead of individually pumping shells, making it useful at mid-range, where the scout generally shouldn't be. Though it has its uses with the mad milk, or any other support item, leaning the scout closer to a support class than a pick class.
  24. 3. The force a' nature only has 2 shots, wider spread, and a longer reload, but has higher fire rate and some serious knock back. Seriously, this gun sends people fucking flying. You will have to rely more on the element of surprise when using this weapon, as it is easy to miss the initial two shots.
  25. 4. In combat, the soda popper is more or less a FaN with no knockback. However, when moving you build up a meter that, when filled, lets you jump several more times in the air. It rewards mobility with more mobility. Ok.
  26. 5. Use the bonk to get past sentries and choke points.
  27. 6. The atomizer is more of a utility than an actual melee weapon, granting a third jump at the cost of dealing damage to you on it, and being a straight downgrade to the bat.
  28. 7. The winger is also more of a utility, allowing you to jump higher upon holding it, at the cost of less bullets. It’s dps is lower than the stock pistol, even with the added damage bonus however, so don't use it with the mentality of "I'm going to kill things with this." It pairs well with the atomizer.
  29. 8. The boston basher's self-bleed effect can be used to help a medic build ubercharge.
  30. 9. Candy cane is a nice weapon as long as you dodge projectiles properly. Nobody can hear you complain about not having an atomizer when you're drowning in health packs, anyway.
  31.  
  32. Generally, don't stay TOO close to your team, just near them. You aren't very useful perfectly adjacent to the meat of your team, but near them you're where you should be. You demomen and soldiers, pyros and heavies are going to at least beat up the enemy team if they can't kill them, and this is where your janitorial role comes in. Clean up the mess they made. Get close to escaping enemies and get that meatshot. If you get close enough and either stay undetected or dodge their attacks properly, they're going to die. Good job.
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  37.  
  38. The soldier is comfortable in all combat scenarios. He can roam away from the group or stay in it. He has 200 health, which is fair, given that he needs to rocket jump in order to be mobile. He has projectile and hitscan weapons. His rocket launcher has rockets that can deal ~100 damage in close range. The longer distance the rockets travel, the less damage they do. Spamming across the map is a waste of time. You move at 80% movement speed, which is less than stellar, but you will be incredibly mobile with satisfactory rocket jumping.
  39.  
  40. On the topic of rocket jumping, learn how. Rocket jumping is what separates the amateurs from the pros. You need to rocket jump to stay mobile and gain height advantages. It's difficult to explain rocket jumping without demonstration, but basically:
  41. 1. Crouch jump.
  42. 2. Fire a rocket at your feet to get height.
  43. 2.5. Fire a rocket at your feet and flick your mouse up as you do to go forward.
  44.  
  45. Bam. That's the basics. Now some advice:
  46. 1. Don't press your forward key when rocket jumping. The force from the explosion should be enough to keep your momentum; holding forward just makes your strafing slower. Just strafe side to side with your left and right keys and turning your mouse. If you need air control, which a lot of times you will, don't press forward.
  47. 2. Chaining together rocket jumps successfully will propel you even faster, fast enough to the point to where you travel faster than your rockets. It takes practice, but time when your rockets fire and the direction they go in, and you'll soar like a champ.
  48.  
  49. For outside help, look up some rocket jumping tutorials on youtube or something. There's also maps to practice on, popular ones being "jump_beef" and "jump_adventure."
  50.  
  51. The absolute most important thing a soldier can have is gamesense. You must know when to push, when to jump in, when to stay back with your team, among other things. The soldier is competent at 1v1, but can excel with support from his team. Push when the enemy is weak and you have backup, stay with your team when they need your support, fall back when you can't go further on your own. Know your limitations, and push the boundaries the best you can.
  52.  
  53. Height is your best advantage as soldier. If you want to succeed, you need to be on top. Find a safe platform that's above the enemy and hit them with rockets. If you can't find anything high enough or safe, just rocket jump up and bomb rockets down onto the opposing team's feet.
  54.  
  55. Your rocket doesn't fire as fast as you think it will. Enemies can easily dodge it. They can't dodge explosions though! Aim behind their feet to make the most use of splash damage. Firing almost directly at their feet will send them up in the air a bit, and you can finish them off with your shotgun. If you're confident, try directly hitting them with a rocket again in the air to teach 'em a lesson.
  56.  
  57. To further emphasize on soldier being "comfortable in all combat scenarios," he has two primarily roles; pocket, and roaming.
  58. 1. A pocket soldier stays with the real meat of the team. His medic is probably prioritizing healing him, or the heavy/demoman/pyro he'd better be standing next to if the medic isn't healing him. His job is to dish out some damage and nag some kills with his teammates, capture objectives, and win games.
  59. 2. A roaming soldier is almost like a fake scout. He's probably running gunboats and rocket jumping all over the place, getting behind enemy lines, and getting picks on important classes like the enemy medic. He takes advantage of his mobility and prioritizes passively killing than actively taking objectives like the pocket soldier does.
  60.  
  61. Both of the roles for soldier are perfectly useful and valid playstyles. Use whichever your playstyle matches. For loadouts:
  62. 1. The rocket launcher, similar to the scouts scattergun previously mentioned, is a reliable weapon that's hard to choose something over. It holds a nice 4 rockets, each doing ~100 damage close range. You don't want a rocket launcher doing anything less than that.
  63. 2. The black box holds 3 rockets, however, it gives you +15 health with every hit. A nice sidegrade for roaming soldiers, they could use a fourth rocket, but not as crucially as a pocket soldier.
  64. 3. The liberty launcher has a damage penalty, but deals less damage upon rocket jumping and fires faster. Another nice sidegrade for roaming soldiers, anything that encourages rocket jumping is pleasant and they don't need the damage AS badly as pocket soldiers do. It's certainly a better weapon than it used to be. They pair nicely with gunboats, and arguably mandatory with the mantreads.
  65. 4. The beggar's bazooka, typically perceived as stupid fun, can go beyond that and be used seriously. You'd have to bait your enemies and make them chase you around a corner or otherwise a blind spot, pump it full of rockets, and let it blow. Because of it's unpredictable rocket trajectory, long range sentry removal and otherwise attacks are pointless, limiting you to close range as an ambush class. You cannot receive ammo from dispensers while it's active, so map knowledge (in order to find ammo packs) is key. Rocket jumping is incredibly different with this since it fired 3 rockets at once, headed in unpredictable directions, so you may be better off doing simpler jumps. It may not be as practical or useful as the other rocket launchers, but it definitely has its uses.
  66. 5. The direct hit has almost no splash damage, but has faster projectiles and increased damage. Probably better for a pocket soldier than a roaming soldier, but it's definitely more of a support weapon than a killing weapon. Useful for taking out sentries, or if you have really good DM.
  67. 6. No reason to not use gunboats as a roaming soldier.
  68. 7. No reason to not use shotgun as a pocket soldier.
  69. 8. Each of the banners are very situational. Not bad, just situational. If you want to help a push, consider equipping one of them. Which one is the most useful depends on the situation, such as the location of the map you're on and which team you're on.
  70. 9. Escape plan is very useful for making getaways, don't you DARE pull it out if a medic is nearby though. Nothing is more shameful.
  71. 10. Half zatoichi is ok as long as you GET A KILL and not an assist or die like a dumbass.
  72. 11. Disciplinary action is a very nice weapon of choice for your melee, and more of a utility than an actual weapon (as most melees seem to be.) Use it to speed up your team's slower classes and get them to action faster. A very nice choice for pocket soldiers, as they're typically paired with a medic or the medic’s pocket of choice.
  73.  
  74. In conclusion, the soldier is always a nice choice no matter the circumstance you're in. His incredible mobility, health pool, and weapon selection make him a comfortable class not too different from your favorite, stinky as fuck, torn apart shoes.
  75.  
  76.  
  77.  
  78.  
  79.  
  80. The pyro is one of the most applicable classes in the game, and his power debatably lies more in his weapon selection than the players mechanical skill. The pyro is a squishy, semi-fragile class. He has 175 health and 100% speed. Nothing to scoff at, but running in blindly will result in near-immediate death. Playing this class requires you to play with your brain, not your hands. As a pyro, you're going to have to structure your loadout to your playstyle.
  81.  
  82. Airblasting is definitely the most complex, skillful thing for the pyro to learn. It's what defines him as a support class and fleshes him out as an offensive class. He can reflect any incoming projectile and extinguish combusting teammates. When I say any incoming projectile, I do mean ANY. Jarate, arrows, crossbow bolts, baseballs, anything you can think to reflect. If your team is a club, then you are the bouncer.
  83.  
  84. Airblasting, essentially, comes down to prediction and timing. Understanding when your enemy is going to fire his rocket or pipes is just gamesense, something you develop over time with practice. Some advice for airblasting:
  85. 1. The cooldown for the compression blast is faster than the cooldown for the rocket launcher. This means that you can reflect faster than the rocket launcher can fire. However, The Demoman can fire his pipes faster than you can reflect them. Time your airblasts carefully.
  86. 2. The airblast covers about the same range as your flamethrower.
  87.  
  88. If you really can't get the feel for airblasting, try visiting a dodgeball server. You will be forced to familiarize yourself with reflecting to survive. Your experience with these servers may be cruel, humiliating, and frustrating, but it may prove to be helpful. You may find that it ruins your timing too, since the rockets projectiles accelerate with each airblast. Some players improve from dodgeball, some don't.
  89.  
  90. As a pyro, you aren't incredibly mobile. The only weapons that can increase your mobility are the detonator and powerjack, and there's better weapon choices than them. You are confined to short range and it isn't difficult for an enemy to escape from that short range. If you want to kill without being killed, show up behind the enemy or when they least expect you. Your positioning and timing are crucial to your survival.
  91.  
  92. The pyro has several roles, each defined by his loadout:
  93. 1. A pybro runs the homewrecker as his melee, hovering over his team's engineer nest like an unfaithful parent. He will frequently spycheck around the nest and airblast any incoming projectiles at it, making it nearly indestructable. The only thing coming between the pybro and his nest is a smart uber. The homewrecker has the ability to protect an engineer’s building nest while said engineer is occupied, away, or dead, defining this pyro's role.
  94. 2. A puff-and-sting pyro is running the axtinguisher as his melee of choice, and perhaps a flare gun too, kicking the shit out of anything standing in his way. He may or may not be pocketed by a medic, and even if he isn't, he's still a force to be reckoned with. The axtinguisher's crit does 195 damage, instantly killing almost anything that's set on fire by the pyro. A puff-and-sting pyro will probably roam around the map as he pleases.
  95. 3. An ambush pyro is wielding the mighty backburner and backscratcher, running behind enemy lines and flanking them, or camping in a corner, ready to ambush. Using the backburner is tricky, as the angle to get the crits is different from the spy's angle for a backstab, but definitely a worthwhile accomplishment. The backscratcher allows him to get more health from health packs, at the expense of less health from mediguns, dispensers, and the payload cart, so he is probably away from the core of his team and the objective and seeing victims.
  96. 4. The puff-and-blast is essentially airblasting the enemy and tearing them apart with your secondary. Different from the puff-and-sting, where you light someone up and cut through them with your axtinguisher like a hot knife through butter. The reserve shooter is built for this, though the flare gun and stock shotgun are fine choices as well. When using the puff-and-blast, remember to airblast your opponent UPWARD and not OUTWARD. Just aim upward at around a 45 degree angle to airblast them higher into the air. You're supposed to disorient them long enough to kill them, not help their escape. Just ensnare them into a corner or wall, or any kind of boundary where you can control them. Hell, it can be out in the open, as long as you make sure you can kill them faster than they can run away.
  97. 5. The powerjack is a weapon that, when equipped, gives the pyro a movement speed bonus, but adds 15% vulnerability to all attacks, making him more fragile. It also heals you for 75 health upon successful kill, even overhealing you if you are at max health. It introduces some much needed mobility to the class, and is well rounded enough for a pyro who doesn't want to constrict him to a clearly defined role, or wishes to be self-sufficient.
  98.  
  99. Using anything but the degreaser for anything that isn't ambushing is a really, really, really bad idea. You NEED the weapon switch speed. The pyro is a reactionary class; he doesn't have the health, mobility, or teeth to establish dominance in a fight. He needs to be able to pull out the right weapon at the right time to have any hope of winning.
  100.  
  101. Your loadout doesn't really pigeonhole you into a specific role, but it is important. You can always pybro with an axtinguisher, you can always ambush with a homewrecker, and so forth. Just understand what weapons compliment what you want to do.
  102.  
  103. For loadouts:
  104. 1. Please don't use anything but the degreaser for the reasons explained previously. The damage penalty is so marginal; it's almost a straight upgrade to the stock flamethrower in practice. The backburner is good for ambushes and flanking however, and the phlog is just stupid fun.
  105. 2. Your secondary is really up to you. The shotgun is fine and there's literally nothing wrong with it. It always was and will always continue to be reliable. The flare gun can easily kill people who aren't really paying attention, and landing the first 2 shots is going to straight up burn people to death at 150 health for less, but the projectile is too predictable to hit anyone being remotely evasive. If your airblast and DM are good enough, you'll fall in love with the reserve shooter. It's much more lenient with how much time you have with minicrits than it used to be. The detonator adds only a BIT of mobility to the pyro, it sends you flying slightly less than a rocket jump would, and requires much better timing. I haven't been able to see anyone good enough at det jumping to justify it, however. So really, which secondary you use is just preference.
  106. 3. No, the manmelter isn't being mentioned. Don't ask me about it. It might as well not exist.
  107. 4. The scorch shot is... decent at best. It does pathetic damage, so it serves more of a utility weapon for setting a lot of people on fire at once. Shooting at a group of enemies with it will probably light a lot of them on fire, but it certainly won't kill them, and will probably only do marginal damage that can be quickly healed by a medic. The knockback will save your life sometimes, but it's too weak to otherwise justify using it. You should find a different weapon for your secondary slot unless you're SURE you want to use this.
  108. 5. If you aren't puffing and stinging, your melee is also up to you. Most melee weapons for pyro are worthless; the best options excluding the axtinguisher, are the backscratcher and powerjack. One gives more mobility to the pyro, and the other gives more sustainability. Medics don't really heal you unless you're right there next to them, unless they're smart and know pyros aren't bad pockets. If they are smart though, they'll notice they're healing you slower and leave you alone to do your thing. Whether that's a good or bad thing is up to you.
  109. 6. The sharpened volcano fragment doesn't get mentioned either.
  110.  
  111. Spychecking is half your support aspect and what you should be doing when you have some down time. Literally every pyro can do it with every single flamethrower. There's no excuse for not doing it, it's not even that costly on ammo.
  112.  
  113. The pyro will always be what you make of it. Just play smart and structure your loadout carefully, and you're a force to be reckoned with.
  114.  
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  117.  
  118.  
  119. Demoman is also one of the most versatile classes in the game. In contrast to the pyro, his versatility comes from how he uses his weapons, and not weapon selection. Instead of sticking to one, the demoman will frequently switch between offensive and defensive play with the same loadout. He has a 93% movement speed, which isn't all that great, but remains mobile by sticky jumping, similar to the soldier. He has 175 health, which is fine considering he should stick with his team most of the time.
  120.  
  121. As demoman, your stickybomb launcher is secretly your primary. The grenade launcher is mostly for spamming down corridors or otherwise linear sections of the map, and the stickybomb launcher is where the real damage comes from. Plant stickies where your enemies feet are going to be and detonate them. This is way more reliable than trying to direct hit people with pipes or waiting for them to explode.
  122.  
  123. Set up sticky traps when going on the defensive. Set them on walls or ceiling, on the backside of props, just anywhere the enemy won't see until it's too late. Bait them into chasing after you and blow them to kingdom come. Spamming stickies at the payload cart or cap isn't a bad idea on red or when you're defending, but pyros will easily be able to airblast them away. It's more of a way to discourage the enemy from capturing objectives than stopping them entirely.
  124.  
  125. The demoman has very little means of dealing with close range encounters, as he has two projectile weapons and one melee weapon. Make a little mental image of a small circle surrounding the demoman. That's his range of ineffectiveness. When a scout or pyro gets between that circle's circumference and you in the center of it, that's when you have to decide to either sticky jump away, getting a direct hit with your pipe, or bait him into melee.
  126.  
  127. Sticky jumping is actually kinda easy compared to rocket jumping, and not unsimilar to it:
  128. 1. Plant a sticky bomb or 2 at your feet.
  129. 2. Crouch jump above them and detonate to go straight up.
  130. 2.5. Crouch jump over them and detonate them when you're closer to the front of them, but still in midair, to go forward.
  131.  
  132. That's... actually it for the basics. I guess you could shoot stickies in midair and detonate them as you go over them, but that's not as useful as it sounds.
  133.  
  134. Your vertical position can determine the outcome of a battle. Above, you can spam down stickies and pipes where the enemy team has to group together to deal either serious damage for the rest of your team to finish off. It may be better to attack from below the enemy in some circumstances, as your stickies fire in an arc and not a static line like a rocket does. Use your judgment to determine which position you should be in.
  135.  
  136. If you're going for direct hits with pipes, remember that if your viewmodel is to the right of your screen, every fired projectile (including the soldiers rockets, scouts cleaver and balls, snipers jarate, etc.) will fire a little bit to the right of your crosshair. So always aim just a bit to the left with the grenade launcher. If your viewmodel is on the left, aim just a bit to the right. Even if you don't render your viewmodels, the projectile bias will still be there. It sucks, but it's something you'll learn to deal with.
  137.  
  138. The demoman is, predictably, the best class for demolishing things. You can easily spam stickies and pipes at sentries and other buildings and destroy them with ease. If the engineer is using the short circuit or is just smart and set up in a good position, you'll need a medic to uber you and get up close to it to take it down. The most taxing thing to deal with is pybros; they will almost always take a diarrhea on you, unless you and your medic pull off a great uber.
  139.  
  140. For loadouts:
  141. 1. Stock demo is best demo. You can't really beat the grenade launcher and sticky launcher combo, it does stupid damage.
  142. 2. Your melee is up to you. Unless you're demoknighting, use stock or the ullapool caber. When using the caber, accept the fact you're going to die with your enemy and look like a fucking idiot.
  143. 3. The half zatoichi isn't bad for demoknighting or regular play, but be careful to actually KILL SOMETHING otherwise you're stuck with your dumb katana until you get to a resupply locker or (likely) die before reaching it. Assists don't count. You can't even sticky jump away to safety.
  144. 4. If demoknighting, use the eyelander or persian persuader. The clayeyfgeheuieeaomroe doesn't add enough charge distance for it to be effective, and the scotsman’s skullcutter makes you too slow to do anything.
  145. 5. Targe and splendid screen are both good shields. Targe if you want to be more passive, since you get a ton of resistances and immunity to afterburn, and screen if you want to get in and cut off heads.
  146. 6. Loch and load is good if you can actually aim pipes. It also makes for good practice for learning how to shoot pipes, since it encourages direct hits. Otherwise don't use it, since you can't spam with it. Fine for regular demoman and demoknighting.
  147. 7. Loose cannon is stupid fun. The knockback is a lot of fun to play around with, but otherwise isn't a good primary since you have to charge it to do significant damage. It's hard to take this gun seriously.
  148. 8. Booties are a good idea for demoknight and a weird idea to use for stock demoman. The max health bonus is nice, but you lose your grenade launcher and with it, self-defense and some spamming capability. Use with caution.
  149.  
  150. If you're demoknighting, accept that you're going to perform worse than stock demoman. You're effective in hallways and other ambushing spots, with your powerful melee and charge attack, but you're limited to that as opposed to a regular demoman who's going to be setting up sticky traps and spamming down the corridors you were just running in. That said, demoknight is good fun, effective or not. Just don't use it for serious play, you will be very disappointed.
  151.  
  152. The demoman stays at the core of his team. He's more of a damage-dealing class than a kill class. Let the scouts and soldiers finish things off while you do most the work. Protect your medic, whether or not he's pocketing you. You and him can take on the world together. The demoman is arguably the most powerful class in the game. He can go from offense to defense at his leisure, setting up traps and blowing up the opposing team. Even when demoknighting, limiting himself to melee weapons, he's a force to be reckoned with.
  153.  
  154.  
  155.  
  156.  
  157.  
  158. The heavy is not what he seems to be. He has 300 health and a minigun with stupid DPS at close range, but runs at 77% movement speed, and 37% movement speed when revved up. You don’t have the mobility to run way from a fight, and despite your incredible health pool and high dps, you can’t outperform a large group of enemies. This makes the heavy a passive, supportive class in the circumstance he isn’t paired with a medic.
  159.  
  160. When you’re paired with a medic, defend him with your life. You’ve got 450 health when buffed and you have a huge hitbox, and he’s got 150 health and can’t overheal himself.  You should be his impromptu meat shield. Stay in front of him and stay close to cover or supporting fire, even when you’re being pocketed you’re not invincible.
  161.  
  162. When you’re NOT paired with a medic, the least you can do is support him. You should always be at the core of your team. Provide support by throwing sandviches at your medic when he’s at low health and stay close to teammates who are otherwise vulnerable. You’re very intimidating.
  163.  
  164. When dealing with demomen and soldiers, prevent them from getting height advantage. They attack primarily with projectiles, and when they get high ground they will rain down damage on your team. They're particularly vulnerable to attack when airborne from rocket/sticky jumping, if you can manage to get some good shots at them in the air the knockback from your minigun will send them plummeting to humiliating defeat.
  165.  
  166. You may think because you have 300 HP and high DPS that you're going to stay alive for long, but you'd be wrong. Because of how strong you are, you become as much of a target as a level 3 sentry. That 300 HP melts so fast with the size of your hitbox and incredibly slow pace when firing. Either stay grouped with your team or use corners to your advantage.
  167.  
  168. Any indoor environment that impedes movement is where a heavy belongs. Look for stairwells, tunnels, enclosed rooms, hallways, anywhere were you can surprise someone and do enough damage to kill them or scare them off. Jump around corners and rev up mid-jump to get the drop on them. If you just rev up and turn around the corner they’ll hear it before you can do proper damage and run away, jumping will keep your momentum and they won’t have time to react, and if they do they will still be seriously hurt.
  169.  
  170. Always know what’s going on. You’re too slow to make proper escapes, so you’ll have to rely on knowledge of what’s happening on the map and your own gamesense. Only a few seconds left in the round, and is the opposing team pushing to capture a point? It might not be a bad idea to defend that last point with a few teammates, even if its suicide. Did the enemy team just capture an objective, and is there still plenty of time left in the round? Regroup with your team; it’s your best choice of survival. Good judgment is your only true friend as a heavy.
  171.  
  172. The medic isn’t for you and you alone. Share him. Don’t keep asking for him to heal you by pressing your medic call button; he’ll come to you when you need him. Let him heal and pocket other players, don’t do his job for him. Any medic who heals only you is probably too dumb to make good use of you anyway.
  173.  
  174. On the topic of medics, always keep an eye on him. Notice he stopped healing you? Turn around, if he’s just healing another teammate, continue as is. Did he decide to pocket someone else? Go support them. Did he die? Take cover if a sniper killed him. If it was a spy, mow him down. You are the medic’s guardian angel; always make sure he’s protected.
  175.  
  176. No matter what minigun you’re using, don’t use it from long distances. It has a really wide cone of fire and does pitiful damage even if the shot connects. It’s smarter to back up around a corner and jump out at them, or leave the fight entirely. Don't ever shoot at snipers from a distance. They can headshot you before you even connect a single bullet.
  177.  
  178. For loadouts:
  179. 1. The regular minigun is the most reliable option. It has an acceptable wind up time and does good DPS. No reason to complain.
  180. 2. Have you ever thought “Wow, I wish I could be a sentry.” Now you can! Just use the brass beast. Stand still in one place all day and vomit out bullets at anything that turns around the corner you’re sitting on your fat ass behind.
  181. 3. The tomislav’s slower firing speed lowers its DPS significantly, and the faster wind up time is marginal at best. I wouldn't suggest this to anyone, ambushing or not.
  182. 4. The huo long heater is… something. It burns through ammo incredibly fast, meaning you’ll have to sit next to a dispenser or frequently get ammo packs. You can’t stay in action as long as you’d like to with this, so if you want to use it you’ll probably be sitting next to an engineer’s dispenser pretending to be a pybro when you should be doing something else.
  183. 5. The natascha, OP when first added to the game, lost its thunder. Even after being buffed. It’s annoying for the heavy to use with the slow wind up, and it’s annoying for his victims to deal with because of the slow-down effect. Don’t ruin everyone’s fun by using this.
  184. 6. For secondaries, you’re going to find yourself choosing between the sandvich and shotgun. The family business is too weak to use seriously, even if it can have more shells at once. The sandvich is a godsend for a heavy staying near his team; you basically drop health kits with it. Even heavies who choose to roam will enjoy the sandvich because you can heal yourself with it, even if it takes a while for the animation to end. The shotgun is very reliable for killing something that’s outside of your minigun’s range, but it takes so long to switch between weapons that your enemy will have probably escaped out of the shotguns range too by then. I think most players will find the sandvich the most useful.
  185. 7. And for melee, if you’re going to be pocketed, choose the GRU. You can catch up to your medic easily and get to the fight faster. If not, choose the Fists of Steel. You will soak up damage like a sponge drafted to war. The KGB is pretty good too, the 5 seconds of crits on kill are more effective than you'd initially think, but you move so slow it's hard to melee people. You'd have to ambush or flank anyone to get a kill with them. The GRU and FoS are probably more practical.
  186.  
  187. As a heavy, you’re either going to be defending the meat of your team, or making it shine by being the pocket. Both are equally important jobs. Use your judgment to find out what you need to do next, you are one intimidating mother fucker and it’s your job to keep trouble at bay.
  188.  
  189.  
  190.  
  191.  
  192.  
  193. The engineer is a true blue support class. With 125 health and 100% movement speed, you’re going to get wrecked in combat. You don't have the health or speed to bag kills or make quick escapes. You’re the only class in the game who can create buildings, however, which is essential for any team’s defense. Where you set up your buildings and in what order is really going to make a difference in how your team performs.
  194.  
  195. Your teleporters are the most important thing you can build. You might think to build a sentry first to set up a safe spot for your team, but it’s better for your team to ACTUALLY BE PRESENT. Build your teleporter entrance at spawn and set up an exit close to the front lines, but in a safe place. Turn it 180 and set it in a safe corner close to the fight. Don't put it in a place where it can be immediately destroyed or too close to the front lines, but don't set it too far back so that your teammates still have to walk an unnecessary distance to the fight.
  196.  
  197. Dispensers are next. They supply your team with ammo and health, and you with metal. It creates a spot for your team to retreat to when they inevitably run out of resources or get punched in the gut. Unless you’re making a nest, don’t just slap it next to your sentry and go afk and watch some Real Housewives of New Jersey. Put that close to the front line but still concealed where your team doesn’t have to run away from the fight and can defend the objective. They’re also more likely to defend your buildings if you put them in helpful places.
  198.  
  199. Sentries are last but definitely not least. You should set up teleporters and a dispenser prior to building a sentry. Your team can defend your buildings fine, a sentry is more for discouraging the opposing team to attack a spot than actually defending it. Placement is crucial for sentries, I cannot stress this enough. If you put it out of cover and where it can’t even reach where enemy players are standing, you’re doing it very wrong. Typically, it's best to place it in cover, tucked close to a corner where it has a good view of the objective, but not too close to prevent it from locking players in a corner. Sentry placement mostly comes down to gamesense and map knowledge, so it’s ok to not know the best sentry spot. You’re always learning new things.
  200.  
  201. Never place your buildings too close to another engineer’s buildings. It’s not helpful as your team is already being provided resources in that one spot, and it’s easier for enemy soldiers and demomen to destroy. Place your buildings in helpful places that aren’t already occupied by another engineer’s buildings. If you really can’t think of anywhere more useful, then maybe you should play another class until you can become useful. That’s not an insult, sometimes being a good engineer is knowing when to not be an engineer (though this applies to every class.)
  202.  
  203. I like to use vulgarity sparingly, but building your stuff at spawn (excluding teleporter entrances, they’re most useful at spawn) is fucking dumb and so are you, you stupid piece of dog shit. Your spawn is the last place that needs defending because resupply lockers heal you and refill your ammo instantly and your ENTIRE TEAM is coming out of there, usually in groups, that’s more fire power than your sentry. Just find ammo lying around the map to build or for god’s sake, move your gear up.
  204.  
  205. If you aren’t the only engineer on your team, help your other engineer out. You can always repair his buildings as well as upgrade them, and it’s generally better to have one complete nest than two incomplete ones. You can always build your stuff later.
  206.  
  207. A little note: sentries don’t really counter scouts, instead, they create these little anti-scout zones.  There’s no way a scout is going to get past your sentry. Watch out for the ones using bonk though, they can distract your sentry and let demomen and soldiers get a safe shot at your buildings.
  208.  
  209. If you’ve been a good boy, Santa is going to give you your very own pybro for Christmas! Seriously though, if a friendly pyro runs at you with a homewrecker, that’s when you can hang up your hard hat, kick back, and relax. He’s going to spycheck, whack sappers off in the circumstance that you’ve died and can’t do it yourself or if you’re too far away, reflect incoming projectiles and ubers, and generally make your life a lot easier. A lot of pyros think being a pybro is a boring job though, so don’t expect the pyro to stick around for long. You still have to repair, upgrade, and move your buildings around anyway. The homewrecker isn’t a wrench.
  210.  
  211. You don’t always need a nest. Just set up buildings in places that are useful to your team, if they stay close together that’s great, but they don’t have to be. Your stuff will inevitably be destroyed anyway. If you’re playing engineer correctly, you’ll always have something new to build or repair. The safest places aren’t always the most helpful.
  212.  
  213. The engineer has some pretty nifty loadout choices, thanks to his primaries and wrenches:
  214. 1. The stock shotgun is absolutely fine and nothing is wrong with it. This has been true for every single class so far and is also true for you. The frontier justice should mostly be used with minisentries because your regular sentry won’t be destroyed often enough to make use of the crits unless you’re putting them in really dumb spots. The pomson is evil and OP, use it if you hate fun and being fair. I rarely see this thing being used and I think that’s because everyone knows that the fucking Grinch made it and don’t want to associate themselves with being a huge bully.
  215. 2. The rescue ranger is a utility weapon, repairing and picking up your buildings at long ranges. If you have a pistol or you’re using anything but the jag this is a fine weapon choice. An excellent weapon choice if you play passively or set up a nest.
  216. 3. If you can aim the widowmaker is a really good weapon, there’s plenty of situations where you can come out with more metal than before you started firing. Just be sure to hit all the pellets and this weapon is great. Combos nicely with a pistol, since you should always have one weapon that uses regular ammo and not metal.
  217. 4. Your secondaries are pretty limited. The pistol, like the shotgun, is reliable and has no problems at all. Use it as you please. The short circuit is good for defending your buildings, since it can destroy projectiles. It’s better used with a primary that isn’t the widowmaker because, as mentioned earlier, you should have at least one weapon that doesn’t consume metal. You run out of metal faster than you think. The wrangler is THE ULTIMATE TURTLE TOOL.
  218. 5. Your wrenches aren't as limited as your secondaries. The regular wrench does its job fine, nothing remarkable. A lot of people like to use the jag, but when you compare how fast you set up buildings compared to the other wrenches, the time you save is marginal at best. Don’t let that +30% construction rate fool you, this really needs a buff where it swings 30% faster or something instead. The southern hospitality is a fine choice, you don’t really get attacked by pyros a lot since your counter is demomen and soldiers. The bleed effect is nice for detecting spies, but you shouldn’t really be running at a spy with your melee; even the worst spies can get a lucky backstab.
  219. 6. The eureka effect is good for building disposable buildings, since you can teleport back to spawn with full health, you can rush to build teleporters and other buildings in a safe position. Seems more useful for an engineer attacking than defending, or if you want level 3s guaranteed before the gates open.
  220. 7. The gunslinger is an entirely different beast. It almost makes the engineer an almost completely different class. It turns your sentry into a smaller, unrepairable disposable minisentry. It’s basically a worse sentry, yes, but you can build it for 100 metal and place it around a corner or anywhere where it can hit people. It’s more annoying for the enemy team than it is useful to yours, but it lets you spread your legs and focus on getting kills with your primary/secondary. I would suggest using this if your team already has an engineer or if you want to be more annoying and bag more kills.
  221.  
  222. The engineer is one of the most helpful classes. He’s weak on his own, but constructs powerful buildings to support himself and his team. Map knowledge and gamesense are crucial for him. With proper building placement and timing, he truly shines.
  223.  
  224.  
  225.  
  226.  
  227.  
  228. The medic is the backbone and typically the brain of your team. You are the one the enemy prioritizes. You are the one who influences who does what. You are the one who wins games. With 150 health and 107% movement speed, you cannot take on the enemy team alone, and you can only run fast enough to narrowly escape. You are, arguably, the most important player on your team, and it’s up to you to heal your team properly and lead them to victory.
  229.  
  230. So to heal properly, you should probably know how heals work. Basically, your stock medigun will heal at 24 health per second. If your patient has been out of combat (basically, hasn’t taken any damage whatsoever, fall damage and afterburn included) in the last 10 second, you will linearly heal 8 health more each second, up to 72 health per second.. So 9 seconds out of combat, you will heal your patient for 24 hp, 10 seconds, for 32, 11 seconds for 40, and so on. By 15 seconds, the player will be healed 72 health per second. Keep these numbers running in your head; know who has these “mega heals” and who doesn’t. Heal players who have stayed out of combat for 10 or more seconds first. NEVER heal anyone who is already being healed, either by another medic or dispenser/payload cart unless you are certain that person will die if you don’t.
  231.  
  232. Now for heal priorities… As mentioned before, it’s better to heal players who stayed out of combat the longest time. But you should always, always, always heal players who are about to die. Not players with the least health, players who are about to die. Imagine a scout with 10 health hiding behind a wall, and a soldier with 100 health but fighting an enemy demoman. You should heal the soldier first. Why? Well, because the scout is SAFE. He has taken cover, he can find a medkit, and he can run away from anything coming at him. The soldier is in a fight and probably going to lose, assuming the demoman has more health. Heal the soldier and he is more likely to stay alive and win, and if the scout hasn’t already gotten health, heal him next. As a medic, your job is to keep your team alive and healthy enough to fight, not to heal people with the least amount of health.
  233.  
  234. There is an order you should heal certain classes as well. Typically, you should prioritize healing your pocket classes first. Soldier, demoman, heavy, and even pyro make for good pockets. A pocket is someone you are cooperating with and heal primarily. You only have one pocket at a time. So, those are the classes that you’ll be working with directly, so keep them healthy. Next, heal players with low health. It’s best to keep as many people close to the fight as possible, don’t let them run to get health packs unless they need it. The only class that you shouldn’t bother to heal is spy. He can find medkits on his own, and the particle effects from being buffed blow his cover.
  235.  
  236. You should buff players that are going to take damage. Always give a demoman or soldier buffs, they’re going to be rocket/sticky jumping around the place and need their health for fighting. Buff light classes, especially scouts, if they run past you, overheal decays at around 8 seconds, and scouts go to 185 to 125 health in 8 seconds, but heavy classes like soldier and heavy go to 300 to 200 and 450 to 300 at 8 seconds. Lighter classes lose less health in the span of 8 seconds, and can take a lot of beating with 185 health. Buff the players on the front line, they’re going to take damage and the less time spent healing an individual person, the better.
  237.  
  238. Let’s talk uber. Your uber build rate will halve if:
  239. 1. The target is already being healed
  240. 2. The target is above 142.5% health
  241. And if the patient is already being healed by another medic, charge building speed is divided by a factor of the number of Medics healing that target. So if 2 medics are healing one person at once, their building speed will halve. If 3 are healing one person at a time, they’ll build at 1/3 the standard time, and so on. The stock medigun charges uber at 2.5% per second, taking 40 seconds to fully charge, assuming you never get your build rate cut down for the reasons mentioned about. The kritz and quick-fix build uber at 3.125% per second, taking 32 seconds to fully charge. The vaccinator builds at 3.75% per second, taking 6.67 seconds to charge 1 bar, 26.67 seconds to charge all 4. ALWAYS try to have a higher uber percentage than the enemy medic. If you don’t, fake the opposing medic out into ubering so they can have it wasted and you can counter-uber. The medic with the best uber is the winning medic, and arguably, the entire metagame is surrounded by the ubercharge, since it’s what fuels pushes.
  242.  
  243. As a medic, your loadout is incredibly important. Let’s pretend your mediguns are your primary weapons and talk about them first:
  244. 1. The stock medigun is the best one. It builds uber the slowest, and it doesn’t heal the most, but it’s reliable and has the best uber of them all. You’ll be using this 99% of the time.
  245. 2. The kritz goes runner up for best medigun. It doesn’t have a stupid buff nerf like the other mediguns and has a really good uber, guaranteeing crits. Use this with soldier or demoman to completely annihilate groups of enemies.
  246. 3. The quick fix is interesting. It heals so much faster than any other medigun, but has a really strange uber (only healing faster) and only buffs a little. It’s a fine medigun, and can be used to sustain pushes, as it keeps people alive as opposed to buffed or dealing consistent damage. When you're close to the end of the round and don't have much time to build ubers, it's also useful. I’d personally only use this if there’s another medic on the team, but that’s your decision.
  247. 4. The vaccinator is also interesting. In a bad way though. You can swap between damage types to resist and on uber, you get a huge resistance toward it as well as a small healing buff for yourself. And you have four, small ubers you can use leisurely instead of one that you build up for a portion of a minute. Interestingly enough, the vaccinator has a crit resistance bug, the bullet resistance can negate headshots and fire resistance can negate phlog crits, and so on. It’s just not useful enough to justify using it though.
  248. 5. Now, for your TECHNICALLY primaries. The syringe guns. The stock syringe gun is fine, it kills faster than people think it does, but is mostly for self-defense purposes. The blutsauger is just bad. You shouldn’t be running around killing people, let your teammates take care of that. The overdose isn’t a bad choice, use it with the same mentality you would a soldier’s escape plan and that’s all there is to it.
  249. 6. The crossbow is a really cool weapon to use. Long distance healing is AWESOME. It fires a projectile like the huntsman, though, so you’ll actually need to practice aiming with it. The passive reload is beautiful. Definitely recommended for medics who want a weapon that goes beyond self-defense and isn’t necessarily for killing people. I see a lot of medics run around with this thing, and for good reason.
  250. 7. The ubersaw and amputator are the best melee weapons. The amputator is a utility used to increase your health regen, which is always nice. The ubersaw will fill your ubercharge by 25% for every hit that connects. If you’re passive, go amputator, and if you’re aggressive, go ubersaw. Vita-saw is boring and not fun to use so I won’t even talk about it. It’s banned in competitive for several good reasons.
  251.  
  252. When using the ubersaw, bait enemies into meleeing you. Run around corners and wait. If they have a lot of health and pack serious heat (soldiers, heavies) leg it. If not, predict when they'll come around. Everyone wants to kill the medic, even the most careful players can make the dumb decision of chasing you. If you predicted right, go back around the corner and give the enemy a face full of saw. You're the second fastest class in the game, the only class that can outrun you is the scout, so follow your slower enemy and whack them with your ubersaw until they drop dead or you hit 100%.
  253.  
  254. Now for one of the most important things a medic needs to understand: POSITIONING. Try your best to not die. Positioning actually applies to every class, but especially for medic, because your team needs YOU alive to stay alive to keep THEM alive. Know where the enemy is and stay out of his sight and otherwise avoid his attacks. Know where sniper sightlines are, and avoid them. Know popular shortcuts around the map; not so you can take them, but to anticipate the enemy coming from them. Hide behind props and world geometry, use your patient as a meat shield if you must. Every medic will die eventually, but you have to stay alive long enough to push successfully. Stay in safe places where the enemy can’t kill you. Your teammates will protect you, some will even die for you, but you have to work to stay alive too.
  255.  
  256. The medic is the hero of his team. He guides them to victory by influencing the battle with healing. He always has numbers running through his head. He saves lives that need to be saved and pushes forward with his ubers. He is the mastermind behind the team, aware of it or not.
  257.  
  258.  
  259.  
  260.  
  261.  
  262. Ok, I’m not going to lie, I know tits about sniper and spy. Those classes have always bored me and I don’t really care to play them. Out of my 1200+ hours played, I played them for like, 70 or 80 hours each. And I’m not going to take information from other guides and put it here, because that’s plagiarism. And that’s not fucking cool. So…
  263.  
  264. Sniper guide, by D-Man: http://pastebin.com/NVs2us4h
  265. Spy guide, by watsyurdeal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUz0Ymy9cAg&list=PL9F16663816C4BB78
  266.  
  267. Both are a bit outdated, but are still quite useful. Certainly more helpful than anything I have to add.
  268.  
  269. The only advice I can give you that applies for all classes is to BE A TEAM PLAYER. Your team is a machine and you're a single component of it. It cannot operate properly without you, and this is true to other players as well. Get scraped by a bullet, but you know for a fact the teammate close to you is suffering from spontaneous combustion and anal prolapse? Let him take the medkit, you have no excuse. See an engineer’s teleporter at level 1 at spawn? Switch to engi, upgrade it to level 2 or 3, and switch back. He will appreciate your help and you didn’t even spend a lot of time upgrading it.
  270.  
  271. Don't spread apart too far from your teammates, you work best in groups. Even as a spy you don't want to stray far from your friends, you need backup in the inevitable circumstance that you're discovered. Remember to get a feel for the map, remember where health packs and ammo packs are. Learn the strategies and rollouts, some shortcuts and otherwise useful places around the map.
  272.  
  273. Even with the most versatile classes and loadouts, you can't reasonably expect to be able to take on every task with acceptable performance. Some classes attack better, some classes defend better. Some classes flank better, some classes tank better. There's no breaking free of this, so do your classes job. Trust your team and yourself, you shine brightest using what you're given with.
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