Team Fortress 2 Beginner’s FAQ



Team Fortress 2 Beginner’s Frequently Asked Questions by Evertsen

Welcome to the Beginner’s FAQ to TF2

It’s long. But everything’s important. This guide has incorporated several ideas, suggestions, and edits from the FNBN Community Group. The FAQ style guide will be followed in the training sessions held by the group. Please check them out and thanks for reading.

TF2 General FAQs

You didn’t cover aerial stabs for the spy, or airstrafing for demomen and soldiers!
This document is for newbs. Newbs don’t need those lessons yet. If you were teaching a class on introductory physics, would you start talking about either the Pauli Exclusion Principle or the Grand Unified Theory? Didn’t think so.
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The information you’re presenting is wrong!
Inevitably, I’m not always right. If you found a mistake, I ask you this – is it wrong wrong, or is it because your opinion differs from mine? If so, why? If it’s the former, let me know and I’ll fix it right away. If it’s the latter, I’ll have to think about it. If you make a good argument, I’ll change it. This is an FAQ that wants to get better, after all.
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I’m a newb, but I prefer to figure things out on my own.
I really encourage you to give this a read-through. You’ll be a productive member of your team if you do.
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I’m just playing to have fun. I don’t need all this crap. It’s just a game.
Well, yes and no. Yes, it is a game. Yes, you should have fun. However, your concept of “fun” might not run well with others. If you were playing soccer/football, would you intentionally score on your own net and then yell at your team for “treating the game too seriously”? If so, then uninstall TF2 and play something else.
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This FAQ is massive! I don’t have time to read this!
It’s ’cause TF2’s a very massive game. There are a billion ways to accomplish an objective. A sentry gun can be sapped, blown up by a demoman and an ubercharge, by a demoman alone if the angles are right, destroyed by a sniper or soldier from long range…

I can promise you this – all of this information – ALL OF IT – is extremely relevant to you as a new player. Please do your best to read this through.
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I haven’t gotten TF2 yet. I was thinking about getting it for the Xbox or the PS3. Which version’s the best?
Invariably, the PC version is the best. You won’t find any mods or custom content on the Xbox or the PS3 versions. You’ll also have a lot less content; a lot of the weapons I’m going to mention aren’t in the PS3 or Xbox versions. Most shocklingly for me, some Engineer buildings are stuck at level 1 and can’t be upgraded!

Take a look at this chart to see what the Xbox and PS3 versions are missing.
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Alright, so I’m new to the whole first person shooter genre. What exactly are the controls?
FPSes in general use the same control scheme as Team Fortress 2. The basic controls are W moves forward, S moves backwards, A allows you to strafe left and D allows you to strafe right.
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So just like the Battlefield and Call of Duty series, right?
Yes, but Battlefield and Call of Duty run on vastly different engines. They also have very different attitudes when it comes to shooting people; Battlefield would never consider implementing thrown urine as a weapon!
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Thrown. Urine. You’re kidding.
No, I am not kidding. So read this through, even if you’re not new to the genre. Team Fortress is a lot different from Battlefield and Call of Duty and Wolfenstein. There are a lot of questions, but bear with us!
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I’m new to FPSes. What is strafing?? What’s that mean? Like strafing the ground with airplanes?
Not really, though the two terms do have the same root. Strafing in an FPS is basically sidestepping; it enables you to travel left and right while still having your aim on a target in front of you. While using this in a real life firefight is not a good idea, strafing is crucial to Team Fortress 2 and FPSes in general.
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What about jumping?
Jumping is accomplished with the spacebar.
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What about crouching?
Crouching is accomplished with the left Ctrl key.
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Crouching doesn’t seem to help a lot.
Crouching does not help your accuracy. The only things crouching modifies are your hitbox (that is, the area of space where the game detects hits on you; from attacks or from scenery) and your view.
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Then what’s the point of crouching?
There are several obstacles in the game world, such as railings and crates, which are too high to simply jump over. To navigate these, you need to jump and then crouch to bring your legs up. Crouch-jumping is also necessary for some more advanced techniques involving the Soldier and the Demoman, which are outside the scope of this guide.
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I understand the concept of reloading, but it’s hard to remember to reload when I’m getting shot at.
There is an option in the advanced settings which, when enabled, will automatically reload your weapon. There is one case where having a not-so-full weapon is useful, but you’ll get to that a lot later.
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What if I need help in-game?
Ask other players. Although you’ll eventually come to figure out what your team needs from simple observation, you aren’t going to be able to do that right away. Even if you’re a FPS veteran.

The best way to talk to other players is to hit V and activate your microphone. It’s fast and hands-free. Depending on the server you’re playing on, though, the enemy may be able to hear you! If you want to know whether or not it’s safe, ask “Is alltalk on?”. If they say yes, then it means the enemy can hear you. If not, then they can’t.

The most secure way – that is, the way that you’ll guarantee the enemy won’t listen in on you – is through text input after hitting the U key.

If you can’t afford a decent microphone, or you’re too shy to use your actual voice (which I’m sure is fine) you can always go for broke and hit the Y key for text messages to everyone.
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Argh!! I just keep dying!
Although we’ll go over how to deal with individual classes later on in the FAQ, know that you can hit the E key to call for a medic. It’s only useful if there are any medics on your team, though. Cleverer players will take advantage of the fact that the enemy can hear you call for “Medic!” and lure enemies into a false sense of security, so keep this in mind if you’re chasing someone down and they call for help.
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Typing is too slow but I don’t want people to hear my terrible voice. Is there another way?
Sure there is. Use the Z, X, and C keys to open a few options as to what to say. This will have your character vocalize instead of you. Although your options are limited, you can say things like “Yes”, “No”, “That’s a spy”, and “Run, cowards!!” among other things.
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Alright, I’m in a game and I picked a team. There are…oh God. Which class?! WHICH CLASS?!
There are nine classes in Team Fortress 2, separated into three categories. The official description is decent, but not thorough. I’m assuming you’re in a pub (public match) since you’re new, so the easy choice is to pick a class that isn’t used a lot. If your team lacks a Heavy, for example, then go ahead and give it a shot. In general, if there are two or more of a given class, don’t go for it. The exception is a “rush“, in which everyone picks one class and uses it to overwhelm the opposition. Rushes don’t happen randomly, though, so unless there are people telling you to switch to a given class, pick one that is empty or near-empty.
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I really wish I could switch classes/teams. How do I do this?
The colon and period keys.
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Haha, I love backstabbing people or shooting ’em in the head! I’m definitely going for the Sniper or the Spy!
Skilled players love to pick on newbies who think the Sniper and the Spy are the be-all end-all class. It’s this attitude, first and foremost, that gives F2P (free to play) people a bad name. In pubs, the number of snipers/spies required is always less than 3. I’m not a pro player, but I’m pretty sure that there are no more than one spy or sniper on a team; some forget about them altogether!

If there are two snipers already, forget the sniper class. If there are two spies, forget the spy class. Easy as that. I say “two” because it’s usually impossible in pubs to get exactly one sniper and one spy on each team anyway.
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Okay, so what exactly is the goal/objective of Team Fortress 2?
The goal depends on the game mode. If you eliminate all the variants, however, things ultimately boil down to one of three game modes.

The first is Payload. Here, the BLU team has to escort a cart carrying a bomb through several checkpoints, and the RED team needs to stop them and let the time run out. Every time the bomb passes a checkpoint, the BLU team gets more time. The most popular variant of this is called Payload Race, where both teams have a cart instead of just BLU. Push your cart, stall the opponents’.

The second is called Control Points. Here, both sides must capture a string of metallic platforms – the eponymous control points – from the opposing team. Each team must capture the points in order. Consider the following example:

AB – C – DE

In this case, the RED team owns points A and B, while BLU owns D and E. Point C is neutral.

Assume you join the RED team. Your team advances and captures the center point, C, without too much resistance. The board now looks like this:

ABCDE

Attempting to capture point E right now would be a fruitless venture. Instead, you must attack and capture point D. If you were on the BLU team, points A and B would be completely impervious to attack until point C was owned by your team. The victorious team is the team which owns ALL of the points.

The most popular variant of this is known as “Attack/Defend”, and is drastically different than the mode described above. In “attack/defend”, only RED owns the control points at round start. The BLU team must advance and capture the points while the RED team must defend the points until the time expires. BLU is victorious if they capture all the points within the time limit.

The third game mode is simply “Capture the Flag”, with the flag being replaced by a briefcase full of “intelligence”.

A fourth is known as arena mode, and is simply team deathmatch. Avoid this mode for now though, because once you die in Arena mode you’re not respawning.
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I was playing earlier…on a map called Gravel Pit, I think…it was a bit different than what you described with regards to Control Points. There was another one called Steel which was even more confusing!
These are variants of the above “attack/defend” example. Steel’s mentioned later, but I’ll cover Gravel Pit now because it’s on a Valve server.

In Gravel Pit, RED owns three points – A, B, and C. BLU has to capture all three points in order to win. Both points A and B need to be owned by BLU in order for point C to become vulnerable.

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Eurgh…confusing as hell.
Don’t worry about it. You’ll get it eventually. For now, either stick to Valve’s servers, or look for “vanilla” or “stock” servers. These ones won’t run the more complicated/wacky maps that might be too much for you to handle right now. If you can’t remember, either ask for help or simply follow your team and do what they do.

Since there are literally thousands of maps out there, here’re a few easy ones to keep an eye out for. These maps also shouldn’t need to be downloaded, as they’re shipped with the game.

-2fort
-Badwater Basin
-Turbine
-Gold Rush
-Well
-Coldfront
-Egypt
-Dustbowl
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I just got a new item! What does this mean?
As you play, you’ll gain access to weapons that are different from the standard “stock” weapons that are shipped with the game. They have different attributes; maybe it swings quicker but has lower damage, for example. Maybe it causes critical damage more often. You’ll get them by simply playing the game. You can also buy them at the in-game store using your IRL monies if you’re looking for one in particular. Once you have one, though, it stays with you for life until you trade it or use it as an ingredient in crafting.
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I was poking around other threads on the forums, and people are saying “That weapon sucks!”…I use that weapon. Is that bad?
The community is extremely divided on several things. You won’t really get a straight answer poking around on the forums as to whether a weapon is truly useful. You’ll hear arguments for both sides. One thing you won’t find in this FAQ though is bias. If I say “avoid this weapon”, it’s because I don’t think you, as a new player, will be skilled enough to utilize the weapon’s benefits. It does not mean it’s a bad weapon. What the community wants, in the end, is for everyone to use their weapon of choice effectively.
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That little menu that appears on the side when it comes to weapon switching is stupid. Can I turn that off?
From the main menu, hit Options -> Keyboard tab -> Advanced (at the bottom) -> Check “Enable Fast Weapon Switching”.

For more details, be sure to read this FAQ on basic settings!
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What’s the developer’s console? Should I enable that too?
Yeah. The developer’s console is toggled with the ~ key. It lets you use some of the more advanced stuff of TF2. Although the stuff it does do isn’t covered here, there’s no harm in enabling it, so do so.
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Critical hits? What is this, an RPG?
Well…kind of. As the TF2 wiki puts it, critical hits are attacks that cause three times normal damage and lack damage falloff. In other words, a critical hit will cause a high amount of reliable damage, even at long range, assuming you were to hit your target (most prevalent with short-ranged weapons like the Shotgun and the Minigun). All you need to really know is that crits happen randomly (with exceptions, outlined below) and they hurt like hell. Crits give a preference to melee weapons (15% chance instead of 2%) and to players who output a lot of damage in a short amount of time (within 20 seconds).

There are also “mini-crits“, which cause a weapon to cause at least 35% extra damage and ignore damage falloff, making it effective at long range, like normal crits. Similar to normal attacks, however, they are given a damage increase at close range.

In layman’s terms, crits deal large amounts of damage reliably at long range, while mini-crits give a smaller boost but the same reliability as normal crits.
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You also mentioned crafting. What is crafting anyway?
More on that later.
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Oh…okay. So what now?
Now we look at the other classes and their own FAQs.

The Scout’s Basic FAQs

I just watched Meet the Scout, but it didn’t really tell me a lot about him aside from that he hurts people. What exactly does he do?
The Scout is designed to be a hit-and-run class. As a Scout, you should always take a side passage to the enemy’s front, damage or kill an enemy (bonus points – literally – if you kill a medic!) and then run the hell away before the enemy comes bearing down on you. Repeat ad nauseum.
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Wow, I can jump twice in the air!
The Scout is the only class that can double jump like that. You can do more than that, though – try using the WSAD keys for your second jump. You’ll change direction in mid-air!
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So what kind of concepts should I know to be a good Scout?
-Always move. Never stand still, not even to attack a sentry from outside its range.

-Know when to back off. Although skilled Scouts can take down a Heavy in a 1v1 fight, you probably can’t right now.

-Accomplish objectives. Scouts accomplish objectives faster than any of the other classes, equalled only by Demomen and Soldiers wielding an unlockable melee weapon called the Pain Train.

-Double jump to reach difficult-to-reach areas. This, coupled with their speed, makes them great at harassing enemy Snipers and Spies. You can also try jumping left, then using the second jump to change direction in mid-air to throw opponents off balance.

-Get in close. The Scattergun isn’t effective beyond roughly five metres (sixteen feet). Get as many pellets into your target as you can with the Scattergun – a technique known as “meatshotting”.
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So what kind of unlocks are available for the Scout?
You can always look this stuff up on the wiki, but here’s the short description for each. The following weapons replace the Scattergun

Force A’ Nature: More damage, faster reload, but it only holds two shells. However, you can aim the weapon at the ground and use the recoil as a third jump. Its accuracy, however, is terrible; you need to get even closer than the Scattergun’s effective range for it to hurt.

Shortstop: Less damage, only four shots instead of six, but is more effective at medium range than the normal Scattergun.

Soda Popper: Similar to the Force A’ Nature, but cannot triple jump. Instead, running around builds up a “Hype” meter that, when full, causes your weapon to cause mini-crits. You can’t conserve the charge, though.

The following weapons replace the Pistol

Bonk! Atomic Punch: This energy drink grants temporary invincibility, but you can’t attack. You are, however, affected by knockback, meaning pyros can use their airblast ability to blow you off of cliffs.

Crit-A-Cola: This purple energy drink grants mini-crits. On the other hand, any attacks that hit you will also deal mini-crit damage.

Mad Milk: This “milk-like substance” is contained in a bottle. You throw this at enemies; enemies covered in this will find that any damage afflicted onto them will be returned as health to you. If you think you’re hit with Mad Milk, check your health bar and see if there is a large white droplet near it.

Winger: This weapon is similar to the pistol, but loads only five rounds instead of twelve. As a bonus, however, this pistol causes 15% more damage.

The following weapons replace the Bat

Sandman: This wooden baseball bat reduces your health from 125 to 110, but right-clicking with this weapon fires a baseball that will impair its target. Short-range shots with this will only stop the enemy from attacking; longer range hits will impair their speed as well, while the longest distance shots will immobilize the enemy and earn you an achievement.

Holy Mackerel: A fish wrapped in newspaper. There are no direct bonuses to wielding this weapon. Successfully hitting an enemy will display messages in the kill feed at the top of the screen. Killing an enemy will cause the feed to proclaim “FISH KILL!”.

Boston Basher: If you hit an enemy with this weapon, you’ll cause a bleed effect that will drain their health for five seconds. Miss, however, and you’ll start to lose health instead. Not a good newbie weapon as a result.

Sun on a Stick: Guarantees full critical hits on any enemy who is on fire. Causes reduced damage against enemies that are not. This makes it very situational, and thus its use is limited.

Fan O’ War: Causes almost no damage, but instead enemies who are struck with this weapon will take mini-crits. Best used as a hit-and-run weapon.

Atomizer: Since this bat causes less damage and swings slower, the Atomizer has limited uses as a weapon. However, equipping this weapon enables the user to triple jump without using the Force A’ Nature at the cost of 10 HP. Equipping the Force A’ Nature and this weapon enables the user to quadruple jump for even more air time.
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A lot of these weapons have negative effects I don’t like. Does this mean I should use the stock (standard) weapons?

You should use what suits your playstyle. If that means using the stock weapons, then use the stock weapons. Only make use of the unlocks if you’re able to make use of them in the first place. Equipping the Sandman and not using the baseball means that you’re just losing 15 health for no reason.
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Both the Scattergun and the Bat are effective at close range. The Scattergun is obviously more powerful than the bat…why use the bat?
Humiliation, conservation of ammo…maybe your Scattergun needs to reload. The Bat swings faster than the Scattergun shoots, so also keep that in mind.
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So if I use all six shots of my Scattergun, I should switch to my Bat?
I’d use the pistol first, but I don’t main as him. A scout pro will tell you for sure.

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So if I use all six shots of my Scattergun, I should switch to the pistol. That’s what you’re saying.
If you want to maintain engagement, yes. Remember that you aren’t supposed to stay long in a firefight, though.
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Anything else I should know?
Not really from an FAQ that’s general like this one. This here’s the basics of the basics. There are lots of other Scout strategies here that aren’t covered, mostly ’cause if I did then this guide would be two times longer than it already is.
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Fair enough. Let’s move on.
Next up is the Soldier.

The Soldier’s FAQs

The Soldier has a freakin’ rocket launcher. How is this a fair fight?
The Soldier has a rocket launcher, yes, but unlike Halo and Battlefield, rockets aren’t an instant kill.
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That’s not realistic.
Neither is having a fish wrapped in newspaper as a weapon.
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Oh yeah…alright, so what’s the Soldier good at?
The short answer? Everything. The longer answer is that the Soldier is a jack of all trades, master of none; he’s tough, but not tough as the Heavy. He’s faster than the Heavy, but not faster than the Scout.
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Okay…so what’s making it hard to have a team of Soldiers go around and romp everything?
Well, for one, the Soldier doesn’t have a lot of long-range weapons. He has the rocket launcher, which is accurate, but it also has damage falloff, so it doesn’t deal too much damage at longer ranges.

The rocket launcher also takes a long time to reload. The Soldier’s Shotgun isn’t much better in this respect. I personally have never seen a Soldier rush, but the wiki and some players suggest a soldier rush has some merit.
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So what kind of concepts should I know to be a good Soldier?
-Take the high ground. You’ll have a lot more luck raining rockets down on enemies than shooting up at them.

-Rockets cause a lot less damage the further they go.

-Use rocket jumps to reach hard-to-reach areas. This lets you reach snipers who think they’re safe in a building.

-Soldiers are slow, and thus easy pickings for snipers and spies.
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What’s this about rocket jumping?
Rocket jumping is aiming the rocket at your feet and pressing the spacebar at roughly the same moment. The explosion amplifies your jump and sends you sky high. Pressing Ctrl to crouch, Spacebar to jump, and the left mouse button to fire will send you even higher.

The rocket jump makes the Soldier able to reach places the Scout’s double jump can’t get to.
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I just can’t seem to kill anyone with rockets, but when they come to me I’m dead already.
It’s probably because rockets cause less damage the further they travel. Keep that in mind when you’re fighting.
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Rockets travel too slow! I can’t get any kills!
They travel slow, but they pack a wallop up close and they have a considerable splash radius. Aim at their feet. If you want faster rockets, equip the Direct Hit.
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The Direct Hit? Oh yeah! What are the Soldier’s unlocks?
Replacing the Rocket Launcher

Direct Hit – causes more damage and rockets travel faster, but they have very little splash damage. Newer Soldiers are probably going to want to avoid this, since the extra damage and faster rockets mean nothing unless you can actually hit anything.

Black Box – same damage and same speed as the normal rocket launcher, but hitting enemies with the rocket or with the splash damage gives you 15 health. On the other hand, you can only load three rockets instead of four. Pretty good for new soldiers, as the health boost will keep you alive longer. Be careful about the number of rockets in the launcher and you should be fine.

Liberty Launcher – a hybrid between the Direct Hit and the Black Box, having the missile speed of the former and the reduced rocket capacity of the latter. Ultimately this is up to you; unlike the direct hit, these rockets have splash damage, and they travel fast. On the other hand, you’re going to need to reload a lot.

Cow Mangler 5000 – a retro-future styled laser weapon that causes less damage to everything, but right clicking unleashes a charged shot that does mini-crit damage and sets enemies on fire. This charged shot can also temporarily disable an engineer’s structure. This weapon does not consume ammo, but it still needs to be reloaded. Unfortunately it will never crit. Ever.

Rocket Jumper – added for completion’s sake, this rocket launcher deals no damage and makes you virtually useless in a fight. As its name suggests, however, it’s perfect for practicing with rocket jumps.

Replacing the Shotgun

Buff Banner – grants a rage meter that fills as you deal damage to the enemy. When it’s full, left click to have all teammates around you deal mini-crit damage. Dying resets the meter and you can still get killed with the bonus in place; avoid if you get killed a lot.

Battalion’s Backup – grants a rage meter that fills as you take damage. When it’s full, left click to reduce the amount of damage you take. This effect also completely nullifies any critical hits your team may take. Dying resets the meter and you can still get killed with the bonus in place; avoid if you get killed a lot.

Concheror – grants a rage meter that fills as you deal damage to the enemy. When it’s full, left click to have damage you and your teammates deal return to you as health. Dying resets the meter and you can still get killed with the bonus in place; avoid if you get killed a lot.

Reserve Shooter – This shotgun only loads three shells down from six. However, it enables quick weapon switching, and mini-crits on aerial targets if you switch fast enough. The idea with this weapon is to send the enemy airbourne with a rocket, switch to this weapon, then blast them with it before they land. Its uses are limited for newbies, so avoid this weapon for now.

Righteous Bison – a retro-future laser pistol that penetrates multiple targets. Although it causes less damage to buildings than the normal shotgun, the question only you can answer is whether that will matter. Not as effective as the shotgun up close, but superior at range.

Gunboats – A pair of boots that decreases the amount of health you lose when you rocket jump. It’s not really worth the loss of the Shotgun, so avoid this for now.

Mantreads – A pair of boots that makes it hard for enemies to knock you around. If you manage to rocket jump and land on an enemy’s head, you’ll transfer all the fall damage you would have taken and applies it to your target. Unfortunately, this requires literally perfect aim; avoid.

Replacing the Shovel

Equalizer – a pickaxe that causes more damage and more speed the lower your health is. Unless you’re engaging enemies in a melee when you’re at full health, this is the ideal weapon for you.

The Market Gardener – Another shovel, but this one grants full critical hits whenever you’re rocket jumping at the cost of critical hits everywhere else. Avoid for now.

The Disciplinary Action – a whip that causes less damage, but gives both you and an ally a speed boost when you hit a friendly with it. If you don’t have the equalizer, equip this and help your teammates get to the fight quickly.

Pain Train – causes you to take more damage from bullets, but you’ll capture points and push carts as fast as a Scout. Unless you’re on BLU for Payload or Control Points and you’re actively performing objectives, forget about this weapon.

Half-Zatoichi – a katana that restores you to full health when you kill an enemy. Once you switch to this weapon, however, you’re stuck with it until you actually kill someone. You can one-hit kill any enemy wielding this katana, but remember that they can one-hit kill you too.
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Anything else I should know?
Just one: the rocket launcher is rather slow when it comes to reloading. Switch to the shotgun, kill the enemy, then worry about reloading. Aside from that, nope. As a reminder, this is a general FAQ. A Soldier-specific FAQ can help you more.
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Cool, what’s next?
The Pyro.

The Pyro’s FAQs

“Hudda hudda huh”?
Hudda. Huh huh hudda huh.
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Uhm…what?
The Pyro always talks like that. No one’s really sure exactly what he’s saying.
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Isn’t the Pyro a girl?
Maybe. The only thing the community is certain about is that the Pyro likes to set things on fire. The Pyro’s gender is a huge source of debate, and there is proof to both support and refute the theory that the Pyro is a girl. For all we know, the Pyro may be a robot or Abraham Lincoln…but that’s not what we’re here for, right?
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So what’s the Pyro’s job?
The Pyro’s job is to ambush enemies, catching them all off-guard, and setting them on fire. Enemies who are on fire take damage, and are thus encouraged to head back for health and a medic.
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Cool, so all I need to do is run at them with my flamethrower?
That’s called W+M1ing (W, the key for forward movement, and M1, or the left mouse button) and is widely considered to be a newbie trait. A lot of players dismiss the Pyro as a noob class as a result. You don’t have the health of a Heavy, so you can’t run head-on at them like that.
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So I go in from behind, hit them hard, and then run away? Isn’t that like the Scout, but without the speed?
You’re starting to see why the Pyro is so controversial.
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Alright, let’s not get into that argument. What about “spychecking”?
Spychecking is one thing that the Pyro’s good at. As you know from watching Meet the Spy, the Spy is capable of becoming invisible and disguising himself as another player. Although there are several other ways of determining whether the person you’re looking at is that person or a disguised spy, the most reliable way is to shoot some fire at them. An enemy spy will be set on fire; a friendly will be unscathed. Not only will the spy be on fire while disguised, his cloak is rendered useless as well; a giant plume of fire coming out of nowhere is very easy to spot.
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So Pyros eat spies for breakfast, huh?
Yes and no. There are a few things the Spy can do to turn the tables against you; they can still backstab you as easily as any other class. They also have an ability that lets them fake their own death.
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A Spy can fake his own death? So how do I know if I killed him or not?!
More on that later.
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Alright, alright. What else have I got in the Pyro’s arsenal?
Replacing the Flamethrower

The Backburner – this causes more damage and guarantees critical hits from behind, but consumes more ammunition for airblasting. This makes it relatively easy to use, but when you get more skilled you’re going to want to switch to something else.

The Degreaser – this flamethrower enables superior weapon switching speeds. Generally considered superior to the backburner, the downside to this weapon is that the afterburn causes less damage, making it easier for someone to survive your initial attack. Most pyro players use this weapon.

Replacing the Shotgun

The Flare Gun – this weapon shoots a single flare. The flare drops over distance, so you’re going to need to aim high to hit distant targets. Hitting a target with this flare will set the target on fire. Hitting them with a flare while they’re still on fire results in a devastating critical hit.

The Detonator – this weapon also shoots a single flare. Unlike the aforementioned flare gun, however, this weapon only mini-crits if you hit a burning enemy with the flare. If you right click, though, the flare explodes, setting anything in the blast radius on fire. This explosion can hurt you, however, so be careful. They say you can use this explosion to make a decent jump.

Reserve_Shooter – A Soldier weapon now available to the Pyro, this shotgun mini-crits against airbourne targets if you switch weapons fast enough. On the other hand, it also loads only three shells instead of six. You can try using the compression blast to send someone airbourne and then mini-crit them with this, but it’s a new addition and requires some testing.

Replacing the Fire Axe

The Axtinguisher – causes a lot of damage to burning enemies, but very little to enemies that aren’t. Unlike the Scout’s Sun on a Stick, this weapon is far more reliable since the Pyro can produce fire. Set an enemy on fire with your flamethrower, then switch to this and axe them for the victory. A favourite weapon of many Pyro players.

The Homewrecker – a sledgehammer that causes bonus damage to buildings and reduced damage to players. Its primary call to fame, however, is that it can remove the Spy’s electro sappers (devices the Spy attaches to engineer structures to make them cease to function and take damage until destroyed) in a single strike. The engineer himself requires two swings with the wrench to remove them.

The Back Scratcher – causes more damage and boosts the amount of health that pickups restore, but reduces the amount of health received from Medics and Dispensers. This makes it not too useful to new Pyro players, who will probably need medics more often than other classes.

The Powerjack – Wielding this weapon makes you take more damage in a melee duel, but successfully killing an enemy with this weapon will have you receive a considerable health boost. It’s similar to the Axtinguisher in that you damage an enemy with the flamethrower, then whack them with this to receive your health boost. However, 75 health isn’t much and probably isn’t enough to a new player to keep them going.

Sharpened Volcano Fragment – This axe causes less damage, but instead sets enemies on fire when you hit them with this. Since your flamethrower does everything this weapon does except better, its uses are limited.

Postal Pummeler – Identical to the Axtinguisher, except it’s a mail box!
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A…mail box.
Yeah.
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You mentioned in the Scout section and the Backburner section something about airblasting. What is that?
The airblast, or the compression blast as it is also known, is the most powerful tool in the Pyro’s arsenal. Right clicking with the pyro’s flamethrower out results in a puff of air. If you time it just right, you’re able to reflect projectiles.

Possibly back at their source.
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So…you’re saying I can blast a rocket back at the Soldier who shot it at me?
And kill him with his own rocket. Yes.
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That. Is. Epic.
Yes it is.

It also is the most challenging part of playing Pyro. You need to time the blast almost perfectly, but you also are capable of re-aiming the projectile at another target; reflecting a Soldier’s rocket to hit a Scout, for example. Those who master the compression blast are truly a force to be reckoned with
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Wait, you said “projectiles”. You mean he can reflect bullets?
No, but he can reflect grenades, sandman baseballs, flares from pyros, arrows from medics and snipers…the only “projectile” he can’t reflect are needles from the medic’s syringe gun.
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Arrows from snipers…that means the Sniper has an arrow weapon of some sort. So wait – it’s possible to not just reflect an arrow from a sniper, but also score a headshot with it?
And it’s a glorious thing.
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And I can use the airblast to push enemies around too?
Even enemies that are invincible. That Scout thinks he can escape using his invincible energy drink? Just blast him against a wall, wait for the powerup to fade, then set him on fire. The Medic also has a special ability that turns himself and one of his buddies invincible; use the airblast to separate the two, or push them away from allied sentry guns to keep them safe. The possibilities are endless. A Pyro FAQ or an experienced Pyro player will tell you more.
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Why is this friendly medic standing in front of me, a Pyro, calling for medic himself?
If he’s on fire, use the airblast to extinguish him. Pyros truly are masters of fire; they can set people alight, and extinguish them as well.
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Argh! What’s going on? I tried to reflect shots, but when the enemy got close, I switched to the shotgun!
Watch your ammo count. Airblasts have both a cooldown and a high ammo cost. It’s what prevents you from spamming the airblast. The Backburner is even worse in terms of the ammo cost.
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So in summary…
-Flank the enemy to set them on fire, then either run away or whack them with the Axtinguisher

-Try to set allies on fire; if they burn, they’re disguised spies

-Use the compression blast to reflect enemy shots

-Use the compression blast against invincible enemies to keep the rest of your team safe.
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Wait, what about other Pyros?
As a Pyro, you’re fireproof. It’d be kind of ironic to have the Pyro dying of fire…but even though you’re fireproof, enemy flamethrowers can still kill you. You just won’t suffer from any afterburn. A fight between two pyros often boils down to who can keep the enemy in his crosshairs longer. If the fight doesn’t go your way, airblast the enemy away and make your escape.

You can also use the shotgun to kill other Pyros. Most ace pyro players will recommend this as well.
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Cool. What’s next?
THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE: The Demoman.

Demoman FAQs

What was that about? “There can be only one”?
Ever seen the movie Highlander? Go check that movie out.
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Okay, so he’s the Demoman and he sure is loving his explosions.
Yeah, but using the right bombs for the right purpose is part of knowing how to play him.
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What do you mean? Bombs are bombs, right?
Yeah, but they come in two flavours. His standard weapons are grenades, or “pills”, that are shot out of his grenade launcher. They randomly bounce around and, after a while, explode. Their randomness makes it hard for players focused on a fight to dodge. The other is sticky bombs – a bit on those in a second.
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So grenades bounce around and explode. It sounds like the Demoman is best behind the lines, lobbing grenades into the fray.
Some players play the Demoman just like a human artillery piece, doing exactly that. However, remember the demoman’s grenades can explode on contact (unless they hit the floor; then they explode when their time runs out) so skilled demos can predict where you’re going and meet you with a grenade to the face.
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Ow! That causes a lot of damage, too! So what’s his weakness?
His main weakness is that both normal grenades and sticky bombs can damage himself if he’s not careful. Skilled demos are. To complicate issues for a demo, get up close and dodge like crazy. He only has four grenades and they reload slowly.
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So the main counter to a Demoman is a Scout?
In general, a fight between a Demo and a Scout favours the Scout. As is the case with the Pyro and Spy, however, the Demoman can turn the tables on an overconfident or predictable Scout quickly.
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I’m assuming that’s involving his sticky bombs? You haven’t talked about those yet.
The sticky bombs are his other weapon. Unlike grenades, these don’t bounce around. They (gasp!) stick to surfaces. They also don’t explode on contact; instead, they all explode together when you hit the right mouse button.
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So I can set up a giant minefield, wait for an enemy to walk into it, then go “KA-BOOM!!”?
That’s why the Demoman is classified as a defence character. Note that sticky bombs won’t explode remotely! You need to blow them up yourself.
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But I always see demomen going to the front lines! They’re hardly a “defence” character.
Like the Soldier, the Demoman is great at both offence and defence. On offence, the demoman’s normal grenades can complicate movement patterns for defenders. Sticky bombs are also great at chucking in the enemy’s direction, then simply blowing them all up and killing anyone in the area.
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With the name of “Demoman”, they must be really good against Engineers.
Sentries can kill Demomen, but since sentries can’t hit what they can’t see, Demos have the advantage. Engineers, when attacked, will often run behind their sentry gun and “tank” it – that is, have the sentry absorb the damage while the Engineer repairs it. This makes the sentry next to impossible to destroy.

Enter the Demoman. Using sticky bombs, he can cause a huge amount of damage in a single explosion, more damage than the sentry has health. Therefore, don’t use grenades, but use stickies against sentries.
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Can a Demoman use grenades to jump like using the Soldier’s rockets?
It’s easier using stickies, but grenades work too. The same mechanics apply.
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I’m playing against a demoman and he’s putting stickies everywhere. How do I get rid of them?
Explosive attacks, like rockets, grenades, and other sticky bombs (exceptions follow) will push them around, but not destroy them. Destroying them can be accomplished with a bullet-style weapon, like a shotgun, minigun, or syringe gun. It’s also possible to melee them, but it shouldn’t be done for obvious reasons.

You can also find and kill the demoman who put them there. This destroys all his stickies instantly.
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I’ve seen some Demos wield a shield and a sword! What’s up with that?
The demoman is unique in that several of his unlocks change him into essentially a sub-class, dubbed by the community as the “Demoknight”.
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Alright, so what kind of weapons does he have?

Replacing the Grenade Launcher

Loch-n-Load – Essentially, this is the Direct Hit of grenade launchers. Missed grenades will shatter and cause no damage. The grenades that do fly out of this puppy, however, hit hard and fly fast. They also hurt you a lot, so don’t use it up close.

Ali Baba’s Wee Booties – Improves your ability to turn while charging. More on that later.

Replacing the Sticky Bomb Launcher

Scottish Resistance – A modified sticky bomb launcher that shoots stickies faster and lets you have fourteen instead of eight stickies out at once. You can also choose which ones explode by aiming at the stickies. These sticky bombs also destroy enemy sticky bombs. As a downside, these stickies take more time to arm; mash the right mouse button all you want, but they won’t explode until 1.72 seconds after they leave the barrel.

Sticky Jumper – similar to the rocket jumper, this weapon is designed for practice only. Although some players have been able to use this weapon on the attack, it is not recommended for regular play.

Chargin’ Targe – Right click to send yourself flying at a target. Unlike other secondary unlocks, this one is wielded alongside your melee weapon. As you get closer to the end of your charge, your weapon will deal mini-crit or full crit damage. You also become less vulnerable to fire and explosives.

Splendid Screen – Although you’re a bit more vulnerable to fire and explosives, this Chargin’ Targe variant causes damage when you run into the enemy at any range; contrast this to the Chargin’ Targe, which only deals damage when you ram into the enemy at maximum range. The actual charge also deals more damage than the aforementioned Targe.

Replacing the Bottle

Eyelander – this claymore reduces your immediate health, but as you kill more enemies with this weapon, your health and your speed will increase. The speed and health increases cap off at four kills. This and most of the other swords the demoman owns has a larger than normal melee swing. Killing an enemy wielding a weapon of this type adds their kill count to your own. It also doesn’t critical hit, but when you pair this with the targe, which guarantees critical hits at the end of your charge…

Scotsman’s Skullcutter – a battle axe that reduces your speed, but grants you superb strength. It doesn’t gather kills like the Eyelander, but it is the same otherwise.

Pain Train – causes you to take more damage from bullets, but you’ll capture points and push carts as fast as a Scout. Unless you’re on BLU for Payload or Control Points and you’re actively performing objectives, forget about this weapon.

Half-Zatoichi – a katana that restores you to full health when you kill an enemy. Once you switch to this weapon, however, you’re stuck with it until you actually kill someone. You can one-hit kill any enemy wielding this katana, but remember that they can one-hit kill you too.

Ullapool Caber – A stick grenade that you, unfortunately, can’t throw. All you can do is whack people with it, causing a big explosion that will damage you and hopefully kill your enemy. Good for suicide runs, and it also packs a wallop. You’ll survive the explosion if you’re at full health. After the explosion, however, it becomes a sub-par melee weapon. Head back to spawn and hit the resupply locker for another one.

Claidheamh Mòr – Don’t worry, I can’t pronounce it either. I can’t speak Gaelic. This sword is similar to the Eyelander, but it takes only 15 health instead of 25. It doesn’t gather kills, but your charge will be more effective. This makes it a more newb-friendly weapon than the Eyelander, which is only effective if you don’t die a lot.

Persian Persuader – this scimitar lets you charge more often and converts any ammunition pickups into health for you. Though you’ll be more limited in the ways you can use ordinary grenades, don’t forget that enemies drop their weapon – which counts here as health – upon death.
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Wait, you forgot about a few other weapons.
The demoman also has the
Nessie’s Nine Iron, which is a golf club, and the Horseless Headless Horsemann’s Headtaker – both are identical to the Eyelander.
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So…you kept talking about charging. Could you explain that in more detail, please?
The idea behind the charge is that you equip, say, the Chargin’ Targe and the Eyelander. Then you find an enemy who’s preferably not moving and distracted, then you charge right up to them. When you reach them, you left click and deal a single critical swing that lops the guy’s head off.

If you don’t left click, you’ll instead bash him with the shield. It’s damaging, but chances are it won’t kill someone. You will, however, get an achievement for it.
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It’s confusing.
It’s harder to explain than it actually is. Your best bet is to go into Medieval Mode with this loadout.
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What the…Medieval Mode?
There’s a map called Degroot Keep. It’s a control point map – so BLU has to attack the control points, and RED has to defend. To keep in with its medieval theme, most weapons are barred; the demoman’s swords and shields are one of the few exceptions.

For more details, check out the Official TF2 wiki’s article.
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Surely the Demoman is a master at melee combat, with his swords.
Just keep in mind that this “demoknight” loadout is considered to be a lot less powerful outside the aforementioned medieval mode. Heavies have enough health to withstand your single critical swing, and will mow you down with their minigun afterwards.
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Is it possible to use the Chargin’ Targe on its own – that is to say, with the bottle?
Most definitely. It’s not as effective without the increased melee range the Eyelander and its cousins provide, but it’s entirely viable to charge at the enemy, bottle in hand, and crit-bash him with it. I heard some players equip the Targe for the damage resistances alone.
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So I can use the Eyelander on its own too?
Yes, but it’s far less effective than the Chargin’ Targe on its own. The health reduction, lack of crits, and lack of a charge makes it hard to get into the enemy’s face – where the Eyelander needs to be.
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Okay. What’s next?
The Heavy.

Heavy FAQs

Why would anyone want to play as the Heavy? He’s slow and stupid.
I gained more points as the Heavy than any other combative class. The minigun will chew up enemies at all but the longest of ranges, and he has ammo to spare as well.
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Okay, so he’s not that stupid. But he is slow.
That’s why you need to keep up with your team. They’ll protect you as you advance. Also try to take teleporters set up by friendly engineers to help get yourself to the front faster.
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Everyone keeps telling me that Heavies have a lot of health, but mine keeps dropping faster than a stone.
The thing with Heavies is that people like to shoot them. In a fight between two demomen and a soldier versus a Heavy, the Heavy will lose. He’s not invincible. If you add a Medic to the Heavy, though, the playing field becomes far more even.
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Because the Medic keeps healing him faster than the other three can damage him, right?
Also because Medics can boost the Heavy’s health to over a maximum. If a Heavy who was recently healed by a medic were to engage an enemy Heavy whose team lacks a medic, the first Heavy will win.
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But I keep getting headshotted and stabbed!
That’s up to your team to stop the two assassins – the Sniper and the Spy – from killing you like that. The Heavy is easy pickings for both of them. With regards to the Spy, though – if the Spy is found, the minigun will chew right through him. Against snipers, though, you’re going to have to wait for your team to deal with the sniper first. You’re large, slow, and overall predictable. Don’t go out into sniper zones without some sort of plan.

As a Heavy, you’re also weak against both flanking attacks and multiple opponents. Your team needs to protect you as you soak up attacks from the front.
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The minigun takes WAY too much time to spin up. Sometimes I’d encounter a Heavy who’d jump around a corner with his minigun already spinning!
The other factor in a Heavy vs Heavy fight, aside from who has the medic, is also who has the initiative. Whenever you’re close to the fight, start revving the minigun up. It’s far better to come around the corner with guns blazing than to not.

Another age-old Heavy trick is to jump around a corner. You can rev the minigun in mid-air without losing speed. Try jumping and revving the minigun as you turn around a corner. You just might surprise someone with a faceful of bullets.
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Alright, I take it back. The Heavy is a great class. His health and firepower are credit for team. What else does he have?

Replacing the Minigun

Natasha – An extremely controversial weapon to this day, Natasha causes less damage and has a higher spin-up time, but slows targets down so it’s easier to hit them. The spin-up and firing is considerably softer than the normal minigun.

Brass Beast – the best minigun in terms of damage, but its long spin-up time makes it hard to use in a firefight. When spinning the weapon, you essentially become completely immobile, making you an easy target. Good for Heavies who prefer to stay in one place as a human sentry gun.

Tomislav – The quick and silent spin-up time of this weapon lets you launch and catch sneak attacks, but in a straight up fight, this weapon loses out with its reduced rate of fire. Think of this more as an assault rifle than a machine gun.

Replacing the Shotgun

Sandvich – this “weapon”, when fired, causes you to eat it to get back to full health. Useful when there are no medics around. You can also right click to drop the sandvich so a friendly can pick it up, letting you act as an impromptu medic. If you’re taking a lot of fire and can’t afford to stay still and eat, you can right click to drop the sandvich then pick it up again for an instantaneous, if smaller, health boost.

Dalokohs Bar – “shokolad”, Russian for “chocolate” inverted, the Dalokohs Bar gives you 50 extra max health and a small health boost, but you can’t drop it for friendlies. This makes it rather difficult to use effectively.

Buffalo Steak Sandvich – a slab of meat that, when eaten, will switch you to melee and let you start swinging. Each hit will cause mini-crit damage, but at the same time you’re also going to take mini-crits. It also gives you a speed boost. A high risk, high reward weapon that isn’t often used.

Family Business – a shotgun that causes less damage but shoots more before reloading. A lot of players believe that the reduced damage doesn’t make the weapon worthwhile, and thus avoid this weapon.

Replacing the Fists

Killing Gloves of Boxing (KGB) – The weapon swings slower, so you’re going to need to time your punches for maximum effectiveness. Killing an enemy, however, grants you a string of criticals for a few seconds. For best effects, punch someone to death with this, then switch to your shotgun or Tomislav and pick off the guy’s friends.

Gloves of Running Urgently (GRU) – boosts your speed, but leeches your health while active. Bring along the sandvich to help regenerate health. Best used as a weapon to help you get to the front quicker. The power of these weapons is worse than your normal fists, so you’re going to want to use your minigun.

Fists of Steel – sharply reduces the amount of damage from ranged attacks, but increases the amount of damage done in a melee. This helps you navigate a battlefield while under fire; just don’t get into a melee with this.

Warrior’s Spirit – these bear paws cause more damage, but lower your max health. Overall not a good unlock unless you’re in the aforementioned medieval mode; the minigun is a monster at close range, after all.

Eviction Notice – swings faster than the normal fists, but causes less damage. Players believe the damage reduction doesn’t make up for the faster swings, and so the weapon is ignored as a result.
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My screen just is glowing red/blue and I hear an electrical cackling sound. What’s going on?
One of the medics’ abilities – called the Ubercharge – renders you completely invincible to damage for about ten seconds. Make use of this and charge right into battle without regard to personal safety. Destroy everything to the best of your ability.
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I hear an electrical cackling sound, but the only thing that’s glowing is my weapon.
That means everything you shoot is going to be a critical hit. Fire away, but watch your back – you’re not invincible!
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That’s pretty cool, how does that work and how can I do that?
That’s covered in the Medic section.
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Anything else I should know about the Heavy?
Not really. In summary,
-You’re tough, but not invincible. Watch your health.

-If you hear the electrical cackling sound and see a team-coloured glow, you’re invincible. Attack immediately.

-Don’t enter sniper zones without support.

-Spies love to attack you; watch your back and shoot anyone acting suspicious.

-If you pick the Sandvich unlock, right click to throw it to your medic to keep him alive. Keep your medic alive at all costs; his life is worth more than yours.
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Sounds good. What’s next?
The engineer.

Pardner.

Engineer FAQs

So…the Engineer. He sure loves building sentry guns.
Yeah, the sentry is one of the buildings he can build, and it’s the most famous since it stars in Meet the Engineer. He builds other structures, too.
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Other things? Like what?
Dispensers and a one-way teleporter system.
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Dispensers sure sound useful.
The Dispenser is essentially a mobile health-and-ammo pickup station. The question of “Medic or Dispenser?” is something that’s raged on for a while. The one thing dispensers can do that medics cannot, however, is supply the team with ammunition and metal for engineers.
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What about teleporters?
Although all three components – the dispenser, the sentry, and the teleporter – are all extremely useful, it’s the teleporter that helps the team the most. Teleporters will get your team to the fight much faster than having to walk around, and the extra time saved can be a game-changing effect.
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Sounds good. How do I go about building these things?
The 4 key to open your build menu, then choose what building you want to build, and then where you want to put it.
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It sure is building slow.
Whack it with your wrench to speed up the building process.
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I built it in the wrong spot! Can I move it?
Either press 5 to destroy one of your buildings or walk up to it and right click. You won’t be able to use any weapons while hauling a building, but it’ll set itself up when you left click again.
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What is metal? How do I get more metal?
Metal is used by Engineers to build their buildings. Metal and ammo are counted separately but both are gained from the same sources. Ammo pickups are the most popular, but dispensers and fallen weapons all count as well.
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Hey, I can get metal from the resupply locker in my base! I may as well just build there and then carry all my buildings to the battle.
Firstly, you become slower than a Heavy. Secondly, you can only carry one building at a time. Thirdly, if you die while carrying a building, your building dies too. Don’t waste time upgrading buildings at your base; build them as close to the fight as you can without them being mere targets.
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Out of all the buildings, which is the most important?
To yourself, the sentry and the dispenser are the most important. The dispenser’s constant supply of metal means you won’t need to run out into the battlefield in order to get it. The sentry keeps you safe.

With regards to the team, however, the teleporter is the most important and probably the most game-changing. A team that lacks a functioning teleporter will find more time spent travelling than actually fighting. Teleported teammates should realize the benefits of having the teleporter and should work hard to defend it.
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My sentry got a few kills, but it’s getting damaged and I don’t think it can stand up to too much firepower.
The solution here is to “tank” your sentry. Set your dispenser up behind you and use the metal it’s producing to heal your sentry.
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A Demoman came along and blew my stuff up.
Choose a better spot next time. If a demoman comes along, though, you can try to play to his lack of close-range weapons and use your shotgun on him.
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Sometimes enemies come along and they’re a solid blue/red colour. Then they kill everything.
Ubercharges – where a medic makes himself and one of his allies invincible – are the most popular ways of disposing of sentry nests. The only thing you can really do is run away. You can try to tank your sentry, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you can survive.
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I put my teleporter down, but the enemy killed it before it could teleport anyone!
It’s better to use the teleporter to get the team 70% of the way there and walk the remaining 30% than to put your teleporter directly on the battlefield and then have it killed by the enemy advance. Don’t put teleporters too close to the battle.
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What’s the mini-sentry?
We’re gonna cover that when you ask about the weapons.
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What about the Engineer’s unlockable weapons?
You’re really curious about the Engineer’s unlockable weapons, aren’t you?

Replacing the Shotgun

Frontier Justice – a shotgun loads three shells down from six, and it doesn’t create random crits. Instead, however, it has a “Revenge crits” mechanic. For every kill your sentry racks up , when it’s destroyed, the Frontier Justice gains a crit; two crits for every kill and one crit for every assist. So if your sentry gets 2 kills and an assist, then gets destroyed (through enemy fire or if you destroy it yourself) you’ll get five crits.

Widowmaker – uses 30 metal as ammunition instead of having normal shells. Since you use metal as ammo, you don’t need to reload. Since you carry 200 metal total, that means six shots before you need a dispenser. Any damage you deal is also returned as metal. This makes it a viable counter-spy weapon, since you can fire away at disguised enemies and not worry about reloads.

Replacing the Pistol

Wrangler – one of the most common unlocks used in the game, the Wrangler aims the sentry gun at wherever you’re pointing. If your sentry is a level 3 sentry, you can right click to fire its rockets. It won’t acquire targets automatically, but the wrangler effectively gives it infinite range. The wrangler also causes the sentry to fire faster and produce a shield bubble that reduces the amount of damage it takes. Switching weapons or dying, however, causes the sentry to be inert for a few seconds.

Short Circuit – this electrical weapon causes minimal damage, but instead destroys nearby enemy projectiles. It also doesn’t reload, but instead consumes 35 metal per shot. Although the metal consumption isn’t that bad, the lack of a long-ranged defence makes it uncommon amongst players.

Replacing the Wrench

Southern Hospitality – a wrench that, when you hit enemies, causes them to bleed for several seconds. Although it can’t score critical hits and makes you vulnerable to fire, only the lack of critical hits is important. The bleed effect encourages spies to run away and seek medical attention rather than try to destroy your stuff.

Jag – a wrench that is less effective in a firefight, but causes buildings to build up faster. The faster build time also applies for when you want to move your buildings. The only downside to this weapon, aside from its lack of attacking power, is that once your buildings are set up, you don’t receive any bonuses from it.

Gunslinger – A mechanical hand that increases your health by 25 points. Instead of scoring random crits, this weapon performs a three-hit combo, where the third hit is always a crit. Wielding this weapon also changes your sentry gun to that of a mini-sentry.
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You mentioned it before. What is the mini-sentry?
The mini-sentry is a tiny version of a sentry that builds very fast, costs 100 metal instead of 130, and deploys with full health (unlike the normal sentry, which spawns with minimal health and gains more as it builds up). It causes half the damage, and thus deals less damage-per-second than the normal sentry. The mini-sentry also can’t be repaired or upgraded, only reloaded.
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Alright, so it’s a cheap, disposable sentry. Where do I put such a weak gun?
The mini-sentry is anything but weak. It’s great for providing cover fire. Since it’s disposable, it works nearly anywhere. Set it up just as your team is capturing a point to hold off the other team long enough for a capture to be successful. You can’t do that with a normal sentry.
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Then why bother with regular sentries?
Regular sentries a far, far more powerful. A mini-sentry lacks the stopping power of regular sentries; while the opposition will need an ubercharge to break through an ordinary sentry nest, the enemy can just walk right over a mini-sentry. Use ordinary sentries to defend objectives; use mini-sentries as a weapon, or in hotly contested zones where building a full sentry will take too long.
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When I built my teleporter, my team was complaining that they were spawning facing a wall. How do I make my team face the right way when they take my teleporter?
Right click to rotate your blueprints before you deploy the structure.
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What exactly are the benefits of upgrading structures?
Sentries become more durable and better armed.
Dispensers heal faster and provide more ammo and metal per tick on their gauge.
Teleporters can teleport players faster; that is, after performing a teleport, the recharge time is reduced.
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So spies can sap my buildings, right?
Yeah. They place electro-sappers on your buildings, causing them to shut down and take damage until they’re destroyed. Two whacks from your wrench will kill the sapper, but spies can place sappers as fast as they can left click. More often than not, it’s better to kill the spy, then remove the sappers. It’s extremely situational, though.
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There is no spy, but my teleporter is sapped!
There must be a spy at your teleporter’s entrance. If they sap your entrance, your exit is also sapped. Remove the sapper from the exit, though, and the entrance’s sapper will also be removed.
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I removed the sapper from my exit, but then I died!
Ever heard of telefrags? This is a carry-over from older FPSes where players would get stuck “inside” each other if one person teleported into the other. The solution was to kill the person standing on the other side of the teleporter.

Friendlies won’t telefrag you, but disguised spies can also take your teleporters and will telefrag you. Don’t stand on your teleporter to remove a sapper.
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Was I just killed by my own sentry?
Your own sentry can kill you if there is an enemy behind you, yes. Be careful.
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I noticed that other players can walk through my buildings, but I can’t!
Your buildings are solid to two people – yourself and the enemy team. Anyone who’s standing on top of your buildings is an enemy spy.
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For some reason my team isn’t taking my teleporter anymore. What happened?
In some maps, but most prevalently in Control Point maps, your spawn room moves up closer to the action. Knowing when your team’s spawn point changes is important because it lets you know where to put your teleporter entrance.
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If I switch classes, what happens to my structures?
They disappear.
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If I switch my wrench out for another, what happens to my buildings?
They explode.
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In Meet the Engineer, the Engineer had…like, over 9000 sentries, but I can only build one.
Each engineer can build only one of each building – one sentry, one dispenser, one teleporter entrance, one teleporter exit. Gameplay and story segregation.
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So I built all my structures and they’re all level 3. Now what?
Patrol the area for spies. Don’t stay in one spot; you’ll be predictable for spies to backstab you and then sap your stuff.
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How can I get on top of my structures?
Crouch-jump on top of them. Teammates can’t do this, but enemies can.
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I’m gonna try building my sentry right around the corner. When the enemy comes, they’re in for a nasty surprise!
A sentry’s power comes not just from its large damage output, but also the fact it doesn’t have any damage falloff. It causes (more or less) the same damage up close as it does far away. On the other hand, a Heavy’s minigun will hit it a lot more often up close than far away.
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Geez. Then I’m trying to find a spot that’s close, but not too close?
Yeah. But you also need to consider cover; that corner in the building can be nice, but is there a window that demomen can lob grenades and stickies through?
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Aurgh. Finding a good spot is hard.
There are several truly good spots – some game-changing – that a sentry can be in. For every other spot, it’s either mini-sentries or nothing. Watch where others build their sentry nests, and try the same spots out yourself in the future.
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Alright, alright. What’s next?
The Medic.

The Medic FAQs

Who’d want to play the Medic? You just heal people!
The Medic is the most important part of any team. You do more than just heal – you can also boost allies to above 100% health. A fight between an overhealed heavy and a heavy lacking an overheal is a one-sided fight, even without the medic.
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Okay, so I heal people. What’s in it for me?
You get kill assists – half a point to you and to the person you’re healing when your patient gets a kill. You also receive points for deploying ubercharges and healing friendlies.
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Just half a point?
Once I managed 20 points in a single match by simply healing everyone. No kills, just around 40-something assists.
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That’s more than the people I know score as a Spy!
That’s why most players complain that all those snipers and spies should switch to being medic.
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Alright, I’ll switch to the medic. Who should I heal? Just heavies?
No. You should heal everyone. However, when it comes to following one person around, you should generally stick with Heavies. Soldiers, demomen, and Pyros are other choices. Scouts are too fast, spies rely on disguises, snipers shouldn’t need the heals, and engineers have their dispenser.
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My team keeps telling me to heal people who are at full health. Why?
As a medic, the ubercharge is the most important feature of the medic class, and the most potent weapon in the game. Although healing wounded allies will cause the gauge to fill faster, healing a fully healed ally will still make the gauge rise.
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So I should always be working on building up an ubercharge by healing someone, even if they’re at full health?
Yes. Obviously you’re going to want to switch to the syringe gun and defend yourself if your patient dies, but you’re going to want the medigun out and healing as much as possible.

You should also work on building an ubercharge during the setup phase. When the gates open and the enemy advances, you should have an ubercharge ready.
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I keep hearing about the “Uber”. What exactly is that? That has to do with the people glowing solid red/blue, right?
After about 30 seconds to a minute of constant healing (which is why you should heal everyone, even if they’ve got near full health) a gauge at the bottom will fill completely and you’ll be able to activate what’s known as the Ubercharge. Right click to render both yourself and the teammate you’re healing invincible!
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I just did so, but my teammate isn’t running forward to kill things!
He could be out of ammo. Choosing who to ubercharge is very, very important. A well-timed, well placed ubercharge can be game-changing. Literally. The other issue, however, is that he could be a spy.

If he’s definitely not a spy, and he’s not out of ammo, tell him to read this FAQ!
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Wait, what? I can uber enemy spies? Crap! How do I stop it?!
If they’re disguised, yes. You can uber disguised enemy spies, and then run around in the back of your base, forcing you to waste the ubercharge. You can’t stop the ubercharge once you’ve started. The most you can do is stop healing him (thus rendering him vulnerable, instead of invulnerable) and shoot him with the syringe gun.
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I really, really don’t want to go through that again. How can I tell my friends from disguised spies?
There are many ways, which will be listed in the Spy FAQs. The easiest you can do as a medic, while healing people, is to try to run into everyone. If they’re solid, stop healing, pull out your bonesaw, and whack them until you have a dead spy at your feet.
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Anything else I can use against them spies? Bah, forget about that. What other weapons do I have in general?
Replacing the Syringe Gun

Blutsauger – Every hit this does on the enemy heals you by 3 points. The rapid-fire ability of this weapon means you can heal yourself pretty fast if you’re engaging an enemy. Once I managed to survive a Heavy using Natasha on me because of this weapon. The downside is that it reduces your natural HP regeneration.

Crusader’s Crossbow – a single-shot weapon that shoots arrows (not crossbow bolts; I know) that cause more damage the further they fly. Hitting a friendly with this weapon will heal them by quite a bit. Aside from the slow rate of fire, however, the biggest issue this weapon has is that you can’t build your ubercharge meter with it. Unless you’re playing Medieval Mode, use your Medigun to heal people and build up your ubercharge instead of healing people with this.

Overdose – gives a slight speed boost based on your ubercharge percentage. Causes less damage. This weapon requires only slight changes and is thus rather newbie-friendly; just be sure to run instead of fight when using this weapon.

Replacing the Medigun

Kritzkrieg – builds an ubercharge far faster than the normal medigun, but instead of rendering you and the person you’re healing invincible, you give them the ability to deal critical damage with every shot. This does mean you or your patient can get killed during the ubercharge, rendering it pretty moot. Remember though that critical damage doesn’t override invincibility; a fight between a normal medigun medic and a kritzkrieg medic when both have an ubercharge will favour the normal medigun medic.

Quick Fix – heals people far faster than the normal medigun or the kritzkrieg, but you can’t overheal. This makes it ineffective on friendlies who are already at full health. Its “ubercharge” is more like an “uberheal”, where you heal your target at super-speed. It’s not invulnerability, though, so don’t treat it like a normal ubercharge. When used, however, your “uberheal” does prevent knockback, being stunned, and slowdown. If you need to get somewhere in a hurry, heal a faster friendly than you to move at their speed.

Replacing the Bonesaw

Ubersaw – swings slower, but every hit adds 25% to your ubercharge.

Amputator – identical to the normal bonesaw, but if you taunt with it (G) you’ll heal everyone in a radius around you. Like the Crusader’s Crossbow, healing with this does NOT add to your ubercharge, so unless you’re in Medieval Mode, use the medigun instead.

Vita-Saw – reduces your health to 140 instead of 150. On the other hand, if you die with this weapon, you’ll keep 20% of your ubercharge. It’s debatable as to whether or not it’s worth it for newbies; on one hand, you’ll keep 20% ubercharge when you die. On the other hand, reduced health means you’ll be dying a lot more, and 20% isn’t a lot.

Solemn Vow – a bust of Hippocrates (yes, the Greek guy) you whack people with. It causes as much damage as the bonesaw, but equipping this lets you see the enemy’s health. As a medic you can use this information to decide whether or not you should flee or fight. Or you can relay this information to your allies via voice chat.
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Haha, you can taunt? Why didn’t you mention that before?
I’m trying to take things slowly for those who find even this lengthy FAQ to be too much to digest. You taunt with the G key.
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Oh…okay. So what other taunts are there?
Each weapon for each class has separate taunts. Some weapons share taunts. For the ultimate humiliation kill, some taunts can kill enemies!
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Taunt-killing?! Sweet!
All nine classes have a taunt that kills enemies. A list of them is right here. You also get an achievement for your first taunt-kill. If your team loses a match, you can also use these taunts to kill members of the winning team as they come at you to kill you one last time.

You think getting killed by a taunt is embarassing? How about getting killed by a taunt from a guy who’s already lost?
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Alright, alright, back to the Medic. You mentioned being careful on who to launch your ubercharge at. Who should I pick?
Someone who isn’t a spy, firstly. Secondly, which of the mediguns are you using? Thirdly, it boils down to class. Using the ordinary ubercharge, think these four classes:

Soldier – keep in mind that with only four or less rockets, there isn’t a lot of damage you can do.

Pyro – He runs at your speed, and invulnerability means he can get nice and close with the flamethrower without having to deal with inconveniences such as death.

Demoman – As I mentioned in the demoman section, an ubered demoman using sticky bombs is the bane of any engineer’s sentry gun. If he’s got the sword and shield combo, though, chances are he’s going to use the charge and run away, wasting your ubercharge.

Heavy – the most common uber target. Similar to the pyro in a lot of respects; lots of damage and no reloads means pain without end.

For the Kritzkrieg…

Heavy – a kritz-ed heavy can chew through everything except buildings (which are immune to crits) at nearly any range when kritz-ed. Depending on the range, a Heavy can even kill a sniper when kritz-ed.

Soldier – critical rockets are pretty much the most dangerous attacks out there.

Demoman – critical sticky bombs are the second most dangerous.

Be aware that the Pyro isn’t listed in the list of Kritz targets because of his lack of health. He causes a lot of damage and even more when kritz-ed, but lack of health means he’ll die before he can do any damage at all.
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The Blutsauger sucks! It leeches your health!
What a lot of medics don’t notice is that their health naturally regenerates. The norm is three points per second. Equipping the Blutsauger simply reduces that to one point a second instead of three.
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One of the achievements says that I can ubercharge two targets at once. How do I do that?
After ubercharging your first target, simply switch targets back and forth. Note that this will reduce the amount of ubercharge time you have.

I’ve asked people around how to deal with the Quick Fix’s “uberheal”, and they said you should try to do this with the Quick Fix.
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Argh! I keep getting shot at! People really don’t like me, do they?!
As a medic, you’re the number one target of nearly everyone on the other team. Constantly move to make things harder for snipers and spies to kill you.

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But I’m getting shot at from close range by a Scout! The Heavy I’m healing could fight the Scout…how can I tell him to help me?
If you don’t have voice chat, you can either press C-1 (Help!) or run in front of the Heavy and hope he realizes something’s wrong.
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The Heavy was too late. I died.
This also means you lost your ubercharge.
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What?! I was at 90% charge and I lost it all?!
That’s why the lives of medics are more valuable than any other on your team. If you equipped the Vita-Saw, you’ll respawn with 20% charge.
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That’s stupid! Why didn’t my team protect me?!
This is, funnily enough, a very common complaint from premium players to newbies like yourself.
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Arrggghh. How do I get that charge back quicker?
Heal wounded people and people who are on fire. Wounded friendlies contribute more to your ubercharge than players already at full health.
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Does that mean I can build an ubercharge super fast by healing a Soldier who’s shooting rockets at his feet?
Yes. But good luck finding another player willing to do that. It still takes time, though, and while you’re at spawn, healing a suicidal Soldier, the rest of your team is without a medic.
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But when I -AM- ready, I’ll have an ubercharge!
But don’t forget that your team needs a healer at the front, too. Not to mention the overhealing abilities, bringing your teammates’ health above maximum…which your team could really use.
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I ran in with a friend, but then a Pyro came and next thing I knew I was getting bounced away from him! The beam doesn’t have that kind of range, and now he’s left on his own without an uber! What happened?
The Pyro’s airblast is very good at disrupting Ubers. You’re invincible, but the airblast simply pushes you. Have your friend target enemy pyros to avoid getting pushed off of cliffs, or to have your ubercharge wasted like that.
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I was playing with my IRL friend and I stuck with him/her, but the enemy is advancing and he can’t hold them back!
Remember, your life is more valuable than his. Unless he’s a medic himself with more ubercharge than you, then prioritize your own survival ahead of your team’s. Your team might end up dying as a result, but when they all respawn, you’ll arrive on the scene with a nice ubercharge.
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Alright. I don’t know if (s)he’ll forgive me or not. What’s next?
If (s)he’s your friend, (s)he’ll forgive you. Next up is the Sniper.

Sniper FAQs

The Sniper seems easy enough. You just aim at the head.
Yeah, that’s pretty much it.
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Huh? I just shot a Heavy in the face but he didn’t die!
Unlike other FPSes, Team Fortress 2 relies on a charging meter. You get more charge the more time you spend zoomed in. This prevents people from quick-scoping with the sniper.
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I also lined a shot up perfectly at close range against a Scout but that didn’t kill him either!
The Sniper rifle’s power lies almost entirely in the scope. You can’t score headshots without it, even if you hit the enemy in the head.
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You mentioned no quick-scoping, yet I was zoomed in on an enemy sniper and he brought his scope up quickly and shot me!
You can still score headshots – and deal considerable damage – without a full charge. In that sense, you can quick-scope enemy snipers, as they don’t have too much health. You need a full charge to kill a Heavy, though.
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What kind of weapons can I use as a sniper?

Replacing the Sniper Rifle

Huntsman – a bow and arrow. Lacks a scope, but the bow causes plenty of damage when you “charge” it by holding the left mouse button. You can relax the bow without firing with the right mouse button. If a friendly pyro’s nearby, ask him to use the flamethrower on you to set your arrow on fire! You can also use the torches in Medieval Mode to the same effect.

Sydney Sleeper – a pneumatic dart gun that can’t score headshots. Instead, the stricken target receives mini-crits if the charge is sufficient.

Bazaar Bargain – a sniper rifle that charges faster the more headshots you do in a row. Not recommended for newbies, as chances are you’ll be missing too often to make this weapon worthwhile.

Machina – Causes more damage per shot at max charge, and max charged shots can penetrate enemy players (two headshots in one!) but you can’t fire at all unless zoomed in. Good luck engaging enemies at closer range with this weapon…

Replacing the Submachine Gun

Razorback – a spy who tries to backstab you with this on will have his weapon frozen for a short while. This will enable you to turn around and knife him with your melee weapon. It doesn’t regenerate, though – you need to visit the resupply locker in your spawn to get a new one. It also doesn’t stop the Spy from just shooting you with his revolver.

Jarate – remember at the beginning of the FAQ, how I mentioned that thrown urine is a weapon? Well, this is it. Enemies doused in this “Jar-based Karate” will turn yellow and take mini-crits. Throw this on cloaked spies to watch their movements, as you’ll see droplets walk around. Also throw this on any friendly on fire to extinguish them.

Darwin’s Danger Shield – a shield, like the razorback, that provides a small health boost. The health boost won’t help you in sniper fights, and this shield does NOT stop backstabs. Avoid as a result.

Replacing the Kukri

Tribalman’s Shiv – causes less damage than the normal Kukri, but instead puts a bleed effect on them, causing damage over time. A spy hit with this weapon will be more likely to retreat as a result.

Bushwhacka – a knife that boosts the amount of damage you take from fire. On the other hand, though, any time this knife would score a mini-crit, it instead does full critical damage. Try dousing enemies in Jarate, then switching to this weapon to deal full critical damage on them.

Shahanshah – decreases the amount of damage you do if your health’s above half, but if you’re at less than half, it causes more damage. This weapon isn’t used often because of few opportunities to use it. If you’re at less than half HP, chances are you’re going to die.
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I just shot an enemy sniper in the head, but he didn’t die!
Equipping certain items together will give you a few bonuses. One of the ones available to the sniper prevents him from dying from headshots. More accurately, it keeps him alive with 1HP. If you manage to headshot him again before he gets health, he’s dead. Or, you can just shoot him in the body at full charge for a one-hit kill regardless.

We’ll cover item sets later.
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Getting headshots is hard! I’m gonna get the Sydney Sleeper.
The Sleeper is considered a “noob” weapon, but unlike, say, the Backburner, the Sleeper assists the team by causing its targets to take mini-crit damage. This makes it great at levelling the playing field against Heavy-Medic combos. Another person would argue, though, that one can simply kill the heavy with a single headshot rather than just weaken him.
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Immunity to backstabs? The Razorback is brilliant! What more could I ask for?
Protection against the Spy’s revolver, that’s what. All it takes is three shots max from point-blank range and you’re dead.
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Which classes should I be shooting at?
The most important targets to aim for are enemy medics. Killing an enemy medic with a single fully-charged bodyshot or an uncharged headshot means your team has to contend with one less ubercharge. Medics rarely stand still, however, and as a newb, shooting the second-fastest class in the game can prove difficult.

In practice, therefore, the most important targets to eliminate first are other snipers. As with the Medic, a single fully charged bodyshot or an uncharged headshot is enough to knock out another sniper (that includes you!).

From there, it boils down to Heavies next, as they are large, slow, and dangerous adversaries up close. This is followed by Soldiers and Demomen, followed equally by any other class.
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Will my sniper rifle work against Engineer’s buildings?
Very much so. A level 1 building and a fully charged sniper rifle shot is a level 1 building in pieces. You can also try damaging an engineer’s building; when he comes to repair it, shoot him.
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I noticed there are some red/blue dots on the wall. These are from snipers, aren’t they?
Yes, all the sniper rifles produce a team-coloured dot that increases in colour sharpness as the charge ticks up. Skilled snipers aim at local scenery to hide their dots, surprising the opposing team.
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Why is it that three or more snipers is a bad thing?
Although a team of five snipers can intimidate an enemy team, most people can’t hit with every shot. Combine that with the charging the sniper rifle needs to cause considerable damage, the speed at which other classes cross the map, and spies, this means that a team full of snipers will get lots of kills on heavies, but be unable to stop the opposing team from actually winning.
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Alright then, I’ll be sure to shy away from being one too often.
That’s good. The final class is the Spy.

Spy FAQs

Alrighty, I just watched Meet the Spy. He’s really cool, disguising and cloaking and sapping like that. But what’s the point in disguising if you can cloak?
The most important thing about cloaking is that your cloak meter runs out rather quickly. The cloak gets you in enemy territory; the disguise lets you stay there.

You also can’t attack while cloaked, but you can attack while disguised (and lose your disguise).
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I was invisible, but then suddenly everyone turned around and started shooting me! How could they see me?
Chances are, someone bumped into you. Making contact with an enemy is a very quick way of getting killed. If someone bumps into you while you’re cloaked, a faint but very visible team-coloured outline around you appears. That’s the enemy’s cue to pump you full of bullets, rockets, grenades, and needles.
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I was disguised as an enemy, but as soon as an enemy saw me, they shot me. How’d they know I was a spy while disguised?
Aside from touch, other classes are able to guess whether or not you’re a spy simply by shooting you. You need to think like another player: if you see an engineer around, but absolutely no buildings around him, he’s probably a spy. A pyro at full health running away from the fight? Also probably a spy.

Be aware that the disguise kit disguises you as an enemy player. Seeing a carbon copy of yourself running around is also very obviously a spy.
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Is it possible for a Spy to disguise as an enemy spy?
Yes. Assume you’re on the BLU team; if you disguise as a RED spy, you’ll appear to the RED team as a RED spy with a BLU disguise (that is to say, a RED spy with the mask on). This also means that it is impossible to disguise as a spy without a disguise.
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How can I tell if a Spy is disguised or not?
Their face will have a paper cutout of the face of the class they’re disguised as.
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How can I be absolutely sure that a person isn’t a spy?
A full list is here, but here’re a few quick, easy-to-do ones.
-A teammate who attacks is not a spy.
-A teammate who taunts is not a spy.
-A teammate you just walked directly through is not a spy.
-A teammate who just double-jumped, revved his minigun, healed a teammate, looked through his scope, or performed any number of class-specific actions is not a spy.
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How can I cloak? I can’t find it under any of the keyboard controls.
Cloaking is toggled with the right mouse button.
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How can I get people to believe that I’m on their side?
The short answer is that you can’t, really. Spychecking is very, very common – habitual for some players. Disguises will fool people at a glance, but unless you’re fighting a very poor team, players will always keep an eye out for spies and know their usual hiding places.

Another easy trick is to run backwards. It sounds odd, but people in general won’t try to spycheck people running backwards from the front.
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Then…how is it that spies get backstabs?
By taking less-travelled routes, while cloaked, to behind the enemy lines, and then advancing while disguised. If you disguise as a sniper and jump down from a sniper deck, players are less inclined to spycheck you. Other spies take the advantage of height, not being seen by either friend or foe until they’re ready to make their attack.
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That sounds…almost just like the Scout and the Pyro.
Mmhmm. But there are lots and lots of ways to play the Spy. Some players are able to almost literally dance their way around attacks and use the scenery to obtain some truly epic moves – and then backstab the person who knew they were a spy.
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I’m trying to sap an Engineer’s sentry, but he keeps using his wrench to destroy my sappers!
The solution here is to execute what’s known as the “stab and sap”. To execute this move, you must be behind the Engineer. Backstab the engineer, then as quickly as you can switch to the sapper and sap his sentry before it kills you. Against a level 3 sentry, you have about literally half a second before the sentry kills you, assuming it is facing away from you when it aims at you.

If you’re able to avoid his attacks, though, you can place sappers faster than he can destroy them. In a lengthy sapper-battle, the Spy will win.
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But one of my friends was saying how as a spy he dominated half the enemy team, captured the intel, and sapped the sentry!
Don’t worry…everyone’s heard that story.
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The Spy’s really hard to play as…is there anything that’ll make it easier?
Replacements for the Revolver

Ambassador – a revolver that causes less damage, but crits on a headshot like a sniper rifle. It’s not a replacement for the sniper rifle, though, so try not to use it as one.

L’Etranger (fr: the stranger) – a white pistol that causes less damage, but every hit with it adds to your cloak meter, allowing for a faster getaway.

Enforcer – Causes a lot of damage, but cloaking and decloaking is going to take longer. Thus you’re going to be a lot more vulnerable in between cloaks. Lots of players pair this with the Dead Ringer (see below)

Diamondback – a pistol that causes less damage than usual. Similar to the concept of the engineer’s “revenge crits”, though, for every building that’s destroyed with a sapper on it, you get a critical hit. It doesn’t need to be destroyed by the sapper – a friendly demoman destroying a building that’s got your sapper on it will still net you your crit. Unless you’re sticking sappers everywhere AND surviving in order to use your crits, use something else.

Replacing the Knife

Your Eternal Reward (yes, an Alladin reference) – a knife that disables the standard disguises. Instead, when you backstab an enemy, you’ll instantly disguise as him. The body disappears, the enemy doesn’t make a death scream, and the kill isn’t announced on the kill feed. New spies are probably going to need the disguise kit, so avoid this weapon until you’re good with your cloak.

Conniver’s Kunai – Sharply reduces your health and makes you as fragile as a piece of wet paper, but when you backstab an enemy you’ll take all of their health. Since it makes you really, really vulnerable, though, avoid this weapon for now.

The Big Earner – You lose 25 health, but every kill you make adds to your cloak. The HP drop isn’t as significant, but it’s still something. A lot of players find that the added cloak isn’t really significant, but I haven’t really heard a lot going for or against this weapon. Use this weapon at your own risk; you may find better luck with the default knife.

Replacing the Invisibility Watch

Cloak & Dagger – this invisibility watch lets you stay invisible indefinitely by staying still. What the watch description doesn’t tell you though is that the cloak drains really, really fast when you do move. You won’t drop your cloak if it runs out, but you’ll be very visible (as if you’re running into someone) if you do. You also can’t refill this watch’s cloak using ammo pickups.

Dead Ringer – this pocket watch, at first glance, does absolutely nothing when activated. The moment you take damage, though, the watch will instantly cloak you, put you out if you’re on fire, produce a fake death message, and a fake corpse, letting you make a clean getaway. While cloaked, you’ll also receive next to no damage for about five seconds.
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You said in the Cloak & Dagger section that I can refill my watch’s cloak using ammo pickups?
Yes, but only if you’re not using the Cloak and Dagger. Ammo pickups include the payload cart, dispensers (includes enemy dispensers if you’re disguised), weapons from dead enemies, and scraps of destroyed engineer buildings.
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Managing my cloak is too hard. I should use the Cloak & Dagger.
The Cloak & Dagger is a highly controversial weapon. Proponents of the C&D; argue that it lets the spy…actually spy on enemies. Opponents of the C&D; argue it instills bad habits in spies. I’m not going to argue here, so all I’m going to say is to use the Cloak & Dagger at your own risk.
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The Dead Ringer can make me almost invincible!
Yeah, but even though you’re cloaked, you can still be put on fire like normal. The enemy will then probably chase you around. Pyros love to chase down spies. They also love to use the airblast to knock you into a corner, keep you there until the cloak runs out, then kill you.
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There are no electro-sapper replacements yet?
Not yet, no.
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Backstabs are the coolest thing. Why would I need a stupid revolver?
Remember that the Spy’s responsibility is to kill high-value enemy targets. Whether it’s through a backstab or not is completely up to you. Use the revolver against wounded targets, and against snipers who think they’re safe from you using the Razorback shield.
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I saw in Meet the Spy that the Spy can slide sappers at buildings. How can I do that?
TVTropes would call this Gameplay and Story Segregation. In other words, the Spy can do it in Meet the Spy, but you can’t do it in the actual game.
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How can I change which weapon the spy’s disguise is holding?
Hit the B key for “last disguise”. The weapon will change based on the weapon you have selected. Let’s say you’re disguised as a demoman. Pull out the Revolver and hit B to switch to the Grenade Launcher. Pull out the sapper and hit B to switch to the Sticky launcher. Pull out the knife and hit B to switch to the Bottle.
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What about the Engineer’s build and destroy tools? And the toolbox he carries when he carries a building?
You can’t fake those as a spy.
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Can I fake healing as a medic?
No, you can’t.
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I disguised myself as a Scout, but I noticed I’m not running faster. Is that a glitch?
Spies can’t run faster than normal. They can run slower, however; try putting on a Heavy disguise and you’ll move as fast as a Heavy.
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Eurgh, so many things I can’t fake. Okay, so what are the best disguises then?
The most common one is Pyro. Other good disguises include Soldier (you’ll lose a lot of speed, though), Demoman, and Sniper.
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Can I fake reloading?
Yes, by reloading your revolver. If you want to fake reloads, you’re going to need to turn off the “auto-reload” feature I told you to enable earlier on in the guide.
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Hm. Alright. I’m feeling a bit more confident now.
That’s good. Don’t worry if you’ve forgotten some of the stuff at the beginning. It’s a lot to take in. For those who want more information regarding the Spy, there’s a lot of stuff out there; just avoid random backstab videos. The setup is far more important than seeing a guy jump around, backstabbing. For those who want more information…
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More! MOAR!!
We’ll move onto what the unlockable items actually mean, and cover more of the advanced meta-game.

Advanced Meta-Game FAQsAlright, so WAAAY back at the beginning you were talking about crafting. What is crafting?
Crafting is a way to get rid of the extra unlockable weapons you’re going to pick up as you play through the game. Once you have a weapon – even a thrown one, like Jarate – you have it for life.

So what happens when you get two Jarates? You already have one. You can’t equip two. The solution is that you craft the second one away.
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Alright, I found the crafting screen. What do I do with all these extra items?
Your goal is to find two weapons used by the same class. Combine these to make scrap metal.
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What good is scrap metal?
Three scrap metals make a reclaimed metal.

Three reclaimed metals make a refined metal.

Three refined metals make a random hat.
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Hats?
Yeah, you don’t get any bonuses for wearing hats (five exceptions, listed below) but they’re a big in-joke amongst the Team Fortress 2 community. Robin Walker, creator of TF2, is a huge fan of hats. On the other hand, though, you can’t equip any hats unless you have a premium account (see this here)
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I’m running really low on items…what can I do to get more?
You really have four options at this point:

-You can try the forums. Someone might have what you’re looking for, all things dependent.

-You can buy it from the store. This, unfortunately, involves real life monies you may not want to spend. Items are typically very cheap, and though you can trade store-bought weapons, you can’t craft with them.

-The best way is to wait until Thursday. On Wednesday nights US time (exact time I can’t remember) the item servers reset the item counts, so you’ll start getting items for free. If you don’t have the time to play TF2 for ages on end, you can always idle for them, I guess. Idling involves finding an idle server or hosting your own listen server, then waiting for the items to pile in. Eventually you’ll stop getting items, and from there you’ll have to wait until Thursday to do it again.

-You can sign up for an item raffle or something similar. I don’t know too much about this option, I usually stick with the third and second options myself.
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I noticed some of the hats have special bonuses. You also talked earlier about item sets. What are those?
Item sets are a series of items that, when equipped together, provide a bonus. Some of these sets, however, require wearing a hat (the rarest piece of the puzzle). The five hats that help provide item set bonuses (you need the weapons, too – ALL of them) are
The Milkman (Scout)
Grenadier’s Softcap (Soldier)
Attendant (Pyro)
Ol’ Snaggletooth (Sniper)
Familiar Fez (Spy)

Some other item sets have hats in them, but aren’t necessary for the bonus (The medic’s Medieval Medic set contains the Berliner’s Bucket Helm, but to get the set’s bonus of +1 Health Regeneration, you just need its two weapons), while some item sets have no effect whatsoever.

For a full list of item sets, take a look at the TF2 wiki’s article.

If you’re going to buy a hat, therefore, make it one of the five listed above.
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What else can I do with the metal?
You can trade it. Two refined metals will usually net you a hat in a trade, so don’t just give them away.
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What are ‘tokens’?
You get tokens by combining three items used by the same class (for a class token) or three items in the same loadout slot (for a slot token). For example, combining a flamethrower, a flare gun, and a fire axe will create a Pyro token; combining a flamethrower, a rocket launcher, and a minigun will result in a Primary token.
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Then what?
Try combining a class token, a slot token, and a scrap metal to get an item. A pyro token, a primary token, and a scrap metal will net you one of the Pyro’s primary weapons.
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But that’s a net loss of items.
True, but as a newbie this is one way of turning duplicate items into something new. You’ll be missing more items than a player who’s played 1000+ hours, so this is a good way of getting the items you’re missing. You also may not have the confidence to scream to a server’s worth of people “Trading X for Y!”.
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I recently picked up a Mann Co. Supply Crate. How do I open it?
With keys bought from the Mann. Co Store, using real life money.
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Arrrgghhh! That sucks! Can I trade them, or just get rid of them then?
Yeah. Fire up your backpack and click “Delete”. Or you can just trade them away. I’m not too sure about the value of crates, though.
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Items have levels? Why is it that some items are…like, level 100? What does the item’s level mean?
Absolutely nothing. Some players enjoy higher levels, but it’s ultimately just a number.
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What about these “Vintage” items? Some items aren’t yellow like normal.
The TF2 wiki has a solid article on Item quality. The approximate value of items, from least to most valuable, are Vintage, Genuine, Strange, and then Unusual. Note that it’s approximate; some players put higher or lower value on different qualities. Unusuals, however, are almost always the rarest.

Vintage items were implemented when Valve changed how you get items. First, when the store was implemented, all other weapons turned Vintage, since those same items would be far more common once the store took place. Secondly, when Valve changed the crafting requirements to certain weapons, those who had crafted their own with the higher requirement were made Vintage to make them more valuable.

Genuine weapons are promotional items. A Genuine Machina, for example, was given to those who pre-ordered Deus Ex.

Strange weapons have kill counts, and their titles will change based on the number of kills that weapon has made. They come only through crates and thus, by extension, keys.

There is only one Unusual weapon right now, but there are Unusual hats. These have a fancy effect attached to them, like being on fire or having sunbeams come out of them. Every time you open a crate, you have a 1% chance of getting an Unusual Hat.

The other rarities – Community, Self-Made, and Valve – are given only to valued community members, weapon creators, and Valve employees. Ignore them for now.
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You also mentioned Steel as a variation of the normal Attack/Defence mode. What changes?
Steel is complicated in more ways than one. RED starts with everything. Two points are available for BLU to attack – A and E. Their ultimate goal is to capture E, but it’s on a platform surrounded by a giant pit of death. Scouts, Soldiers, and Demomen can reach E by double jumping, rocket jumping, or sticky jumping. Capturing points A through C in that order extends bridges to let the other classes advance on E, while point D prevents the defenders from easily reaching point E.
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What’s the deal with this Halloween stuff?
The wiki can explain it better, but here’s the basic lowdown: During Halloween, boss monsters appear during certain maps (cp_manor_event and koth_viaduct_event). The former spawns the Horseless Headless Horsemann and the latter spawns MONCULOUS!. You get an achievement for landing the killing blow on each of these targets, but you also get an achievement by killing it another way as well.

The Horseless Headless Horsemann requires you to kill it with a melee attack in order to obtain a special piece of scrap metal. The special scram can be made into either one of two hats or a weapon. You can’t get another one (as far as I’m aware) so make it count.

MONCULOUS! on the other hand requires you to collect a Bombinomicon from the corpse of the boss. This’ll teleport you to Loot Island in the Underworld section of the map. It doesn’t last for long, so you need to really book it. Once you’re there, you need to climb some stairs and touch another Bombinomicon inside a cage that slowly descends in order to obtain Bombinomicon the item.

I don’t know how long this event lasts, but you can only get them during this event. Be sure to check out the wiki for more details.
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I’ve played a lot of Source engine games before and I know there are a lot of mods floating around. What does TF2 have in terms of them?
There are a lot of them; Medieval mode could be considered a mod. I could make an FAQ this long about mods alone, but here are some that I find enjoyable.

PropHunt – in this mod, everyone on BLU is a Scout and is unable to attack. Everyone on RED is (usually) a Pyro. The BLU team’s skins are changed to that of various props littered throughout the map; the RED team must hunt and kill the BLU team before the time runs out.

Dodgeball – in this mod, everyone is a pyro. A series of rockets fly out of the middle of the arena, and players obtain kills by reflecting rockets into the opposing team.

Basketball – Similar to Capture the Flag, but players must rocket-jump their way through hoops in order to score for their team.
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Team Fortress 2 sure seems like a great game! It’s free to play, but I know better than to expect a game developer to give a game to people for free. What’s the catch?
Take a look at this FAQ.

In summary, the only cost is the inability to send items, the inability to hold a lot of items, and the inability to use some of the more advanced crafting recipes. Buy something – anything – from the in-game store (the cheapest item is 49 cents USD, 59 pence pounds sterling, 0.74 Euros, or 30 rubles) and you’ll get a premium account for life. Let’s see an MMO match that.
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Wow, that’s a lot! Team Fortress 2 sure is an expansive game!
And it just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
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Is that it for the FAQ?
Pretty much. Keep these writings in mind and you’ll get better. Even if you’re terrible right now, it gets better. Trust me, it gets better.

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