Team Fortress 2
Advanced Strategy Guide by Yo_D_oY
Last Updated 2010-05-08Liked this FAQ? Click here to recommend this item to other users.
Table of Contents
- Super Basic Strategies
- Ambushing, Flanking, and advanced strategies
- Class Specific Strategies
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TF2 - Advanced Strategies
This guide will explain different techniques and strategies used in this game starting with basics such as jumping and crouching. I will go over how to use these basic maneuvers correctly and precise so you will have a better K:D ratio I will also go over some advanced techniques you can take advantage of when playing with an organized team.
Super Basic Strategies
This section will go over the very basic strategies used in TF2 and even many other multiplayer FPS games. These techiques are very basic and is essential to understand before attempting advanced strategies or playing video games at all.
Jumping is used to get to elevated places that you cannot otherwise reach, or to shorten the distance you must walk in certain places. You can jump by pressing the space bar (default button).
Snipers with a scoped Sniper rifle or drawn Huntsman, Heavies with a revved minigun, players fleeing from the ghost in the event version of Harvest and those with an enemy player sitting on their head are all unable to jump.
There are several variations of the jump: Regular Jump - Press the jump button once
Crouch Jump - Press the jump button then immediatly pressing the crouch button to reach ledges which you were unable to reach without this technique.
Double Jump - Pressing the jump button and pressing it again while in midair. This technique is reserved for only the scout.
FAN Jump -This triple jump technique, reserved for the scout equipped with the Force A Nature, can be accomplished when doing the double jump technique and shooting your gun in the opposite direction you are wanting to travel to.
Rocket Jump/Sticky Jump - (See Soldier and Demo section below)
Pumpkin Jump - Using the knock back from an exploding pumpkin bomb to launch yourself into the air.
Crouching is a feature that reduces the area of your character, making you a smaller and less visible target. This can make tasks such as defending sentry guns, sniping and ambushing easier. Crouch-Jumping also facilitates rocket jumping and some obstacles require you to crouch-jump on top or over them, as crouching in mid-air brings your legs and feet up.
To perform this technique, click the CTRL button (default).
When crouching, your character will move 66% slower. With a scoped rifle as sniper you will have .01% speed. With a drawn huntsman you will have 15% speed. With a revved up minigun as heavy you will be immobile.
Regular Strafing is the act of moving from side to side during a confrontation in order to make it harder for an opponent to hit you. This strategy is invaluable for Snipers attempting to Snipe other Snipers. Generally used to help Scouts survive by avoiding most types of splash and projectile damage. The strafing technique is vital for Pyros in order to successfully survive after performing an ambush attack. The strafing technique greatly benefits Spys attempting to maneuver whilst cloaked, though it is generally a useful maneuver for any class.
Circle Strafing is the act of circling round an opponent in order to deal damage at close range, while still making it difficult for their shots to hit you. It is an invaluable move for Scouts and Pyros, who rely heavily on hit-and-run tactics. Agile Scouts and Pyros can also use circle strafing to run around sentry guns and destroy them without taking lethal amounts of damage.
Zig-Zagging refers to the act of strafing continually while moving across an open space. Doing this makes it harder for Snipers to hit you, as well as other medium to long ranged classes. Scouts usually take advantage of this.
Air strafing is a technique used by mainly scouts, demomen, and soldiers. Air strafing is while in midair you sway from side to side with a swift fluid motion with your mouse and movement keys (WASD default) keys. This makes it hard for classes with projectile weapons to hit the enemy air strafer.
Camping refers to the using of tactics that largely involve waiting for enemies, often in an advantageous position, rather than actively seeking them out. While a legitimate strategy, players often find camping a frustrating tactic that ruins overall enjoyment of the game, and its usage is largely frowned upon.
Turtling is when a group of players, generally around 5, camp together in a strategic location. Once again it is frowned upon by the community.
Sometimes it is a proper technique to camp because you may have predicted an enemy coming your way. Demomen should take advantage to this strategy.
There's no good game in TF2 without a good team. Teamwork is essential in this game. To make teamwork happen you need to communicate. The best way to communicate is to use a mic and talk to players and strategize directly in hopes to create good plays.
Voice commands are really good. For one, you do not need a mic. And two, it appears directly on all screens. Memorize the important ones such as Medic, Incoming, Spy, and most importantly thanks. Get used to where the other ones are located.
Thanks is most important. Why? It motivates the other player. Psychologically it is the best way to create proper effective teamwork. Always thank your players, especially the medic. Good job and nice shot and cheers are also effective for this reason.
Playing Smart/Strateegic Aggression
Many players jump into TF2 and think it as a run and gun game. This is also known as suiciding but some people just think that is how you play it. However, this is wrong. You need to play smart. You need to strategize with your team. You need to find the right time to do everything so you will live longer and your enemies are dead. With all this talk of playing it smart and staying alive one can get the impression that you should not be aggressive, when this is far from the case. A team needs to be aggressive to win. It needs to be intelligently aggressive however, know when to aggress and when to retreat.
An important component of situational awareness is the ability to recognize when your team has the health advantage in the middle of a spam fight (such as the initial mid fight). Your team good healthwise? Nobody falling back as a result of getting damaged? The enemy team playing extremely conservatively and slowly retreating? This is an opportunity that many teams and players fail to consistently take advantage of. Taking advantage here and going aggressive (such as Soldier rocketjumping onto the enemy crates on Granary mid, or onto the enemy train cart on Badlands mid, or Demoman sticky jumping onto the medic) is key. It's an important aspect of the retreat/push dynamic. If the enemy is at an extreme health disadvantage, is being spammed back, but your team doesn't further aggress but rather holds on to the newly captured territory then you are basically forgiving them.
Don't forgive them - punish them. Keep up the pressure and damage for as long as you conceivably can without overextending yourself. Again, this doesn't mean recklessness, it means a strong sense of situational awareness and the ability to recognize when these moments open themselves.
Ambushing, Flanking, and advanced strategies
Suprise - The Spy
Ambushing is an act or instance of attacking unexpectedly from a concealed position.
This strategy is most useful to classes that are more effective at close range or rely on the element of surprise, such as the Pyro, Heavy, Scout and Spy, bypassing the problem of these classes having to get close to opponents who are more effective at medium to long range combat, but it is also generally useful to any other class. By hiding around corners or behind an obstacle, the player can catch passing foes unaware, ideally killing or severely damaging them before they can react.
Flanking is effectively the same as ambushing, involving catching a player from the side or behind while they are distracted by a frontal attacker. It involves less of the element of waiting as straight ambushing does.
A simple example is to bait the enemy. Sometimes the enemy needs some convincing to fall into an ambush, and so, it falls to you or one of your team-mates to assume the role of 'Bait'.
After getting the ins and outs of these techniques and putting them into practice, you should be able to create your own techniques on the spot.
Alright, medic is lit. The soldier he was healing has been picked. Now is a good time to get in there and pick the medic, demoman. Scouts go and backcap. All there is is one scout left. I will try to backcap the last point myself. Sniper hold here and let us know if anything changes. Scouts, one of you distract the enemy while the other one attacks from above on that ledge. Sniper, get on the roof. Medic come with me and keep your distance. Things will get ugly. etc.
The word is French, meaning to 'to thread' or 'to string', as in through the eye of a needle. In military terms, it refers to a position or location where weapons fire can be directed along its longest axis. For example, a corridor is enfiladed if the enemy stands in the doorway and opens fire down the length of the corridor, potentially wounding or killing you and your team-mates. Corridors, air-ducts, and narrow tunnels make great enfilade locations, but anywhere that your enemy's lateral movement is hindered works just as well.
Defilade refers to a location where terrain and obstacles serve to cover and conceal you and your teammates from the enemy's sight, and thus, their weapons fire. In military terms, this is referred to as a 'hull-down' scenario, in which an armored vehicle can fire from its position, but its main body (the hull) is more or less concealed. Low walls, blind corners, and generally any object large enough to conceal your entire body can become a potential defilade position.
A line strike is a military ambush tactic, in which the enemy is lured into following a path parallel to a line of allied fighters, which immediately open-fire. The bait runs through the column where its allies will fire, known as the 'Kill Zone'. A number of allies stand parallel to the bait's path, and open fire as soon as the enemy or enemies come into view. The line-strike's weakness is, however, that it cannot be used on choke-points, where enemy maneuverability is weak to begin with. If they can break through your line, they may yet escape, or worse, kill you and your allies.
An L-Strike or L-Ambush is a modified version of the Line-Strike, but is somewhat more awkward to set up. In it, two or more members make up the formation, making an 'L'-shaped pattern, with the goal being to draw the enemy towards the crook of the L along the horizontal section, otherwise called the 'Kill-Zone'. On paper, the 'Flank' is the vertical section of the L, and is usually concealed or 'defilade'. The bottom part of the L is the 'Base', which is parallel to the enemy's intended path.
Your bait (if you have one) has to attract the enemy's attention, and then run through the L-Ambush, parallel to the 'Base' of the formation, with the potential target in-tow. Once the bait is clear of the trap, the Base opens fire, with the Flank stepping in from cover to fire from the opposite side. (Imagine the L as a mouse-trap, with the vertical section snapping shut on the horizontal.)
The L-Strike has weaknesses that make it unsuitable for every situation. The L-Strike works best in confined areas and choke-points, such as small doorways and the mouths of corridors. In more open areas, it would be best to instead employ a different ambush strategy.
A V-strike is made up of two diagonal lines of ambushers which, when the enemy enters the Kill-Zone, can lay down bands of intersecting fire, making retreat just as dangerous as pressing forward. V-Strikes can cover a very large area, provided your team-mates are spaced out well enough.
A Pincer is an aggressive flanking maneuver. Your team advances forward to intercept the enemy team, and upon encountering them, splits into two groups and circles around the enemy advance, in the hopes of surrounding them and attacking them from all sides.
Back-capturing, or Back-capping, is the act of capturing an enemy point on a 5 Control point map whilst one of your team's points is being captured. This tactic requires a considerable risk, but if it is successful, it will also reap significant rewards. If your team successfully back-captures a point, it will effectively leave the enemy team a long way from their own base and up against a team that is moving forward. If your attempt fails, then your team will be disadvantaged by the absence of you and any other players who were trying to capture the point which may significantly weaken your team's defenses.
Back-captures are most effectively performed by Scouts and Spies due to their ability to pass through enemy territory with ease. Another advantage that these classes have, is their ability to flee the point and return to safety if there are problems, effectively providing them a second chance at back-capturing. One thing to keep in mind is that the time required to capture each point varies depending on its location on the map. Generally, the center point of each map is the point that that takes the most time to capture. Because of this, trying to back-capture the center point while the opposing team are capturing a point closer to your base is a bad idea. If you find yourself in this position, it is far more useful for your team to play defensively, and wait to make your push when the point has been successfully defended.
An ideal time to attempt a back-capture is when your team controls the center point of the map, and your opponents are trying to take it back. As your opponents will be trying to push forward and will probably have a majority of their players on the front line, you will often find yourself in situations that provide you with an opportunity to enter enemy territory and capture the fourth point with relative ease. Successfully doing so will leave a large number of enemy players on a locked point and in a tight corner, rushing back to their base as the flow of the battle shifts. With a bit of skill and some luck, you can effectively open up a probably under-defended final point and win the round for your team. Keep a close eye on your HUD, however, and if you see that the enemies will capture a point before you, head back to help out your team, or at the very least do not blow your cover by stepping onto the point.
Attempting to back-capture the final point of a map can be difficult due to the number of enemy players who will most likely be trying to defend it, but as the point captures so quickly, it may be worth a shot. In such instances, Spies are preferable to Scouts as they can sap any Sentry guns that may be surounding the point, then attempt to capture it.
Now you got the jist of what advanced techniques are. You are probably wondering by now how you could pull something like this off. Well it is really simple yet sometimes very hard to do. You have to have a team that is willing to listen to you and are somewhat experienced and skilled in TF2. In this section I am going to introduce some competitive TF2 language that makes communicating quick and easy to do.
To be successul, you must know things that you don't see. For this to happen your teammates must tell you those things. Get into the habit of calling out low targets. If you know you got a few good shots off on somebody then say something. Have other people focus that person and get them down. If you're about to push in with uber, get the enemy Soldiers to shoot their rockets. See 4 consecutive rockets hit the wall beside you? Call that the Soldier is reloading and that it's a good time to push in. Call everything you see, where enemy Scouts are going, where the Demoman is jumping, etc. Even if it's obvious, chances are not all the people on your team are watching what you're watching. Call how many people are down, maybe somebody on your team isn't aware. Communicate when your combo has pushed into the room, or the yard. When the fighting has started. Your Scouts and (depending on position and map) your Demo need to know when to follow in so that everyone can attack together.
lit - When an enemy is badly hurt, usually less than 60% health.
Their medic is lit real bad
Pick - To kill a specific enemy.
Pick the medic on the left quickly so we can advance.
Push - To have some, most, or all of your team advance quickly.
Push to the second point! or All scouts push to the left!
Hold - To have your team stay at a current position, usually to defend a point.
Hold right here. Enemies coming on our left.
Spam - To fire your weapons in a certain direction.
Soldiers and demomen, spam on the left gate, the medic+heavy combo is there.
Retreat - To back off and move back.
We are taking heavy damage. Let's retreat and think this through again.
Class Specific Strategies
In this section I will explain basic and avanced strategies which are class specific, starting with the most strategic class, the medic.
The general strategy is to constantly regenerate health. If you can escape a fire fight, you can survive. Don't run into situations with a suicide mindset as with some other classes.
Always know where the nearest health pack/resupply is. This is obviously important.
A good strategy is to have a second medic who ubers you and you use the ubersaw and hit enemies to gain uber yourself, after your uber runs out you uber the other medic, rinse and repeat. This is really just for fun and it is not as effective as ubering a class like the heavy or demoman.
That said, don't use the bonesaw. It's ugly and only has one advantage that you really don't need for the amount of time you spend using the melee weapon. Use the ubersaw and use it whenever you get the chance. The chance being when you know for a fact you will be safe after using it, your teamate you are healing will be safe, and there isn't anything else you should be doing instead. Use the blutsauger instead of the needle gun. The reason being is that the main time you will be using the blutsauger/needle gun is when you are running away from a dangerous situation with an enemy on your tail. You want the extra +3 health rather than random crits.
A Medic's secondary job after its primary job of healing is communication. It is our duty to communicate with the person you are healing. While he is busy killing the enemy, you are looking all around you. If you saw a spy cloak, call it out. If you see a scout running behind you, call it out. Call out everything you think is worth even for the slightest intrest to call out.
The person you are healing has the job of keeping you alive so the possibilty of advancing the situation is still alive.
When ubercharging it is possible to uber more than one teamate at a time. This can be hard when one teamate is going one way and the other to the opposite. Communicate and ask them to stay together so you can uber both of them at the same exact time. A great place to pull this off are the last points on 5CP maps.
Note that while the players are immune to damage with a regular ÜberCharge, they are still affected from the concussive force of weapons such as the Sentry gun and Rocket launcher. This can be useful for breaking an ÜberCharge, because if the Medic is separated from his team-mate, the team-mate's ÜberCharge will be deactivated. Same effect can happen when a pyro airblasts you and the teamate. These pyros should be the first target when/before ubering.
Did you know if you equip the flamethrower instead of the backburner and right click you can create a compression air blast? Well hey look at that! You just learned what pyro is all about. Yes he can burn enemies but a huge underestimation is his ability to air blast enemies to medium distances. Most pyros do not know how to airblast at all. It is really silly to me. It's like playing the medic but not knowing how to uber.
This deflects rockets, ubered enemies, sticky bombs, and even sentry rockets. Make sure you know where the target is going. You don't want to send him to an area where you do not want him to be at. Send people in a direction to a dangerous area such as the saw blade on arena_sawmill or off of cliffs and large drops or even into sentry fire.
A cool tip is that you can airblast an enemy rocket at your feet and jump to mimic the soldier's rocket jump technique. You can hurdle yourself into a large group of unexpecting enemies and burn them from behind if done correctly.
Look for vgroo pyro airblast servers and practice airblasting there.
Learn to double jump effectively to reach unimaginable places. I can't describe this too much. It's just getting the timing and precision correct. Make sure you jump before heading off a ledge. Go to FPSBanana.com to find scout jump maps to practice on.
With the new crit-a-cola, you can now do much more harm to enemies than ever. Find a large group of enemies and drink your cola and flank them. Have another scout with you and team up together to create drastic results for the enemy team.
The Soldier and The Demoman
Learn to rocket/stickyjump correctly. The best way to do this is both practice in jump servers or jump maps from FPSBanana.com and improving your own technique in actual matches. If you get the gunboats, more power to you!
Learn to airstrafe as mentioned above. You can reach unimaginable, unpredicatble areas when using this technique.
A good jump map to start out on is rj_rckteer. Spelled exactly like that. An advanced map after you can complete the above one in under 5 minutes is rj_rckteer_adv. Watch videos on how it is done. An honorable mention is jump_dystopia for its great visuals and uniqueness.
Despite what others may say, I do not think the engineer can be conistantly played offensively. It is a cool idea to build level one sentry guns around enemy corners but the engineer is a slower class with no gimicks to contribute to playing offensively when in danger unlike the other classes (soldier and rocketjumping, scout and double jumping, pyro and airblasting, medics and uber, snipers and jarate, demoman and sticky jumping, etc).
But you can still serve a purpose than hiding with your sentry. You are not an offensive class but you still have a shotgun. The only time you should be with your sentry is when it is about to or is being under attack. Other than that don't be with your sentry gun but be somewhat close to it. Report what you see and keep thinking of where to strategically build your sentry, dispenser, and teleporters.
Besides the obvious (aim for the head, use jarate to help the team, and let your scope charge for critical damage) there isn't much to say. Don't be too far from your team but not too close. Keep a medium-long distance basically. So if your team decides to move in closer you won't be far behind and if you need to retreat you will not be at risk to die. A good sniper is only killed by better snipers.
As a sniper, aim for other snipers first, others second. Whenever a teamate is sniped, mayhem usually occurs. People freak out unlike when being killed by just about anything else. After other snipers are gone, go for the medics for obvious reasons. Then go for whatever else you can get.
You're a great Medic buddy. Keep a clear line of sight to your Medic to keep the medigun on you. But do not try to hog the medic. That's annoying.
You aren't that powerful with 300 health. You are big and slow so don't just rush in and think you are invincible. You don't have any gimmicks to save your life either. Except for the sandvich which you need to be in an area safe from enemies to use effectively.
Hide around corners and surprise enemies. Even though you are slow you can still flank effectively. Just make sure you have ammo.
With the newest Valve updates, keeping your minigun revd up doesn't slow you down as much as it used to. Keep it revd when around enemies. Your ammo depletes quicker than you may think at times. Keep this in mind and grab other players's weapons to replenish your ammo. Try not to take the little boxes of ammo since engineers and soldiers can make better use of it than you can usually.
This class is not very effective most of the time. It's an honest fact. Harsh but honest. The spy is also a very fun class to play and at times can cause a lot of destruction. The greatest advantage in using a spy is to cloak and escape dangerous situations.
You can destroy engineer buildings with ease. Stand behind or above an engineer when he is turtling/camping behind his sentry, backstab, and sap his sentry and everything else he has. If the engineer has another teamate or sentry facing your way, you are basically out of luck.
The spy is weak, needs presice aim, can cloak but if the enemy has any amount of skill that cloak is usually deemed useless especially if there is a pyro looking for you. If you are looking at playing with advanced techniques and cause a lot of damage consistently, I suggest playing a different class. The spy has lots of good runs but there is just no consistency when playing as the spy. It's 50% luck, 50% skill and practice. I do not suggest playing the spy in small maps or maps that have small hallways such as 2fort. The main reason to play spy is to remove a medic to help the team drastically or to remove an engineer and his sentry. Other than that, there isn't much to him. It is a class to be played sparingly.
In conclusion, I hope you exit this guide with some valubale information. Make sure to communicate with your team effectively. In a public server, the match usually ends when one team finally starts working together correctly. Team Fortress 2 has Team in its name for a reason.