Picking a class in Team Fortress 2

TF2 is a team-based game, so the first thing you do when picking a class is to look at what the other people in your team are currently playing as. The key to victory is having a balanced team, which often means 1, sometimes 2, of each class. You will most likely not win a game with 5 snipers, but will also not win with 5 medics. So whenever you join a game, check out what classes are being played and then select a class that is still needed. You can quickly see this by looking at the number above the characters (See picture)

In this picture, we see 2 scouts, 1 soldier, 2 pyro's, 1 demoman, 2 engineers, 1 medic and 1 spy. A wise choice would be either Heavy or Sniper.

If necessary, make changes during the game, not just when all the snipers leave, but when e.g. your defense if lacking, switch from Scout to Engineer to keep the enemy team out. First of all, we're going to take a look at each class.

The classes are divided in three groups:

  • Offense, consisting of the Scout, Soldier and Pyro.

  • Defense, consisting of the Demoman, Heavy and Engineer.

  • Support, consisting of the Medic, Sniper and Spy.

These groups give an idea of the character, but don't get fooled, Demoman and Heavy are excellent offensive characters, just as the Pyro is a defensive beast.

Now let's take a look at each class.

Scout

A small fellow equipped with a shotgun, a pistol and a baseball bat. He has very low health, 125, but is the fastest character in the game, with namely 133% speed. In addition to the fast walk speed, the scout has the ability to jump twice, allowing him to reach places other characters can not. Due to these characteristics, the Scout is an offensive killer. He runs towards the opponent, swirling and jumping to avoid enemy fire, and quickly kills the opponent, after which he runs back and recovers his health and ammo, making himself ready for the next attack. A scout is dominating in one on one combat, so avoid big groups!

Video: Meet The Scout

Soldier

A patriot equipped with a rocket, shotgun and spade. With 200 health he can take a few hits, but don't get too happy, with 80% speed it's hard to escape when you're low on health. The soldier can shoot rockets from far away to damage his opponents, and when they get close he will whip out his shotgun and finish the opponent off. The soldier also has the unique ability to rocket jump (jump, then immediately shoot a rocket under you to launch yourself in the air), this allows you to roam around the map very quickly (beware of the damage though!) The soldier is essential to any team, and is easy to learn due to aim not being the main requirement, yet extremely hard to master. When you play the soldier, it is essential to protect your teammates, blast enemies away with your rockets if they get too close. Learning how to rocket jump is also a necessity!

Video: Meet The Soldier

Pyro

Like his (or her) name says: a pyro. It is unknown whether the pyro is a man or a woman. One thing is certain, it is a true close range character. With 100% speed and 175 health, he is exactly in the middle, but since he is equipped with a flamethrower, a shotgun and an axe, he is near helpless from far away. You want to get close and burn your enemies, airblast them and then finish them off with your shotgun or axe. Airblast, you ask? The special ability of the pyro. When you press the right mouse button when wearing the flamethrower, a blast of air will come out at the cost of 20 ammo (you have 200). This airblast will deflect rockets and grenades, and will also push enemies away. Since the flamethrower burns your enemy, it will take some time for him to die, so you want to airblast the enemy, in the air so he is useless, and you can shotgun him to death, or off a cliff, causing him to die immediately. Another thing the airblast does, is extinguish fire! See an ally of yours on fire? Just airblast him (he won't fly), and the fire is extinguished, the teammate is happy, and you get a point for good work. I've been on top of the scoreboard by extinguishing teammates. One of the main jobs of the pyro is to spy check. The spy can distinguish himself as a teammate, so he can backstab you or your teammates. When a spy is distinguished, you will not be able to walk through him (you can walk through teammates) and he will catch fire if you attack him (more on the spy later). So a pyro's job is to spray a little fire on every teammate you come across, looking for spies. Found one? Kill him! A spy is near helpless when in actual combat. When you want a learning the pyro, make it a habit to spy check, this will win your team games!

Video: Meet The Pyro

Demoman

A black drunk explosive expert. Sounds interesting right? He has 175 health and 93% speed. He is equipped with a grenade launcher, a sticky bomb launcher and a bottle of rum as a melee weapon. The demoman's secondary weapon, the stickybomb launcher, is probably his most important one. You can throw multiple sticky bombs (with a maximum of 8) and he can detonate them whenever he wants. You want to place these around doors and detonate them when enemies come in. It is also possible to rocket jump with these stickybombs. This will launch you very far, but also does a lot of damage. His grenade launcher is good for long attacks, but is very hard to aim. It is great however, to destroy sentry guns. Whenever the enemy has a sentry up, destroying it will bd you main goal as a demoman. Due to both his weapons being long ranged, he is somewhat helpless on close ranged combat.

Video: Meet The Demoman

Heavy

A Russian tank. With 300 health and only 77% speed he literally is a tank. He has a mini-gun, a shotgun and his fists. He doesn't even need a melee weapon, he will just punch you to death. The heavy is very easy to use, because you just walk in and kill everybody with your mini-gun. He is however the main target for spies and pretty much everybody else on the enemy team will want him dead. This is why he is often paired up with his friend, the medic. The medic will constantly heal him, making for a very strong duo. The mini-gun, strong ad it is, has a major downside. You need to charge it before you can fire. It is possible to charge while walking, but this will slow you down a lot, and you can't really miss any more speed. So what you want to do is charge right before you walk around a corner, or enter a place where there might be enemies. Be prepared!

Video: Meet The Heavy

Engineer

A mechanical wizard. He only has 125 health, but he shouldn't get too much damage. He has a walk speed of 100%. The engineer has a shotgun (the secondary shotgun, but in his primary weapon spot), a pistol and a wrench. However, the engineer does not compete in the combat himself. He can build three buildings with his PDA. And can upgrade these three levels. All of this costs metal, which the engineer picks up instead of ammo. First building is a sentry gun. It will automatically lock on enemies and shoot when they are in range. Second is the dispenser. A health and ammo robot. It is a block that will recover health and ammo whenever teammates stand next to it. And third is the teleporter, which will teleport teammates (and disguised enemy spies!!) to set locations. As an engineer, you want to place the entry teleporter right outside the spawn, so the teammates can jump right in. Then you want to place the exit teleporter near the combat field, but outside the range where enemies can see them, otherwise they'll destroy it! Just play a couple of games and see where other engineers put their teleporter. If you really don't know, just ask your teammates! The second building you should build is the dispenser. Build it near your base, around a corner somewhere. Next to the dispenser you place the sentry gun. Upgrade all of it to level 3, and you are ready to defend. Again, to find the best spots, just play a little, observe others and ask around! The reason you put the sentry and dispenser next to each other, is because whenever one of the buildings takes damage, you want to repair it by hitting it with your wrench, this costs metal, which will automatically be regained because you stand next to the dispenser! Free metal!

Video: Meet The Engineer

Medic

My favorite class, and one of the most important classes. The medic is rather fast, with 107% speed, and has a decent amount of health, 150. However, everybody wants to kill the medic. He is equipped with a syringe gun for damage, a medi gun which will heal teammates, and a bonesaw for melee combat. You will hardly ever use your syringe gun. The medic isn't meant for killing, you let your teammates kill while you heal them, and get assists all around. This is why medics are often on top of the scoreboard, they get A LOT of assists. The gameplan is easy, you stand behind you team and heal them when they are hurt. Easy, but essential. Besides healing, you can also overheal teammates. This will give them a life buff above their own life, increasing e.g. a snipers life from 125 to 185. After you stop healing them, the buff will slowly drop. First thing to note is that healing is more important than overhealing, so don't give the heavy his extra life when the scout is dying. A vital part of being a medic is to heal and overheal everybody. Of course, a heavy medic team is dangerous, but it won't get you far if you let all the scouts, snipers and other medics die. Your main objective is to survive. The heavy is dying? The heavy is running into a group of enemies or sentry which he can't beat? Of course you want to heal him, but if he's dead, you're most likely going to die as well. Only heal them if you know you can save them. Running from battle costs less time than respawning and your team is better off with a dead heavy than a dead medic. It might sound kinda weird, but a medic's life is more important than any other class' life. So to quickly summarize: as a medic you want to: survive, heal your teammates, then overheal them.

Whenever you are (over)healing a teammate, you will gain übermeter for your übercharge. When this meter is at 100%, you can activate the übercharge. This will make you and whoever you are healing fully invincible for a short amount of time. Make sure you don't waste it. And you can waste it in two ways: activating it when there is no danger or enemies around, or dying with a full übercharge. The best times to activate are: When you are near death, and are going to die if you don't use it. It doesn't matter anymore if it won't have any effect, or you won't kill anyone with it, the medic has to live! Besides this, the übercharge should be used when you and whoever you are healing face a big group of enemies. You can't beat them, unless you're invincible! Another good adaption of the übercharge is when there is a sentry around the corner, and the demoman can't get it down. Use the übercharge, preferably on a heavy or demoman, walk around the corner and destroy that sentry! Be sure to walk in front, as a sentry will push you back which may mess up aim. It doesn't matter if the medic can't aim, because he doesn't have to. Take that pushback for the team!

The medic is an advanced class, but everybody can play him. It is in my opinion also the most rewarding class.

Video: Meet The Medic

Sniper

A sniper. Not much too say about him. He has 125 health, 100% speed. A sniper rifle, an smg and a kukri (jungle knife). He will stay far away, sniping enemies. As a sniper, you aim for the medic. Always aim for the medic, unless he is übercharged. A sniper that consistently takes down the enemy medic will win you a game. Definitely not a useless class, unless there are 5 in a team, which you will often come across…

Video: Meet The Sniper

Spy

A very advanced class. The spy has 125 health, 100% speed, and his weapons are a revolver, a knife, a disguise kit, an invisibility watch and a sapper. The spy can disguise as an enemy, this is when he sneaks in the enemy base. Be sure to stay away from pyro's, as they will spycheck (like I said), and don't bump into enemies, because then they will know you're a spy (you can't walk through enemy spies, while you can walk through teammates). When you are in the enemy base, there is a couple of things you have to do. First of all, find the sentry nest and place a sapper on the sentry. The sapper will slowly kill the sentry gun, while also disabling it in the process. Now when you do this, the engineer will know you are there, so you have to kill him quickly, before he destroys the sapper and kills you. If you kill the engineer, place a sapper on the dispenser and the teleporters as well, so these are destroyed. This is very hard to do, and takes a lot of practice! It might even be impossible, but that doesn't matter, don't get yourself killed without accomplishing something. Now that the sentry nest is destroyed, you are going to rack up some kills. The best thing you can do is take out the enemy medic. Simply sneak up behind him, take out your knife and backstab him. When you are facing an enemies back with the knife, the spy will raise his knife and you can backstab an enemy, causing a one-hit ko. Killing an enemy will blow your disguise, and most likely kill you, which is alright as long as you made your point. No medic around? Cause a harm! Kill someone else, it doesn't matter who. When you killed him, he will most likely let his teammates know there is a spy in their base. This is exactly what you want, the whole team looking for you. Since they are all after you, your teammates can storm through and kill everybody not paying attention, or finish the objective. Sometimes being around is all you have to do. Kill someone, show yourself and quickly hide, place a sapper, anything that will get their attention away from the battlefield and onto you. A spy has a lot of tools to mess around with the enemy team. He can disguise, but he also has an invisibility watch, which will make him invisible for a set amount of time, the sapper. Play around a while and get to know everything, it is a very hard class to learn, and to master.

Video: Meet The Spy


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