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Half-LIfe 2: The Orange Box Team Fortress 2 Weapon/Equipment Guide

Version 1.31 by

01/17/08

########################################################################
########################################################################


TEAM FORTRESS 2
(hereafter referred to as TF2)




Screw ASCII art.





CLASS, WEAPONS AND EQUIPMENT GUIDE

Version 1.31

Nov. 12, 2007

by Lappy

e-mail <redspn88@yahoo.com>


########################################################################


VERSION CHANGELOG THAT MOST PEOPLE SKIP
BUT EXISTS FOR THE SAKE OF POSTERITY

version 1.31: (11/12/07)

Added the Detonator to Engineer equipment.

version 1.3: (10/29/07)

Edited the entire body of the guide, again.
I'm never satisfied. Also added the article
"Teleporter Etiquette: A Guide."

version 1.2: (10/25/07)

The article "Ammunition: Smoke 'Em if you Got
'Em" is added, which I had meant to include
from the start yet somehow forgotten to write.

version 1.1: (10/24/07)

The guide is edited again, and articles
"Intel on the Intelligence" and "Critical Hits
and You" are added.

version 1.01: (10/23/07)

The guide is edited, and submitted to good ol'
GameFAQs.

version 1.0: (09/29/07)

The guide is born, the product of a series of
sleepless, frag-filled nights. TF2 is still
in Beta, and the guide is unreleased.


########################################################################


TABLE O' CONTENTS

Introduction
How This Guide Works
The Nine Classes
Foreword
(The Weapons and Equipment Guide)
The Scout
The Soldier
The Pyro
The Demoman
The Heavy
The Engineer
The Medic
The Sniper
The Spy
Everything That Didn't Fit Above
About This Section
Ammunition: Smoke 'Em if you Got 'Em
Intel on the Intelligence
How To Kill A ..
..Scout
..Soldier
..Pyro
..Demoman
..Heavy
..Engineer
..Medic
..Sniper
..Spy
Master of Disguises: A Spy's Repertoire
Teleporter Etiquette: A Guide
Critical Hits and You
Outroduction
Dedication, Thanks, Contact Information
Credits
Attention Thieves/Copyright Information


########################################################################


INTRODUCTION

Hi there, welcome to Lappy's often imitated, never equalled
TF2 guide.

Let me start things off by saying "Holy Crap" what a game.
I'm not the only one who's been playing this thing since Beta
went live and I've continued to be impressed by the
depth of the game, especially its emphasis on team-oriented play
as the only effective way to victory.

As impressed as I was, I had a lot of questions about the
game as I played it. Shooters are my favorite type of game to play,
and whenever you get into a new game that noone has ever played
before, there is this wonderful period of learning where nobody really
knows the ins and outs of the maps, the strengths of each weapon, or
the full potential of each class.

I love this period of discovery in new games, and with TF2
my experience was no different. Being confined to bedrest due to
an upcoming surgery, I've played the hell out of this great game;
and while I'm by no means an expert, I have played hard trying to
see how each class works so that I could share my experience with
others who, like me, may be wondering about just what each class
can do with the tools that they have.

So, welcome aboard. I hope my guide helps you, in whatever way it
can. This is my third FAQ at GameFAQs, so as you can see I'm kind of
a junkie when it comes to writing about fun online shooters.

Now, Onward!


########################################################################


HOW THIS GUIDE WORKS

Read it with your eyes.

Seriously, I think you'll get the most out of this guide if you
understand what I'm trying to accomplish with it.

Soon, I'll be describing each of the nine classes in TF2, in the same
order as they appear on the class select screen. Every
time I describe a class I'll approach it in the same way.

First I'll give you a statistical overview of the class' max health
total, the weapons and equipment they use, and how much ammunition is
given to them. If I don't list an ammunition amount, that means the
weapon can be used continuously without needing to reload.

I'll then go in-depth about what makes the class unique, and what sets
it apart from the game's other classes, and then discuss each individual
weapon or piece of equipment, its operation, and any other tidbits that
I find helpful. I'm not perfect, nor do I pretend to be, so I am always
open to suggestions and feedback, as long as it is constructive.

At the end of the meaty part of the guide, I'll finish up with some
details on class weaknesses, and supplemental info.

A note: Some of my class descriptions are longer than others. Do not
interpret this as me devoting more space to classes that I think
are superior to the others. Classes like the Spy and Engineer have
more equipment than a Scout or Sniper, and take me more time to
talk about. All classes are equally viable, and equally useful
to their team.

I will NEVER EVER tell you what class to play, or that any class
is better than the next. The classes are what you make of them, and
I will always be of the opinion that the best class is the class that
is the most fun for you. I can't stand FAQs that say stuff like:

"X class/weapon sux LAWL use Y class/weapon cuz tats wut I use!!one!1"

Use what makes you happy, and helps you help your team. Hokay? :)


########################################################################
T H E N I N E C L A S S E S
########################################################################


FOREWORD

A final word before I begin with the classes. If you're new to this
game (and since I'm writing this two weeks after the Beta was released,
I'm guessing you are) you'll notice that there is an Achievement you
can unlock called 'Head of the Class', which is awarded to players who
play a full map round with each class at least once.

I recommend that every player try to get this Achievement first. No
guide can substitute for in-game playtime, and by forcing yourself to
stay with each class for a full map round, you'll get a good idea of
not only how that class plays, but how other classes respond to it.

The more familiar you are with a class, the better suited you
are to combat enemy classes of that type, and the better you'll
understand and adjust to the limits of the classes your teammates are
playing as.

No class in this game can win the game by himself. This is *Team*
Fortress 2. My guide will not help you find a class that will enable
solo victory, but will attempt to show you what makes each class
the best for certain situations. Combining the best aspects of
each class as a team is what enables victory. Don't forget that.

Now, on with the FAQ!


########################################################################


THE SCOUT


Health: 125, 185 with Medigun buff

Weapons:

Scattergun
Ammunition: 6 Shells
Reserve Ammo: 32 Shells

Pistol
Magazine Capacity: 12 rounds
Reserve Ammo: 36 rounds

Melee Weapon:

Baseball Bat

WHY THE SCOUT IS THE BEST CLASS TO PLAY:
Think of the way you play other shooters. Do you like to hurl yourself
at objectives with little regard to yourself? Are you the sort of
player that enjoys strafing and leaping to throw off enemy aim? The
Scout is the best class for this style of play, hands down.

The thing to keep in mind when playing the Scout class is that your
greatest weapon isn't a gun, it's your speed. Scouts are CRAZY
fast. They fly across maps, and the best Scouts never run in a straight
line; they zigzag across maps so that the Heavies, Demoman grenades and
Soldier rockets never hit them. What more, a Scout is the only
class that can do a double-jump ala Mario; and just like
Nintendo's plucky plumber, the Scout can change direction in mid-air.

Use this to your advantage as a Scout. Spin around your enemies, speed
into capture zones (Scouts even capture control points twice as fast
as other classes) and most importantly: Never. Stop. Moving.
A Scout doesn't have the health bar or the raw weapon power to outlast
opponents, but he doesn't need them, because of his ridiculous speed.

Scouts are the ideal flag-runners (although in TF2 we steal
Intelligence briefcases, and not flags.) He's the running back to
his team's offensive line. Sure, you may not get a touchdown
right away, but no class is better at swooshing past enemy
defenses, nicking the dropped Intelligence, and hopping away before
anyone can react. If they shoot you again, so what? You can run
faster than they can relocate their defense, and you've already
reset the Intelligence timer. The points are practically already
on the board.

Scouts are the perfect decoys, keeping defenses busy while your
offense pushes in. Besides being natural Intelligence runners
and always appreciated in a cap zone, Scouts can quickly (see the
emphasis here?) move between offensive and defensive fronts to
help where he can. Every team should have one.

WEAPONS

SCATTERGUN:
Most Scouts fall into one of two archetypes, those who prefer the
Scattergun, and those who prefer their Baseball Bat. Really, each
playstyle is valid, and boils down to a matter of preference. When you
try out the class, give each a go and see what works best for you.

The Scattergun is an ideal weapon for the Scout. Similar in output to
the standard Shotgun many classes carry as a secondary weapon, the
Scattergun packs a bit more oomph and a bit wider of a spread. This is
really the best sort of primary weapon a jumpy, speedy class like the
Scout could ask for, as the spread nature of the weapon means the
Scout doesn't have to slow down and aim in order to take a chunk of
health out of his opponent. That said, the more comfortable you get
aiming with the Scattergun, you'll find that it can be very, very
powerful, capable of one-shotting weaker enemies like Engineers, Medics
and rival Scouts if you're close enough - and with the speed of the
Scout getting close shouldn't be a problem.

The Scattergun isn't as useful as the other classes' Shotgun at
longer ranges... as useful as a Shotgun can be at range, anyway. The
Scattergun is amply suited to destroying enemy Dispensers and
Teleporters, but even a Scout isn't fast enough to outrun a Sentry
Gun; leave those for the Demomen, Soldiers and Spies.

And remember, as the Scout loads new shells into his empty Scattergun
(shells which I suspect are filled with nails, as the TFC Scout
carried a Nailgun) you can interrupt the reload to fire off whatever
shells you have currently loaded. So if you're reloading and
backpedaling and a Demoman launches a few grenades your way, by all
means double-jump away and fire whatever you've got to scare him
off.

PISTOL:
The Pistol that Scouts carry shoots straight, reloads quickly and fires
as fast as you can click the mouse. It is a reliable secondary weapon
for finishing off a fleeing opponent when your Scattergun is empty,
although many Scouts, due to their speed, prefer their Baseball Bat
in a similar situation.

The Pistol is also useful at longer ranges, where the Scattergun
becomes less effective. Don't expect to outdo your team Sniper, but if
you need to finish off a fleeing, burning opponent without putting
yourself in harm's way, the Pistol will be a surer bet than your
Scattergun.

BASEBALL BAT:
The Scout's small Baseball Bat is his melee weapon of choice and primary
weapon of choice for many career Scouts. The Bat isn't any stronger
or weaker than the other melee weapons in the game; like them all, it
will deal a small chunk of damage in front of an opponent, and more if
you are behind them.

What makes the Bat so deadly is its pairing with the Scout's unrivaled
speed. See a Heavy wailing away across a bridge? Zig-zag across,
double-jump over his head, and with a few BONKS! the Heavy won't be a
problem anymore.

While the Engineer perhaps gets the most use out of his melee weapon,
I'd say the Scout comes close, for some. Sure, it's dangerous
to take a bat to a gunfight, but it can be fun as hell too. It's
at least worth trying out, to see if it works for you.


########################################################################


THE SOLDIER


Health: 200 | 300 with Medigun buff


Weapons:

Rocket Launcher
Ammunition: 4 Rockets
Reserve Ammo: 36 Rockets

Shotgun
Ammunition: 6 shells
Reserve Ammo: 32 shells

Melee Weapon:

Shovel

WHY THE SOLDIER IS THE BEST CLASS TO PLAY:
Soldiers are hostile, versatile, integral classes to the success of any
offensive push. Demomen may have more explosive power, Heavys more
raw firepower, and Scouts more maneuverability, but a good Soldier can
still do it all, right when his team needs him.

At 200 Health (300 buffed by a Medic), a Soldier is one of the most
resilient classes in the game, second only to the Heavy. Demomen
may be able to bounce grenades around and lob Sticky Bombs, but there
is no substitute for the all-range, all-purpose devastation that the
Soldier's Rocket Launcher brings to a fight.

Good Soldiers frustrate their enemies constantly by outlasting them
with their combination of high health and offensive power.
Pyros and Scouts who rush up close either catch a rocket to the face
or several rockets exploding on the ground and walls around them. The
Pyros and Scouts are in pieces; the Soldier is at half health and
reloading; ready to send a barrage of rockets across the map to a
Sniper nest, or pop around a corner, firing with precision at Sentry
Guns.

Though the Soldier runs slower than some, he is still faster than
the Heavy, and in a crude way shares the Scout's airborne mobility:
Firing a rocket and jumping at the same time propels the Soldier high
into the air and forward... and over walls, over defenses, and into
capture areas. With practice, a Soldier can get almost anywhere he
needs to be, when he needs to be there. Every team should have one.

WEAPONS

ROCKET LAUNCHER:
As a Soldier, you're going to be shooting this a lot, so lets get the
details straight up front: The Rocket Launcher can shoot 4 rockets at a
time, and shoot them fairly quickly. This may startle those of you
out there who are used to traditional Rocket Launchers in shooters that
are single-shot and take a while to reload (DoD:S, I'm looking at you.)

The next happy surprise is the speed with which the Soldier reloads his
rockets. If, for example, the first four rockets don't get the job
done, a fifth can be fired pretty quickly. Remember, you can interrupt
the reload process to fire... you don't have to wait for the Soldier to
load four more rockets.

You'll be called to a variety of tasks by your team as a Soldier, all
of which your Rocket Launcher should be able to handle. Soldiers are
excellent at removing Sentry Guns in the absence of a Demoman or a Spy,
esepcially at longer ranges. When you fire at stationary targets like
those built by Engineers, be sure to take time to line up your shot -
the goal is to demolish the Sentry quickly so your team can advance.
Don't worry, the Soldier's ample health will keep him alive long enough
to line up a proper shot.

Against moving targets, you'll find that the slow propulsion of the
rockets makes things trickier. One of the best tips is straight from
Valve (the people you bought the game from.) Aim at the ground.
Enemies, especially those rascally Scouts, can easily sidestep rockets
fired from afar - but when you aim for their feet, or a nearby wall,
the splash damage of the explosion will either kill them, or at least
wear them down for a friendly Heavy or Pyro to finish.

As a Soldier, you aren't a Heavy, but you're the next best meatshield
there is. Follow your Medics (actually, have them follow you :p), and
when you hear "UberCharge is up! Go buddy Go!" charge forward and
blow up that enemy base.

SHOTGUN:
You'll get more use out of this baby than you might think when you
start out as a Soldier. Rockets are powerful, but when they miss and
the Pyro is charging you, or the Demoman hailing you with grenades,
the Shotgun will get you out of a jam if you don't trust your up-close
Rocket aim.

Of course, the Shotgun is also a natural clean-up weapon for targets
of your own who are wounded from the explosions, or passing
enemies who've been lit on fire and aren't really worth the rocket.
My advice: get some experience playing the class, and decide for
yourself when the Shotgun best helps you.

SHOVEL:
I like the collapsible Shovel that the Soldier carries, but maybe that's
just my DoD:S experience talking. As a Soldier I find I will more
often than not finish off an opponent with my Shotgun, but if you can
get behind an enemy and resist the urge to blow them up, by all means
thwack them with this.


########################################################################


THE PYRO


Health: 175 | 260 with Medigun buff

Weapons:

Flamethrower
Can be fired for 200 seconds, fully loaded.

Shotgun
Ammunition: 6 shells
Reserve Ammo: 32 shells

Melee Weapon:

Fire Axe

WHY THE PYRO IS THE BEST CLASS TO PLAY AS:
Who doesn't like running around setting things on fire? The Pyro is
a class unlike any other, and is easily the most deadly close-range
attacker in the game.

As a Pyro, your goal is simple: set as many people and objects on fire
as you possibly can. People on fire who are foolish enough to stay in
your jet of flame will die at a quicker rate than those smart enough to
run away - who will still die, either from burning alive while running
around (which is hilarious to watch) or being shot while burning alive,
many times by the Pyro's trusty Shotgun.

But the fire does more than quickly eat away at enemy health bars: it
disorients them, and confuses attacks. A Pyro crouched around a corner,
or underneath a ramp, or just inside a door is ideal; When the
incoming attackers or defenders are suddenly ablaze, their coordination
breaks down, their vision is blurred by flames on-screen, and their
ranks break in search of a Medic, medkit or pool of water to stop
the burning.

When the enemy defense is occupied with a frontal assault, a backdoor
attack from a Pyro and an UberCharged Medic can create unrivaled
chaos. Heavys, Soldiers and Demomen love the "I'll set em
up, you knock 'em down" nature of the Pyro. Defensively, Pyros melt
fragile cloaked Spies, Scouts, Medics and Engineers with ease,
keeping the capture point or Intel safe from attack. Every team
should have one.

WEAPONS

FLAMETHROWER:
The Flamethrower is instantly fun, very lethal, and can also be a bit
frusterating if you don't understand the mechanics of it. With
practice, however (and a handy FAQ to read :p), you'll become more and
more comfortable with it.

With the Flamethrower, the closer an enemy is to the Pyro's jet of
flame, the quicker his health will decrease. The best thing to do then
is trap your opponent in a corner or narrow hallway, where you will
have an easier time keeping your flame centered on your hapless
opponent. Obviously, people don't like being lit on fire, and they
will do everything they can to escape your deadly flame, from running,
jumping, and of course, shooting at you.

The best idea here is to strafe around your opponent in such a way that
forces them towards a wall, while keeping you safe from counter-fire.
True, even if that Soldier or Demoman hits you with an explosive in the
face, you'll probably melt him to death anyway (Opponents will stay on
fire and lose health unless they find a Medic, medkit, pool of water
or Dispenser), but its better to live to burn again.

The biggest hurdle new Pyros tend to encounter when playing is the
range of the weapon. It is easy to light someone ablaze, see that the
enemy is on fire, and chase them with your trusty Flamethrower spewing,
thinking that, since the enemy is still on fire, he is still
within your Flamethrower range. If I could write an easy way to for
you to know for sure if you're still attacking him directly, I would;
but I can't. But I can say the following:

Remember! The length of the Flamethrower flame is longer when the Pyro
is standing still, and shorter when he is moving. Often, if chasing
an opponent refuses to ignite them, stopping for a second (extending
the length of the flame) will work! Bottom line, if you aren't sure,
I'd switch to your Shotgun.

Finally, due to the close-range nature of the weapon (and class), you
should understand that a Pyro does not belong in open areas or at the
end of long corridors alone. Your Flamethrower can't help you there.
Stick with your team, scratch their back, and they'll scratch yours.

SHOTGUN:
Pyros are tied with the Engineer in my book as the class most reliant
on his Shotgun, although both rely on the weapon for different reasons.

When I started playing the Pyro class, I didn't really use the Shotgun.
Why? I thought. I have a Flamethrower... I'm a Pyro, I light people
on fire. What I didn't realize is how quickly a Shotgun can finish off
a burning opponent.

The Flamethrower burns people pretty quickly, as you'll see the first
few times *you* get lit on fire. The tendency for most new Pyros is
to chase people down with their Flamethrower, and opponents will take
advantage of this and just run away, creating a distance disadvantage
for the Pyro.

If you fall into this category, listen to me: pull out your Shotgun
early in the fight, and unload it. You will be pleasantly surprised
at how quickly the Shotgun will either put them down, or accellerate
your enemy's death-by-burning. And don't be afraid to hold your ground
as a Pyro. You may not have the health of a Soldier or Heavy, but
175 health in a fire-proof suit is nothing to sneeze at, especially
with a Medic around. (Fun Fact: Pyros take damage from Flamethrowers,
but do not burn over time.)

The Pyro Shotgun, like all of the Shotguns, reloads quickly, has decent
stopping power, and surprising range. Use it.

FIRE AXE:
The Fire Axe is a fitting weapon for the Pyro, although many Pyros are
so comfortable at close range with their Flamethrower, they forget to
use it.

I like to take out the Axe against opponents like Heavys and even
Soldiers, who have tons of health (particularly with Medics.) Heavys
burn for a long, long time, whereas a Minigun can shred a Pyro in
seconds. If you can get close enough to a Heavy, I think it better to
stow the Flamethrower and Axe him in the back. See what works for you.


########################################################################


THE DEMOMAN


Health: 175 | 260 with Medigun buff

Weapons:

Grenade Launcher
Ammunition: 4 grenades
Reserve Ammo: 30 grendades

Sticky Bomb Launcher w/ Detonator
Ammunition: 8 bombs
Reserve Ammo: 40 bombs

Melee Weapon:

Bottle

WHY THE DEMOMAN IS THE BEST CLASS TO PLAY:
Hands down the most explosive class in TF2, the Demoman can frustrate
enemy attacks better than any other class, shelling them from afar with
his Grenade Launcher, booby trapping routes and defensive areas with
Sticky Bombs - and never putting himself in the line of fire.

Nothing disrupts enemy advances, and encourages retreat like a steady
hail of grenades, tumbling over cover, around corners, into buildings
and control points; but it's not just infantry that Demomen can assault.

Engineers learn to loathe a good Demoman, as grenades and Sticky Bombs
are the best (and only) way to indirectly destroy otherwise well
protected Sentries and sheltered Dispensers. Spies can Sap them,
but they put themselves in harm's way to do so. A Demoman need never
even see the Sentry, he just waits for the successful explosion.

Sticky bombs do more than defend control points, they allow the Demoman
to create choke points. Seemingly safe waypoints are transformed into
an explosive death trap, forcing the enemy to either retreat or push on
through the ensuing detonation - and into whatever trap the Demoman
sets up next. Every team should have one.

WeAPONS

GRENADE LAUNCHER:
The Demoman is a unique class to play, as all of his weaponry is
indirect. He doesn't have anything that shoots bullets or shells -
which changes the way you have to approach certain combat situations.

The best thing to do is play to the Grenade Launcher's strengths. The
best part about playing a Demoman is that you don't
have to put yourself in the line of fire to rack up kills. Grenades
work best when bounced off walls, around corners, down hallways, into
rooms an enemy is defending, pretty much anywhere you would expect
the other team to be.

Unless your grenades hit your opponent directly (and if so, watch as
he goes BOOM) they will take a few seconds to explode, at which point
your opponent will usually retreat. Don't think of this as a
failed attack - keep the pressure up! Even if you aren't blowing up
your opponents, you'll be forcing them back and back, allowing your
team to advance. Remember, although you'll fire off 4 grenades pretty
fast, the Demoman can interrupt his reload to fire off an emergency
grenade or two if need be.

The more practice you can get using the Grenade Launcher to ricochet
grenades into enemy bases the better. As I said above, there's really
noone better suited to dispatching enemy Sentries and Dispensers safely
than a Demoman; as you become more practiced in placing your grenades
where they need to be, you'll find few problems you can't solve with
an explosion or two.

STICKY BOMB LAUNCHER:
Sticky Bombs are wonderful or terrible, depending on whether they're
friendly or not. These small, round spikey doodads can make capture
points impossible to take, and choke points impossible to pass, if
a wary Demoman is present.

Sticky Bombs are always the color of the team of the Demoman who shot
them. So if you're RED, don't run over blue bombs, and if you're BLU,
don't run over red bombs. By holding down the fire button, the
Demoman can "charge" his shot, propelling each Sticky Bomb as far as he
needs to.. into Sniper nests, at out-of-range Sentries, etc. And
when these babies explode, they can do massive damage, especially in
clusters. Only the Demoman can detonate them, but he can do so
whenever he needs to, regardless of what weapon he is holding, by
clicking secondary fire - even if the bombs are in mid-air!

A Demoman can place up to eight Sticky Bombs at a time. If he shoots a
ninth, the first Bomb that he launched will explode. There really
isn't a bad place to put these bombs, and true to their namesake, they
will stick to anything, including walls and ceilings. Putting them
in plain sight on top of control points discourages smart opponents
from advancing, and encourages dumb opponents to set them off.

But the best thing to do with Sticky Bombs is create your own choke
points, luring your enemies into following you (or as a defense
against enemies who are chasing you.) You can coat the floor with
Bombs in a pinch, but if I have time I like to stick them around the
outer edges of doorframes and support beams, behind crates and along
rooftops - guaranteed to shake up a few hapless opponents, and make
the rest of their team think twice before taking that route.

Sticky Bombs are also wonderful ways to destroy entire Engineer bases.
The idea is to launch as many Stickies into the base around the
Sentries and Dispensers as possible, because unlike grenades, all of
the bombs will explode at once when detonated, giving no time for
repair to the Engineer (who will instead likely be in pieces.)

I think, though, that practicing this sort of Sentry extermination
with your Grenade Launcher is important, in addition to using your
Sticky Bombs. Why? Because it saves you from having to detonate
your Sticky Bombs, which you may have already set as a defensive
trap, and take longer to shoot and reload than the Grenade
Launcher's grenades.

Granted, there are some jobs that only a Sticky Bomb can handle,
but a good Demoman doesn't rely on his Sticky Bomb Launcher alone;
he uses both of his Launchers together to trap his opponent in an
explosive demise. :)

Oh, and before I forget - a Demoman can use his Sticky Bombs the same
way Soldiers use their Rockets to reach high places. By detonating
a Sticky Bomb underneath his feet, the Demoman can make a powerful
leap (in the old days it was called a 'pipe bomb jump') to get to
hard-to-reach areas, and set up ambushes from there.

BOTTLE:
Now, at close range, the Demoman doesn't have many options, and short
of a direct shot with a grenade, or quick, mid-air Sticky detonation,
the Bottle is the only other thing a Demoman can turn to. (That
was a pun.)

But hey, the Bottle can get the job done up close, especially if your
enemy has been weakened by grenade/Sticky Bomb explosions. When it
comes down to the difference between taking potshots with grenades
and wildly swinging an empty whiskey Bottle, I think personal
preference should be the deciding factor.


########################################################################


THE HEAVY


Health: 300 | 450 with Medigun buff

Weapons:

Minigun
Ammunition: 200 rounds

Shotgun
Ammunition: 6 shells
Reserve Ammo: 32 shells

Melee Weapon:

Fists

WHY THE HEAVY IS THE BEST CLASS TO PLAY:
Absolute, unrelenting firepower. There are many powerful weapons and
lots of creative equipment in TF2, but *nobody* outguns the Heavy.

There is simply no outshooting a Heavy. If you like to be the guy with
the BFG, the Heavy is for you. The Heavy is like a mobile upgraded
Sentry, sweeping the Minigun back and forth, mowing down enemy troops,
laughing all the way. If you need a class to hold the line or capture
point, you need a Heavy.

Offensively, Heavies are like battering rams, punching through enemy
lines with their powerful Minigun, marching towards control points,
clearing the way to the Intelligence. Will he be shot at? Sure.
Will he care? Likely not. Rockets and grenades blow up the other
classes with a single hit, but not the Heavy. Pyros melt down Scouts,
Spies, Medics, Demomen and the like with ease, but not the Heavy.

Why not the Heavy? It's simple, really. Medics look for Heavys all
the time, because when buffed with the Medigun, Heavies carry a
whopping 450 health. That's not a typo. Heavies are always getting
shot at, but with a health pool that big, and a Medigun trained on him,
he's going to outlast any class shooting at him, unless his opponent
outguns him. And nobody outguns the Heavy. Every team should
have one.

WEAPONS

MINIGUN:
This is the reason you play as a Heavy, to get to use this weapon.
Arguably one of the more satisfying weapons in the game to fire, the
Minigun is like a death hose, the ultimate example of quantity over
quality. With practice, there are few weapons as lethal as a Minigun,
as long as it is used in the right situations.

Heavies aren't very fast to begin with (300 health is a lot to lug
around) and firing the Minigun slows him down even more. So, there
are things to keep in mind when using this weapon to compensate for
the Heavy's sluggishness.

First, you need to get the barrel of the Minigun spinning before it
will actually start to fire. If you hold down primary fire, the Heavy
will lower his weapon, there will be a delay as it begins to spin, and
then it will fire.

A good Heavy, however, will hold down his secondary fire button, to spin
the barrel of the gun ahead of time. This is useful when rounding
corners, entering enemy buildings, and anticipating attacks, as you
can fire immediately when you see an enemy. Spinning the Minigun
barrel gives off a kind of whine, which will alert nearby enemies to
your presence; but hey, you aren't a Spy, you aren't trying to hide,
and given his size, the Heavy would have a job hiding anyway.

The second thing to remember when using the Minigun, is that although
your forward, backward and side to side movement is slowed when the gun
is lowered/firing, your aiming speed does not slow down. This is
very important to remember when dealing with Pyros and Spies who are
going to try to ambush you up close, and also pesky Scouts who will be
running circles around you. You can pivot as quickly as you can move
your mouse, and short of a backstab, there is nothing as lethal at
close range as the Minigun.

The Minigun is unstoppable at all but long ranges, but even so, it is
unwise to plod into enemy territory alone. The Heavy is a big target,
and as good as the Minigun is, it works much better with teammates.
Cover your teammates, and they'll cover you. Finally, as I mentioned
above, Medics are very fond of Heavies, especially as recipients of
UberCharges - but you must communicate your ammo level to any Medics
following you! Some Medics are twitchy when it comes to their
UberCharge and hit you with it as soon as it's up, but it does your team
no good if the Minigun is empty. Fully loaded and invicible, there
is little the Minigun can't accomplish.

SHOTGUN:
The Heavy's Shotgun is just like the others used by Engineers, Pyros
and Soldiers, but often doesn't see as much use, and understandably so.

At the ready, a Minigun will be a much more effective tool for Heavies
at killing. However, an ambushed Heavy who doesn't have his Minigun
ready to fire wastes precious seconds getting it going, and in these
situations I like to rely on my Shotgun, rather than my health bar.
Alternately, you can use the Shotgun to conserve Minigun
ammo before an UberCharge.

Although the Heavy is slow, the Shotgun doesn't impair his speed,
giving him the most mobility he can get when he needs it most.
With a few quick shots, the Shotgun will hopefully beat ambushers back
long enough for the Heavy to start up his Minigun, if not finish them
off.

FISTS:
Heavies rely on their knuckles to solve any problems up close. True,
the noise that the Minigun makes, the Heavy's naturally slow speed, and
his impossible-to-miss size makes sneaking up on anyone about as
likely as a Sniper getting an UberCharge; but overcoming those odds and
delivering a knockout punch is very satisfying.

Just don't get your hopes up :).


########################################################################


THE ENGINEER


Health: 125 | 185 with Medigun buff

Weapons:

Shotgun
Ammunition: 6 shells
Reserve Ammo: 32 shells

Pistol
Magazine Capacity: 12 rounds
Reserve Ammo: 200 rounds

Melee Weapon:

Wrench

Equipment:

Construction PDA
Detonator

Metal
Carrying Capacity: 200 pieces

WHY THE ENGINEER IS THE BEST CLASS TO PLAY:
Do you like to set up impenetrable defenses, enabling victory by
bolstering your teammates, creating moving bases that suffocate enemy
defenses? The Engineer is the class for you.

There is nothing like a good Engineer. While on their own they aren't
as powerful or healthy as ther peers, their devices make or break
victory for their team. Harvesting metal from the weapons of fallen
enemies and destroyed devices, Engineers construct powerful
Sentry Guns to hold off enemy advances, and use the metal they
collect from their fallen enemies to upgrade their Sentry to an
even deadlier model.

But the Engineer isn't limited to building guns. Engineers create
Teleporter entrance and exits, providing their team with quick access
to vital defensive points, or secret access to their opponent's base.
Engineers also create Dispensers which serve as stationary Medics,
replenishing health and ammo to nearby teammates, and slowly refilling
the Engineer's metal supply.

Good Engineers not only defend their base, they create forward bases as
their team advances, building Teleporters and Dispensers, encouraging
their team to press the attack. There isn't a friendlier sight in the
world when turning into enemy territory than seeing an Engineer
banging out a Dispenser behind cover. Every team should have one.

WEAPONS AND EQUIPMENT

SHOTGUN:
The Engineer's Shotgun is the same model that the Soldier, Pyro and
Heavy carry, and is just as reliable. As a primary weapon, it
certainly doesn't stand up against the others (but hey, you still
out-gun the Spy!). Your Sentry Gun is really more of a primary
weapon; it's the Shotgun's job to assist and defend the Sentry, and
it'll be working overtime.

When you're out in the open scavenging for metal, or if you have
to defend yourself in the middle of a build, the Shotgun can get
you out of a jam. The Engineer reloads it quickly, and the Shotgun
has decent range and spread. Hopefully, if you have to resort to your
Shotgun there will be teammates nearby to assist you. In fact, I
recommend budding Engineers to always travel with their teammates; they
can keep you safer than your Shotgun can, and buy you time to build
stuff.

PISTOL:
The Engineer's Pistol is just as good as the Scout's Pistol, firing as
fast as you can click, reloading fast, and with surprisng accuracy at
longer range. The Engineer also packs a whopping 200 extra rounds for
his Pistol. Maybe it's spillover from the Sentry Gun ammo.

As an Engineer, you'll be building and maintaining Sentry Guns,
Dispensers and Teleporters primarily, so choosing to use your Pistol
over your Shotgun will likely boil down to personal preference and
circumstance. Naturally, I find the Pistol more suited to targets
who are further away from me. Just don't expect to out-snipe a Sniper.

WRENCH:
Aha! Now this is probably the most used melee weapon in the game, and
not for any added lethality - as a weapon the Wrench is no more or less
effective than any other.

Engineers, however, use their Wrenches constantly to build, upgrade and
repair their devices. If, say, an Engineer decides to build a Sentry
Gun, he can hit it with the Wrench repeatedly to speed up the build
process. In a similar fashion, Engineers bang on damaged or Sapped
devices to restore their health and save them from being destroyed.

But wait, that's not all! Engineers can upgrade their Sentry Guns if
they have enough metal to do so. By hitting a completed Sentry with
the Wrench, metal is deducted from your inventory towards the total
amount required for the Sentry upgrade (200 metal). Even if you don't
have enough metal for the full upgrade, you can start to upgrade the
Sentry with the metal you have, then collect more and finish the job.

Also remember that any Engineer can use his Wrench to repair and
upgrade any other Engineer's Sentries, Dispensers and Teleporters.
For my money, one Lvl. 2 Sentry at the start of a map does a better job
repelling Scouts than two Lvl. 1 Sentries. Work together, and your
base will be impregnable in half the time!

Soooo.. it is not uncommon for an Engineer to be found hovering over
his creations with his Wrench, in a constant state of repair/defense
against enemy Spies - who you may often find disguise themselves as
Engineers and act as though they are busy repairing the Sentries, when
in fact they are sabotaging them. How to spot the Spy? A Spy that is
disguised as an Engineer will not be holding a Wrench, but instead a
Shotgun. If you see a Shotgun-toting Engineer suspiciously near some
damaged Dispensers, sending over a Pyro would be a good idea :).

CONSTRUCTION PDA:
The Engineer's Personal Digital Assistant is where he
builds all of his handy constructions. Here is a breakdown of what
the Engineer can build, and how much metal it costs.

Lvl. 1 Sentry Gun: 130 metal
-Lvl. 2 Sentry Upgrade: 200 metal
-Lvl. 3 Sentry Upgrade: 200 metal
Dispenser: 100 metal
Teleporter entrance: 130 metal
Teleporter exit: 130 metal

Engineers start with their full capacity of 200 metal, and so can build
anything they want to right off the bat. After selecting what to build,
the Engineer will take out his toolbox and an image of what you
selected will appear in front of you, so you can pick out where to
place your device; just click primary fire when you're ready, and
don't forget to bang away with the Wrench to speed up the process.

Sentry Guns are the backbone of any defense, and should be a build
priority. Once you have set up a good base of operations for
yourself and your teammates, you can move on to upgrading the Sentry.
When placing a Sentry, you need not worry about aiming it in a
certain direction; each version of the Sentry Gun rotates and auto-
shoots any enemy in sight. However, you can right click while
placing the Sentry to rotate the direction it will face by default,
which can be useful in speeding up the auto-target process.

Keep in mind that although the Sentry Gun becomes stronger and shoots
faster with each upgrade, Sentries cannot see through a Spy's cloak
or disguise, and will only fire on the Spy when he reveals himself,
usually by stabbing or shooting someone. And that someone is often
the Engineer :). It is very important to be wary of Spies, as an
Engineer without his Sentry is a sitting duck with 125 health and
an ordinary Shotgun.

Depending on your team, the map, and the stage of the game, you can
get all sorts of requests on what to build. I find that initially
Dispensers are great. Teammates love free ammo and health refills, and
Dispensers can help replenish your metal supply automatically, allowing
you to quickly build more devices to help your team. In Sudden Death,
Dispensers NEED to be your first priority, because in Sudden Death
Dispensers are the only source of health for your teammates other than
a Medic.

Dispensers can be very helpful to your team if placed correctly, and
one thing to keep an eye out for is how far your team is progressing/
pushing into enemy territory. As they advance, one of the best things
you can do is build a Dispenser nearby, behind some cover. If your
offensive classes see that they have a fall back point nearby, they'll
be much more encouraged to sustain the attack.

Teleporters are also a great thing for forward bases, and also for
defense. You'll need to build both an entrance and an exit for the
gizmo to activate, but when it does, it provides instant
transportation with only a slight recharge delay between Teleporters.
Heavys, Soldiers and Medics can then get where they need to be right
away with a Teleporter, and good Teleporter placement can really
prolong an attack, or bolster a defense.

The key with Teleporters is communication: talk to your team.
Let them know that you're building Teleporters, where the entrance is,
and where it will take them.

In fact, communication is good across the board with the Engineer.
Rather than randomly placing Dispensers and Sentries, ask your team
where they will help the most, and monitor their effectiveness. An
informed Engineer is a very serious threat.

DETONATOR:
Engineers can only have one Sentry, Dispenser and Teleport
exit and entrance built at one time. They can detonate their devices
with their Detonator so they can build another one, as needed as their
team advances, but the Engineer will have to start over with a Lvl. 1
Sentry Gun.

Engineers can salvage the metal from their destroyed buildings, making
it a little easier to relocate and rebuild quickly.

########################################################################


THE MEDIC


Health: 150 | 225 with Medigun buff

Weapons:

Syringe Gun
Clip Capacity: 40 syringes
Reserve Ammo: 150 syringes

Equipment:

Medigun

Melee Weapon:

Bone Saw

WHY THE MEDIC IS THE BEST CLASS TO PLAY:
Medics enable victory. Period. If you want to be the reason your team
succeeds, the reason the Heavy stays alive long enough to hold back
an attack or capture the game-winning flag - play a Medic.

Medics in the right place make their team unkillable, make defenses
unbreakable, and make any control point or Intelligence Briefcase
takeable. Teams need Medics like Enginners need metal, or Heavys need
bullets. There's just no way around it.

Good Medics aren't just portable Dispensers. Medics who bust their ass
every time they hear their teammates cry out not only heal them, but
buff their teammates' health up to 150 percent! What more, Medics are the
only class capable of rendering a teammate invincible. More often than
not, an UberCharge on the right class at the right time is the only
way to win a control point, a map, or both.

No class is more appreciated when around, or missed when absent, than
the Medic. When teams reach a stalemate, when it comes down to the
wire, you won't hear "Where's the Pyro?" or "Can we get a Spy up
here?" When your team needs victory, your team needs a Medic.
Every team should have one.

WEAPONS AND EQUIPMENT

SYRINGE GUN:
Playing as a Medic, you'll more often than not be called on to use your
Medigun to keep your teammates in top shape. However, this being a
frantic team shooter, you will be called on to defend yourself now and
then. Fortunately for you, the Syringe Gun is an excellent weapon to
use in these sorts of situations.

The Syringe Gun shoots hypodermic needles at full auto. At 40 needles
per clip, and good stopping power, Medics can hold their own when they
have to - just remember that Medics really shouldn't have to.

When shooting the Syringe Gun, you'll notice that the Syringes arc
downward as they shoot (damn gravity) and as such you'll need to
compensate when you're aiming it at range. The best idea for needling
down your opponents is to get as close as you safely can to your
opponent; the goal is to land lots of needles on your opponent as fast
as you can, because as a Medic you're generally outgunned and weaker.

Fortunately, as a Medic (particularly a Medic who has read this guide)
you'll be tagging along with bigger, stronger classes with bigger,
stronger guns. In the case where you'll have to use your Syringe Gun,
you should have a buddy nearby to help you. No matter who you're
with, keep moving and don't stop shooting till they keel over.

MEDIGUN:
Now this is the great part about playing a Medic - who'd have ever
thought that keeping teammates healthy would be easy and fun?

The Medigun in operation is kinda like the Proton Pack from
Ghostbusters (my favorite movie, if you haven't seen it stop reading
and go rent it... I'll wait for you.) It shoots a rubbery beam of
healing energy at whatever teammate you've targeted, recharging
their health, and boosting it by up to 150 percent of its normal
total - but only for as long as you keep your Medigun trained on them.
Note: the Medic cannot heal himself with his own Medigun - he needs
another Medic to heal him, or else find a Dispenser or medkit.

The most important thing about the Medigun, however, is the UberCharge
I've been mentioning throughout the guide. Your UberCharge gauge
starts empty, and as you heal your teammates, that gauge will
start to fill. Even if a teammate is already at full health, using
your Medigun on him will still fill your UberCharge gauge; however,
(and this is important) healing wounded teammates fills the gauge
faster. You want to fill the gauge quickly. Keep your ears
pricked, and as soon as you hear "Medic!" help your teammate, and
you'll also help yourself. Savvy Soldiers and Demomen often
wound themselves with rocket and Sticky Bomb jumps, with the
express purpose of helping a Medic charge up quickly.

When the gauge is full, training your Medigun beam on a teammate
and hitting secondary fire activates the UberCharge, making you and
your selected teammate invicible for precious few seconds - seconds
that win maps time and time again. You'll know that your UberCharge
is working when you see your teammate take on a red or blue glow,
depending on what team you are on. Your UberCharge will ONLY LAST
if you keep your beam trained on your buddy... if you break the
stream, you lose the invincibility.

Which brings us to our final Medigun question: who to hit with
an UberCharge?

I'm not really concerned about what class you pick. Depending on what
obstacle you're looking to overcome, a Heavy, Soldier, Pyro or even
a talented Demoman can work. I just don't want you to waste it.

You don't need to fire off the UberCharge as soon as the
gauge fills, and you shouldn't just use it to save your own hide.
Evaluate your team's situation and communicate with your team to set
up a group attack built around the UberCharge. And don't "lock
in" on one class. True, the Medic+Heavy and Medic+Soldier pairings
are popular, but don't glue yourself to a Heavy at the expense of the
rest of your team - spread the healing love around.

And remember, I said that the Medigun beam was rubbery and flexible,
so the Medic can hide behind a wall or other cover safely while the
recipient of his healing beam does the dirty work. Stay alive out
there! Your team is counting on it.

BONE SAW:
When the Syringe Gun runs out and that Pyro or Scout that ambushed you
is hot on your heels, this cool-looking weapon will be what keeps you
alive.

In fact, the more comfortable you become with close-quarters combat,
you might just stop firing your Syringe Gun early, as most opponents
aren't going to expect a Medic to perform a bayonet charge of sorts.

This thing'll carve your enemies up as well as any other melee weapon,
but again, you hopefully won't have to resort to it.


########################################################################


THE SNIPER


Health: 125 | 185 with Medigun buff

Weapons:

Sniper's Rifle
Single Shot, Bolt-Action
Reserve Ammo: 25 rounds

Machine Pistol
Magazine Capacity: 25 rounds
Reserve Ammo: 75 rounds

Melee Weapon:

Machete

WHY THE SNIPER IS THE BEST CLASS TO PLAY:
The only class capable of a sustained, deadly long range attack. We all
know what Snipers do, and in TF2 the Sniper is no different - but he is
truly alone: no other class can strike from a distance with precision
or lethality like the Sniper can.

A lucky direct shot with a grenade or rocket will blow you up, sure,
but rockets are slow and even grenades can be easy to dodge. A Heavy's
Minigun is a terrible thing at close range, but over distance becomes
more of a crapshoot. The Sniper's Rifle, however, is constantly,
reliably lethal at any range - in the right hands, and in the
right spot, a Sniper's Rifle is the deadliest weapon in the game, hands
down.

The Sniper's Rifle is the only weapon that offers an aim zoom, and also
"charges" the Sniper's shot - vastly increasing its strength, making
the Sniper not only wildly efficient at cutting down enemy troops, but
just as deadly at removing Engineer constructions - all in one shot.
Every team should have one.

WEAPONS

SNIPER'S RIFLE:
The hallmark of the Sniper class, without which he'd just be a guy in
a funny hat. The Sniper's Rifle in TF2, in my opinion, is one of the
best Sniper Rifles of any shooter I've played, and with practice, can
be extremely deadly.

Often, when players try out the Sniper class, there is an adjustment
period, where the players get used to aiming with the zoomed-in
sights (secondary fire brings up the scope) and targeting the most
vital areas. I find that adjusting to the frantic, zig-
zagging pace of the game is the biggest thing for any budding Sniper
to get used to before he or she gets comfortable playing the class.
Like so many other games, you want to aim for the head for the
insta-kill in TF2.

As you practice with the Sniper (I like to think of Sniping as a
practice, like law or medicine) observe these two things. Firstly,
when you are zoomed-in, and ONLY then, your Rifle will "charge,"
increasing the lethality of your next shot. It takes a second or
two to fully charge, but it's worth waiting for. The only way
you're going to down a beefy Heavy in one is with a fully-charged
shot to the head. Even missing a headshot and hitting the guy's
chest instead could end up in a kill if the shot is charged.

Secondly, when you zoom in, and as your charge builds, a little
laser dot will appear at the center of your scope, helping you aim.
What you need to be aware of, is that your enemies can see the
little laser dot too. I promise you, you might bag a few beginners,
but competant players won't leave cover if they see a little red
or blue dot dancing around on the wall.

The good news is you can hide this - veteran Snipers will aim so that
the laser dot is on the outer edge of a wall, or nearby
obstacle where your enemy can't and won't see the laser as it travels
up their body and settles on their forehead.

Other than those tips, the best thing you can do with the Sniper's
Rifle is find a good position to shoot it from. Nobody can really
contest with the Sniper at long range, so you should stay at long
range, and find positions that threaten a wide area - just don't
overload yourself; the more areas you try to cover, the more chances
an enemy Sniper has to get the jump on you.

When I pick up the Sniper's Rifle, I like to let the enemy do the
work for me. As a Sniper you can count on your targets moving
laterally to try to avoid you; but rather than chase them around,
keep your sights at their head level, and squeeze the trigger as
their movement carries them across your laser dot. In other words,
you can try to put the laser dot on their head, or you can just wait
for them bring their head to your laser dot, and then its BOOM
HEADSHOT time. :p

MACHINE PISTOL:
This is hands-down my favorite ever Sniper class sidearm of all of
the shooters I've ever played. You just don't usually think
'automatic weapon' when you think of a Sniper, but that's what the
Machine Pistol is, and I think you'll like it as much as I do.

As a Sniper, you'll always be the victim of opponents who manage to
sneak into your base, especially Spies. But if you're wary (and I
do encourage you to step back from your scope and check out your
perch every now and then) you can mow down a potential backstabber
without breaking a sweat.

This gun shoots fast, shoots straight, and carries just enough
rounds per magazine to take down your ambusher. I recommend
that the Sniper use this weapon as he advances with his team, or
changes positions; I think it gives the Sniper a better survival
rate on the move, and when your team needs you to move to shoot
a Heavy or enemy Sniper, survival is important.

MACHETE:
I won't lie to you Snipers, you're going to be getting backstabbed a
lot, because it's so easy to sneak up behind you when you're looking
down your Rifle's scope.

That said, turning the tables on the Spy who thought he had the jump
on you, and hacking him apart either straight away or after riddling
him with your Machine Pistol, feels *wonderful*. Boast loudly whenever
this happens.


########################################################################


THE SPY


Health: 125 | 185 with Medigun buff

Weapons:

Revolver
Ammunition: 6 rounds
Reserve Ammo: 24 rounds

Electro Sapper

Melee Weapon:

Butterfly Knife

Equipment:

Invisibility Cloak
Cigarette Case

WHY THE SPY IS THE BEST CLASS TO PLAY:
I've repeated this phrase a lot over the course of this FAQ, so bear
with me, but there is really, absolutely, no class like the Spy. Not
just in TF2, but in any shooter I've played.

The Spy is all espionage. If you want to be a master of subterfuge,
the Spy is your guy. Big guns and flashy explosives are for Rambo.
The Spy is James Bond. Under disguise or his trusty Invisibility Cloak,
a Spy can go anywhere, safe even from enemy Sentry Guns. And
speaking of Sentries, the Spy is the only class capable of directly
disabling them using his Electro Sapper - making him an invaluable,
if unseen, asset to any attack.

As a Spy, you aren't playing to outgun your opponent, you're playing to
outsmart them. Using the right disguise in the right place, a Spy can
accomplish any number of dirty deeds for his team, and what team
wouldn't appreciate that?

Only one guy can disguise himself as a Soldier to get into an enemy base,
switch disguise to a Heavy to trick the enemy Medics into healing him,
sneak under an Invisibility Cloak to the Intelligence room, sabotage
all of the Engineer's defenses and shoot his way back out to safety:
the Spy. Every team should have one.

WEAPONS AND EQUIPMENT

REVOLVER:
As the Spy, feel special: you are the least powerful class in the game,
when it comes to raw firepower. The Medic has more health and
firepower than you.

What that means is that although the Revolver is a potent weapon, its
limited ammunition and semi-auto operation forces the Spy to use
his other tools to get in and out of hostile territory, rather than
force.

That said, don't be so absorbed as a Spy with Sapping, backstabbing
and staying hidden that you don't use your Revolver when you need
to. The Revolver is a strong weapon - the slugs it fires are much
stronger than those that the Scout's and Engineer's Pistol fires.
You just need to be careful with your aim - make every shot count.
The limited ammo is the reason I list the Revolver as weaker than
the Medic's Syringe gun. Shot for shot, the Revolver's stopping
power is better.

When your cover gets blown as you're trying sneak up on a Sniper, or
a Pyro catches you moving toward your Engineer's Sentries, drawing
your Revolver can save the situation. Better to uncloak,
displose of a threat, and recloak then stay invisible and burn to
death.

ELECTRO SAPPER:
This tool is really something special, and something that makes
Engineers cringe. The Electro Sapper disables Sentry Guns, Dispensers
and Teleporters instantly. You'll know when you've successfully
Sapped a Sentry Gun or Dispenser when you see electricity fritzing
all around it. Left like this, the Sapped construct will eventually
be destroyed - and it can only be saved by an Engineer's Wrench.

What really makes the Sapper groovy is that it doesn't break a
Spy's disguise. As I'll talk about later, using your other
weapons will cause a Spy to lose whatever disguise he is wearing, but
Sapping buildings won't cause the Spy to lose cover.

It is no great deduction, therefore, that a good Spy needs to be using
his Sapper as much as he safely can - and by 'safely' I mean to the
extent that he doesn't get caught at it. Sapping a Sentry is as easy
as walking right up next to it and clicking fire, but you can't be
obvious about it, and you'll need to be coordinating your disguises
and actions in a way that allows you to stay alive, so you can keep
the enemy's defenses out of commission for good.

A control point without working Sentries is like a Heavy without his
Minigun: easy to attack. Sabotaging these defenses is one of the
biggest roles a Spy can play for his team. Sap safely, and Sap often.

BUTTERFLY KNIFE:
A Spy's Butterfly Knife gets quite a lot of use, given the ease with
which Spies can maneuver behind enemy targets using disguises and
his Invisibility Cloak. And the Knife is the only melee weapon that
kills instantly when behind an enemy.

Keep in mind that stabbing someone with the Knife while in a disguise,
just like shooting someone while in a disguise, causes the Spy to lose
his disguise. Which means that if you stab an Engineer around a
bunch of Sentry Guns, the second you get the kill the Sentries will
see you as an enemy Spy and shoot your face off.

Stab safely. For example, if you sneak up on a rooftop and find a
Medic, Heavy and Sniper in front of you, work from back to front so
that none of them see you, and then redisguise or cloak and get away.

I see a lot of beginner Spies try to sneak up on someone, botch their
cover, and try to stab their way out of the situation. I don't
recommend this course of action, but maybe you are better suited to
melee combat than I. I reach for my Revolver when things get dicey,
and I'm going to suggest you do the same thing, at least until you
get in some practice with the Knife.

INVISIBILITY CLOAK:
Everytime I use this, I feel awesome... its just so cool, watching
the Spy activate his wristwatch, and suddenly be invisible, walking by
hapless enemies and Sentries without drawing as much as a second
glance.

You don't actually have to select this tool from your inventory like
you would select a weapon. No matter what the Spy is holding, tapping
secondary fire (tap, do not hold the button down) will render the
Spy completely invisible, giving him an easy way into or out of an
enemy area. Tap the button again to reappear.

Sadly, you can't stay invisible forever. A small bar at the bottom
of your screen will show you how much time is left on your Invisibility
Cloak, and when it's empty, the Spy will become visible. The idea then,
is not to waste your Cloak, but only use it when you have to. It is
much better to have some juice left in your Invisibility Cloak after
a few key backstabs or Saps, to buy you time to get away or take on a
new disguise. Don't worry, the Invisibility Cloak's gauge will slowly
replenish itself, but not as fast as the rate which you'll burn through
it.

There are a few things to consider; you can't attack anyone or Sap
anything while you're Cloaked. You CAN, however, prepare yourself
for whatever action you need to do - readying your Butterfly Knife or
Sapper, or donning a new disguise so that when you reappear you
can quickly execute whatever plan you've cooked up.

Also, you need to be aware of your surroundings when you cloak and
uncloak. You have to be crafty when playing a Spy, and nothing will
gives you away quite like an enemy seeing a supposedly friendly Scout
or Heavy suddenly appear out of thin air, or disappear before their
eyes. This is a good way to get Pyros to light you on fire, and when
you're burning, invisibility won't hide the flames dancing around you.

Cloak and uncloak when it is safe to do so, and as a general rule,
never deplete your Cloak gauge.. you never know when you might need
to make a quick getaway, or change a disguise on the fly, and your
Invisibility Cloak can provide you with the time you need to do so.

CIGARETTE CASE:
The Cigarette Case is what the Spy uses to don different disguises;
accessing it pulls up a menu that allows the Spy to choose which
enemy class he would like to disguise himself as, and after a quick
puff of smoke, he will. You'll know when the disguise has taken
effect when you see a silhouette of the Spy appear on screen. Similarly,
you'll see the same graphic when you lose your disguise.

The right disguise and the right actions determine how successful a
Spy will be. As a Spy you have to think about a few things. First,
it doesn't help you to pick the same disguise and run the same
route into the enemy base again and again - the other team is going
to catch on to you.

Secondly, when you pick your disguise, you're going to have to put a
little salesmanship into it. A Spy who picks a random disguise,
sneaks up to an enemy, backstabs him and then gets killed isn't nearly
as effective as a Spy who keeps changing disguises, Sapping sentries,
and killing when the opportunity presents itself.

The only way you'll get that kind of success with a Spy is if you
act as the class you disguise as. Snipers belong in Sniper
nests, or at a distance from the main conflict. Engineers belong
near Sentries and Dispensers, and Heavys should be up close to
the action. Running around conspicuously, trying to get behind
random enemies is just going to get a Spy shot.

I am no master Spy...(Spying is also a practice like medicine
or law :p) but I know some things that can help you. You really
shouldn't be seen entering an enemy base... it looks suspicious,
even when disguised. Cloaking can help you here, or at least
running backwards, which looks more like a retreat. Also,
when disguised, don't run with a group of your own teammates.
How does it look to a BLU Sniper to see a bunch of REDs chasing
a BLU Soldier, but not shooting at him? It looks like a Spy.

Shooting or stabbing an enemy while disguised makes you lose your
disguise, which means you'll need to have your Invisibility Cloak
ready if there are other enemies or Sentries nearby. A Spy
ALWAYS has to be aware of where Sentries are located, because as
soon as he loses his disguise or invisibility, Sentries will
shoot at him. Just because you didn't see the Sentry when you
were sneaking by disguised doesn't mean it won't fill you full
of holes when you start killing. Sapping, however, does NOT break
your disguise.

Above all else, try to have fun with the class (If you
really think you're hot ****, try to get an enemy Medic to
UberCharge you.) There's a lot to take in when playing a Spy, but
nothing that you can't handle while still having fun.


########################################################################

That's it! I covered all the classes, all so you could get out there
and play like a pro for the RED and BLU. I hope this FAQ has helped
you in some way, whether it was a better understanding of how the
classes work, or the intricacies of a certain weapon, or just to fill
a lunch break reading about a game that interests you.

And if you see me out in the servers, feel free to add me to your
friends list. The Valve community and GameFAQs community have always
been the best in my book.

~Lappy

########################################################################
E V E R Y T H I N G T H A T W O U L D N 'T F I T A B O V E
########################################################################


ABOUT THIS SECTION

This section is where I've filed away articles I thought about including
in the main body of the FAQ, but just couldn't find the space for.

These articles generally relate to all classes, and also the weapons
and equipment in the game, and I've included them for your reading
pleasure. Hopefully they will shed light on any questions I may have
created during your reading of my guide. :)


########################################################################


AMMUNITION: SMOKE 'EM IF YOU GOT 'EM

Ah, Ammunition! The thing that keeps all those weapons I described
firing and all that equipment running. TF2 is a very fast-paced
shooter, and with that in mind I'd like to give you the following
brief advice regarding ammunition:

Shoot at everything.

Well, that's not entirely true... don't waste your ammo or set
unrealistic goals here (I'm looking at you, Pyro vs. Lvl3 Sentry), but
come on! Ammunition is EVERYWHERE in this game! Between the ammo
boxes, Engineer Dispensers and Resupply rooms near your team's respawn
area, the game is practically begging you to keep shooting.

And remember, no matter what type of enemy you kill, running over their
fallen weapon will replenish your own ammunition, including Metal if
you're an Engineer. How a Pyro's Flamethrower gasoline translates
into Minigun bullets, I don't know. Just keep yourself fully loaded,
and when in doubt: shoot, shoot, shoot. :)


########################################################################


INTEL ON THE INTELLIGENCE

Technically, the Intelligence Briefcase could be considered a piece of
equipment that any class can carry; if you're just starting to play
this game and came to my FAQ, I might have confused you with my
references to the Intel, and so I'll talk about it here.

The Intelligence is the 'flag' on capture-the-flag maps, like 2fort.
Your team's job on maps like this is try to take the enemy Intel from
their base and bring it back to yours, while stopping the enemy from
doing the same. Players who are carrying the Intelligence wear it
on their back, with trail of paper falling behind them, making them
a bit easier to find.

The Intel looks like a briefcase, and will be red or blue, depending on
which team it belongs to. Any class can pick up the enemy
Intelligence, but no class can pick up their own team's Intelligence.
A Spy can pick up enemy Intelligence if he is in disguise or under an
Invisibility Cloak, but doing so causes him to lose the invisibility or
disguise. Trying to recloak or redisguise will cause the Spy to drop
the enemy Intelligence, as will simply getting killed.

Now, this is important. Dropped Intelligence will stay on the ground
where it is dropped for 60 seconds. After those 60 seconds, the
Intelligence will return to its usual spot in the base. However,
if any player picks up the dropped Intel, the timer will reset if he
or she drops it again.

So, when the Intel hits the ground, you can expect a good defending
team to pull out all the stops for 60 seconds: Sticky Bomb traps,
Sentry Guns, Heavies spraying wildly, Pyros on Spy alert, etc. And,
you can expect a determined offense to send its best Intel runners,
Scouts and Spies, in a coordinated effort to 'leapfrog' the Intel to
their base for the score.

I say 'leapfrog' because it is rare for the Intel to travel straight
from one base to the other without being dropped, unless the attackers
really work together or the defense is weak (or maybe a bit of both.)
In any case, speedy Scouts and invisible Spies gladly risk death just
to touch the Intel, slowly moving it towards their base while
constantly resetting the Intel timer.

Of course, your mileage may vary when it comes to how your team chooses
to attack and defend the Intel, but now you're a bit more informed on
what to expect. :)


########################################################################


HOW TO KILL A (blank)?


In this section, I'd like to very (very) briefly go over each class'
weaknesses. This, like the rest of my FAQ, is a work of my opinion,
and so you may disagree with me, but I think that there are general,
observable weaknesses for every class that any team can work to
exploit.

HOW TO KILL A SCOUT:
Scouts are annoying because they're so fast, and are likely going to
try to double-jump and circle the slower classes while firing
away with that blasted Scattergun - but they aren't fast enough to
outrun a Sentry Gun, or a Heavy with good aim.

Remember, these guys have the lowest amount of health a class can get,
and rarely get teamed with Medics because Medics can't keep up with
their speed. It doesn't take much firepower to put them down, nor
does it take much fire from a Pyro to melt one.

HOW TO KILL A SOLDIER:
Soldiers are tough, but slower than most other classes, save the Heavy.
True, they have a lot of health, but the Rockets they fire are very
slow, and easy to sidestep the further away you are.

Bait a Soldier into firing his first four rockets at you and he'll be
stuck firing slow, single shots as you close in firing. Even if he
switches to his Shotgun, a good Soldier, Pyro or Scout will likely
beat him to the kill.

HOW TO KILL A PYRO:
There is nothing more frustrating than to suddenly be lit on fire.
Pyros know this, and will do everything they can to keep the heat
on, and keep your back to a wall or a corner; this is what you
can't let happen. Get away from the flame. It's as simple as that.

As soon as you see a Pyro, retreat and open fire. The only thing
a Pyro can do at long range is switch to his Shotgun, and at long
range, most any class will be able to take the hothead down.

HOW TO KILL A DEMOMAN:
Most Demomen are going to try and bait you into chasing them,
lure you into a Sticky Bomb trap, and then finish you off with
the Grenade Launcher. But their biggest problem is that without
their bomb trap, they aren't as tough. So don't take the bait.

If you don't follow them, they'll either stay behind and be
ineffective, or they'll have to advance beyond the safety of their
Sticky Bombs. An exposed Demoman is only as strong as his first
four grenades. Soldier vs. Demoman - each has four explosive
rounds to start, but the Soldier has more health, and a Shotgun.

HOW TO KILL A HEAVY:
True, most Heavys have a Medic glued to them at all times (the most
I've seen is 3 Medics on one Heavy) but that still doesn't
take away the Heavy's two biggest detractors: his speed and size.

Heavys are huge and slow. A bigger target for rockets, grenades
and Sniper bullets you will not find, and is hard to miss. Also,
the Heavy's broad back is a huge bullseye for speedy Scouts and Spies
to backstab, and Sentry Guns don't have the firing delay that the
Minigun has.

HOW TO KILL AN ENGINEER:
Engineers are like den mothers, rarely leaving the safety of their
Sentry Guns and Dispensers, because they don't have much firepower of
their own. Short of a relentless assault on their base, a Spy is
the best bet.

A good Spy can spread the Engineer thin by Sapping all of his stuff,
and then backstabbing him when he tries to repair. Ideally, this will
frustrate the Engineer into trying to relocate, putting him on
the move and out into the open where Snipers, Soldiers or anyone else
nearby can take him down.

HOW TO KILL A MEDIC:
A Medic is really only as strong as the buddy he's following around
healing, and only then if his buddy is competent enough to watch out
for him. The idea is to IGNORE whoever the Medic is healing, and
concentrate on killing the doctor.

Hit a Medic hard and fast. Don't try anything fancy, because the last
thing you want is to get him to 1/4 of his health and have him pop an
UberCharge. Putting pressure on a Medic is important, because it
forces him to put away his Medigun and give up the health buff on
whoever he is healing.

HOW TO KILL A SNIPER:
Snipers are creatures of habit. As a Spy, you can observe where
your enemy Snipers like to sit and not only stab them, but communicate
their usual spots to your team, opening up kill possibilities for
Soldier rockets, Demoman grenades and even agile Scouts.

However, an ineffective Sniper is as good as a dead Sniper. A good
way to render a Sniper useless is to watch for his little laser
dot. With team communication, easy targets like burly Heavies and
Demomen can stay out of harm's way, and speedy classes like Scouts
can likely just outrun the Sniper's aim.

HOW TO KILL A SPY:
Spies are flimsy, and they know it - which is why they try so hard
to stay in disguise, even when under fire. Communication is the
best weapon against a Spy. If anyone sees suspicious activity,
especially Sapped Sentries or Dispensers, announce it.

Spy-check frequently; that is, shoot teammates who look like they're
doing something they shouldn't be doing. You won't hurt allies
(there's no Friendly Fire in TF2, to the chagrin of some), but will
damage imposters. Pyros are great for finding Spies, because their
Flamethrower gives away a Spy under his Invisibility Cloak.


########################################################################


MASTER OF DISGUISES: A SPY's REPERTOIRE


Here I would like to briefly go over each of the Spy's disguises,
for clarity's sake. I considered putting this in the Spy class section,
but decided that it was already long, and that this info is applicable
to other classes in the detection of Spies.

Hokay. Basically, when a Spy dons a class disguise, he looks like that
class, but doesn't take on every aspect of that class. Most
importantly, when disguised he can only look as though he is holding
the primary weapon (or default slot 1 weapon) of that class.

NOTE!
This means that when disguised as an Engineer, he is holding a Shotgun,
not the Wrench. And when disguised as a Medic, he is holding the
Syringe Gun, and not the Medigun. You need to be aware of this. Spies
can still be very effective disguised as either of these classes, but
need to act accordingly to pull it off.

At all times when disguised, a Spy can be healed by enemy Medics or
Dispensers, and be the target of UberCharges. And it seems that the
Spy slows himself down when disguised as slower enemies, such as a
Heavy, but cannot make himself move as quickly as a Scout.

A disguised Spy's player name changes to that of a player on the team
of the disguised class, or a random name if there is no player on the
enemy team playing the class that the Spy is disguised as.

Example: 'Lappy' was on the RED team in 2Fort, and came
across a RED Pyro with the name 'Lappy'. 'Wow!' thought Lappy,
'someone has the same name as me, how strange.' Seconds later Lappy
learned that a BLU Spy was assigned his name randomly, and had been
following Lappy to stab him. The Spy was successful.

If this happens, laugh at yourself (and the hilarity of the game
in general.) ALWAYS check player names of the people around you.
You aren't always lucky enough to have the enemy Spy get assigned
your name (which makes it easier to spot once you know) but
communicating that name to your team will help with overall
Spy detection.

DISGUISES:

Scout: Carries the Scattergun; moves quickly, but not as quickly as
a real Scout and cannot double-jump.

Soldier: Carries the Rocket Launcher, moves as slowly as a normal
Soldier.

Pyro: Carries the Flamethrower; is not fireproof.

Engineer: Carries the Shotgun.

Heavy: Carries the Minigun; moves slowly, like a Heavy.

Demoman: Carries the Grenade Launcher; cannot detonate Sticky Bombs,
or Sticky Bomb Jump.

Medic: Carries the Syringe Gun. You do not diplay an UberCharge
gauge when enemy classes look at you.

Sniper: Carries the Sniper Rifle; cannot zoom in.

Spy: Carries the Revolver. A friendly Spy wears a cardboard mask
showing his teammates what class he is disguised as. When disguised
as an enemy Spy, you do not wear a cardboard mask.


########################################################################


TELEPORTER ETIQUETTE: A GUIDE

Like the above section, this is something I wanted to include in the
main part of my guide, but the Engineer section was already too long.

This section is a guide for all of you new folks to what I'll call
Teleporter Etiquette... mainly because I've seen plenty of servers
where an otherwise helpful Teleporter is lessened somewhat by, shall
we say, inappropriate use. ;)

I'll just come out and say it: there are some classes in TF2 that
deserve to use the Teleporter before others. A Teleporter can only
send one at a time, and when we're all huddled around the machine at
the spawn as the Teleporter recharges, we need a way to evaluate who
gets to go next.

Here's my opinion on who gets priority, sorted into three Groups: A, B
and C, by priority. If you're going to go by Lappy's Rules of
Teleporter Etiquette (and I think you should) you should always let
the classes in Group A go first, then B and then C, in the event of a
crowd. :)

GROUP A: SOLDIERS, HEAVIES AND MEDICS
These classes should always be the first to use a Teleporter,
regardless of who else is there and how long they've been waiting. Why?
For the obvious reason: Heavies and Soldiers are the slowest classes in
the game, and also the most dynamic with regards to offensive and
defensive capability: you need them on the front line, quickly.

Medics, while not as slow, are still as important to get to the front
line as quickly as a Heavy or Soldier. Hell, if the Medic doesn't get
there quickly, there may not be a front line left once everyone else
makes it. These three guys get to go first, and in my book, the order
of importance among them is Medic, then Heavy, then Soldier.

GROUP B: PYROS, DEMOMEN, ENGINEERS AND SNIPERS
All of these classes run at the same speed, and while not as fast as a
Scout, they can certainly get to the action faster than a Heavy or
Soldier, and won't be as greatly missed as a Medic.

As far as usage goes, I'd say that Pyros and Demomen would get the most
out of the Teleporter, and perhaps Pyros moreso as they are a more
offensive class; the faster they can get up close and personal the
better. Demomen can be handy to have up front too, but they are also
capable of an indirect, longer-range attack than a Pyro.

I could also see where on a defensive map (like Dustbowl) a Sniper or
Engineer could need to get into position quickly, either to
reestablish Sniper support or make some quick repairs. But let the
Group A guys go first, and if there's a long line, just hoof it.

GROUP C: SCOUTS AND SPIES
The only reason either of these classes should step onto a Teleporter
is if the rest of the team is already alive and in the battle area -
and even then I'd tell Scouts and Spies to just run to the fight.

Honestly, Scouts, you're the fastest class in the game. You don't need
a Teleporter. In the time it takes for a Heavy to wait for the
Teleporter to recharge, you could probably run there and back. The
Heavy doesn't mooch off of your Scattergun ammo, there's no need to
make him wait for a Teleport.

Spies, you don't belong on a Teleporter for an entirely different
reason. See, when a player Teleports, they are surrounded by an aura
of the color of the Teleporter (red or blue, depending on the team.)
This handy-dandy aura will follow you around for a while, and persist
through your Invisibility Cloak and any disguise you don. You can take
the Teleport, but you won't be doing much once you get there. Run to
the fight, disguise on the way, and let the other guys go ahead.

It's as easy as A, B, C. :)


########################################################################


CRITICAL HITS AND YOU

I suppose that any Class and Weapons FAQ wouldn't be complete
without at least mentioning Critical Hits, but the problem is that
there is little in the way of hard evidence to explain how they occur
and how powerful they are.

That said, I found that the TF2 entry on Wikipedia had a pretty good
summary of what is known about Critical Hits, written in a pretty
concise way. Since I figured I couldn't do it any better, I thought
I would share with you what Wikipedia had to say about Critical Hits
in TF2, edited for clarity:

"Critical hit shots are chosen based on a player's momentum on the
scoreboard, causing a player's rockets, bullets and grenades to become
visibly coloured blue or red - depending which team the player is on -
and to fire with an electrical charge sound.

It is important to note that the sound means that a shot is
critical, not [necessarily] a hit, so a player could miss a critical
hit if he misses the shot. Melee weapons can also be critical hits.

Critical hits can also be scored with a headshot as the Sniper class.
When you hit someone with a critical hit, a text icon appears over
their head."

So there you go! I don't think I could have put it any better. As soon
as more hard facts come out about the nature of Critical Hits, I'll be
sure to include them here.


########################################################################


OUTRODUCTION

Thanks again for reading this far. I'll be updating this guide
with as necessary over time, so as soon as classes and weapons
get changed, I'll definitely adjust the guide, so as not to lead any
new readers astray with outdated information.

That said, if you have read my guide and found any factual or
grammatical errors, or have any feedback for me, feel free to email me
at redspn88@yahoo.com. I can't promise that I'll respond, but if I
end up using your feedback or correction I'll certainly credit you in
my credits section.

DEDICATION

I was diagnosed with cancer in August and were it not for the friendly,
supportive, wildly efficient staff at the University of Michigan
Comprehensive Cancer Center I would not be writing this guide. What
more, as of Oct. 2007 I am officially cancer-free; all because of
these hard-working people.

I don't think that the doctors, nurses, interns and staff of such a
prestigious hosptial get much time off to play videogames, but they all
share the dedication of this FAQ. Thank you all.

THANKS

A rather trying summer was weathered only by the support of my loving
family, fiancee, friends and most importantly, faith in God. Thank
you all, my life is a blessing that I have not earned.


########################################################################


CREDITS

STEAMPOWERED.COM | http://www.steampowered.com
----------------------------------------------
Well, it's pretty hard not to know who these guys are, considering that
you have to go to their website to purchase this game (at least on PC).

The website didn't directly impact this FAQ (other than furnishing me
the game...) but it is the best source of content updates, and where
all of my patch Information comes from. The forums can also be an
interesting, if slightly flammable (get it? HA!) place to visit.

Thanks, Steam!


THE TF2 WIKI | http://tf2wiki.net
---------------------------------
I'd like to credit the fine folks who've been putting hard work into
the TF2 Wiki so far. It's already a great source of information that
you can't find in my guide, including different class taunts (they're
all hilarious) map strategies, approximate weapon damage per distance
and other tidbits like that.

I was very happy to find that this website had already tabulated all of
the ammunition and health totals for all of the classes, saving me a
good bit of work. If any part of my guide would be useful to them,
they are free to link to or quote this guide, preferably with
attribution. :)

Thanks guys!

CBW GAMING | http://www.cbwgaming.com
-------------------------------------
A fellow called Zonker Harris posted a review (apparently, a reposted
review from Perfect Enemy) that listed all of the metal cost
requirements for Engineer building, and this also saved me a bit of
research.

Thanks Zonker!

WIKIPEDIA | http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Team_Fortress_2
--------------------------------------------------------
This is the TF2 entry on Wikipedia, not to be confused with the
TF2 Wiki also credited in this FAQ. I found a pretty concise summary
of what the community knows about Critical Hits on this site, and
included it in my FAQ, for the benefit of all. Another excellent
resource for TF2 tips and info outside of this FAQ.

Thanks Wikipedia!


########################################################################
ATTENTION THIEVES/COPYRIGHT INFO
########################################################################

I own all the rights to this guide, so you need my permission before
reproducing any or all of it on your website/journal/magazine/forehead.

Or maybe you could go write your own guide instead. :p

~Fin

########################################################################
########################################################################
Copyright Jason Minich 2007
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