PC Gaming Event Tips and Advice for Team Fortress 2
posted by Duke Juker on 31st July 2013, at 10:00am
Surprisingly in my tenure as a gaming writer, I have not put out a single strategy guide for any of the games I play. Likely, this is due to the fact that there are SO many strategy guides and wikis out there for virtually every game. But since we here at RSBandB have a weekly PC gaming event, I thought it might be helpful to share some of my knowledge and experience concerning some of the games in the rotation. So, without further ado, here are some tips and advice for the most popular game we play: Team Fortress 2.
Easiest Classes to Play
Each class can be mastered with enough play time, but for those just starting out or looking for a simple class to play as, there are three classes I recommend: the Heavy, the Engineer, and the Medic. Each one provides an important role to the rest of the team and can be very fun to play if learned properly.
The Heavy is very straightforward: keep your gun shooting or spinning. With the most health points (300) and the most ammunition (200) of any class, the Heavy is a tanking unit meant to take damage and dish it out at the same time. His mobility can be quite limited when operating his weapon, but it’s a fair trade off for the health and firepower he possesses. Like most classes, his main purpose is fighting and if that’s all a player is interested in doing, this is the perfect class for you.
The Engineer isn’t really just a defensive character, but offensive, defensive, and support all in one. The Engineer is arguably the most important class in Team Fortress 2. His buildings dictate the ebb and flow of his teammates play and movements. With the rightly positioned equipment, the Engineer can be a self-sufficient unit capable of holding his own when facing large numbers of enemies even when the rest of the team is down. His role cannot be underestimated.
The Medic is by far the easiest class to play. He has one purpose and one purpose alone: healing. Yet, for the valuable role he performs, the Medic is the most underplayed and underutilized class in the whole game. Sure, you won’t be fighting or killing much, but you will be healing and assisting which often times is much more needed than the former. It is very difficult to win a round without a Medic. In terms of play, he is faster than most units except the Scout making it easy to avoid getting shot and to escape from battle. As long as you remain behind your teammates, healing is as easy as pie.
Some Tips about Easy Classes
Now that you know what the easiest classes are to play, here are some tips for playing each of them effectively:
- When it comes to loadout, the stock Minigun is a good choice. If faster spin up time and stealth are desired, consider using a Tomislov. If facing a few Scouts, use Natascha to slow them down. For the secondary slot, equip the Sandvich. Not only will this enable you to heal yourself when there is no Medic or health packs around, but you can heal teammates for 150 health by dropping it. It is not likely you will ever need a shotgun as your secondary as long as you use your ammo wisely. In your melee slot, Gloves of Running Urgently are extremely useful. They provide an extra boost of speed when running to and from the battlefield. Just be aware you’ll take mini-crits when using them and a little while after you have changed to a different weapon.
- Ammo conservation is key with the Heavy. It’s easy to get caught up in the heat of battle firing the Minigun at every enemy you see, but you can go through a lot of bullets fast. It takes about 21 seconds to shoot 200 bullets without stopping. It’ll seem like forever, but be careful of how much you shoot. Running out of ammo on the Heavy leads to a quick death
- As mentioned, the Sandvich is useful for self-healing. If using the Sandvich, know that it takes about 5 seconds to eat it. Make sure you find a safe location or have teammates nearby to protect you before chowing down. Also, if you are at full health, but your Sandvich has not regenerated, you can pick up any size health pack to instantly recharge your Sandvich. This is especially helpful with small health packs that give hardly much health, but can refill your Sandvich which can grant you full health or a teammate 150 health.
- Loadout comes down to personal preference. For a primary weapon, I use the Pomson 6000. It doesn’t require ammo and it removes Medigun charge on Medics and cloak charge on Spies. The Frontier Justice is good when getting lots of kills on a sentry gun. For secondary, the Wrangler is useful for shooting enemies out of range. A pistol is fine as well for an alternative weapon to your primary. For melee, each wrench is different. The Jag is good for quick construction. The Eureka Effect doesn’t allow the user to move buildings once placed, but allows for teleport back to spawn. The Gunslinger is a whole different ballgame. The Gunslinger, rather than building a normal upgradeable sentry, builds a small mini-sentry. The mini-sentry only costs 100 metal as opposed to 130 for a normal sentry and builds much faster.
- The setup round is important for Engineers on both teams. As a defending Engineer, make sure you put down an entrance teleporter at spawn. Having a teleporter up as fast as possible will help bring teammates back to the front lines much quicker than walking. Be sure to use as much setup time as possible to get your buildings as close to fully upgraded as you can before the enemy arrives. For attackers, the same applies. Have a teleporter ready and fully upgraded for when you start to push. It may not seem like much, but having a teleporter just a little closer to the action will make all the difference and help with pushing.
- Spycheck, spycheck, spycheck! Yes, a Pyro should take care of this, but often times you will be left all by yourself to defend your buildings. Shoot every person who comes by. Make sure they aren’t a spy. Don’t be lazy and sit behind your sentry continually hitting it with your wrench. Stationary Engineers are easy targets; active ones are not.
- Loadout for the Medic is situational. The stock Medigun provides ÜberCharge which grants 8 seconds of invulnerability to both the Medic and his healing target. ÜberCharge is always helpful on offense or defense. The Kritzkrieg has a faster charge rate and grants critical damage to the Medic’s healing target for 8 seconds. For the primary weapon, I prefer the Blutsauger which gives the user 3 health for each hit, a good weapon when retreating. For melee, I use the Übersaw which gives 25% ÜberCharge on hit. If retaining ÜberCharge on death is important, the Vita-Saw is a good alternative.
- Stay behind your team. Let your teammates take damage while you heal them from behind. There is no reason to be out in front unless you are ÜberCharged and blocking damage for your teammates.
- When ÜberCharged and facing a sentry, run out in front of your target. The sentry will focus on you rather than your healing target, allowing them to get closer to attack and do more damage
- Heal all your teammates, not just a single target. When in the heat of battle, focus on your primary target, but be mindful when other teammates need a heal and oblige them. By keeping all your teammates health up, you will greatly increase their survivability and stymie any enemy push.
- Defend your healing target from Spies. Spies will often time get behind you and will go for a quick kill on both a Medic and their healing target. Often times, your healing target would be cautious which means you have to be. While healing, keep moving and looking around for Spies. If one approaches, stop healing your target and kill the Spy. Once dead, get back to healing your target quickly.
If you see an essential class that isn’t being played such as Medic or Engineer, switch to it. These classes play a vital role in winning any round. If you aren’t good at them, learn them. They don’t take long to master and your teammates will be grateful to have you even if they don’t admit it. Likewise, if you see a class being overplayed such as Sniper or Spy, pick a different class. No team has ever won (on offense or defense) with half the team consisting of Snipers and/or Spies. It doesn’t happen. Pick a different class.
Spychecking isn’t just a Pyro’s job. It’s everyone’s responsibility. Be mindful of suspicious looking characters. Check every single person who goes by you. The easiest way to do this is to walk straight into the person. If they pass through you, they are not a spy. If they block you, they are a Spy. Be mindful of Spies using Dead Ringers. If a spy dies quickly after one shot, chances are they are using a Dead Ringer. Stay in the area, listening for the loud noise a Dead Ringer makes on decloack, and kill the spy quickly. Dead Ringers are only effective when no one makes sure the Spy is dead.
When a Medic ÜberCharges a teammate, push forward. An ÜberCharge can quickly turn the tide of the round and present the opportunity to win. This is the best time to push forward. When ÜberCharged, kill Pyros and sentries first. Pyros can air blast you, knocking you out of range of your Medic and making your ÜberCharge ineffective. Sentries will continue to shoot and cause damage to you once ÜberCharge ends or your teammates if they are pushing with you. Once these are gone, kill all other enemies around you as fast as possible.
That’s it for my tips and advice on playing Team Fortress 2. If you want to be really good, you need to play a lot and practice. Learn the ins and outs of every class, their strengths and weaknesses, and become familiar with the maps, especially the locations of metal and health packs. It’s knowing the little things that makes all the difference in whether you win or lose.
For those interested in the weekly PC Gaming event, here is a link to the forum thread.
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