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How to not look like an idiot in Team Fortress 2: general tips

12:29 PM on 10.10.2007 // Anthony Burch


Welcome to the last entry in our "blah blah blah Team Fortress 2 blah" daily series. The Orange Box came out today, so if you can be arsed to read this, I shall be truly surprised.

Having tackled every class individually, it's time for some general tips which should helpfully answer such questions as,

-What's the best way to get myself healed?

-How can I encourage team cooperativity?

-Will I ever be loved for who I am?*

Hit the jump for some general tips and the completion of our epic, ten-days-in-the-making serial saga.



-Bind "taunt" to a different key

G is far too close to the other keys you need, especially if you're a Spy who needs to rely heavily on the "last disguise" key (B). I've never been more humiliated than when I stabbed an enemy Sniper on a 2fort battlement, then tried to go back to my old disguise, only to engage in a long and unexitable taunt, giving an incoming enemy Medic all the time he needed to kill me with his syringegun.

As of now, I have "taunt" bound to my P key.


-Be annoying

If you're playing with strangers, don't be afraid to nag them into switching to Medic, if your team really needs one. Team Fortress 2 is a team-oriented game, and if your fellow players are too stupid to realize that they aren't helping the team, don't hesitate to bitch at those idiots until they see it your way. If you're on your last control point and five of your six companions are still Snipers, there's no harm in yelling at them. Or, perhaps more preferrably, transferring to a different server with a higher intelligence quotient.


-Play with your friends

If you play with your friends, you probably won't have to be annoying; you'll heal each other as a matter of principle rather than as an obligation, you'll be far more likely to take suggestion, and your team will have a general cohesiveness that you just don't get when playing with strangers. I'm not saying everyone should start clans or anything, but you'll do a hell of a lot better if you're communicating with people close to you, who will listen to and respect your ideas.





-Building destruction and point capture are just as important as kills

Destroying structures and capturing points can help your team just as much, if not more, than killing one or two people, and they still net you points. Most multiplayer FPS games tend to prioritize one's ability to massacre others far above legitimate teamwork or strategizing, so it's understandable that many gamers might have a hard time giving "property destruction" and "murder" equal importance. Once you do, though, you'll be a much better asset to your team.


-I forgot to mention the Soldier's secondary weapons in his article

His shotgun is adequate if you run out of rocket ammo, but his melee weapon is not a bonesaw

by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, it isn't even close to a bonesaw

. It'll do the trick if you've literally got nothing else to use against your enemies, but the Soldier's shovel seems to be made of Play-Doh in comparison to some of the more effective melee weapons found in the game.


-Be ready to switch classes depending on the situation

Team Fortress 2 is a very dynamic game, focusing more on clashing strategies than twitch aiming and fast reflexes. As such, the landscape of a round can change multiple times as a game progresses. 

First, a team might just have one or two Engineers. Then their flag gets stolen. Now they've got four or five Engineers. With this in mind, you might want to consider switching to Spy; if you're a Sniper, you've now got significantly fewer people to shoot, and are therefore helping your team significantly less by just standing around and praying for someone to walk into your line of fire. Be fluid, and don't tie yourself down to one class, even if it's your favorite.


-A balanced team is a successful team

Generally speaking, no team ever needs five Snipers or six Spies. Generally. The classes in TF2 complement each other, so try not to have too many of the same class on one team at one time; you don't want your team to have one large weakness which can be exploited just because you're all short or long range fighters. Mix it up, baby -- get Medics, Heavies, Engineers, Demomen. Variety is the spice of etcetera, and all that. 


-The respawn room is your friend

It refills your health, ammo, and, if you're an Engineer, metal. Don't be afraid to spend the extra time necessary to run back to your respawn room and stock up again -- that is, unless your team is winning and you feel that the subsequent shortened respawn times make death a quicker solution to fully recharging yourself versus spending all the time it might take to run to the respawn point, and then run back to where yo uwere.

Oh, it also allows you to switch classes on the fly without dying or having to wait for a respawn time. This is goddamned invaluable if you suddenly find an Engineer sentry you need to take out, but you don't want to stay as a Spy for very long.


-During the 50 seconds of prep time in cp_well, don't stand so goddamn close to the doors before they open

From a certain angle, you can be shot at and killed. There's nothing more idiotic than getting shot to death before the round even starts.


-Get a headset

It's a hell of a lot quicker than voice commands or typing, and is by far the best method of communicating with your team. However, if you do all your communication through the headset, ignore the earlier "be annoying" suggestion; the absolute last thing you want is for people to mute you and not listen to your suggestions just because you were repeatedly yelling "SOMEONE GO MEDIC" at the top of your lungs.


-Play at least one full round as every character

Not only will it net you an achievement, but it'll get you used to the innerworkings of all the classes -- not just so you can utilize their strengths when needed and understand how to play as them, but also so you know how to defeat them. Playing as a character is a great way of learning about their weaknesses, as well as their strengths.


-Get to know the maps

This'll probably happen whether you actively practice at it or not, but try to memorize the different routes in each map, learning where enemies tend to be and how to best approach capture points. This strategy obviously isn't specific to TF2, but if you're someone who hasn't been in on the TF2 beta since it began, be warned; most of us have been playing for two or three weeks, and we know the initial six maps like the back of our hand. This puts you at an immediate disadvantage, so see to that.


-CVG has fifteen extra things you need to know

Original article hyah.

-Don't be afraid of trying new stuff

Including ignoring absolutely everything in this series. As more maps are released and more players discover the nuances of these classes, these strategies might become antiquated and require tweaking, or a complete overhaul. Do not be afraid to experiment; Team Fortress 2 is a very strategy-oriented team multiplayer game, and the ways the nine classes interact with each other can make for some very original, compelling battle strategies. Hell, coming up with your own methods is half the fun -- lawd knows that a majority of the tips left in the comments of my posts have often been more informative than the info found in the posts themselves.


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