Community Mann vs. Machine strategy
This article details strategy for the Mann vs. Machine game mode.
- 1 General Strategy
- 2 Class-specific strategy
- 3 Counter Robot Strategy
- 4 Scout Robots
- 5 Giant Scout Robots
- 6 Soldier Robots
- 7 Giant Soldier Robots
- 8 Pyro Robots
- 9 Giant Pyro Robots
- 10 Demoman Robots
- 11 Giant Demoman Robots
- 12 Heavy Robot
- 13 Giant Heavy Robots
- 14 Engineer Robots
- 15 Medic Bots
- 16 Giant Medic Robots
- 17 Sniper Bots
- 18 Spy Robots
- 19 Sentry Buster
- 20 Tank
- Teamwork is more vital than ever. Make sure to communicate at all times.
- The robots don't drop ammo, so take note of ammo placements and consider getting Engineers to place Dispensers at choke points. Slain players still drop their weapons, however, so if your teammate is unfortunate enough to die, grab their ammo if you need any. You may also refill your weapons with ammo in the form of destroyed Engineer buildings, most commonly if a Sentry Buster has just detonated beside them.
- Robots rarely, if ever, jump. Maps are designed so most places can be reached without jumping. If you need to evade pursuing robots, look for something to jump on or over.
- If there are Spies on the field, you can also quickly show teammates that you are not a disguised enemy Spy by hopping.
- Tanks do not harm players, so feel free to get as close as you want when trying to destroy one. Be careful when attacking a tank in a confined space however, because a turning tank may crush players against walls and kill them instantly.
- Try to collect all the money the robots leave behind. The Administrator gives the players a bonus $100 if the team collects it all, and more money means more upgrades.
- If there is a Spy robot and a Tank on the field at the same time, you can evade the Spy by standing on the Tank.
- Spy robots often reveal their location by chuckling, even when disguised. Listen carefully for them when you can't afford to look around the field.
- Before entering your first wave of the mission, consider your class and its weapons carefully. Once that money is invested into the class and the wave is won, you cannot get a refund on previous upgrades. This makes team composition even more vital as you'll have less power if you switch classes in the middle of the mission. Agree on which classes and weapons everyone should have before starting.
- If your team keeps failing at a wave, upgrade different things before the wave begins, e.g. if a Tank always deploys its bomb before you can destroy it, invest in Critical Hit Boost Canteens. If that still doesn't work, ask your team if you want to restart the mission.
- Über Medic Robots always spawn with a full ÜberCharge meter and will use it if they even take the slightest bit of damage. Either make them waste their ÜberCharge early before they reach your ally's choke point or destroy them with a single blow.
- Before each wave, before the robots are released, there will be floating holographic arrows that show the path the bomb robot will take. Use these to plan a defense. Engineers should especially take heed of these arrows to set up more effective Sentry Guns, and Demomen should leave their sticky traps where the robots will go. Most of the team should focus firepower there and locate chokepoints so you can easily pin down enemies.
- Remember that these arrows disappear when the robots appear, and that the arrow locations change between waves. If your team fails to defend against a wave, the path may change, too. Before a wave, if a teleporter isn't present to take you to the front lines, consider following the path for practice.
- Enemies may stray from the path to chase down a player, so try to kill them before they take another route to the base.
- If the robot carrying the bomb is moved off this path and then killed, the robots will go for the bomb and then take the shortest route to the hatch. Keep this in mind.
- Robots cannot attack or be harmed until they touch the field, so Demomen and Soldiers have time to leave explosives in the enemies' path.
- Don't be too eager. If you blast robots too early, you'll only scatter them, making them more difficult to destroy, and the money will scatter and be harder to collect.
- Bomb carriers taunt to receive their buff, and robots surrounding them stop to wait so they can travel together. Robots may also taunt after killing a player, even while being attacked. Use this time to destroy the robots.
- Try not to find yourself on an open area when the Sniper Robots arrive; you will only make yourself an easy target for their shots.
- Sometimes upgrading your resistance can be more important than upgrading your equipment. In some cases it gives you a higher chance of survival.
- Try to make your team's class composition balanced. Having 2 or more of the same class is usually pointless.
- If there are 2 or more players playing as the same class on the team, try to maximize their role together. (2 Heavies on defense, 2 Scouts collecting all credits, 2 Demomen for Quick traps, etc).
- At the end of a wave, instead of running back to the upgrade station, switch classes and switch back for a fast way to come back to upgrade station between waves.
- Classes that have low Primary weapon ammo clip (Soldier, Demoman, etc) might want to invest in an Ammo/Clip Refill upgrade.
- Due to the defensive nature of this mode, the Scout is at a disadvantage, with low health and short-range weaponry. To counter this, he's given a wider money gathering radius, gets health from gathering money, and respawns much quicker than the other classes.
- Scouts should always be aware of the positions and amounts of cash around them. In some cases, it is wiser to charge enemies head on to collect a large sum of cash behind them, supplying you with more than enough health to either deal with the foes or flee.
- The Scout's short respawn time means he's allowed to take risks. Even if it means getting killed, Scouts should rush to collect the money close to expiring.
- Consider upgrading resistances and move speed and focusing on collecting all of the money drops. Cash collection becomes a breeze, cash drops will keep you full to the brim with health which, coupled with your resistances will make you very tough and enemies will waste much of their firepower aiming at you. In a pinch you can outrun anything that's too big for you.
- Consider also upgrading your jump height, the full upgrade is quite cheap and will allow you to get up onto the higher decks and out of pits without wasting time using the stairs. This will improve your money grabbing ability.
- A Scout investing on multiple resistance upgrades along with the health boost of cash drops can prove to be a great distraction tool, allowing allies, even Spies, to get more free hits.
- The Scout gets more mileage from the jump height upgrade thanks to his Double Jump. Consider investing a point into upgrading jump height, which makes reaching higher ground or jumping away from swarming robots easier.
- The Scout's role is not restricted to money gathering; with piercing upgrades his primary weapons can take out whole crowds of enemies at close range. Each of the Scout's primary weapons has its uses: the Scattergun and Baby Face's Blaster has the bigger clip, the Force-A-Nature has knockback, the Soda Popper allows you to jump multiple times, and the Shortstop allows you to do damage from a safer distance.
- Once upgraded, a hit from the Sandman's ball marks a robot for death like the Fan of War, meaning the robot will take mini-crits from your friends' weapons. Both the Sandman and the Wrap Assassin can also be upgraded so that more balls can be hit, meaning more targets being affected. Keep in mind, however, that the Sandman reduces the Scout's health to 110, making him able to take less hits before dying.
- The upgrade also affects melee attacks from the Sandman itself. It can be used if you run out of balls to throw.
- The Fan O'War can be very effective if you manage to mark a Giant robot for Death, since a very large amount of firepower is needed to destroy them.
- Mad Milk is a great assisting tool, as anyone who hits a doused robot gets a health boost, and upgraded Mad Milk slows down wet robots, making them easier to hit. It can also be used to help root out Spy bots.
- Using Bonk! Atomic Punch can allow you to serve as a distraction for giant bots, as well as grab credits without fear of being blasted to oblivion.
- ÜberCharge Canteens can work in a similar way, providing invulnerability to collect cash in dangerous areas. However, you can still attack while ÜberCharged, allowing you to mark dangerous targets with the Fan O'War or blast them with your primary weapon a few times at point blank range.
- As a Scout, you are usually the only one that can catch up to Scout Robots early in the mission. Since early waves tend to have copious amount of Scout Robots, be alert if any of them are carrying the bomb and are close to the hatch.
- If you are near a tank when it is destroyed, you can collect a good deal of the money dropped for an incredible health boost.
- A good Scout knows when to collect money and when to give support to their allies. Prioritize your objectives quickly before it's too late!
- Despite not being listed, Scouts can use Buyback. Use Buybacks on desperate situations.
A loadout for a more offensive-support Scout in Mann vs. Machine mode. The Force-A-Nature can be crucial for moments when the bomb-carrier is close to a bottomless pit in Coal Town or when it is about to take the bomb into the hatch. Alternatively, on maps with more cover and opportunities to flank the robots (Mannworks and Bigrock), the Scattergun can be useful for strong surprise attacks. Mad Milk should be upgraded to slow robots, as that not only makes fighting giants easier but also gives support to your team that could not been done nearly as efficiently. The Sandman not only stuns robots, but can mark them for death if given the right upgrade. Using both Mad Milk and the Sandman on a giant or Sentry Buster immediately makes it easier for your team finish them off. Upgrades should primarily focus on increasing your offensive potential, such as large clip size, reloading speeds, damage bonus, and firing rate for your primary. Maximum recharge rate for Mad Milk and Sandman is also recommended.
This set-up for Scout focuses on safely collecting credits dropped by robots and distracting larger robots. The blaster can allow Scout to move at blazing speeds, picking up cash with minimal chance of it disappearing, while also letting the Scout attack from a safe distance. Bonk! Atomic Punch not only guarantees safety while picking up the cash, but also provides the Scout with the ability to distract things like Deflector Heavies and Giant Pyros, giving teammates a chance to strike from an effective range. The Bat is recommended due to how it provides no health or vulnerability drawbacks, further enhancing the Scout's survivability if collecting money outside of Bonk!'s effect. Recommended upgrades involve increasing the Scout's resistances and/or health regen, due to how Scout's role will be to stay alive while leaping straight into crowds of robots if need be.
This loadout emphasizes hit-and-run tactics. The Scattergun is stronger on Mannworks, where flanking an opponent is easier, whereas the Soda Popper is superior if you have better accuracy or have fewer opportunities to harass your opponents. The Soda Popper also has the advantage of giving you mini-crits for a short duration when it triggers, allowing you to safely harass opponents from further away. The Pretty Boy's Pocket Pistol gives you more health at the cost of a slightly weaker secondary weapon and fire vulnerability (which you can cancel with buying some fire resistance), so you can afford to take higher risks when harassing your opponents (as long as they're not Pyros, anyway). The Atomizer's third jump gives you the ability to make a quick escape or change your jump vector if you need to dodge. Suggested upgrades are increased ammo capacity and reload speed (for the Scattergun), piercing shots, health on kill, and resistances (particularly fire resistance).
This loadout focus is on building your speed with the Baby Face's Blaster, so that you can run in and tag the higher-priority robots with the Fan O'War. Piercing and damage upgrades for the Baby Face and Pretty Boy's Pocket Pistol are a high-priority, as these will allow you to build your boost faster, and the Pocket Pistols no-fall-damage ability may come in handy when running into the fray off of walkways and such. Alternatively, you can use the Mad Milk to further assist your team by marking large areas of robots with it, however this puts more emphasis on upgrading the Baby Face's performance.
- If you have the Buff Banner equipped and your Rage meter is full, fall back to a Dispenser or ammo pack while reloading. Once you've loaded up, use the Buff Banner to boost yourself and your teammates.
- Be aware that Sentry Guns will only deal mini-crits if the Engineer is under the radius.
- Be aware that Giant Deflector Heavies can destroy your rockets, and worse, Giant Pyros can airblast them. Consider using a secondary weapon against them, or fire the rockets at the ground when those enemies are facing you.
- Since your rockets may take a while to reach the enemy, remember to fire towards where they're going to go rather than where they are.
- Soldiers are great investors for the Blast Resistance upgrade. It allows the player to rocket jump more without fear of losing any large amount of health.
- The Rocket Launchers have a wide variety of upgrades available which makes them expensive to fully upgrade. Invest in fast reload before upgrading clip size as rockets are loaded one by one.
- The Beggar's Bazooka in particular becomes a devastating weapon because the miss chance is a non-issue -- you're always going to hit something. Max out clip size and reload speed and you might stop an entire wave by yourself. During earlier waves when you don't have the money, stay by ammo kits, preferably large kits, to keep your supply replenished.
- With clip size, reload speed and firing speed maxed out, you can fire up to 15 crit rockets from a single Critical Hit Boost canteen if timed correctly.
- The Half-Zatoichi already fully heals on a kill, so adding a heal on kill upgrade means free overheal. It isn't recommended to use the sword regularly due to the honorbound mechanic, but since no robots use one, it's relatively risk-free for a one on one fight against stragglers. Destroying a tank with the sword does not grant a health boost.
- An upgraded Righteous Bison can easily take down swarms of enemies. Investing in faster reload and firing speed can allow a Soldier to be able to take down large groups of robots by himself.
- Consider the Cow Mangler 5000 as your primary weapon for this mode. The Cow Mangler's infinite ammo and extra clip are sure to be helpful in taking out large groups of robots without needing to worry about your ammo. Note, however, that the charged shot will still use up all of your clip even if you've purchased clip upgrades, you also cannot be crit boosted, with one exception being the Buff Banner.
- The Air Strike's ability to increase its clip size through damage can allow for upgrade money to be invested elsewhere but the Soldier must Rocket Jump to gain the full advantages of this weapon. Keep a tab on medics and Dispensers to recover your slowly dwindling health.
- Soldiers, along with Pyros and Stickybomb Launcher/Scottish Resistance Demomen, are effective at defending the spawn point if the team is pushed back, since they can quickly fire at robots about to deploy the bomb without needing to aim well.
- Avoid getting too close to groups of robots. You are at a disadvantage in close combat, and can be quite easily picked off if your allies are not nearby.
For the Soldier who wants to keep his team on the offensive. The Rocket Launcher's high splash damage is great against crowds and builds up the Banner's meter faster. These are recommended above the other primaries, as they both have the largest splash damage and clip size, two extremely important aspects of taking out crowds with the Soldier. The upgraded banner enables Mini-Crits for the whole team, including Sentry Guns, making it a great damage boost. The Equalizer acts as a last ditch attack in the absence of a Shotgun. Alternatively, the Escape Plan can help you retreat from enemy fire, allowing you to restock on health and ammo and keeping the team on its offensive momentum. After upgrading the Buff Banner, focus upgrading your primary to fill it out quicker. Firing speed, projectile speed, and reloading speed upgrades help you to do the largest possible barrage of rockets. Alternatively, you can focus on rocket damage and projectile speed upgrades first to make sure each rocket is launched at its full potential. Übercharge canteens are recommended above others, as your damage input and Buff Banner helps you to make a great push while under its effects. Alternatively, a Critical Hit Boost canteen can let you shower crockets onto the enemy, which is enough to kill any regular non-Heavy robot in a single hit.
The Tank Buster Soldier, appropriately named in a tanking role, can make a good support role in Mann vs. Machine. The Black Box, given how it will often hit multiple targets, is a great way to keep consistent health during the waves, which helps the Soldier sponge hits to build up his secondary. Battalion's Backup can protect you from 35% damage and crits, while Concheror gives you and your team heal back for your damage. Either of which pair well with your ability to recover lots of health simply from firing into a crowd, letting you tank lots of hits and help your team hold off the robot menace. Disciplinary Action is additional support to your teammates, letting you and a teammate quickly make it back to the front lines, as well as assisting in gathering money before it disappears. Upgrades should focus on resistances and clip size, which maximizes your potential in taking damage, recovering it quickly, and giving a defensive buff to your whole team, proving that the best offense can be a good defense. Critical Hit Boost canteens give you more a offensive presence, clearing out crowds quickly. ÜberCharge isn't recommended, as it stops you from taking damage, acting counterproductive in a set deliberately made for taking lots of damage.
Essentially a 'rocket spam' loadout, this will allow you to fire multitudes of rockets at the incoming robot hordes, and will very quickly build up the Buff Banner. When you run out of ammo, run to the nearest ammo crate, and on your way back to your firing position let loose with the Buff Banner, and then open up with the Beggars once again. Rinse and repeat ad nauseam. Focus on upgrading reload speed, ammo capacity, clip size, and eventually movement speed, especially if you choose to forego the Escape Plan. Though this loadout can eventually become incredibly powerful, it will likely take several waves worth of credits to build up momentum, and is dependent on your knowledge of where ammo crates are positioned around the map.
|or or Buff Banner or Battalion's Backup or Concheror||or||
A loadout for Soldiers facing large mobs of Giants or Tanks. You will be able to hit slow moving Giants reliably with the fast rockets and deal substantial damage over a short period of time. Upgrade firing speed and reload time to keep up your rates of damage. Your choice of banner depends on your team composition. The Buff Banner can enable the rest of your team to keep up defensive momentum, while the Battalion's Backup or Concherer can keep your team in the fight much longer.
The Soldier can save the most cash with this loadout, and there are several distinct advantages for the Cow Mangler 5000 as an all purpose general damage dealing Soldier. Firstly, Pyro Robots do not know that the Mangler blasts are actually rockets, and do not know how to reflect them. Thus, they will not. This takes one of the weaknesses the Soldier ordinarily suffers under normal circumstances away. The second advantage, which is the most important feature, is that it is has unlimited ammo, thus a Mangler Soldier can position himself around ammo boxes without fear of taking, for example, a Demoman's source of ammunition refill and act as a helper/guard. This also means the Soldier will save money, as there's no ability to purchase ammo capacity. During early game waves, the secondary fire comes in handy for igniting bots in a radius as well as mini-critting, and scoring additional rage for the Buff Banner. However, once clip size is invested, it should not be relied upon. One optimal route for upgrading the mangler would be to focus on the following in order: Reload speed, firing speed, damage (with points going into health on kill when there's not enough cash), clip size (again, dumping any remaining below $400 into health on kill), and then finally maximizing health on kill. The Buff Banner duration as well as the Soldier's resistances should be focused on after the mangler is sufficiently upgraded. There are only a few down sides: The Soldier cannot crit under any circumstance, and the projectile speed cannot be increased. For canteens, don't bother wasting them on crits. Instead, Übercharge canteen should be purchased.
- The Pyro's airblast's versatility drastically increases in this game mode.
- The airblast is one of the few ways to deal with ÜberCharged giants and can be upgraded to make separating a Medic and patient quicker.
- The airblast can also push bomb carriers away from the bomb hole.
- The airblast can lift Giant Scouts and Sentry Busters, allowing the player to continuously blast them in one place for easier elimination.
- A Pyro with upgraded airblast can single-handedly delay bomb carriers on some maps while the rest of the team focuses on killing a tank.
- Whether dressed in fine suits or plate metal, Spies are flammable all the same. If the Administrator alerts the team to the presence of Spies, start Spy checking.
- Upgrading the regular Flare Gun to give it an increased rate of fire allows you to stack up critical hits on burning targets from a safe distance. Consider using this against giants and situations where it can be risky to get in close. Upgrading the Scorch Shot in a similar manner can also allow you to knock back targets and keep them from retrieving the bomb. Keep in mind that tanks do not catch fire, however. The Detonator sacrifices critical hits on burning targets, but you can ignite multiple robots at once.
- Using a Übercharge canteen and your Axtinguisher can allow you to stand up to giants and take them down in short order. Equip the Degreaser to hasten your weapon switch.
- Because of the Pyro's tendency to get close and personal to deal damage, a Return to Base Canteen allows the class to have a quick escape and even chasing power.
- A crit-boosted Pyro can be a reliable and continuous source of damage against Tanks, due to the Flamethrower's high damage rate. Using a Critical Hit Boost canteen or pairing with a Kritzkrieg-wielding Medic, a Pyro can deal very significant damage to a Tank.
- Although the Phlogistinator sacrifices support options, investing in some resistance upgrades and health-per-kill upgrades, combined with well-timed use of the health refill, can allow a Pyro to take on more of a tank role. Along with a Critical Hit Boost or Übercharge canteen, you can even take out giants and any Medic bots attached to them single-handedly. Just keep an eye on your ammo reserves, and don't be afraid to invest in some ammo upgrades if you feel you need it.
- The Phlogistinator can increase your Mmmph meter from attacking the tank. This means you have critical hits on the tank the majority of the time. On most maps, a Pyro can even defeat the tank by themselves with damage upgrades.
- Robots always suffer the duration of an afterburn as their Pyro teammates do not airblast them. A hit-and-run strategy combined with burn damage/time upgrades suits the Pyro well.
- The Backburner's guaranteed critical hits from behind mean that you can take on an ambushing support role, quickly cleaning up the remains of a robot mob in coordination with a Sentry or Heavy/Medic combo, or softening up an incoming wave to be dispatched by your allies.
- The Third Degree is invaluable when dealing with Giant Heavies and their retinues of Quick-Fix Medics. Use an ÜberCharge canteen to close the distance, then attack the Medics with your weapon to remove the giant's source of healing. Once you hit them with your axe, the giant's attention will be on you, so you may want to have more than one ÜberCharge to assure your safety.
- If you are able to sneak in, a crit boosted attack from the Third Degree will eliminate all the Medic Bots in one shot. Consider this strategy if you lack a convenient way to dispatch a group of Über Medics healing a giant.
- Make use of the corner to ambush a group or a giant Robot.
For missions heavy with Medic Robot support, especially those that send several medics with one Giant Robot, the Third Degree can make quick work of an otherwise tough situation. Light up the giant robot first, then just a few swings with the Third Degree will liquefy all the medics before they have a chance to Über. Just be sure to have a Medic yourself or a Übercharge canteen so you can survive going toe-to-toe with a Giant Robot. The normal Flame Thrower is advisable since it has no penalties to Airblast or afterburn damage. The Reserve Shooter with a fire rate upgrade can be used to get a nice burst of damage after airblasting the giant robot. Since you'll be pumping a bunch of money into defense anyway, it becomes preferable over the safer Flare Gun option.
This weapon combination for Pyro is capable of crowd control and handling any robot save Giant Pyros, Sentry Busters, and Tanks completely by yourself. Phlogistinator is the main weapon of the set, due to how easy it is to build 'Mmmph'. Flare Gun is recommended over other secondaries due to how it has higher damage output on giants than any other of the Pyro's secondaries, in addition to building Mmmph at a safe distance. Back Scratcher gives Pyro a boost to medkit pick-ups, complimenting this Pyro's lone wolf playstyle and letting any Medics worry about less people to heal. Übercharge canteens are essential to the set, as a lone Über + Crit Pyro combo is a force to be reckoned with. Use them after the end of Phlogistinator's taunt or if you're about to die during it. Upgrades can vary, but should focus on increasing your overall efficiency during the Mmmph's effect. Maximum reloading speed for the Flare Gun is recommended, as it builds Mmmph quickly and reliably deals heavy damage on giants.
This set is for an Axtinguisher Pyro. Upgrade the Flare Gun's and Degreaser's burn time to deal crits without having to continuously re-ignite the robots. The Degreaser's faster weapon switching makes dealing crits faster and easier. The Detonator and the Scorch Shot allow you to ignite multiple enemies at once, so you can quickly take down a group of robots. They also help you to hit the robots easily if you aren't good with Flare Guns. The Axtinguisher is very powerful, doing major damage to any robots that are on fire. This is crucial for when a robot is about to drop the bomb and you need an immediate push to stop it, working very well on giants as well with your fast weapon switch and potential firing rate upgrades. You can further upgrade the your Axtinguisher attack speed, allowing you to deal heavy damage. Aprroch the robot ranks form behind to get full critical damage.
- The robots follow preset paths, so Sticky Bomb carpets are more effective than in normal gameplay. Upgrade for maximum effectiveness.
- The Scottish Resistance is also a very viable weapon to keep. Its ability to have more traps active in a single time, while being able to detonate off small packs rather than the whole allows the player to cover more ground and lane paths. Additionally, it is cheaper to fully upgrade than the stock launcher, and its downsides are largely irrelevant due to the predictable nature of robot movement.
- The Critical Hit Boost Canteen can be used to make fatal sticky traps for giants and chip a chunk of health off of tanks.
- If you plan on Demoknighting, consider using the Chargin' Targe, as it has higher resistances than the Splendid Screen, and you'll rarely be using the charge ability unless it's to get out of a jam. Having the maximum amount of heads with an Eyelander, maxing your movement speed upgrades, or a combination of the two, can allow you to circle strafe most giants and avoid their devastating attacks while you hack their legs to pieces.
- Tanks are easy targets for your Grenade Launcher because of how big they are. You can also lay large groups of stickies on their predictable path to take a huge chunk of their health off.
- If you're good at aiming, try using the Loch-n-Load - it does an extra 20% damage, has faster projectiles, and has the same splash damage radius. Beware of the low clip size, though - it might be a good idea to upgrade either clip size, reload speed, or both.
- While not as effective damage-wise, the Loose Cannon's knockback on a direct hit is almost as strong as a fully upgrade airblast. The Loose Cannon can be used as a sidearm for dealing with Über Medic and even for resetting the bomb.
- The Demoman's melee weapons can be upgraded to grant up to four seconds of full crits on a melee kill. Combine an Eyelander, Nessie's Nine Iron, or Horseless Headless Horsemann's Headtaker with an Übercharge canteen and go on a robot head-hunting spree!
- If possible, between each waves, request a Kritzkrieg Medic to allow you to plant critical Sticky Bomb carpets before the next wave starts, but only if it is a dedicated Medic. Any medics that switch away after a kritz charge will cause the Demoman's stickies under the boost of a Kritzkrieg to disappear, but not rolled criticals. ÜberCharge rates are significantly boosted during this time. Time the charge and your fire rate, reload rate, and clip size so all of the stickybombs you lay will be critical. If your team doesn't have a Kritz Medic, you may want to buy a Critical Hit Boost canteen or two.
- As noted above in the Soldier strategy, the Half-Zatoichi's health on kill bonus stacks, and with the Demoman's shields and semi-unique critical on melee kill bonus, it can be devastating against hordes of bots.
- As with the Soldier, invest in faster reload speed and firing speed so you fire more projectiles in a shorter period of time.
- Unless you are a demoknight, avoid getting too close to groups of robots. You are at a disadvantage in close combat, and can be quite easily picked off if your allies are not nearby.
- Even the Heavy cannot survive the combined fire of larger waves of robots. The Heavy needs resistance and health-on-kill upgrades or a Medic with upgraded heal rate to take on a tank role. Otherwise, wait around corners and use Critical Hit Boost or Übercharge canteens to prevent being overrun.
- This is also a better investment since the Minigun is more expensive to upgrade than most other weapons. This is offset by the high and sustained damage it inflicts by default.
- Unique to the Heavy is the unlockable ability to knock enemy projectiles out of the sky with his primary weapon. Use this to counter Soldiers and Demomen (Particularly the Giant Rapid-Fire versions of them, and especially Charged Soldiers, as their missiles travel slower and are thus easier to destroy).
- Also unique to the Heavy is the Rage upgrade, which builds when you damage robots. Save the Rage for tougher robots like Heavy specials or Giant Robots (especially Giant Scouts), where they're easier to hit and more valuable to knock back. Don't use the Rage on Tanks since they can't be knocked back.
- Penetrating primary fire makes an excellent upgrade against swarms of robots as your bullets can hit more of them at once, increasing your damage potential and less robots to deal with.
- Watch out for Sniper bots! You're easy pickings for them if you stay in an open area for too long.
- Watch your back when Spies appear. Don't be afraid to give any approaching ally a quick burst or punch, just to be safe.
- Your Sandvich is just as valuable in Mann vs. Machine as in regular gameplay. Use it to keep you in the fray when under fire, or throw it to a fellow teammate that has taken damage.
- The Brass Beast can be useful for situations that require high damage, such as waves with tanks or giant robots. Consider maxing out your Movement Speed to counter the Brass Beast's lower mobility while deployed.
- Natascha can slow down the horde, making it easier for you and your teammates to mop up the robots. In addition, Sentry Busters and Super Scouts will be slowed to a crawl with sustained Natascha fire, allowing for the team to take it out safely, or at the very least buying the Engineer(s) time to get away.
- While the Tomislav can allow you to react quicker when swarmed by bots and keep you mobile, the lower firing rate will only hamper your stopping power, especially when faced with giants and tanks.
- If a tank is going to enter the field, consider grabbing a Critical Hit Boost canteen from the Upgrade Station. Combine it with your Minigun's continuous firing ability to effectively deal damage to the tank.
- The Huo-Long Heater is excellent at close-up crowd control. Use its ring of fire to mow down robots crowded around the bomb. Its main drawback is its high ammo consumption; upgrade it with increased ammo capacity and use an Ammo/Clip Refill canteen to offset this. If you need to maintain range, stay near a Dispenser.
- Critboosts last for a set time, upgrade your firing speed to make the most of the time you are boosted.
- The Holiday Punch should be avoided in Mann vs. Machine, as robots are immune to being forced to laugh. Use another melee weapon that gives you more utility.
- Before the wave begins, all your buildings cost no metal, build instantly, and automatically upgrade to level 3 upon placement. Use this to your advantage.
- Ammo and metal are harder to come by in this mode because robots don't drop their weapons when destroyed. This makes Dispensers extremely important, especially for ammo-chewing classes like Heavy and Pyro. Before each round begins, be sure you have a Dispenser set up where everyone can reach it quickly (including you, in case it gets sapped) but not in such obvious sight that the robots target it.
- Sentry Guns will rebuild at an instant when hauling it to another location. This is a good strategy when the bomb carrier has breached your team's defenses or when taking down a tank.
- Sentry Guns are vital for controlling chokepoints and dealing large amounts damage to giants and the tank, but they attract Sentry Busters. Keep an eye out at all times.
- Generally, the places that contain ammo boxes are ideal to build Sentry Guns.
- The Building Upgrade Canteen can be vital, allowing you to immediately get your Sentry back in to the fight at maximum power after it's destroyed.
- If a Sentry Buster gets too close, grab your Sentry Gun before it explodes, but be careful as it can destroy other buildings near its blast radius and can kill you if you are near it when it explodes.
- If a Sentry Buster targets your Sentry Gun and you pick it up before the robot activates, the Sentry Buster will chase you instead, arming when it gets near you. This is another tactic you can use to save your Sentry Gun, and it will count for the achievement Real Steal. During a lull, you may also lead the Sentry Buster to your teammates, who can finish it off. (Be careful, though, this is also a great way to blow them all up!)
- If you want to easily survive a detonation from a Sentry Buster, buy an Übercharge Canteen and stand next to your Sentry Gun. Deploy the Canteen's buff when the Sentry Buster crouches, and you and your Sentry will be safe from harm for five seconds. To keep your nest intact, you can also use the above tactic to lead the Sentry Buster away from your other buildings, or pick up a second building to shield it.
- More Engineers on a team means more Sentry Busters per wave. Sometimes more than one Sentry Buster will appear at once, so be prepared for them.
- Use a Teleporter to cut the travel time between base and the front lines. It may make the difference between safety and Payload delivery. Investing in the two-way teleporter upgrade also makes it much easier for the Engineer to get out of a Sentry Buster's range, since you can teleport back to the entrance before it gets to you.
- If a single tank is coming and you haven't upgraded to a two-way Teleporter yet, consider building your Teleporter backwards (exit at the base), then haul the Sentry Gun when the tank passes you by.
- Do not build your Teleporter exit next to your Sentry Gun and Dispenser, so if a Sentry Buster arrives on the field, it'll be one fewer building to worry about getting destroyed. Also, if there is a player being transferred, it will also prevent the death of the player when there is a Sentry Buster exploding.
- It is also possible to use the Teleporter as a makeshift elevator, to allow teammates to get to higher ground without taking a detour or wading trough the robot wave. Place the entrance where allies are likely to take cover, and place the exit at a good vantage point that is not easily accessible otherwise.
- To create convenience and efficiency for your teammates, place your Teleporter facing the entrance or near chokepoints. Make sure the field of view is large and never place a Teleporter facing a wall.
- Placing a Sentry at a choke point or on certain corners is a great way to block Super Scouts. There are several places on each map where this can be done. Learn them and use them.
- Sometimes it can be helpful to build your Sentry Gun near an edge. Not only does it give you height advantage and protection, but the edge will also serve as an escape route from Sentry Busters, as their explosion will not affect targets on lower ground.
- Be especially careful where to place your Buildings on waves with Soldiers and Snipers as more difficult hordes love to pick off Buildings from across the map. Use the walls and your environment to prevent them from being seen.
- Consider using your Wrangler if you have one. The increased firing speed and defense buff can be extremely powerful in the right situations, such as against giants and tanks. If you learn to use the Wrangler skillfully, the increased damage will compensate for the loss of aimbot against all robots except hordes of Scouts. In addition to the statistical buffs bestowed by the Wrangler, you should be able to prioritize targets better than the Sentry AI. Just be sure not to get tunnel vision!
- The Wrangler is a great tool for taking out Sniper bots.
- Use your Frontier Justice to rack up revenge crits very quickly from your Sentry Gun. Close-range crit-boosted shots from the Frontier Justice will deal 180 damage. Multiple shots can chip away at a tank or giant robot's health.
- Using the Destruction PDA on your Sentry Gun will still give you revenge crits for the Frontier Justice. Doing this between waves is smart because you can instantly rebuild your Sentry Gun to level 3 after you destroy it.
- In the hands of a decent shot, a Widowmaker can keep you filled with metal. So long as you produce more damage than you consume metal in the shot, you come out ahead, and even the odd bad shot can be made up with a good hit next shot. And it never needs reloading. Maxing out your maximum metal and investing in a pierce shot upgrade can provide you with a near unlimited amount of ammunition if your aim is sharp, and the fire rate upgrades (while optional if you have spare money near the final waves) will allow you to recover metal much quicker. Take note that the Tanks do not provide metal when shot (despite still taking damage), so don't waste your metal that could be used on your buildings.
- The Rescue Ranger can be used as a long range sidearm or to save a Sentry Gun in a pinch, either if you're unable to directly pick up your Sentry Gun on time or to strategically get to a safe area and pick up your Sentry Gun to repair it. The Mark on Death can be a problem, however, especially if you and your Sentry Gun are being swarmed.
- The Pomson 6000 can be used to assist your team with taking out medics and Spy bots. When it hits a Medic, it will decrease the amount of ÜberCharge it has, giving your team more time to take it out. When used against Spies, it will help decrease the amount of time they can recloak, helping your team to kill them faster.
- Buying an additional Sentry Gun will let you place a disposable Mini Sentry Gun so you can spread more damage with both Sentry Guns.
- Find places with some protections near the robot passages to build the disposable Sentry Guns. Such as a corner of a building, a narrow path on the side.
- It would be better to face the Mini Sentry Gun towards the robots' attack direction since it will create damages from their back and it takes time for them to shoot back.
- When the additional Sentry Gun is destroyed, any kills it has gotten also get added as revenge crits for the Frontier Justice.
- Use Building Upgrade canteens to rebuild quickly if your buildings have been destroyed during a wave.
- The Pistol by default has a large ammo reserve so it can have its fire rate upgraded without needing to invest in ammo reserve upgrades early on.
- Investing on Wrench attack speed and increased total metal upgrades gives the Engineer a higher chance of keeping his Sentry alive when it takes heavy fire or is being sapped. Also, you will build your buildings faster since you wave faster and do not need to find additional metals.
- Faster classes know how to circle-strafe. Your Sentry Gun is not safe if you leave it among a group of robots.
- Eureka Effect can be used to escape from critical situations or to fast teleport to spawn to buy upgrades and power-ups if there are no threats around. However, beware its halved repair speed, which makes it very difficult to keep your sentry alive under sustained fire.
A standard Engineer loadout, and possibly one of the most important loadouts in any Mann vs. Machine team. Your primary depends on your personal tastes. The Shotgun is reliable and doesn't rely on any factors besides its own ammo, while the Frontier Justice can potentially turn you into a glass cannon should you lose a sentry to a Sentry Buster. With the latter, you can destroy your Sentry after a wave to collect the many revenge crits it has likely built up. Pomson 6000 doesn't require ammo, though its use fluctuates depending on what it's being fired at. The Wrangler is a very powerful tool, as it lets you kill Snipers from afar, handles crowds and giants at a safer distance, and provides additional fire-power against Tanks. Be aware that you cannot move your Sentry while it is being wrangled, meaning if a Sentry Buster exploding your nest is imminent, then switch weapons before it's too late. Your Wrench and its variants are the Engineer's best melee weapon, as it doesn't have the drawback of fire vulnerability, which Pyros will take advantage of, and allows you to move your buildings, a trait essential with Sentry Busters running about. The Jag can be used instead, though it offers less melee potential against Spy-bots.
Canteens should focus on instant building upgrades, as they are cheap and vital to maintaining your team's defense should your sentry break. Upgrades can go exclusively into strengthening your Sentry Gun, though faster firing speed for your melee is also extremely helpful, as it lets your Sentry take more DPS during the enemy's pushes. If you have any credits left over near the end of a mission, upgrading movement speed or your primary weapon are good choices.
This layout sacrifices the Engineer's raw sentry power for survivability and personal firepower. The advantage of not attracting Sentry Busters is a niche only possible with the Gunslinger, as Mini Sentry Guns do less damage yet rebuild cheaply and quickly. A second Mini sentry can be built with an upgrade, letting you deal damage near constantly at chokepoints between you and your two Sentry Guns. The Widowmaker, when paired with Metal upgrades, can be a constant stream of Shotgun blasts. Piercing upgrades with the Pistol, while not going to match the power of your Widowmaker, give you a chance to regain metal and release back-to-back shots, all without letting up on the pressure. Your canteen doesn't really matter, due to how ammo refill isn't really necessary while ÜberCharge is too expensive for you to effectively make use of it. Kritzcharge canteens can help in a pinch as crit shots from the Widowmaker recover more metal. Upgrades on your metal capacity and firing speeds will work best with this layout, due to how you'll want to make up for your Sentry Gun's firepower by providing instant barrages of shots from your Sentry Guns and Widowmaker.
The Rescue Ranger forfeits most of the Engineer's personal firepower, placing the emphasis on keeping your Sentry in operation. It enables you to repair the Sentry at a distance by shooting at it and, at a cost of 130 metal, you can retrieve it from a distance. Retreat to a safe distance when sentry busters appear and when it is ready to explode, fire and warp it out of danger. This can also be used to quickly redeploy ahead of robots and get the drop on them, especially in combination with sentry jumping. Invest in Metal upgrades early to offset the high cost of ranged sentry retrieval. Be aware that with the Rescue Ranger equipped, you are marked for death while carrying any building, so this set can be risky in situations where there is little cover. The Eureka Effect can be used to teleport to the Telporter Exit or back to spawn for additional mobility allowing for the Engineer to warp out of danger and then take their sentry with them. Use the Rescue Ranger's repairing shots to compensate for the slower repair speed of the Eureka Effect.
- All classes can use ÜberCharges and Kritz Boosts without a Medic but the Medic's charges last three seconds longer and cost no money, allowing both the Medic and the patient to invest the hard earned cash into upgrades
- Medics have two powers unique to Mann vs Machine: revival and energy shields. Revive fallen teammates to keep your defenses from falling back and use the shield to cover teammates from heavy fire and hurt robots that come too close.
- To make the most use out of your canteen-sharing upgrade, use the Medi Gun with the opposite power, i.e. use the stock Medi Gun with the Kritz Canteen, and use the Kritzkrieg with the Übercharge Canteen.
- Adding to the above, using the Kritzkrieg with a ÜberCharge Canteen may be better for your funds and time than a Medi Gun and Kritz Canteen. The Kritzkrieg builds Über faster than the Medi Gun and an ÜberCharge Canteen costs less to buy than a critical hit Canteen.
- The Vaccinator accommodates a Medic fighting in the front lines very well. Its fast ÜberCharge rate and number of charges means you can utilize it frequently. Be aware of what robots are coming out and switch resistances accordingly.
- Watch out for Spy and Sniper bots! You're a high priority target, so always be aware of your surroundings, and stay near your teammates for support.
- A good Medic should also have good resistance. Try to upgrade your resistance in order to increase your chance of survival, more survival means more time to heal your allies in front.
- Though a faster healing rate always sounds good, remember that a target at maximum health will give less to the ÜberCharge meter. Try pairing the Healing Mastery upgrade with the ÜberCharge Rate upgrade to offset this.
- All classes can purchase health regain upgrades, but the upgrade stacks with the Medic's natural health regain. Use it to shrug off lesser damage and to retreat and recover in more serious situations.
- If there is a non-Demoknight Demoman in your team, use the Kritzkrieg so you can help him lay critical stickybombs on the field before each wave. It's a better choice than Kritz Canteens because the increased charge rate means you can deploy an Über more than once if needed, and it costs no credits.
- Equip the Ubersaw if you feel you'll need to deploy a ÜberCharge often. It's easiest to use it on small robots about to deploy the bomb.
- Take advantage of Sentry Busters and other robots that are safe to Ubersaw. Mannhattan and Rottenburg have especially high numbers of these, so you should have full charge almost constantly (The Movement Speed upgrade helps you to catch Sentry Busters).
- To help increase the effectiveness and longevity of your teammates, consider investing in Overheal Expert upgrades. They're relatively cheap, and can boost your teammates health far above normal. Fully upgraded, a Heavy will end up with 750 health.
- With upgrades to ÜberCharge rate, you can charge extremely quickly due to constantly trying to fill the large amount of overheal. With upgrades to heal rate, you can keep your team at maximum overheal easily in the middle of firefights, especially if they have a few resistances.
- Your role is to eliminate high-profile targets including Medic Robots, Engineer Robots and Giant Robots roughly in that order of priority. Although halting the bomb's progress is critical, your ability to deal tremendous single-shot damage at range means that you should almost always prioritize these targets first.
- Investing in piercing shots or using the Machina can allow you to take out multiple targets. This can come in handy when confronted with a Giant Heavy surrounded by Medic bots. In general, the Machina can almost be considered a straight upgrade over the Sniper Rifle in Mann vs. Machine because of its improved damage, built-in penetration, and the fact that you're not terribly concerned about tracers giving away your position.
- The Hitman's Heatmaker when paired with the reload speed and explosive headshot upgrades allows you to fire exceptionally fast without breaking sights, meaning you can headshot giant robots as much as twice a second. Gaining and maintaining the Heatmaker's Focus is made easy since there's so many targets to kill.
- Use Jarate to help teammates take out large groups of Robots or Giants quickly. Upgraded Jarate slows them down, making them easier targets. This is especially useful against Super Scouts.
- Explosive Headshot is exceptionally useful for taking on multiple robots, especially at choke points. Aim for the head of the slowest robot in a cluster, such as a giant or the bomb carrier. However, be careful when targeting groups of Über Medics. Lethal charged body shots are preferable to explosive headshots in this situation, since the explosion may deal nonlethal damage to nearby Medics and trigger Übercharge deployment.
- If you are not confident in your headshot skills, upgrade primary weapon damage and charge speed before waves with Über Medics such that you can deal at least 150 damage with a fully charged body shot. This will ensure that the Medics will go down without the chance to deploy ÜberCharges. Even if you are good at scoring headshots, it may be difficult to get Medics' heads in view quickly enough due to their tendency to stay behind their giant partners. Being able to one-shot them in the wheel or arm could mean the difference between facing an ÜberCharged giant or not.
- Giants move at half the speed of regular Robots (except for Giant Scouts), making their enormous heads inviting targets, but they won't be an instantly killed like regular ones. Consider Reload Speed upgrades to get more hits on them more quickly.
- Spy bots will often hunt you down first before going after other targets. If you're in a spot by yourself, keep an eye out for them when their presence is announced, and consider hanging around your teammates until the coast is clear. Alternatively, the Razorback can be equipped during rounds with Spies; it has no upgrades so it costs no credits to use at maximum effectiveness. Spy robots will try to backstab you even if you have a Razorback, so you can equip one to draw Spies near, wait for the telltale shock sound, then turn around and deal with them. Just remember to watch your back afterward as there's no quick way to restock the Razorback once it's used up.
- The Huntsman can be modified to give bleed on hitting a target, but not explosive headshot. This makes it great for giant robots and tighter areas, but not for much else. More than one point may not feel necessary for this upgrade, as the smaller bots die quickly and you can reapply the bleed with repeated shots on giants.
- Consider upgrading the reload speed on your Sniper Rifle. Not only does it decrease the delay between shots marginally, it's also significantly improves the efficiency of Critical Hit Boost canteens. With damage upgrades, even unscoped shots deal heavy single-target damage.
- A few points of Jump Height upgrade can get you to some interesting perches where Spy bots can't reach you.
- The Spy takes a more versatile role in the game mode, from money gathering to eliminating large targets.
- Robots are always fooled by a disguised Spy, even when you sap them, sap their teammates beside them or bump into them. Unless you are on fire or disguise in front of them, robots will not suspect you.
- A Spy investing in multiple resistances allows the player to stay in the front lines longer.
- Use your disguise to pick up money that is too dangerous for your teammates to retrieve.
- Whichever disguise you decide to use is largely irrelevant, as far as fooling robots is concerned. However, disguising as a Scout allows you to fully utilize the Movement Speed upgrade. Never disguise as Heavy or another slow class.
- Keep a mental note of where the two pushes are fighting at all times. Even with a disguise on, you may end up getting caught in the crossfire.
- Be careful around Pyro robots. You might be accidentally hit by their flames, and once alight, any robot can identify you.
- Consider having a Canteen with Return to Base equipped to escape quickly if spotted.
- The Dead Ringer is useful as after fake death is triggered the robots will be completely fooled. Retreat and disguise while invisible. Note that robot Heavies will continue to fire at you for a short time after you feign death, and the defensive buff while cloaked is important in keeping you alive.
- Unique to Mann vs. Machine, the Spy's Sapper can be placed to disable robots. Unlike conventional gameplay, there's a meter that must be left to fill before a Sapper can be used again.
- Using an ammo refilling canteen resets the Sapper cooldown.
- Upgraded Sappers can disable robots in a radius and slow down giant robots to make them easier to destroy. Use this to slow Sentry Busters to a crawl, counter a Giant Scout's exceptional ability to carry bombs around the battlefield, cut off a Giant's healing sources from several Medic Robots, and stab large groups of robots that are separated from the pack in safety.
- When sapped, non-giant robots can be backstabbed from any angle.
- Sometimes there will be occasions where you won't have time to backstab sapped robots. In this case, simply sap and retreat to safety, and let your teammates take out the sapped robots.
- The Ambassador is great to use in this mode, as bots travel in predictable paths, and giants especially are slow, easy targets with large hitboxes, ripe for headshots. If a situation is too dangerous to get in close, try sniping your target(s) from a distance.
- Storing up crits on the Diamondback can allow it to serve the same function as the Ambassador as well as deal a decent amount of damage to Tank Robots.
- An upgraded knife can do major damage to giants. Wait behind where they enter the map and stab them as soon as their invincibility wears off. Save your Sapper for regular robots and Engineer buildings.
- Any knife with maximum Armor Penetration and Stabbing Speed upgrades will destroy any giant robot from full health in 5 backstabs or fewer, except for Giant Heavies (which take 6) and boss robots.
- Be quick to hide or pull out the Dead Ringer as the giant will immediately try to target you if the stab doesn't kill them. If you can quickly hide behind terrain and re-disguise, this is preferable to wasting your Dead Ringer charge on an attack that would only do a small amount of damage to you.
- Giants are slower to turn around when backstabbed if they are shooting at your team. (Giant Medics will not turn around if they are healing a patient). Ask a teammate to distract giants for you, and you might land several backstabs in a row on a giant with maximum swing speed. Combining this with armor penetration upgrades allows the Spy to do massive amounts of damage to a giant.
- Consider purchasing the +25 Health on Kill Upgrades for your Knife, meaning each of your backstabs will grant you a health boost, giving you a chance to soak up hits before escaping.
- Robots are likely to detect nearby backstabs, albeit with a small delay. Upgrading your knife's attack speed allows you to backstab more robots, and even land one or two more backstabs to a giant robot, before being discovered.
- Tanks cannot be backstabbed or sapped, so focus on the bots and let the rest of the team deal with it, or if things get desperate, drop cover and unload your Revolver into them.
- Heavy Gauntlets take reduced damage from ranged attacks, and they can soak up multiple melee strikes before going down. A Spy can eliminate one with a single backstab.
- You're usually in the best position to take out Medic bots when they come on the field. Sap them to cut off their healing to their patient, then plant your knife into their circuitry before they can recover.
- Be careful if you're cutting off healing sources of a Giant. Even when disabled by a Sapper, they will still notice a backstab has happened nearby and will immediately target you.
- Keep in mind that sapping a Mecha-Engineer's sentry or teleporter activates your Sapper's cooldown. When forced to choose, the teleporter should take priority.
- The Red-Tape Recorder functions exactly the same as the default Sapper against robots. Against Engineer buildings it can reduce the threat of Sentry Guns by taking them down a level before the Engineer can respond but leave the buildings alive long enough for the Engineer to save them from destruction. Choose according to your playstyle.
- The Diamondback allows for skilled Spies to build up a considerable number of critical hits from backstabs.
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This set is very safe, allowing you to stay alive constantly. The Dead Ringer is the preferred Invisibility Watch, as you will be on the front lines quite often, and the robots will likely focus on you if they realize you are a Spy. The Big Earner is the preferred knife, as it will give you a way to refill your Cloak quicker, as the robots do not drop weapons you could use to refill your Cloak, and robots are always initially fooled by your disguise (even if they bump into you), so you will not have to worry about Spy checking as long as they do not see you disguise. These factors can make the health reduction of the Big Earner negligible, especially with quick use of the Dead Ringer.
Your Revolver choice is largely optional, because the damage output of the Revolver is negligible in this mode. In fact, it may be wise to change revolvers between waves depending on the situation should you choose not to upgrade them. The stock Revolver is generally the most useful, having solid firing speed and the ability to get random crits. The Ambassador should be considered if you're confident in your aim, as well as the robots moving in predictable paths. When using the Diamondback, it is important to remember that robots are not buildings, so stabbing them, not sapping them, will give you crits. The Enforcer will allow you to do slightly more damage than the stock Revolver without having to worry about headshots or killstreaks.
With this set, you will not have constant access to your Dead Ringer. However, the health boosts of the Kunai allow you to get more stabs in before having to Cloak, eliminate the need for health-on-kill upgrades, and prevent robots from 'powering through' the Dead Ringer's damage resistance. Without the Big Earner, L'Etranger is the preferred Revolver, letting you refill your Cloak in a pinch.
Counter Robot Strategy
- Before each wave, the robots that are set to appear will be listed in the HUD above.
- Identify what symbols belong to which robot and plan accordingly.
- The Sentry Buster is never listed to spawn. It will only appear if an Engineer is active and effective.
- Support robots are not required to kill to finish the wave.
- The bomb path is always indicated during the set-up. Set up along the path for the maximum effectiveness.
- During the wave, if the bomb carrier is forced off the path enough, bomb bots will take the long way around in an attempt to get back on the designated path. The bomb carrier gets stronger the longer they hold the bomb. Watch the indicator to know what buffs are active for the bomb.
- Giant Robots are the exception to this, the indicator will always be full when they pick up the bomb.
- When a Robot is deploying a bomb, it spins its waist 180 degrees and jumps in. At this point, it is impossible to knockback.
- Scout Robots move the fastest of all standard robots and travel in swarms making them the most effective bomb carriers. Counter Scout rushes by killing them all as quickly as possible before one slips by with the bomb.
- A Pyro tends to be the most efficient at dealing with packs of these - afterburn damage alone will kill them.
- Sentry Guns are also an effective anti-Scout measure. Be aware that large enough swarms and Sentry AI can result in a few Scouts slipping past.
- Typical Scout Robots either spawn with the stock Bat or the Scattergun and can't switch. Use this to your advantage when facing them directly.
- Most Scout Robots do suffer a slow down once they pick up the bomb.
- Force-A-Nature Scouts are like the normal Scouts, but instead always have the Force-A-Nature equipped, making them capable of knocking players away easily. They are easy to identify, due to their Bolt Boy and their Fed-Fightin' Fedora.
- These rarer versions of the Scout robot come equipped with the Shortstop, and are slightly larger than normal Scout robots. They can also run faster than normal Scouts with the bomb and have increased health.
- With their increased speed and increased health, they can reach the bomb hatch quickly without being dealt with quickly.
- Bonk Scouts will drink Bonk! Atomic Punch once they spawn and every sequential opportunity.
- Watch for Bonk Scouts especially if you're a Demoman. If you know a wave of Bonk Scouts are approaching, don't waste your sticky carpet on them.
- Be careful when using explosives against Bonk Scouts. Worst case scenario, the knockback causes the bomb-carrying Bonk Scout to reach the hatch faster.
- Equipped with the Sandman, these Scouts can leave careless players stunned and vulnerable not only to the Scout's melee attack but potentially to other stronger robots. A quick Pyro can airblast their balls back at them for a taste of their own medicine.
- Minor Leaguers may be weak, but because they spawn in groups, this can result in a barrage of baseballs being hurled and stunning multiple players.
- These variants are nearly identical to Minor League Scouts, the only difference being that Hyper Leagues recharge their baseballs much faster. These Scouts can constantly stun you until it or another robot kills the player.
- Their icon is the same as the Minor League Scout, so be prepared to fight either versions.
- These variants can be easily distinguished from Minor League Scouts by their Hanger-On Hoods and their notable jumping ability. They jump very high whenever they hit a baseball, and doing so, they can dodge enemy attacks and stun players. This can make it hard for players to hit them as they come in large numbers.
- Sentry Guns are the best ways to kill these robots, as their Sandmans do very little to Sentry Guns.
Giant Scout Robots
- Bodyblock Super Scouts by placing a Sentry or standing on the bomb carrier trail.
- Do not allow Super Scouts to grab the bomb, as they run faster than a normal Scout and suffer no slowdown once they pick up the bomb.
- Super Scouts are restricted to using their melee The Holy Mackerel and possess very little health compared to other Giant Robots. Use Slowdown or Knockback based weapons to make quick work of them.
- When possible, prevent the Super Scout from picking up the bomb by having another robot carry it. Keep the bomb carrier alive until the Super Scouts are dealt with.
- Like their smaller variants, Giant Bonk Scouts will drink Bonk! Atomic Punch once they spawn and every sequential opportunity.
- Their Bonk! Atomic Punch recharges much faster, so players must do as much damage as possible before they drink another Bonk.
- If teams aren't prepared for Giant Scouts, then these will most likely deploy the bomb.
- A Giant version of the Minor League Scout, the Major Leaguers use their baseballs more frequently with dangerous accuracy.
- Major League Scouts have very little slowdown once they pick up the bomb. Use Slowdown or Knockback weapons to prevent them from pushing the bomb too far.
- This variant of the Giant Scout is essentially a giant version of the Hyper League Scout, with decreased speed. It will almost always use its Sandman ball if there is someone in range, and as such has a high potential to stun-lock a player if given the chance.
- It should be treated with caution, as with the other Sandman-wielding Giant Scouts.
- The Giant Jumping Sandman Scout is even more dangerous than its smaller counterpart, combining the ability to jump higher than normal with a faster ball recharge rate, significantly higher damage and ability to move twice as fast.
- They can instantly kill a player who doesn't have crit resistance and can easily jump to higher areas to dodge enemy fire, so they should be treated with huge caution.
- Force-A-Nature Super Scouts are just enlarged versions of the Force-A-Nature Scout. However, due to their larger size, health and movement speed, they should be treated with great caution.
- They have much more knockback power than the normal Force-A-Nature Scouts, easily knocking players back to pass by them.
- Their Force-A-Natures also has more bullets per shot, it's more accurate, and gets reloaded faster. However, it has a -65% damage penalty.
- Soldier Robots will spawn anywhere between groups of 2 to 8. This usually results in a barrage of rockets, aimed for the closest or most dangerous target. This makes a Soldier group a dangerous threat to all team members.
- Their projectiles can be destroyed or redirected with the proper abilities. Take advantage of this when playing the proper class.
- These Soldiers spawn with a Buff Banner, Battalion's Backup or Concheror ready for deployment.
- Having buffs that last up to 90 seconds long, these Soldiers can keep other robots buffed for most of their trip across the map. Identify which Soldier is buffing the robots and eliminate it.
- Groups of Extended Buff Soldiers aren't uncommon, and can be very hard to defeat if not prepared.
- These Soldiers will fire 3 rockets at once that heal 60 HP each.
- If all 3 rockets hit, the Soldier will recover 180 HP. With a slightly faster reload speed, these Soldiers should be taken down before they can fire their clip.
- Rockets fired by Blast Soldiers can send players flying across the room, making it difficult to hit the robot horde.
- Blast Soldiers only have 2 rockets in a clip that don't do much damage, but fire both at once.
- Fall damage can be an issue if their rockets don't kill the player, as they will send you flying until you hit a wall or the skybox.
Giant Soldier Robots
- A larger version of the Soldier, it doesn't possess any abilities like other giants aside from a large amount of health.
- Same as Extended Buff Soldiers carrying the Buff Banner, Battalion's Backup, or Concheror. They have more health than them, but are slower.
- A Giant Soldier that will fire rockets continuously, at a faster rate than regular Giant Soldiers.
- They will only pause for a second to fully reload, and basically have an infinite clip size because of this.
- Giant Burst Fire Soldiers combine rapid-fire rockets with massive crit damage. Unlike the Giant Charged Soldiers, their projectiles speeds are unchanged.
- Giant Burst Fire Soldiers take a while to reload. Use this opportunity to deal as much damage to them before retreating to safety.
- If their rocket launchers are fully loaded, have one "bait" maintain a distance. They won't switch targets until their initial target is dead.
- These menacing giants have 30 rockets in their clip, more damage, much faster reload and firing speed, and regenerate 40 HP per second.
- They send a slow-moving wall of rockets are players, which can be very hard to avoid in cases. However, they don't fire until fully reloaded.
- Getting out of the wall of rockets, and waiting until they must reload is key to defeating these giants.
- Providing little to no rage and not moving vertically from airblasts, these guys will only be stopped in place by bodyblocking.
- Giant Charged Soldier rockets can kill most classes in a single hit, but move at half the speed of a regular rocket. Keep as much distance between you and the projectile as possible, or destroy/redirect the projectile if you can.
- Like it's smaller counterpart, it will fire 3 rockets at once. However, each rocket heals 1000 HP to the Giant Black Box Soldier.
- Without a Medic's Projectile Shield, a Heavy with the deflect projectile upgrade, or a Pyro's Airblast, these robots can carry the bomb all the way to the hatch.
- The Soldier's Black Box isn't a big issue, as it does less damage, has a slower reload time, and slightly slower projectile speed. The only issue is the Soldier healing itself with it.
- These Soldiers are an upgraded version of the Blast Soldiers, having more rockets in their clip, much faster firing and reload speed than the regular Liberty Launcher, and a larger blast radius. However, both versions have rockets that send the player flying across the room.
- Sergeant Crits is the "final boss" of the mission Broken Parts.
- Sergeant Crits behaves similarly to Giant Burst Fire Soldiers. However, they take a lot of constant firepower to bring down.
- Have one class serve as distraction using Übercharge canteens, while the other classes deal damage using Critical Hit Boost canteens.
- Basically a Colonel Barrage or a Major Crits (Type 2) with 60,000 HP.
- It regenerates 250 HP per second instead of 40, which can be difficult to counter if not putting out enough damage.
- Very similar to a Giant Blast Soldier, but with 60,000 HP and no damage penalty.
- Pyro Robots are very dangerous to Spies. If a Pyro robot lights up a Spy, every robot will be immediately aware of who and where the Spy is and will target them.
- Much like regular Pyros, the Robot versions are immune to afterburn effects.
- These robots will use their Flare Guns to hit players outside of flamethrower range, but don't use flamethrowers.
- They can be difficult at long range, but they have a hard time at close range.
Giant Pyro Robots
- Giant Pyros are extremely lethal at close range with their flamethrower.
- Although their smaller counterparts can airblast, the Giant Robot airblasts at most every opportunity it can. Be wary when fighting him with rockets or grenades.
- Flare Pyros launch the Detonator with deadly accuracy. Huddling in large groups can result in multiple players being set ablaze.
- The Detonator will Mini-Crit against you if you are on fire. Take note of this when you are facing one.
- Although not so fast as a Giant Super Scout or Major League, it's speed should not be underestimated.
- Demoman robots can launch a volley of grenades at a target. Combined with the fact they spawn in groups make Demomen Robots a dangerous threat to sentry nests and clusters of players.
- These Demoman have only have their clip size, but have a much faster firing speed than the default Grenade Launcher.
- A player can be killed in a blink of an eye if they don't have blast and/or crit resistance.
- Equipped with a Chargin' Targe and an Eyelander or the One Thousand and One Demoknights, Demoknights can charge and have improved blast and fire resistance, but do not possess the Eyelander's health penalty and gain the +25 health with the Ali Baba's Wee Booties.
- Upon getting a kill, Demoknights will gain 3 seconds of Crits. Keep your distance to prevent them from gaining this ability to use against your allies.
- Because they are not Giant Bots, Demoknights may taunt after getting a kill, negating their Crit buff.
- The Samurai Demo is similar to the Demoknight, with an exception that it possesses a Half-Zatoichi and a Splendid Screen.
- They have 650 HP, 6x recharge time, +2 seconds charge time, and 230% jump height, so they can go around the map very quickly.
- With a Half-Zatoichi that does +130% more damage, they will do 150 damage on hit. This can make it very easy to heal itself if it gets a kill.
Giant Demoman Robots
- Rapid Fire Demomen hurl grenades quickly and accurately, making them a very dangerous threat.
- Although it is unlisted, Rapid Fire Demomen can spawn with slightly more health or a faster firing rate.
- Its stats are the same as its smaller counterparts and the Giant Rapid Fire Demoman, but its clip size is increased to 8 grenades instead of the normal 4.
- Giant Demoknights can be dangerous, with larger melee range, higher health, resistances and the ability to gain Crits upon a kill. Stick to ranged combat when facing them.
- Major Bomber is the "final boss" of the mission Disintegration.
- Major Bomber is a beefed-up version of the standard Giant Demoman with crits and a massive, regenerating health pool.
- Have one class serve as distraction using ÜberCharge canteens, while the other classes deal damage using Critical Hit Boost canteens.
- Minigun-wielding Heavies are extremely lethal at close range. They can also deal damage quickly due their ability to attack in a group. This makes fighting a Heavy group extremely dangerous the closer one is to them.
- Like Normal Heavies, they possess the most health of all non-giant robot classes, with one variant possessing even more health.
- Deflector Heavies also carry Miniguns like regular Heavy Robots, but have the added benefit of being able to shoot down incoming projectiles.
- You can tell the difference between a regular Heavy and a Deflector Heavy by the Deflector Heavy's U-clank-a and green tracer firing effect.
- Shotgun Heavies appear in groups, and can be a hassle for players.
- They have a much faster reload speed and more pellets per shot, but do less damage and very slow firing speed.
- Heavy Weight Champs come in two flavors, Killing Gloves of Boxing Heavies and Gloves of Running Urgently Heavies.
- G.R.U. Heavies always take Mini-Crits, but run faster, at near 100% speed.
- K.G.B. Heavies receive crits for 5 seconds among a kill. Because they attack in groups, its best to fight these Heavies from a distance as to not make them a bigger threat.
- Much like Demoknights, they also have the tendency to taunt after getting a kill, wasting their Crit buff.
- Heavy weight champs always spawn in groups, with their only distinctive feature between them being the gloves.
- Steel Gauntlets posses the most health of all non-giant and special variants. They also possess a resistance to all ranged attacks because of their Fists of Steel. However, they are restricted to melee only.
- Although they possess a weakness to melee weapons, they spawn in groups, allowing them to swarm anyone who gets close. Take care when getting close, attacking only when there are a few around.
- Steel Gauntlets holding the bomb are extremely dangerous. With health regeneration and reduced damage, they are near invincible. It's best to face bomb carrying gauntlets with other players.
- Steel Gauntlets are very similar to Steel Gauntlets, but do more damage and deals knockback when they hit players.
- Steel Gauntlet Pushers can knock players into a corner and trap them. With their damage bonus, they can take out players even quicker than regular Steel Gauntlets.
- These Heavies are unique among the Heavy Class Robots possessing many unique features.
- Heavy Mittens run as fast as normal classes.
- Heavy Mittens always Crit, but are equipped with the Holiday Punch. They deal no damage but leave the player vulnerable while they laugh.
- Heavy Mittens possess the Least amount of health of all Robots. A single Shotgun blast (assuming all pellets hit) can usually dispatch them.
- Anyone is vulnerable to other robots while they are laughing. Keep distance between you and the Heavy Mittens.
- Because they deal no damage and are always restricted to melee, a Single Heavy Mitten can keep a player pinned laughing until he is killed. Keep this in mind and communicate when you are "pinned" by one.
- Heavy Mittens have the ability to spawn in other areas much like Spies. Watch your back when Heavy Mittens are listed on the Wave HUD.
Giant Heavy Robots
- An extremely lethal version of the Heavy with an extreme amount of health, this robot requires a lot of coordination to take down.
- The Minigun takes some time to wind up, but once spinning, the Giant Heavy will keep it spinning until it's aggressor is dead or out of range. Keep this in mind when attempting "hit and run" tactics.
- In addition to having the large health and lethality of a Giant Heavy, Deflector Heavies can shoot down projectiles like Flares, Rockets, and Grenades. Try to attack where it is not facing when using projectile based weapons.
- Three versions, one with 70,000 HP, one with 5,500 HP, and one with 5,000 HP.
- Similar to Giant Deflector Heavies, but recover 5000 HP on kill.
- They have a smaller damage bonus than Giant Deflector Heavies, so they are slightly easier to kill.
- Great caution should be taken with these Giants. Don't get to close to it, use a Medic's Projectile Shield, and focus all of your power on it.
- Functionaly identical to the regular Giant Heavy but creates a ring of fire around itself making approach difficult and also has unlimited sight range. Spies should only backstab when it's Huo-Long Heater isn't spun up.
- Like its smaller counterpart, it has much faster reload speed, less damage, and much slower firing speed.
- These robots fire with a ton of pellets and can kill a player in one hit.
- They can also shoot down projectiles like Giant Deflector Heavies.
- Extra caution should be taken with these giants. Using a Medic's Projectile Shield can make facing these giants much easier.
- Captain Punch is the "final boss" of the mission Bone Shaker.
- Captain Punch is essentially a Tank with fists. Its massive, regenerating health and ranged damage resistance means it can take a serious amount of punishment.
- Despite its melee vulnerability, using melee is a very risky strategy. One punch can kill any class, even with maxed resistances.
- Engineer bots can deploy a teleporter, which serve as spawn points for other incoming robots, as well as a Sentry Gun to defend it.
- The Teleporters they construct act as a spawn point for support bots who give no money when killed but can still carry the bomb. Take the teleporter out at all costs.
- The teleporter that is very close to players' general area is very dangerous; Robots are invincible the first few seconds after teleporting in.
- Sometimes the Sentry Gun can deny a non-Spy from retrieving money in an open area. Let your team know if a Sentry Gun is preventing you from collecting money.
- Spies are obviously effective against Engineer Bots. However, sapping a building will put the Sapper on cooldown and will not sap other robots or buildings nearby. Spies will have to attack the other building if he wants to take down both the Engineer Bot's Sentry Gun and Teleporter by himself.
- The best way to handle Engineers as a Spy involves backstabbing the Engineer, and immediately pulling out the Dead Ringer right afterwards. The sentry will shoot the Spy and trigger the Cloak. The Spy should then reactivate his disguise and decloak immediately afterwards. Robots will not detect the decloaking. Move over towards the teleporter and then place the Sapper upon it first. They are a much bigger threat than the Sentry Guns they deploy because of the invulnerability they are granted upon spawning.
- Engineer Teleporters are especially a huge threat towards player Engineers, as brand new sentry busters will ALWAYS come out from the Teleporters.
- Medic Bots are always to considered large threats for their ability to heal and potentially Über.
- When pushed away from their target or their patient dies, Medic bots can attack using a Syringe Gun or Bonesaw to defend themselves.
- Although they can heal any robot, Medic bots tend to "pocket" Giant Robots if they are available.
- This brand of Medic cannot Über, but has a faster heal rate. In combination that these medics usually spawn in groups of 3 to 8 on the same heal target, its best to take them out before focusing on their patient.
- Über Medics are very dangerous because they can build ÜberCharges quickly and deploy them liberally. Target these medics with powerful weapons.
- Unlike in Multiplayer, Übered Targets can still pick up the bomb, gaining their effects and even deploying the bomb while invulnerable. Use Knockback to protect the hatch.
- Über Medics that are healing the same target can, and often times do, deploy multiple ÜberCharges at the same time. Take advantage of this if one has already deployed an Über.
- Über Medics have the tendency to deploy their ÜberCharge after taking a slight amount of damage. Classes capable of one-hit kills such as the Spy or the Demoman are excellent counters.
- If you lack a convenient way to kill Über Medics, try to use pushback from explosives or airblast to separate the Über Medic from his target.
Giant Medic Robots
- Due to their insanely fast heal rate, attacking the Medic's pocket is pointless. Giant Medics need to be taken out first.
- Giant Medics spawn with full charge, which they will deploy when their health or the health of their patient gets too low, instantly healing both back to full health and making them virtually invulnerable for a few seconds.
- This a different type of Giant Medic with the Surgeon's Stahlhelm and can't Übercharge. However, they recover 40 HP per second. If left not killed, these versions can restore a lot of HP if let to do so.
- There are a number ways ways to avoid Giant Medics deploying their ÜberCharges.
- Killing them with large bursts of damage. Headshots, backstabs, and sticky traps are the most effective. A full 14 critical Scottish Resistance stickies can destroy both a Medic and their patient from full health in one detonation.
- Shooting them from point-blank range with fully-upgraded firing speed as Heavy (taking advantage of damage ramp-up).
- Draining their charge with the Pomson.
- Some players prefer to use the Heavy's rage to separate the Medic from its patient, allowing the team to finish both off separately. However, this requires a full rage meter and may prove difficult to do for sequential giant pairs. Furthermore, it is futile if your team does not finish off one of the robots before they rejoin, and could potentially result in the Medic latching onto a Super Scout on certain waves, with catastrophic results.
- It is advisable to NOT set them on fire as this is an almost sure way to trigger their charge unless they are dealt with quickly.
- With the exception of the Bowman, Sniper Robots stick to the role of Support, spawning only when their icon appears on their wave (and announced by the players).
- All non-Bowmen Snipers also possess a Kukri, which they will use against anyone who gets within range.
- Because of their accuracy with rifles and detections with melee weapons, it becomes paramount to understand weapon heckling.
- Sniper Robots show a blue laser (much like a Wrangler laser) when aiming. This reveals their location and who their target is. Keep moving if targeted and head to them.
- These versions of Snipers come with the Sydney Sleeper instead of the Sniper Rifle.
- It fires shots that cover players in Jarate, turning all damage into mini-crit damage. This can let other robots kill players easier.
- Your team should probably take these robots out once they spawn in, as they can be a real pain to deal with.
- These Snipers soften up targets with their Jarate. Note where Dispensers and Medics are to remove the Jarate effect quickly.
- Remember that Mini-Crit effects do not stack, so the G.R.U can still be used while under the effects of Jarate without worrying about taking additional damage.
- These Snipers behave like regular Snipers, but are immune to backstabs due to their Razorback. Spies should let other classes take care of them or use their primaries.
- An exception to Sniper Rifle and Sydney Sleeper Robots, Bowmen can spawn as non-support based robots, meaning they can pick up the bomb and spawn in large groups.
- They can accurately headshot with the Huntsman and attack in groups. This makes ranged areas in front of the Bowmen extremely dangerous.
- Bowmen do not produce a laser effect or have a Kukri, relying entirely on their Huntsman.
- Be aware that Bowmen always produce shots in full charge and very fast at it too!
- Bowmen that can fire much faster than normal. They always have crits, making it hard to deal with.
- Unlike other Sniper Robots, they can headshot players.
- Their heads are smaller, making a Sniper's job more difficult.
- When Spies appear, the Administrator will announce their presence. Every time a Spy is killed, the Administrator will state how many Spies remain. Watch your back and Engineer buildings when Spies are active.
- If players are constantly fidgeting (pacing a small section), they are most likely a Spy.
- Take note during waves which players like using which weapons. If they have a tendency to use anything but their Primary, it can help you detect Spies from the players.
- When holding a Sapper, the Sapper outline will appear on the Spy, even when disguised.
- Spies always spawn disguised and Cloak in. They also possess the standard load out.
- Spies never spawn where other robots do, spawning usually in unpopulated areas. Keep note of areas where your teammates aren't to know where Spies may be.
- Spies will backstab any player regardless if they are in range of a Sentry Gun.
- The Spies will usually be very obvious while disguised, following players and never attacking any robots.
- Occasionally, when they are near, chuckles can be heard from them, try to listen and see your surroundings for any Spies.
- The Sentry Buster is a very fast bomb on legs. It possesses no attacks aside from a Kamikaze strike which it will use near an Engineer's Sentry or when its health runs out.
- Sentry Busters may not prefer shorter routes, taking alternate routes that keep it active longer. Keep aware of which way the Sentry Busters are moving.
- Be extremely cautious when staying near the Engineer's Dispenser, especially if the Sentry is near it. The blast radius from the Sentry Buster may also kill you when it plants, and you may not be aware when focusing on the fight.
- When the Sentry Buster is about to explode (whether from health or the Sentry Gun), it cannot be moved. Run away, putting any static object between you and the Sentry Buster.
- The Tank is a giant machine that cannot attack, cannot be slowed down and carries its own bomb. It requires teamwork from all players to destroy.
- Be aware of the environment when the Tank is turning around a corner. Players that get stuck between a static object and the tank will be killed instantly.
- A Tank has a set path that it must travel on.
- Mannworks has two paths a Tank can travel on, whichever barrier the tank comes through determines which path it takes.
- Tanks do not activate "On Hit" effects. This means that they cannot be coated in Jarate or Mad Milk, Marked for Death, or receive damage from Taunts. They do, however, increase Rage for the Buff Banner, Battalion's Backup, and Concheror, Mmmph! for the Phlogistinator and Boost for the Baby Face Blaster.
- Tanks usually spawn with anything that comes from Support. Keep this in mind that this means you can have two or three bombs active at the same time.
- Melee attacks do the most damage-per-second over time. Equip melee weapons with damage boosts and upgrade melee attack speed to max, as well as invest in critical hit canteens.
- Tanks resist 75% of Minigun damage, severely reducing a Heavy's damage output against it.