High ground advantage

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A Soldier overlooking an Engineer on Gravel Pit, C.
A Soldier facing an enemy Soldier from below. Note how he can't use splash damage and how the enemy Soldier can easily dodge his rockets.

High ground advantage, also known as Height advantage, is a strategy term that refers to a player or team being at a higher level or altitude over another. The high ground advantage is particularly important to consider for classes that use weapons that fire projectiles, as the player can more easily and readily fire projectiles accurately with the raised viewpoint given from higher ground.

The two forms of high ground advantage are sloped advantage, where the lower player can walk upward toward the higher player (such as hills or slopes), and absolute advantage, where the lower player cannot easily reach the higher player (such as rooftop or battlements). The high ground advantage is an important strategic concept to consider during map design.

The main advantage for holding the high ground is the raised viewpoint that the player is granted, enabling them to more accurately judge where to fire projectiles to hit the enemy, and to maximize potential splash damage. On the high ground, the player's mobility is increased, and they are able to move to more effective positions quickly, such as jumping down from the high ground to attack an enemy. The player on lower ground will be disadvantaged against the player higher up because a number of weapons are less effective when firing uphill.

Also, when standing upper then your enemy, you can easily think about your ways to safely kill him, or can hide from his sight quickly before he noticed you and reacted. This is mostly effective for Snipers (showing just your head to kill an enemy) and Spies, which can perform a stair stab or a leap stab.

Advantages

  • All variations of the Rocket Launcher are affected primarily by the fact that one of the more reliable strategies for them is to aim for the ground near the target, and rely on splash damage; as such, high ground advantage is highly relevant to all Soldier primaries.
  • Grenade Launchers are also affected by high ground advantage, since the arc is significantly affected by gravity, and the post-bounce scatter effect is significantly affected by sloped surfaces.
  • The Stickybomb Launcher and Scottish Resistance are mostly affected by the gravity arc, although the direction they travel when scattered as a result of an compression blast or nearby explosion is affected by gravity.
  • The Syringe Gun and its variations, along with the Huntsman, with an arc affected by gravity, have a slightly longer range going downhill than up.
    • The same is true for Jarate and Mad Milk, but to a slightly larger extent, being splash weapons with easier aim when thrown downwards.
  • Advanced Spies have strategies that take advantage of high ground to gain a backstab; see the Backstabbing article for a few variations on the technique.

Disadvantages

  • Sentry Guns suffer from a slight high ground disadvantage; when put on high ledges, a Sentry frequently cannot target enemies directly below the ledge while the enemies can target it, due to an asymmetry in line of sight.

See also