Community Soldier strategy

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I am going to enjoy killing each and every one of you sorry sacks of scum!
The Soldier before a vicious massacre

As the general-purpose assault class of Team Fortress 2, the Soldier is easy to pick up and play but difficult to master. The Soldier is capable of both long range and close quarters attacks, is quite accurate, and can often access places on various maps others cannot via rocket jumping. The Soldier is a solid "blast 'em everywhere" class, and experienced players can assault or defend key strategic points with ruthless efficiency.

Quick Tips

  • Always take the high ground. You're harder to attack at higher elevations, and your rockets are harder to avoid.
  • A team without Soldiers is probably offensively weak. Fill the role to push back the other team and accomplish the objectives.
  • Try to anticipate where your enemies are going and juggle them by shooting your rockets below their feet, launching them into the air.


  • With 200 health, you have the second highest non-boosted amount of health, second only to the Heavy. As a Soldier, you can be overhealed to a maximum of 300 health and you are capable of engaging enemies reliably at most ranges, giving players more flexibility at longer ranges than the Pyro and closer ranges than the Demoman.
  • Your base speed is the second slowest, next to the Heavy's. This can give you less flexibility in attacking and retreating on the ground, so always be sure to plan ahead whenever possible. Rocket jumping will help you quickly get to or escape from the field of battle.
  • To this end, you may sometimes choose to act like a Sniper, especially on defense, where you are capable of very rudely interrupting enemy captures if positioned properly, even taking damage falloff into account. This should only be done near a friendly Dispenser or an ammo/health kit spawn point, as the low ammo capacity of the Rocket Launcher inhibits the staying power of the Soldier at long range.
  • Next to the Heavy, you are among the most threatening classes in combat. Players tend to take Soldiers into consideration far more readily than most other classes due to the significant amount of damage any of your primary weapons can cause, especially at close range.
  • Perhaps your greatest advantage over any other class is the ability to rocket jump. By jumping with the aid of your primary weapon, it's possible to reach great heights and cross distances faster than most classes. This mobility is essential in gaining an advantage over the enemy in combat.
    • In order to aid players, you will take only 60% damage from your own rockets; this translates to roughly 40 self-damage for each rocket jump. However, this damage reduction only applies when you are in midair when the rocket explodes, so any rockets fired while standing on the ground will do full damage.
    • Rocket jumping vertically can allow you to reach locations normally inaccessible to most other classes, so try to use this to gain a height advantage over other players. The height advantage makes it easier to hit enemies with splash damage from rockets.
  • You can help a friendly Medic build ÜberCharge by causing self-damage with rockets. Only do this if there is no chance of a surprise enemy attack.
    • It should be noted that ÜberCharge automatically builds up at the fastest rate during Setup time on the PC, Mac, and Linux version, so this strategy is only useful after the round has begun.
  • It's usually wise to enable the "Automatically reload weapons when you're not firing" option under Advanced Multiplayer options. When this option is enabled, weapons will automatically attempt a reload cycle after each shot, and can be interrupted by firing the weapon again. Due to the small magazine size of your weapons, it's handy to keep them fully loaded in-between and even during some fights, and the single-shot reloading makes it harder for enemies to surprise you while reloading. Being able to reload a rocket as soon as you rocket jump to the battlefield will be of great use.
  • Your rockets will originate from the left or right of the character model when shot, depending on the orientation (right-handed models will generate the projectile from the right, left-handed models from the left). This can be used to fire rockets around corners without being fully exposed, and must be taken into account when rocket jumping. This does not apply when using the Original, which fires from the center of the screen.
  • Falloff damage for rockets is calculated based on where the player is when they explode, not where they were originally fired from. This can be exploited in your favor by closing the distance on your enemies via rocket jumping toward large groups while firing down on them, increasing the amount of damage done.
Rocket jumping is essential to the Soldier, as it lets him get around maps quickly.

Rocket jumping

  • Rocket jumping allows you to gain access to areas that are normally only accessible to other Soldiers and Demomen. It can also be used to access shortcuts, to traverse areas faster, or gain a height advantage over enemy players.
  • To perform a rocket jump, simply fire a rocket beneath your feet while jumping. This will amplify the vertical component of your jump, allowing you to reach greater heights than normally attainable.
    • Performing a crouch-jump before firing the rocket will allow you to gain even more height, which is essential to reaching areas that are inaccessible with uncrouched rocket jumps.
    • Because a rocket jump merely amplifies existing momentum, it's important to keep your intended direction in mind when rocket jumping.
  • Rocket jumps can be used for horizontal mobility as well as vertical mobility. The direction of your momentum depends on where the rocket explodes relative to your center of mass, so launching a rocket at an angle relative to the ground or at a wall will allow you to gain significant forward momentum.
    • When performing horizontal jumps, try to use nearby objects such as walls to create explosions at the same level as yourself, rather than below.
    • Horizontal jumps can be boosted by pogo jumping, which is done by rocket jumping forward without touching the ground while shooting under your feet.
  • You can strafe while in midair; this can be helpful in dodging fire directed at you, especially explosives launched by enemy Soldiers and Demomen.
    • In conjunction with rocket jumps, air-strafing allows you to maintain a considerable amount of momentum even at the apex of your jump. In order to perform an air-strafe, simply release the forward key and hold a strafe key while turning in the same direction of the strafe. This allows the Soldier to strafe around corners or reach areas that are normally inaccessible through other means.
  • Take into account the fact that rockets will spawn on the side of your screen that the Rocket Launcher is on. This can affect rocket jump performance considerably, especially horizontal jumps.
  • Always take the opportunity to reload the Rocket Launcher immediately after initiating a rocket jump. If performing ambushes or bombing runs on the enemy, it allows you to use one more rocket against the enemy, or gives you the chance to escape if things go wrong.

Weapon Specific

Primary Weapons

Rocket Launcher + reskins

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Self Damage Critical Projectile Speed
Rocket Launcher
Rocket Launcher
Killicon rocket launcher.png 4 20 105-112 50-90 45-60 27-89 270, range does not affect damage. Critical damage does not apply to buildings. 1100 Hammer units/sec
Festive Rocket Launcher
Festive Rocket Launcher
Killicon rocket launcher.png
Item icon Rust Botkiller Rocket Launcher.png Item icon Blood Botkiller Rocket Launcher.png Item icon Silver Botkiller Rocket Launcher.png Item icon Gold Botkiller Rocket Launcher.png Item icon Carbonado Botkiller Rocket Launcher.png Item icon Diamond Botkiller Rocket Launcher.png

Botkiller Rocket Launcher

Killicon rocket launcher.png
Australium Rocket Launcher
Two Cities Reward
Australium Rocket Launcher
Killicon rocket launcher.png
Killicon original.png
  • Always keep the Rocket Launcher loaded. With a maximum of four loaded shots, it's best to always be prepared.
    • Enabling the "Automatically reload weapons when you're not firing" option under Advanced Multiplayer options can help considerably.
  • Since the rocket is a slow-traveling projectile, be sure to lead targets to hit where they will be, as well as aim at the ground or any walls nearby in order to take advantage of the splash damage radius.
    • When shooting over long distances, try to lead the target and fire a second rocket at where they are likely to retreat. Doing this will greatly increase the chance of hitting enemies at long range. If the enemies are too far away, you can attack them with your Shotgun, rather than wasting your rockets. This won't do much damage, but the Shotgun can be reloaded far faster and the hitscan nature of the weapon denies any targets the opportunity to dodge the shots.
    • The splash damage radius of the Rocket Launcher allows you to damage enemies, even if there is no direct line of sight. This allows you to fire around corners or at objects near cover in order to damage and kill enemies.
  • Try to juggle or bounce enemies by shooting a rocket at their feet. While in the air, enemies lose control over much of their movement, with the exception of Scouts, who can double-jump, allowing you to follow up with a second shot easily. Throwing enemies into the air often disorients them, and they often have trouble shooting back.
    • Try to land a direct hit with a rocket on enemies trapped in midair. A direct hit does far more damage than splash alone.
  • The Rocket Launcher reloads slower than many other weapons, and it's unlikely that emptying the magazine will result in all four rockets hitting enemies. For this reason, try to predict enemy movements and fire one rocket at a time. One of your greatest vulnerabilities is being attacked while reloading the Rocket Launcher, so having at least some rockets in reserve at all times can greatly increase your chances of surviving an ambush.
    • Consider switching to the Shotgun rather than waiting for the Rocket Launcher to reload during a fight. This will allow you to continue your attack uninterrupted, and keep the pressure up on the enemy. In a one-on-one match with an enemy Soldier, switching to the Shotgun at the right time could be the difference between life and death.
  • When firing a rocket at an enemy at point-blank range, jump and fire the rocket at their feet. Remember that if you are damaged by your own rockets while in midair, the game will treat it as a rocket jump, and thus will minimize the amount of damage you deal to yourself, while distancing you from the enemy at the same time.
  • When trying to clear a control point or the Payload cart, rocket jump above the target area and fire downwards onto it. A key element of this is to reload while in midair, so that all four rockets will loaded and ready to go at the peak of the jump. The high angle of attack will ensure the splash damage affects a large area of the cart or control point, which can be very useful.
  • The Rocket Launcher is often a better choice if you intend to act as a Medic buddy than the Direct Hit. The wider splash radius of the Rocket Launcher's rockets allows you to damage any attacking enemies more easily, as well as juggle them and disrupt their attack. It's also more effective than the Direct Hit while under the effects of a Kritzkrieg's ÜberCharge.
  • The Rocket Launcher is capable of dealing a significant amount of damage when firing a Critical rocket. Whether through luck or a Crit-boost, a single Critical rocket is capable of killing almost any enemy in the game with a single hit, or dealing enough damage to force a hasty retreat.
  • When fighting classes with little health, such as Scouts, Engineers, and Spies, rather than using two rockets, fire one rocket then finish them off with the Shotgun. This will help the Soldier by keeping one extra rocket loaded, allowing him to continue his assault or defense with ease.
  • Because the Original fires directly down the crosshair, it's a bit more accurate than the Rocket Launcher, an advantage offset by the fact that you can't fire around corners as easily as the Rocket Launcher.
  • Due to the Original's unique first-person view-model, rocket jumps can be performed without having to compensate for the rocket's off-center blast, which is the case with all of your other primary weapons.
  • Take into mind that for any Critical hit the Rocket Launcher gets, the range will not affect the damage. This can be useful when trying to kill enemies over longer ranges, as the Critical damage will still apply.

Direct Hit

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Self Damage Critical Projectile Speed
Direct Hit
Direct Hit
Killicon direct hit.png 4 20 140 112 57 27-89 336, range does not affect damage. Critical damage does not apply to buildings. 1980 Hammer units/sec

The Direct Hit is an unlockable primary weapon for the Soldier. The Direct Hit is intended for sharpshooting; rockets fired by the Direct Hit travel 80% faster than default rockets and deal 25% more damage, and have a 70% reduced splash damage radius. It also deals Mini-Crits against enemies sent skyward by explosives.

  • Always try to aim directly at enemies instead of at their feet, especially at close ranges. Take advantage of the faster rocket speed in that targets do not need to be led as much as with the Rocket Launcher. Remember that the blast radius of Direct Hit rockets is so small that players can actively dodge rockets even at medium ranges and remain completely unharmed.
  • Interestingly, it is actually much more suited to close-quarters combat, since the lack of blast radius makes it easy for even spun-up Heavies to dodge rockets at medium ranges. The lack of splash radius means that opponents can be engaged at much shorter ranges without suffering from splash damage. Any splash damage taken will be minimal.
  • The Direct Hit's higher base damage gives you a greater edge over 125 HP classes, such as the Scout, the Engineer, the Sniper, and the Spy, as one direct rocket at close range can potentially kill them. This is especially true against a Scout carrying the Sandman or Candy Cane or a Spy with the Conniver's Kunai or Big Earner.
  • Because the Direct Hit deals Mini-Crits against enemies who have been sent airborne via explosives, try to juggle enemies into the air with the rockets and hit them again for increased damage.
    • Remember that this applies for any explosives, including those of teammates or even the enemy. In particular, working with friendly Soldiers or Demomen can create opportunities to finish off enemies that they juggle.
    • Always keep an eye out for explosive-jumping Soldiers and Demomen, especially if they are trying to gain a height advantage or reach height parity against players that already have the high ground. With especially good aim, it's possible to hit them in midair to both interrupt their jump and deal Mini-Crit damage.
  • The Direct Hit can destroy any unattended Engineer building with two rockets, rather than three with the default Rocket Launcher. For this reason, if an enemy Engineer has deployed a Sentry Gun out in the open, the Direct Hit may be a good loadout choice for dispatching it. Even if the Engineer is actively repairing the Sentry Gun, the Direct Hit can damage it faster than an Engineer can repair it.
  • The Direct Hit works wonders in tight corridors. If the area you are in has little place to maneuver, then the Direct Hit is perfect for these scenarios, even if you aren't good with it. This also gives you an even bigger advantage against opponents like Heavies, who are already slow, and will have almost no room to dodge.
  • If you don't heavily rely on splash damage to kill your enemies, then the Direct Hit is an upgrade over the Rocket Launcher in one-on-one confrontations.
    • However, even if you are good enough at aiming with the Rocket Launcher that you do not need to rely on splash damage to hit your primary target, the reduced splash damage radius of Direct Hit rockets means that they are not as effective at hitting multiple targets at once.
  • The Direct Hit offers a great new style of gameplay for the Soldier. As its name says, it is used to hit enemies directly for maximum damage. Its small blast radius mostly takes away the use of splash damage to kill enemies; however, its increased damage makes "direct hits" more powerful than the default Rocket Launcher. The increased projectile speed also proves to be very useful, as one does not have to anticipate where the enemy will move as much.
    • When using the Direct Hit, remember to aim directly at the enemy. Aiming too high or to the side will often result in a complete miss, and one cannot rely on splash damage anymore with the Direct Hit. Also, aiming lower can pop the target up into the air, disorienting them, and allowing you to attempt a mini-crit airshot on the target. This is extremely useful against classes with more hp. If your airshot aim is not quite up to par, equip yourself with the Reserve Shooter. After popping an enemy up with a well-aimed Direct Hit, quickly switch to the Reserve Shooter and get off 1-2 shots on the airborne enemy to deal mini-crits. Remember, it is easier to shoot an airborne enemy with the Reserve Shooter than fire another shot with the Direct Hit. However, once skilled with the Direct Hit, well-aimed airshots will be more powerful.
    • A great thing to remember with the Direct Hit is proper reloading. Firing one shot, then reloading and firing another and reloading is never a good tactic. This causes you to mess up your aim, and when in close combat with an enemy, it can prove to be quite annoying, or even deadly; reloading in between shots creates pauses in your offense that the enemy, if still alive, can easily use to retaliate. Try to keep 4 shots ready at all times if you can, but don't prioritize reloading over dispatching immediate threats; fire as many rockets as you need to in order to kill the opponent.
      • Firing 4 rockets in a row and aiming in between is a very good idea if you have trouble aiming; having multiple rockets coming at them at once can terrorize the enemy and disrupt their focus, making it harder for them to dodge. Sometimes the Direct Hit can be frustrating, and this tactic can really help. (This tactic is less useful for other rocket launchers, due to their greater margin for error.)
  • The almost double projectile speed means that Pyros are much less likely to be able reflect your rockets, and that's not considering server lag and latency. (However, be careful at firing at long ranges, because he might be able to predict where it's going to hit) This means that if you're confident in your aim, you may not need a Shotgun.

Black Box + reskins

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage Healing
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Self Damage Critical Projectile Speed On Hit
Black Box
Black Box
Killicon black box.png 3 20 105-112 50-90 45-60 27-89 270, range does not affect damage. Critical damage does not apply to buildings. 1100 Hammer units/sec 15
Festive Black Box
Festive Black Box
Killicon black box.png
Australium Black Box
Two Cities] Reward
Australium Black Box
Killicon black box.png

The Black Box is a craftable primary weapon for the Soldier. The Black Box restores 15 HP on hit, regardless of how much damage you inflict, but can only load three rockets at a time.

  • If a rocket hits more than one enemy, 15 HP will be healed per damaged enemy. Aiming at a cluster of enemies is advised, and is generally good at such.
  • By being able to heal +15 HP for each hit, you can take damage for longer than usual. However, remember that due to the smaller magazine size, it's not possible sustain fire for as long as with the other primary weapons.
    • The Black Box can be used to Spy-check as well, as it will display the +15 health bonus when hitting a Cloaked or Disguised Spy.
      • If a Spy uses the Dead Ringer, the Black Box will not replenish health, which can be used as a warning that the Spy is still alive.
  • Since the Black Box is designed to keep players alive and healed, it's not advised to take the Equalizer or Escape Plan with it. The suicidal tactics of the pickaxes don't couple well with the healing abilities of the Black Box, so use of other melee weapons is recommended.
  • As the reduced clip size means more time spent reloading, if charging at a Sentry Gun that is constantly being repaired by its Engineer, try to take out the Engineer or Dispenser first. The time that would normally be spent reloading is just long enough for an Engineer to easily repair his or her Sentry Gun, making shots a waste of time, ammo, and possibly an ÜberCharge.
  • Consider equipping the Shotgun when carrying the Black Box, in order to offset the smaller magazine size. As players will often be unable to sustain fire for long, the Shotgun can help to finish off any enemies that can't be killed with only three rockets, as well as a measure of self-defense if attacked while reloading.
    • The Righteous Bison can also serve this purpose, if not better, on maps such as Junction, where close-quarters combat is more common.
  • Try to engage Heavies at long ranges. Not only will the Heavy only be able to inflict minimum damage due to damage falloff, that damage should be healed instantly once the Heavy is hit with a rocket.
  • If using the Gunboats with the Black Box, keep in mind that the reduced Rocket Jumping damage taken can be easily healed by a couple of long range rockets, allowing players to fire rockets at the apex of their jumps and gain health upon landing should they hit. However, in 1v1 fights with powerful classes, not having a secondary weapon is a large disadvantage. Use with caution.
  • Enemy Scouts under the effect of Bonk! Atomic Punch will still replenish your health when hit with the Black Box, though always keep an eye on the number of remaining rockets in order not to run out of them when Bonk!'s effect wears off, and remember to avoid being caught in the rockets' splash radius.
  • When low on health, the Black Box can be used with a hit-and-run tactic. Retreat and hide behind cover while slightly healing to increase the chances of survival. Do this until you find a med-kit, Dispenser, or Medic.
  • The Black Box's extended survivability means that as you get more proficient with it, you'll often run out of ammo before you do health. You may want to use your other weapons more often if your health is high to conserve ammo, and remember to grab an ammo pack or hit up a Dispenser when you need it.
  • The Black Box's healing effect does not apply when it hits an ÜberCharged target.

Rocket Jumper

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Self Damage Critical Projectile Speed
rocket jumper
Rocket Jumper
N/A 4 60 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1100 Hammer units/sec

The Rocket Jumper is a craftable primary weapon for the Soldier. It deals no self-damage for rockets that explode near you and carries 60 extra ammo instead of 20, but it deals no damage to enemies, and you cannot carry the Intelligence when this weapon is equipped.

  • The Rocket Jumper, despite being meant for training only, has uses outside of such limitations. Due to inflicting no self-damage, you can perform consecutive rocket jumps and gain a considerable mobility advantage over other players.
    • Since the Rocket Jumper does no self-damage, players can fire rockets before hitting the ground after a high rocket jump as a cushion to prevent fall damage.
  • The Rocket Jumper is particularly effective when coupled with the Pain Train. Using the Pain Train allows players to use their enhanced maneuverability to capture Control Points behind enemy lines.
  • For a mobile playstyle, the Rocket Jumper is best used with the Escape Plan. The Escape Plan's increased speed when you are hurt, combined with frequent rocket jumps, makes you arguably the most mobile class in the game, since your rockets do no damage to you, allowing for deceptively fast travel, and fall damage will trigger the Escape Plan's great speed boost.
  • Since you will be frequently rocket jumping with this weapon, if you time your attacks right, you can get numerous critical hits with the Market Gardener, which will kill most classes. A follow-up hit, Shotgun shot, or Mantreads stomp will finish the heftier classes off, allowing you to quickly kill a valuable target.
  • Coupled with the Mantreads, the Soldier becomes the Soldier equivalent of a Demoknight. Much like the Chargin' Targe's charge, your rocket jumps will now deal damage, as well as protecting you from fall damage, should your stomp be successful. Combine the Mantreads with the Market Gardener to gain the equivalent of the charge's guaranteed critical hit, which, used immediately before you stomp on someone, gives a near-instant kill, useful to take out valuable targets from above. This requires near-perfect accuracy and timing, though, so instead of going for both the critical hit and the stomp, it is best to attempt one or the other. With more horizontal rocket jumps, go for the crit, but when falling from a vertical one, the stomp deals more damage. Also, if you miss the stomp, you can go for a crit. Also keep in mind that the Mantreads apply to all fall damage, but the Market Gardener only to rocket jumps. Be prepared to either finish your target off with another hit or two, or escape, should your attack fail. Keep in mind, though, that like the Demoknight, you will lose all sources of ranged damage, making you especially vulnerable to Sentry Guns. Also, moving targets can be very hard to hit, so go for unaware spun-up Heavies, scoped Snipers, or anyone else standing still.
  • If only rocket jumping moderately, consider using the Gunboats over the Rocket Jumper, as your primary weapon is generally more valuable than your secondary. Only use the Rocket Jumper if you plan to be constantly rocket-jumping, or if you prefer to use your other weapons over your Rocket Launcher.
  • You will be at a disadvantage without your Rocket Launcher, which is one of the most powerful and versatile weapons in the game. Keep fights at close range, where your Shotgun and melee weapon of choice are the most powerful, and use your mobility to dodge enemies, much like the Scout.
  • Consider pairing it up with a Market Gardener and use the rocket jumps to get around the map very quickly, and pounce on unsuspecting victims with a deadly melee hit when the opportunity presents itself.

Liberty Launcher

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Self Damage Critical Projectile Speed
Liberty Launcher
Liberty Launcher
Killicon liberty launcher.png 4 20 79-84 38-67 34-45 20-35 203, range does not affect damage. Critical damage does not apply to buildings. 1540 Hammer units/sec

The Liberty Launcher is a craftable primary weapon for the Soldier. It has a 40% faster rocket speed and deals 25% less self-damage during rocket jumps, but it deals 25% less damage.

  • Due to its lower damage, it's important to keep the Liberty Launcher loaded and always go for airshots. Although the Direct Hit works better in this regard due to higher damage, the Liberty Launcher is more forgiving in terms of splash damage if you miss.
  • If the enemy is trying to evade shots, try aiming at his feet. This reduces the chance of hitting full-on, but increases the chance of some sort of damage.
  • The Liberty Launcher is an ideal weapon for attacking the enemy from long range. The fast rockets give your opponents little time to dodge, while compared to the Direct Hit, the splash damage is hard to avoid, even at long range. Since you will focus on dealing damage over time, and have no need to deal a large amount of damage at one time, the reduced damage is negligible.
  • Since this is similar to the Direct Hit, try to adapt tactics from it.
    • As with the Direct Hit, bring a Shotgun along. This will compensate for the lower damage and is a good fallback should you run out of ammo.
    • Try to be conservative with ammo. The six clips in reserve can be used up quite quickly, which is a reason to bring a Shotgun.
    • Like the Direct Hit, aim properly. Reloading after every single shot is a bad idea, as it will mess up your accuracy and ease the offensive pressure you apply to your opponent. However, the splash damage compared to the Direct Hit gives more leniency for mistakes.
  • The reduced self-damage makes this weapon great for rocket jumping towards a player's objective. However, the self-damage reduction only works during rocket jumps.

Cow Mangler 5000

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Self Damage Mini-Crit Projectile Speed Afterburn
Cow Mangler 5000
Cow Mangler 5000
Killicon cow mangler 5000.png 4 105-112 50-90 45-60 27-89 113 1100 Hammer units/sec 36 damage over 6 seconds

The Cow Mangler 5000 is a craftable primary weapon for the Soldier. This weapon fires four blasts of team-colored energy with an unlimited ammo reserve, at the cost of 80% less damage against buildings. The Cow Mangler 5000 also does not roll for random Critical hits, and cannot be Crit-boosted at all.

  • When the "Mangler" bar, which represents the Cow Mangler 5000's clip, is full, pressing the secondary fire button will cause the weapon to begin charging up, after which a single charged shot is fired. This shot deals mini-crit damage to players and will cause them to suffer six seconds of afterburn damage at the same rate as the Flamethrower, and disable buildings for four seconds. During this process, the entire Mangler bar is consumed. Charging a shot takes 3 seconds.
    • The charged shot may be used to ignite Huntsman arrows held by a friendly Sniper. This isn't recommended, however, unless you don't have any fighting to do yourself at the moment, as it requires a full clip and you'll be vulnerable reloading afterwards.
  • Using your charged shot to kill an Engineer behind his buildings can be more advantageous than disabling his Sentry Gun. Engineers will die in a single charged shot if directly hit or dealt enough splash damage. You can also disable his/her Buildings in the same shot as well, though killing the Engineer is more important.
  • Make use of cover when charging your secondary fire to avoid being a target, especially for enemy Snipers.
  • Closely packed tunnels can be easy prey for the Cow Mangler 5000; try spamming shots into lines of enemies pushing the Payload cart.
  • Having unlimited reserve ammo, the Cow Mangler 5000 is superior for rocket-jumping compared to most of the Soldier's other primary weapons. This permits Soldiers to move quickly around the map, limited only by their health, while still being lethal in aerial combat.
  • It is advisible to bring a secondary weapon other than the Righteous Bison, as the Cow Mangler, as well as the Bison, deal miniscule damage to enemy buildings. Without a non-Bison secondary weapon, a Cow Mangler-wielding Soldier will find themselves all but completely helpless against enemy Sentry Guns unless friendly reinforcements are nearby.

Beggar's Bazooka

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Self Damage Critical Projectile Speed
Beggar's Bazooka
Beggar's Bazooka
Killicon beggar's bazooka.png 0 20 105-112 50-90 45-60 27-89 270, range does not affect damage. Critical damage does not apply to buildings. 1100 Hammer units/sec

The Beggar's Bazooka is a craftable primary weapon for the Soldier. Though fundamentally similar to other launchers, it is kept unloaded; upon holding fire, the player can load up to three rockets that fire in rapid succession when released. However, it comes with the danger of misfiring if the player holds fire past three rockets, which causes damage to the player and destroys one of the three already-loaded rockets. Additionally, the launcher comes with a 3-degree spread limit, and cannot be refilled by Dispensers while active.

  • Remember that every rocket has to be loaded before the launcher fires, so this isn't the kind of weapon to shoot with in a hurry.
  • Since the launcher's rockets can deviate up to 3 degrees off course, try to use this weapon at short-to-medium ranges to minimize the effect.
  • Beware that you cannot fill this weapon with Dispensers while it is the active weapon. This subtle change means that it is very detrimental in Arena, since ammo pickups are scarce and Engineers will be almost useless unless you're carrying a non-banner secondary weapon. Play cautiously.
  • Try to take a Shotgun when using this weapon. It is a decent backup given this weapon's reliance on ammo pickups and inability to refill through Dispensers while active, and can be used to defend yourself and the Dispenser while replenishing ammo. Alternatively, use this weapon with the Righteous Bison, which has infinite ammo in exchange for damage compared to the Shotgun. Also, it is strong at long range, where this weapon is weak.
  • While this weapon is still possible to use with any of the banner weapons, running out of ammo means you will have to rely on your melee weapon for damage. This can prove hazardous if your weapon is situational, such as the Half-Zatoichi, with its Honorbound effect, or the Equalizer, meant for ambushes.
  • The Escape Plan is a good choice with this weapon, because you are prone to misfires or accidentally causing self-damage with an extra rocket, since you can run to the nearest supply closet or to the safety of your teammates. Just be sure to retreat quickly after pulling out the Escape Plan, because it marks you for death when active.
  • The Beggar's Bazooka gives you the upper hand in ambushing groups of enemies due to the ability to barrage rockets at enemies, but be careful in direct combat, since you have to load your rockets before firing. Should you find yourself being pursued by an enemy, fire at the ground a few feet in front of them. During the delay between pressing the primary fire button and shooting, the enemy likely would've run forward to that spot.
  • You can ambush an Engineer's nest, as you can launch a barrage of rockets at the nest to deal enough damage at once to clear it out. Do not attempt this without much backup, though.
  • Be sure to time your loading well so you can shoot at enemies without letting them dodge your rockets. If you can, take cover as you prepare your rockets, and count the number of muffled pops so you don't misfire. After some practice, you'll be able to memorize how much time you have between loading the third rocket and beginning to load the fourth.
  • With coordination, this weapon is devastating under a Kritzkrieg ÜberCharge. All three rockets will kill any enemy in the game, even overhealed Heavies, unless they are under a damage reduction effect or invulnerability state.
  • Overloading the Beggar's Bazooka can allow you to do an explosive jump and then fire two rockets while you are in the air. If you have enough time between jumping and reaching the enemy, you may even be able to load a third rocket before launching your attack.
    • If you have enough time between overloading the Beggar's Bazooka and landing to overload it again while still in the air, you might be able to pogo yourself. However, doing this repeatedly is next to impossible.
  • You can damage enemies with the explosion from overloading, though this is otherwise discouraged without the Gunboats due to the tremendous self-damage.
  • This weapon is useful on defense, where a barrage of rockets will likely hurt or kill those who are capturing a point or pushing the Payload cart.

Air Strike

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Self Damage Critical Projectile Speed
Air Strike
Air Strike
Killicon air strike.png 3 to 8 20 79-84 38-67 34-45 27-89 203, range does not affect damage. Critical damage does not apply to buildings. 1100 Hammer units/sec

The Air Strike is a craftable primary weapon for the Soldier. The Air Strike is best when doing explosive jumps. When rocket-jumping, the firing interval between rockets is decreased heavily and killing an enemy with this weapon increases the clip size by 1, but the projectiles deal 25% less damage, have a 15% smaller blast radius and is only capable of carrying 25% less rockets in its clip without any kills on it.

  • The Air Strike pairs well with the Gunboats, as you'll be forced to take a good amount of damage by rocket-jumping.
  • This weapon also does great with the B.A.S.E. Jumper, increasing the amount of time you'll have in the air to fire rockets at the enemy.
  • It is generally better to kill weaker enemies such as Snipers and Spies in order to get the increased clip size.
  • This weapon generally works best in wide open maps as the player will generally have more room to move around and rocket-jump.

Secondary Weapons


Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Critical
Killicon shotgun.png 6 32 86-90 24-67 3-26 180
  • Don't be afraid to use the Shotgun at medium range. Players should be able to take down any class, bar a Heavy (or Soldier at full health) at medium range with six rounds. Furthermore, due to its hitscan nature, it's an ideal weapon against players that are moving erratically at medium range and cannot be reliably damaged by rockets.
    • The Shotgun is also more viable for targets that are far away or trying to retreat.
  • Pyros utilizing the compression blast to reflect rockets should die or be greatly weakened with six shots before they get within Flamethrower range. If they survive all six rounds, try to take them out with a rocket as they close in.
  • The Shotgun, as a hitscan weapon, can destroy an enemy Demoman's stickies. While the Rocket Launcher can blast sticky traps loose and scatter them, they are still a threat to teammates, as the Demoman can still detonate them. Destroying the stickies instead can safely clear a path for teammates rather than simply reducing the damage that they might take.
  • One direct rocket and one Shotgun shot is often enough to kill light classes in most circumstances. Two rockets and one shell will usually kill Soldiers, assuming that the rockets do not hit the Soldier directly.
  • If using the Direct Hit, it's highly advisable to use the Shotgun rather than a backpack buff item or the Gunboats.
    • Similarly, due to its smaller magazine size, the Shotgun is also a good secondary weapon to use when carrying the Black Box.
    • It's also a good secondary weapon when equipping the Liberty Launcher as your primary weapon, due to its reduced damage.

Reserve Shooter

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Critical
Reserve Shooter
Reserve Shooter
Killicon reserve shooter.png 4 32 86-90 24-67 3-26 180

The Reserve Shooter is a craftable secondary weapon for the Soldier. It allows slightly faster weapon switching, and will Mini-Crit airborne targets for up to five seconds after switching. However, it can only load up to four Shotgun shells at a time.

  • The Reserve Shooter has a 15% weapon switch speed increase. This allows you to inflict even more damage, as you will be able to switch to your Rocket Launcher faster.
    • The bonus to weapon switching applies to any weapon in the load-out, which can make for some easier mid-air melee kills with weapons like the Equalizer or Market Gardener.
  • Unlike the Direct Hit, the Reserve Shooter will Mini-Crit any airborne target, regardless of whether they were launched by explosives or not. This allows players to take advantage of falling and jumping enemies, as well as those juggled into the air by their rockets.
  • Scouts are easy targets with the Reserve Shooter, as double-jumping is one of their main forms of dodging fire.

Righteous Bison

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Critical Damage to Buildings Projectile Speed
Righteous Bison
Righteous Bison
Killicon righteous bison.png 4 17-63 11-42 11-42 36-60 4  ??

The Righteous Bison is a craftable secondary weapon for the Soldier. It functions completely differently from any of your other weapons. It fires a highly-accurate laser beam that pierces enemies and buildings, dealing multiple hits to anything it touches. The Righteous Bison's laser beam also cannot be deflected, making it one of the few projectile weapons in the game with the ability. On the downside, the Righteous Bison does 80% less damage to buildings, holds 4 ammunition rather than 6, and - as a projectile weapon - fires slower-moving shots than hitscan weapons like the Shotgun. However, it reloads very fast and, like most Grordbort weapons, has unlimited reserve ammunition.

  • Similar to how the banner weapons work better the more allies you have in a firefight, the Righteous Bison becomes deadlier the more enemies you're up against. As the shots don't lose any power no matter how many enemies they penetrate, the potential total damage of each shot is limited only by how many foes you can hit with one, as opposed to the finite damage of a Shotgun blast. This -- along with the fact that it can't be deflected by airblasts -- makes it very effective for firing into crowds and taking out multiple enemies, as well as Medics and wounded players hiding behind their teammates.
    • The Bison is exceptionally powerful in these cases when you can also get Critical hits or even mini-crits from it, randomly or otherwise. The high damage and no fall-off coupled with the piercing shots can cut through enemy groups like butter. The fast reload speed and decent firing rate will also make the most of buff durations, making it one of the best secondary weapons for Soldiers who like to coordinate with allies.
    • Speaking of wounded enemies, the Bison is useful for picking off retreating targets since they'll stay in contact with each shot longer by running away, damaging them more.
  • Because of the piercing shots and reasonable damage, the Righteous Bison does wonderfully in tunnel fights and other long corridors. It tends to perform spectacularly on maps like Nucleus, Turbine, and 2Fort. Conversely, it does worse on open-terrain maps, since it's easier to strafe away from it.
    • This weapon is also effective when playing defense on a Payload map, since your opponents will be conveniently lined up around the cart.
  • It is not recommended that you equip the Righteous Bison with the Cow Mangler 5000 unless you have a cooperative team as, upon reaching an enemy sentry, you will be completely powerless against it.
    • On the other hand, you may find that the Bison works better with primaries with limited clips, like the Black Box or Beggar's Bazooka, since its reload speed and unlimited ammo can help make up for their need to reload often. This is especially true of the Black Box, as the extra survivability means you'll often run low on ammo before dying and the Bison can help alleviate that somewhat.
  • If you fire the Righteous Bison at a friendly Sniper who is wielding the Huntsman, their arrow will be set alight and can be used to set enemies on fire if shot correctly at the target.
  • The projectile nature of this weapon along with your primary means you'll be without a hitscan weapon. If you're up against many Scouts or can't lead your shots well, you might be better off taking a Shotgun. They're also better at close-quarters combat than the Bison due to their higher damage output at close range.
  • The Righteous Bison can be useful for hitting Engineers who hide behind their gear, as the shots pierce right through the buildings. If you're trying to destroy an enemy Sentry that an Engineer is actively tanking, use the Bison to kill the Engineer before taking out the Sentry with your primary. This also works with other buildings.
  • The Bison's infinite ammo and quick reload make it very useful for suppressive and support fire. Enemies will often try to dodge the shots, making it a good deterrent weapon for covering teammates' weak spots and holding choke points even if you don't hit anything. If wounded, you can hang back with it and soften up enemies while your teammates take the front, and it's good for retreating as well since it can dissuade enemies from giving chase. The high accuracy also lets you pester Snipers with it and even keep up cover fire at a distance.
  • The initial reload speed isn't too impressive, but subsequent reload pumps are very fast. Due to this, it's much faster to empty a whole clip before reloading than reloading after every shot. After all, you don't have to worry about conserving ammo.
  • It might be a good idea to equip the Bison if Pyros are giving you trouble. Despite being a projectile weapon, the shots can't be airblasted. This can be good for airblast-happy Pyros who keep reflecting your rockets back at you. They'll often forget they can't deflect Bison shots and charge straight into them, frying themselves.
  • Despite being a secondary weapon, the Bison can be more effective at longer ranges than rockets due to not relying on ammo or splash damage. You may want to switch up your weapon roles if you equip it, using your primaries at mid-range and the Bison for distant enemies. Rockets do more damage the closer enemies are, after all, and if you're not very skilled at aiming rockets, you might find it easier to set up splash damage shots and land hits closer-up.
    • If you're using the Direct Hit, however, you may want to take another weapon, as the Direct Hit is meant for longer ranges and doesn't work as well in mid-range combat as your other primaries. Equipping the Bison here can be redundant, as using both of these weapons will leave you lacking in mid-range damage and the Bison's long-range abilities aren't as essential with the Direct Hit. A Shotgun is much better at covering that range in this case. Of course, this is all dependent on your playstyle, and you may find two long-range weapons suit you if you prefer to keep your distance.
  • You can see the clip of the Bison at all times, even if you're wielding another weapon. This lets you know how immediately and aggressively you can use it before you even switch to it. Though it may seem obvious, you should try to keep the clip full -- reloading it when you have a spare moment if you notice that it isn't. Due to its non-reliance on ammo and suppressive abilities mentioned above, it's invaluable in a firefight if you empty your primary clip and don't have time to reload.


Weapon Effect
Passive Effect
60% less damage from your own rockets.

The Gunboats are a craftable secondary weapon for the Soldier. When equipped, the Gunboats will reduce the damage you take from rocket jumps by a further 60%, resulting in roughly 15 self-inflicted damage for each rocket jump.

  • The greatest advantage of the Gunboats is that it provides you with considerable mobility without the risk of health loss. This can allow you to chain rocket jumps together to quickly reach your destination, or to ambush enemies with more health. It can also be used to quickly escape losing battles.
  • One common strategy for the Gunboats is to perform bombing attacks or runs over enemies. Using your enhanced mobility, you can get behind enemy lines or quickly intercept pushing groups, then perform a rocket jump over the heads of an enemy group while raining rockets down.
  • Firepower is reduced without the Shotgun, so make the most of the Rocket Launcher. Keep this in mind when encountering enemies that can easily dodge rockets, as well as when using rocket jumps to attack enemies from above.
  • Combining the Black Box with the Gunboats may seem counter-intuitive due to the low clip and the lack of a usable secondary, but it can provide an edge in survivability and ambushing when playing as a roaming Soldier.
  • Using this along with the Direct Hit is typically not recommended, as the splash damage from it will generally be too small to affect you unless you are rocket jumping.
  • The Cow Mangler 5000 goes very well with the Gunboats. Unlimited ammo, coupled with reduced damage, allows you to gain very high mobility, comparable to that of a Scout.
  • When the Gunboats are equipped with the Beggar's Bazooka, you can survive multiple misfires and effectively rocket pogo in mid air, resulting in the ability to jump farther without the aid of walls and floors. If you manage to maneuver near an enemy, the two or three rockets loaded in the bazooka should be sufficient to kill most enemies.


Weapon Kill Icon Effect
Damage Passive Effect
Killicon mantreads.png 3x Fall Damage 75% reduction in push force from damage.

The Mantreads are a craftable secondary weapon for the Soldier. While worn, you receive only a quarter of the usual Knockback from enemy explosions, and can inflict stomping damage through long falls when falling on enemies.

  • As with most other Soldier secondary weapons, keep your primary weapon loaded as often as possible.
  • The Mantreads can be used to hold high locations, where fall damage would do considerable damage, or perhaps even kill you.
    • If you do somehow fall off, you may be able to save yourself by landing on an enemy.
  • Using the Rocket Jumper with this weapon can increase its usefulness, but this is situational to large and open maps such as Hightower.

Buff Banner + reskins

Weapon Effect
Buff Damage Dealt to Activate Effect Time Effect Range
Buff Banner
Buff Banner
Allows your teammates near you to deal mini-crits. 600 10 seconds 450 Hammer units
Festive Buff Banner
Festive Buff Banner

The Buff Banner is an unlockable secondary weapon for the Soldier. By dealing damage to enemies, you build up your Rage meter, and upon activating it, nearby teammates will gain a Mini-Crit boost, while still in proximity to the Soldier with the buff active, for ten seconds.

  • The Buff Banner is best used when teammates are about to make a push, or to counter enemy pushes. If teammates are attacking the enemy, the Buff Banner can give them enough firepower to dispatch their targets more easily, allowing them to quickly accomplish objectives or prevent the enemy team from accomplishing theirs.
  • The area of effect for the Buff Banner is large and passes through walls and floors. Use the Buff Banner from a safe position that helps teammates to push objectives. While this will reduce a player's ability to cause damage to the enemy, it also allows teammates to make the most of the buff.
  • Unlike Crits, Mini-Crits are still subject to damage ramp-up. Always take into account how far away enemies are, as a buff can help teammates to kill enemies more effectively at close range than at far.
  • When you activate the Buff Banner's buff, you instantly become a priority target for the enemy team. Stand in the middle of teammates, preferably behind a tall class such as the Heavy.
  • Just as with the Kritzkrieg, the Buff Banner is best when used with the Rocket Launcher. The wider blast radius will make it easier to build Rage, and - coupled with the non-reduced clip - also makes the Mini-Crit boost more effective.
  • Though it's better to use the Buff Banner when there are many teammates around, the Rage meter is not carried over between deaths, so, as with ÜberCharges, it's best to use it instead of lose it, especially when alone.
  • As a teamwork-oriented weapon, the Buff Banner can be employed far more effectively if working alongside a Medic.
    • When a friendly Medic ÜberCharges a teammate, contribute to the rampage by using the Buff Banner. This allows the Medic's heal target to deal increased damage while invulnerable. However, be sure not to use it during a Kritzkrieg charge, as the effects do not stack.
  • If the Buff Banner is used next to an Engineer, that Engineer's Sentry Gun will fire Mini-Crits no matter where it is on the map.
  • Snipers with the Bushwacka equipped can be effective with the Buff Banner's Mini-Crit boost, as their melee weapon deals full Critical hits instead of Mini-Crits.
  • The teamwork-oriented nature of this weapon is seen most when it's activated, as it becomes more effective the more teammates you have in its range. If you prefer to work alone, you may want to take a non-banner secondary.
  • Since the Buff Banner only charges on Damage done, it can be useful to aim for opponents that are under mini-crit debuffs, with weapons that deal more damage, such as the Direct Hit, or while under a crit-boost.
    • The Kritzkrieg Charge, other Soldiers' Buff Banner, and other critical hit boosts, when used on you, will help you charge your Buff Banner faster, assuming you can hit people. It is possible to get enough Rage within the time to use your Buff Banner before the effects from your teammates' buff has ended.

Battalion's Backup

Weapon Effect
Buff Passive effect Damage Dealt to Activate Effect Time Effect Range
Battalion's Backup
Battalion's Backup
Protects nearby teammates from crits and blocks 50% of Sentry Gun damage and 35% of other damage. The player gains 20 additional health. 600 10 seconds 450 Hammer units

The Battalion's Backup is a craftable secondary item for the Soldier. The Rage meter builds up by dealing damage to enemies, requiring 600 damage dealt for a full charge. Once the buff is activated, all teammates within the vicinity of the Soldier will have 50% damage resistance from Sentry Guns and 35% damage resistance from all other damage. Teammates under the effect of the Batallion's Backup will also be immune to Critical hits and Mini-crits. Passively, the weapon also gives the player an additional 20 health.

  • Like the Buff Banner, the Battalion's Backup is situational and most effective when multiple teammates are around to make use of it. It's best used when the team needs to make a push to accomplish an objective, or as a counter to an enemy push to prevent them from accomplishing an objective.
    • Kritzkrieg pairs can benefit from the damage reduction the Battalion's Backup provides if it's used to push in behind their ÜberCharge. Remember that the Kritzkrieg does not grant invulnerability to the Medic or patient, so they can still be damaged; the Battalion's Backup can give them the extra survivability needed to complete their task.
    • Try to pair a Battalion´s Backup with a friendly Soldier´s Buff Banner or Concheror. Using both will be very devastating.
  • As with the Buff Banner, not having the Shotgun available can greatly increase vulnerability against enemies that can avoid being damaged by rockets. Always make sure to stick with teammates and have them assist against such enemies.
  • The Battalion's Backup can act as a strong counter to the Buff Banner in that it can be used to completely nullify the Buff Banner's effects and protect teammates from an aggressive enemy push. However, this depends on being able to react quickly to the enemy push, as activating the banner takes time during which the enemy can still inflict Mini-Crits.
  • The Battalion's Backup is excellent for pushing into areas covered by Snipers. Headshots count as Critical hits and will be nullified by the Backup's buff.
    • However, keep in mind that backstabs will still instantly kill anyone under the Battalion's Backup's effect.
    • As Snipers frequently occupy areas with long sight lines, you may find it's often more effective to deploy this in wider-open spaces instead of indoors or underground.
  • Also like the Buff Banner, the Battalion's Backup becomes more useful the more teammates you can buff at once with its effect, so similar to that weapon, it may not be a wise choice to take this if you largely fight alone or with only a few teammates.


Weapon Effect
Buff Passive effect Damage Dealt Effect Time Effect Range
Teammates are healed for 35% of damage dealt and given a speed boost. Heals the player for 2 points every second. 480 10 seconds 450 Hammer units

The Concheror is a craftable secondary weapon for the Soldier. It builds Rage by inflicting damage like the Buff Banner, and when activated, will provide a speed boost and cause 35% of all damage dealt to the enemy to return as healing to whoever inflicted the damage. Passively, the player gets 2 health restored every second when the weapon is equipped.

  • The Concheror's health replenishment abilities, like the Black Box, can be used for rooting out enemy Spies, since shooting a disguised Spy will heal you.
  • The Concheror's buff can bolster Medic healing considerably, taking pressure off of friendly Medics and allowing them to focus only on teammates who require the most attention.
  • The Concheror is ideal for supporting a charge. Whereas the Battalion's Backup and Buff Banner are both useful for breaching enemy choke-points, the added survivability provided by the Concheror's buff can keep multiple teammates in the fight and on the front lines. This makes it especially valuable for attacking teams during Payload, some versions of Control Points, and King of the Hill.
    • Combined with the speed boost, the charge will go faster and have less of the slow classes falling behind, making it even more effective for a charge.
  • Just like the other banner weapons, the Concheror's power scales with how much support from nearby teammates you have. However, it's somewhat easier to get away with using this on your own, since the health boosts can sometimes help you more when solo than mini-crits or reduced damage, though it's still recommended to take a non-banner secondary if you're not often fighting alongside your teammates.

B.A.S.E. Jumper

Weapon Effect
Activation Active effect
B.A.S.E. Jumper
B.A.S.E. Jumper
Press "Jump" in mid-air to deploy chute Decrease descend speed and acceleration

The B.A.S.E Jumper is a craftable secondary weapon for the Soldier. When Soldier is in mid air, he can activate it by pressing the jump key (default key: Spacebar) to activate a parachute, slowing and capping his vertical descent and allowing him to better control his ability to strafe. Pressing the jump key again will deactivate the parachute, allowing the Soldier to fall normally. The player can then reactivate the parachute in midair, as many times as they want. Players can attack with any of their weapons while the parachute is deployed.

  • The B.A.S.E Jumper is greatly situational, as many official maps have a lower ceiling when compared to custom maps, and made even less effective when used indoors. Nonetheless, its decreased descend speed allow the Soldier to cross wider chasms.
  • B.A.S.E Jumper can help extend a jump duration. If the initial jump was an explosive jump, for the entire duration until landing it will be treated as such. Thus, weapons that receive boost from rocket jumps, such as Air Strike and Market Gardener, benefit from it greatly,
  • If the B.A.S.E. Jumper is used to create a longer aerial assault duration, consider using Black Box with the B.A.S.E. Jumper to replenish health during the aerial assault. It also help offsets the initial self damage from a rocket jump better when compared to either Air Strike or Liberty Launcher due to the self-heal.

Melee Weapons

Shovel + reskins

Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage
Point Blank Critical
Killicon shovel.png 0.8 seconds 65 195
Frying Pan
Frying Pan
Killicon frying pan.png
Killicon saxxy.png
Conscientious Objector
Conscientious Objector
Killicon conscientious objector.png
Freedom Staff
Freedom Staff
Killicon freedom staff.png
Bat Outta Hell
Bat Outta Hell
Killicon bat outta hell.png
Ham Shank
Ham Shank
Killicon ham shank.png
Necro Smasher
Necro Smasher
Killicon necro smasher.png
Crossing Guard
Crossing Guard
Killicon crossing guard.png
The Shovel is a reasonable choice when conserving ammo
  • The Shovel is a viable option for close-range enemies without the risk of inflicting self-damage by using the Rocket Launcher, or if reloading the Shotgun will take too long.
  • Because you are slower than every other class, except for the Heavy or a Demoman using the Scotsman's Skullcutter, running after an enemy is not a good choice with the Shovel.
  • A tricky strategy is to use the splash damage from your primary weapon to bounce an enemy directly into your Shovel.
  • If you're out of ammo in your Shotgun clip (or don't have a Shotgun equipped at all), you can use the Shovel to finish off enemies in corners.
    • You can do this forcefully by using your rocket's strong knockback to throw them into a corner.


Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage
Point Blank Critical
Killicon equalizer.png 0.8 seconds 33-107




The Equalizer is an unlockable melee weapon for the Soldier. You will deal more damage at low health while equipped with the Equalizer; however, you cannot be healed by Medics while the Equalizer is drawn.

  • It's important to know how much damage the Equalizer can do at certain health brackets. Above 121 HP, the Equalizer does less damage than the Shovel, but with low enough health, it's capable of killing almost any class with just one or two hits.
  • Rocket jumping and ambushing enemies is an excellent way to utilize the Equalizer. By using rocket jumps to hide in places where the enemy does not suspect, it's possible to ambush enemy players and score at least one or two kills.
  • If you have the Equalizer drawn, you cannot be healed by Medics. If it is pulled out while being healed or during an ÜberCharge, the link to your Medic will be broken.
  • Do not run into a fight alone with the Equalizer out; only take out the Equalizer when at low health and when already in the thick of an engagement. If there are more enemies around than allies, simply fight to the death. Even if the Equalizer isn't the active weapon, enemies will likely focus fire on Soldiers due to the high amount of threat they present on the battlefield. Usually, the only option is to make a last stand and take out as many enemies as possible.
  • If you intend to keep your health high, take another weapon. As stated above, the Equalizer does less damage at higher health, and it will interfere with receiving health from Medics. It's probably not the best option if you've got many sources of healing available and you want to use them.

Escape Plan

Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage
Point Blank Critical
Escape Plan
Escape Plan
Killicon escape plan.png 0.8 seconds 65 195

The Escape Plan is a craftable melee weapon for the Soldier. It is the speed boost version of the Equalizer; as health decreases, speed increases, but while it is in use and for some time after, the user takes mini-crits. Like the Equalizer, the boost and mini-crits are restricted to when melee is equipped, and the player cannot be healed by Medics with the weapon equipped, allowing health and help to be reached faster in exchange for increased vulnerability and a basic-damage melee weapon.

  • The speed boost that the Escape Plan grants you when you're injured can be used to reach or escape combat just as fast as rocket jumping; if there are more allies around than enemies, use the speed to run away for health packs or safety.
  • The Escape Plan is a tool of escape: the speed increase you receive allows you to outrun all classes but the Scout. If a fight is not going well, equip it and retreat.
  • Be careful about when you draw the Escape Plan. Players can easily gauge your health by looking at how fast your movement speed is, which can in turn cause them to focus fire on you and finish you off at range.
  • Don't be fooled by this weapon's base damage; though not as powerful as the Equalizer, a critical hit will still kill all classes bar Heavies, Soldiers, and overhealed Pyros or Demomen.
  • Try to get out of the line of fire before pulling out the Escape Plan; using it when the enemy can still directly hit you will make you extremely vulnerable.
  • If you engage in melee often or use the Rocket Jumper or a non-Shotgun/Righteous Bison secondary, it may be better to use another weapon, or you could be left with only one viable weapon to defend yourself with.

Pain Train

Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage
Point Blank Critical
Pain Train
Pain Train
Killicon pain train.png 0.8 seconds 65 195

The Pain Train is a craftable melee weapon for the Soldier and Demoman. While equipped, it doubles the rate at which you capture control points, but leaves you more vulnerable to hitscan weapons. These effects are passive, and do not require the Pain Train to be active.

  • The Pain Train is an ideal weapon for helping teammates to accomplish capture objectives more quickly. While Scouts can often lack the firepower required to contest a point, a Soldier can reliably fight off any defenders that try to stop a capture.
  • Never equip the Pain Train on a Mann vs. Machine map, Capture the Flag map, or while defending in an Attack/Defend Control Point map or Payload map. The doubled capture speed will not do anything on those gamemodes, but bearing the weapon will still grant the +10% extra damage from bullets.
  • The Pain Train is an effective tool for Back-capping, as it grants the same capturing abilities as a Scout. This can work very well combined with the Rocket Jumper or Gunboats.
  • The healing from the Black Box can help to counter the 10% bullet vulnerability from the Pain Train.
  • The Battalion's Backup may help you survive longer with its damage reduction by negating the damage penalty; however, try not to die while gaining rage.
  • Do not use the Pain Train if you have a problem with Scouts, Heavies, Sentry Guns, and Snipers. The +10% hitscan damage vulnerability will make their job of killing you easier, as they primarily rely on bullet weaponry.


Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage Healing
Point Blank Critical On Kill
Killicon half-zatoichi.png 0.8 seconds 65 195/Instant 200

The Half-Zatoichi is a craftable melee weapon for the Soldier. It fully restores the player's health upon killing an enemy; however, the player cannot switch weapons until a kill has been made.

  • Due to the Soldier's slow movement rate, it's often better to ambush enemies rather than try to attack head-on. Most players can easily outpace an approaching Soldier.
  • Due to not being able to sheathe the weapon unless a kill is made, it's wise to only use the Half-Zatoichi either as a last resort or if a kill can be guaranteed. Failing to make a kill will leave players highly vulnerable to ranged attacks from enemies.
    • As such, it is often wise to switch between primary and secondary weapons upon spawning, so that if the quick-switch key is pressed, the Half-Zatoichi will not be accidentally equipped.
  • Remember that when fighting an enemy equipped with the Half-Zatoichi, both players will be killed in one attack from the weapon, no matter how much health they have. As such, the key to dueling other Soldiers or Demomen who are brandishing the Half-Zatoichi is landing the first hit.
  • This weapon is superb for Medieval Mode, due to weapons being restricted largely to melee weapons. However, be especially careful of other players also using the Half-Zatoichi.
    • Don't use the Mantreads with this weapon in this mode; the one-hit-kill only works when the weapon is active, while the Mantreads' effect is passive, leaving you with no weapon to switch if confronted with another wielder. Plus, the Mantreads are very limited in this game mode.
  • Despite its length and being a sword weapon -- one also useable by the Demoman at that -- this weapon does not have increased attack range. Don't go into melee fights thinking you'll have a range advantage.
  • A very useful trick when using this weapon is knowing when it actually equips. If you switch to the Half-Zatoichi and use the quick-switch key to change to another weapon before the switching animation finishes, it is possible to bypass the negative aspect of Honorbound. This is useful if you have a second thought of when to draw it or if you have already started switching to it.
  • Don't equip the Gunboats or Mantreads when using this weapon; their effects are passive, which makes the Soldier automatically switch to this weapon if Rocket Launcher ammo runs out or you manually switch weapons. It's recommended that you take a Shotgun.
  • If you're careless, consider turning off "fast weapon switch" just in case you do accidentally switch to it. This will give you a bit of time to think before you choose.
  • If you get caught out in the open with the Zatoichi without a kill, such as when a teammate steals your melee kill, stick with a teammate that fights at close range (preferably an experienced one, or it may happen again) and tell them to try not to kill the next target so you can get a Zatoichi kill. However, it may be more viable to go back to a resupply closet, unless you're already in the battlefield.
  • This weapon's healing bonus means you can take more risks; such as jumping off of something (taking fall damage) and killing a few enemies in a heavily populated area. Always only target one person at once, because they may kill you before you can get the health.

Disciplinary Action

Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage Effect
Point Blank Critical Speed Boost Duration
Disciplinary Action
Disciplinary Action
Killicon disciplinary action.png 0.8 seconds 49 147 40% 4 seconds

The Disciplinary Action is a craftable melee weapon for the Soldier. Upon hitting a teammate, it gives both you and the teammate a speed boost for four seconds. It also has an extended melee range and strikes a full 360-degree area around the Soldier. However, the Disciplinary Action does 25% less damage compared to the Shovel.

  • Hitting Scouts with the Disciplinary Action will give them a small speed boost, but will still grant you the full speed boost.
  • Use the Disciplinary Action to get slower classes, along with yourself, to the front lines faster. Heavies especially will appreciate the speed boost.
  • At the same time, don't be afraid to use this mid-battle; there are few things more terrifying than a speeding Pyro or a spun-up Heavy that can close in that much faster. Consider doing this to Übercharged allies to get more out of their limited charge.
  • An Engineer hauling a building to the front lines will appreciate the speed boost very much. This can help them deploy Sentry Guns or Teleporters more quickly.
  • If multiple teammates are in need of healing, but a Medic isn't nearby them, use the Disciplinary Action to get the Medic to teammates in need before they die.
  • Don't let the reduced damage fool you - the Disciplinary Action can be very useful in melee fights. Boasting the highest attack range of any melee weapon in the game, it gives you longer melee reach than any other class, even sword-wielding Demomen. Take advantage of this and keep moving to land hits more often than your opponent and it'll quickly make up for the damage penalty.
    • The Disciplinary Action also has the curious property of being able to hit enemies to the side or behind you. This can be exploited to cover your flanks and back, but don't expect to save yourself from getting backstabbed this way; you aren't going to be able to kill a Spy in one swing.
  • If there are multiple allies in an area, they'll form a "net" that you can run along with each teammate acting as a node. You'll be able to move quickly around friendly-occupied territory in this way by whipping your way from player to player.
  • The Disciplinary Action is a good Spy-checking weapon. Not only are you already Spy-checking by whipping allies to speed them up - as disguised enemy Spies will be damaged instead of sped-up when hit - but it gives you an excuse to Spy-check an area for extended periods without rendering yourself useless, as any innocent teammates will receive a speed boost for their trouble.
    • As an example, this can be a good weapon to have on hand if you're holding down a defended area not under immediate attack, especially if it's near a respawn. Whipping anyone you see will get freshly-spawned teammates to their destinations quicker and will weed out enemy Spies.
    • As previously mentioned, the Disciplinary Action hits a full 360-degree area around you. This means that you don't need to be facing a Spy to hit them (though you should never turn your back to a potential Spy).
  • While the Escape Plan is ideal for getting out of combat, the Disciplinary Action is best for getting you and your allies into combat. On a related note, the former's boost is more reliable, while the latter's is more versatile. When deciding which weapon to use, think about which of these traits you consider to be more important.
  • This is a useful weapon to have with a pocket Medic, as you won't be engaging into melee combat often with a Medic, and if your Medic gets hurt, you can "whip him to safety" with the speed boost to escape the front lines.

Market Gardener

Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage
Point Blank Critical
Market Gardener
Market Gardener
Killicon market gardener.png 0.8 seconds 65 195

The Market Gardener is a craftable melee weapon for the Soldier. The Market Gardener inflicts Critical hits any time you are airborne during a rocket jump. However, the Market Gardener does not roll for random Critical hits.

  • The Market Gardener pairs well with the Reserve Shooter's slight decrease in weapon-switching delay, making for easier mid-air attacks.
  • Alternatively, the Market Gardener can be paired with the Gunboats to rocket-jump more often, and thus open up more opportunities to inflict Critical hits.
  • If the server has turned off critical hits, the Market Gardener becomes a direct upgrade to the Shovel. In that case, if you intend to use either Shovel weapon, equip this if you have it.
  • If an enemy is also in midair while you hit them with the Market Gardener, a Critical hit will still apply, regardless of what class.

Taunt attacks


Kill Icon Weapon Damage Duration Details
Killicon kamikaze.png Equalizer
Escape Plan
500 4 seconds The Soldier throws his weapon, cracks his knuckles, rips a Grenade from his bandolier and pulls the pin. The blast kills him and any enemy within 6 feet.
Killicon hhg.png
(Lumbricus Lid)
Just like the above description, but with a special "Hallelujah" sound clip that will play before exploding when the Lumbricus Lid is equipped.

Kamikaze is the third longest-range taunt in the game and works independent of direction. When this taunt is performed, the Soldier will die; any enemy players and buildings that are close by will also die or be destroyed, respectively.

  • Wearing the Lumbricus Lid while taunting will play the "Hallelujah" sound clip roughly 1.5 seconds before the explosion, which may be long enough to warn nearby enemies to keep a safe distance away.
  • Use the Kamikaze during humiliation. You'll likely die anyway and this can help you take out as many enemies as possible as you go. At the very least, better to die than be killed, right?

Weapon Combinations

Class Combat Strategies

See also: Soldier match-ups

Leaderboard class scout.png Scout

  • While Scouts are weak enough to be dispatched by a few rockets, few Scouts will give Soldiers the opportunity to do so. Scouts will often use their double-jump ability to dodge fire and prevent Soldiers from landing clean hits at close range.
    • The easiest way to counter a double-jumping Scout is to predict where the second jump will place the Scout, then fire a rocket there to juggle the Scout, allowing for easy follow-up.
    • It's also possible to directly hit the Scout with a contact rocket. Direct contact rockets are often enough to either kill a Scout outright or force a retreat, due to the Scout's low health.
    • The Shotgun can be a useful choice for engaging Scouts, as it prevents them from dodging around to avoid damage as easily as with the Rocket Launcher. Good aim and prediction with the Shotgun can usually result in a victory.
    • Be warned that using the Direct Hit can be a major disadvantage when fighting a Scout due to the reduced splash damage radius. While a direct contact rocket will almost certainly kill a Scout at close range, landing splash damage in an attempt to juggle the Scout is much harder.
  • Scouts often tend to use their speed to flank and ambush their enemies, dealing as much damage as possible at close range and then retreating before the enemy can react. Always keep an eye on surroundings, and try to spot Scouts as they maneuver for a flank in order to predict where they might reappear.
  • If a Scout tries to perform a weapon heckle, there is little that can be done besides trying to predict the range at which the Scout may try to engage at. In general, try to avoid fighting Scouts in open areas where they can use their maneuverability to heckle their targets.
  • Be especially aware of Scouts using the Force-A-Nature, as it is capable of dealing significant damage in ambushes, and its knockback can prevent their targets from immediately responding. Whenever possible, try to catch Scouts in the middle of reloading their weapons, and fight them at a distance.
    • Be further aware of Scouts using the Force-A-Nature to force jump up to areas that are normally only accessible via rocket jumping. Scouts can sometimes follow Soldiers up vertical access points and ambush them from behind.
  • A Scout with Bonk! Atomic Punch will usually attempt to use it to get past friendly Sentry Guns. When dealing with such a Scout, try to physically body-block them to halt progress; this is especially useful in narrow corridors and doorways.
    • The Rocket Launcher can also be used to juggle them; however, beware of Scouts attempting to close the distance in order to cause the rockets to inflict self-damage. In such a case, simply switch to the Shotgun and wait for the Bonk!'s effects to wear off.
  • A Scout under the effects of Crit-a-Cola can deal a tremendous amount of damage in a flanking maneuver; however, as the Scout will also take 10% increased damage, a few Shotgun blasts or a single rocket is usually enough to end the fight. The trick for dealing with such Scouts is to attack first.
  • If a Scout manages to inflict stun using the Sandman, try to face the Scout and attack as soon as its effects wear off. Scouts will rarely attempt to dodge when attacking a stunned enemy, and are easier to dispatch due to the Sandman's -15 maximum HP penalty.

Leaderboard class soldier.png Soldier

  • Fighting another Soldier largely depends on judging where to land rockets for the greatest amount of damage, individual loadouts, and aiming skill with the Shotgun.
    • In general, if both Soldiers are using the Rocket Launcher, the outcome of the duel will depend mostly on aim and dodging. Maneuvering to avoid the most splash damage from the enemy Soldier's rockets will be the key to surviving, as well as trying to place rockets where they will do the most damage to the enemy Soldier.
    • A Soldier using the Direct Hit can cause more damage to the other with contact hits, but will have trouble landing splash damage or juggling the enemy Soldier for a Mini-Crit. Furthermore, corners and obstacles cannot be utilized to land splash damage, which can be a significant problem if the other Soldier is not using the Direct Hit.
    • Fighting using the Black Box is similar to the Rocket Launcher; however, it can be harder to finish an opponent off with only three rockets, and its health regeneration capabilities are easily overwhelmed by the raw damage that rockets can inflict. If one or both Soldiers are using the Black Box, the outcome of the duel will depend more on what secondary and melee weapons are being carried.
  • Deciding when to take the Shotgun out is important, as it can be used to quickly finish off enemy Soldiers after two or so rockets if both Soldiers' rockets have placed the two very close together.
    • If a backpack buff item is equipped, the outcome will depend on what type of buff is being carried, as well as whether or not it's active. Furthermore, the melee weapons being carried will be the final decider in the event that both Soldiers are carrying backpack buff items.
  • Melee duels between Soldiers can vary widely, as the Soldier has several different melee weapons available. The Equalizer is often the most-frequently wielded melee weapon for the Soldier, and the outcome will often depend on who lands the first hit as well as the health levels of both Soldiers at that point. The Half-Zatoichi is capable of healing upon kill, but does not benefit from increased damage or speed; furthermore, it poses the danger of the enemy Soldier simply retreating out of melee range and switching to another weapon. If both Soldiers are wielding the Half-Zatoichi, either will be killed in a single hit.
  • When fighting an enemy Soldier, always try to take the height advantage first and prevent the enemy Soldier from doing the same. The general rule is that the Soldier who has the height advantage is often the winner.
    • If the enemy Soldier tries to take the height advantage, try to prevent this using whatever means possible, from hitting them in midair with rockets to using the Shotgun to push them away.
    • Learning how to air-strafe can be crucial to survival when fighting an enemy Soldier who has the height advantage. Air-strafing prevents enemy Soldiers from landing clean hits with the Rocket Launcher, making achieving height parity easier.
  • If an enemy Soldier has an active backpack buff, it's often best to simply deny combat until its effects wear off. Fighting an enemy Soldier who has a Mini-Crit, damage resistance, or health regeneration buff can be hard if both start off on equal footing otherwise. Try to use the Shotgun to gain an advantage over enemy Soldiers with backpack buff items.
    • If both Soldiers are carrying backpack buff items, it's possible to negate the enemy's buff by countering with another buff, or vice-versa. In particular, the Battalion's Backup is capable of nullifying any advantage from the Buff Banner, and the Concheror can help to mitigate any Mini-Crit damage taken as well.
  • The Direct Hit is an excellent tool for taking down Soldiers who rocket-jump often. As Mini-Crits are inflicted on enemies sent skyward by explosives, a single Direct Hit rocket is capable of decisively dealing with an enemy Soldier.

Leaderboard class pyro.png Pyro

  • The Pyro's greatest advantage lies in the ability to use compression blast to deflect rockets and inflict Mini-Crits on foes using deflected projectiles. When fighting alongside teammates, always be careful about firing rockets as a skilled Pyro can use those rockets against them.
    • If using rockets to deal with the Pyro, try to launch them in such a way that the Pyro has no chance to deflect the rocket properly, or try to fire them into gaps between compression blasts. Using obstacles to land splash damage also prevents clean reflects.
    • If using the Direct Hit, be sure to actively dodge the rockets as well since damage can be avoided by staying outside of the rockets' small splash radius.
    • Only try to fire rockets at a Pyro if there are teammates to provide a distraction. Pyros cannot deflect rockets that they cannot see, so ambushing them or attacking from above can make a huge difference.
  • The best way to deal with a Pyro is simply to use the Shotgun to deny the Pyro a chance to deflect any rockets. Try to engage Pyros from outside of their Flamethrower's range and deal as much damage as possible to force a retreat.
    • Another trick is to try to goad them into using the Shotgun, and then quickly switching to the Rocket Launcher to attack them while they do not have the Flamethrower out. However, this is not possible against Pyros using the Degreaser.
  • In general, never try to use a melee weapon against a Pyro, as it offers the significant danger of being ignited and then finished off with the Axtinguisher. Unless the Pyro has been juggled, it's always possible to have the tables turned in a fight.
  • The Righteous Bison, with its slow but unreflectable projectile, is very useful against the Pyro in tight quarters and long ranges, such as the sewers in 2Fort.

Leaderboard class demoman.png Demoman

  • Demomen, like Soldiers, rely largely on explosive projectiles and a combination of knockback and juggling to defeat their opponents. Depending on the circumstances, they are easier and harder to defeat than a Soldier.
    • A Demoman's greatest advantage over the Soldier is the ability to arc projectiles over obstacles or around corners where Soldiers cannot respond in kind. However, Demomen are somewhat easier to fight in direct combat since their explosives are either time-delayed or must be manually detonated.
    • Demomen often rely on using their Stickybomb Launcher in order to deal damage. While it has a considerably shorter range than the Rocket Launcher, it can deal more damage per projectile and can juggle their targets more easily, as well as deploy more than one bomb simultaneously. The easiest way to deal with the Stickybomb Launcher is to stay outside of its range.
    • The Grenade Launcher is usually simple to deal with, as it mainly comes down to avoiding getting hit directly by a grenade. Any grenades that hit the ground will automatically detonate after a set period of time, so it's simply a matter of avoiding them when they do detonate.
  • Demomen can use their Stickybomb Launcher to lay sticky traps and detonate them when the enemy crosses it. Always be ready to deal with stick traps around corners or doorways.
    • The most reliable way to deal with sticky traps is simply to use the Shotgun to destroy them. Take advantage of the fact that the first projectile for hitscan weapons that have not been fired for at least one second always travels straight down the crosshair to precisely destroy stickies at a distance. Always be careful not to get within range of the sticky trap's blast radius when removing them.
    • The Rocket Launcher can also be used to scatter sticky traps quickly if using the Shotgun will take too long. This can reduce the chances of a sticky trap killing any teammates; however, the stickies are still under the control of the Demoman, who can still detonate them and damage or kill any players within the trap. Try to scatter stickies in a direction where they cannot harm teammates (such as pushing them towards enemy lines), or simply off of ledges.
  • Like the Soldier, Demomen can explosive-jump by using the Stickybomb Launcher. While they take more damage from such jumps, they can jump farther distances. If using the Direct Hit, try to knock them out of the sky, as a single rocket is often enough to finish a Demoman.
  • A Demoman who has the Chargin' Targe and a long-range melee weapon equipped (a Demoknight) can be difficult to deal with without a Shotgun handy. As the Chargin' Targe effectively halves any damage that the Rocket Launcher can inflict, the Rocket Launcher can only really juggle the Demoman, but not reliably kill unless the Demoman was already previously damaged.
    • If a Demoman uses a charge to close the distance, try to use the Rocket Launcher to juggle them and stop the charge, or try to stay out of its line of charge. Remember that weapons like the Eyelander and Scotsman's Skullcutter have a surprisingly long melee range, so Demomen can land hits at ranges that may seem safe.
    • The best melee counter to this is the Disciplinary Action. The fact that it deals less damage is not enough to offset the fact that it has the longest melee weapon reach in the game, meaning you can attack from an even safer distance than the Demoknight. If Demoknights are on the other team, make use of this weapon.
  • Demomen using the Scottish Resistance are easier to deal with directly due to the weapon's longer bomb arm time, but harder to defeat if they have laid multiple sticky traps. Stickies laid by the Scottish Resistance can be selectively detonated by the Demoman, and are highlighted no matter their location, so Demomen can detonate sticky traps that they see are under attack, or selectively detonate scattered bombs that have been pushed towards teammates.
    • Sticky traps can also be selectively detonated and used as decoys. Remember that even if one trap may be laid in an obvious place and easily dealt with, it may be a decoy that is being used to distract players from a better-hidden trap nearby. If a trap is detonated by the Demoman, never assume that there are no other sticky traps nearby.
  • The Loch-n-Load allows Demomen to land direct contact grenades more easily, but limits the Demoman to two rounds and the inability to land splash damage with missed grenades. While the grenades are considerably harder to dodge and deal more damage, the Demoman is left more vulnerable while reloading, which can be used as an opportunity to deal with them.
  • If a Demoman is using the Ullapool Caber, simply try to stay outside of its range while dealing damage. The Rocket Launcher can be used to juggle any that are combining it with the Chargin' Targe, though the Shotgun can more easily deal with them as well.

Leaderboard class heavy.png Heavy

  • Fighting Heavies mainly depends on the terrain. A Heavy's Minigun will quickly kill any Soldiers within a certain range given a clear line of sight; however, the Rocket Launcher can be used to inflict splash damage around obstacles and corners, where the Heavy cannot counterattack.
    • In general, if obstacles cannot be used to inflict splash damage, try to fight Heavies at long range where their Minigun's damage falloff and spread reduces the amount of damage taken.
    • Ambushing Heavies from higher ground also provides a measure of cover. Often, Heavy players will only focus on what is in front of them, and can be dispatched quickly by ambushing them with rockets.
  • Letting a Heavy within close range is not advised, as the Minigun will quickly shred any targets at close range and they can simply outlast Soldiers in Shotgun or melee fights. As Heavies are the slowest class in the game, it's not hard for a Soldier to outmaneuver a Heavy, so use this to deny Heavies a chance to close in.
  • Spun-up Heavies are easy targets for rockets from the Direct Hit, as they are not hard to lead. Try engaging such Heavies at a distance, especially if they are out in the open and especially if they are using the Brass Beast.
  • The Battalion's Backup is an excellent Heavy counter, as it can drastically cut down the Heavy's firepower advantage. Heavies that are preventing teammates from advancing can often be made to retreat by using the Battalion's Backup.
  • Be especially wary of Heavies that are using the Fists of Steel, as it greatly reduces all projectile damage taken. Try to slow the Heavy's progress by juggling the enemy player with rockets, but if the distance is close enough, simply take out a melee weapon and charge the Heavy.
  • Heavies using the Gloves of Running Urgently are rarely a direct threat due to the weapon's low damage output. However, most Heavies simply use them for maneuvering and reaching their destinations faster, so it's always advised to try to kill them quickly while they cannot counterattack.

Leaderboard class engineer.png Engineer

  • By themselves, Engineers are not hard to deal with, since they lack the firepower needed to kill a Soldier except through ambushes. Two rockets is usually enough to dispatch an Engineer reliably.
  • Be cautious of Engineers who set up ambush Sentry Guns by using the Gunslinger, as Combat Mini-Sentry Guns can deal a surprising amount of damage when used in an ambush, and the Engineer is harder to kill due to the +25 HP bonus. When dealing with such an Engineer, try to fight them one at a time instead of both simultaneously, and try to destroy the Sentry Gun from outside of its range first if possible.
  • An Engineer using the Frontier Justice can kill Soldiers with just two shots, so tread carefully if dealing with such an Engineer. Try to ambush them from high areas where the terrain can be used as a shield against Crits.

Engineer Buildings

  • The key to destroying Sentry Guns as a Soldier lies in the Rocket Launcher's ability to deal splash damage. By using splash damage, players can effectively damage a Sentry Gun from outside of its range of fire or from around corners, without the Sentry Gun being able to return fire.
  • If an Engineer is constantly repairing the Sentry Gun, direct fire to the ground surrounding the Engineer (or nearby objects) to kill him or her, or attack the Dispenser.
  • Once a Sentry Gun is unattended or the Dispenser is down, it will only take a maximum of three well-aimed rockets to destroy it, or in the case of the Direct Hit, two rockets will suffice.
  • Since the Engineer update, Engineers are now stationing their Sentry Guns out in the open and using the Wrangler, as they would normally fall victim to attackers outside its sensor range when in an open area. They are still vulnerable to long-range rocket attacks, since the turret is now under manual control and cannot be as quickly reloaded and repaired.
    • Pay attention to where the laser from the Sentry Gun is pointing, and then fire into the Sentry Gun from afar. This tactic works best during heavy fighting, when the Engineer is distracted.
    • If the Engineer is also out in the open, focus on killing him or her first, as an Engineer is easier to kill than a Wrangler-shielded Sentry Gun. Once dead, the Engineer's Sentry Gun will be disabled (but shielded) for 3 seconds, leaving it vulnerable to follow-up attacks.
  • It's possible to "edge" a Sentry Gun by shooting at it from around a corner where it cannot fire back, and damage it with the rockets' splash damage.
  • While popping in and out of cover to attack a Sentry Gun, be wary while reloading, as more skilled Engineers will often leave the protection of the sentry to ambush you and try for a lucky kill rather than let you harass their Sentry Gun.

Leaderboard class medic.png Medic

  • Dealing with lone Medics is not hard, but the real trouble comes from their patients, who will always do everything possible to protect the Medic.
    • When dealing with a Medic travelling with a buddy, try to ambush them and use the Rocket Launcher's knockback to separate the pair, then prey on the Medic. Using rocket jumps to gain a height or maneuverability advantage also helps.
  • Medics will often refuse combat against a Soldier and retreat when things turn against them. As Medics are the second-fastest class in the game, getting a successful kill often relies on the terrain and whether the Medic is fighting back.
    • In tight corridors, Medics using the Syringe Gun or Blutsauger will often retreat while firing around corners, using the syringes' delay to prevent enemies from pursuing. Never chase a Medic around a corner, and try to use alternate paths to ambush them.
    • Try to juggle retreating Medics if possible, to prevent them from successfully escaping. Bouncing a Medic into a corner will make landing a follow-up rocket much easier.
  • Medics fighting at long range will often use the Crusader's Crossbow. This cannot be countered easily except with the Direct Hit. Whenever possible, try to use rocket jumps to quickly close the gap, where the weapon's long reload time works against the Medic.

Leaderboard class sniper.png Sniper

  • As Snipers fight at long range, the Rocket Launcher is the only weapon that can reliably counter a Sniper. In general, try to fire rockets at objects near the Sniper to inflict splash damage, or simply to suppress the Sniper in order to get closer.
    • The Direct Hit is capable of countering Snipers at range, as the fast projectile travel time allows Soldiers to hit Snipers with more reliability. However, proper aim is required due to the significantly smaller splash damage radius.
  • Snipers will often take the high ground in order to get a better view of the battlefield. Whenever possible, use rocket jumps to reach these locations, as well as to close the gap faster.
    • Never rocket jump in plain view of a Sniper, as good Snipers can often predict the travel arc and land a headshot in midair.
  • Like Medics, Snipers will often refuse combat, and will immediately retreat if attacked. Use the Rocket Launcher's splash radius to juggle them and prevent this.
    • Snipers will sometimes equip Jarate and throw it at ambushers, then take out a melee weapon and go on the offensive; this can be especially deadly if the Sniper is using the Bushwacka in conjunction with Jarate. If this happens, simply keep out of melee range and continue attacking.
    • If a Sniper knows that an enemy is approaching, he or she may attempt to scope in with the Sniper Rifle and land a headshot when the attacker appears. Equip the Shotgun and constantly fire at the Sniper to prevent this.
  • Snipers equipped with the SMG are far from helpless in close-range combat, but not a huge threat, either. Simply keep out of the firing range and attack the Sniper while he is reloading.
    • The Cleaner's Carbine is lethal during close-range combat due to to its 8 seconds of Mini-Crits on kill. Since it needs a kill to obtain the critical hits, try attacking him first with the Rocket Launcher before he kills someone from your team. But if he does have the Mini-Crits, simply stay out of the firing range for 8 seconds, and use the Rocket Launcher to try to juggle him around, then finish him with a Shotgun.

Leaderboard class spy.png Spy

  • The key to dealing with Spies is to identify them before they can strike. Check teammates frequently, and always be sure to turn around frequently, as Soldiers are frequent targets for Spies.
    • Use the Rocket Launcher to juggle Spies whenever they have been identified. This can often prevent a Spy from getting a successful backstab against teammates.
    • If dealing with a Spy at close range, using the Shotgun or a melee weapon can reduce the chances of inflicting self-damage. However, using a melee weapon may give the Spy a chance to strafe and perform a sidestab, or even a facestab.
  • The Shotgun is a useful weapon for checking areas for cloaked Spies. Once a Spy's location has been determined, switch to the Rocket Launcher and splash the area to kill the Spy.
  • When using a backpack buff item, be wary of teammates who are not being affected by the buff, as this normally indicates that that player is an enemy Spy. Also, be sure to turn around frequently as a Soldier with an active banner is a high-priority target for Spies.
  • If a Spy is using the Dead Ringer, be sure to take out the Shotgun to Spy-check instead of the Rocket Launcher, as some Spies deliberately step in the way of rockets to cause them to inflict self-damage.
  • Cloaked Spy Detection: With a bit of skill and really good headphones, you can easily pinpoint cloaked Spy location trough his footsteps when he is moving.

Cooperative Class Strategies

Leaderboard class scout.png Scout

  • As Scouts are the most fragile offensive class, they sometimes have trouble fighting against tougher classes. Be sure to offer assistance against these classes whenever possible.
    • The Rocket Launcher's knockback can be used to pin enemies, making them easier targets for the Scout, or to push them away if the Scout is retreating.
    • Soldiers, presenting the most threat in combat out of all classes except the Heavy, can also serve as distractions against enemies, which can create opportunities for friendly Scouts to perform flanks and ambushes.
    • Both Scouts and Soldiers have a great deal of mobility. As such, both classes are able to use this maneuverability to conduct synchronized ambushes against unsuspecting groups of enemies.
  • A Scout using the Sandman can make enemies considerably easier to hit with rockets. A Sandman-wielding Scout and a Soldier can work in tandem to stun high-priority targets and eliminate them quickly.
  • A Scout using Mad Milk can help Soldiers to quickly recover health if used against an enemy group. The Rocket Launcher's splash damage can be used to replenish large amounts of health at a time. This effect can be amplified further for both by using the Buff Banner or augmented with the Concheror.
  • When using a backpack buff item, remember that Scouts cannot benefit from its effects without restricting their movements, which makes them easier targets for the enemy. If paired up with a Scout, try to fight as close to the enemy as possible.
    • In particular, a Scout can use the Boston Basher to inflict bleeding on an enemy, then retreat to inside of the radius of a Buff Banner to inflict Mini-Crit bleeding or that of a Concheror to slowly heal. The Battalion's Backup can also lessen damage if they hit themselves, although it's probably not a good idea to waste a charge on just that.
  • A Scout using the Fan O'War can make a Soldier's target significantly easier to kill by hitting the enemy and then retreating, making follow-up attacks for the next 10 seconds Mini-Crits. In particular, Mini-Crit rockets can kill almost any class in just two well-placed hits.
  • When equipped with the Pain Train, Soldiers can assist Scouts in capturing points, especially back-caps, while providing a significant amount of firepower to protect the Scout.
  • Soldiers equipped with the Disciplinary Action should hit the Scout to boost his speed up; this will make the Scout run even faster to objectives or capture points.

Leaderboard class soldier.png Soldier

  • When working alongside other Soldiers, try to use each other's rockets to juggle enemies and make follow-up attacks easier.
    • Using their mobility, two Soldiers can use rocket jumps to perform ambushes on enemy groups very successfully. This can significantly amplify the power of an ambush since two Soldiers can land large amounts of splash damage over enemy groups.
    • One of the best ways to work together with another Soldier is for one to have the Direct Hit while the other carries the a different primary. One Soldier can juggle opponents with rockets, while the Soldier with the Direct Hit can finish off juggled enemies with mini-crits. The other Soldier can further use their wider splash radius to deal with targets that the Soldier with the Direct Hit cannot.
      • This can also work with the Reserve Shooter, as that also deals mini-crits to airborne enemies. One Soldier can juggle opponents while the other uses the Shooter to finish them off. The beauty of this method is that both can carry the Shooter and alternate roles, which helps with the five-second limit.
    • Soldier pairs can also overwhelm Pyros using compression blast to deflect rockets by alternating fire to get rockets through the gaps between Compression Blasts. However, this is also dangerous, as improper timing can result in the Pyro deflecting both rockets at once into a single target.
  • Soldiers can also use their backpack buff items in tandem to build up their Rage meters.
    • If both Soldiers are using the Buff Banner, one can activate the banner, allowing the second Soldier to inflict Mini-Crits to quickly charge up his or her banner, which can then be used to allow the first Soldier to quickly build up another full Rage meter. This can also be used with the Batallion's Backup by using the protection from one to tank damage and build up Rage for the other; ditto with the Concheror, where the extra health from attacks will keep the Soldier alive longer to both take and deal more damage.
    • Different backpacks can also be combined for devastating effect. A simultaneous Buff Banner and Battalion's Backup push creates a nearly two-to-one firepower difference between teams with even numbers, a Concheror and Buff Banner together can allow players to recover large amounts of health, a Battalion's Backup and Concheror combo will severely bolster team defense by providing both protection and health recovery, and so on.
  • Two Soldiers wielding the Pain Train can use their mobility to perform back caps on push maps. However, unlike doing so with a Scout, two Soldiers have considerably more firepower and can more easily fend off any attempts to defend the capture point.
  • If one or both Soldiers are using the Half-Zatoichi, one of the Soldiers can use rockets to juggle and pin enemies, making it easier for the other Soldier to make a kill. Similarly, one Soldier can serve as a distraction to set the ground for an ambush by the other, which can be crucial due to the Soldier's slow movement speed.

Leaderboard class pyro.png Pyro

  • Soldiers can support Pyros with the Rocket Launcher, which has considerably more range than the Flamethrower or Shotgun. This can help to negate the Pyro's range weaknesses.
  • When setting up ambushes, Soldiers can use high ground to get the attention of enemy groups while the Pyro attacks from behind. This can be especially effective if the Pyro is using the Backburner.
  • Compression blast is extremely helpful for Soldiers, as Pyros can extinguish flames as well as deflect explosives and juggle enemies to make landing rockets easier. They can help against enemy Pyros reflecting the Soldier's rockets by reflecting them back.
  • Using the Buff Banner or Concheror can help Pyros to inflict greater damage or replenish health, respectively, due to either inflicting Mini-Crit afterburn or replenishing health from the same. This is especially noticeable if the Pyro has ignited multiple foes.
  • A Soldier with the Direct Hit and a Pyro with the Flare Gun can provide long-range support for teammates when fighting Snipers or other Soldiers.

Leaderboard class demoman.png Demoman

  • A Soldier and Demoman working side by side can deal out a huge amount of explosive damage. Both can cover each other by using direct-fire and arcing projectiles to attack targets as the situation demands.
    • In particular, Soldiers can cover the Demoman's close-range weakness with the Shotgun and Rocket Launcher, allowing the Demoman to make the most of locking down areas with the sticky traps. This is especially useful if the Demoman is using the Scottish Resistance, as the longer bomb arm time is less of an issue.
    • Demomen can set sticky traps to juggle and pin enemies for Soldiers to attack, or vice versa with the Soldier using the Rocket Launcher to knock enemies into sticky traps. Soldiers can also take advantage of friendly sticky traps by using the Direct Hit to inflict Mini-Crits on juggled targets.
  • As both classes can perform explosive jumps, Soldiers and Demomen can perform devastating ambushes by using their mobility to attack enemies from unexpected angles. However, keep in mind that Demomen take more self-damage from explosive jumps, so it's usually wise to allow them to grab health pickups first whenever possible.
    • By both using the Pain Train, a Soldier and Demoman can perform fast back-caps in the same manner as two Soldiers. However, in this case, the Demoman brings more flexibility in the ability to lay sticky traps to preemptively deny approaches to enemies attempting to stop the capture.
  • If an enemy Demoman is attempting to destroy friendly sticky traps with the Scottish Resistance, use the Shotgun to destroy the incoming stickybombs. Remember that the Scottish Resistance has a longer arming time, during which the stickies can still be destroyed.
    • If you don't have the Shotgun equipped, a rocket blast can scatter enemy stickies, lessening the damage they do to the traps.
  • Remember that the Buff Banner causes all damage inflicted by friendly players within its radius to become Mini-Crits. Any explosives fired or deployed by a Demoman prior to the banner being activated will inflict Mini-Crit damage while the Demoman is within its active radius.
    • Conversely, any explosives fired or deployed while within the radius of an active banner will cease to deal Mini-Crit damage when the Demoman walks out of its radius or the banner expires.
  • Rockets can be used to bounce opponents to make them easier for a Demoman using the Chargin' Targe to kill. Remember that the Chargin' Targe replaces the Stickybomb Launcher, so the Demoman loses the ability to place precise explosives.

Leaderboard class heavy.png Heavy

  • As the Heavy and Soldier are the most powerful direct combat classes in the game, a Soldier-Heavy pair can easily kill any enemies that stand in their path. They can use their hitscan and explosive weapons as the situation warrants to counter any attacks.
    • As the Soldier has more mobility than the Heavy, Soldiers can move in front of the Heavy and attack enemies first, giving the Heavy time to spin up the Minigun to deal with enemies as needed. Soldiers can also escape from losing combat situations more easily, so they can warn their partners of incoming danger more safely.
    • Rocket jumping onto higher terrain also allows Soldier to cover Heavies from above. The higher terrain gives enemies fewer places to hide, and allows the Soldier to spot targets or ambushes for the Heavy.
  • Always be especially wary of Spies. As the Soldier and Heavy are the slowest classes in the game, they are particularly vulnerable to backstabs. The pair should always watch each other's backs for Spies, and never focus on only a single direction while fighting.
  • As Heavies are fairly easy targets for Snipers, always be sure to use the Rocket Launcher or Righteous Bison to suppress enemy Sniper positions. This can allow Heavies to proceed forward more safely.
  • A Heavy using Natascha can slow enemies down, making them easier to hit with rockets.
    • Conversely, rockets can be used to juggle enemies, making them easier to hit for a Heavy using the Minigun or the Brass Beast.
    • Rockets can also be used to pin enemies against walls or corners, allowing a Heavy using the Killing Gloves of Boxing to score a kill more easily.
  • Whenever a Heavy is recovering health by eating a lunchbox item, be sure to watch for enemy pushes, and protect the Heavy as necessary. The Heavy may return the favor later by providing a Sandvich or Buffalo Steak Sandvich via dropping.
  • By consuming a Buffalo Steak Sandvich or equipping the Gloves of Running Urgently, a Heavy can move much faster. This added mobility can be used to reach ambush locations almost as quickly as a Soldier. Using this, Soldiers and Heavies can perform ambushes on unsuspecting groups that do not expect either to be there.
  • A Heavy with the Fists of Steel can act as a mobile shield for Soldiers. This can be especially helpful if dealing with Sentry Guns.
  • Use the Disciplinary Action to give a Heavy a speed boost while they have their gun revved. This is especially true with Heavies wielding the Brass Beast, as whipping them brings them back up to the base movement speed for the other miniguns.

Leaderboard class engineer.png Engineer

  • In general, Soldiers can assist Engineers by guarding their Buildings while the Engineer is setting up. Buildings are most vulnerable while they are being upgraded, so preventing or discouraging enemies from approaching can make setting them up easier.
  • If an ÜberCharge pushes in to destroy an Engineer's Buildings, try to use the Rocket Launcher to juggle one of the pair. The Sentry Gun's knockback is usually enough to push enemies away once they are airborne.
    • Conversely, try ambushing pushing enemies from behind and using the Rocket Launcher to knock them around corners into friendly Sentry Guns.
  • Soldiers can serve as useful escorts for Engineers who are hauling their Buildings forward. As an Engineer carrying a Building moves at about the same speed as a Heavy, Soldiers can keep up with little problem.
    • When an Engineer is hauling a Sentry Gun to the front lines, try to suppress any enemies attacking the Engineer. However, if the enemy has not noticed the Engineer's presence, it's usually wiser not to attract attention.
    • Soldiers Equipped with the Disciplinary Action, should hit the Engineer to bring his speed up, this will bring the buildings to where they are useful sooner.
  • If an Engineer is under the effects of the Buff Banner, any damage dealt by the Engineer's Sentry Gun will inflict Mini-Crits. If providing support from the rear alongside an Engineer with the Wrangler, a Buff Banner can help to suppress enemies more effectively. The effect can be shared further with teammates if the Engineer has hauled the Sentry Gun to the front lines.
    • An Engineer using the Gunslinger can also benefit from the Buff Banner, as any supporting Combat Mini-Sentry Guns that have been deployed can inflict more damage against enemies that wander into its range.

Leaderboard class medic.png Medic

  • Soldiers are excellent Medic buddies, as like the Heavy they can use the the Rocket Launcher to bounce away attackers, and their large amount of health allows for constant healing to build up an Übercharge quicker.
  • Medics benefit most greatly from being under the effects of the Battalion's Backup, as they will rarely actively attack enemies. If the Medic is pushing forward with a Kritzkrieg ÜberCharge, using the Battalion's Backup can help the pair to survive considerably longer.
    • Similarly, a Medic pushing forward using an ÜberCharge from the Medi Gun can benefit from the effects of the Buff Banner.
  • A Kritzed Soldier is one of the most devastating Übercharge combinations in the game (less so with the Direct Hit, due to the reduced splash radius.) Due to critical splash damage and relatively large blast radius, a single rocket can easily gib five players, should they be standing next to one another.
    • One or two well-aimed Crit-boosted rockets can be all that is needed to defend a control point or Payload cart, or stop an enemy push.

Leaderboard class sniper.png Sniper

  • Often the best thing that a Soldier can do for Snipers is to escort them while they are moving between sniping positions. As the Sniper fights from the rear, Soldiers have few opportunities to fight alongside Snipers.
    • Soldiers using the Direct Hit can sometimes work alongside Snipers to provide long-range support firepower for teammates.
  • A Sniper can use Jarate to make a Soldier's targets easier to dispatch. This is especially effective with the Rocket Launcher due to its wide splash radius.
  • A Sniper using the Sydney Sleeper can "tag" enemies for the Soldier from a distance. The damage from the Sleeper paired with the mini-crit will make enemies fall much quicker.
  • If a Sniper is using the Bushwacka, using the Buff Banner can allow him or her to inflict guaranteed Critical hits on enemies, which can be especially devastating in ambushes.

Leaderboard class spy.png Spy

  • As with other classes, Spies can place Sappers on enemy Sentry Guns prior to attacks, making them far easier to dispatch.
  • Soldiers can attract the attention of enemy groups easily, opening a window for Spies to approach and backstab them.
    • Conversely, Spies using the Cloak and Dagger can warn Soldiers of enemy movements, which can make performing ambushes easier.

See also

External links