Anti-Demoman strategy

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The Scout

The Demoman is a versatile class, sporting above-average health and devastating weaponry. When formulating tactics, you can usually depend on the roles of most classes not dramatically changing. This does not apply to the Demoman, who can opt for an explosive-oriented playstyle with a Stickybomb Launcher or a melee-oriented playstyle with a shield like the Chargin' Targe. Each style has its own evident strengths and weaknesses, so pay attention to his loadout to avoid being caught off guard.


Attributes Anti-Demoman strategy
Demoman emblem RED.png Role
  • The Demoman is great at both offense and defense. He is particularly good at mid-range combat.
  • As his name implies, the Demoman is excellent as demolitions. Pay attention to where he places his explosives, especially if you can't move from cover.
  • A Demoman using a shield instead of a trap secondary weapon will always have the shield visible. If you can see a shield on the Demoman's left arm, you can be certain that his loadout has no secondary weapon and is melee-oriented.
Leaderboard class medic.png Health
  • The Demoman has a base health of 175, so he can withstand a considerable amount of damage.
  • Certain weapons change the Demoman's maximum health or heal him each time he gets a kill. Check what weapons he's wielding to estimate his health pool.
  • A Demoman carrying a shield has significant resistance to fire and explosive damage, but is fully vulnerable to bullets and melee attacks.
Leaderboard class scout.png Speed
  • The Demoman is slower than the majority of the classes, but he can still chase you down if he uses a melee combat loadout or utilizes explosive jumps.
Leaderboard class soldier.png Power
  • The Demoman is deadly at range but fires all of his projectiles in an arc. Make it difficult for him to aim by getting close and moving unpredictably.
  • All of the Demoman's explosives can harm himself, giving you an advantage if you force him to fight at close range.
  • A Demoman with a shield and melee weapon can charge at you to deal critical damage. Avoiding his charge and staying outside his extended melee range gives you room to counterattack.


Explosive loadout

A Demoman with an explosive loadout is capable of dealing high damage over a large area. It is best to engage him at close range, where his weapons are hard to aim and inflict self-harm. The Stickybomb Launcher, in particular, forces you to consider possible Stickybomb traps as you navigate the battlefield. The Demoman's explosive weapons take a long time to reload, so catching him by surprise leaves him at a major disadvantage.

Demoknight loadout

Alternatively, a Demoman can literally charge into battle by using a damage-reducing shield; this is indicated by a shield strapped to his left arm. When equipped with a shield, the Demoman can use its charge ability to close distance very quickly and deal critical hit melee damage. It is best to dodge or interrupt the charge, then attack from range while it is on cooldown. Many Demoman melee weapons also feature an extended range, skewing the odds of a melee fight in his favor. Weapons that do bullet damage are most effective at dealing damage, as his shields do not protect against bullet damage.


Main article: Demoman weapons


Weapon Anti-Demoman strategy
Grenade Launcher
Grenade Launcher + reskins
  • The Grenade Launcher has a long reload time and a small clip. Attack the Demoman while he is reloading.
  • A Demoman's grenades can bounce over cover and around corners; narrow passageways are especially dangerous, given the grenades' splash radius. However, the bounce makes grenades unwieldy at close range.
  • Grenades travel somewhat slowly and in a wide arc. If you are playing a class with good movement options, you have time to dodge or take cover.
  • The Loch-n-Load has only three shots in a clip. This means the Demoman has to reload more often, which gives you more opportunities to fight back.
  • Grenades fired from the Loch-n-Load travel faster and further, but only explode on a direct hit on a player or building. If you dodge his initial shots, you won't need to worry about them exploding under your feet.
  • The Loch-n-Load's grenades have a longer trajectory, so a smart Demoman can bombard exposed targets, such as Engineer buildings, from a long distance. Against this, move away or force the Demoman out of his spot, where he won't have a clear shot.
Ali Baba's Wee Booties
Ali Baba's Wee Booties + reskins
  • Ali Baba's Wee Booties give the wearer an extra 25 max health, allowing the Demoman to remain in combat longer.
  • The Ali Baba's Wee Booties require the Demoman to give up his Grenade Launcher. Stay out of melee range and fight back with ranged weapons.
  • They give the Demoman a 10% speed bonus if a shield is equipped and increased turning control when charging; remain in areas that have obstacles or escape routes to avoid a Demoman's charge.
Loose Cannon
Loose Cannon
  • The Loose Cannon's cannonballs do not explode upon a direct hit with a player and deal significantly less damage upon hitting a surface. If you dodge a cannonball, you can assume the explosion will deal minimal damage.
  • The Demoman needs to time the Loose Cannon's charge so that cannonballs explode immediately after hitting you. Moving towards or away from him can affect his aim, unlike when he uses the Grenade Launcher.
  • The Loose Cannon has a smaller range than the Grenade Launcher and will usually fire slower.
  • The Demoman may use the cannonball's knockback to push you away from your team or into a hazard. Position yourself properly to stop him from landing an easy kill.
B.A.S.E. Jumper
B.A.S.E. Jumper
  • Keep in mind that a Demoman gives up his Grenade Launcher to use the B.A.S.E. Jumper, making him weaker in direct combat.
  • A parachuting Demoman will typically try to carpet bomb you with his Stickybomb Launcher. If the Demoman stays hovering in the air, he becomes a slow and easy target to shoot down or run away from.
    • His other, less practical, option is to charge at you from the air using one of his shields. A Demoman with the B.A.S.E. Jumper and a shield is locked into melee combat, avoid the charge and stay out of melee range.
  • A Demoman with the B.A.S.E. Jumper is much weaker while grounded. Engage him after he lands or before he can launch into the sky.
  • The B.A.S.E. Jumper is ineffective in indoor areas with low ceilings. Retreat to a different area if the Demoman's aerial assaults become a problem.
  • The B.A.S.E. Jumper cannot be deployed again once retracted until he touches the ground. Harass him in midair or force him to retract his parachute, potentially taking (lethal) fall damage.
Iron Bomber
Iron Bomber
  • The grenades launched by the Iron Bomber do not roll or bounce very much. The Demoman may count on the timed explosion to act as a temporary trap if he misses you with it directly, like a timed Stickybomb.
  • Although the Iron Bomber has a greater margin of error on missed grenades, its grenades have a 15% smaller blast radius than the regular grenades. If the Demoman is shooting grenades at the ground, you don't need to move as far away to avoid the explosion.
  • As when dealing with Stickybombs, be wary of a retreating Demoman, as he may use the Iron Bomber to lay traps too.
  • The Iron Bomber has a 30% shorter fuse time, giving you less time to avoid the Demoman's grenades.


Stickybomb Launchers

The Demoman's secondary weapon typically fires a variant of Stickybombs, explosives which take some time to arm, then can be manually detonated. A Demoman will use this weapon to either fight directly, rapidly arming and detonating Stickybombs, or to lay traps to catch unsuspecting victims. The various Launchers generally enhance one style or the other.

Direct combat

  • Stickybombs take some time to arm, so you can close the distance to put pressure on the Demoman.
  • Avoid moving predictably so the Demoman doesn't lay Stickybombs ahead of your movements.
  • The Demoman can use his own Stickybombs to explosive jump long distances to access alternate routes, bomb your team from above, and enable other unique strategies. Sticky jumping deals significant self-damage, so he may be low on health if you catch him during or after the jump.


  • Stickybombs are typically placed in hard-to-see spots as traps. Be wary of these spots, check your surroundings, and tread with caution if the Demoman appears to want you to chase him down.
  • Stickybombs can be destroyed by bullets, melee attacks, and certain class-specific weapons, such as the Short Circuit. If you come across a trap, try to clear them before they explode or bait the Demoman into exploding them before you're near them.
  • Firing an explosive or a compression blast around corners can dislodge, but not destroy enemy Stickybombs. Try to scatter them in a direction where they won't harm teammates.
  • The Demoman will often watch over his Stickybomb traps, which may leave him distracted and vulnerable to flanking.
  • Stickybomb traps often contain more than one Stickybomb. If you see one, be sure to check for others, or make sure that the Demoman is not nearby to detonate the trap before proceeding.
  • Killing a Demoman will automatically remove all his Stickybombs. If your team is unable to push forward because of them, try to take out the Demoman first.
Weapon Anti-Demoman strategy
Stickybomb Launcher
Stickybomb Launcher + reskins
  • The default Stickybomb Launcher is the balanced option, able to effectively fight both directly and with traps. Always be prepared for this weapon, even if you can't see or hear the Demoman.
  • A Demoman may use the Stickybomb Launcher to fight directly at medium range, but will have trouble at close range due to the lengthy arm time.
  • The Stickybomb Launcher takes a long 6 seconds to fully reload. Attack the Demoman before he can regain a full clip.
  • Once the Demoman detonates his Stickybombs, your team has a prime opportunity to advance and overwhelm him before he can lay another trap.
Scottish Resistance
Scottish Resistance
  • The Scottish Resistance can be used to set up and detonate multiple traps. If you encounter Stickybombs from this weapon, they are likely not the only trap you will have to deal with.
  • A Demoman can see his Scottish Resistance Stickybombs through walls, so he may react to combat happening near them.
  • The Scottish Resistance is not suited for direct combat because of its longer arming time. A Demoman using the weapon will likely switch to his Grenade Launcher or melee weapon when confronted, giving you a moment to react.
  • The Scottish Resistance can destroy enemy Stickybombs, allowing for easy area control.
Sticky Jumper
Sticky Jumper
  • A resourceful Demoman might use the Sticky Jumper to get reach higher ground or cover long distances to ambush enemies, all while remaining in good health.
  • A Demoman with the Sticky Jumper can retreat as quickly as he arrives. If he lays Stickybombs as if to retreat, weaken him enough so that fall damage can kill him or opt to shoot for the Stickybombs instead.
  • Even without a secondary, the Demoman will still have access to the Grenade Launcher and his melee weapon, so he can still put up a decent fight.
Quickiebomb Launcher
Quickiebomb Launcher
  • The Quickiebomb Launcher fires Stickybombs that arm quickly and are thus hard to dodge. It can be used in direct combat similarly to the Grenade Launcher. However, it holds only four shots. Although the initial assault may be difficult to avoid, you only need to hold out for a little while before the Demoman must reload.
  • The Stickybombs deal 15% less damage, but this increases to +35% with a charged shot. Try to fight against this weapon at very close ranges.
  • Charging Stickybombs is 70% faster. Don't assume that a faraway Demoman can't hit you.
  • The Quickiebomb Launcher can destroy enemy Stickybombs, combined with its short arming time it is excellent at clearing traps around corners.


Instead of using a Stickybomb Launcher, the Demoman can employ a shield that gives him the ability to rush at opponents every few seconds. Charging instantly removes debuffs and grants him a guaranteed Critical Hit near the end of the charge and a Mini-Crit in the middle of the charge. The shield also provides the Demoman added resistance to explosive and fire damage.

  • A Charge can be delayed or nullified by using weapons with stun, slowdown, or knockback.
  • While charging, the Demoman can only travel forwards. Except for the Tide Turner's charge, a charge has poor turning control. Dodge the charge by strafing to the side instead of backpedaling.
  • No shield protects against bullet damage, try to use bullet damage to maximize your effectiveness.
  • Pyros can be an effective counter, using their airblast to push the Demoman back or send him over the edge of the map.
  • Stickybomb traps can also be effective as they can either blow the charging Demoman up or send him flying and leave him vulnerable to being picked off, or even sent off a map edge or into an environmental hazard.
Weapon Anti-Demoman strategy
Chargin' Targe
Chargin' Targe + reskins
  • The Chargin' Targe gives the Demoman heavy resistance to fire and explosion damage. Bullets are most effective, however, explosives can be used to knock the Demoman away from you if you have no other options.
Splendid Screen
Splendid Screen
  • The Splendid Screen doesn't provide as much resistance to fire and explosions as the Chargin' Targe does, but allows him to charge more often.
  • The impact of the Splendid Screen deals considerably more damage and can do so at any range; try not to engage him in close combat.
  • The Splendid Screen recharges the Demoman's charge quickly. Until you see the Demoman charge, always assume his charge is ready.
Tide Turner
Tide Turner
  • Like the other shields, the Tide Turner provides resistance to fire and explosions, albeit not as much as the others.
  • Unlike the other shields, the Tide Turner provides full turning control while charging. Move vertically up obstacles to avoid his charge, as the Demoman cannot jump while charging.
  • Every point of damage the Demoman takes drains his charge meter by 1%. Landing a solid hit on him will stop his charge (nearly) instantly.
  • The Tide Turner only guarantees a mini-crit at the end of a charge, so the Demoman must land the shield bash and follow-up attacks to kill you.
  • If the Demoman lands a melee kill, he instantly refills 75% of his charge meter. If he kills a nearby teammate, be prepared for a charge.


Weapon Anti-Demoman strategy
Bottle + reskins
  • A Demoman may resort to his Bottle at close range, where his other weapons can damage himself. Since his movement speed is below average, most classes will have an easy time outrunning the Demoman while retaliating with ranged weapons.
  • You can weapon heckle an impatient Demoman by staying between melee range and just inside safe Grenade Launcher range.
Eyelander + reskins
  • A Demoman will often use the Eyelander with a shield and charge at foes to gain on-kill bonuses to his speed and health. Take advantage of this by kiting him or luring him into traps.
  • If the Demoman forces you into close combat, fighting back might be better than running away. Alternatively, die to another source, such as a killbind, to prevent him from getting his extra health and speed.
Scotsman's Skullcutter
Scotsman's Skullcutter
  • The Demoman will likely pair the Scotsman's Skullcutter with a shield to maximize its damage potential and counter its speed reduction. Be ready to dodge his charge.
  • The Scotsman's Skullcutter also reduces the Demoman's charging speed, which gives you more time to avoid the Demoman's charge.
Claidheamh Mòr
Claidheamh Mòr
  • The Claidheamh Mòr increases the Demoman's charge duration. Strafe rather than back away when the Demoman charges.
  • While holding the Claidheamh Mòr, the Demoman takes a flat 15% more damage and cannot collect heads, so the Demoman will always have a maximum of 175 health.
  • Upon a kill, the Claidheamh Mòr refills 25% of his charge meter. If you see the Demoman kill a teammate, know that he can probably charge at you soon.
Pain Train
Pain Train
  • The Pain Train grants the Demoman an increased capture rate. By Stickybomb jumping, the Demoman can quickly travel to objectives. Be prepared to contest an enemy Demoman flying through the air.
  • The Demoman suffers 10% more damage from bullets while the Pain Train is in his loadout. The Scout and Heavy, classes typically found contesting objectives, gain a significant advantage over him.
Ullapool Caber
Ullapool Caber
  • The Ullapool Caber creates an explosion on contact with enemies or objects. A Demoman might use it as a suicidal last resort, so kill him before he reaches you.
  • Do not cluster near teammates, as this and the Demoman's other explosive weapons can punish you all.
  • If you cannot avoid being struck by the Ullapool Caber, fight back so that the Demoman dies from the blast or resulting fall damage.
  • A Demoman can pair the Ullapool Caber with a shield to execute a kamikaze playstyle. Dodge to the side to avoid his charge, then counterattack.
  • A Demoman with the Half-Zatoichi is Honorbound to obtain a kill before switching weapons; he loses 50 health otherwise. Stay out of his melee range to force him to switch weapons and suffer the penalty.
    • This sword works well with full Demoknight loadouts, as they won’t suffer the Honorbound penalty. If you are low on health, stick with your team and heal up to avoid becoming his next health kit.
  • If a Demoman scores a kill with the Half-Zatoichi, he will regain about 100 health; treat him as if he has recently spawned.
  • Wielders of the Half-Zatoichi can instantly kill each other; if you also have it equipped, catching the Demoman off-guard makes for a quick kill.
Persian Persuader
Persian Persuader
  • The Persian Persuader allows the Demoman to get his charge earlier by collecting ammo; steal any nearby ammo boxes when fighting enemies.
  • Every successful hit with the Persian Persuader allows the Demoman to gain 20% charge. Paired with the Splendid Screen, the Demoman will almost always have a charge ready - be ready to dodge.
  • A Demoman with this weapon equipped will likely opt for purely melee-oriented strategy, because the Persian Persuader reduces his max ammo for both his primary and secondary weapons by 80%. If he uses the Grenade Launcher, expect him to run out of ammo very quickly and enter melee combat.

See also