Community Halloween maps strategy

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Community Halloween maps strategy
Koth harvest event mid.jpg
The original Team Fortress 2 Halloween map, Harvest Event.


This article is about Community Halloween maps strategy. It provides strategies for themed mechanics that appear on most or all Halloween maps. It refers to other separate strategy pages that deal with the various monsters that spawn on several of the Halloween maps.

This article only covers the basic gameplay mechanics that are common on Halloween maps.

Merasmus.png Bosses and Monsters

For Community strategy articles available for monsters and bosses that appear on select Halloween maps, see:
Horseless Headless Horsemann : Horseless Headless Horsemann match-ups
Community Mann Manor strategy
Merasmus : Merasmus match-ups
Truce: Community Ghost Fort strategy
No Truce: Community Brimstone strategy#General Merasmus Strategy
MONOCULUS : MONOCULUS match-ups
Truce: Community Eyeaduct strategy
No Truce: Community Brimstone strategy#General MONOCULUS Strategy
Skeletons :
Community Skeletons strategy

Pumpkinbomb.png Pumpkin bombs

Pumpkin bombs are explosive traps that spawn and respawn randomly in several pre-defined locations around Halloween maps. They explode when damaged or hit by projectiles and so they can be used to attack and kill players close to a pumpkin bomb. Generally, they can only damage the enemy of the player that detonates one, as well as the detonating player, if too close.

  • Be wary of straying too near to pumpkin bombs, as enemies may use them to injure you.
  • Shoot pumpkin bombs yourself to safely cross the area or to injure any enemies in it.
  • To detonate a pumpkin bomb, one simply attacks it at any effective range of the particular attack. Remember, one bullet, one pellet, one flame particle, one melee swing, one projectile, or one remote explosion is all that is required.
  • Pumpkin bombs can be used as a means for sneak attacks. Wait at a distance from the pumpkin bomb, and when an enemy passes near it, shoot the pumpkin bomb to detonate it, from clear across the map even, if within the range limit of the weapon.
  • These pumpkins can also be used in Kamikaze attacks when needed. When in close range of both the enemy and the pumpkin, attack the pumpkin for a swift and lethal explosion.
  • Pumpkin bombs can also be used by all classes for Jumping.

Leaderboard class scout.png Scout

  • If there is a pumpkin bomb around a corner, use your speed to try and bait enemies into following you to get them within the explosion radius.
  • If you have the Crit-a-Cola's mini-crit effect, pumpkin bombs you detonate deal mini-crit damage to enemies.

Leaderboard class soldier.png Soldier

  • Rocket jumping allows you to be in places the enemy does not expect. Using this, you can hide where there is a pumpkin bomb in sight and, when an enemy is near it, a single shotgun pellet or rocket explosion can set off the bomb, killing the surrounding enemies.

Leaderboard class pyro.png Pyro

  • Take care when ambushing the enemy with your flamethrower when there are pumpkin bombs about. They are very easily detonated by the flame particles and you are usually within range of the explosion when you trigger it.

Leaderboard class heavy.png Heavy

  • If a Scout is attacking you, shoot any pumpkin bombs near them.
  • Your slow speed makes it easier for enemies to detonate pumpkin bombs near you, so destroy or stay away from them.
  • If you have the Fists of Steel, you can utilise the pumpkin bombs by punching them and jumping at the same time for better mobility without losing too much health.

Leaderboard class engineer.png Engineer

  • Do not put your nest near where a pumpkin bomb spawns. Learn where they spawn; a spawn location may be empty when you start building, then later on a bomb may spawn.

Leaderboard class demoman.png Demoman

  • Pumpkin bombs can be incorporated into a Sticky trap to deal more damage with fewer Stickies.
    • Just do not hit the pumpkin bomb with one of your Stickies when laying the trap.
    • Stand far enough back to not get hit by the explosion in case you do hit it.
  • Lay a single Sticky Bomb next to a pumpkin bomb to setup a remote trigger for the pumpkin.

Leaderboard class medic.png Medic

  • Keep an eye out and stay away from pumpkin bombs in case enemies try to use them against you. Even when you are staying far back from the enemy, weapons that can barely damage you at that range can still easily set off a pumpkin bomb.

Leaderboard class sniper.png Sniper

  • Do not camp next to a pumpkin bomb; the nearby pumpkin bomb effectively gives enemies with Shotguns, Scatterguns, Pistols, and Miniguns the power to one-shot kill you, and they do not even need to see you to kill you when they shoot it.
  • You can easily shoot pumpkin bombs near distant enemies, without charging, dealing enough damage to instantly kill a weaker class, even if the target player is hiding from you around a corner.

Leaderboard class spy.png Spy

  • With cloaking or a disguise, you can sneak behind enemy lines and shoot pumpkin bombs from there.
  • Do not hide cloaked next to a pumpkin bomb; players tend to shoot them just to clear them out.
  • A pumpkin bomb shot by your Revolver can do much more damage than your Revolver alone.
  • If any Engineer carelessly builds next to a pumpkin bomb, you can shoot it and instantly kill the Engineer, leaving his buildings for your taking. Remember to disguise before approaching the Sentry Gun.


Maps with Pumpkin bombs

Zepheniah Ghost.png Ghosts

Ghosts are a mechanic specific to some Halloween maps. Ghosts scare any player that gets too close.

  • The tactical effect of a ghost's scare is to temporarily slow players and prevent them from attacking.
    • Ghosts have a negative effect on your team when they scare you or cause you to leave or avoid an otherwise tactical position; on the other hand, they can scare the enemy, briefly making them less of a threat, either helping you to escape from or attack them with impunity.
  • Certain cues help you to know where a ghost is, to avoid or exploit it.
    • Ghosts have a signature moan that can be heard rooms away.
    • On most maps, rooms darken as a ghost enters and passes, thus you can locate the ghost without being in the same room.
    • A frightened scream cues you that a nearby enemy is defenseless.
  • Ghosts take pre-programmed routes, so it is possible to learn where they appear and the paths they follow.
  • Respawned players are usually in a hurry to get back into the action and so tend to push through rooms in doorways blocked by ghosts.
    • Follow ghosts heading into doorways and narrow rooms in the direction of the enemy spawn (this happens often on Eyeaduct).

Leaderboard class scout.png Scout

Leaderboard class soldier.png Soldier

  • Use the knockback of your rockets to hit players into ghosts.
  • Being careful of where you land when rocket-jumping prevents accidently stunning yourself.

Leaderboard class pyro.png Pyro

  • Consider airblasting enemies towards ghosts to stun them.

Leaderboard class demoman.png Demoman

  • Setting a stickybomb trap in the path of the ghost(s) is a way to catch player off guard.
  • When blast jumping or shield charging, be careful of where you land or end, as it might be in the path of a ghost.

Leaderboard class heavy.png Heavy

  • When you are eating, take note of where the ghost is on the map.
  • If the ghost is getting too close, consider using the Gloves of Running Urgently or the Eviction Notice to get away quickly.

Leaderboard class engineer.png Engineer

  • Avoid building where ghosts can scare you.

Leaderboard class medic.png Medic

  • A ghost scaring you breaks your Medi Gun beam, stopping your healing and your active ÜberCharge.
  • Hitting a stunned player with the Ubersaw is much safer than the unstunned players, thus obtaining free Über.

Leaderboard class sniper.png Sniper

  • Scared enemies move slower and cannot attack, making them easier targets.

Leaderboard class spy.png Spy

  • A ghost's scare exposes your cloaked position to the enemy.
  • Watch for Sentry Guns placed where the Engineer can be scared.
    • Watch for any Ghost approaching a nest; Sap the Sentry Gun the moment the Engineer is scared.


Maps with Ghost(s)


Pumpkin.png Halloween pumpkins

All year long, Halloween pumpkins (Candy Pumpkins or Crumpkins) have a random chance of dropping when players are killed on a Halloween map (excluding Helltower and Graveyard). When picked up, a Halloween pumpkin refills half ammo and metal and grants 3.2 seconds of crit boost to the player who picked it up.

  • Halloween pumpkins trigger a particular sound cue when dropped, which can remind you to look around for it if you are in a close fight.
  • Do not pick up a Halloween pumpkin if another nearby teammate can use it more effectively than you are and is moving towards it.
  • If there are no teammates around, consider collecting any unclaimed Halloween pumpkins to prevent an enemy from using it.
  • Wait to pick them up after any other boost effect you have has worn off (e.g., after a Kritzkrieg ÜberCharge or Mmmph crit-boost is depleted).
  • Close range classes such as the Pyro and Spy are usually able to pick up their own pumpkins shortly after killing their targets. This is because they are closer to their targets than longer range classes, such as the Sniper.
  • Since pumpkins drop semi-rarely, killing someone and hoping for a Crit boost is not an advisable strategy for fending off a push.

Leaderboard class scout.png Scout

  • The Scout is a particularly effective class to play when aiming to collect pumpkins, as he is faster and, and such, covers areas faster, having a significantly better chance of beating other players to pumpkins, and then approach an enemy and utilize the power-up.

Leaderboard class soldier.png Soldier

  • Remember to reload before picking up a Halloween pumpkin, as reloading takes up valuable time.
  • Since critical hits have no damage fall off, you can use this to kill far away classes that do not expect to get shot (splash damage sill does less damage related do distance of player to explosion, though).

Leaderboard class pyro.png Pyro

  • Listen and watch for the signs of a Candy Pumpkin dropping when you are ambushing, picking one up that drops as you are ambushing can greatly increase the impact of your attack.
  • While you have a crit-boost, all reflected projectiles become criticals. Use enemy rockets to clear out groups of enemies.

Leaderboard class demoman.png Demoman

  • You can use the critical boost to pepper an area with critical stickybombs. However, they are highly visible due to their critical glow, so try to launch them onto hard-to-see areas.
  • You can hide a Sticky Trap near a Candy Pumpkin if you can expect an enemy to arrive to pick it up before is disappears.
    • If you can knockback or kill the enemy just before they pick it up, so much the better.

Leaderboard class heavy.png Heavy

  • The delay of your Minigun spin up wastes most of the short-lived crit-boost.
    • Arm yourself with a Shotgun or melee weapon before you pick up the pumpkin.
    • Alternately, spin up just before you pick it up.
  • Ammo management is essential to defending a point; use the Candy Pumpkin drops if you can reach them for a partial refill.

Leaderboard class engineer.png Engineer

  • The Engineer can still use crit pumpkins to an extent, but his low health hinders him. Receiving an overheal or equipping the Gunslinger helps.
  • Reloading before collecting the pumpkin lets you use all the available crit time.

Leaderboard class medic.png Medic

  • The Medic has a hard time using the crit pumpkins to the full extent, so you are advised to let classes with a higher damage output get them.
    • However, if nobody on your team is close, picking it up denies it to the enemy team and may let you kill an exposed enemy.

Leaderboard class sniper.png Sniper

  • As a Sniper, you are usually far away from dropped pumpkins, and collecting them is generally unhelpful, as you already deal criticals on headshots. A better strategy is to scope in on a pumpkin and kill any enemies attempting to pick it up.

Leaderboard class spy.png Spy

  • Picking up a Halloween pumpkin can expose your cloaked position to the enemy.
  • However, if you are already in an open fight, picking one up could give you a couple of heavy shots from your revolver or give you a real boost in a knife fight.
  • Wait until your uncloak has completed before picking up the pumpkin.
    • If you see an enemy attempting to pick up a pumpkin, consider collecting it immediately to deny them the crit-boost.
Maps with Halloween pumpkins

Spellbook Pickup.png Magic spells

Magic Spells appear on certain Halloween maps. Players that have a Spell Book equipped can pick up Magic Spells that grant them limited-use special attacks or effects.

  • Magic Spells, especially Rare Magic Spells, have spawning and access rules that are particular to each map; see the Community strategy page for each Halloween map for specific information about the Magic Spells on that map.
  • Rare Magic Spells are generally strong enough to be comparable to the impact of an ÜberCharge, possibly breaking a nest or a push.
    • Accordingly, they are either in limited supply (do not respawn) or are in restricted areas of the map.
    • On each Halloween map, learn the distribution of Rare Magic Spells and consider how to prevent the enemy from getting them first.
    • The MONOCULUS Spell excels at destroying nests.
  • Remember that there are other Spells besides Overheal which heal the player upon use (e.g. Stealth, Blast Jump). Don't hesitate to use them when you need health.
    • Blast Jump can be used in a low-ceiling area to regain health without taking fall damage.
  • The Fireball Spell has no damage fall-off. As long as it hits its target, it will deal 100 damage and apply 5 seconds of afterburn regardless of distance. This allows you to kill or severely injure unsuspecting enemies from across the map.
  • Similar to Stickybombs, the Pumpkin MIRV can be used for area denial although the pumpkins are easier to spot and destroy.
  • You don't have to wait until you see an enemy to cast the Skeleton Horde Spell. You can summon them in advance and they will navigate the map on their own and hunt down foes.
    • Attack enemies who are occupied with fighting the Skeletons.
  • While under the effects of the Minify Spell, use your infinite jumps to remain constantly in the air, making yourself difficult to hit.
    • Be cautious as the knockback applied to you is greatly amplified; most often this happens when you get attacked by an enemy Engineer's Sentry Gun.
    • Avoid getting in tight areas; this negates the advantage of the Spell. Also you might get stuck and the game automatically kills you if this occurs.
    • Use the third person camera to peek around corners without being seen.
    • Use your high mobility to pick your fights.
    • Fly high up to get a view of enemy positions on the map.
    • As long as you know their locations, you can collect and use a series of Spells in a short amount of time.
    • Remember to pick a safe position when the Spell is about to end.


Maps with Magic Spells

Gargoyle Ghost.png Soul Gargoyles

Soul Gargoyles are a mechanic specific to certain Halloween maps. Soul Gargoyles have no benefit to game objectives; rather, they can be considered a general distraction to the team. Moreover, Soul Gargoyles only "count" during Halloween events, when their effects can count towards the item's rank, towards Scoreboard and Casual mode ranking, and towards certain Achievements or Halloween Contracts (Merasmissions). Picking up a Soul Gargoyle adds 10 Contract Points to the Primary Objective of the active Halloween Contract. The rest of the year, all the Soul Gargoyle has to offer is the sport of hunting for it.

If you want to pick up a Soul Gargoyle when Merasmus announces it:

  • First, figure out whether it is in your team's territory or not.
  • As you figure out where the Soul Gargoyle is (or is not) you can change class as necessary to go out and pick it up.
    • If the Soul Gargoyle is in your team's territory, you might have no need to change to a faster or sneakier class.
  • If you are killed when you are hunting a Soul Gargoyle:
    • First, viewing the Death cam, look behind the player that killed you for any glimpse.
    • Failing that, watch the spectation for glimpses of the Soul Gargoyle, using the mouse to sweep your view all around and using your fire buttons to switch between teammates (or other map objects and objectives), particularly focusing on your Scouts and Spies that are behind enemy lines.
    • After you Respawn, sweep the areas between your Spawn and the active battle.

Leaderboard class scout.png Scout

  • Naturally, Scouts can cover the most ground to search for and pick up the Soul Gargoyle and return to the fight as quickly as possible.
  • Bonk! Atomic Punch can help you run through the enemy to pick up the Soul Gargoyle.

Leaderboard class spy.png Spy

  • Disguised or Cloak and Dagger Spies are a choice for picking up Soul Gargoyles in enemy territory. Sneak in and pick up the Soul Gargoyle without enemies noticing.


Maps with Soul Gargoyles