Community Helltower strategy

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Community Helltower strategy
Plr hightower event3.png
Basic information
Map type Payload Race
File name: plr_hightower_event
Release date: October 29, 2013
Last updated: November 6, 2015
Developer(s): Valve
Map Info
Environment: Desert
Setting: Nighttime, cloudy
Hazards: Pitfall, Pumpkin bombs,
Skeletons, Ghost, Lava
Pyrovision: Yes
Map Items
Healthico.png Health Kits: Smallhealth.png ×4   •   Mediumhealth.png ×7   •   Largehealth.png ×1
Ammoico.png Ammo Boxes: Smallammo.png ×5   •   Mediumammo.png ×5   •   Largeammo.png ×3
TF2 crosshair.png Special: Gargoyle Ghost.png   •   Pumpkin.png
Map Photos
Menu photos plr hightower event.png

This article is about Community Helltower strategy.

General Strategy (All Classes)

See also: Community Skeletons strategy

This Halloween map features pumpkin bombs, Halloween pumpkins, magic spells, Zepheniah's Ghost, and the Soul Gargoyle; see Community Halloween maps strategy.

  • This map retains most of the features of Hightower, so many general strategies that work there will also work here.
  • The longer the match lasts, the faster Medics gain ÜberCharge. This is the only built-in mechanic to end a stalemate.
  • The knockback from weapons such as the Force-A-Nature or the Pyro's compression blast can be used to push an enemy off the cliff. This is effective in clearing the enemy cart should it reach the nearby ramp and is especially effective before the cart reaches the first uphill push, as it can be used to knock players off the cliff for an environmental kill.
  • The ramp room in Helltower is less defensible than it is in Hightower, but it can still be incredibly powerful. The attacking team can now edge the cart up the ramp without fear of it sliding back down.
  • An ÜberCharged Heavy, Demoman, or Soldier attacking the defenses and/or a Scout with Bonk! distracting the Sentry Guns while the rest of the team pushes the cart up the ramp can break a strong defense. You can attack from the opposite side of the ramp to avoid getting knocked off the cliff by Pyros and Scouts.
  • Crouching beside the cart on the platform facing the tower's side will offer protection from damage coming from the enemy base. However, enemies will still be able to attack should they navigate to the other side of the map or if they control the central tower. Enemies can use ramps in the area to jump onto the cart and attack any players capturing.
  • The cart will fall rapidly if left unattended while elevated and will kill anyone standing directly below the cart, including ÜberCharged Medics and patients.
  • The balconies near the spawn room are a common position for Snipers to easily pick off enemies attempting to infiltrate the team's ramp, tower, or crossing. It is, however, directly opposite the other team's balcony where enemy Snipers may use the opportunity to counter. Additionally, Spies that successfully infiltrate the area may hang around in the hopes of killing focused Snipers.
  • The buildings housing the medium Health kits on ground level serve as ideal Pyro ambush spots as they are in small narrow areas. The building containing the large Health pack is now opened up, allowing players to airblast for an environmental kill
  • The central tower is a valuable position at the beginning of the match, fairly valuable at the middle of the match, and very valuable at the end of match. It serves as an area for Soldiers/Demomen to utilize their ranged attacks against enemies pushing or raising the cart. The top of the tower is also a great place for Spies to jump and airstab unsuspecting enemies who are raising the cart platform. Pyros can also drop from the tower to stage an ambush.
  • Spells spawn in preselected locations whenever the witching hour occurs. Knowing when and where they will appear can allow you to grab them before other players.
  • The most valuable spells appear on the island behind the large health building. Both teams will often stop capturing to rush the tower and capture the spells. A smart player can camp the tower to score some kills, weakening the enemy's abilities while providing their team cover.
  • Helltower has added a new dropdown out of spawn. This allows teams that are being camped an opportunity to escape to an unexpected location
  • The many new spells added offer new possibilities for movement. Players can teleport or jump using spells to contest soldiers and demos in areas they normally wouldn't be able to.
  • The MONOCULUS spell is invincible and will aim for enemy Engineer buildings; use it to clear out entire nests with ease.
    • Additionally, it provides great protection when on the lift.
  • If you get the minify spell during the first few seconds of the witching hour, you will have enough time to go back to grab another spell. Use the minify spell, clear out any enemies on the bridge if you need to, and grab another rare spell and use your high mobility to wreak havoc on the enemy team.

Class-specific strategy

Leaderboard class scout.png Scout

  • Helltower is an interesting map for Scouts, as it has several flanking paths, a large open area with cover dotted around (the rocks in the center, the crates) and also a very exposed final area for the cart (the elevator).
  • As soon as the round starts, you can rush to the enemy team's starting area to stop their lighter classes from pushing the cart. Should they have a Heavy or other more dangerous classes, you can still potentially deal with them by using the nearby Health kits and open space to your advantage.
  • Be careful of Combat Mini-Sentry Guns placed near your team's cart. This map is a very popular one for offensive Engineers (especially those with the Gunslinger) and could result in your team's lighter classes being unable to push the cart due to a Sentry Gun (in this case, try to work together with someone while using Bonk! Atomic Punch to destroy it, or use your Pistol at long range).
  • The Force-A-Nature can work surprisingly well here, as there are plenty of raised areas to knock people off of, and in the best situation, you can blast them off the cliff at the far side of the map to an untimely death. You can also use the Force-A-Nature's triple jump capabilities to reach higher areas without having to use the stairs or ramps.
  • Remember to use the passage behind the elevators that links the starting areas together. This will allow you to slip behind the enemy lines unseen, and also leads you to a Health kit in an alcove should you need it.
  • As soon as your team's cart reaches the bottom of the ramp near the enemy spawn, your own effectiveness at pushing the cart will be severely limited. Instead, try to put your efforts into stopping them from pushing their cart.
  • However, if you have Bonk! you can be a key player to your team, as you can use it to distract the inevitable Sentry Guns around the ramp so your team can destroy them. If necessary, you can also approach with this method from the opposite side your team is coming from, making it much more of an ambush and increasing your chances of success.
  • When the cart has reached its respective elevator, try crouching behind it on your team's side, as this will stop you from being sniped from the enemy spawn, and also means that only a few classes will be able to reliably hit you once you're off the ground (namely Rocket jumping Soldiers, Demomen and Snipers aiming from the cliffs). On the other hand, if the enemy team is pushing the cart up the tower, use the Force-A-Nature or ramps around the area to jump onto it and kill off any players capturing. You may die in doing so, but it will stop the enemy team from winning (and also kill anybody unfortunate enough to be standing underneath the elevator as it falls).
  • The various pieces of cover and darkened areas in this map make Crit-a-Cola fairly effective. When you drink it though, try to employ hit-and-run tactics and run in the direction of your team's area after killing/wounding your target. Otherwise, the glow from the Crit-boost will draw attention to you and make you a very easy target for more alert players.
  • There are paths that lead to the enemy spawn and the enemy Sniper deck. Though unlikely, you can use these paths to destroy any Teleporters they have set up, and take care of any wrangling Engineers or Snipers positioned on the Sniper deck (by jumping onto the crates outside their spawn, then into the stairwell).
  • Remember that the Sandman prevents enemies from capturing points or pushing carts. If you see a lone enemy on the cart and nobody is taking care of them, you can stun them to halt their capturing efforts and then kill them quickly with your primary weapon. This is especially useful if someone is pushing their cart on the elevator, as it will assume there is nobody to keep the elevator up there and will cause it to fall back down.
  • Don't forget you can use the ramps around the central tower to get to the higher ground. This is key if you want to knock off or kill any enemies firing down from there, as there is very little space for them to move around in, a medium Health kit and the fall will almost definitely inflict damage on them.

Leaderboard class soldier.png Soldier

  • A Soldier has several high points on the map that he can use to his advantage. The central tower late in the round is a prime spot to not only help your team push, but also defend the opposing team's cart.
  • As a Soldier, you are very versatile in both terms of defense and offense. Soldiers should make as much use of the Rocket Jump to knock out Engineer Nests and Sniper camping spots as Hightower is very abundant with them. Taking control of the balcony on the opposing team's base can cut off their support when the cart is climbing the final point.
  • On Helltower, the large health kit's building can be stood upon, allowing soldiers a unique firing area that covers a large portion of the map.
  • The Rocket Launcher's knock-back gives Soldier a surprising amount of control on this map. The small balconies and platforms that litter this map allow a skilled player to control a large amount of are with well placed rockets. Blasting players off of these allows you to keep the high ground and score extra damage from fall damage.
  • The blast jump spell allows you to save a rocket jump and gain some health. Additionally, if performed during a rocket jump, you will still be in a state where you can still gain a critical hit from the Market Gardener, meaning you can use it to prolong your air time.

Leaderboard class pyro.png Pyro

  • Helltower can be a powerful map for Pyros. There are many ambush and flanking routes on this map that allow smart players to be very effective.
  • In general, you should stick to navigating the outer flanks of the map, as both the left and right sides of the map have small walkways or tunnels, which are favorable conditions for the Pyro. Try to avoid going on the center of the map as much as possible since enemies can spot you from far away, lowering your chances to ambush an enemy.
  • To counter the unfavorable conditions in the center of the map, you can use the central tower to drop down and ambush unsuspecting enemies both in the central crossing area and around the hightowers. Its access ramps are favorable to Pyros, with tight corners and ability to airblast enemies off for fall damage.
  • A good place for Pyros to defend from is the ramp in front of spawn. This spot has easy access to health and ammo and allows you to airblast enemies off the cliff.
  • If you're not airblasting enemies of the cliff, the Backburner is much more effective as an ambush weapon than the Flamethrower.
  • Helltower is a good map for the Detonator - you can use it to launch yourself from the central tower to the higher Sniper deck. This is useful for ambushes.
  • Because Pyro lacks good long-range options, you can use the spells added in Helltower to attack enemies that escape from your short-range weaponry.

Leaderboard class demoman.png Demoman

  • Helltower is overall an excellent map for the Demoman. There are many long, narrow areas perfect for sticky traps, and the large open spaces with few blockades benefit Demoknights.
  • A Demoman using stickies can very easily stop a group of enemies from capturing the final point; players pushing the cart must stay on a very small platform, leaving them susceptible to blast damage.
  • Sticky jumping is very useful on Hightower. You can sticky jump onto the Sniper decks to take Snipers out and proceed to take out any enemies at the ledge area near their spawn. You can save yourself some time by sticky jumping up from the bottom area to the top area where the lifts are, and you can even sticky jump right up onto the center tower to either attack enemies below or on the tower itself.
  • At the beginning of the match, laying stickies near the enemy cart from on top of the central tower is good for cart denial, allowing your teammates to get a head start pushing the cart, preventing the other team from being able to access it.
  • If enemies are pushing the cart on the elevator, getting on it and detonating your Ullapool Caber will kill or push away all or most enemies away from the cart.

Leaderboard class heavy.png Heavy

  • Heavies are very situational on Helltower, with Scouts/Pyros favored at close range against the Minigun rev-up time and Soldiers/Demomen favored at medium/long range due to damage fall-off and slow movement. However, this doesn't stop the Heavy from having the highest point-blank damage per second of any class. With the Tomislav, the Heavy is playable as a standalone or ambush character, otherwise you rely on having support from other classes to stay alive or continually revving your Minigun.
  • Try to stay near the cart at all times, looking behind you and all around to Ward off Spies when you're not shooting at enemies. You can even ride on top of the cart with a crouch jump.
  • While pushing your own cart, if you are using the Brass Beast, or have other people also pushing the cart, you will fall behind if you continually rev your Minigun to counter ambush classes. To counter this, stand directly in front of or on top of the cart.
  • If playing without support, look for opportunities to surprise the enemy. Dropping off the central tower while spinning your Minigun can be a devastating close-range attack.
  • Heavies can use their large health buffer as a great advantage against an offensive Engineer. Miniguns can quickly dispatch minisentries with ease, and higher level Sentry Guns at close range.
  • As with any other Payload or Payload race map, unless enemy Snipers are constantly targeting you, the healing provided by the cart, (and possibly a lunchbox item) will allow you to mostly soak up long range fire, while your primary weapon's firepower will most likely deter most attackers at close range
  • It's recommended that you avoid primary weapons that increase rev-up time when actively your cart, since you will possibly fall behind your teammates, becoming much less useful (and vulnerable).
  • Because of his slow speed, heavy needs to be more careful on Helltower to not be hit by pumpkins. The exploding pumpkins can take almost all your health in one hit, neutralizing your biggest advantage.

Leaderboard class engineer.png Engineer

  • Combat Mini-Sentry Guns can be very effective on Hightower. Placing a Mini-Sentry on the opposing team's side of the central tower is a usually unexpected tactic. If the enemy team's cart is going up the tower, then you can use a Mini-Sentry and the Wrangler to damage and kill enemies from the opposite side of the map.
  • Building a Sentry Gun on the ramp to the right outside the base can greatly hinder the opposing team's attempts to push the cart. The Sentry Gun will have a height advantage due to the slope and make it very difficult for enemies to successfully push. Be sure to Spy-check as opposing teams will usually use a Spy to sap whilst an offensive group launches a push up the ramp.
  • Due to the removal of the ramp near the defending base, stock Sentry Guns are much less effective on Helltower. Consider going Gunslinger to provide much faster and more powerful support, to respond to the more dynamic nature of the map.

Leaderboard class medic.png Medic

  • A prime spot to ÜberCharge is the first uphill push. Typically, an enemy team will have some sort of defense setup there if the match does not seem to be going their way. Taking a Heavy, Demoman, or Soldier up the ramp while the rest of the team pushes the cart up the ramp can in momentum that carries your team all the way to hell. Just be wary of an air-blasting Pyro, as they can push you and your help off of the cliff. You can attack from the opposite side of that ramp to avoid getting knocked off the cliff.
  • You can use the arc of your Syringe Guns to easily kill enemies on the final elevator who are covering themselves behind the cart. By standing at the top of the stairs leading from the ground to the raised section of track and firing from there, you will have a clear line of sight to them, while they will struggle to identify your location before you kill them.
  • The nature of this map means that the location of combat is constantly shifting. Consider using the Overdose and the Quick-Fix to traverse the map rapidly, although the stock Medi Gun is much better for destroying Sentry Guns, so switch to it if you find your team at an impasse.
  • When ÜberCharging a teammate, beware of enemy Pyros - The airblast can be used to completely neutralise an Über on this map by pushing Medics over the cliff. The Quick-Fix can be used to negate this, at the cost of some offensive power.

Leaderboard class sniper.png Sniper

  • The Sniper nest attracts Spies looking for an easy kill. Be wary if you are going to snipe from there.
    • Also watch out for enemy Snipers.
  • The cliff house is an excellent Sniper spot for when the enemy team has pushed their cart to the lift section. The enemy team's main priority will be pushing the cart and they'll most likely stay on the higher areas with the cart rather than the lower areas, minimizing the danger of attack.
  • The cliff house is an excellent offensive Sniper spot when your team has pushed the cart to the uphill section and are trying to break the defenses of the opposing team.
  • However, keep in mind that the cliff house has the only large Health kit on the map, so you may be caught off guard by an enemy rushing over there for heath. If you're lucky and you notice an enemy approaching, you can nab the Health kit before he has a chance to, then finish him off as he will likely have low health.
  • If the enemy cart has made it to the elevator, consider using the Machina to kill bunched together enemies on the small platform.
  • The Huntsman charges the fastest and allows for the most mobility, and thus is the best weapon to kill Sentry Guns (unless you have line of sight for using a rifle). A 75% charged Huntsman shot can one-shot a Combat Mini-Sentry Gun, a strong counter to offensive Engineers which are very prevalent on this map
  • Offensively sniping from a position between the elevators has the best array of sniping points (including a popular spawn gate), but is incredibly exposed. A dynamic Sniper can maneuver around this area and generate a number of unexpected kills while this space is uncontested.
  • When the witching hour comes, you can snipe enemies attempting to grab spells. Beware that if you don't kill them, they will regenerate all their health.

Leaderboard class spy.png Spy

  • At the start of the match, the opposing team will always head for their Payload. This is a great opportunity to get a few backstabs, especially on slower classes.
  • Crouch-jump on the barrels to get to the Sniper perch and get some backstabs. If you are using Your Eternal Reward, grab a disguise and head into the Engineer nest one room over.
  • When in the Sniper perch, there will always be a Pyro or two who will check everybody. When you see a Pyro coming, Cloak before he sees you and hop down onto the lower levels. You can return to the perch or Engineer nest later.
  • When either Payload is at the final stage, there will always be a Heavy who will use his Minigun to suppress the Payload from his team's perch. Cloak, head up to the perch, and kill him. Use Your Eternal Reward to blend in.
  • When in the perch, some Engineers will set up a small hub for the Snipers, a hub that you must destroy. You have a few ways of doing this. If you have Your Eternal Reward equipped, backstab a Sniper to gain his disguise. You can use that for cover and take out the Engineer and his hub. If you are using the regular knife, stab and sap is the best method of killing off the Engineer. You can then take out the Snipers.
  • The small alley under the tower itself is a popular Engineer spot. The losing team will usually put Teleporters there and the winning team will usually put Sentry Guns there. Use the drop section above the alley for a surprise attack. Be careful though, as a smart Engineer will probably stay with the buildings, knowing of the drop part. Plus, the small alley makes it hard to dodge attacks and hide.
  • You can ambush people easily by jumping off the high tower onto the wooden bridge below you, and get some surprising back stabs. You can then run back up to the top of the tower, and repeat the process.
  • With Engineers being so common, and Mini Sentry Guns, too, the Diamondback can be an effective option.


  • Upon successful completion of capturing the map, both teams will be teleported to hell.
  • The team that captures will receive a significant health bonus, giving them a massive advantage. The building in the middle will also be tilted towards the winning team, giving them easier access to the rare spell on it.
  • Once the hell round starts, players from both teams will often try to capture the strong spell in the middle. You can camp this location to help get an early advantage. Another strong spell can be found further out in the lava, on the way to the Bombinomicon.
  • Beware Pyros, as they can airblast you into lava, and can get many quick kills.
  • Consider quickly changing your class or loadout before you're sent to Hell to suit the lack of respawning and short, fast-paced timeframe. For example, equip the Gunslinger rather than the Wrench, or change your class to a class you feel more comfortable that you can kill enemies with; such as Soldier or Scout instead of Spy or Sniper.