Community Hydro strategy

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Hydro Dam.png
Basic Information
Map type: Territorial Control
File name: tc_hydro
Released: October 10, 2007
Developer(s): Valve
Map Info
Environment: Industrial
Setting: Daylight, sunny
Hazards: Pits
Map Items
Healthico.png Health Kits: Smallhealth.png ×13  •  Mediumhealth.png ×12
Ammoico.png Ammo Boxes: Smallammo.png ×20   •   Mediumammo.png ×11   •  
Largeammo.png ×6
Map Photos
Loading screen photos.
Map Overview
Hydro overview.png

This article is about Community Hydro strategy.

Note: It is recommended to read the main Hydro article first to become familiar with the names of key map locations used in this article.

General strategy

  • One of the keys to playing Hydro is understanding just how a Territorial control map works and which parts of Hydro are currently in play. At the start of each round you will emerge from your spawn area and will be connected to one of the enemy territories. A key to good play is working this out quickly and getting your assault underway.
  • There is always more than one route to the opposition's control point.
  • As with all other maps familiarize yourself with all these various routes.
    • For defending the Dish CP, Demomen should place their sticky bombs on the ceiling to hide them from the enemy.
    • Engineers can defend the Dish CP well by placing Sentry Guns on the metal catwalks adjacent to the three exits - the mountain ramp leading from the Turbine CP, the walkway nearest the spawn, which covers the paths diverging from the Bridge CP, and the walkway leftmost of the spawn, which can prevent entrance into the point from the Flood Area tunnels.
  • On most sections of Hydro, it is a long trip between the spawn room and the enemy's Control Point. Engineers would do well to construct a Teleporter early in the round to help their teammates move forward and keep the pressure on the enemy team.
  • Always keep an eye on your own Control Point, and be near enough to defend it if necessary. A hard fought battle for the enemy CP can be lost by just a few seconds' inattentiveness.
  • Teleporters are a huge help! Trips from Spawn to the Enemy Control Point are usually long and tedious on Hydro, and the teleportation will cut travel time by a large margin.

Section-specific strategy

The Warehouse (BLU)

  • Attackers: This is a very good area for Spies. There are several parts of this area that serve little interest to the enemy team, and thus are rarely paid any attention to when not in use, not to mention that there are several areas in this part of the map where Snipers particularly like to feel nice and cozy in, making it easy for you to backstab them.
  • Defenders: Engineers can build a Sentry Gun next to the small raised ledge. This way, they are protected from enemy fire outside of the Sentry Gun's sensor range.

The Dam (RED)

  • Attackers: With its little use to the enemy team, aside from Snipers, Spies tend to uncloak in the area behind the enemy spawn. Unless you are taking out Snipers, do not do so. The enemy team will be VERY suspicious of any class in that area and will instantly Spy-check you if they see you coming from behind the spawn, even more so than the other areas on the map.
  • Defenders: A good Sentry spot is behind the rocks near the CP. It allows your Sentry to cover the CP while being out of sight of the enemy team; however, in that location it is easy to take down after they know where it is.

The Radar Dish (RED)

  • Attackers: Despite all the advice given below, the enemy team tends to not guard the point, but to guard the entrances to the Radar Dish. As a Spy, you can slip past their defenses easy enough and decloak and undisguise when you're standing on the point, and you should capture the point for a few seconds, if not capturing the whole point. This Strategy works better with the Cloak and Dagger. Should there be Stickies in the way, try to target Demomen as backstab victims. The Stickies will disappear when their owner is killed.
  • Defenders: In addition to placing sticky bombs on the ceiling, Demomen can position themselves on one of the raised steel platforms (see picture) where they can easily take cover from opposing fire whilst being in a good position to fire pipe bombs through the windows of the CP.
  • Defenders: Soldiers and Demomen can rocket/sticky bomb jump onto the top of the CP, and are able to take easy shots at oncoming enemies. Be aware though, you are also more exposed to well placed shots from oncoming Snipers and Heavies here.

The Power Plant (BLU)

  • Defenders: It is possible as the Soldier or Demoman to rocket/sticky bomb jump onto the topmost entrance to the room (the one which has the door to the upper half and the staircase down to the CP). From here, you have a perfect view of the capture point and can easily take out enemies that enter the room. If you have two of you get up there then you can watch over both entrances for total security.

Class-specific strategy

Leaderboard class scout.png Scout

  • There are a lot of long, open vistas on this map, so you will often be fighting opponents from a distance. This is where the Pistol or the Shortstop comes in handy.
  • The various vents and tunnels in this map provide good flanking spots for getting to the enemy point another way, and may help in distracting the enemy team so your teammates can make a big push.

Leaderboard class soldier.png Soldier

  • Ambush techniques work well as there are different paths that you can take, most of which end at a choke point. Many of these routes have potential for Soldiers to rocket jump to, taking the enemy by surprise.
  • Hydro is very prone to 'camp wars' where both teams will play very defensively, and guard their own team's Control Point. Firing rockets at choke points and firing around corners may help your team eliminate defensive players such as Engineers and Snipers.
  • The vents are your friends, as you can often use them to drop down behind enemy lines while avoiding most head-on confrontations. When traveling in the vents, be careful not to kill yourself when firing rockets in such close quarters.
  • The control points in Hydro have a very short capture time, and because of this, killing enemies who are on the point may not be the most effective way to defend it. Try to aim rockets at your enemies' feet, so as to launch them off of the control point. Once the risk of capture has been removed, you can then finish them off with your Rocket Launcher or Shotgun as necessary.

Leaderboard class pyro.png Pyro

  • Whenever possible, try to attack through indoors areas or the narrow canyons. As with Gravel Pit, use the structures and rocks for cover when moving through wide-open areas.
  • A particularly useful spot is underneath stairs, as flames can go through the gaps between the steps.
  • A good tactic when you are on a point is to use the compression blast. If you compression blast from a point that is far up you may be able to kill attackers and defenders.

Leaderboard class demoman.png Demoman

  • The key to proper Demoman play on Hydro is staying alive. The maps are small, and keeping your Control point defended with a carpet of Sticky bombs is essential.
  • When the sewer entrances are open, placing Sticky bombs immediately around the corner (on the wall by the health pack) will allow you to kill attackers, while also preventing them from healing.
  • Place Sticky bombs on the catwalks and other high locations. These can launch people into the air, making them easy targets for others or leading to death by fall damage.
  • Another good place for stickies are on the ceiling of the radar dish control point.

Leaderboard class heavy.png Heavy

  • Against strong defenses, an Übered Heavy can clear a way for the rest of the team to take the Control Points. Just watch out for Snipers at the more open Control Points, as they can end a Medic-Heavy rush quite easily.
  • Attacking either of the last points through the vents can be a useful tactic for surprise and will work especially with other distractions going on, but be sure to use an ÜberCharge and not a Kritzkrieg when pushing, as there will likely be at least one Sentry Gun to destroy and once you drop out of the vents, you will not be able to escape without going through the main areas.

Leaderboard class engineer.png Engineer

  • Due to its changing nature and layout, Hydro has no 'perfect' Sentry Gun locations. There are however, a few very good ones, which are listed below:
    • On the metal landing at the flooded Control point (the one with the Control point on the raised area, with water all around).
    • Behind the truck at the outside Control point (the one with the raised Control point on the little bridge).
    • Under the stairs at the Radar Dish.
    • At the end of the raised platform at the Control point inside the base.
    • Under the Control point inside the base, at the back on the ground floor where the turbines are. If you position the Sentry Gun on the corner of the alcove and a Dispenser behind you, you will be saved from most of the splash damage while using the Metal from your Dispenser to repair your Sentry Gun. You wouldn't think it but the Sentry Gun range does cover the Control point and the stairs. This is quite difficult for the enemy to take down if someone is covering you from the top rails, if they aren't, a Demoman or Soldier can take it out from above.
    • On the top of the metal railing in the Power Plant.
  • It is always a good idea to have at least one Sentry by your Control point to avoid back capping.
  • Depending on the territories you are fighting over, it may be wise to attack with your team at the start of a round by deploying a Sentry to defend a chokepoint. For example, the Radar Dish vs. Power Plant round has one chokepoint between the two bases, meaning that only a clever Spy will be able to pass through undetected at the round beginning. By building a Sentry to defend your side of the choke, you effectively deny all players from rushing your base at the start.
    • However, on territory battles such as on the Radar Dish vs. Warehouse, there are more flanks available to each team to slip by the main road and possibly back-cap. In these cases, setting up a Sentry at base to cover any players rushing by for a back-cap will either retreat or alert your team to defend the breached area.

Leaderboard class medic.png Medic

  • Engineers will usually set up many Sentry Guns near and around their Control point. Use a ÜberCharge on an appropriate Medic buddy to break through their defenses.
  • With the fast paced nature of Hydro, it may be a great idea to equip the Vaccinator. Because of the quick ÜberCharge rate, pushing through enemy territory can easily pressure many players who were not prepared to face a ÜberCharge early in the round. Keep in mind, once your team is tasked to capture/defend the respective sides base, a Vaccinator ÜberCharge may not be strong enough to make a significant presence on the control point.

Leaderboard class sniper.png Sniper

  • With its many configurations, Hydro is a very good Sniper map due to the long open spaces and sufficient cover (such as inside buildings, behind rocks, etc.).
    • However, playing Sniper at the very beginning of a round is not advised as Snipers suffer from new unknown map variations; pick Sniper only when you are familiar with the current Hydro layout.
  • Sit at the back of your area and scope to the entrances. Most of the good spots are near spawn points.
  • On offense, a Sniper can sit in the entrances to the enemy areas and take down Sentry Guns with fully charged shots.
  • Try to find the more unusual and hard to reach areas to avoid Spies. After taking down enemy Snipers, change positions.

Leaderboard class spy.png Spy

  • More often than not, enemy Sentry Guns will be put in spots which can be shot at from afar with the Ambassador. In this case, try to snipe the Engineer so that you will have a clear shot at sapping his Sentry Gun. This should take only 2 shots if you headshot him first, following up with a bodyshot.
  • When defending either of the last points, you can hide behind the ramps that jut out of the ground as entrances to the underground cap area, both to recharge Cloak with the Invisibility Watch or the Dead Ringer or to pick targets for ambushing and call out attacking Spies with the Cloak and Dagger.
  • Due to the open ended nature of the map, it is very hard for a Spy to backstab or sap without being spotted by the enemy. Once you are at the enemies' stronghold or base, take your time to carefully observe who can be stabbed without consequences. Repeat this process and/or try to work your way from their point/base to the heat of the battle.
    • One could also consider using Your Eternal Reward, so that you can continue backstabbing without losing a disguise.