Community Mann vs. Machine strategy

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This article is about Community Mann vs. Machine strategy.


General strategy

This section deals with overall objectives, themes, and general tactics to win an MvM mission.


  • Communication is very useful when completing a mission. If you are able, use voice or text chat to help your team.
    • At map start, if you are unsure about the class to play, ask your team about which class to pick.
  • Try to make your team's class composition balanced. Know the strengths and weaknesses of every class.

Credits, bonuses, and upgrades

  • At the start of each wave, you will be prompted to purchase upgrades from an Upgrade Station.
    • Ask your team which upgrades to purchase if you are unsure.
  • Collect piles of credits (also known as "cash") to increase available credits to all teammates.
    • Green dollar signs ($) mean the cash must be collected by a player.
    • Red dollar signs ($) mean the cash that your team's Sniper has already collected, however, Scouts can still get overheal from these.
  • Bonuses are awarded at the end of each round for A+/A grade credit collection.
    • 100 credits are awarded for collecting all available credits.
    • 50 credits are awarded for missing no more than 5% credits of the wave's total money.
  • Remember that collecting money is not only the Scout's job. As a team, you should always be picking up money unless the Scout is letting it pile up to gain Overheal.

Ammo management

  • Robots don't drop ammo upon their death.
  • An Engineer should place a Dispenser at choke points.
    • A Dispenser should always have at least 2 Dispenser Range upgrades to help out the team. This also allows teammates to stand further away from the Dispenser, making it less likely for robots to hit it with splash damage or missed shots.
  • Destroyed Engineer buildings will also drop ammo.
  • Slain players drop medium ammo boxes.
  • Remember where ammo pickups are on the map.

Robot spawning

  • Robots cannot attack or be harmed until they touch the field.
    • Shooting a robot before landing will show them as ÜberCharged.
    • This will also alert the robots to your location, causing their aggression to be taken out on you.
  • Sentry Guns will shoot the robots before robots touch the field.
    • Place the Sentry Gun in a place where it will not target these robots and waste ammo.
    • Use the Wrangler to control when your Sentry Gun fires.
  • Stickybombs planted at the base of where robots jump down will not damage robots until the robots have physically touched the ground.
    • Make sure the robots actually touch the ground before detonating or you may waste your trap!
    • If you blast a robot being healed by Über Medics before the Medics touch the ground, the Medics will pop ÜberCharge on the patient if it goes below half health. However, the Medics will lose their Über once they touch the ground and can then be destroyed by you or your team.
      • This can be used to prevent a full 8 seconds of Übercharge being used if your trap is slightly off from where the robots actually drop, provided they are still close enough to the patient to deal enough damage.
        • This can be done by any class that can deal enough damage before the Medic touches the ground which can be useful if you don't have a dedicated Medic picker.
      • If you kill the patient before the Medics leave the spawn zone they will likely choose a new patient and may run backward if they choose a recently spawned robot. If no new patients are available they will rush the bomb with their relatively harmless Syringe Guns.

Medic robots

Über Medic Robots always spawn with a full ÜberCharge meter and activate when either it drops below 50 health points or its healing target drops below half of its maximum health. This applies to Giant Quick-Fix Medics as well, however not all of them spawn with a full charge.

  • At round start, or as Medics spawn, you can defeat them before they deploy their ÜberCharge by:
  • Detonating a stickybomb trap and using the combined damage to destroy the Medics.
  • Use the Gas Passer with the Explode on Ignite upgrade, then damage them to destroy these Medics.
  • Headshotting them or surrounding robots with the Explosive Headshot upgrade to kill the Medics.
  • Perfectly aiming an upgraded Scattergun shot with full damage ramp-up.
  • Direct impacting with an upgraded Rocket Launcher with either an active Buff Banner or Critical Hit.
  • Backstabbing them as Spy, however, this can be inconsistent.

During the deployment of an ÜberCharge:

  • Airblast the Medics (as Pyro) to break the ÜberCharge beam.
  • Detonate sticky bombs underneath the Medic to push it back.
  • Aim and shoot a rocket at their wheel to push them away.
  • Block the Medic Robot's Medi Gun beam using the Projectile Shield.
  • When the Robot Medic is wearing the Quick-Fix, try to block the Medic's path by standing in front of it. Quick-Fix Medics are immune to knockback.
  • Note: It's generally not recommended to knock or airblast Medic robots, as they will attach to another robot if their healing target is killed.

While Über Medic is recharging:

  • Use Pomson 6000 to take away Medi Gun charge and delay the robot horde's ÜberCharge.
    • Note: Although this strategy sounds very good on paper, it is not as preferred as the Rescue Ranger is a much better option.

Sniper robots

  • Players playing as a Soldier, Medic, Engineer, or Heavy will announce "Sniper!" to alert you to Snipers appearing on the field.
    • A blue laser guide is emitted from their rifle, giving away their position.
  • Jump and strafe constantly to make it difficult for robots to lock on to you.
  • Snipers can be dealt with by a ranged class, such as Soldier or another Sniper, to prevent them from killing your team.
    • A Scout is the best for dealing with Snipers outside of the range of the rest of your team, as you are usually extended the furthest so you can collect money for your team.
    • An ineffective team can be neutralized by Snipers due to their damage + other robot weaponry.
  • Sniper Robots cannot hit headshots.

Spy robots

  • Spy robots (sometimes referred to as "spybots") will de-cloak from various areas around the map, disguised as either you or one of your team members.
  • When Spies are active, you can jump or rapidly switch weapons to show your teammates you are not a Spy robot as robots only jump to get to higher areas and the latter is never done by them.
  • Spy robots often reveal their location by chuckling, even when disguised. Listen carefully for them when you can't afford to look around the field.
  • If there is a Spy robot and a Tank on the field at the same time, you can evade the Spy by standing on the Tank.
  • The Soldier is very good at Spy checking due to his high damage output and splash damage.
  • Spy players reveal invisible Spy robots near them to their teammates. Check to see if your Spy player is trying to chase a Spy robot or if there is a Spy robot near him.


  • Tanks do not attack or directly harm players.
    • A turning tank can crush players against walls and kill them instantly.
  • A common tactic to defeat a tank is having a single Pyro use a Phlogistinator to destroy it or have a Beggar's Bazooka Soldier focus it.
    • The Mmmph! of the Phlogistinator will charge with damage dealt.
    • You should upgrade the damage of this weapon to decrease Mmmph! recharge time.
    • Upgrading reload speed and upgrading damage will increase the damage done to the tank by the Soldier. Rapidly press the primary fire button for the most effective damage (Shooting one rocket at a time).
    • A critical hit boost (Crit) canteen will also help destroying the tank.

Bomb movement

  • Before the start of each wave, there will be floating holographic arrows indicating the path the bomb robot will take. Use these to plan a defense.
  • Effective Engineers will take heed of these arrows to set up Sentry Guns to delay the movement of the bomb.
  • Demomen may place their sticky traps along this path.
  • The rest of the team should focus firepower there and locate chokepoints so you can easily pin down enemies.
  • During a tank round, Pyros should take note as this is the direction the tank may take.
  • A robot carrying the bomb is known as the "bomb carrier" and will appear as a blue outline to indicate its location.
    • Bomb carriers taunt to receive their buff, and robots surrounding them stop to wait so they can travel together.

After the wave has started:

  • The holographic arrows disappear and will not be shown again until the start of the next wave.
  • Enemies may stray from the path to chase down a player, so stay alert.
    • The bomb carrier and the 5 bots surrounding it will not do this.
  • If the bomb carrier is killed, all of the robots will go for the bomb.
    • They will then take the shortest route to the hatch.
  • If there is more than 1 tank at a time, they may pick a different path.

The path may change between waves.

Robots may also taunt after killing a player, even while being attacked. Take advantage of this time to destroy the taunting robot, but be careful: some robots have kill taunts (such as robot Spies, which will do the Fencing taunt after backstabbing a merc/player). Certain animations don't line up with the hitboxes (such as Demoknight robots doing the Barbarian Swing taunt, the animation will be the primary taunt)

Failing waves

To encourage MvM participation, it is helpful if experienced players help newer players on weapon and upgrade choices, along with explaining why these options help defeat the robots during a wave.

As a team, it is important to communicate strategy. If you are a new player, then you should ask other players which class to play and how to play them.

If you are an experienced player that has been matched to a server of new players or have some newer players on your team, it is expected that you educate your team by explaining why certain classes, weapons, and upgrades are chosen for each wave. However, consider only doing this if your team is failing waves, as some players may prefer a different playstyle that is still effective.

  • Politely offer suggestions to correct their mistakes; no need for name-calling or vote-kicking.
  • Your teammates may initiate a vote to kick teammates not contributing to victory or actively hindering victory.

If a Teleporter isn't present to take you to the front lines, ask your team's Engineer to build one.

Class-specific strategies

This section details specific ways the various classes can be used to quickly defeat the robots.

Leaderboard class scout.png Scout

  • Due to the large numbers in which robots typically spawn, the Scout is at a disadvantage when it comes to dealing damage due to his short-range, pick-oriented weaponry. To counter this, he's given a wider money-gathering radius, gets health from gathering money, and respawns much more quickly than the other classes in addition to his usual faster running speed. However, he excels at killing solitary targets like tanks and giants.
  • A Scout can get an enormous amount of overheal from gathering money, going up to 600% of his base health (750 normally). However, this large amount of health doesn't mean you're invincible, and getting into enemy fire recklessly can eat up this health in seconds. Upgrade your resistances and mobility (Such as jump height or movement speed) or pick an Über canteen or two to raise your survivability, so that you can survive long enough to get the overheal from collecting money.
  • Scout is the most popular choice for being the primary cash collector on a team due to his special abilities. Scouts should always be aware of the positions and amounts of cash around them. It will not only help them stay alive but also help the team to afford upgrades.
    • In fact, many players consider collecting cash to be the Scout's primary purpose, with throwing milk and marking robots for death (e.g. by hitting them with the Fan O'War) being secondary to collecting money, since obtaining the cash bonus at the end of waves will make all later waves easier for the entire team (including the Scout).
  • The Scout's short respawn time means he's allowed to take risks. He can continue running back into battle again and again, even if there is no Teleporter. Even if it means getting killed, Scouts can rush to collect any money that is close to expiring without severe consequences.
  • Pay attention to the color of the "$" particles emitting from cash drops. You should always make an effort to harvest cash drops emitting standard green particles; however, cash drops with red particles (triggered when a friendly Sniper kills the robot with either a headshot or an explosion caused by an explosive headshot) are collected automatically even if they expire, meaning you don't have to harvest them yourself if it would be unsafe to do so. Don't forget to remind your teammates!
    • However, if collecting red cash is safe, then you should collect it, as it will still grant you overheal.
  • Movement Speed and Jump Height go a long way when it comes to dodging enemy fire and general mobility. Get as much as you're comfortable with. Too much Movement Speed, and you may begin to have difficulty aiming. Too much Jump Height, and you can be easily juggled by the robots. Consider equipping the Soda Popper for the extra jumps and extra damage output.
  • If a sizable group of robots begins targeting you, then consider retreating along a path that will cause them to lose sight of you (say, by going around some wall or building to come up behind them) and then collect any cash in the area and/or attack them from behind. This is an especially useful tactic if you want to hit a giant with the Fan O'War without taking too much damage.
  • As a Scout, you are usually the only one that can somewhat keep up with giant Scout Robots early in the mission. Mark it for death, cover it in milk with the slowing target upgrade, and allow the Sentry Gun to kill it, as the Sentry Gun is controlled by the server and has perfect bullet aim.
  • If you are near a tank when it is destroyed, you can collect a good deal of the money dropped for an incredible health boost. Conveniently, your primaries are very effective tank-killing weapons due to increased damage.
  • A good Scout knows how to contribute to their team without ignoring money. Prioritize your objectives (e.g. collect money or help the team on the tank) for maximum efficiency.
  • Run in circles around giant robots to avoid taking damage. Their targeting programming can't keep up with a full-speed Scout, allowing you to safely deal massive damage while keeping the robot's focus off of your teammates.
  • It is common for a Scout to switch to an easier or more damage-dealing class such as Heavy for the last wave since the team generally has more than enough upgrade money and most players aren't proficient enough at Scout to pull their weight in terms of damage output. However, it is still completely viable to stay Scout.

Weapon choices and upgrades

  • Many beginner Scouts forgo upgrading their primary weapon in order to fully upgrade their Mad Milk and Resistances. This strategy maximizes Support potential and somewhat increases the likelihood of collecting all money, but putting some cash into your primary will always aid in taking down Giants and Tanks.
  • When it comes to primary weapons, you can never go wrong with the stock Scattergun, which does considerable damage at close range. However, the Soda Popper is cheaper to upgrade and deals even more damage per second, with the added bonus of increased mobility through Hype. The Force-A-Nature is comparable to the Soda Popper in terms of damage and upgrades, but your teammates may not appreciate it if you make robots bounce around every time you shoot them. The Shortstop is more expensive to upgrade, but can achieve similar maximum damage rates. It has better ranged power, so it may be a good choice if you don't mind the increased knockback. The Back Scatter is a decent weapon to use against giants because of its ability to mini-crit from behind, but it's generally outclassed by the other options. The Baby Face's Blaster, after the Gun Mettle update, is arguably the worst primary weapon to use in MvM. Since you'll be running into the heat of the fray, you'll constantly be taking damage, and the boost doesn't stack with the Movement Speed upgrades.
  • Scout's guns tend to be most effective at point-blank range. Be as aggressive as you can without dying needlessly. Attack robots from the side or from behind as they are distracted.
  • Mad Milk is a great assisting tool, as anyone who hits a doused robot gets health back, and upgraded Mad Milk slows down robots, making them easier to hit and crippling Giant Scouts' ability to run.
  • Using Bonk! Atomic Punch can allow you to grab hard-to-reach credits without fear of being blasted to oblivion.
    • ÜberCharge Canteens can work in a similar way, providing invulnerability to collect cash in dangerous areas. However, you can still attack while ÜberCharged, allowing you to mark dangerous targets with the Fan O'War or blast them with your primary weapon a few times at point-blank range.
    • Using Bonk! Atomic Punch can easily distract giants and allow allies to focus damage on them. This is not as useful on giant Heavies, as they have a limited vision range.
  • The Fan O'War can be very effective when you mark a Giant robot for death, since a large amount of firepower is needed to destroy them.
    • Once upgraded, a hit from the Sandman or its ball marks a robot for death like the Fan O'War does, meaning the robot will take mini-crits from all incoming damage. It can be a decent replacement for players who do not own the Fan O'War or are uncomfortable with running into melee range, but keep in mind that the aforementioned upgrade to mark-for-death costs $500 and lowers your initial health to 110 (the latter is negligible since you can just collect credits and be overhealed).
    • Only one robot can be marked at a time, so don't try to spam the FoW. Don't waste your time marking a giant if it is almost dead; shoot it instead.
    • Don't bother marking tanks (which cannot be marked at all) or robots buffed by the Battalion's Backup or the bomb carrier (which negates mini-crits as long as the buff is active).
    • The only available upgrade for Fan O'War is Swing Speed and Health on Kill. Usually, upgrading these are pointless, since its damage is negligible and you're probably not going to spam the Fan O'War in the first place since only one robot can be marked at any given moment.
    • Since you're not going to upgrade the Fan O'War anyway, it's a good choice to switch to Sandman in later rounds once you've satisfied your basic upgrades. The 15 health reduction is almost negligible, since you should be gaining enough health from cash anyways. Robots can still be marked by hitting them directly, and you have a ranged alternative of marking by hitting robots with the ball. This helps you mark dangerous giants at any range where getting up close can cost a lot of your overheal or, in some cases, your life.

Leaderboard class soldier.png Soldier

  • When firing rockets at enemies, make sure to keep a distance to avoid self-damage from rockets.
  • Investing in Blast Resistance allows you to rocket jump without losing as much health.

Primary Weapons

  • The Rocket Launchers have a wide variety of upgrades available, which makes them expensive to fully upgrade. Investing in one Rocket Specialist and Reload Speed is recommended.
    • A single point in Rocket Specialist is all you'll need, as it will grant you its greatest asset of no damage falloff on a direct hit. The other bonuses it imparts through further investment are not as important; those credits are better spent elsewhere.
    • A Rocket Launcher upgraded with Rocket Specialist can aid heavily with fast robots like Giant Scouts and Sentry Busters. Don't be afraid to focus them down so your team can take care of them easier.
  • Deflector Heavies can destroy your rockets, and worse, Pyros can airblast them. Attempt to fire at them from somewhere they are not aiming at.
  • Since your rockets may take a while to reach the enemy, fire towards where they're going to go rather than where they are.
  • The Beggar's Bazooka in particular becomes a devastating weapon because the miss chance is a non-issue — you're always going to hit something. Max out Reload Speed, Ammo Capacity, and Damage, with a point of Rocket Specialist and some Health on Kill, and you might stop an entire wave by yourself by repeatedly clicking primary fire. Don't load up rockets very often; the most efficient way to deal damage with the Bazooka is to launch them one by one, never having to reload. When a wave is starting, it is smart to start loading rockets so you can unleash a barrage of rockets before repeatedly clicking primary fire. Consider upgrading Firing Speed after fully upgrading Damage and Reload Speed, as it will increase DPS.
    • Fully Upgraded Damage, Reload Speed, Firing Speed, and Crit canteens on a Beggar's Bazooka is the highest damage in the game against tanks, even without crits.
  • The Cow Mangler 5000 can be good for this mode. Its infinite ammo will help in taking out large groups of robots, but do not spam the charged shot; it will always use up your entire clip, no matter how big it is, for a mere mini-crit damage. You also cannot be fully crit boosted, so tell any Kritzkrieg Medics to ÜberCharge someone else.
    • The infinite ammo helps on early waves with fewer starting credits, if an Engineer has trouble keeping his Dispenser up and on maps where ammo is scarce.
  • The Air Strike (with or without the B.A.S.E. Jumper) can be very effective for dealing single-target damage while staying away from direct fire (Similar to the Beggar's Bazooka). By upgrading Clip Size, you will be able to fire many rockets at robots in quick succession.
  • The Liberty Launcher isn't a decent option to choose among the Soldier's weapons because of its damage penalty and its increased clip size can be gained by any other rocket launcher using upgrades. Consider using a different Rocket Launcher on later waves for this mode.
    • Neither will the Rocket Jumper be of any use because of its lack of any damage output (damage upgrades won't have any effect on it, either). Its harmless rocket jumping can be replicated with Blast Resistance (or the Gunboats) and Movement Speed upgrades.
  • The Direct Hit isn't recommended, since it has 3 damage upgrades compared to others' 4 (which means it has a negligible increase in maximum damage when fully upgraded) and its low splash damage radius won't fare well against swarms of robots. It works well with lone giant robots and tanks, however.
  • The Black Box's heal-on-hit is not as effective in MvM as it may seem, as Health-on-Kill will be more useful as you upgrade your damage (unless you're fighting against a giant robot).
    • Since the Black Box's healing is capped at 20 health per rocket, it's useful to prioritize Reload Speed and Firing Speed while using it, because even without damage upgrades each well-aimed rocket will likely heal the full 20 health.

Secondary and Melee Weapons

  • Any of the Soldier's shotguns are not as helpful to your team compared to any of the Soldier's banner options. Consider using one of them instead.
    • Neither will the Mantreads be helpful, as it can only deal damage to one robot at a time and your Rocket Launcher deals much more damage.
  • When using a banner together with the Beggar's Bazooka you can activate the banner when low on ammo. Retreat to the Dispenser and hold primary fire, wait until you have full ammo, and release primary fire.
    • If you have the Buff Banner or other banner secondary equipped and your Rage meter is full, fall back to a Dispenser or ammo pack while reloading. Once you've loaded up, use the Buff Banner to boost yourself and your teammates.
      • All banner secondaries are activated upon releasing primary fire; you can take advantage of this by holding down the button until the most opportune moment.
    • Sentry Guns will deal mini-crits if and only if the Engineer himself is under the radius of your Buff Banner.
  • If you haven't made any investments in upgrading the Buff Banner, you can easily switch to the Battalion's Backup or Concheror where needed. The Backup shines particularly well in waves with lots of crit-boosted bots, and the Concheror is good for teams without a Medic.
    • When there is more than one Soldier present, consider using a different banner than him.
    • Consider popping your Buff Banner immediately after another Soldier finishes their banner charge, to help them refill their Rage meter more quickly.
  • An upgraded Righteous Bison can be a powerful tool because it's cheap to upgrade and also can penetrate enemies. Investing in Reload Speed and Firing Speed can allow a Soldier to take down large groups of robots by himself and have damage close to the Beggar's Bazooka on tanks.
  • The Gunboats can be useful if you rocket jump a lot, as you don't need to invest in Movement Speed and Blast Resistance, and robots tend to target rocket-jumping Soldiers. Robots have poor aim, so they will often miss trying to hit you. As you gain more credits late in the game, invest in Blast Resistances and equip a useful secondary instead (preferably one of the banners).
  • The Pain Train should undoubtedly be avoided because there are no carts or control points to capture (on official MvM maps) and its bullet vulnerability on wearer. Stick with another melee choice.
  • Since the robots come in large quantities and tend to be suicidal, it is quite easy to score a kill with the Half-Zatoichi in order to quickly restore your health in a pinch.
    • You can also use it to kill Samurai Demos in one hit, but be careful, as they can one-hit you as well!
  • The Escape Plan can be used to escape when on low health, its downsides can be negated by purchasing some Crit Resistance upgrades.
  • The Disciplinary Action is useful to whip teammates such as the Engineer back to and from the Upgrade Station at the end of a wave.
    • Once the Engineer buys the 2-way teleporter upgrade, the whip can be used to whip another teammate on a Teleporter and rocket jump to the frontline yourself. This can be useful if there is a queue at the Teleporter.
    • Switching class is the fastest way to get back to the Upgrade Station, this will not refund upgrades but it will destroy buildings, and thus classes like Heavy or Medic don't have to walk all the way there or commit suicide to get there faster and there is no need to whip them.

Leaderboard class pyro.png Pyro

  • Use cover! Pyro is a simple class, but too many Pyros get themselves repeatedly killed by running straight at hordes of robots across open areas. Run out from behind corners or obstructions in the path to surprise enemies from behind and deal massive damage. Upgrading Movement Speed after you have full resistance is useful for dodging.
    • Once sufficient Health on Kill are purchased, Pyro can indeed become bulky enough to flame many robots head-on without worrying about death. However, try to avoid this if possible, since you can invest in damage upgrades instead.
  • Upgrades should be distributed among Health on Kill, Damage, and Movement Speed.
    • Burn Damage and Burn Time affect only afterburn, which is weak and not worth upgrading. Also, tanks (one of your main targets) cannot be set on fire and Burn Time upgrade has no effect on flamethrower weapons.
  • Despite the importance of not buying afterburn upgrades, you should try to keep giant robots burning at all times as the residual damage can really help out your team. Even if they aren't in range of your flamethrower, try to hit them with your Flare Gun or Detonator.
  • Whether dressed in fine suits or plate metal, Spies are flammable all the same. If the Administrator alerts the team to the presence of Spies, flame any nearby "teammates" you come across.
  • Pyro has one of the highest Tank damage of any class. When a Tank spawns, focus on it!
    • Using 3 crit canteens with your Flame Thrower will often obliterate the health of most tanks. If a tank has managed to get very near to the bomb drop site, then consider buying crit canteens to save the day!
    • When looking at a tank from the front, angle your crosshair slightly above it. This will ensure you deal as much damage as possible.
  • Bodyblocking is not hard for Pyros, as they thrive up close and will likely have invested in Resistances. Stop those Giant Scouts in their tracks.
  • Airblast is a niche tool in the hands of a good Pyro. It can push the bomb carrier further back along the path, shove the bomb carrier into a bottomless pit to send the bomb back to the beginning, or stall Giant Scouts by continually pushing them back. However, coordinate with your team; make sure you aren't shoving the bomb from an easy-to-control spot to a spot that makes the robots more unpredictable, or interfering with a bodyblock/sentryblock on a Giant.
    • On some waves, a boss giant will appear (Such as Major Crits on Mannhattan or Sir Nukesalot on Rottenburg). If there's an environmental hazard (such as a grinder or pit), a Pyro can deal with these robots with airblast, saving a lot of time.
    • Be aware that when airblasting a Sentry Buster that's about to explode that you are not airblasting it into anything; your teammates may have already taken note of the Sentry Buster's movement and location, but assume they are out of the radius. One of the best strategies to airblast Sentry Busters is to look at the ground and then airblast to knock the buster into the air, then airblast again while looking at the Sentry Buster. This will blast the buster into the air and far away from the team.

Primary Weapons

  • The Phlogistinator's ability to build crits to deploy on demand as you deal damage allows it to deal extra damage against Tanks and robots in general, making it a great option.
  • The Backburner excels against Giant robots, as it takes a while for them to focus their attention on you as you damage them, especially if the rest of your team is firing at them. Use their backs for easy crits.
    • Giant Medics in particular will be easy targets, as they rarely turn away from their pocket.
  • The stock Flame Thrower is the best primary weapon for airblasting, easing the stalling of the bomb.
    • However, keep in mind that like Force-A-Nature, your teammates may find it harder to destroy robots if you airblast them repeatedly.
  • The Dragon's Fury is more effective here than in other game modes, because the hordes of robots and large targets makes it easier to chain hits with it, doing massive damage to whatever you're attacking. Bear in mind that it is a lot less efficient for airblasting.
  • The Degreaser, deals less afterburn damage, and has an extra airblast cost. Additionally, its faster switch time is redundant as burning down all of the robots in a group with a flamethrower is better than Puff-and-Sting (igniting and then hitting robots with the Axtinguisher or flare guns one by one).

Airblast Usage

  • While airblasting can be very useful in some specific circumstances, using it in the wrong ways can hinder the team more than it helps. The following are situations where airblasting may be beneficial for the team:
    • Resetting the bomb, if you have the opportunity.
    • Reflecting projectiles, as long as you're far enough away to only airblast the projectiles or your reflected projectiles will kill the bots immediately.
    • Knocking Giants and Bosses into pits, if you're confident you can do it quickly and without too much trouble.
    • Pushing robots off of a Gate capture zone.
    • Pushing back Über Medics if they are ÜberCharged (except for Quick-Fix Medics, as they are immune to airblasts).
    • Knocking Bomb robots into specific points that trigger an Administrator response.
  • Airblast may hinder your team in these situations:
    • Airblasting robots away without there being any danger to losing the wave.
      • This can hinder your team for several reasons. Mainly an Engineer's Sentry Gun losing its tracking, a Sniper will have a lot more trouble aiming for heads, a Demoman's sticky traps may be rendered useless due to the robots choosing a different path than normal, or any other class having a generally harder time aiming for the robots.
    • Airblasting Sentry Busters, unless your Engineer is dead and is about to lose their Sentry Gun. In any other situation, you should always leave the Engineer(s) to deal with Sentry Busters.
    • Push back Giant Medics, unless you have communicated your plans with your team beforehand. Your Demoman may have set up a sticky trap to quickly dispose of the Giant Medics.

Secondary and Melee Weapons

  • The Gas Passer is a recommended secondary choice in Mann vs. Machine. Its explode on ignite upgrade will deal 350 damage, instantly killing most non-giant robots. With its wide area of effect and lingering cloud, it is incredibly effective at crowd control, even for a spread-out group of robots.
    • Use the high burst damage provided by the Gas Passer to quickly destroy squads of robots in a single throw, or to wipe out a group of supporting Medics. Even Giant Medics will easily fall to this sustained firepower.
    • Work in conjunction with teammates so that the moment you throw the Gas Passer, they can fire into the cloud it generates to hit a target. As any damage will cause the target to ignite and subsequently explode for 350 damage, this will cause widespread destruction. Heavies are excellent partners in this task, as even a single Minigun bullet hit will cause a devastating explosion to a Gassed robot, as do Soldiers, with their large splash damage.
    • Damage due to the Gas Passer does not contribute to recharging it, so use it wisely, or back it up with as much fire damage as you can muster.
  • As all of Pyro's primary weapons are geared for up-close combat, a fire-based secondary weapon made for long ranges can also be used. The Flare Gun excels against Snipers and can deal a bit of extra damage to Giants when getting in close is impossible, the Detonator keeps the utility against Snipers while aiding you in getting around the map.
    • Using the Scorch Shot is not recommended, as its jumping ability of overshadowed by the Detonator and its knockback will mess up the aim of your teammates (such as a Sniper or Soldier) and mess up the sticky placement of a Demo.
  • The Thermal Thruster can quickly allow you to access various shortcuts in the map.
  • The Powerjack is overall the best melee to use, since it allows you to run faster and you rarely use your melee to hit robots. Its downside of more damage taken is negligible considering the importance of resistance to Pyro.
  • The Axtinguisher's speed boost (on killing burning enemies) and mini-crit on burning enemies are useless, as you can only hit one robot at a time, and very likely to get you killed. Other melees are much more beneficial.
  • The Third Degree, with a Crit Canteen boost, can kill all Über Medics on a Giant in one swing. However, the need for a crit blow makes Third Degree Pyro an unreliable Medic killer; you may want to use a melee weapon whose effect will always be beneficial to you.
  • The Homewrecker can be a great help to your fellow Engineer. Its ability to destroy Sappers with one hit can help keep your team's buildings alive longer.
  • The Neon Annihilator isn't recommended, as the flamethrowers deal more damage against robot hordes and its crits are very situational (especially since there aren't any official MvM maps with water).
  • The Hot Hand's speed boost on hit is better replaced by the Powerjack's passive speed boost when active.

Leaderboard class demoman.png Demoman

Primary Weapons

  • While not as effective damage-wise as the stock Grenade Launcher, the Loose Cannon's knockback ability can be used as a sidearm for dealing with popped Über Medics and for resetting the bomb.
    • The Loose Cannon can also be used to knock Giant Robots together and kill them in one Crit Stickybomb trap; however, this may be quite difficult to do.
  • Maxing out reload speed and fire rate can make the Grenade Launcher feel similarly to the Air Strike with its large burst damage, but do not use all the money completely on maxing out damage or clip size; instead, balance between both.
    • The Iron Bomber functions similarly to the Grenade Launcher, but has a smaller explosion radius. However, the grenades don't roll as much compared to regular grenades, so they will stay in the same place as where you aimed, making it more effective on robots who happen to walk over them when they explode.
    • The Loch-n-Load is not a very effective weapon in Mann vs. Machine. Buildings are rare in Mann vs. Machine, and the only other buff (projectile speed) can be acquired via an upgrade.
      • It also has a smaller explosion radius, making dealing with large crowds of robots less effective.
  • Avoid getting too close to groups of robots; Demoman's explosive weaponry is not made for close combat.
    • The Grenade Launcher has a significant arc, so use this to your advantage to shoot robots without being in the direct line of fire.
  • If you intend to fully dedicate yourself to using a Stickybomb Launcher for doing damage, then you can swap your primary for either Ali Baba's Wee Booties or the Bootlegger for extra health.
  • The boots should only be used when playing Demoknight or if only using your stickies. Demoknights can be very effective, however, only use it if there is another Medic buster on the team (Such as a Sniper or a Gas Passer Pyro) or if there are no Über Medics in a wave and you're confident enough your team can make it.

Sticky Use

  • One of Demoman's biggest jobs in Mann vs Machine is killing Über Medics and killing giants, as a Sticky trap can take away all of their health in one blow, not allowing them to Über. Be aware of when Medics spawn, and, if they make it deep into the map, where they are.
  • The robots follow pre-set paths, so Sticky carpets are more effective than in normal gameplay. Upgrade for maximum effectiveness.
    • The Scottish Resistance is a very viable weapon to keep, as it is cheaper to fully upgrade than the stock Sticky Launcher, and its downsides of longer prime time are largely irrelevant due to the predictable nature of robot movements. 14 Crit Scottish Resistance Stickies with max Damage Upgrades can one-shot all non-boss Giant Robots (even if they are being pocketed by Medic Robots) unless they are under the effects of a Battalion's Backup.
    • Maxing out Reload Speed and Firing Speed allows you to fire more projectiles in a shorter period of time.
    • The Quickiebomb Launcher is not as efficient as the other options, as it has decreased damage and a smaller clip size; even the increased damage on charging up doesn't benefit the user and their team as much as the Scottish Resistance.
    • Don't equip the Sticky Jumper as it deals no damage, and the benefit of harmless sticky jumping can be similarly achieved with Blast Resistance and Movement Speed upgrades.
    • The Critical Hit Canteen can be used to make quick and fatal Sticky traps for giants and chunk large amounts of health off tanks.
      • Buying one point of Clip Size allows you to make full use of the 5 seconds of Critical hits, as with upgraded firing speed you can place a maximum of 12 with one canteen. Without clip size, you can only place a maximum of 10 provided you have maxed reload speed.
  • Tanks are easy targets for your Grenade Launcher because of how big they are, and unupgraded grenades do more damage to them than unupgraded stickies. However, if you are upgrading mainly your Stickybomb Launcher, use it against Tanks as well as robots, and do not split your cash between two offensive weapons.
    • Never put stickies directly under a tank. Shoot them under the treads of the tank instead, as they do more damage there.
  • If you have a Kritzkrieg Medic, have him charge you during Setup to plant a carpet of Crit stickies before the next wave starts. There is no penalty for doing this, as a Medic's ÜberCharge builds up quickly during Setup.
    • However, if no giant robots appear until later in the wave, periodically place extra stickies past the limit to detonate them one-by-one as robots walk over them. A Demoman saving the Critical Stickies for a Giant will often lead to either the team getting pushed back so far that he cannot focus on the robot spawn where he laid them, or his death and loss of his Stickies.


  • Only consider playing Demoknight if you're confident your team can handle the wave. If there are Über Medics in a wave, make sure you have another Medic buster.
  • If you plan on Demoknighting, consider using the Chargin' Targe, as it has higher resistances than the Splendid Screen & Tide Turner, and you'll rarely make use of a shield bash or require high turning control. Rack up heads with an Eyelander to improve your survivability, and upgrade Movement Speed on top of that to be able to circle-strafe most Giants and avoid their devastating attacks while you attack their legs.
    • Alternatively, using the Half-Zatoichi with crit-on-kill allows you to keep up your health, or even overheal, for long periods of time.
    • Demoman's melee weapons not only have Damage upgrades, but can also be upgraded to grant up to four seconds of full crits on a melee kill. This, combined with Health on Kill and Attack Speed on your melee weapon, can make you hard to kill.
  • The Scotsman's Skullcutter, while active, gives you a damage bonus and increased range in exchange for slower movement speed while active. This can be used instead of the Bottle if you feel confident enough that you're going to hit your target.

Leaderboard class heavy.png Heavy

  • Even Heavy cannot survive the combined fire of larger waves of robots. He needs Resistance and Health-on-Kill, or a Medic with upgraded healing rate, or to be next to an Engineer's Dispenser to take on a tank role.
  • Bodyblock Super Scouts (or just any Giant Robot in general) whenever possible. To do it, stand adjacent to a corner that the Scouts take tightly, and shoot at them when they are unable to pass you. The added ramp-up damage from them being so close is a bonus.
  • Watch out for Sniper bots. Your slow speed makes you an easy target.
  • Watch your back when Spies appear. Don't be afraid to give any approaching ally a quick burst, just to be safe.

Primary Weapons

  • Before you do anything, get at least one or two points in Health on Kill. Next, get necessary Resistances and finally start upgrading Firing Speed and Projectile Penetration. If you upgrade Destroy Projectiles, purchase both points.
  • During the opening rounds, you may find that you run out of Minigun ammo very quickly, so it is wise to invest in ammo upgrades. Pay attention to the position of ammo pickups so you can easily refill when there's lull in the action.
    • If you have a Dispenser nearby, it is advised to stay next to it whenever possible to make ammo consumption less of a problem. Only upgrade Ammo Capacity if you aren't confident in your Engineer's abilities.
  • Unique to the Heavy is the upgrade to knock enemy projectiles out of the sky. Use this to counter enemy Soldiers and Demomen, particularly Giants.
    • To more easily knock a Giant Soldier's rockets out of the air, aim at their chest from medium range.
  • Also unique to the Heavy is the Rage upgrade; once acquired, it builds when you damage robots. Rage can push a high-health Giant away from deploying the bomb, or shove the bomb carrier into a pit. However, your damage is halved while Rage is deployed, and the increased distance between your team and the robot you're pushing away will cause additional damage fall-off. Use this upgrade wisely, or don't get it at all. Knocking back robots has the same downside as all other knockbacks, it makes it harder for Snipers to headshot and harder for Demomen to get a trap lined up.
    • Keep in mind that Giants are extremely vulnerable to rage when they are airborne, making them extremely easy to push back. Have them land on top of you or have a Pyro airblast them to send them airborne.
    • Be especially careful with using Rage on Giant Medics. You can pin them into a corner, but once your Rage wears off, they'll likely still be alive due to your reduced damage and can run right up to their heal target again if it is still alive as well. Or worse, it can latch onto a Super Scout.
  • Tanks have a -75% damage resistance to your primary. If there is another big threat to handle besides the Tank, focus on that instead. If the tank is outside of effective range, don't bother following the tank; other classes are better equipped to deal with the tank.
    • However, if there are no Giant robots currently on the map, it is helpful to follow the tank and help your team with it instead of staying at the front like you normally would. Even with the 75% Minigun resistance Heavy still deals a significant amount of damage to the tank, surpassing that of a Demoman that just uses sticky bombs to deal damage.
  • The Minigun is expensive to upgrade, but has a high base DPS. As a result, on missions with low starting money, going Heavy without any upgrades for the first wave and switching to your damage class of choice after the wave is complete is a viable strategy.
  • The Brass Beast's damage boost and damage resistance while spun up is a valuable asset in Mann vs Machine, however the reduced mobility makes it more difficult to achieve max ramp-up damage. Don't let yourself become overwhelmed while trapped revving up or down. If the reduced mobility is a major issue, the stock Minigun is your best bet.
  • Natascha can slow down the robots and render them easier to mop up, which can be handy against Giant Scouts. However, the -25% damage is very noticeable, and the slowdown will rarely have much impact on how you do against weak common robots or slow Giants. In addition, slowing Sentry Busters may be annoying to your Engineer if he wants the Busters to reach him as soon as possible so he can blow them up. The damage resistance given by it may be helpful in certain circumstances, however.
  • The Huo-Long Heater is unique in that in can inflict afterburn on robots with its ring of fire, and gives a damage bonus when firing at robots under the effects of afterburn. Coupled with the afterburn damage bonus, it deals more damage than the default Minigun. Heavy already benefits significantly from getting as close as possible to Giants for maximum damage ramp-up and the downside of ammo consumption can be mitigated by a Dispenser placed nearby, making the Heater a good option against Giants.
  • Tomislav is generally a worse Minigun for this mode. The quicker spin-up time is barely noticeable, and you shouldn't even be focusing on robots that are far away from you, so the accuracy bonus is useless.

Secondary and Melee Weapons

  • Your Sandvich is just as valuable in Mann vs. Machine as in regular gameplay. Use it to recover when there are no health kits nearby, or throw it to a teammate who has taken damage.
    • Same goes for the Gloves of Running Urgently, as their ability to get you to and from fights quicker becomes even more useful when there are so many fights.
  • The Killing Gloves of Boxing can be useful due to the crit boost guaranteed on a kill. The slower swing speed can be circumvented with upgrades. But don't kill robots with it when there are huge swarms of robots or the robots are too dangerous to get up close.
  • The Dalokohs Bar is not a good choice for this mode because its max health bonus is mostly negated if your Medic is overhealing you. Shotguns aren't useful as well, so the Sandvich or the Second Banana would universally be the best choice for your secondary.
  • The Warrior's Spirit won't be very useful, since you can already buy Health-on-Kill on your Minigun and you won't be killing robots with it anyways.
  • The Eviction Notice is a poor melee choice, the Eviction Notice has a lower damage output in exchange for an unneeded faster firing rate. Its passive movement speed bonus is also weaker than the the Gloves of Running Urgently. When in doubt, stick with your regular Fists.
  • The Second Banana can be used as a sidegrade to the sandwich in this game mode. Generally being more useful when there is no Medic due to its fast recharge and decent healing.
  • The Fists of Steel can be quite useful if you have a teleporter, the less overheal can be negated by a Medic's upgrades.

Leaderboard class engineer.png Engineer

  • Before the wave begins, all your buildings cost no metal, build instantly, and automatically upgrade to level 3 upon placement. Use this to your advantage.
  • Ammo and metal are harder to come by in this mode because robots don't drop ammo kits when destroyed. This makes Dispensers extremely important, especially for ammo-chewing classes like Heavy and Pyro. Before each round begins, be sure you have a Dispenser set up where everyone can reach it quickly (including you, in case it gets sapped), but not in such obvious sight that the robots target it.
    • Upgrading the Dispenser's range should be a priority. Its cost is ridiculously low and it really helps in keeping your teammates supplied with health and ammo without making them retreat from the front lines.
    • Some building upgrade canteens are next. Be sure to always have some of these.
  • If the bomb is far back, place your Sentry on the bomb to prevent sneaky robots from capturing.
  • Giants will instantly destroy any buildings they run over to except for Sentry Guns. Do not attempt to block a giant with a building other than regular Sentry Guns.
  • Sentry Guns will rebuild in an instant when hauling them to another location. This is a good strategy when the bomb carrier has breached your team's defenses or when taking down a tank.
    • If you just unwrangled your Sentry Gun, consider haul it and placing it down immediately, as it will be faster than waiting it to be unwrangled.
  • Sentry Guns are vital for controlling chokepoints and dealing large amounts damage to giants and the tank, but they attract Sentry Busters. Keep an eye out at all times.
    • Generally, the places that contain ammo boxes are ideal to build Sentry Guns.
    • The Building Upgrade Canteen can be vital, allowing you to immediately get your Sentry back into the fight at maximum power after it's destroyed.
    • If a Sentry Buster targets your Sentry Gun and you pick it up before the robot activates, the Sentry Buster will chase you instead, arming when it gets near you. This is the best tactic you can use to save your Sentry Gun, and it will count for the achievement Real Steal.
      • You can also use the Rescue Ranger to pick up your Sentry Gun when the sentry buster crouches from a long distance. Keep in mind that you can use the Rescue Ranger through the sentry buster's legs. This strategy is much more dangerous because the Rescue Ranger may fail to pick it up.
    • More Engineers on a team means more Sentry Busters per wave. Sometimes more than one Sentry Buster will appear at once, so be prepared for them.
  • The Sentry Gun's fire rate upgrade is bugged: The first point works as intended, the second one will only stack with the Wrangler, and the third does nothing at all. To avoid wastage, do not invest in more than two points in it.
  • Placing a Sentry at a choke point or on certain corners is a great way to block Super Scouts. There are several places on each map where this can be done. Learn them and use them.
  • Sometimes it can be helpful to build your Sentry Gun near an edge. Not only does it give you height advantage and protection, but the edge will also serve as an escape route from Sentry Busters, as their explosion will not affect targets on lower ground.
  • Use a Teleporter to cut the travel time between the base and the front lines. It may make the difference between safety and bomb delivery. Investing in the two-way teleporter upgrade also helps with chasing robots that have snuck through your team, usually Giant Scouts.
    • Build your teleporter entrance near the upgrade/spawn room(s). If there are two or more upgrade/spawn rooms, try to place your entrance halfway between each of the doors, so that no matter which one someone walks out of (or spawn in, such as on Rottenburg), the teleporter entrance is as close as it can be to them. If two Engineers are playing, they can each place one teleporter per spawn exit, closer to the doors. However for some waves, Demomen and/or Soldiers might want to go back to spawn to purchase canteens. In these cases, place your teleporter near a spawnroom door. Usually the Soldier/Demoman will ask you to buy a 2-way teleporter and put it close to a spawndoor.
    • Do not build your Teleporter exit next to your Sentry Gun and Dispenser, so if a Sentry Buster arrives on the field, it'll be one fewer building to worry about getting destroyed. Also, if there is a player being transferred, it will also prevent the death of the player when there is a Sentry Buster exploding.
    • If there is a large queue for the teleporter, pick up the teleporter when someone has teleported through it and place it down again. This will make it recharge instantly and allows for faster traveling.
    • It is also possible to use the Teleporter as a makeshift elevator, to allow teammates to get to higher ground without taking a detour or wading through the robot wave. Place the entrance where allies are likely to take cover, and place the exit at a good vantage point that is not easily accessible otherwise.
    • To create convenience and efficiency for your teammates, place your Teleporter facing the entrance or near chokepoints. Make sure the field of view is large and never place a Teleporter facing a wall.
    • Robots never target Teleporters on purpose. They usually only get damaged/destroyed when a robot shoots the teleporter when it's trying to shoot an ally near it or when a giant runs over it.
  • Try to avoid crowding your buildings together, or you risk a Sentry Buster destroying several buildings if it reaches you, even if you manage to escape with your Sentry Gun.
    • Be especially careful where to place your Buildings on waves with Soldiers and Snipers, as more difficult hordes love to pick off Buildings from across the map. Use the walls and your environment to prevent them from being seen.
  • It's not recommended to buy the Disposable Sentry Gun upgrade, due to its high $500 price and low DPS. Compared to your main Sentry Gun, the disposable Sentry Gun doesn't benefit from the Building Health or Sentry Gun Firing Upgrade, you cannot manually destroy it, manually control it using the Wrangler, and it costs the same amount of metal as a normal Sentry Gun. Most importantly, it might trigger a Medic robot's ÜberCharge.
    • Only buy it if you have nothing else to upgrade, which is likely to happen on or near the final wave.
    • If you do buy a disposable Sentry Gun, you might consider having your main sentry on the front lines and the mini sentry at a secondary point to defend, such as the bomb hatch (to catch bots that slip through) or a gate the bots are trying to open (such as on Mannhattan or maps built like it).
  • When an ally Soldier blows his Buff Banner, try to get within its range and join the fight with your primary or Pistol if it seems safe to do so. Not only will your weapons be more effective, your Sentry Gun will receive mini-crits as well while you're within the aura.

Weapon Choices

  • Use your Frontier Justice to rack up revenge crits very quickly from your Sentry Gun. Close-range crit-boosted shots from the Frontier Justice will deal 180 damage. Multiple shots can chip away at a tank or giant robot's health.
    • Using the Destruction PDA on your Sentry Gun will still give you revenge crits for the Frontier Justice. Doing this between waves is smart because you can instantly rebuild your Sentry Gun to level 3 after you destroy it. It can also be done mid-wave to refill your revenge crits, which can be especially effective when paired with an Upgrade Buildings canteen to get it back up as quickly as possible. Just make sure not to leave your team vulnerable without a Sentry Gun for long, as the sudden loss of DPS can allow the robot hordes to overtake you.
    • Allowing a Sentry Buster to destroy your Sentry Gun mid-wave, after it's gotten a good number of kills, will refill your revenge crits and stop new Sentry Busters from spawning for a much longer period. With good positioning, the blast can also take out a huge swath of robots.
    • The Disposable Sentry Gun upgrade can give a steady refill of revenge crits throughout a wave by placing it ahead of your primary Sentry Gun, where it doesn't have to compete with it for kills and can take on greater risk without fear. Every time your Disposable Sentry Gun is destroyed or self-destructs due to running out of ammo, it will grant you revenge crits for its kills and assists. Just make sure it's in a position where you can rebuild it without going far out of your way or spending too long in the line of fire.
      • It's also possible to deliberately place your Disposable Sentry Guns on places that will be destroyed by robots to gain revenge crits quickly, due to its inability to be destroyed by their owner. This can be useful for emergency cases for when a robot or giant is reaching the bomb hatch. This is most effective after the Disposable has destroyed and/or assisted many robots beforehand, and then is moved close to the robots path so it can be destroyed by them rather quickly.
        • Another way to do so is by moving the Disposable to the tank's path, as the tank will automatically destroy it as soon as it runs over it. This is especially useful if the last opponent on the wave is the tank, and your Disposable was already built and destroyed many robots before. Since it's not possible to destroy it via normal means by their owner, the tank can destroy it as long as it's in its path, granting revenge crits to the Engineer that can be a wave win or loss situation depending on how much health and how far the tank has reached.
    • A skilled Engineer can spend virtually all the time they aren't building firing revenge crits, gaining them faster than they can be used with Disposable Sentry Guns and detonating or sacrificing their main Sentry Gun. With the right upgrades, you can even fill a DPS role for your team in addition to supporting them with buildings.
  • In the hands of a decent shot, a Widowmaker can keep you filled with metal. So long as you produce more damage than you consume metal in the shot, you come out ahead, and even the odd bad shot can be made up with a good hit next shot. And it never needs reloading. Maxing out your maximum metal and investing in a pierce shot upgrade can provide you with a near-unlimited amount of ammunition if your aim is sharp, and the fire rate upgrades (while optional if you have spare money near the final waves) will allow you to recover metal much quicker.
    • Tanks also give metal when shot. An Engineer with a fully-upgraded Widowmaker can shred a Tank to bits as a Phlogistinator Pyro would. On top of this, it gives extra damage when shooting at the same target as your Sentry Gun.
  • The Rescue Ranger can be used as a long-range sidearm or to save a Sentry Gun in a pinch, either if you're unable to directly pick up your Sentry Gun on time or to strategically get to a safe area and pick up your Sentry Gun to repair it. The Mark for Death can be a problem, however, especially if you and your Sentry Gun are being swarmed.
  • The Pomson 6000 is largely unnecessary. Spies are easily taken care of by the Soldier with his high damage and splash and the Medics should be killed using Pyro, Demo, or Sniper. However, it can drain an Über from a giant Medic.
  • Using the Pistol is not recommended as its damage output is low and the other secondaries have much better utility. By default it has a large ammo reserve, so it can have its fire rate upgraded without needing to invest in ammo reserve upgrades.
  • Consider using the Short Circuit only if your team is having trouble staying alive because of excessive projectile spam, or if they can't deal with Giant Black Box Soldiers.
  • Consider using your Wrangler if you have one. The increased firing speed and defense buff can be extremely powerful in the right situations, such as against giants and tanks. If you learn to use the Wrangler skillfully, the increased damage will compensate for the loss of aimbot against all robots except for swarms of robots. In addition to the statistical buffs bestowed by the Wrangler, you should be able to prioritize targets better than the Sentry AI. Just be sure not to get tunnel vision!
    • The Wrangler is a great tool for taking out Sniper bots.
    • You also might not want to cause Über Medics to activate their Über when you have a class that can kill them in one hit.
  • Investing in Wrench attack speed and increased total metal upgrades will give the Engineer a higher chance of keeping his Sentry alive when it takes heavy fire or is being sapped. Also, you will build your buildings faster since you swing faster and do not need to find additional metal.
  • The Jag can usually be seen as a straight upgrade from the Wrench. The lower repair rate usually doesn't matter much when swing speed and metal capacity are maxed.
  • The Eureka Effect can be used to escape from critical situations or to fast teleport to spawn to buy upgrades and power-ups if there are no threats around.
    • The Eureka Effect's penalties can be negated by upgrading its attack speed or using Building Upgrade canteens, but so can its upside by buying a 2-way teleporter. The 2-way teleporter can help not only you, but your team as well. A Demoman can easily get loads of crit canteens by teleporting back to spawn. The Eureka Effect should, in general, not be used.
  • Avoid using the Gunslinger altogether. The increased health is negligible and the Engineer surrenders his powerful Sentry Gun in exchange for a Mini Sentry that simply cannot match in terms of damage output or defense capabilities.
    • The fast build nature of Mini Sentry can be as easily replicated to a regular Sentry Gun with upgrade canteens.
  • Using the Southern Hospitality is not recommended, as it makes the Engineer wielding it more vulnerable to fire and more likely to die from afterburn if there are no means of healing close by. Its bleed is not relevant, as you can get much more damage output by just swinging your wrench with upgraded swing speed (which you should be getting anyways).

Leaderboard class medic.png Medic

  • One of Medic's abilities unique to Mann vs Machine is the ability to revive fallen teammates. Reviving can allow your team to maintain a strong presence and keep up the pressure against the robots. Rapidly clicking primary fire will revive players faster.
    • However, prioritize reviving as necessary; perhaps your Demoman needs help to handle incoming Heavy bots, and reviving your own Heavy would take too long for you to help him, resulting in the deaths of both you and the Demo.
    • Similarly, in most cases, you should not spend time reviving Scouts. After being shown which robot killed them, they instantly respawn. Only revive Scouts if there are no other nearby teammates who need your help, and having the Scout back in that spot would be more helpful than him being back in spawn.
    • Getting Healing Mastery upgrades increases your revival speed.
    • Activating ÜberCharge allows you to revive fallen teammates almost instantly. The Vaccinator excels in this regard due to how its ÜberCharge behaves - 4 sets of 2-second bursts lets you revive teammates when needed without requiring a full bar.
  • Another useful ability for the Medic unique to Mann vs Machine is the Projectile Shield. It blocks projectiles and bullets, but not fire or melee, and deals damage to any robots who run into it. Use its damage-dealing capability on giants and low health robots, and use the projectile- and bullet-blocking capabilities on large waves of enemies or rapid fire giants. See Community Projectile Shield strategy.
    • In stages of the game where credits are more of a scarcity, a single point in the Projectile Shield can still go a long way in defending your team. The second point, however, will make the shield larger, letting you block off a larger amount of incoming fire, and it's recommended you purchase it as soon as possible.
    • Do not be overly aggressive with ramming robots with your shield. They will still take a bit of time to die, and in this time they can shoot past your shield at you. These same reasons make it very risky to use a shield to attack Giants.
    • Allied Sentry Guns can shoot through your Projectile Shield, so you can use your shield to defend an Engineer's sentry from enemy fire, while allowing it to continue dealing damage and its owner to repair it. If your other allies are holding their own under fire, but a fellow Engineer nest is being targeted, your shield may just save it from destruction.
    • Your shield charges faster the more damage your heal target does to more robots, and locking your beam on a teammate not actively doing damage recharges your shield most slowly. Investing in Healing Mastery and Overheal Mastery speeds up the recharging process. Reviving teammates does not contribute to building ÜberCharge, but does contribute to recharging your shield.
  • Charge your secondary more easily with either increased ÜberCharge Rate or Ubersaw Attack Speed.
  • The Canteen Specialist upgrade causes a Canteen you use to be deployed on your patient as well as yourself. Once you have activated the effect while healing them, it will remain on them for the entire duration of the charge, even if you withdraw your healing beam.
  • Movement Speed can be handy for dodging attacks and catching up to Sentry Busters, and Resistances serve as a direct buffer against damage.
  • Other useful Medi Gun upgrades include Healing Mastery, Overheal Expert, and Über Duration.
  • Keep everyone on your team overhealed whenever possible, especially at the beginning of waves and between groups of robots. This includes classes not on the frontline such as Engineers, Snipers, and Spies. Not only does this help your team's survivability (especially if you've purchased Overheal Expert), it helps build ÜberCharge and Projectile Shield charge faster.
  • The Kritzkrieg is generally considered one of the best Medi Guns for the game mode, due to needing slightly less money to be fully upgraded, and Kritz charges offering exemplary damage support to shred bosses and tanks where needed. When it comes to Canteen-sharing, Über canteens are significantly cheaper than the Kritz.
    • The Projectile Shield alone offers a great protection for your teammates, far more than your stock Über will, and lets you Kritz your patient without worrying about dying to enemy fire. Just position your Shield carefully so that stray bullets can't slip past it.
    • If there is a Demoman in your team, you can Kritz him before a wave so he can lay critical stickybombs on the field. Your secondary charges quickly during Setup time, allowing you to regain your charge almost immediately. Similarly, a carpet of critical stickybombs can be laid between groups of robots - this can be useful if you pop your charge late in a group and still have some time leftover before the next one.
    • You can use your Kritz charge to help a Soldier fill his banner's Rage meter, help a Pyro fill their Mmph meter or recharge their Gas Passer, or help a Heavy fill his Knockback Rage. Try popping a charge immediately after these meters are used up to replenish them nearly instantly. If given a choice between multiple options, a Soldier with the Buff Banner is the best first choice, since his banner charge will help to refill the rest as well.
  • The Vaccinator is also considered one of the best, it has 4 fast charging charges that can be used to almost instantly revive teammates. A single charge will fill the meter for 90%. Combining this with the Ubersaw means every hit will be a revive. On top of having an extra 10% damage resistance to a certain type of damage.
  • Be proactive! Use your Ubersaw against weak, lonely robots and Sentry Busters to quickly build up ÜberCharge for your patient to use.
    • An Über Canteen can allow you get up close to the robots and leech Über off of them more easily. Generally useful for giants with separate health bars.
  • Watch out for Spy and Sniper bots. You're a high priority target, so always be aware of your surroundings, and stay near your teammates for support.
    • Consider prioritizing in maximizing your resistances if you find yourself falling in battle too often. Remember, you are only beneficial to the team if you are alive!

Leaderboard class sniper.png Sniper

  • Your role is to eliminate high-profile targets, including Medic Robots, Giant Robots, and Engineer Robots, roughly in that order of priority. Although halting the bomb's progress is critical, your ability to deal tremendous single-shot damage at range means that you should almost always prioritize these targets first.
  • Robots destroyed by your primary weapon drop cash with red "$" particles emitting from them; unlike standard green "$" cash drops, these red drops are automatically gathered, meaning your team never has to physically collect them. Take your time to line up your headshots when engaging the back lines of strong robot waves, and don't forget to remind your teammates (particularly friendly Scouts) of this mechanic so they don't needlessly overextend themselves to harvest red drops.
  • A few points of Jump Height upgrade can get you to some interesting perches where Spy bots can't reach you.
  • Spy bots will often hunt you down first before going after other targets. If you're in a spot by yourself, keep an eye out for them when their presence is announced, and consider hanging around your teammates until the coast is clear.
    • The Razorback will not be effective, as often there is more than 1 Spy present and they will backstab you in quick succession.

Weapon choices

  • Explosive Headshot is exceptionally useful for taking on multiple robots, especially at choke points. This upgrade should always be bought along with reload speed. Aim for the head of the slowest robot in a cluster, such as a giant or the bomb carrier. However, be careful when targeting large groups of Über Medics. Consider covering them in Jarate first, since they might overheal others and the nonlethal damage from an explosive headshot can trigger ÜberCharge deployment.
    • If giants come with Über Medics behind them, try headshotting the giant instead, since the explosive headshot will kill all the Medics. Medic robots only use their ÜberCharge if their health is below 43 or their patient is below half-health.
    • Giants move at half the speed of regular Robots (except for Giant Scouts), making their enormous heads inviting targets, but they won't be instantly killed like regular ones. Reload Speed upgrades help to get more hits on them more quickly.
    • Robots that are carrying the bomb are slower and travel together in groups. Use this opportunity to shoot the bomb carrier and kill all the others by using the Explosive Headshot upgrade.
    • Bomb Carriers taunt to activate their buffs; that means it must stop moving. However, taunt hitboxes may be inaccurate and it's advised to shoot just after the taunt finishes.
  • Buying the Projectile Penetration upgrade or using the Machina can allow you to take out multiple targets. In general, the Machina can almost be considered a straight upgrade over the Sniper Rifle in Mann vs. Machine because of its improved damage, built-in penetration, and the fact that you're not terribly concerned about tracers giving away your position.
  • Upgrading the reload speed on your Sniper Rifle decrease the delay between shots marginally. With damage upgrades, even unscoped shots deal heavy single-target damage.
  • The Hitman's Heatmaker when paired with the reload speed and explosive headshot upgrades allows you to fire exceptionally fast without breaking sights, meaning you can headshot giant robots as much as twice a second. Gaining and maintaining the Heatmaker's Focus is made easy since there are so many targets to kill.
  • The Bazaar Bargain removes the need for the charge upgrade, as it automatically charges faster with more headshots. However, one or two upgrades are still advised.
  • The Sydney Sleeper is one of the weakest sniper rifles, it mini-crits on headshot instead of dealing full crits and can generally be better exchanged for a different rifle.
  • Use Jarate to help teammates take out large groups of Robots or Giants quickly. Upgraded Jarate slows them down, making them easier targets. This is especially useful against Super Scouts.
  • The Classic is useless, as it can't headshot unless fully charged and its bodyshots deal less damage. Use another primary instead.
  • The Huntsman can be modified to give bleed on hitting a target, but not explosive headshot. This makes it great for giant robots and tighter areas, but not for groups of Über Medics (since you risk them deploying their Über thanks to the bleed). More than one point may not feel necessary for this upgrade, as the smaller bots die quickly and you can reapply the bleed with repeated shots on giants.
    • Keep in mind that the Huntsman is much less effective than the sniper rifles, and should only be used if you're confident the team can win without you.
    • The damage upgrade wins over the bleed; consider prioritizing it instead unless you've maxed it.
    • The Huntsman's arrows have a really large hitbox, making them useful if robots come in large waves at once. However, if robots come in continuous waves, the Huntsman won't be as effective as Sniper Rifles.
  • Tanks are immune to Jarate, but the Bushwacka can still deal critical hits to them when used in conjunction with a Buff Banner or an active Crikey Meter from a Cleaner's Carbine.
  • The Darwin's Danger Shield is very ineffective, as Pyros will not often be focused on you unless you get too close to them.

Leaderboard class spy.png Spy

  • The Spy takes a more versatile role in the game mode, from money gathering to eliminating large targets.
  • Robots are always fooled by a disguised Spy. Robots will only target you if you are on fire or prevent the movement of any robot for too long. Robots will also attack you when you are undisguised and for a short period after re-disguising. Use your disguise to pick up money that is too dangerous for your teammates to retrieve.
    • Only disguise as a Scout, Medic, or Spy; any disguise you wear is irrelevant, but disguising as a Scout, Medic, or Spy can allow you to utilize your movement speed bonus. Medic disguises also call out teammate deaths, tank spawns, or other voice responses for yourself to hear.
  • A Spy investing in multiple resistances allows the player to stay in the front lines longer.
  • Position Giant Medics between you and the Medic's heal target in order to have the Medic absorb most of the damage for you.
  • Keep a mental note of where the two pushes are fighting at all times. Even with a disguise on, you may end up getting caught in the crossfire.
  • Be careful around Pyro robots. You might be accidentally hit by their flames, and once alight, any robot can identify you.
  • Consider having a Canteen with Return to Base equipped to escape quickly if spotted.
    • The Dead Ringer also helps you escape, but you may still get killed by incoming fire as bots continue to shoot you for a short period after you cloak.
  • Consider having a Canteen with ÜberCharge equipped on waves with Giant Medics healing Giant Soldiers or Demos so you can get enough stabs to kill the Medic without dying from splash damage. Keep in mind that you will still take knockback from splash damage, even when disguised.
  • Unique to Mann vs. Machine, the Spy's Sapper can be placed to disable robots. Unlike conventional gameplay, the Sapper will recharge in 15 seconds if it is used on a robot. Using a Sapper on a building will not allow you to deploy another until the building is destroyed. When forced to choose between a Mecha Engineer's active buildings, the teleporter should take priority.
    • Using an ammo-refilling canteen resets the Sapper cooldown, however all sapped robots must be killed or un-sapped before another Sapper can be used.
    • Upgraded Sappers can disable robots in a radius and slow down giant robots to make them easier to destroy. Use this to slow Sentry Busters to a crawl, counter a Giant Scout's exceptional ability to carry bombs around the battlefield, cut off a Giant's healing sources from several Medic Robots, and stab large groups of robots that are separated from the pack in safety. It's usually of most importance to upgrade your Sapper first.
    • When sapped, non-giant robots can be backstabbed from any angle. Robots wearing the Razorback will still be unable to be backstabbed, regardless of your orientation.
    • Sometimes there will be occasions where you won't have time to backstab sapped robots. In this case, simply sap and retreat to safety, and let your teammates take out the sapped robots.
  • Robots are likely to detect nearby backstabs, albeit with a small delay. Upgrading your knife's attack speed allows you to backstab more robots and even land one or two more backstabs to a giant robot before being discovered.
  • You're usually in the best position to take out Medic bots when they come on the field. Sap them to cut off their healing to their patient, then plant your knife into their circuitry before they can recover.
    • Be careful if you're cutting off healing sources of a Giant. Even when slowed by a Sapper, they will still notice nearby backstabs and will target you. Giants will not attack you if you used a Sapper nearby; only look in your general direction. They will attack you faster if your disguise gets removed shortly after they or another nearby robot has been sapped.
  • Tanks cannot be backstabbed or sapped, so focus on the bots and let the rest of the team deal with it, or if things get desperate, drop cover and unload your Revolver into them. Using the Diamondback is a good strategy as you can build up crits throughout various waves and use them on the Tank.
  • Steel Gauntlets take reduced damage from ranged attacks, and they can soak up multiple melee strikes before going down. A Spy can eliminate one with a single backstab due to not being considered giants.
  • Robots will usually target a Spy's Medic instead of the Spy himself. This can be used to keep giant robot's backs facing you if you can get a Medic to heal you.
  • If you are the only class on your team who can drop Medics and there are too many Medics healing a giant, it can more beneficial for you to stab the giant to half health and make all the Medics pop at once rather than trying to drop them all before the giant shoots you.

Weapon choices

  • The Dead Ringer is useful, as after fake death is triggered, the robots will be completely fooled. Retreat and disguise while invisible. Note that robot Heavies will continue to fire at you for a short time after you feign death, and the defensive buff while cloaked is important in keeping you alive.
    • While the Dead Ringer can no longer be easily refilled with ammo pickups, the L'Etranger and Big Earner can still work in recharging it.
  • Your secondary will generally be used for one of three things: Tank, cloak utility (L'Etranger), and shooting giant Scouts you couldn't reach to stab or sap.
    • Due to damage falloff change to the Ambassador headshot mechanic and slower firing speed, you will be doing less damage to a giant Scout than if you had stock and less tank damage since tanks cannot be headshot.
    • The Enforcer only offers improved damage on the first shot while disguised; afterwards its DPS pales in comparison to even the stock Revolver, and thus is also not recommended.
    • Storing up crits on the Diamondback can allow it to deal decent damage to the tank and a consistent 102 damage to giant Scouts at any range.
  • An upgraded knife can do major damage to giants. Wait behind where they enter the map and stab them as soon as their invincibility wears off. Save your Sapper for regular robots and Engineer buildings.
    • Any knife with maximum Armor Penetration and Stabbing Speed upgrades will destroy any giant robot from full health in 5 backstabs or fewer, except for Giant Heavies (which take 6) and boss robots.
    • Be quick to hide or pull out the Dead Ringer, as the giant will immediately try to target you if the stab doesn't kill them. If you can quickly hide behind terrain and re-disguise, this is preferable to wasting your Dead Ringer charge on an attack that would only do a small amount of damage to you.
    • Giants are slower to turn around when backstabbed if they are shooting at your team (Giant Medics will not turn around if they are healing a patient). Ask a teammate to distract giants for you, and you might land several backstabs in a row on a giant with maximum swing speed. Combining this with armor penetration upgrades allows the Spy to do massive amounts of damage to a giant.
  • The Conniver's Kunai is useful for killing lots of small robots, as it gives you a maximum of 210 health. Consider using it when there are lots of small robots in a wave.
  • If you use your Sapper before trying to stab Pyro bots with a Spy-cicle you will still receive the fire resistance buff if they catch you on fire, but you will not be forced off your knife and can continue to use it until you switch weapons. This makes it an upgrade to the stock Knife provided you are not caught off guard by a Pyro bot before you can use your Sapper.
  • The Your Eternal Reward's disguise on backstab in this mode isn't instant, making it a poor choice.
  • The Red-Tape Recorder functions exactly the same as the default Sapper against robots. However, due to a bug, it is a straight upgrade from stock against Engineer Teleporters as Engineer bots ignore Red-Tape Recorder sapped buildings. It does not work the same against the Sentry Gun since the bot is constantly hitting the sentry so it acts very similarly to the default Sapper as they both disable the sentry for a moment.

Anti-robot strategy

  • Before each wave, the robots that are set to appear will be listed in the HUD above. Identify what symbols belong to which robot and plan accordingly.
    • One way to plan accordingly is to refund all your upgrades and change your resistances.
  • The Sentry Buster is never listed to spawn. It will only appear if an Engineer is active and effective.
  • Support robots are not required to kill to finish the wave (interestingly, some drop money).
  • The bomb path is always indicated during the set-up. Set up along the path for the maximum effectiveness.
  • During the wave, if the bomb carrier is forced off the path enough, bomb bots will take the long way around in an attempt to get back on the designated path. The bomb carrier gets stronger the longer they hold the bomb. Watch the indicator to know what buffs are active for the bomb.
  • Giant Robots are the exception to this, as the indicator will always be full when they pick up the bomb.
  • When a Robot is deploying a bomb, it spins its waist 180 degrees and jumps in. If it's a giant robot, it is impossible to knock back except with Heavy's rage.

Scout Robots

Scout Robot

  • Scout Robots move the fastest of all standard robots and travel in swarms, making them the most effective bomb carriers. Counter Scout rushes by killing them all as quickly as possible before one slips by with the bomb.
  • A Beggar's Bazooka Soldier is most effective at killing these with the fast firing and splash damage.
  • Sentry Guns are also an effective anti-Scout measure. Be aware that large enough swarms and Sentry AI can result in a few Scouts slipping past.
  • Typical Scout Robots either spawn with the stock Bat or the Scattergun and can't switch. Use this to your advantage when facing them directly.
  • Most Scout Robots do suffer a slow down once they pick up the bomb.
  • Bat-wielding Scouts may rush up to you and overwhelm you with their bats, so try to see them coming before they can reach you.

Force-A-Nature Scout

  • Force-A-Nature Scouts are like the normal Scouts, but instead always have the Force-A-Nature equipped, making them capable of knocking players away easily. They are easy to identify, due to their Bolt Boy and their Fed-Fightin' Fedora.

Shortstop Scout

  • These rare versions of the Scout robot come equipped with the Shortstop, and are slightly larger than normal Scout robots. They can also run faster than normal Scouts with the bomb and have increased health.
  • With their increased speed and increased health, they can reach the bomb hatch quickly if not dealt with quickly.

Bonk Scout

  • Bonk Scouts will drink Bonk! Atomic Punch once they spawn and every sequential opportunity.
  • Watch for Bonk Scouts, especially if you're a Demoman. If you know a wave of Bonk Scouts are approaching, don't waste your sticky carpet on them.
    • On certain maps, such as Mannhattan, it's possible to block the Scouts while they're bonked using a Heavy and a Sentry Gun. Put your sticky trap in front of the blockade and detonate when the effect wears off.
  • Be careful when using explosives against Bonk Scouts. Worst-case scenario, the knockback causes the bomb-carrying Bonk Scout to reach the hatch faster.

Minor League Scout

  • Equipped with the Sandman, these Scouts can leave careless players slowed. A quick Pyro can airblast their balls back at them for a taste of their own medicine.
  • Minor Leaguers may be weak, but because they spawn in groups, this can result in a barrage of baseballs being hurled and continuously slowing multiple players.

Hyper League Scout

  • These variants are nearly identical to Minor League Scouts, the only difference being that Hyper Leagues recharge their baseballs much faster.
  • Their icon is the same as the Minor League Scout, so be prepared to fight either version.

Jumping Sandman Scout

  • These variants can be easily distinguished from Minor League Scouts by their Hanger-On Hoods and their notable jumping ability. They jump very high whenever they hit a baseball, and doing so, they can dodge enemy attacks and slow players.
  • Sentry Guns are the best ways to kill these robots, as their balls do very little to Sentry Guns.

Giant Scout Robots

Super Scout

  • Bodyblock Super Scouts by placing a Sentry or standing on the bomb carrier trail.
  • Do not allow Super Scouts to grab the bomb and slip past defenses, as they run faster than a normal Scout and suffer no slowdown once they pick up the bomb.
  • Super Scouts are restricted to using their melee The Holy Mackerel and possess very little health compared to other Giant Robots. Use Slowdown or Knockback-based weapons to make quick work of them.
  • When possible, prevent the Super Scout from picking up the bomb by having another robot carry it. Keep the bomb carrier alive until the Super Scouts are dealt with.

Giant Bonk Scout

  • Like their smaller variants, Giant Bonk Scouts will drink Bonk! Atomic Punch once they spawn and every sequential opportunity.
  • Their Bonk! Atomic Punch recharges much faster, so players must do as much damage as possible before they drink another Bonk.
  • If teams aren't prepared for Giant Scouts, then these will most likely deploy the bomb. Bodyblock or airblast giant Bonk Scouts to prevent them from picking up the bomb.

Major League Scout

  • A Giant version of the Minor League Scout, the Major Leaguers use their baseballs more frequently with dangerous accuracy.
  • Major League Scouts have no slowdown once they pick up the bomb. Use Slowdown or Knockback weapons to prevent them from pushing the bomb too far.

Armored Sandman Scout

  • This variant of the Giant Scout is essentially a giant version of the Hyper League Scout, with decreased speed. It will almost always use its Sandman ball if there is someone in range, and as such has a high potential to constantly slow a player if given the chance.
  • It should be treated with caution, as with the other Sandman-wielding Giant Scouts.
  • This Giant has much more health than any other Giant Scout, so try to output as much damage as possible because Armored Scouts are still faster than any non-Scout Giant.

Giant Jumping Sandman Scout

  • The Giant Jumping Sandman Scout is even more dangerous than its smaller counterpart, combining the ability to jump higher than normal with a faster ball recharge rate, significantly higher damage and ability to move twice as fast.
  • They can instantly kill a player who doesn't have crit resistance and can easily jump to higher areas to dodge enemy fire, so they should be treated with huge caution.

Force-A-Nature Super Scout

  • Force-A-Nature Super Scouts are just enlarged versions of the Force-A-Nature Scout. However, due to their larger size, health and movement speed, they should be treated with great caution.
  • They have much more knockback power than the normal Force-A-Nature Scouts, easily knocking players back to pass by them.
  • Their Force-A-Natures also has more bullets per shot, is more accurate, and gets reloaded faster. However, it has a -65% damage penalty.

Soldier Robots

Soldier Robot

  • Soldier Robots will spawn anywhere between groups of 2 to 8. This usually results in a barrage of rockets, aimed for the closest or most dangerous target. This makes a Soldier group a dangerous threat to all team members.
  • Their projectiles can be destroyed or redirected with the proper abilities. Take advantage of this when playing the proper class.
  • On some waves, their Rocket Launcher may have a bonus added to it, for example, on the fifth wave of Bigrock "Broken Parts", their damage, reload speed, and fire rate is increased.

Extended Buff Soldiers

  • These Soldiers spawn with a Buff Banner, Battalion's Backup or Concheror ready for deployment.
  • Having buffs that last up to 90 seconds long, these Soldiers can keep other robots buffed for most of their trip across the map. Identify which Soldier is buffing the robots and eliminate it.
  • Groups of Extended Buff Soldiers aren't uncommon, and can be very hard to defeat if not prepared.

Black Box Soldier

  • These Soldiers will fire 3 rockets at once that heal 60 HP each.
  • If all 3 rockets hit, the Soldier will recover 180 HP. With a slightly faster reload speed, these Soldiers should be taken down before they can fire their clip.

Blast Soldiers

  • Rockets fired by Blast Soldiers can send players flying across the room, making it difficult to hit the robot horde.
  • Blast Soldiers only have 2 rockets in a clip that don't do much damage, but fire both at once.
  • Fall damage can be an issue if their rockets don't kill the player, as they will send you flying until you hit a wall or the skybox.

Giant Soldier Robots

Giant Soldier

  • A larger version of the Soldier, it doesn't possess any abilities like other giants aside from a large amount of health.

Giant Buff Soldiers

  • Same as Extended Buff Soldiers carrying the Buff Banner, Battalion's Backup, or Concheror. They have more health than them, but are slower.

Giant Rapid Fire Soldier

  • A Giant Soldier that will fire rockets continuously, at a faster rate than regular Giant Soldiers.
  • They do not need to reload, as internally they have a reload speed that matches their fire rate.

Giant Burst Fire Soldier

  • Giant Burst Fire Soldiers combine rapid-fire rockets with massive crit damage. Unlike the Giant Charged Soldiers, their projectiles speeds are unchanged.
  • Giant Burst Fire Soldiers take a while to reload. Use this opportunity to deal as much damage to them before retreating to safety.
  • If their rocket launchers are fully loaded, have one "bait" maintain a distance. They won't switch targets until their initial target is dead.

Colonel Barrage and Major Crits

  • These menacing giants have 30 rockets in their clip, more damage, much faster reload and firing speed, and regenerate 40 HP per second.
  • They send a slow-moving wall of rockets at players, which can be very hard to avoid in cases. However, they don't fire until fully reloaded.
  • Getting out of the wall of rockets, and waiting until they must reload is key to defeating these giants.
  • Providing little to no rage and not moving vertically from airblasts, these guys will only be stopped in place by bodyblocking.

Giant Charged Soldier

  • Giant Charged Soldier rockets can kill most classes in a single hit, but move at half the speed of a regular rocket. Keep as much distance between you and the projectile as possible, or destroy/redirect the projectile if you can.

Giant Black Box Soldier

  • Like its smaller counterpart, it will fire 3 rockets at once. However, each rocket heals 1000 HP to the Giant Black Box Soldier.
  • The Soldier's Black Box isn't a big issue, as it does less damage, has a slower reload time, and slightly slower projectile speed. The only issue is the Soldier healing itself with it.
  • Block the rockets with the Projectile Shield, shoot them down with Deflect Projectiles, consider using the Short Circuit if this is a big issue for your team, or airblast them. If none of these options are available, use an Über Canteen so that the Black Box Soldier gets no healing even if they hit you.

Giant Blast Soldier

  • These Soldiers are an upgraded version of the Blast Soldiers, having more rockets in their clip, much faster firing and reload speed than the regular Liberty Launcher, and a larger blast radius. However, both versions have rockets that send the player flying across the room.

Sergeant Crits

  • Sergeant Crits is the "final boss" of the mission Broken Parts.
  • Sergeant Crits behaves similarly to Giant Burst Fire Soldiers. However, they take a lot of constant firepower to bring down.
  • Have one class serve as distraction using ÜberCharge canteens, while the other classes deal damage using Critical Hit Boost canteens.

Major Crits (Boss)

  • Basically a Colonel Barrage or a Major Crits (Type 2) with 60,000 HP.
  • It regenerates 250 HP per second instead of 40, which can be difficult to counter if not putting out enough damage.

Chief Blast Soldier

  • Very similar to a Giant Blast Soldier, but with 60,000 HP and no damage penalty.

Pyro Robots

Pyro Robot

  • Pyro Robots are very dangerous to Spies. If a Pyro robot lights up a Spy, every robot will be immediately aware of who and where the Spy is and will target him.
  • Much like regular Pyros, the Robot versions are immune to afterburn.

Flare Pyro

  • These robots will use their Flare Guns to hit players outside of flamethrower range, but don't use flamethrowers.
  • They can be difficult at long range, but they have a hard time at close range.

Flare Pyro

  • This rare variant has an upgraded Detonator.
    • This robot shoots 60% faster and reloads 80% faster.

Pyro Pusher

  • This Pyro wields a crit-boosted Sorch Shot.
  • The projectiles travel slower, allowing it to be dodged easier.

Fast Scorch Shot

  • This robot wields the same Scorch Shot as the Pyro Pusher, but its projectile travels roughly 4 times faster.
  • This Pyro can lock a player in place if there are enough of them, or knock them back very far.

Giant Pyro Robots

Giant Pyro

  • Giant Pyros are extremely lethal at close range with their flamethrower.
  • Although their smaller counterparts can airblast, these Giant Robots airblast at most every opportunity they can. Beware when fighting them with rockets or grenades.

Giant Flare Pyro

  • Flare Pyros launch the Detonator with deadly accuracy. Huddling in large groups can result in multiple players being set ablaze.
  • The Detonator will Mini-Crit against you if you are on fire. Take note of this when you are facing one.
  • Although not so fast as a Giant Super Scout or Major League, its speed should not be underestimated.

Demoman Robots

Demoman Robot

  • Demoman robots can launch a volley of grenades at a target. Combined with the fact they spawn in groups make Demomen Robots a dangerous threat to sentry nests and clusters of players.

Burst Fire Demoman

  • These Demoman have only half their clip size, but have a much faster firing speed than the default Grenade Launcher.
  • A player can be killed in a blink of an eye if they don't have blast and/or crit resistance.


  • Equipped with a Chargin' Targe and an Eyelander or the One Thousand and One Demoknights, Demoknights can charge and have improved blast and fire resistance, but do not possess the Eyelander's health penalty and gain the +25 health with the Ali Baba's Wee Booties.
  • Upon getting a kill, Demoknights will gain 3 seconds of Crits. Keep your distance to prevent them from gaining this ability to use against your allies.
    • Because they are not Giant Bots, Demoknights may taunt after getting a kill, negating their Crit buff.
  • While charging, these robots along with all other Demoknight bots have a longer melee range.[notes 1]

Samurai Demo

  • The Samurai Demo is similar to the Demoknight, with an exception that it possesses a Half-Zatoichi and a Splendid Screen.
  • They have 650 HP, 6x recharge time, +2 seconds charge time, and 230% jump height, so they can go around the map very quickly.
  • With a Half-Zatoichi that does +130% more damage, they will do 150 damage on hit. This can make it very easy to heal itself if it gets a kill.
  • Since they are equipped with the Half-Zatoichi, having a Soldier or Demoman with the Half-Zatoichi can kill them in one hit, but it also works the other way around, which is dangerous since Samurai Demo Robots have more melee range when charging.[notes 1]

Giant Demoman Robots

Giant Rapid Fire Demomen

  • Rapid Fire Demomen hurl grenades quickly and accurately, making them a very dangerous threat.
  • Although it is unlisted, Rapid Fire Demomen can spawn with slightly more health or a faster firing rate.

Giant Burst Fire Demoman

  • Its stats are the same as its smaller counterparts and the Giant Rapid Fire Demoman, but its clip size is increased to 8 grenades instead of the normal 4.

Giant Demoknight

  • Giant Demoknights can be dangerous, with larger melee range, higher health, resistances and the ability to gain Crits upon a kill. Stick to ranged combat when facing them.

Major Bomber

  • Major Bomber is the "final boss" of the mission Disintegration.
  • Major Bomber is a beefed-up version of the standard Giant Demoman with crits and a massive, regenerating health pool.
  • Have one class serve as distraction using ÜberCharge canteens, while the other classes deal damage using Critical Hit Boost canteens.

Sir Nukesalot

  • Sir Nukesalot is the "final boss" of wave 6 of the mission Hamlet Hostility.
  • Sir Nukesalot carries a Crit-boosted Loose Cannon which instantly kills anyone (whether an explosion, or direct hit from the weapon) not under an ÜberCharge. Kill him quickly and strafe to avoid the cannonballs.
  • Pushing the robot to the pit (usually as a Pyro) works very well.

Heavy Robots

Heavy Robot

  • Minigun-wielding Heavies are extremely lethal at close range. They can also deal damage quickly due their ability to attack in a group. This makes fighting a Heavy group extremely dangerous the closer one is to them.
  • Like Normal Heavies, they possess the most health of all single robots.

Deflector Heavy

  • Deflector Heavies also carry Miniguns like regular Heavy Robots, but have the added benefit of being able to shoot down incoming projectiles.
  • You can tell the difference between a regular Heavy and a Deflector Heavy by the Deflector Heavy's U-clank-a and green tracer firing effect.

Shotgun Heavy

  • Shotgun Heavies appear in groups, and can be a hassle for players.
  • They have a much faster reload speed and more pellets per shot, but do less damage and very slow firing speed.

Heavyweight Champs

  • Heavy Weight Champs come in two flavors, Killing Gloves of Boxing Heavies and Gloves of Running Urgently Heavies.
  • G.R.U. Heavies always take Mini-Crits, regardless of the G.R.U. stats, but run faster, at near 100% speed.
  • K.G.B. Heavies receive crits for 5 seconds among a kill. Because they attack in groups, its best to fight these Heavies from a distance as to not make them a bigger threat.
    • Much like Demoknights, they also have the tendency to taunt after getting a kill, wasting their Crit buff.
  • Heavyweight Champs always spawn in groups, with their only distinctive feature between them being the gloves.

Steel Gauntlet

  • Steel Gauntlets posses the most health of all non-giant and special variants. They also possess a resistance to all ranged attacks because of their Fists of Steel. However, they are restricted to melee only.
  • Although they possess a weakness to melee weapons, they spawn in groups, allowing them to swarm anyone who gets close. Take care when getting close, attacking only when there are a few around.
  • Steel Gauntlets holding the bomb are extremely dangerous. With health regeneration and reduced damage, they are near invincible. It's best to face bomb carrying gauntlets with other players.
  • Spies can easily deal with these as they are killed in 1 backstab.

Steel Gauntlet Pusher

  • Steel Gauntlets are very similar to Steel Gauntlets, but do more damage and deals knockback when they hit players.
  • Steel Gauntlet Pushers can knock players into a corner and trap them. With their damage bonus, they can take out players even quicker than regular Steel Gauntlets.
  • Spies can easily deal with these as they are killed in 1 backstab.

Heavy Mittens

  • These Heavies are unique among the Heavy Class Robots possessing many unique features.
    • Heavy Mittens run at roughly 100% speed, comparable to the speed of a Pyro.
    • Heavy Mittens always Crit, but are equipped with the Holiday Punch. They deal no damage but leave the player vulnerable while they laugh.
    • Heavy Mittens possess the least amount of health of all Robots, 60. A single Shotgun blast (assuming all pellets hit) can usually dispatch them.
  • Anyone is vulnerable to other robots while they are laughing. Keep distance between you and the Heavy Mittens.
    • Because they deal no damage and are always restricted to melee, a Single Heavy Mitten can keep a player pinned laughing until he is killed. Keep this in mind and communicate when you are "pinned" by one.
  • Heavy Mittens have the ability to spawn in other areas much like Spies. Watch your back when Heavy Mittens are listed on the Wave HUD.

Giant Heavy Robots

Giant Heavy

  • An extremely lethal version of the Heavy with an extreme amount of health, this robot requires a lot of coordination to take down.
  • The Minigun takes some time to wind up, but once spinning, the Giant Heavy will keep it spinning until its aggressor is dead or out of range. Keep this in mind when attempting "hit and run" tactics.

Giant Deflector Heavy

  • In addition to having the large health and lethality of a Giant Heavy, Deflector Heavies can shoot down projectiles like Flares, Rockets, and Grenades. Try to attack where it is not facing when using projectile based weapons.

Giant Heal-on-Kill Deflector Heavies

  • Three versions, one with 70,000 HP, one with 5,500 HP, and one with 5,000 HP.
  • Similar to Giant Deflector Heavies, but recover 5000 HP on kill.
  • They have a smaller damage bonus than Giant Deflector Heavies, so they are slightly easier to kill.
  • Great caution should be taken with these Giants. Don't get too close to it, use a Medic's Projectile Shield, and focus all of your power on it.
  • Use an Über canteen as Pyro and try to knock them into the grinder (Manhattan).
  • Bind a button to commit suicide, so that you can deny those Heavies health-on-kill when you're close to death.

Giant Heater Heavy

  • Functionally identical to the regular Giant Heavy, but creates a ring of fire around itself making approach difficult and also has unlimited sight range. Spies should only backstab when its Huo-Long Heater isn't spun up.

Giant Shotgun Heavy

  • Like its smaller counterpart, it has much faster reload speed, less damage, and much slower firing speed.
  • These robots fire with a ton of pellets and can kill a player in one hit.
  • They can also shoot down projectiles like Giant Deflector Heavies.
  • Extra caution should be taken with these giants. Using a Medic's Projectile Shield can make facing these giants much easier.

Captain Punch

  • Captain Punch is the "final boss" of the mission Bone Shaker.
  • Captain Punch is essentially a Tank with fists. Its massive, regenerating health and ranged damage resistance means it can take a serious amount of punishment.
  • Despite its melee vulnerability, using melee is a very risky strategy. It can kill any non-overhealed class in a single punch. Über canteens can be used to overcome this.
    • Backstabs can deal massive damage to this bot due to its melee vulnerability, although caution is necessary. Use Über canteen if necessary.

Engineer Robots

Engineer Robot

  • Engineer bots can deploy a teleporter, which serve as spawn points for other incoming robots, as well as a Sentry Gun to defend it.
  • The Teleporters they construct act as a spawn point for support bots who give no money when killed but can still carry the bomb. Take the teleporter out at all costs.
  • The teleporter that is very close to players' general area is very dangerous; Robots are invincible the first few seconds after teleporting in.
  • Sometimes the Sentry Gun can deny a non-Spy from retrieving money in an open area. Let your team know if a Sentry Gun is preventing you from collecting money.
  • Spies are obviously effective against Engineer Bots. However, sapping a building will put the Sapper on cooldown and will not sap other robots or buildings nearby. Spies will have to attack the other building if he wants to take down both the Engineer Bot's Sentry Gun and Teleporter by himself.
  • The best way to handle Engineers as a Spy involves backstabbing the Engineer, and immediately pulling out the Dead Ringer right afterwards. The sentry will shoot the Spy and trigger the Cloak. The Spy should then reactivate his disguise and decloak immediately afterwards. Robots will not detect the decloaking. Move over towards the teleporter and then place the Sapper upon it first. They are a much bigger threat than the Sentry Guns they deploy because of the invulnerability they are granted upon spawning.
  • Engineer Teleporters are especially a huge threat towards player Engineers, as brand new Sentry Busters will always come out from the Teleporters.

Medic Bots

  • Medic Bots are always to considered large threats for their ability to heal and potentially Über.
  • When pushed away from their target or their patient dies, Medic bots can attack using a Syringe Gun or Bonesaw to defend themselves.
  • Although they can heal any robot, Medic bots tend to "pocket" Giant Robots if they are available.

Quick-Fix Medic

  • This brand of Medic cannot Über, but has a faster heal rate. In combination that these medics usually spawn in groups of 3 to 8 on the same heal target, its best to take them out before focusing on their patient.

Über Medic

  • Über Medics are very dangerous because they can build ÜberCharges quickly and deploy them liberally. Target these medics with powerful weapons.
  • Übered Targets can still pick up the bomb, gaining their effects and even deploying the bomb while invulnerable. Use Knockback to protect the hatch.
  • Über Medics that are healing the same target can, and often times do, deploy multiple ÜberCharges at the same time. Take advantage of this if one has already deployed an Über.
  • Über Medics have the tendency to deploy their ÜberCharge after taking a slight amount of damage. Classes capable of one-hit kills such as the Spy or the Demoman are excellent counters.
  • If you lack a convenient way to kill Über Medics, try to use pushback from explosives or airblast to separate the Über Medic from his target.

Giant Medic Robots

Giant Medic

  • Due to their insanely fast heal rate, attacking the Medic's pocket is pointless. Giant Medics need to be taken out first.
  • Giant Medics spawn with full charge, which they will deploy when their health or the health of their patient gets too low, instantly healing both back to full health and making them virtually invulnerable for a few seconds.
  • There is a different type of Giant Medic with the Surgeon's Stahlhelm that can't ÜberCharge. However, they recover 40 HP per second. If left not killed, these versions can restore a lot of HP if left to do so.
  • There are a number ways ways to avoid Giant Medics deploying their ÜberCharges.
    • Killing them with large bursts of damage. Headshots, backstabs, and sticky traps are the most effective. A full 14 critical Scottish Resistance stickies can destroy both a Medic and their patient from full health in one detonation.
    • Shooting them from point-blank range with fully-upgraded firing speed as Heavy (taking advantage of damage ramp-up).
    • Draining their charge with the Pomson 6000.
    • Some players prefer to use the Heavy's rage to separate the Medic from its patient, allowing the team to finish both off separately. However, this requires a full rage meter and may prove difficult to do for sequential giant pairs. Furthermore, it is futile if your team does not finish off one of the robots before they rejoin, and could potentially result in the Medic latching onto a Super Scout on certain waves, with catastrophic results.
      • Should the very rare event of a Giant Medic latching onto a Super Scout occur, the only fairly easy of dealing with them most of the time is having a Pyro airblast them away, either into a pit (if the map being played on has at least one) or from each other; Super Scouts, already incredibly fast with the bomb, will become virtually invulnerable with a Giant Medic healing them, and the Medic's Quick-Fix will allow them to match their fast speed, meaning the most effective Giant Medic killers (Demomen, Snipers, and Spies) will have a very difficult time using their strategies on them.
  • It is advisable to NOT set them on fire as this is an almost sure way to trigger their charge unless they are dealt with quickly.

Sniper Bots


  • With the exception of the Bowman, Sniper Robots stick to the role of Support, spawning only when their icon appears on their wave (and announced by the players).
  • All non-Bowmen Robot Snipers also possess a Kukri, which they will use against anyone who gets within range.
    • Because of their accuracy with rifles and detections with melee weapons, it becomes paramount to understand weapon heckling.
  • Sniper Robots show a blue laser (much like a Wrangler laser) when aiming. This reveals their location and who their target is. Keep moving if targeted and head to them.
  • Non-Bowmen Robot Snipers of any variant cannot headshot.

Sydney Sleeper Sniper

  • These versions of Snipers come with the Sydney Sleeper instead of the Sniper Rifle.
  • It fires shots that cover players in Jarate, turning all damage into mini-crit damage. This can let other robots kill players easier.
  • Your team should probably take these robots out once they spawn in, as they can be a real pain to deal with.
  • These Snipers soften up targets with their Jarate. Note where Dispensers and Medics are to remove the Jarate effect quickly.
    • Remember that Mini-Crit effects do not stack, so items that mark for death - such as the Escape Plan - can still be used while under the effects of Jarate without worrying about taking additional damage.

Razorback Sniper

  • These Snipers behave like regular Snipers, but are immune to backstabs due to their Razorback. Spies should let other classes take care of them or use their primaries.


  • An exception to Sniper Rifle and Sydney Sleeper Robots, Bowmen can spawn as non-support based robots, meaning they can pick up the bomb and spawn in large groups.
  • They can accurately headshot with the Huntsman and attack in groups. This makes ranged areas in front of the Bowmen extremely dangerous.
  • Bowmen do not produce a laser effect or have a Kukri, relying entirely on their Huntsman.
  • Be aware that Bowmen always produce shots in full charge and very fast, too!

Rapid Fire Bowman

  • Bowmen that can fire much faster than normal. They always have crits, making it hard to deal with.
  • Unlike other Sniper Robots, they can headshot players.
  • Their heads are smaller, making a Sniper's job more difficult.
  • Despite their increased size and health, they don't count as Giant robots. They can be shut down with a Sapper and killed in a single backstab.

Spy Robot

  • When Spies appear, the Administrator will announce their presence. Once all Spies are killed, the Administrator will announce it. Watch your back and Engineer buildings when Spies are active.
    • If players are constantly fidgeting (pacing a small section), they are most likely a Spy.
    • Take note during waves which players like using which weapons. If they have a tendency to use anything but their Primary, it can help you detect Spies from the players.
    • When holding a Sapper, the Sapper outline will appear on the Spy, even when disguised.
  • Spies always spawn disguised and Cloak in. They also possess the standard loadout.
  • Spies never spawn where other robots do, spawning usually in unpopulated areas. Keep note of your teammates location to know where Spies may be.
  • Spies never spawn in any player's field of view. Look around (particularly behind and around corners) to minimize the chances of Spies spawning where they could ambush your team.
  • Spies will backstab any player regardless if they are in range of a Sentry Gun.
  • The Spies will usually be very obvious while disguised, following players and never attacking any robots.
  • Occasionally, when they are near, chuckles can be heard from them, try to listen and see your surroundings for any Spies.
  • Soldiers are usually the ones who deal with Spies, this is because they have lots of damage, mobility, and splash damage.

Sentry Buster

See also: Anti-Sentry Buster strategy
  • The Sentry Buster is a very fast bomb on legs. It possesses no attacks aside from a Kamikaze strike which it will use near an Engineer's Sentry or when its health runs out.
  • Sentry Busters may not prefer shorter routes, taking alternate routes that keep it active longer. Keep aware of which way the Sentry Busters are moving.
  • Be extremely cautious when staying near the Engineer's Dispenser, especially if the Sentry Gun is near it. The blast radius from the Sentry Buster may also kill you when it plants, and you may not be aware when focusing on the fight.
  • When the Sentry Buster is about to explode (whether from low health or proximity to the Sentry Gun), it cannot be moved. Run away, putting any static object between you and the Sentry Buster.


  • The Tank is a giant machine that cannot attack, cannot be slowed down and carries its own bomb. It requires teamwork from all players to destroy.
  • Be aware of the environment when the Tank is turning around a corner. Players that get stuck between a static object and the tank will be killed instantly.
  • A Tank has a set path that it must travel on. It will instantly destroy any building it comes into contact with.
    • Mannworks has two paths a Tank can travel on. Whichever barrier the tank comes through determines which path it takes.
    • Rottenburg also has two possible Tank paths, however the path it takes cannot be easily determined until it enters the town. The lower path goes under the bomb hatch and emerges behind spawn - while the Tank can't be damaged, resume focus on the bots while having some of the team prepare their defenses for the Tank's emergence.
  • Tanks do not activate "On Hit" effects. This means that they cannot be coated in Jarate or Mad Milk, Marked for Death, or receive damage from Taunts. They do, however, increase Rage for the Buff Banner, Battalion's Backup, and Concheror, Mmmph! for the Phlogistinator, fill the Gas Passer, and Boost for the Baby Face Blaster.
  • Tanks are immune to backstabs and headshots. However, they are vulnerable to critical hits from all other sources.
  • Tanks usually spawn with anything that comes from Support. Keep this in mind that this means you can have two or three bombs active at the same time.
  • Tanks resist 75% of Heavy's primary weapons, severely reducing his damage output against it.
  • It's not unusual for a Tank to continue past the front line. When that happens it's common practice to designate one or two teammates try and take down the Tank while the rest of the team holds the front. It's not ideal for the whole team to turn their attention to the Tank when there are other bots to handle, but if it's too close to the hatch this might be inevitable.
  • Classes and weapons effective against Tanks include:


  1. a b Demoknight robots can swing their melee weapon while charging without said swinging cancelling their charge, allowing them to utilize the increased melee range while charging, which, due to a bug, playable Demoknights can never utilize.[1]