Community Mann vs. Machine strategy
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This article details strategy for the Mann vs. Machine game mode.
- 1 General Strategy
- 2 Failing Waves
- 3 Class-specific strategies
- 3.1 Scout
- 3.2 Soldier
- 3.3 Pyro
- 3.4 Demoman
- 3.5 Heavy
- 3.6 Engineer
- 3.7 Medic
- 3.8 Sniper
- 3.9 Spy
- 4 Counter Robot Strategy
- 4.1 Scout Robots
- 4.2 Giant Scout Robots
- 4.3 Soldier Robots
- 4.4 Giant Soldier Robots
- 4.4.1 Giant Soldier
- 4.4.2 Giant Buff Soldiers
- 4.4.3 Giant Rapid Fire Soldier
- 4.4.4 Giant Burst Fire Soldier
- 4.4.5 Colonel Barrage and Major Crits
- 4.4.6 Giant Charged Soldier
- 4.4.7 Giant Black Box Soldier
- 4.4.8 Giant Blast Soldier
- 4.4.9 Sergeant Crits
- 4.4.10 Major Crits (Boss)
- 4.4.11 Chief Blast Soldier
- 4.5 Pyro Robots
- 4.6 Giant Pyro Robots
- 4.7 Demoman Robots
- 4.8 Giant Demoman Robots
- 4.9 Heavy Robots
- 4.10 Giant Heavy Robots
- 4.11 Engineer Robots
- 4.12 Medic Bots
- 4.13 Giant Medic Robots
- 4.14 Sniper Bots
- 4.15 Spy Robot
- 4.16 Sentry Buster
- 4.17 Tank
This section deals with overall objectives, themes, and general tactics to win an MvM mission.
- Communication is vital in order to complete a mission. If you are able, use voice 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 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.
- 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.
- At times, the team's Scout may be unable to get the credits, so you may need to get it yourself.
- Robots don't drop ammo upon their death.
- An Engineer should place a Dispenser at choke points.
- A Dispenser should always have max dispenser range to help out the team.
- Destroyed Engineer buildings will also drop ammo.
- Slain players drop medium ammo boxes,
Spy robots (sometimes referred to as "spybots") will de-cloak from various areas around the map, disguised as either you yourself 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.
- 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, to prevent them killing your team.
- An effective team can be neutralised by Snipers due to their damage + other robot weaponry.
- 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.
- The Mmmph! of the Phlogistinator will charge with damage dealt.
- You should upgrade the damage of this weapon to decrease Mmmph! recharge time.
- A critical hit boost (crit) canteen will also help destroying the tank.
- 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.
- Sticky-bombs planted at the base of where robots jump down will not damage robots until the robots have physically touched the ground.
- If you blast robots too early, you'll waste your sticky bombs and could activate an ÜberCharge Medic's Medi Gun.
At round start, or as medics spawn, you can defeat them before they deploy their ÜberCharge by:
- "Popping" a sticky-bomb trap and use the combined damaged to destroy the medics.
- Use the Gas Passer with the Explode on Ignite upgrade, then damage them to destroy these medics.
- Headshotting them with the Explosive Headshot upgrade to kill the medics.
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.
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 for the meta-team; it is generally preferred to trick enemy Medics into wasting their ÜberCharge or destroy them in one shot, as noted above.
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 defence.
- Effective Engineers will take heed of these arrows to set up Sentry Guns to delay the movement of the bomb.
- Daring 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 will 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.
The path may change between waves, regardless of the outcome (defend or defend against the bomb).
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).
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.
If your team is constantly failing a wave, it is best that you consult the scoreboard to determine:
- Who has the most number of tours (you can think of this person as the "captain" of the team).
- Who has not been contributing their fair share.
- Medics should have the most amount of healing, followed by Engineers (through their Dispensers).
- Non-support classes should have higher damage.
- Scouts will generally have the highest amount of credits collected.
As a team, it is important to communicate strategy. If you are a new player, then you should ask the higher-tour players which class to play and how to play them.
If you are a high-tour player that has been matched to a server of new players, it is expected that you educate your team by explaining why certain classes, weapons, and upgrades are chosen for each wave.
- Politely offer suggestions to correct their mistakes; no need for name-calling or vote-kicking.
- In Mann Up! mode, failing a wave means wasting time.
- Your teammates may initiate a vote to kick teammates not contributing to victory due to the pay-to-play nature of this game mode.
Aiming at a player and pressingdisplays their upgrades. Help your teammates out by suggesting specific upgrades to a weapon or resistances for a given wave.
If a Teleporter isn't present to take you to the front lines, consider asking your team's Engineer to build one.
This section details specific ways the various classes can be used to quickly defeat the robots.
- 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 or pick a Uber 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 when 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 possible, 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.
- 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 catch up to giant Scout Robots early in the mission. Mark him for death, cover it in milk with slowing target upgrades, 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 some of the best tank-killing weapons in the game with 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 forego 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 probably the worst scattergun 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 boost upgrade.
- 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 a health boost, and upgraded Mad Milk slows down robots, making them easier to hit and crippling Giant Scouts' ability to run.
- Crit-a-Cola is the preferred choice for a combat-oriented Scout, but the damage vulnerability makes it worse if you seldom remember to double jump.
- 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 Sandman reduces the Scout's health to 110 and its upgrade to mark costs $500.
- 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 use the Fan against tanks or against robots being buffed by the Battalion's Backup, since it is a complete and total waste of time.
- The only available upgrade for Fan of War is swing speed and health on kill. Unless you're playing around, upgrading these are pointless, since the damage per second is low enough that it's almost impossible to kill anything with it and you're probably not going to spam the FoW 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, 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 stun 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.
|Example Scout Combinations|
A loadout for a general support Scout in Mann vs. Machine mode, mainly focusing on increasing the survivability and damage output of the whole team. As primary, for raw damage consider using the Soda Popper as it deals the more damage per second (DPS) among the Scout's primaries in the time it takes a full shoot-reload cycle of the Scattergun. The Force-A-Nature trades DPS for more versatility: it can knockback the bomb-carrier into a pit or keep it from deploying the bomb in the hatch. Its force jump allows you to quickly get money in high ground (some waves in Decoy when robots spawn on the wood platform) and to flank the robots either to take the money dropped behind the horde or to mark for death or kill high priority targets (Giants, Sentry Busters, Über Medics). If all other options are unavailable, the Scattergun is still a reliable stock weapon.
Over all the secondaries, Mad Milk is the preferred choice, as the ability to self-heal upon damaging sodden victims greatly increases the survivability of your teammates, especially against Giants, where teammates cannot benefit from the health-on-kill upgrades of their weapons. You can also upgrade it to slow down robots, which is very useful to deal with Giant Scouts. Pistols are not a good choice since primary weapons are normally better options to deal damage, the advantage of shooting targets at long range being marginal compared to the benefits of the Milk. The cans are not recommended either since they make you lose some precious seconds when you drink them and their benefits are more efficiently achieved by other means without having to renounce the Milk (Uber canteens for Bonk! Atomic Punch; and Fan O'War and speed upgrades for Crit-a-Cola)
With the Fan O'War you can mark for death high priority targets like giants or Sentry Busters. Since it does not require any investment, it is preferred over the Sandman, allowing for investment in higher priority upgrades. Generally, the health boost provided by the money, the upgrades on resistances and the distraction provided by your teammates may be enough to safely mark a giant in melee range.
Recommended upgrades include Movement Speed to dodge projectiles, Slow Milk to slow down Giants and other high priority targets, resistances (depending on the map), Milk recharge rate, Jump height (just 1 point might be enough). If spare on credits, upgrading the Scattergun damage to one-shot Über Medics can be a good choice.
This loadout's focus is pure damage. It is a great choice when you have multiple Scouts or in any situation where Mad Milk might not be a particularly powerful weapon choice. It is also a great loadout choice for "Carry Scouts."
This loadout focuses on undermining the robots through knockback, slowing, and stunning. The Force-A-Nature can also do a great deal of damage and provides a small mobility boost; just be sure not to undermine your teammates' attempts at aiming.
This loadout is ideal for waves/missions that aren't particularly friendly to money-gathering Scouts that aren't able to get adequate resistances yet (e.g. Wave 1 of Hamlet Hostility). Sacrificing the health restored by Mad Milk for invulnerability granted by Bonk! Atomic Punch allows for Scouts to collect any missed money that is protected by hordes of Soldier bots, Heavy bots, and Giants without having to worry too much about dying, while still having the ability to increase the team's damage output with the Fan O'War. The invulnerability can also be used to block Super Scouts and other Giants.
- When shooting at a tank, make sure to keep a distance, as you may damage yourself if firing from point-blank range.
- Consider using your melee to avoid ammo consumption, however, your primary will output more damage.
- Investing in Blast Resistance allows you to rocket jump without losing as much health.
- The Rocket Launchers have a wide variety of upgrades available, which makes them expensive to fully upgrade. Invest in upgraded reload speed before anything else.
- 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.
- Due to a bug, only the first point works.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 M1. 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.
- Fully Upgraded Damage, Reload Speed, and Crit boosts on a Beggar's Bazooka can decimate tanks.
- 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 mere mini-crit damage. You also cannot be fully crit boosted, so tell any Kritz Medics to charge someone else.
- 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 (almost on par with the Beggar's Bazooka). By upgrading clip size, you will be able to fire many rockets at robots in quick succession.
- Avoid getting too close to groups of robots due to your rockets' splash damage.
- The Liberty Launcher isn't a decent option to choose among the Soldier's weapons because of its damage penalty. Consider using a different Rocket Launcher for this mode.
- The Direct Hit works well with Scouts and tanks due to its limited splash damage range and increased damage, but consider other primaries when dealing with any other swarm, as splash damage is very powerful in crowd control.
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.
- An upgraded Righteous Bison can be a powerful tool because it's cheap to upgrade and also can penetrate enemies. Investing in faster reload and firing speed can allow a Soldier to take down large groups of robots by himself.
- The Gunboats can be useful if you rocket-jump a lot, as you don't need to invest on 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.
- If you have the Buff Banner 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.
- The Buff Banner is activated on release; you can take advantage of this by holding down M1 until the most opportune moment.
- Sentry Guns will deal mini-crits if and only if the Engineer is under the radius.
- 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.
- The Pain Train should undoubtedly be avoided in this game mode because of its lack of control points or carts and its bullet vulnerability on wearer. Stick with another melee choice.
- Since the robots come in large quantities and have a suicidal nature, it is quite easy to score a kill with the Half-Zatoichi in order to quickly restore your health in a pinch.
|Example Soldier Combinations|
For the Soldier who wants to keep his team on the offensive. The Bazooka's high damage and, if it is fired continuously (without loading rockets), essentially infinite clip are great against crowds and build up your backpack's meter faster. The Buff Banner enables mini-crits for the whole team, including Sentry Guns, making it a great damage boost. Alternatively, the Concheror helps to keep the team alive and the increased speed can turn everyone into a money collector. The Escape Plan aids in retreating from enemy fire, allowing you to restock on health and ammo and keep the team's offensive momentum going. Focus on upgrading your primary; buy max Reload Speed, one point of Rocket Specialist, some Health on Kill, max Ammo Capacity, and max Damage.
Rocket Launcher or Original
Escape Plan or Disciplinary Action
The Rocket Launcher (or Original) is the old, reliable option. With no downsides, it can sufficiently handle crowds of robots as well as Giants. The Buff Banner allows a mini-crit boost for your team, allowing a greater damage output. The Escape Plan is a great retreating tool and can be used to quickly grab a health pack or run behind your team's Dispenser. Alternatively, the Disciplinary Action can be used to give you and your teammates a speed boost, allowing for an easier time dodging enemy fire or retreating. Reload Speed, Firing Speed, and Damage should be prioritized, with one point of Rocket Specialist, and some Health on Kill, Ammo Capacity, and Clip Size also coming in handy.
The Tank Buster Soldier, appropriately named in a tanking role, is great in survivability. The Black Box, given how it will often hit multiple targets, can keep your health consistent, as you receive up to 20 health for every robot you hit. Rocket Specialist is especially important as you want to get full damage on direct hits as much as possible for maximum healing. The Battalion's Backup can protect your team from 35% of all damage and critical hits, while the Concheror gives you and your team health back for dealing damage. Both pair well with your ability to recover lots of health simply by firing into a crowd, letting you tank loads of hits and help your team hold off the robot menace. This is particularly effective if there is another Soldier using the Buff Banner. The Disciplinary Action is additional support for your teammates, letting you and a teammate quickly make it back to the front lines, as well as assisting in gathering money before it disappears. Upgrade Reload Speed, Firing Speed, Clip Size, and Damage.
Soldiers can save the most cash with this loadout, and the distinct advantage of the Cow Mangler 5000 as an all-purpose general Soldier primary is that it is has unlimited ammo. Thus, a Mangler Soldier can position himself anywhere. Bear in mind, however, that it will be tough for you to destroy enemy Engineer buildings. One optimal route for upgrading the Mangler would be to focus on Reload Speed, Firing Speed, Damage, and Clip Size, with a Rocket Specialist point and Health on Kill being purchased over time. And of course, don't bother with Crit Canteens; they will do nothing.
The Direct Hit Soldier is a very dangerous foe against Tanks and Giant Robots in particular. Their large hitboxes allow constant, easy-hit sources of high damage from the powerful launcher, and the Buff Banner makes the Soldier all the more deadly. With a damage source like the Direct Hit, it will build Rage rapidly. In addition, the Equalizer is perfect to chew up tanks with powerful melee hits, preferably after the Soldier has been weakened by either the enemies or his own rockets. Upgrade Firing Speed, Reload Speed and Damage, with Health on Kill being a viable option later on to keep yourself alive.
The Air Strike, since the Gun Mettle Update, can dish out damage similarly to the Beggar's Bazooka. Lack of the B.A.S.E. Jumper isn't as bad when a Soldier can easily unload his clip while in the air. The Buff Banner simply adds to the damage output, granting mini-crits to your rockets. As you lose health due to excessive rocket jumping, the Escape Plan helps you run to a Medic or a Dispenser. Upgrade Firing Speed, Reload Speed, and Damage. Health on Kill is extremely useful as well, due to the sheer amount of damage you are dealing. Rocket Specialist is also good, since good aim can effectively stun-lock even a Giant Robot.
- 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.
- Once sufficient Resistances and 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, Ammo Capacity, Airblast Force, Resistances, Movement Speed.
- Burn Damage and Burn Time affect only afterburn, which is weak and not worth upgrading. It also does not affect Tanks, one of the Pyro's main targets.
- As stated before, afterburn should never be upgraded, though you should try to keep giants burning at all times. Even if they aren't in range of your flamethrower, try to hit them with your Flare Gun, Detonator, or Scorch Shot so the residual damage can really help out your team.
- 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 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!
- Bodyblocking is not hard for Pyro, as he thrives up close and will likely have invested in Resistances. Stop those Giant Scouts in their tracks.
- Airblast is a versatile 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.
- Even if airblast is fully upgraded, airblasting a giant robot will at most only stall it in place, since they have huge airblast resistance (40% — 70%); only non-giant bots will be moved backwards a lot by such an airblast. The only way to actually push giant robots backwards is with the Heavy's rage ability or (to a much lesser extent) with the Pyro's Flare Gun.
- Be aware that when airblasting a sentry buster about to explode that you are not airblasting it into anything; your teammates may have already taken note of the sentry busters movement and location, but assume they are out of the radius.
- 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 Giants, 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 in 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 damage than Pyro's other options, making it the worst primary for Tanks. Additionally, the sheer number of robots in Mann vs Machine makes a Puff 'n Sting strategy with the Axtinguisher less effective, as burning down all of the robots in a group with a flamethrower is quicker than meleeing them one by one.
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, 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 longer range 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, and the Scorch Shot can be used as an alternative airblast due to its increased knockback for single targets such as giants should the Pyro choose to use either the Phlogistinator or the Backburner.
- Maxing Reload Speed and Firing Speed, with some points to Ammo Capacity, can make the Scorch Shot extremely powerful. Though giants don't take as much knockback as they do from a fully-upgraded airblast, it can at least juggle them in position, delaying a giant from reaching the bomb hatch and buying time for the team to destroy it.
- The Axtinguisher on its own merits has some utility as the only Pyro weapon that can reliably kill Uber Medics, but that is its only use.
- The Third Degree, with a Crit Canteen boost, can kill all Uber 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 or Neon Annihilator 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.
|Example Pyro Combinations|
A Phlogistinator Pyro is unmatched in Tank damage and can use the crit boost to clear out mobs of stronger robots, such as Steel Gauntlets. Upgrades in Damage and Ammo Capacity increase your effectiveness against Tanks and the robot horde in general, and Health on Kill and Resistances increase your survivability. As for your secondary, the Flare Gun gives you decent damage capabilities at long range, the Detonator supplemented by Jump Height upgrades helps you get around the map, and the Scorch Shot can effectively act as an airblast replacement. For melee, the Powerjack will speed you to and around fights faster, while the Homewrecker will aid your Engineer in removing Sappers. Use whatever fits the situation. Upgrade Damage and Ammo Capacity for the Phlogistinator, with some Health on Kill Later. Max out Firing Speed and Reload Speed, with some points going to Ammo Capacity and Burn Time, for the Flare Gun or Scorch Shot (the Detonator will mainly be used for mobility). And, as per usual, max resistances, and, if there are Super Scouts, Movement Speed.
Backburner Pyro gives up a bit of Tank-killing power for massive damage against Giants. Standing behind one and holding M1 will tear its HP to shreds, and this will only occur faster as Damage is increased, along with Ammo Capacity, Health on Kill, and Resistances. You also have airblast for the occasional bomb reset or mass crit rocket reflect. Be sure to flank Giants, as if they lock on to you, they will not shift their focus until someone else begins fighting them.
The stock Flame Thrower focuses less on damage and more on support. While it lacks the crit damage potential of the other flamethrowers, its airblast costs only 20 ammo, allowing for constant stalling of the bomb. In addition to your standard Pyro combat upgrades, max Airblast Force.
The Gas Passer is by far the most powerful weapon for Pyro in Mann Vs. Machine (after buying the "Explode on Ignite" upgrade, of course). The high burst damage caused by it is strong enough to take out huge hordes of enemies (including Uber Medics with a full charge!). Simply throw it at large groups of enemies and allow your team to hit one of the affected bots, and boom. They're all gone. What robots?
The "Pyro Meta" is a hugely popular damage dealing loadout. As mentioned above, The Gas Passer's "Explode On Ignite" upgrade can help instantly take out a wave of non-Giant Robots with one shot of the Dragon's Fury. The Dragon's Fury provides a 300% damage boost when used on burning robots, and can do massive damage against Über Medics. The Hot Hand is useful for finishing low-HP Robots and the speed boost for each hit is needed if a Super Scout gets past your defenses.
- 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.
- Maxing out reload speed and fire rate can make the Grenade Launcher feel like the X10 version, 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.
- One of Demoman's biggest jobs in Mann vs Machine is killing Über Medics, 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.
- Demoman excels at killing Quick-Fix Medics, too; while they cannot Über, laying a Sticky trap and waiting until the patient passes over them will allow you a clear shot at blowing the Medics up.
- 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 are largely irrelevant due to the predictable nature of robot movement. 14 crit Scottish Resistance Stickies with Damage Upgrades can one-shot some Giant Robots (even if they are being pocketed)
- Buy Reload Speed and Firing Speed so you fire more projectiles in a shorter period of time, and some Health on Kill to keep yourself alive. Then max out Damage.
- Using the Quickiebomb Launcher is not as efficient as the others, 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.
- The Critical Hit Canteen can be used to make quick and fatal Sticky traps for giants and chips a chunk of health off of tanks.
- 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 critical Sticky Bomb carpets before the next wave starts. There is no penalty for doing this, as a Medic's Ubercharge builds up quickly during Setup.
- However, if no powerful robots appear in the wave until deep into it, the critical Stickies will often make no difference. Weak common robots would be easy to kill anyway, and 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Max out Firing Speed, and get some Penetration, Health on Kill, Ammo Capacity, and the necessary Resistances. 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, granting you 500 rounds if you purchase the maximum. 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, you don't really need to buy Ammo Capacity since you can stick to it.
- 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, crouch and aim at their feet.
- 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, you deal half damage 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.
- Keep in mind that Giants are extremely vulnerable to rage when they are airborne, making them extremely easy to push back. Bodyblock them 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.
- 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; it can take down enemies the quickest out of all your weapons. Just 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.
- 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.
- The Huo-Long Heater is unique in that in can inflict afterburn on robots with its ring of fire. Still, afterburn does not deal much damage, and the Heater suffers from quick ammo consumption.
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 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. When in doubt, stick with your regular Fists.
- The Second Banana can be used as a side grade to the sandwich in this game mode
- 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 their weapons 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.
- 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 moving 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 in to the fight at maximum power after it's destroyed.
- If a Sentry Buster gets too close, grab your Sentry Gun before it explodes, but be careful, as it can destroy other buildings near its blast radius and can kill you if you are near it when it explodes.
- 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 another tactic you can use to save your Sentry Gun, and it will count for the achievement Real Steal. During a lull, you may also lead the Sentry Buster to your teammates, who can finish it off. (Be careful, though, this is also a great way to blow them all up!)
- If you want to easily survive a detonation from a Sentry Buster, buy an Übercharge Canteen and stand next to your Sentry Gun. Deploy the Canteen's buff when the Sentry Buster crouches, and you and your Sentry will be safe from harm for five seconds. To keep your nest intact, you can also use the above tactic to lead the Sentry Buster away from your other buildings, or pick up a second building to shield it.
- This is not much recommended because the most precious canteen for Engineer is Building upgrade.
- 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.
- 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 not stack with the Wrangler, and the third does nothing at all. To avoid wastage, do not invest in more than one point 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 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.
- 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.
- 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 Disposable Sentry Gun upgrade, due to it 500 high price and low DPS. Compare to your own Sentry Gun, disposable Sentry Gun doesn't benefits from Building Health and Sentry Gun Firing Upgrade, cannot manually destroy, manually controlled by Wrangler and cost the same metal as normal Sentry Gun. Most importantly, it might trigger Medic robot's ubercharge.
- 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.
- 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 like a Phlogistinator Pyro would.
- 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 can be used to assist your team with taking out Medics and Spy bots. When it hits a Medic, it will decrease the amount of ÜberCharge it has, giving your team more time to take it out. When used against Spies, it will help decrease the amount of time they can recloak, helping your team to kill them faster.
- The Pistol by default has a large ammo reserve, so it can have its fire rate upgraded without needing to invest in ammo reserve upgrades early on. However, you shouldn't be using the Pistol due to its terrible damage output.
- 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 Uber Medics to activate their uber when you have a class that can kill them in one hit.
- Investing on Wrench attack speed and increased total metal upgrades gives 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, and you'll get more random crits to deal with Spies since swing speed is 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.
- 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.
- One Medic ability 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.
- 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, and deals damage to any robots who run into it. Use its damage-dealing capabilities against weak robots like Scouts, and its blocking utility against higher-power enemies like Giants.
- 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 as you heal teammates, and locking your beam on a fully-overhealed teammate will recharge your shield extremely slowly. Investing in Healing Mastery and Overheal Mastery will speed up the recharging process. Reviving teammates will not contribute to building ÜberCharge, but will 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.
- To make the most out of your Canteen-sharing upgrade, use the Über Canteen with the Kritzkrieg and the Crit Canteen with the stock Medi Gun.
- 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.
- The Kritzkrieg is generally considered the best Medi Gun in 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, Uber canteens significantly cheaper than Kritz.
- The Projectile Shield alone offers a great protection for your teammates, far more than your stock Uber 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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 when they "expire", 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.
- Explosive Headshot is exceptionally useful for taking on multiple robots, especially at choke points. 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. Consider Reload Speed upgrades 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.
- 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.
- 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's so many targets to kill.
- Consider upgrading the reload speed on your Sniper Rifle. Not only does it decrease the delay between shots marginally, it also significantly improves the efficiency of Critical Hit Boost canteens. With damage upgrades, even unscoped shots deal heavy single-target damage.
- Contrary to what the weapon card says, the Sydney Sleeper can technically score headshots, they just don't do any extra damage. This means that the explosive headshot upgrade is just as valid as it is with other rifles. In fact, they increase the explosive headshot damage due to the mini-crits they get, making them useful against groups of robots, but not against giants.
- 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 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. 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 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.
|Example Sniper Combinations|
Arguably the best choice for a Sniper, this loadout concentrates on the potential offered by the Explosive Headshot upgrades, a task the Hitman's Heatmaker is well suited for. The weapon's Focus gauge increases for every kill or kill assist you achieve, so by causing an exploding headshot that inflicts enough damage on nearby robots, it's possible to charge the gauge to full in one hit. From there, the Sniper can unleash a steady stream of shots while remaining scoped - as long as kills continue to be made, the Focus gauge will stay charged up. Thus, a patient Sniper with steady aim can inflict a barrage of massive damage against almost everything. Keep in mind that bodyshots are weaker with the Heatmaker, so aim for robots that are easier to headshot than others around them.
To set this up, invest almost all your credits into the Heatmaker, prioritizing (in relative order) Explosive Headshots, Reload Speed, Charge Speed, +25% Damage, and Ammo Capacity. Projectile Penetration is helpful, but not necessary. You'll be neglecting upgrades in all other categories, so try to stay off the front lines lines whenever possible. The Jarate-Bushwacka combo is for self-defense to counter Spies or any other robots that get too close, and can also help you build up Focus. To further help your team, spare 200 credits to give Jarate the ability to slow robots. Canteens are mostly irrelevant with this loadout, but you can grab a Critical Hit Boost canteen for waves where you think you may need the quick burst of firepower.
With this set, the Sniper is mainly focused on the Jarate status condition. Jarate itself is, naturally, the staple of this set, as you are not only slowing down enemies once you have the upgrade, you are increasing the damage output of both yourself and your teammates. You should always keep as much Jarate on the robots as you can. The Sydney Sleeper can target high risk bots and the upgraded Jarate can slow hordes in addition to making it easier for your team mates to kill them. The Huntsman is ideal for the closer range work, applying bleeding and heavy headshot damage without losing your field of vision, and is more effective against giants if your aim is lacking. The Bushwacka is always a solid choice for when you run out of ammo, making the Sniper a glass cannon against robots coated in Jarate, at the cost of being less effective against Pyro bots.
To those that want to do plenty of damage with the Rifle from the start, the Machina is a popular choice. Already being able to penetrate players and doing extra damage on a full charge, the Machina is great for both crowd-control and doing tremendous damage with headshots. Due to the inability to no-scope, the SMG and Kukri can help take care of any up-close attackers such as Spies without giving the Sniper additional vulnerabilities. Invest in the Machina first by increasing its focus speed and damage to make full use of the 100% charge benefits. If the crowds are becoming too much of a problem to wait for a full charge, then purchase projectile penetration.
For the Sniper that wants to fight alongside the front lines, this set can help perform a tremendous amount of damage on key targets while using the secondary to take care of larger low-health crowds. The Shahanshah can help the Sniper fight back if he gets ambushed and is low on ammo, taking advantage of the extra damage on low health. It's best to increase the Huntsman's ammo and the clip size of the Cleaner's Carbine first. A single level of causing bleed on targets with the Huntsman can help finish weak targets. You can also give projectile penetration to both the Huntsman and the Cleaner's Carbine to increase your ability to keep up the critical hit boost longer. However, take note that all four levels of increased firing speed are required to completely offset the slow firing speed of the Carbine.
This loadout is exceptional for those who are good with headshotting. The Bazaar Bargain recharges very fast if you have 6 heads and it does 450 damage without any upgrades or buffs. Jarate is a must in Mann vs Machine due to the fact it can be upgraded to slow down enemies and allow your teammates to do more damage. The Bushwacka crits instead of mini-crits, which in combination with a Soldier using the Buff Banner, can make taking down tanks easy.
- 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, even when you sap them, sap their teammates beside them, or bump into them. Unless you are on fire or disguise in front of them, robots will not suspect you. Use your disguise to pick up money that is too dangerous for your teammates to retrieve.
- Only disguise as a Scout; any disguise you wear is irrelevant, but disguising as a Scout can allow you to utilize your movement speed bonus.
- A Spy investing in multiple resistances allows the player to stay in the front lines longer.
- 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.
- Unique to Mann vs. Machine, the Spy's Sapper can be placed to disable robots. Unlike conventional gameplay, there's a meter that must be left to fill before a Sapper can be used again.
- Using an ammo-refilling canteen resets the Sapper cooldown.
- 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.
- 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.
- Keep in mind that sapping a Mecha-Engineer's sentry or teleporter activates your Sapper's cooldown. When forced to choose, the teleporter should take priority.
- 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 disabled by a Sapper, they will still notice a backstab has happened nearby and will immediately target you.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Ambassador is great to use in this mode, as bots travel in predictable paths, and giants especially are slow, easy targets with large hitboxes, ripe for headshots. If a situation is too dangerous to get in close, try sniping your target(s) from a distance.
- 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 not recommended for this mode.
- Storing up crits on the Diamondback can allow it to serve the same function as the Ambassador as well as deal a decent amount of damage to Tank Robots.
- 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 Your Eternal Reward does not rapidly disguise you in this mode compared to regular play, making it a poor choice in Mann vs Machine. A better choice would be your normal Knife or, depending on your playstyle, the Spy-cicle.
- The Red-Tape Recorder functions exactly the same as the default Sapper against robots. Against Engineer buildings, it can reduce the threat of Sentry Guns by taking them down a level before the Engineer can respond, but leave the buildings alive long enough for the Engineer to save them from destruction. Choose according to your playstyle.
|Example Spy Combinations|
The all-around loadout for Spy, perfect for almost any situation. The Dead Ringer is the preferred Invisibility Watch, as you will be on the front lines quite often, and the robots will likely focus on you if they realize you are a Spy. The regular Knife is an excellent choice because there are no downsides to it. If the wave doesn't include Pyros or Huo-Long Heater Giants, the Spy-cicle would also be an acceptable choice of knife, as it works similarly to the knife. You shouldn't need to use your Revolver much in this mode, but if you need to in a desperate situation, the Diamondback is a good option because it stores crits from backstabs. If you're a good aim, the Ambassador would also be a good option because of its ability to crit on headshots.
This set is very safe, allowing you to stay alive constantly. The Big Earner is a good choice of knife, as it will give you a way to refill your Cloak quicker, as the robots do not drop weapons you could use to refill your Cloak, and robots are always initially fooled by your disguise (even if they bump into you), so you will not have to worry about Spy checking as long as they do not see you disguise. These factors can make the health reduction of the Big Earner negligible, especially with quick use of the Dead Ringer.
Your Revolver choice is largely optional, because the damage output of the Revolver is negligible in this mode. In fact, it may be wise to change revolvers between waves depending on the situation should you choose not to upgrade them. The stock Revolver is generally the most useful, having solid firing speed and the ability to get random crits. The Ambassador should be considered if you're confident in your aim, as well as the robots moving in predictable paths. When using the Diamondback, it is important to remember that robots are not buildings, so stabbing them, not sapping them, will give you crits.
With this set, you will not have constant access to your Dead Ringer. However, the health boosts of the Kunai allow you to get more stabs in before having to Cloak, eliminate the need for health-on-kill upgrades, and prevent robots from 'powering through' the Dead Ringer's damage resistance. Without the Big Earner, L'Etranger is the preferred Revolver, letting you refill your Cloak in a pinch.
This combination is a hit-and-run combination, this set allows you to refill your Cloak quickly and attack more frequently. This combination allows you to constantly use Dead Ringer to reduce as much damage as possible and make escapes easier. The Big Earner and L'Etranger lets you refill your Cloak.
Counter 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.
- 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 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 Pyro tends to be the most efficient at dealing with packs of these — afterburn damage alone will kill them.
- 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 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.
- 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 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.
- Be careful when using explosives against Bonk Scouts. Worst-case scenario, the knockback causes the bomb-carrying Bonk Scout to reach the hatch faster.
- Equipped with the Sandman, these Scouts can leave careless players stunned and vulnerable not only to the Scout's melee attack, but potentially to other stronger robots. 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 stunning multiple players.
- These variants are nearly identical to Minor League Scouts, the only difference being that Hyper Leagues recharge their baseballs much faster. These Scouts can constantly stun you until it or another robot kills the player.
- Their icon is the same as the Minor League Scout, so be prepared to fight either version.
- 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 stun players. This can make it hard for players to hit them as they come in large numbers.
- Sentry Guns are the best ways to kill these robots, as their Sandmans do very little to Sentry Guns.
Giant Scout Robots
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 stun-lock 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.
- 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 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, it's more accurate, and gets reloaded faster. However, it has a -65% damage penalty.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- A larger version of the Soldier, it doesn't possess any abilities like other giants aside from a large amount of health.
- Same as Extended Buff Soldiers carrying the Buff Banner, Battalion's Backup, or Concheror. They have more health than them, but are slower.
- A Giant Soldier that will fire rockets continuously, at a faster rate than regular Giant Soldiers.
- They will only pause for a second to fully reload, and basically have an infinite clip size because of this.
- 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.
- 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 are 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 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.
- Like it's 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, or airblast them. If none of these options are available, use a Uber Canteen so that the Black Box Soldier gets no healing even if they hit you.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- Very similar to a Giant Blast Soldier, but with 60,000 HP and no damage penalty.
- 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 them.
- Much like regular Pyros, the Robot versions are immune to afterburn effects.
- 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.
Giant Pyro Robots
- Giant Pyros are extremely lethal at close range with their flamethrower.
- Although their smaller counterparts can airblast, the Giant Robot airblasts at most every opportunity it can. Be wary when fighting him with rockets or grenades.
- 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, it's speed should not be underestimated.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 also makes them vulnerable to instant death.
Giant Demoman Robots
- 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.
- 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 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 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 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 a Ubercharge. Kill him quickly and strafe to avoid the cannonballs.
- Pitting the robot in the pit as a Pyro works very well.
- 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 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 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.
- 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, 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 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.
- 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.
- These Heavies are unique among the Heavy Class Robots possessing many unique features.
- Heavy Mittens run as fast as normal classes.
- 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. 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
- 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 it's aggressor is dead or out of range. Keep this in mind when attempting "hit and run" tactics.
- 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.
- 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 to close to it, use a Medic's Projectile Shield, and focus all of your power on it.
- Use an Uber canteen as Pyro and try to knock them into the grinder (Manhattan).
- 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 it's Huo-Long Heater isn't spun up.
- 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 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. One punch can kill any class, even with maxed resistances.
- 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 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.
- 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 Medics are very dangerous because they can build ÜberCharges quickly and deploy them liberally. Target these medics with powerful weapons.
- Unlike in Multiplayer, 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
- 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.
- This a different type of Giant Medic with the Surgeon's Stahlhelm and can't Übercharge. However, they recover 40 HP per second. If left not killed, these versions can restore a lot of HP if let 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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 at it too!
- 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.
- When Spies appear, the Administrator will announce their presence. Every time a Spy is killed, the Administrator will state how many Spies remain. 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 load out.
- 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 minimise 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.
- 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 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 Minigun damage, severely reducing a Heavy's 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:
- Pyro with Phlogistinator
- Soldier with Buff Banner
- Demoman in general
- Engineer with Widowmaker
- Sniper with Cleaner's Carbine and Bushwacka