Community Soldier strategy

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I am going to enjoy killing each and every one of you sorry sacks of scum!
The Soldier before a vicious massacre

As the most well-rounded combat class, the Soldier is easy to pick up and play but difficult to master. The Soldier is durable, strong at both close and medium range, is well-equipped to deal with Sentry Guns, and can use rocket jumps to move quickly and reach places other classes can't. However, he has the second-slowest on-foot movement speed of all the classes, and his Rocket Launcher can be both difficult to aim at long range (due to the rockets' slow projectile speed) and dangerous to use at close range (due to the risk of self-damage). Regardless, the Soldier is a strong pick on offense and defense alike, and experienced players can assault or defend strategic locations with ruthless efficiency.

Quick Tips

  • Always try to have a high ground advantage over your opponents. Your rockets are significantly harder to avoid when you can rain them from above; conversely, having the high ground makes it harder for your enemies to shoot back at you.
    • You can rocket jump to reach high places quickly. This is useful if you need to quickly gain a height advantage, or if you need to put yourself on even footing with someone who currently has a height advantage over you.
  • A team without Soldiers is probably offensively weak. Fill the role to push back the other team and accomplish the objectives.
  • Switch to your secondary or melee weapons in close-ranged fights in order to avoid taking damage from your own rocket explosions.
  • Look for shortcuts or flank routes you can rocket jump to, in order to attack enemies from unexpected angles or backcap a map objective.
    • Memorize where health packs are on each map, as each rocket jump costs a significant portion of your health.
  • Try to anticipate where your enemies are going, as your rockets move relatively slowly. Juggle opponents by shooting your rockets below their feet and launching them into the air for a predictable follow-up shot.
    • Your Shotgun can be useful for taking out quick-moving targets like Scouts, as its pellets have no travel time.
  • Avoid carelessly shooting rockets directly at Pyros who have a habit of airblasting. Fire rockets beside them to safely deal splash damage, or bait them into wasting their airblast first to leave them vulnerable. Better yet, use your Shotgun against them.
    • When fighting Pyros, fire your rockets at an inconsistent rate in order to confuse the Pyro and make it harder for them to time their airblasts.


  • With 200 maximum health (and up to 300 when overhealed), you're second only to the Heavy in terms of durability. This resilience allows you to stay in fights longer without retreating, or protect your teammates by forcing your enemies to deal with you first.
  • Using your Rocket Launcher and Shotgun in tandem gives you a more flexible effective range than most other classes. You are also the only class with both an effective area-of-effect projectile (Rocket Launcher) and an accurate hitscan backup weapon (Shotgun), giving you a very balanced loadout for almost any situation.
    • However, your base speed is the second-slowest, ahead of only the Heavy's. This can make it harder for you to choose what range a fight takes place at, so be sure to plan your approaches carefully when possible. Rocket jumping will help you quickly close distances or fall back, at the expense of health and ammo.
  • While your primary weapons deal massive damage at close range, you will take heavy self-damage if you get caught in your own explosions. Consider using your Shotgun or melee weapon at point-blank range.
  • One of your greatest advantages over other classes is the ability to rocket jump to reach great heights and move across the map quickly. This mobility is essential for gaining an advantage over enemies in combat, and can also compensate for your slow ground-speed.
    • Rocket jumping vertically can allow you to reach locations normally inaccessible to most other classes, making it easy to gain a height advantage over other players and hit them with splash damage from your rockets.
  • On offense, you are often one of the best classes to lead the charge into enemy territory. You can easily destroy enemy Sentry Guns from a distance, take on multiple opponents at once, or even rocket jump behind enemy lines to split the other team's attention.
    • Your utility is further amplified with ÜberCharges. A standard or Quick-Fix ÜberCharge lets you pressure enemies into retreating and allows you to rocket jump without taking self-damage, while a Kritzkrieg ÜberCharge can annihilate groups of enemies with your critical-boosted rockets.
      • Keep in mind that the Quick-Fix allows for your Medic to follow your rocket jumps, allowing you to advance quickly while remaining fully overhealed.
    • Equipping the Buff Banner, Battalion's Backup or Concheror will allow you to play more of a team role by buffing nearby teammates.
  • On defense, take note of map objectives or chokepoints that the enemy team is clustering around, and fire rockets at them. Even taking damage falloff into account, most players aren't willing to stand in an area that's constantly being peppered with explosives.
    • Note that your primary weapons' low clip size and slow reload speed mean you might be defenseless if you suddenly get ambushed. Try to avoid blindly firing off all your rockets at once, especially if you do not have other teammates nearby that can help defend you.
  • You can help a friendly Medic build ÜberCharge faster by damaging yourself with rockets. Only do this when you know enemies aren't nearby, to avoid being forced to participate in a fight with half of your health already missing.
    • It should be noted that ÜberCharge builds extremely fast during setup time, so this strategy is only necessary after setup time has ended.
  • It's usually wise to enable the "Automatically reload weapons when you're not firing" option under Advanced Multiplayer Options. When this option is enabled, weapons will automatically begin reloading whenever they aren't being fired. This is especially useful when in a fight or when rocket jumping, as you won't need to take your fingers off of your movement keys to hit the reload key.
    • Note that, as long as a weapon has at least one shot loaded, the reload animation can be instantly interrupted by firing, so you'll never be "stuck" in a reload animation unless you've used all the ammo in a weapon's clip.
  • Your rockets originate from the barrel of your primary weapon, not from the center of your screen. Be aware of this when trying to fire rockets around corners or when rocket jumping.
    • Unlike your other primary weapons, the Original actually is held at the center of the screen.
  • Damage falloff for rockets is calculated based on how far you are from their explosion, not how far the explosion is from where the rocket was originally fired from. This can be used to your advantage; you can "bomb" enemies by firing rockets while approaching with a rocket jump. Since you'll be close to your target by the time the rockets impact, you'll do much more damage than if you had kept your distance. (Just make sure not to get caught in the blast yourself.)
  • Pyros are one of the more difficult classes for you to fight, as their compression blast can reflect your rockets back at you or your teammates. Be wary when dealing with a competent Pyro, as a single well-aimed reflect can destroy an attempted push.
    • It's harder for a Pyro to reflect your rockets if you aim at nearby walls or objects, instead of at the Pyro themselves; even if they reflect the rocket, it becomes much harder for them to aim it directly back at you.
    • You can also bait the Pyro into using their compression blast too early, then fire a rocket during its cooldown.
    • Your damage-dealing secondary weapons are also effective for dealing with Pyros. Pyros cannot reflect Shotgun pellets or Righteous Bison lasers, and the short range of their Flame Thrower will give you a range advantage.
      • Some Pyros will see you take out your secondary weapon, and either try to run into close range with their Flame Thrower or take out a secondary weapon of their own to fight from a distance. This is a good time to switch back to your Rocket Launcher, as most Pyros won't be prepared to suddenly need to deal with rockets again. (As a general rule of thumb, if you switch between your primary and secondary weapons frequently, it's harder for the Pyro to predict when they're going to need to try to reflect a rocket.)
        • The Degreaser has increased switch speed, which allows the Pyro to switch to their flamethrower to reflect a rocket more quickly should you fire one. It is recommended that you backpedal while firing your Shotgun.
Rocket jumping is essential to the Soldier, as it lets him get around maps quickly.

Rocket jumping

  • Rocket jumping allows you to gain access to areas that are normally impossible to reach. It can also be used to access shortcuts, to traverse areas faster, or gain a height advantage over enemy players.
    • This negates your slow movement speed, and allows you to get to the front lines about as fast as a Scout. Your overall firepower and health will give you more utility in the early moments of a round.
  • To perform a rocket jump, simply fire a rocket beneath your feet while jumping. This will amplify the vertical component of your jump, allowing you to reach greater heights than normally attainable.
    • Performing a crouch-jump before firing the rocket will allow you to gain even more height, which is essential to reaching areas that are inaccessible with uncrouched rocket jumps.
    • Because a rocket jump merely amplifies existing momentum, it's important to keep your intended direction in mind when rocket jumping.
  • In order to aid players, you will take only 60% damage from your own rockets; this translates to roughly 40 self-damage points for each rocket jump. However, this damage reduction only applies when you are in midair when the rocket explodes, so any rockets fired while standing on the ground will do full damage.
    • Gunboats further reduce this to about 24 self-damage. Be careful when fighting enemies — rockets that hit enemies will still deal full damage to you.
    • It is useful to know where health packs are positioned on the map, so you can regain your lost health once you rocket jump to the front lines.
  • Whichever direction you fire your rocket will be the opposite way you are sent flying; firing downwards sends you directly upward, while firing downwards at an angle will send you diagonally upwards. This lets you rocket jump both vertically and horizontally, depending on your position.
    • When performing horizontal jumps, try to use nearby objects such as walls to create explosions at the same level as yourself, rather than below. Firing a rocket where the ground and a wall meet will maximize the distance gained.
    • Horizontal jumps can be boosted by pogo jumping, which is done by rocket jumping forward without touching the ground while shooting under your feet.
  • You can strafe while in midair; this can be helpful in dodging fire directed at you, especially explosives launched by enemy Soldiers and Demomen.
    • In conjunction with rocket jumps, air-strafing allows you to maintain a considerable amount of momentum even at the apex of your jump. In order to perform an air-strafe, simply release the forward key and hold a strafe key while turning in the same direction of the strafe. This allows you to strafe around corners or reach areas that are normally inaccessible through other means.
  • Take into account the fact that rockets will spawn on the side of your screen that the Rocket Launcher is on. This can affect rocket jump performance considerably, especially horizontal jumps.
  • Always take the opportunity to reload the Rocket Launcher immediately after initiating a rocket jump. If performing ambushes or bombing runs on the enemy, it provides you with one more attack against the enemy, or an escape option if things go wrong.

Weapon Specific

Primary Weapons

Rocket Launcher + reskins

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Self Damage Critical Projectile Speed
Rocket Launcher
Rocket Launcher
Killicon rocket launcher.png 4 20 105-112 50-90 45-60 27-89 270, range does not affect damage. Critical damage does not apply to buildings. 1100 Hammer units/sec
Killicon original.png
Rocket Launcher
  • The Rocket Launcher deals strong splash damage and excels at attacking multiple enemies at once. However, it takes a while to reload, especially when its clip is empty. Always keep the Rocket Launcher loaded; with a maximum of only four shots, it's best to be prepared.
    • Enabling the "Automatically reload weapons when you're not firing" option under Advanced Multiplayer options can help considerably.
  • The splash damage radius of the Rocket Launcher is wide and powerful, allowing you to damage enemies even if there is no direct line of sight. This means you can fire around corners or at objects near cover in order to damage and kill enemies.
    • However, rockets are relatively slow-traveling projectiles, so be sure to lead targets to hit where they will be, not where they are. When shooting over long distances, try to lead the target and fire a second rocket at where they are likely to retreat. Doing this will greatly increase the chance of hitting enemies at long range.
  • The Rocket Launcher reloads slower than most other weapons, and it's unlikely that emptying the magazine will result in all four rockets hitting enemies. For this reason, try to predict enemy movements and fire one rocket at a time. One of your greatest vulnerabilities is being attacked while reloading the Rocket Launcher, so having some rockets in reserve at all times can greatly increase your chances of surviving an ambush.
    • Consider switching to the Shotgun rather than waiting for the Rocket Launcher to reload during a firefight. This will allow you to continue to attack uninterrupted, and keep the pressure up on the enemy. In a one-on-one match with an enemy Soldier, switching to the Shotgun at the right time could be the difference between life and death.
      • When fighting classes with low base health, such as Scouts and Spies, rather than using two rockets, fire one rocket, then finish them off with the Shotgun. This will conserve ammo, allowing you to continue to attack or defend.
  • While direct hits do more damage, the splash radius from your rockets will give you more leeway for aiming. Aim for nearby surfaces around your foe to ensure that you deal some damage even if your rocket misses.
    • If enemies are too far away, you can attack them with your Shotgun, rather than wasting your rockets. This won't do much damage, but the Shotgun can be reloaded far faster and the hitscan nature of the weapon denies any targets the opportunity to dodge the shots.
  • Critical rockets from this weapon are extremely potent. Whether through luck or a crit-boost, a single critical rocket is capable of killing almost any enemy in the game with a single hit, or deal enough damage to force a hasty retreat. Even if the victim survives, critical rockets deal tremendous knockback as well, which can send them away from an objective or into an environmental hazard.
    • Range will not reduce the damage of critical rockets — they will deal extremely high damage even at range.
    • This also applies to any Rocket Launcher besides the Cow Mangler 5000, which cannot gain critical hits.
  • When under a Kritzkrieg ÜberCharge, consider using the Shotgun against enemy Pyros. An experienced Pyro may airblast your rockets back at you, potentially killing you or your Medic instantly.
  • Try to juggle or bounce enemies by shooting a rocket at their feet. Throwing enemies into the air often disorients them (with the exception of Scouts, who can double-jump), and it will be hard for them to shoot back. This lets you land followup shots.
    • With practice, you can land direct hits with a rocket on juggled enemies. A direct hit does far more damage than splash alone.
  • Remember that you can be heavily damaged by your own rockets. If an opponent comes close, it is better to switch to the Shotgun, which still deals good damage and will not cause self-damage to you.
    • If you have to fire a rocket at an enemy at point-blank range, jump and fire the rocket at their feet. Remember that if you are damaged by your own rockets while in midair, the game will treat it as a rocket jump, and thus will minimize the amount of damage you deal to yourself, while distancing you from the enemy at the same time.
  • When trying to clear a control point or the Payload cart, rocket jump above the target area and fire downwards onto it. A key element of this is to reload while in midair, so that all four rockets will be loaded and ready to go at the peak of the jump. The high angle of attack will ensure the splash damage affects a large area of the cart or control point, which can be very useful.
  • The Rocket Launcher is often the most reliable choice if you intend to act as a Medic buddy. The wide splash radius of the Rocket Launcher's rockets allows you to damage any attacking enemies more easily, and its four rockets with no splash or damage reduction will keep you in battle for longer.
  • Because the Original fires directly down the crosshair, it's a bit more accurate than the Rocket Launcher, an advantage offset by the fact that you can't fire around corners as easily as the Rocket Launcher.
  • Due to the Original's unique first-person view-model, rocket jumps can be performed without having to compensate for the rocket's off-center blast, which is the case with all of your other primary weapons.

Direct Hit

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Self Damage Critical Projectile Speed
Direct Hit
Direct Hit
Killicon direct hit.png 4 20 140 112 57 27-89 336, range does not affect damage. Critical damage does not apply to buildings. 1980 Hammer units/sec
  • The Direct Hit is intended for sharpshooting; rockets fired from the Direct Hit travel 80% faster than default rockets and deal 25% more damage, but have a 70% reduced splash damage radius. It also deals mini-crits against enemies sent skyward by knockback.
  • The Direct Hit offers a new style of Soldier gameplay. In exchange for losing almost all of your Rocket Launcher's crowd control power, the Direct Hit gives you strong, fast rockets for one-on-one confrontations.
    • As its name suggests, remember to aim directly at enemies instead of around them, especially at close range. Unlike other Rocket Launchers, one cannot rely on the Direct Hit's splash radius to damage opponents if you miss, as players can actively dodge the rockets even at medium range and remain completely unharmed. At long ranges, take advantage of the faster rocket speed — targets do not need to be led as much as with the Rocket Launcher.
  • If you don't heavily rely on splash damage to kill your enemies, then you can consider the Direct Hit's downsides negated. However, against multiple targets, the reduced splash radius of the Direct Hit is a severe disadvantage, no matter how consistently you can land direct hits.
  • Due to the Direct Hit's smaller margin for error, precise aim is important. Simply spamming shots is not a good tactic, as there is a bigger penalty for missing with this weapon. Instead, aim carefully; landing a single, well-aimed shot will sometimes kill your target instantly.
  • The Direct Hit's higher base damage lets you kill any non-overhealed low-base-health class with one direct rocket at close range (e.g. Scout, Sniper). If the enemy team has many Scouts, it may be viable to switch to the Direct Hit just to take them out.
    • It is also a powerful tool for destroying buildings. Any Level 3 unattended Engineer building will be destroyed with two rockets, compared to three with the stock Rocket Launcher. For this reason, the Direct Hit may be a good choice for destroying Sentry Guns out in the open. Even if an Engineer is actively repairing the Sentry Gun, the Direct Hit can damage it faster than he can repair it.
  • The Direct Hit is very effective in tight corridors, since there is little room for your opponents to dodge.
  • This also gives you an even bigger advantage against opponents like Heavies, who are already slow, and will have almost no room to dodge.
  • The increased projectile speed means that Pyros will have trouble reflecting your rockets. This means that if you're confident in your aim, you may not need a Shotgun. However, be careful at firing at long ranges, because they might be able to predict where it will hit, and if the Pyro manages to reflect a close-range rocket, it will do severe damage to you.
  • The Direct Hit is extremely threatening to enemy Scouts, as a well-aimed shot can instantly kill them. However, an experienced Scout will be less fearful and more dangerous, due to the lack of splash damage letting them jump around with no fear. Make sure to place your shots well to damage them severely, and to switch to your Shotgun to more accurately hit them if needed.
  • The Direct Hit deals mini-crits against enemies who have been sent airborne via knockback (but not by jumping). Aim at an opponent's feet to send enemies into the air, then hit them with an airshot for increased damage. This may take some practice.
    • Remember that this applies to almost any type of knockback, including those of teammates, enemies, or weapons like the Sticky Jumper. In particular, working with friendly Soldiers, or Demomen can create opportunities to finish off enemies that they juggle.
    • The Direct Hit counters explosive-jumping Soldiers and Demomen. With good aim, you can shoot them down if they try to get a height advantage or escape. This is especially true if they are descending with the B.A.S.E. Jumper, as the mini-crit bonus on airborne targets applies for their entire descent as long as the enemy blast jumped.
  • The Buff Banner makes the Direct Hit akin to a fast-firing Huntsman. You will be able to deal high, consistent damage against even grounded opponents, since mini-crits don't suffer much from damage falloff. With the damage, you can pick off 150-health opponents with each shot, even at long range, meaning you can one shot a Medic.
  • Try not to use the Direct Hit with a Kritzkrieg ÜberCharge, as the reduced splash radius makes you less effective at crowd-control compared to your other Rocket Launchers.

Black Box + reskins

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage Healing
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Self Damage Critical Projectile Speed On Hit
Black Box
Black Box
Killicon black box.png 3 20 105-112 50-90 45-60 27-89 270, range does not affect damage. Critical damage does not apply to buildings. 1100 Hammer units/sec 15
  • The Black Box can restore up to 20 HP per attack (but cannot overheal you) depending on how much damage is done. However, the Black Box can only load three rockets at a time, trading staying power for survivability. You can tank damage and keep fighting for longer than usual, but the smaller clip size prevents you from sustaining fire for as long as with your other Rocket Launchers.
  • The Black Box excels at one-on-one battles; with a maximum of 60 health restored per clip, it can save your life. However, your reduced clip will make you vulnerable if your target survives, so make sure to make every shot count.
    • The reduced clip size means more time spent reloading. Be sure to keep the Black Box fully loaded — getting caught with only one or two rockets will make it very difficult to fight back.
  • When low on health, the Black Box can be used to save yourself. Retreat, hide behind cover, and land shots to gradually gain your health back. Do this until you find a med-kit, Dispenser, or Medic.
    • Try to engage Heavies at long ranges. Not only will the Heavy deal minimal damage to you, but some of that damage should also be healed once you hit him.
  • As your aim improves, you'll begin to run out of ammo before you run out of health. Consider using your other rocket launchers if you don't need the extra healing.
  • Because the Black Box reduces your raw fighting power with one less rocket, facing multiple foes will be much more difficult. You will not be healed more than 20 health by hitting multiple enemies, and since your foes will be able to outdamage your healing, it is not recommended to face groups of enemies by yourself.
  • On Offense, keep in mind that you are a candidate to take down enemy Sentry Guns, often second to a Demoman. Although you can take out a Level 3 Sentry with 3 rockets, if there is an Engineer maintaining the gun, you will not be able to pressure the Engineer as well as other Rocket Launchers can. Remember that the reduced clip size becomes an issue in these situations, and equip other primaries if needed.
    • Try to take out the Engineer's Dispenser first, or attack the Engineer himself. The time that would you spend reloading is long enough for an Engineer to repair his Sentry Gun, rendering your attacks useless and wasting your time, ammo, and possibly an ÜberCharge.
  • There are several instances to take note of the Black Box's healing effect:
    • Enemy Scouts under the effect of Bonk! Atomic Punch will replenish your health if shot.
    • Enemies under the effects of a Medi Gun's ÜberCharge will not replenish your health if shot.
    • Cloaked Spies will not heal you, but disguised ones will. This can be used to spycheck.
    • Spies feigning death with the Dead Ringer will not heal you, which can be used as a warning that the Spy is still alive.
  • Since the Black Box is designed to keep players alive and healed, try not to equip the Equalizer — the last-resort tactic of the pickaxe doesn't couple well with the healing abilities of the Black Box. Instead, use the Disciplinary Action or the Escape Plan — the increased speed that these weapons provide you with allows you to reach the front lines faster or flee from battle.
  • Consider equipping the Shotgun when carrying the Black Box, in order to offset the smaller clip size. As the Black Box cannot sustain fire for long, pairing it with the Shotgun can finish off any enemies that can't be killed with only three rockets, as well as provide a measure of self-defense if attacked while reloading.
    • The Righteous Bison can also serve this purpose, but it does less damage against each individual enemy.
    • For a more support-oriented Soldier, you can equip a banner to replace your secondary weapon. The Black Box’s ability to regain health and prolong survival means you can easily build up Rage and support your teammates while keeping yourself alive.
  • When using the Gunboats with the Black Box, keep in mind that the reduced Rocket Jumping damage taken can be easily healed by a couple of long-range rockets, allowing players to fire rockets at the apex of their jumps and gain health upon landing should they hit. However, in one-on-one fights with powerful classes, not having a secondary weapon is a large disadvantage. Use with caution.
  • The Black Box has a great synergy with the Concheror as the health regen from both of the items can make it so the Soldier is able to tank large amounts of damage.

Rocket Jumper

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Self Damage Critical Projectile Speed
Rocket Jumper
Rocket Jumper
N/A 4 60 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1100 Hammer units/sec
  • The Rocket Jumper deals no damage to the player and carries 60 reserved ammo instead of 20, allowing rocket jumping for no self-damage. However, it also deals no damage to enemies, and prevents the player from carrying the Intelligence when equipped.
  • The Rocket Jumper is essentially a harmless Rocket Launcher that trades all the firepower of a Rocket Launcher into extra mobility. It is mostly useful for Rocket Jump training. However, it has uses outside of such limitations; the ability to perform consecutive harmless rocket jumps gives you a considerable mobility advantage over other players, even Scouts.
    • Since the Rocket Jumper does no self-damage, players can fire rockets before hitting the ground after a high rocket jump as a cushion to prevent fall damage.
  • You will be at a disadvantage without your Rocket Launcher, which is one of the most powerful and versatile weapons in the game. Keep fights at close range, where your Shotgun and melee weapon of choice are the most powerful, and use your mobility to jump in and out of fights, much like the Scout.
    • If only rocket jumping moderately, consider using the Gunboats instead of the Rocket Jumper, as your primary weapon is generally more valuable than your secondary. Only use the Rocket Jumper if you plan to be constantly rocket-jumping, or if you prefer to use your other weapons over your Rocket Launcher.
  • The Rocket Jumper can be effective when equipped with the Pain Train. Using the Pain Train allows players to use their enhanced maneuverability to jump behind enemy lines to capture Control Points.
  • For a mobile playstyle, the Rocket Jumper is best used with the Escape Plan. Since your rockets do no damage to you, you can use the speed of your rocket jumps and the Escape Plan's increased movement speed when hurt to quickly run towards objectives, and rocket jump out of harm's way if needed.
    • However, you are marked for death each time you pull the Escape Plan out, so try to stay out of sight.
  • Since you will be frequently rocket jumping with the Rocket Jumper, the Market Gardener pairs naturally with this weapon, due to it getting a guaranteed Critical hit while rocket jumping allows you to kill fragile classes and leave bulkier classes at low health, where a follow-up attack such as another swing or a Shotgun shot will finish them off. Despite your complete inability to fight on the front lines, you can quickly jump in, kill a valuable target, and jump out again, much like a supporting "pick" class.
    • Combine this with the Mantreads to gain a source of damage should you miss a Critical hit, and negate any fall damage if you land on an opponent. The Mantreads' knockback reduction will also make it harder for opponents to affect your trajectory if they shoot you while you rocket jump. However, this will remove your only source of ranged firepower, the Shotgun, and stomping on an opponent will prevent you from dealing Market Gardener Crits, as you have to land to deal stomp damage.
    • The B.A.S.E. Jumper is very useful in combination with the Rocket Jumper and Market Gardener, as it extends the window that you can deal a Market Gardener Crit. Rocket jumps slowed by the B.A.S.E. Jumper will let you deal as many Critical Market Gardener swings as you can before landing, which can kill more than one enemy if you float down slopes. However, your slower movement speed makes you an easier target.
  • Bring along a sidearm so you have a way of dealing damage at range. Out of all your choices, the Shotgun is the most reliable choice due to its six shots.
    • The Panic Attack may work well as its faster switch speed and its increased pellet count allows you to throw off Sniper's aim while rocket jumping,
    • The Reserve Shooter is not recommended, as you will have no way of sending opponents into the air yourself to use the Shooter's mini-crits, and the reduced clip will not help in battle.
  • As you will not be able to deal damage effectively with the Rocket Jumper even with help from the Market Gardener, do not equip any Banners with it, as it's not likely that they will fill.
    • However, the Battalion's Backup or Concheror may be useful for their passive benefits if you solely stick to melee combat. The Backup's extra 20 health grants slightly more endurance, while the Concheror will heal you passively and let you rocket jump without worrying about fall damage.
    • It should be noted however, that the Rocket Jumpers rockets reset the Concheror’s passive regeneration, Despite dealing no damage.
  • As your rockets deal no damage anyway, equipping the Gunboats with the Rocket Jumper is meaningless, as it reduces your non-existent self-damage.
  • When receiving a Crit Boost from an ally who has captured a flag on Capture the Flag, or getting a First Blood on Arena, and you don't have any damage-dealing weapons outside of your Melee, consider using this at your advantage to scare your enemies away with your Crit Rockets, as the visuals for the rockets are nearly identical to damage-dealing Rocket Launchers.
    • Make sure to shoot your rockets far away from the enemy, so they can't see that you are wielding the Rocket Jumper.
    • It is not recommended to ask a Medic to deploy their Kritzkrieg on you just for the sake of scaring enemies away.

Liberty Launcher

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Self Damage Critical Projectile Speed
Liberty Launcher
Liberty Launcher
Killicon liberty launcher.png 5 20 79-84 38-67 34-45 20-35 203, range does not affect damage. Critical damage does not apply to buildings. 1540 Hammer units/sec
  • The Liberty Launcher has a 25% larger clip size, giving you 5 rockets per clip, and fires rockets that travel 40% faster than standard rockets. Rocket jumping with this weapon also deals 25% less self-damage, letting you rocket jump with a lower health penalty. As a downside, each rocket deals 25% less damage.
  • The Liberty Launcher trades damage for utility. While it may lack in firepower, the speed and splash radius of the Liberty Launcher's rockets along with its high clip size generally lets it land more hits, making it a "damage-over-time" Rocket Launcher. Its lower self-damage also allows the Soldier to rocket jump more often and lets him re-position or get to areas speedily without losing much health.
  • Since this weapon is comparable to a weaker Direct Hit with splash, try to adapt tactics from it.
    • Due to its lower damage, make sure to use the Liberty Launcher's projectile speed to directly hit opponents, or go for airshots. Although the Direct Hit works better in this regard due to higher damage, the Liberty Launcher is more forgiving in terms of splash damage if you miss. If the enemy is trying to evade shots, try aiming at his feet. The faster rockets will be accurate enough to deal splash damage to opponents even if they do not get hit directly.
    • Like the Direct Hit, aim properly. Spamming the weapon is a bad idea, as it will mess up your accuracy and ease the offensive pressure you apply to your opponent. However, the splash damage compared to the Direct Hit gives more leniency for mistakes.
    • Try to be conservative with ammo. The five clips in reserve can be used up quite quickly.
  • At long range, the Liberty Launcher fares better than other Rocket Launchers. Thanks to its projectile speed, it is more accurate even against distant targets, and its standard splash radius makes it difficult for enemies to completely evade damage. Since you will focus on dealing damage over time, the reduced damage is negligible at such a range, and you can chip at opponents' health at a distance.
    • However, the Liberty Launcher cannot deal large amounts of damage at once. Its weaker rockets make you disadvantaged when there is a high-profile target/multiple foes that need to be immediately taken out by surprise. In one-on-one battles, you may even be unable to kill a Scout with two medium-range shots.
    • The lower damage can make it more difficult to destroy Sentry Guns, as an Engineer repairing it can cause you to use four shots to destroy one. Equipping a different primary weapon would be beneficial.
  • The five shots of the Liberty Launcher lets you fire four rockets before retreating with a rocket jump using the last rocket. Its lower self-damage damage also lets you rocket jump out of fights when your health is low, whereas the Rocket Launcher could potentially kill you without the Gunboats. Note that the large clip size compounds the Liberty Launcher's already slow reload, so make sure you keep the weapon fully loaded out of combat.
    • Outside of combat, the reduced self-damage makes this weapon great for rocket jumping towards an objective. However, the self-damage reduction only works during rocket jumps.
  • While the Liberty Launcher won't completely replace the Gunboats, its self-damage reduction frees up your secondary slot. This gives you increased mobility while still being able to wield weapons that either buff your team or inflict damage.
    • It is a good idea to bring a Shotgun along. This will compensate for the weapon's lower damage and is a good fallback should you run out of ammo. The Reserve Shooter pairs well too, as the opportunity to blast opponents into the air presents itself often with the Liberty Launcher's five shots.
    • The Gunboats will further reduce self-damage taken, allowing for rocket jumps that cost around 10 health each, and essentially turning the Liberty Launcher into a Rocket Jumper that deals damage.
  • Ironically, the Liberty Launcher is perhaps the best Rocket Launcher to use with damage buffs. The Buff Banner's mini-crits will negate the Liberty Launcher's lower damage by removing long-range damage falloff, while turning it into a five-shot Rocket Launcher at close range.
    • A Kritzkrieg-boosted Liberty Launcher is extremely effective, as you can fire five critical rockets before reloading, and they will deal enough damage to eliminate any non-overhealed class in two hits, even at long range. The increased projectile speed also makes it exceptionally difficult to dodge a hail of critical rockets.

Cow Mangler 5000

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Self Damage Mini-Crit Projectile Speed Afterburn
Cow Mangler 5000
Cow Mangler 5000
Killicon cow mangler 5000.png 4 105-112 50-90 45-60 27-89 113 1100 Hammer units/sec 36 damage over 6 seconds
  • The Cow Mangler 5000 features a "Mangler" bar that gives it unlimited ammo and four shots of team-colored energy blasts that function exactly like rockets. However, laser blasts deal 80% less damage against buildings, and the weapon completely lacks the ability to deal Critical hits, having no Random Crits and gaining only Mini-Crits from Crit Boosts.
    • When the "Mangler" bar is full, pressing the secondary fire button will slow the Soldier down as he charges up the weapon for about three seconds, after which a single charged shot is fired. This shot has the same projectile properties as a standard shot, but deals mini-crit damage to players and six seconds of afterburn damage at the same rate as the Flamethrower, and disables buildings for four seconds. This consumes the entire Mangler bar.
  • In certain cases, the Cow Mangler can be considered a reskin of the Rocket Launcher. If the opposing team is not reliant on Buildings and the server has random critical hits disabled, this weapon can do everything the Rocket Launcher can, although you benefit from unlimited ammo and a charge shot.
    • However, your other primary weapons are not immediately disadvantaged if the enemy team has an Engineer. Choose which is best against the enemy team's composition.
  • Having unlimited reserve ammo, the Cow Mangler 5000 is superior for rocket-jumping compared to most of the Soldier's other primary weapons. This permits Soldiers to move quickly around the map, limited only by their health, while still being lethal in aerial combat.
  • Unlimited ammo can also be useful on maps where ammo packs are scarce, or if your team has Engineers who rely on nearby ammo packs.
    • A charged shot with this weapon is helpful in rocket jumping because the ensuing afterburn will make the shot carry the user slightly farther. Just keep in mind that the afterburn will also make the shot deal more damage than a regular shot will.
  • The charged shot has many uses, but make use of cover when charging your secondary fire to avoid being a target, especially for enemy Snipers. As with the Heavy's primary weapons, you don't lose any speed if you begin charging while in the air, so you can jump around a corner to surprise enemies with a charged shot.
  • If you are not the only Offense class on your team, you can support your team by disabling a Sentry Gun before they push in with an ÜberCharged teammate. This way, they won't be knocked back by the Sentry Gun's bullets, and other teammates will be safe as they move into enemy territory.
    • If you are the only Offensive class, this is ineffective without a Shotgun, as the Cow Mangler does negligible damage to buildings.
  • Using your charged shot to kill an Engineer behind his buildings can be better than disabling his Sentry Gun. Engineers will die to a single charged shot if directly hit or dealt enough splash damage. You can disable his Buildings with the same shot if he is close enough to them, though killing the Engineer himself is more important.
    • Buildings cannot be repaired or hauled by the Rescue Ranger while disabled by the Cow Mangler 5000. If you identify an enemy Engineer who is using the Rescue Ranger, consider disabling his Sentry and using a Shotgun to destroy it.
  • Closely packed groups of enemies can be easy prey for the Cow Mangler's charged shot; try firing one into enemies pushing the Payload cart or capturing a Control Point.
    • Firing into spots where Snipers tend to gather may also hit and distract them from shooting.
  • The charged shot may be used to ignite Huntsman arrows held by a friendly Sniper. This isn't recommended unless there are no enemies nearby, as it requires a full clip and you'll be vulnerable reloading afterward.
  • It is advisable to bring a secondary weapon other than the Righteous Bison, as the Cow Mangler, as well as the Bison, deal minuscule damage to enemy buildings. Without a non-Bison secondary weapon, a Cow Mangler-wielding Soldier will find themselves nearly useless against enemy Sentry Guns unless friendly reinforcements are nearby.
  • Gunboats will allow you to jump around without worrying about ammo due to the Cow Mangler's unlimited ammunition.
  • Consider whether you should equip the Cow Mangler if a Medic is dependent on you for ÜberCharges. Should he ÜberCharge you in order to destroy a building, you will not be able to do so, and a Kritzkrieg charge will be wasted on you since you will only deal Mini-Crits.
  • You can experiment with jumping onto unexpected locations and sniping enemies from afar, such as the Speaker horns on Well, or a rocky overhang opposite the first Control Point on Dustbowl. Do be aware that the Deathcam will reveal your location to the enemy if they haven't already seen you should you score a kill.

Beggar's Bazooka

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Self Damage Critical Projectile Speed
Beggar's Bazooka
Beggar's Bazooka
Killicon beggar's bazooka.png 0 20 105-112 50-90 45-60 27-89 270, range does not affect damage. Critical damage does not apply to buildings. 1100 Hammer units/sec
  • Though fundamentally the Beggar's Bazooka is similar to other launchers, it is kept unloaded; upon holding fire, the player can load up to three rockets that fire in rapid succession when released. However, it comes with the danger of misfiring if the player holds fire past three rockets, which causes damage to the player and destroys one of the three already-loaded rockets. Additionally, the Beggar's Bazooka comes with a 3-degree spread limit, each rocket has a 20% smaller blast radius, and you cannot refill ammo with Dispensers while the weapon is active.
  • This weapon is best used for close to medium-range ambushing due to its pre-load requisite. In direct combat, enemies can damage you while you load up rockets, while the weapon's spread and blast radius will prevent you from accurately hitting opponents should they retreat. However, its ability to barrage opponents with rockets will make you very powerful at close range; not even a non-overhealed Heavy can survive three close range shots.
  • As every rocket has to be loaded before the launcher fires, gain a habit of loading up rockets before the actual fight begins. This makes you less vulnerable before a fight, as you will spend less time preparing to fire.
    • Be sure to time your loading well so you can shoot at enemies without letting them dodge your rockets. If you can, take cover as you prepare your rockets, and count the number of muffled pops so you don't misfire. After some practice, you'll be able to memorize how much time you have between loading the third rocket and beginning to load the fourth.
  • Should you find yourself being pursued by an enemy, fire at the ground a few feet in front of them. During the delay between pressing the primary fire button and shooting, the enemy likely would've run forward to that spot.
    • Though you are unable to fire rockets instantly, you can have a somewhat-standard firing pattern by loading one rocket, releasing fire to shoot the rocket, then instantly holding fire again to repeat the process over and over. This gives you a firing speed comparable with the Rocket Launcher, although you still have to deal with the weapon's spread and smaller blast radius.
  • Rockets will rarely follow the crosshair due to its 3 degree deviation. At long ranges, this is more apparent, as rockets will fly way off course. As such, using this weapon for long-range combat is ineffective.
  • Overloading the Beggar's Bazooka can allow you to do an explosive jump and then fire two rockets while you are in the air. If you have enough time between jumping and reaching the enemy, you may even be able to load a third rocket before launching your attack.
    • If you have enough time between overloading the Beggar's Bazooka and landing to overload it again while still in the air, you might be able to pogo yourself. However, doing this repeatedly is next to impossible.
    • You can damage enemies with the explosion from overloading, though this is otherwise discouraged without the Gunboats due to the tremendous self-damage.
  • On Offense, you can be the team's close-range powerhouse. With coordination, you will be able to get in close to Sentry Guns using an ÜberCharge and instantly destroy it with three rockets. Meanwhile, you will be a devastating team eliminator under the effects of the Kritzkrieg; all three rockets will kill any enemy in the game, even overhealed Heavies, unless they are under the effects of a damage reduction or invulnerability state.
  • On Defense, this weapon is useful for instantly clearing objectives, as a barrage of rockets will severely hurt or kill those who are capturing a point or pushing the Payload cart.
  • Beware that you cannot fill this weapon with Dispensers while it is active (deployed). This subtle change means that it is very detrimental in Arena, since ammo pickups are scarce and Engineers will be almost useless unless you're carrying a non-banner secondary weapon. Play cautiously.
  • Try to take a Shotgun as a backup weapon for defense, given this weapon's reliance on ammunition and its inability to refill through Dispensers while active. Alternatively, use this weapon with the Righteous Bison, which has infinite ammo in exchange for damage compared to the Shotgun. Also, it is strong at long range, where this weapon is weak.
    • Bringing the Reserve Shooter may be ineffective even if you can send opponents into the air, as your barrage will often kill any enemies at close range, however, you can hit rocket/sticky jumping Soldiers (rocket) and Demomen (sticky) where you wouldn't likely hit with your rockets.
    • The Panic Attack can work when you fired your rockets and your enemy is not dead, the faster switch speed, the increased number of pellets, and the bullet spread work well alongside the Beggar's ability to fire a barrage of 3 rockets and its 3 degree deviation as both will cover more of the area and can potentially force heavy damage depending on the situation. Do keep in mind that you don't want the Panic Attack's bullet spread to get too high as that makes gaps that can reduce damage as fewer pellets will connect.
  • While this weapon is still possible to use with any of the banner weapons, running out of ammo means you will have to rely on your melee weapon for damage. This can prove hazardous if your weapon is situational, such as the Half-Zatoichi, with its Honorbound effect, or the Equalizer, meant for ambushes.
  • The B.A.S.E. Jumper will increase the air time of your rocket jumps, and allows you to load up and fire rockets while in the air. This can be very beneficial since you can now do rocket barrages on the ground and in the air. Just remember that you will be hurt often due to rocket jumping, lack a secondary weapon to protect yourself with, and enemies (especially Snipers) can easily kill you while you're drifting.
  • The Escape Plan is a good choice with this weapon, because you are prone to misfires or accidentally causing self-damage with an extra rocket. Use it and run to the nearest supply closet or to the safety of your teammates when you are hurt. Just be sure to retreat quickly after pulling out the Escape Plan, because it marks you for death when active.
  • You can actually hold your loaded rocket while taunting, such as the High Five! Taunt. This means you can lie in wait for an enemy or even a small group of enemies to come through a doorway for example, then quickly stop taunting and unleash your barrage of rockets!

Air Strike + reskins

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Self Damage Critical Projectile Speed
Air Strike
Air Strike
Killicon air strike.png 4 to 8 20 90-95 42-75 38-50 23-75 230, range does not affect damage. Critical damage does not apply to buildings. 1100 Hammer units/sec
  • The Air Strike's firing speed increases by 65% upon a rocket jump and until the player lands, and each rocket produces a white trail. Additionally, simply killing an enemy with this weapon increases its clip size by one; the weapon's clip size starts at four and increases to a maximum of eight after 4 kills. The Air Strike's projectiles deal 15% less self-damage to the Soldier, but also deal 15% less damage to enemies. They also have a 10% smaller blast radius, which is further reduced by 20% while rocket jumping (28% when compared to stock).
  • True to its name, the Air Strike is a Rocket Launcher designed to work best while rocket jumping, and its capabilities improve as the player gains kills. It allows one to be extremely offensive whilst in the air, such as bombarding targets or key locations with aerial rockets. However, it takes some time to fully gain its benefits, as you have to earn kills in order to have increased rockets.
  • The weapon's lower damage puts you at a disadvantage against bulkier classes. Go for weaker enemies such as Snipers and Spies in order to get the increased clip size easily; once you have your increased clip, you can take on stronger classes with less risk.
    • On a fresh life, you can rocket jump over enemies to deal decent close-range damage with your three starting rockets. Alternatively, simply hang back and deal chip damage on injured opponents for a slower but safer playstyle.
  • The splash damage radius of this weapon can make it hard to hit opponents when considering rockets and their travel time. As the splash radius is further reduced while rocket jumping, you will have to lead your targets in order to hit them reliably. It can be wise to manually aim for each shot instead of holding down fire, just for more accuracy.
  • The Air Strike is very effective against enemy buildings. Its extremely fast firing speed while rocket jumping allows you to do enough burst damage to destroy buildings before Engineers can repair them. 3 direct hits from the Air Strike are enough to destroy any unshielded building, and since buildings aren't affected by distance falloff, you will be a threat at any range.
  • The Air Strike is disadvantaged when you aren't rocket jumping. Although you still have four shots, the reduced damage and smaller blast radius will only hinder you against other opponents. If necessary, keep grounded confrontations at close range, where the weapon's penalties are not as huge.
  • Because the Air Strike is reliant on rocket jumps, it works best on open maps. Small, enclosed maps will lower the amount of air time you have, so pick a different weapon on said maps.
  • Ammo conservation can be an issue with the Air Strike, due to its high firing speed in the air, potentially high clip size, and the necessity to land more shots to compensate for its reduced damage. Act smart and rocket jump towards ammo packs while firing, or stay near a friendly Dispenser.
    • Once you are at an 8-shot clip, reloading will take very long. Make sure you can get out safely before attempting anything reckless.
  • Beware of Demomen with the Eyelander: because both the Eyelander and the Air Strike use the same counter for kills, being decapitated will add your kill count to their head count!
    • However, the reverse is also true: killing a Demoman using an Eyelander will add their head count to your kill count, saving you several kills. As such, make Eyelander-wielding Demomen priority targets, especially those with glowing eyepatches (indicating several decapitations).
    • This also applies to Snipers wielding the Bazaar Bargain. However, being killed by a Bazaar Bargain-wielding Sniper will not transfer your kills to them.
  • The B.A.S.E. Jumper is the most optimal secondary for the Air Strike, as it increases the amount of time you'll have in the air to fire rockets at the enemy, while letting you control your descent whenever you want. This maximizes the efficiency of the Air Strike, and lets you travel long distances above people's heads safely while you look for targets.
    • The Gunboats may work as well, as it will reduce the damage done while rocket jumping. However, you won't be able to keep in the air for as long.
    • While you can bring a Shotgun of choice to negate the Air Strike's damage penalty while giving you a backup weapon, note that you will be unable to maximize your air time as with the B.A.S.E. Jumper, which is generally more important on an open map.
  • Bringing a Banner of your choice can be ineffective, as you need to deal damage in order to use them, something the Air Strike is weak at without constant rocket jumping. However, you can equip the B.A.S.E. Jumper to gain several kills, then switch it for a Banner in your Loadout before going back to spawn; upon touching a Resupply Locker, you will change to your Banner but still keep your clip size, allowing you to charge up your Banner using your extended clip.
    • Note that changing loadouts in spawn will freshly respawn you, which will remove your clip size.
  • You can be a useful Kritzkrieg target. With an increased clip, you can rain critical rockets at enemies for potentially deadly results. However, remember that a Medic's beam only reaches a certain distance, so either do a small jump or make sure he is at higher ground.

Secondary Weapons

Shotgun + reskins

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Critical
Killicon shotgun.png 6 32 9-90 6-60 3-32 180
  • Due to its hitscan bullets, large clip size and good damage at a distance, the Shotgun serves as a more accurate fallback weapon for your Rocket Launcher, and your ideal medium range firearm.
  • Switch to the Shotgun whenever an enemy is hurt by your rockets and decides to retreat, or against targets that are far away. Its hitscan nature makes it more accurate against players that are moving erratically at medium range compared to your rockets, which have travel time.
    • Do not underestimate the power of the Shotgun either. You should be able to take down any class, bar a Heavy (or Soldier at full health) at medium range with six rounds.
  • The Shotgun, as a hitscan weapon, has several advantages to the Rocket Launcher.
    • Enemy Demoman's stickies can be destroyed using your bullets. While the Rocket Launcher can blast sticky traps loose and scatter them, they are still a threat to teammates, as the Demoman can still detonate them. Destroying the stickies instead can safely clear a path for teammates rather than simply reducing the damage that they might take.
    • Your bullets cannot be reflected by enemy Pyros utilizing the compression blast. When you encounter one, switch to the Shotgun; the Pyro should die or be greatly weakened with six shots before they get within Flamethrower range. If they survive all six rounds, try to take them out with a rocket as they close in.
  • As the Shotgun doesn't deal splash damage to you, you can save yourself from self-harm by switching to the Shotgun when fighting against a single opponent in an enclosed space.
    • If there are multiple opponents, it may be better to simply blast them with your Rocket Launcher and take self-damage, as you may be able to kill several opponents even if you die.
  • One direct rocket and one Shotgun shot is often enough to kill light classes in most circumstances. Two rockets and one shell will usually kill Soldiers, assuming that the rockets do not hit the Soldier directly.
  • In general, it is highly advisable to bring the Shotgun whenever your loadout consists of a primary weapon with lower clip size or damage, as it will make up for your lack of firepower. Such examples include the Black Box, with its lower clip size, and the Liberty Launcher, which deals reduced damage.
    • It can also be paired with the Direct Hit if you are not confident in your aim.
    • An extreme example is with the Rocket Jumper, as it cannot deal any damage at all, making your Shotgun your only ranged weapon.

Reserve Shooter + reskins

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Critical
Reserve Shooter
Reserve Shooter
Killicon reserve shooter.png 4 32 9-90 6-60 3-32 180
  • The Reserve Shooter reduces the player's switch and holster time by 20%, and will mini-crit targets that are sent into the air by explosion-based knockback. However, it can only load up to four Shotgun shells at a time.
  • This weapon rewards precision and situational control of your target with extra damage, which can potentially take out enemies with less shots than a standard Shotgun. However, its smaller clip size inhibits your firepower in direct combat.
    • The 20% for both faster weapon switch and faster holster speeds applies to all your weapons. This allows you to capitalize on your switch time by changing to your Rocket Launcher to rocket jump out of a bad situation, for example.
  • Since this weapon only mini-crits opponents affected by knockback, equip it if you are confident of juggling opponents using your primary weapon. It is essentially a Shotgun with less rounds if you do not utilize knockback.
    • Aim your rockets at the opponent's feet to maximize your chance of sending them into the air, and focus on landing shots in the middle of a juggled target to deal the most damage.
  • Note that exterior knockback will also allow the Reserve Shooter to deal mini-crits. Using the weapon to deal with explosive-jumping Soldiers or Demomen can be very effective, as the Reserve Shooter's hitscan bullets are more accurate than attempting an airshot with your Rocket Launcher.
  • Pair this weapon with a primary weapon that has a higher chance of sending opponents into the air. The standard Rocket Launcher works, but the Liberty Launcher can also pair well, due to it having five shots and lower damage, which will give you more chances for aerials and can help negate its lower damage.
    • The Reserve Shooter can work as a sidearm for any of your Rocket Launchers, but remember that it will be less reliable for prolonged combat if you do not get airshots.
    • Pairing the Reserve Shooter with the Rocket Jumper is unadvised, as you have no way of sending opponents into the air outside of exterior knockback sources (such as your teammates).

Panic Attack + reskins

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Critical
Panic Attack
Panic Attack
Killicon panic attack.png 6 32 7-108 5-72 3-38 14-216

[4.8 damage × 15 pellets]

  • The Panic Attack is a Shotgun that has a 50% faster deploy speed, has 50% more pellets, fires its pellets in a fixed pattern, deals 30% less damage, and has a bullet spread that increases the longer it is fired. Compared to the Shotgun, it's a great backup tool for close-range combat, but falters at longer ranges due to its reduced damage and wider bullet spread.
  • The Panic Attack deploys 50% faster compared to the Shotgun, allowing you to retaliate significantly faster if ambushed.
  • At point-blank, this weapon actually does more damage compared to the Shotgun (108 compared to 90). This can allow you to kill enemy Soldiers in 2 shots instead of 3 if you manage to catch them up close.
    • The increased deploy speed and higher point-blank damage can pair well with the Market Gardener, allowing you to kill a full-health Heavy with a critical hit and close-range shot, dealing about 303 damage if timed perfectly.
    • Under mini-crit boosts such as Jarate or a friendly Soldier's Buff Banner, a point-blank shot with this weapon will deal 146 damage, instantly killing Scouts, Engineers, Snipers, Spies, and leaving Medics on a sliver of health. Try closing the distance with a rocket jump to take advantage of it.
  • On servers with random bullet spread enabled, this weapon can output consistent damage at range, making the amount of damage you deal slightly less luck-based.
    • The weapon's spread pattern is a 5x3 rectangle that is longer horizontally than it is vertically. While this means it's easier to hit targets that are further away, this is a double-edged sword; skinnier targets (especially Scouts) may not absorb all the pellets, which can result in less damage than the Shotgun.
  • Try not to fire this weapon for too long at mid to long ranges, as its growing bullet spread will make it harder to deal damage.

Righteous Bison

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Critical Damage to Buildings Projectile Speed
Righteous Bison
Righteous Bison
Killicon righteous bison.png 4 54 45 24 135 9 1200 Hammer units/sec
  • The Righteous Bison fires a highly-accurate and unreflectable, undestroyable, laser beam that pierces enemies and buildings. The Righteous Bison reloads very fast and holds unlimited reserve ammunition, while the laser projectile itself is slow-moving, almost comparable to rocket projectiles. As a downside, the Righteous Bison deals only 20% of its overall damage to buildings, and has a clip size of four rather than six.
  • This weapon is weaker for self-protection due to its lower damage and slower projectile compared to your Shotgun but excels at accurate long-range covering fire. As the lasers cannot be stopped by anything apart from a surface, enemies will have no choice but to avoid your lasers at all costs, making it a good deterrent weapon for covering teammates' weak spots and holding choke points even if you don't hit anything. This, along with its infinite ammo and quick reload, can be used to stop opponents from approaching, or pester Snipers from a distance.
    • Due to the length of the laser, the Bison is also useful for picking off retreating targets, as they will tend to run right into it.
    • Lasers are 100% accurate since they travel down the crosshair, but you have to make up for its travel time by leading targets.
  • The Righteous Bison's projectile makes it very useful for killing or softening multiple enemies, making it easier for your teammates to clean up. However, remember that its damage gets reduced for each successive pierce.
    • Medics and wounded players hiding behind their teammates cannot hide from your penetrating lasers, allowing you to take them out.
    • The shots pierce right through buildings, so you can use it to take out Engineers who hide behind their gear. If you're trying to destroy an enemy Sentry that an Engineer is actively tanking, use the Bison to kill the Engineer before taking out the Sentry with your primary. Be awake that he might be able to heal up all damage if he is next to a Dispenser, so you may opt to take that out with your Rocket Launcher first.
  • Depending on your playstyle, you may prefer to use the Righteous Bison as your main weapon while you close in. Its effectiveness at longer ranges and infinite ammo lets you save your rockets for when you really need them, and since rockets already do high close-range damage, you can cycle through close and long-range combat.
    • In moments where you must cross common sightlines, this weapon is perfect for when you require 'random spam' at Sniper nests, since the lasers move relatively slowly and may catch any enemies peaking out by surprise.
  • Because of the piercing shots and reasonable damage, the Righteous Bison does wonderfully in tunnel fights and maps with long corridors, such as Turbine and 2Fort. Conversely, it does worse on open-terrain maps such as Upward, since it's easier to strafe away from it.
    • This weapon is also effective when playing defense on a Payload map, since your opponents will be conveniently lined up around the cart.
  • The initial reload speed isn't too impressive, but subsequent reload pumps are very fast. Due to this, it's much faster to empty a whole clip before reloading than reloading after every shot. After all, you don't have to worry about conserving ammo.
    • You can see the clip of the Bison at all times, even if you're wielding another weapon. Because of the first pump's slower reload speed, try to keep the clip full during downtime to keep up your suppressive abilities.
  • It might be a good idea to equip the Bison if Pyros are giving you trouble, as its shots can't be airblasted. This can be good for dealing with airblast-happy Pyros who keep reflecting your rockets back at you. They'll often forget they can't deflect Bison shots and charge straight into them, frying themselves.
  • The Bison deals extremely high damage when paired with Critical hits or Mini-Crits from luck or a friendly buff such as the Kritzkrieg. The high damage and no fall-off coupled with the piercing shots can cut through enemy groups with good efficiency. The fast reload speed and decent firing rate will also make the most of buff durations, making it one of the best secondary weapons for Soldiers who like to coordinate with allies.
  • It is not recommended that you equip the Righteous Bison with the Cow Mangler 5000 unless you have a cooperative team as, upon reaching an enemy sentry, you will be completely powerless against it.
    • Equipping the Righteous Bison with the Rocket Jumper may also be ineffective for the same reason.
  • The projectile nature of this weapon along with your primary means you'll be without a hitscan weapon. You might be better off using the Shotgun in certain situations, such as if you're up against many Scouts, can't lead your shots well, or need more close-range firepower.
  • The Bison can be a good backup weapon for primaries with limited clips, such as the Black Box or Beggar's Bazooka. Its reload speed and unlimited ammo can help make up for their need to reload often and their tendency to run out of ammo quickly.
  • The Bison can be redundant if equipped with the Direct Hit, since it already has good power at longer ranges and deals high damage if you hit opponents up close. A Shotgun would be better at covering missed shots compared to the Bison, although this is all dependent on your playstyle; you may find this loadout useful if you prefer to keep your distance.
  • Hitting a disguised Spy will play a distinct impact sound, making it useful for spychecking.


Weapon Effect
Passive Effect
60% less damage from your own rockets.
  • The Gunboats will reduce the damage you take from rocket jumps by a further 60%, resulting in roughly 15 self-inflicted damage for each rocket jump.
  • The greatest advantage of the Gunboats is that it provides you with considerable mobility without the risk of health loss. This can allow you to chain rocket jumps together to quickly reach your destination, or to ambush enemies with more health. It can also be used to quickly escape losing battles.
    • You will completely lack a secondary weapon, so it is a better idea to use this if you rocket jump often, or have difficulty aiming the Shotgun.
  • Since your only ranged weapon will be the Rocket Launcher, one common strategy is to perform a rocket jump over the heads of an enemy group while raining rockets down, which keeps you relatively safe.
    • Your ability to rocket jump multiple times also lets you get behind enemy lines or quickly intercept pushing groups.
  • Firepower is reduced without the Shotgun, so make the most of the Rocket Launcher. Keep this in mind when encountering enemies that can easily dodge rockets, as well as when using rocket jumps to attack enemies from above.
    • Because of this fact, beware of Pyros. Competent ones can completely shut you down with their compression blast. If fighting against one, fire at surfaces around them to minimize their chances of reflecting your rockets.
  • You will still take full self-damage if your rockets hit an enemy. As such, beware of firing at close range.
  • The Gunboats can be combined with different weapons for varied results.
    • Combining the Black Box with the Gunboats may seem counter-intuitive due to the low clip and the lack of a usable secondary, but it can provide an edge in survivability and ambushing when playing as a roaming Soldier. You will also be able to heal up health lost from rocket jumping after a few landed rockets.
    • Using this along with the Direct Hit will help you re-position yourself and escape from a bad situation should you miss too many rockets. However, your small splash radius and lack of a secondary firearm will make you vulnerable to groups.
    • The Cow Mangler 5000 pairs well with the Gunboats. Its unlimited ammo allows you to gain very high mobility, comparable to that of a Scout. However, this will make you completely helpless against buildings; a single Mini-Sentry can cut your routes off.
    • The Liberty Launcher pairs very well with the Gunboats. Due to its already reduced self-damage, you will only take around 9 damage for each rocket jump, making you a very mobile damage-over-time class.
    • The Air Strike also benefits for the same reason. Depending on your playstyle, it is generally more beneficial to equip the B.A.S.E. Jumper, which will let you capitalize on your air time and lets you be very offensive in the air.
    • With the Beggar's Bazooka, you can survive multiple misfires and effectively rocket pogo in mid air, resulting in the ability to jump farther without the aid of walls and floors. If you manage to maneuver near an enemy, the two or three rockets loaded in the bazooka should be sufficient to kill most enemies. With practice, you can be rocket jumping all of the time while constantly firing barrages, without a moment for your opponents to hit you on the ground.
    • Equipping the Gunboats with the Rocket Jumper is useless, as the Rocket Jumper deals no damage to you or opponents anyway.


Weapon Kill Icon Effect
Damage Passive Effect
Killicon mantreads.png 3x Fall Damage 75% reduction in push force from damage.

200% increase in air control.

  • The Mantreads can inflict stomping damage through long falls when falling on enemies, which will also negate falling damage to you while worn. You also receive only a quarter of the usual knockback, and have 200% more air control when rocket jumping.
  • Compared to your other secondaries, the Mantreads are very situational. Its knockback reduction can be very useful for preventing attacks from knocking you out of trajectory during rocket jumps, pushing you off key areas, and combating Sentry Guns, but the stomps themselves are rather difficult to plan and are only viable on open maps like Badwater Basin, since only extremely high falls will deal more damage than a Shotgun blast. Your other secondaries tend to give you more utility, apart from the above mentioned.
  • As with most other Soldier secondary weapons, keep your primary weapon loaded as often as possible. Your lack of a secondary weapon means you will be fully dependent on your Rocket Launcher and melee weapon for damage.
  • The Mantreads can be used to hold high locations, where fall damage would do considerable harm. Examples include the final point of Gravel Pit, as getting knocked off at low health will often get you killed.
    • If you fall, you can save yourself by landing on an enemy, since it will negate all fall damage, although this requires some luck and planning.
  • Note that the knockback reduction also applies to airblasts, preventing a Pyro from pushing you out of position.
  • The reduction in push force acts as like a Quick-Fix ÜberCharge, though not completely eliminating knockback. This means you can tackle a Sentry Gun by yourself even if you are within targeting range. You can even rocket jump around it while it fires at you, which would usually send you off-course without the Mantreads.
    • Paired with a normal ÜberCharge, assaults on Sentry Guns are made much easier, as the only thing that can counter your knockback/airblast reduction is a Pyro airblasting your Medic away.
  • Stomp damage is calculated at 3x your fall damage. This means that unless you fall from an incredible height (e.g. from the tower of Hightower to the first point of the Cart), you won't do much damage to your opponent. If you want to benefit from your stomps, constantly rocket jump to high locations and lead your rocket jump against moving opponents.
    • Using the Rocket Jumper with this weapon can increase your stomp's usefulness, but this is situational to large and open maps.
  • The extra air control can be great for dodging attacks in the air and increasing the chance of landing on someone's head.
    • It can also be used to make sharper turns during your rocket jump.
  • The Mantreads work really well when paired with the Market Gardener. The extra air control makes landing close to enemies and catching up to someone trying to evade you much easier.

Buff Banner + reskins

Weapon Effect
Buff Damage Dealt to Activate Effect Time Effect Range
Buff Banner
Buff Banner
Allows you and nearby teammates to deal mini-crits. 600 10 seconds 450 Hammer units
  • The Buff Banner can build up your Rage meter by dealing damage to enemies, which takes 600 damage to fill. Upon activating it, the Soldier and nearby teammates will gain a mini-crit boost for ten seconds, so long as they are in proximity to the Soldier with the buff active.
  • The Buff Banner sacrifices your personal self-defense weapon, the Shotgun, for a team-oriented buff. It is best used when teammates are about to make a push, or to counter enemy pushes. This can give them enough firepower to dispatch their targets more easily, allowing them to quickly accomplish objectives or prevent the enemy team from accomplishing theirs. However, you won't have a backup weapon for emergencies, so keep to the team-based offensive and stay near your teammates.
  • The area of effect for the Buff Banner is large and passes through walls and floors. Use the Buff Banner from a safe position that helps teammates to push objectives. While this will reduce a player's ability to cause damage to the enemy, it also allows teammates to make the most of the buff.
  • The teamwork-oriented nature of this weapon is seen most when it's activated, as it becomes more effective the more teammates you have in its range. If you prefer to work alone, you may want to take a non-banner secondary.
    • Though it's better to use the Buff Banner when there are many teammates around, the Rage meter is not carried over between deaths. As with ÜberCharges, it's best to use it instead of lose it, especially when alone.
  • When you activate the Buff Banner's buff, you instantly become a priority target for the enemy team due to your glow and flag. Stand in the middle of teammates, preferably behind a tall class such as the Heavy.
    • Make sure to be out of trouble as you sound your bugle, as you won't be able to attack for several seconds while blowing your horn.
  • Unlike Crits, mini-crits are still subject to damage ramp-up. Always take into account how far away enemies are, as a buff can help teammates to kill enemies more effectively at close range than at a distance.
    • However, since mini-crits are not affected by damage falloff, they can improve weapons that normally do only modest damage at range, such as the Minigun or Shortstop.
  • As a team-based weapon, the Buff Banner can be employed far more effectively if working alongside another teammate.
    • If the Buff Banner is used next to an Engineer, that Engineer's Sentry Gun will deal mini-crit damage no matter where it is on the map.
    • Snipers with the Bushwacka equipped will deal full Critical hits instead of mini-crits.
    • When a friendly Medic ÜberCharges a teammate, contribute to the rampage by using the Buff Banner. This allows the Medic's heal target to deal increased damage while invulnerable. However, be sure not to use it during a Kritzkrieg charge, as the effects do not stack.
  • Since the Buff Banner charges based on damage done, aim for opponents that are more vulnerable to damage (eg. a Scout using Crit-a-Cola). Alternatively, use a stronger weapon such as the Direct Hit.
    • Any sort of friendly damage buff (such as a Kritzkrieg charge or another Soldier's Buff Banner) will help you charge your Buff Banner faster, assuming you can hit people. It is entirely possible for a Kritzkrieg ÜberCharge to fill up your Buff Banner, letting you use a mini-crit buff immediately once the Kritzkrieg ends.
  • The Buff Banner is best used with Rocket Launchers with either high damage or a large splash radius.
    • The standard Rocket Launcher's blast radius will make it easier to build Rage. Coupled with its four shots, it also makes the mini-crit boost more effective.
    • The Cow Mangler 5000 has the same benefits, although you will still be vulnerable to Sentry Guns as ever.
    • The Direct Hit will do exceptional damage during your buff, which can let you take out one weak enemy with each shot.
    • The Black Box will be able to heal 20 health more often with the damage boost. Do note that your reduced clip size will make it more difficult to gain Rage, however.
    • The Liberty Launcher's five shots and increased projectile speed will negate its lower damage and make your boosted shots harder to dodge. At close range, the mini-crits' damage ramp-up will essentially make it a five-shot Rocket Launcher for 10 seconds.
    • The Beggar's Bazooka will have an even stronger barrage, making you more dangerous at close range.
    • If you can get kills, the Air Strike's high clip on kill will make the most out of the buff's damage. However, your lower damage and blast radius will make it difficult to actually get there.

Battalion's Backup

Weapon Effect
Buff Passive effect Damage Dealt to Activate Effect Time Effect Range
Battalion's Backup
Battalion's Backup
Protects you and nearby teammates from Crits and blocks 50% of Sentry Gun damage and 35% of other damage. The player gains 20 additional health. 600 10 seconds 450 Hammer units
  • The Battalion's Backup is similar to the Buff Banner. The Rage meter builds up by dealing damage to enemies, requiring 600 damage dealt for a full charge. Once the buff is activated, all teammates within the vicinity of the Soldier will have 50% damage resistance from Sentry Guns and 35% damage resistance from all other damage. Teammates under the effect of the Battalion's Backup will also be immune to Critical hits and mini-crits. Additionally, the Battalion's Backup also gives the player an additional 20 health.
  • The Battalion's Backup acts as the defensive counterpart of the Buff Banner. It is more effective when multiple teammates are around to make use of it, and best used when the team needs to make a push to accomplish an objective. However, since it boosts defense, it is generally more useful to use as a counter against an enemy push to prevent them from accomplishing an objective.
  • As with the Buff Banner, not having a Shotgun can greatly increase your vulnerability against enemies that can avoid being damaged by rockets. Always make sure to stick with teammates and have them assist against such enemies.
    • Similarly, it may not be a wise choice to take this if you largely fight alone or with only a few teammates, as the Battalion's Backup becomes more useful the more teammates you can buff at once with its effect.
  • The Battalion's Backup can act as a strong counter to the Buff Banner or Kritzkrieg, as it can completely nullify the Buff Banner/Kritzkrieg's effects and protect teammates from an aggressive enemy push. However, this depends on being able to react quickly to the enemy push, as activating the banner takes time during which the enemy can still inflict mini-crits. If you hear an enemy blowing their own horn or an enemy Medic activating a Kritzkrieg, act immediately to minimize your team's vulnerability.
    • Since it cuts Sentry Gun damage by half, this also gives you double the time to deal with them. This is especially effective if the enemy team has multiple Sentry Guns set up at one spot.
  • The Battalion's Backup grants you 20 extra health, which at times can be the difference between life and death. It can also mean an extra rocket jump, despite your lack of Gunboats. Most importantly, it lets you survive longer while you work for your Rage, especially when you have a Medic.
    • This extra health will also improve your tanking ability once you have your buff activated; 20 extra health becomes very beneficial when you have a 35% damage resistance.
    • The damage reduction also works against your own rockets. You can do less damaging rocket jumps while the buff is active, although this has little benefit unless you are re-positioning.
  • Due to the extra 20 health, Health Packs grant more health and Overheals increase your health to 330.
  • As always, work with your team to make the most out of your buff.
    • If Sentry Guns are a problem, communicate with a friendly Demoman or Soldier to do combined damage while you boost them with a 50% Sentry Gun resistance.
    • Kritzkrieg pairs can benefit from the damage reduction the Battalion's Backup provides if it's used to push in behind their ÜberCharge since the Kritzkrieg does not grant invulnerability to the Medic or patient. The Battalion's Backup can give them the extra survivability needed to complete their task.
    • Avoid combining the Battalion's Backup with a standard Medi Gun's ÜberCharge; full invulnerability makes damage resistance redundant.
    • Pair the Battalion´s Backup with a friendly Soldier´s Buff Banner or Concheror for a very devastating push.
  • The Battalion's Backup is excellent for pushing into areas covered by Snipers. Headshots count as Critical hits and will be nullified by the Backup's buff.
    • However, keep in mind that backstabs will still instantly kill anyone under the Battalion's Backup's effect.
    • As Snipers frequently occupy areas with long sight lines, you may find it's often more effective to deploy this in wider-open spaces instead of indoors or underground.


Weapon Effect
Buff Passive effect Damage Dealt Effect Time Effect Range
You and nearby teammates are healed for 35% of the damage dealt and given a speed boost. Heals the player for up to 4 points every second. 480 10 seconds 450 Hammer units
  • The Concheror is similar to the Buff Banner and the Battalion's Backup. The Rage meter builds up by dealing damage to enemies, however, requiring only 480 damage dealt instead of 600 damage for a full charge. When activated, it provides a speed boost and causes 35% of all damage dealt to enemies to return as healing to whoever inflicted the damage. Passively, the player restores up to 4 health every second when the weapon is equipped, which drops if they have been damaged recently. Health regen can drop down to 1 per second, effectively negating any afterburn or bleed resistance.
  • The Concheror is a Banner based around healing and speed. Whereas the Battalion's Backup and Buff Banner are both useful for breaching enemy choke-points, the added survivability provided by the Concheror's buff can keep multiple teammates in the fight and on the front lines. The speed boost will additionally keep less of the slow classes from falling behind, making your pushes more effective for the entire team. This makes it especially valuable for the assigned attacking team on certain gamemodes, such as the BLU team on Payload.
    • The Concheror's other benefits also make it more valuable than simply for pushes: it charges much faster than your other banners (480 damage compared to 600), meaning you can buff your teammates more often. It also replenishes your health over time so long as you are not damaged recently, which improves your survivability, although not against burst damage.
  • Just like the other banner weapons, the Concheror's power scales with how much support from nearby teammates you have. However, it's somewhat easier to get away with using this on your own, since the health-on-hit and speed boost can help you survive when alone when compared to mini-crits or reduced damage.
    • It's still recommended to take a non-banner secondary if you're not often fighting alongside your teammates, as you will be helpless once you run out of rockets or have to fight against a Pyro.
  • The Concheror's health replenishment abilities, unlike the Black Box, can not be used for rooting out enemy Spies, since shooting a disguised Spy will not heal you.
  • Keep in mind that the health regeneration slowly builds up to +4 per second, and is reset to +1 any time you take damage. If you're severely wounded and need to rely on the health regeneration, fall back and avoid enemy spam
  • If there is a Medic on your team, your buff can take pressure off of him. Other teammates can simply heal themselves up by shooting opponents, lessening the Medic's load, which lets him focus only on teammates who require the most attention.
  • The Concheror's speed boost stacks with that of the Escape Plan. Activating the buff while you are at low health and then pulling out your Escape Plan can allow you to run as fast as a Scout at full boost.
  • The speed boost can make it hard for enemies that rely on precise aim, like Snipers or grenade-using Demomen, to predict you and your teammates’ movement.
  • The Black Box's healing stacks very well with the Concheror's boost, letting you heal large amounts of health with each rocket.
  • Equipping the Concheror with a weapon that deals less self-damage, such as the Liberty Launcher or Air Strike, allows you to heal up health lost through rocket jumping (albeit slowly), while still being able to contribute to your team with your buffs.
  • Using the Concheror with other Soldiers with different banners (such as the Buff Banner and/or the Battalion's Backup) can be extremely beneficial to the rest of your team.
    • Having the Battalion's Backup and Concheror effects can help gain more health than damage taken, making the enemy team overwhelmed.
    • The Buff Banner and Concheror while both active can be great for a push, as the mini-crits from the Buff Banner help increase damage gaining more health in return from the Concheror.
    • Having all three banners (Battalion's Backup, Buff Banner and Concheror) all active at once can be devastating to the whole entire team. Gaining more health from damage, faster moving speed, reducing all incoming damage by 35% and full immunity to any Crits and mini-crits.

B.A.S.E. Jumper

Weapon Effect
Activation Active effect
B.A.S.E. Jumper
B.A.S.E. Jumper
Press "Jump" in mid-air to deploy chute Decrease descend speed and acceleration

50% decrease in air control.

  • The B.A.S.E. Jumper gives the ability to activate a parachute by pressing the jump key (default key: Spacebar). The parachute will slow and cap his vertical descent and allowing the Soldier to better control his ability to strafe. Pressing the jump key again will deactivate the parachute, allowing the Soldier to fall normally. When you have the parachute deployed, you have 50% less air control.
  • The effectiveness of the B.A.S.E. Jumper is largely based on how open a map is. Maps with high ceilings or open spaces (such as Mountain Lab) will benefit the most from this weapon, while smaller, cramped maps (such as 2Fort) will limit your air time; on maps that take place mostly indoors (such as Junction), this weapon becomes even less effective.
  • The parachute's decreased descend speed allows the Soldier to cross wider chasms (such as from one balcony of Doublecross to the other), maximize the efficiency of his rocket jumps, and save himself from fall damage.
    • However, like the Soldier's banner counterparts, this leaves him without a secondary weapon. Unless you capitalize on your rocket jumps, it might be more effective to bring a Shotgun.
  • Be careful around enemy Pyros and Soldiers. The Reserve Shooter gains mini-crits while attacking an airborne target, and if you rocket jumped before deploying your B.A.S.E. Jumper, the game will consider you to be a valid target for a Direct Hit to receive mini-crits on impact. The distinctive sounds these weapons make when firing should help you identify and avoid enemies using them.
    • Also be wary of Snipers and Sentry Guns; the former will find you an easy target due to your slowed movement in the air, while the latter's knockback can send you way off course as you drift.
      • If a Sniper happens to target you, maneuver to a safe place and drop your parachute as soon as possible.
  • If the player's jump was an explosive jump, it will be treated as such for the player's entire duration in the air until landing. Thus, weapons that receive boost from rocket jumps, such as Air Strike and Market Gardener, benefit from it greatly.
    • Conversely, you will be extremely vulnerable to weapons that get a bonus on (explosive-based) airshots, such as the Direct Hit and Reserve Shooter.
  • The B.A.S.E. Jumper is often compared to the Gunboats; choose which is more efficient in a given situation. The B.A.S.E. Jumper is effective at clearing long horizontal distances and performing special strafing maneuvers, and can negate fall damage. Meanwhile, the Gunboats are useful if you are going to perform multiple rocket jumps in a short span of time, and allow you to retreat through the air when at low health.
  • If the B.A.S.E. Jumper is used to create a longer aerial assault duration, consider these weapon combinations.
    • The Black Box will help offset the initial self-damage from a rocket jump, since you can heal up with several landed rockets.
    • The Air Strike or Liberty Launcher are both useful with the B.A.S.E. Jumper since their reduced self-damage will let you rocket jump more often.
    • The Rocket Jumper will allow you to fully benefit from the Market Gardener. With your harmless rocket jumps and good mobility, you can simply deploy your parachute while near an opponent to increase your chances of getting a Critical hit.
    • Use the B.A.S.E. Jumper with the Beggar's Bazooka so you can rocket jump, load up three rockets in the air (possibly more than once!) then fire barrages on unsuspecting enemies.

Melee Weapons

Shovel + reskins

Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage
Point Blank Critical
Killicon shovel.png 0.8 seconds 65 195
Frying Pan
Frying Pan
Killicon frying pan.png
Killicon saxxy.png
Conscientious Objector
Conscientious Objector
Killicon conscientious objector.png
Freedom Staff
Freedom Staff
Killicon freedom staff.png
Bat Outta Hell
Bat Outta Hell
Killicon bat outta hell.png
Memory Maker
Memory Maker
Killicon memory maker.png
Ham Shank
Ham Shank
Killicon ham shank.png
Golden Frying Pan
Golden Frying Pan
Killicon golden frying pan.png
Necro Smasher
Necro Smasher
Killicon necro smasher.png
Crossing Guard
Crossing Guard
Killicon crossing guard.png
Prinny Machete
Prinny Machete
Killicon prinny machete.png
The Shovel is a reasonable choice when conserving ammo.
  • The Shovel is a viable option for close-range enemies without the risk of inflicting self-damage by using the Rocket Launcher, or if reloading the Shotgun will take too long. Unlike your other melee weapons, the Shovel has no downsides, so it can be useful to equip if you rarely use your melee weapon.
    • Because you are slower than every other class (except for the Heavy or a Demoman using the Scotsman's Skullcutter), running after an enemy is not a good choice with the Shovel. Use it for self-defense instead, whenever an opponent gets too close.
  • A tricky strategy is to use the splash damage from your primary weapon to bounce an enemy directly into your Shovel.
  • If you're out of ammo in your Shotgun clip (or don't have a Shotgun equipped at all), you can use the Shovel to finish off enemies in corners.
    • You can do this forcefully by using the strong knockback of your rockets to throw them into a corner.


Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage
Point Blank Critical
Killicon equalizer.png 0.8 seconds 33-107




  • The Equalizer is a high-risk, last-resort weapon that allows you to fight to the death when in the thick of battle. Since enemies will likely focus fire on Soldiers due to the high amount of threat they present on the battlefield, it can be used as a last stand to take out as many enemies as possible if several of them target you at close range.
  • Rocket jumping and ambushing enemies is an excellent way to utilize the Equalizer. By using rocket jumps to hide in places where the enemy does not suspect, it's possible to ambush enemy players and score at least one or two kills.
  • However, your slow movement speed will make it difficult to catch up to enemies, so do not run into a fight alone with the Equalizer out.
  • It's important to know how much damage the Equalizer can do at certain health brackets. Above 121 HP, the Equalizer does less damage than the Shovel, but with low enough health, it's capable of killing almost any class with just one or two hits.
    • Critical hits at low health are devastating; it is possible to kill a full-health Soldier in one blow, and a non-overhealed Heavy in two. This makes the Equalizer even more effective if random crits are enabled.
  • If you have the Equalizer drawn, you will be healed 90% less by friendly Medics. Sheath your weapon if you want Medics to heal you at a normal rate. Dispensers and health packs are not affected by this penalty.
    • You can use the 90% reduced healing to increase a friendly Medic's ÜberCharge rate. This is best used in conjunction with self-damage from your primary weapon.
  • If you intend to keep your health high, take another weapon. As stated above, the Equalizer does less damage at higher health, and it will interfere with receiving health from Medics. It's probably not the best option if you've got many sources of healing available and you want to use them.
  • Weapons that reduce self-damage, such as the Gunboats, Liberty Launcher, or Air Strike, allow you to get your health to as low as possible without dying. It may be beneficial to equip them together with the Equalizer.

Escape Plan

Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage
Point Blank Critical
Escape Plan
Escape Plan
Killicon escape plan.png 0.8 seconds 65 195
  • The Escape Plan is speed boost version of the Equalizer; as health decreases, speed increases, but while it is in use and for one second after switching weapons, the user is marked for death and will take mini-crit damage. The boost is only active when the weapon is held, and the mark for death appears even if the player quick-switches and puts the weapon away without using it. Additionally, the player will gain 90% less healing from Medics while the Escape Plan is out.
  • The Escape Plan is a tool of escape: the speed increase at very low health gives you a speed close to the Scout. It allows you to reach help and health sources faster in exchange for increased vulnerability when you're already vulnerable to death (due to low health).
  • The speed boost that the Escape Plan grants you when you're injured can be used to reach or escape combat just as fast as rocket jumping. If a fight is not going well, simply take the Escape Plan out and retreat; if you are near corners or there are more allies around than enemies, it will be difficult for the enemy to take you down despite your vulnerability. Meanwhile, you can use the speed boost to get to the front lines quickly, or run towards an objective.
    • However, be careful about when you draw the Escape Plan. Players can easily gauge your health by looking at how fast your movement speed is, which can in turn cause them to focus fire on you and finish you off at range. The mark for death will also make it easier for them to do so.
  • Try to get out of the line of fire before pulling out the Escape Plan; using it when the enemy can still directly hit you will make you extremely vulnerable.
    • Learn not to have a habit of quick-switching with this weapon. Simply having the Escape Plan out for a brief moment will mark you for death, which can make you vulnerable when you don't want to.
  • Don't be fooled by this weapon's base damage; it deals standard Shovel damage, and a critical hit will still kill all classes but Heavies, Soldiers, and overhealed Pyros or Demomen.
    • However, since the Escape Plan marks you for death, it is generally ineffective as a melee weapon. You may be able to outmaneuver your opponent with your speed, but this may still cause your untimely death unless an opponent is determined to fight with their melee weapon.
  • Like the Equalizer, you can use the 90% lower healing from Medics to increase a friendly Medic's ÜberCharge rate. If you want to get healed at a normal rate, simply put the weapon away, or find a Dispenser or health pack.
  • If you lower your health with your rockets at the start of the round, Medics healing you will run at your speed, and you can help them get to the front lines faster.
  • Since the Escape Plan requires you to be at low health, try not to equip the Black Box or Concheror with it.
  • If you engage in melee combat often, have a non-weapon secondary such as the Buff Banner, or use the Rocket Jumper, it may be better to use another melee weapon; you could be left with only one viable weapon to defend yourself with.
  • Since both the Beggar's Bazooka and the Air Strike will often leave you at low health due to overloading or rocket jumps respectively, it can be wise to pair them with the Escape Plan.

Pain Train

Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage
Point Blank Critical
Pain Train
Pain Train
Killicon pain train.png 0.8 seconds 65 195
  • The Pain Train doubles the rate at which the player captures control points while equipped, but also grants 10% increased vulnerability to bullet-based weapons (including all hitscan weapons). These effects are passive, and do not require the Pain Train to be active.
  • The Pain Train's sole purpose is to help teammates accomplish capture-based objectives more quickly. While Scouts can often lack the firepower required to contest a point, a Soldier can reliably fight off any defenders that try to stop a capture.
  • The Pain Train is an effective tool for back-capping, as it grants the same capturing abilities as a Scout. This can work very well combined with the Rocket Jumper or Gunboats.
  • While the Pain Train helps you capture objectives, it will give you more problems against Scouts, Heavies, Sentry Guns, and Snipers, classes that tend to be defending objectives. The +10% hitscan damage vulnerability will make their job of killing you easier, as they primarily rely on bullet weaponry.
  • The healing from the Black Box can somewhat alleviate the 10% bullet vulnerability from the Pain Train.
  • The Battalion's Backup may help you survive longer with its damage reduction and increased health by negating the damage penalty; however, try not to die while gaining rage.
    • The Concheror can also help due to its passive healing.


Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage Healing
Point Blank Critical On Kill
Killicon half-zatoichi.png 0.8 seconds 65 195/Instant 200
  • The Half-Zatoichi is similar to the Demoman's swords, it has increased melee range but a slower draw and holster speed. It restores half of the player's maximum health upon killing an enemy, which can grant overheal. However, the Half-Zatoichi cannot deal random crits, and is Honorbound: if the player puts the weapon away before it gains a kill, it will deal 50 self-damage, and if the player has less than 50 health, they will be unable to sheath it. The Half-Zatoichi can be sheathed without harm if a kill has been made, and will also instantly kill any enemy brandishing another Half-Zatoichi in a single swing.
  • The Half-Zatoichi can be useful if you attempt melee combat often. Its range advantage will give you an edge against enemies who fight back, while its health on kill can let you rampage from one enemy to the next should they be injured enough. However, since it has a long draw/holster time and sheathing it without a kill damages you, you will have less margin for error should you decide to use the weapon.
    • Due to the Soldier's slow movement rate, it's often better to ambush enemies rather than try to attack head-on. Most players can easily outpace an approaching Soldier.
  • As the weapon deals 50 self-damage if you don't get a kill and sheath it, it's wise to only use the Half-Zatoichi either as a last resort or if a kill can be guaranteed. Failing to make a kill will leave players highly vulnerable to attacks, as losing 50 health can be detrimental.
    • As such, it is often wise to switch between primary and secondary weapons upon spawning, so that if the quick-switch key is pressed, the Half-Zatoichi will not be accidentally equipped.
    • A very useful trick when using this weapon is knowing when it actually equips. If you switch to the Half-Zatoichi and use the quick-switch key to change to another weapon before the switching animation finishes, it will not cause you to be Honorbound. This is useful if you have a second thought of when to draw it or if you have already started switching to it.
    • Consider turning off "fast weapon switch" if you are concerned about accidentally switching to it.
  • If you get caught out in the open with the Half-Zatoichi without a kill, you can ask a teammate to spare the next opponent they weaken in order for you to get a kill. However, it's usually more viable to find a health source to negate the Honorbound damage, then switch off the Half-Zatoichi.
  • Landing a hit with this weapon against an enemy holding a Half-Zatoichi will instantly kill them, no matter how much health they have. It can be a good idea to bring the Half-Zatoichi to deal with an enemy who is causing trouble with the same weapon. Since you can also be killed in one hit, the key to dueling other Soldiers or Demomen who are brandishing the Half-Zatoichi is landing the first hit.
    • Banners can be charged instantly by killing a single enemy who is also brandishing this weapon.
  • This weapon is superb for Medieval Mode, due to weapons being restricted largely to melee weapons. However, be especially careful of other players also using the Half-Zatoichi.
  • It is not recommended to equip the Gunboats or Mantreads when using this weapon; since they passively occupy a loadout slot, the Soldier will automatically switch to this weapon if you run out of primary weapon ammo or if you manually switch weapons. It's recommended that you take a Shotgun.
  • This weapon's healing bonus means you can take more risks, such as jumping and taking fall damage or attempting to kill an enemy in a heavily populated area. Always only target one person at once, because they may kill you before you can get your health.
  • The Concheror pairs very well with this weapon. Its speed boost allows you to catch enemies much easier, and its healing means you can both get away with holstering the weapon (thanks to its constant health regeneration) and receive even more healing from attacking with it (from the buff).
    • Similarly, the Black Box can help you heal up your 50 lost health with a few rockets.

Disciplinary Action + reskins

Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage Effect
Point Blank Critical Speed Boost Duration
Disciplinary Action
Disciplinary Action
Killicon disciplinary action.png 0.8 seconds 49 147 40% 4 seconds
  • The Disciplinary Action has a 70% increased melee range, the longest range of any melee weapon in the game, and upon hitting a teammate, it gives both the player and the teammate a speed boost for 3 and 2 seconds, respectively. More than one teammate can be boosted at once. However, the Disciplinary Action does 25% less damage compared to the Shovel.
  • The Disciplinary Action can be used both as a tool and a weapon. As a tool, you can get slower classes, along with yourself, to the front lines faster, or grant them speed during a firefight. As a weapon, its extremely long melee reach will give you an edge over any opponent who fights at melee range, although this is compensated by its lower damage.
  • The speed boost is extremely beneficial to you and your teammates.
    • Heavies will especially appreciate the speed boost, as they will be able to keep up with the rest of the team, and you will be fast enough to keep whipping him until he reaches the front lines. This also increases his speed while revved up, which lets him maneuver more easily while firing.
    • An Engineer hauling a building to the front lines will appreciate the speed boost very much. This can help them deploy Sentry Guns or Teleporters more quickly.
    • Snipers with a speed boost will be able to move slightly faster while scoped in, which can give them an edge in Sniper duels.
    • Hitting Scouts with the Disciplinary Action will give them a small speed boost, but will still grant you the full speed boost.
    • If multiple teammates are in need of healing, but a Medic isn't nearby, use the Disciplinary Action to get the Medic to teammates in need before they die.
    • Mid-battle whips can be useful, too; there are few things more terrifying than a speeding Pyro or a spun-up Heavy that can close in that much faster. Consider doing this to ÜberCharged allies to get more out of their limited charge.
  • If there are multiple allies in an area, they'll form a "net" that you can run along with each teammate acting as a node. You'll be able to move quickly around friendly-occupied territory in this way by whipping your way from player to player.
  • This can be a good weapon to have on hand if you're holding down a defended area not under immediate attack, especially if it's near a respawn. Whipping anyone you see will get freshly-spawned teammates to their destinations quicker.
    • Since the speed boost also affects your air speed, you can whip a teammate, then rocket jump to your destination to quickly gain ground.
  • If you're leaving spawn and cannot rocket jump to get to the front lines, pull the whip out and constantly swing it. Often, faster teammates coming up behind you may see this and get close enough to give you a boost.
  • The whip may often miss teammates even though you technically hit them (this might even be accompanied by a successful "whipping" noise). You may have to ask your teammates to stand still for a second in order to grant them their speed.
  • This is a useful weapon to have with a pocket Medic, as you won't be engaging in melee combat often with a Medic, and if your Medic gets hurt, you can "whip him to safety" with the speed boost to escape the front lines.
  • Don't let the reduced damage fool you — the Disciplinary Action can be very useful in melee fights. Since it has the longest reach of any melee weapon, even the Demoman's swords, take advantage of this and keep moving to land hits. It'll quickly make up for the damage penalty.
    • The Disciplinary Action also has the curious property of being able to hit enemies to the side or behind you. This can be exploited to cover your flanks and back, but don't expect to save yourself from getting backstabbed this way; you aren't going to be able to kill a Spy in one swing.
    • Critical hits from this weapon deal 146 damage, enough to take out any fragile class in one swing. The extended melee range and high base crit rate of melee weapons means this happens often, which makes the Disciplinary Action all the more terrifying if random crits are enabled.
  • Don't expect the Disciplinary Action to help with spychecking. Disguised Spies will get damaged by your whip, but they will also be sped up like a teammate, making it difficult to know if they were a Spy unless they get killed or feign death on the first hit. The speed boost can potentially help them gain ground and get a backstab, so keep alert on who you whip.
  • While the Escape Plan is ideal for getting you out of combat, the Disciplinary Action is best for getting you and your allies into combat. When deciding which weapon to use, think about which of these traits you consider to be more important: the Escape Plan's boost is more reliable for keeping yourself alive since you immediately gain speed simply by using it, while the Disciplinary Action is more versatile since you can help your team gain ground, although you won't gain anything if you have no teammates to whip.

Market Gardener

Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage
Point Blank Critical
Market Gardener
Market Gardener
Killicon market gardener.png 0.96 seconds 65 195
  • The Market Gardener inflicts critical hits for the entire duration when the player is rocket jumping or sent into the air by an explosion. However, the Market Gardener swings 20% slower, and does not roll for random critical hits.
  • The Market Gardener is a melee weapon that requires heavy usage of rocket jumping; it is difficult to use consistently, but very rewarding once mastered. Its effectiveness scales on the player's rocket jumping skill, strafing ability, and knowledge of when to swing the weapon; a competent player will only be limited by the size of a map, or outside sources such as Sentry Guns or enemy movement.
    • If you tend to stay grounded, picking a different melee weapon would be more effective, since the 20% slower swing speed will only give you a disadvantage. Similarly, if a map forces you to stay grounded often due to a low ceiling (such as Junction), you will be better off using another melee weapon.
  • Several things need to be noted while attempting to get a Market Gardener critical hit.
    • The most obvious one is the requirement to rocket jump. Any sort of rocket jump will do, even a non-crouched rocket to the floor.
    • Strafing is essential for moving towards your target. Once in the air, let go of all directional keys except left (A) or right (D) (depending on the direction you want to go). Move your mouse slowly towards said direction, and you will fly in a curve, allowing you to control your trajectory and hence where you land.
    • When you have a target and are falling towards him, do not aim to land on his head. Doing so will simply cause you to be "grounded" since you land on a surface (his head), and will prevent you from dealing critical damage (or any damage at all if you're not crouching).
    • Aim to land beside your opponent, and swing just before you land on the ground. The moment where you are level with your opponent's head is right when you should swing, as you are still considered to be in the air.
    • Take note of the Market Gardener's swing. The actual attack only occurs a short moment after you press primary fire, so you may have to fire early to hit at the correct time.
    • Depending on your rocket jump, you can aim for different types of Market Gardener swings. An upwards rocket jump will let you smack opponents at higher ground, while a diagonal rocket jump will cover more sideways distance and let you reach distant targets. An uncrouched Market Garden, or a Matador, can be used when an opponent approaches around a corner; if they pass by, swing as you land to get a critical hit.
  • Advanced Rocket Jumps can further enhance your Market Gardening capabilities. A pogo, for example can cover great distances quickly, allowing you to find a target much faster.
  • Any sort of explosive knockback, even from enemies, will let you deal critical hits with the Market Gardener. A sneaky trick is to surf off an enemy Soldier or Demoman's own explosives, then whack them with the Market Gardener.
    • If you meet any enemies in mid-rocket jump (eg. another Soldier rocket-jumping), you can also deal critical hits to keep the airspace free.
  • Beware of Sentry Guns, as their knockback can send you off-course as you try to land.
  • The Market Gardener pairs well with the Reserve Shooter's slight decrease in weapon-switching delay, making for easier mid-air attacks.
    • It can also be paired with the Gunboats to rocket-jump more often, and thus open up more opportunities to inflict critical hits.
    • The B.A.S.E. Jumper will increase your air time, allowing you to swing even more times with a larger margin for error. By deploying your parachute right before you land, you can often have a full second to swing at your opponent.
    • Mantreads will reduce knockback as you rocket jump, preventing enemies from knocking you off-course. You can also stomp onto opponents to negate fall damage, although this will prevent you from dealing a critical hit.
    • The Rocket Jumper can be used to fully benefit from the Market Gardener. Since your rocket jumps do no damage, you can keep attempting to get a Market Garden crit, and rocket jump away when you're in trouble.

Taunt attacks


Kill Icon Weapon Damage Duration Details
Grenade (taunt)
Killicon grenade (taunt).png Equalizer
Escape Plan
500 4 seconds The Soldier throws his weapon, cracks his knuckles, rips a Grenade from his bandolier and pulls the pin. The blast kills him and any enemy within 6 feet.
Killicon hhg.png
(Lumbricus Lid)
Just like the above description, but with a special "Hallelujah" sound clip that will play before exploding when the Lumbricus Lid is equipped.

Grenade is the third longest-range taunt in the game and deals damage in a splash radius. When this taunt is performed, the Soldier will in all probability die; any enemy players and buildings that are close by will also die or be destroyed, respectively.

  • Use the Grenade during humiliation. You'll likely die anyway and this can help you take out as many enemies as possible as you go. At the very least, it is better to die than be killed.
  • The explosion deals 500 damage to enemies, but only 320 damage to you. You can therefore survive if you have the Battalion's Backup equipped and are fully overhealed.
  • If you perform this taunt under a low ceiling, you will survive, but players and buildings above will be killed.
  • Wearing the Lumbricus Lid while taunting will play the "Hallelujah" sound clip roughly 1.5 seconds before the explosion, which may be long enough to warn nearby enemies to keep a safe distance away.
  • If you are willing to risk it, you can get a Medic to give you an ÜberCharge while running into an enemy Sentry Nest. This will take out any Sentry Guns and Engineers if successful, although the knockback of a Sentry Gun is usually enough to push you away unless you approach from above.

Weapon combinations

Cooperative Class Strategies

Leaderboard class scout.png Scout

Scouts are the most fragile offensive class and their weapons are designed for one-on-one battles. This sometimes gives them trouble fighting against tougher classes or groups, so be sure to offer assistance. Your crowd-controlling ability can make his job of cleaning up much easier, while he has his own array of tools to make you more effective.

  • The Rocket Launcher's knockback can be used to pin enemies, making them easier targets for the Scout, or to push them away if the Scout is retreating. Its overall damage will also soften up groups, enhancing the Scout's picking ability.
    • Soldiers, presenting the most threat in combat out of all classes except the Heavy, can also serve as distractions against enemies, which can create opportunities for friendly Scouts to perform flanks and ambushes. The opposite is true, as the Scout's speed can distract opponents long enough for you to take them out with rockets.
  • Both Scouts and Soldiers have a great deal of mobility; Scouts with their speed and double jump, and Soldiers with their rocket jumps. As such, both classes are able to use this maneuverability to conduct synchronized ambushes against unsuspecting groups of enemies.
    • When equipped with the Pain Train, Soldiers can assist Scouts in capturing points, especially back-caps, while providing a significant amount of firepower to protect the Scout.
  • Several Scout weapons are perfect for team-oriented attacks.
    • A Scout using the Sandman can make enemies considerably easier to hit with rockets. A Sandman-wielding Scout and a Soldier can work in tandem to slow high-priority targets and eliminate them quickly.
    • Scouts using Mad Milk can help Soldiers quickly recover their health if used against an enemy group. The Rocket Launcher's splash damage can be used to replenish large amounts of health at a time. This effect can be amplified further for both teammates by using the Buff Banner or Concheror, or for the Soldier himself if he is using the Black Box.
    • A Scout using the Fan O'War can make a Soldier's target significantly easier to kill by hitting the enemy and then retreating, making follow-up attacks for the next 15 seconds mini-crits. This can let you kill almost any class in just two well-placed hits.
    • Scouts using Bonk! Atomic Punch can distract enemies or body-block bullets while the Soldier deals damage. This is also very useful for taking down Sentry Guns, as it can potentially save an Übercharge from being wasted (or better yet, act as a psuedo-Übercharge if a Medic is unavailable).
    • While difficult to perform consistently, a Scout can use the Force-A-Nature's knockback to send an opponent into the air, where the Soldier can mini-crit them with the Direct Hit.
  • When using a backpack buff item, remember that Scouts cannot benefit from its effects without restricting their movements, which makes them easier targets for the enemy. If paired up with a Scout, try to fight as close to the enemy as possible.
    • In particular, a Scout can use the Boston Basher to inflict bleeding on an enemy, then retreat to inside of the radius of a Buff Banner to inflict mini-crit bleeding or that of a Concheror to slowly heal. The Battalion's Backup can also lessen damage if they hit themselves, although it's probably not a good idea to waste a charge on just that.
  • Soldiers equipped with the Disciplinary Action should hit the Scout to boost his speed up; this will make the Scout run even faster to objectives or capture points, while also giving the Soldier speed to get to the front lines.
  • If working closely together, make sure both of you have enough space to maneuver. A Scout can dodge more easily in wide areas, while a Soldier can rocket jump in and out if there is a high ceiling. Try not to get into an area which disadvantages either class.

Leaderboard class soldier.png Soldier

Two Soldiers mean double the projectiles and, oftentimes, double the crowd control. Depending on the loadout of each Soldier, it is possible to cover the weaknesses of either player through positioning or weapon choice.

  • When working alongside other Soldiers, try to use each other's rockets to juggle enemies and make follow-up attacks easier.
  • Using their mobility, two Soldiers can rocket jump to perform ambushes on enemy groups very successfully. This can significantly amplify the power of an ambush since two Soldiers can land large amounts of splash damage over enemy groups.
    • This can also be used to capture points or perform back caps if both Soldiers have the Pain Train. However, unlike doing so with a Scout, two Soldiers have considerably more firepower and can fend off enemies more easily.
  • An exposed Sentry Gun will fare poorly against the combined firepower of two Rocket Launchers. If there is a line of sight, it can be possible to spam out an Engineer nest at a distance.
  • One of the best ways to work together with another Soldier is to equip two different, yet complementary loadouts.
    • A Rocket Launcher and Direct Hit combo can be very effective. One Soldier can juggle opponents with rockets, while the Direct Hit Soldier can finish off juggled enemies with mini-crits. The Rocket Launcher can also help cover the Direct Hit's splash damage reduction, meaning one member can soften bunches of enemies, while the other picks off targets one by one.
    • This can also work with the Reserve Shooter, as that also deals mini-crits to airborne enemies. One Soldier can juggle opponents while the other uses the Shooter to finish them off. If both members carry a Reserve Shooter, they can alternate roles, potentially chaining multiple airshots in a row.
    • With coordination, one Soldier can weaken opponents with any Rocket Launcher, while another gains kill using the injured opponents to gain a larger clip size for the Air Strike. Two Air Strike Soldiers can be very effective too; even without an extended clip, a combination of eight rockets from both Soldiers will be able to kill almost any class.
    • Wielding double Buff Banners can keep both Soldiers firing mini-crits extensively. Once the first banner is activated, the other Soldier can quickly charge up his banner using the extra damage, and the process restarts with the second Soldier activating his own Rage. The other Banners can benefit from this tactic too, although no mini-crits means a slower charge rate; the Battalion's Backup can grant extended protection, while the Concheror's speed and health boost can keep both Soldiers alive and speeding along almost endlessly.
    • Different backpacks can also be combined for devastating effect. A simultaneous Buff Banner and Battalion's Backup push creates a nearly two-to-one firepower difference between teams with even numbers, a Concheror and Buff Banner together can allow players to recover large amounts of health, a Battalion's Backup and Concheror combo will severely bolster team defense by providing both protection and health recovery, and so on.
  • If one or both Soldiers are using the Half-Zatoichi, one Soldier can use rockets to juggle and pin enemies, while the other Soldier goes in for the kill. Similarly, one Soldier can serve as a distraction to set the ground for an ambush by the other, which can be crucial due to the Soldier's slow movement speed.
  • Be sure to watch out for Pyros; even with your combined firepower, a Pyro may still be able to reflect your rockets and deal high damage to both of you. Soldier pairs can overwhelm Pyros using the compression blast to deflect rockets by alternating fire to get rockets through the gaps between Compression Blasts. However, this is also dangerous, as improper timing can result in the Pyro deflecting both rockets at once into a single target.

Leaderboard class pyro.png Pyro

Due to the Soldier and Pyro's strengths at close range, enemies who face both of you at once will seldom make it out alive. However, Pyros lack the mobility to get in and out of combat like you do; with your support, a Pyro can enter the fray more easily and safely.

  • Soldiers can cover Pyros with the Rocket Launcher, which has considerably more range than the Flamethrower or Shotgun. This can help to negate the Pyro's range weaknesses, and helps them approach enemies where their Flamethrower can take opponents out easily.
    • While the Pyro doesn't do a lot of damage at range, their Flare Gun variants can soften up targets as you rampage in the front lines.
    • A Soldier with the Direct Hit/Righteous Bison and a Pyro with the Flare Gun can provide long-range support for teammates when fighting Snipers or other Soldiers.
  • Since the Pyro excels at catching unaware targets, help them out by creating an ambush. Soldiers can use high ground to get the attention of enemy groups while the Pyro attacks from behind. This can be especially effective if the Pyro is using the Backburner.
  • The Pyro's compression blast is extremely helpful for Soldiers. They can deflect explosives and juggle enemies to make landing rockets easier, as well as extinguish flames from outside sources or the Cow Mangler 5000. If the Soldier's rockets are being reflected by enemy Pyros, a friendly Pyro can also simply send them back.
    • Although time-consuming, a Soldier can use the Cow Mangler's charge shot to set himself on fire in order to grant a Pyro's Manmelter critical hits.
  • A buff from the Soldier's banners will benefit a Pyro immensely. The Buff Banner will cause all fire and afterburn damage to become mini-crits, the Battalion's Backup will grant more defense to a Pyro burning opponents, and the Concheror will replenish the Pyro's health very quickly due to the Flamethrower's high damage. This is especially noticeable if the Pyro has ignited multiple foes.
    • If using the Phlogistinator, a Pyro will be able to survive longer while rampaging with their crits, or simply earn "Mmmph" charge more quickly.
  • The Disciplinary Action will give a Pyro a boost in speed to either get to the front lines easier, or become a hard target to hit while fighting.
  • Pyros will not survive long if they are seen coming. Make sure to keep friendly Pyros supported through either covering fire or distractions, or they will find it difficult to serve their role.

Leaderboard class demoman.png Demoman

Demomen and Soldiers fill up the role of "artillery" in Team Fortress 2; both are durable, deal strong splash damage that can affect multiple opponents, and will generally fill the battlefield with projectiles. A combination of both classes is no laughing matter, and can often decimate groups or keep enemies from moving forwards.

  • A Demoman's greatest advantage is the ability to control his projectiles by manually detonating them (Stickybomb Launcher) or shooting them over obstacles and around corners (Grenade Launcher). While Soldiers can only fire in a straight line, rockets only need to hit a surface to detonate, and are more accurate compared to a Demoman's grenades.
    • Use this knowledge to work side-by-side. Cover each other by using direct-fire and arcing projectiles to attack targets as the situation demands. For example, a Demoman can spam grenades to force an enemy's escape in one direction, while the Soldier fires towards the escape route for a kill.
  • As a Demoman needs time to lock down areas with sticky traps, cover his close-range weakness by using your Shotgun and Rocket Launcher. This is especially useful if the Demoman is using the Scottish Resistance, as the longer bomb arm time becomes a bigger issue.
    • Demomen can set sticky traps to juggle and pin enemies for Soldiers to attack, or vice versa with the Soldier using the Rocket Launcher to knock enemies into sticky traps. Soldiers can also take advantage of friendly sticky traps by using the Direct Hit to inflict mini-crits on juggled targets.
  • As both classes can perform explosive jumps, Soldiers and Demomen can perform devastating ambushes by using their mobility to attack enemies from unexpected angles. However, keep in mind that Demomen take more self-damage from explosive jumps, so it's usually wise to allow them to grab health pickups first whenever possible (more so if you're using the Gunboats).
    • If both classes equip the Pain Train, a Soldier and Demoman can perform fast back-caps in the same manner as two Scouts. However, in this case, the Demoman brings more flexibility in the ability to lay sticky traps to preemptively deny approaches to enemies attempting to stop the capture.
  • If an enemy Demoman is attempting to scatter your Demoman's stickybombs with his own, use your Shotgun to destroy the incoming stickybombs. This will also work if the enemy is using the Scottish Resistance to destroy your teammate's stickybombs; its longer arm time will give you more time to react.
    • If you don't have the Shotgun equipped, a rocket blast can scatter enemy stickies, lessening the damage they do to the traps.
  • Soldiers and Demomen are among the prime counters against Sentry Guns. Working together, you can take on Engineer Nests well, especially with a Medic in tow.
  • A Demoman under the Buff Banner's effects is immensely powerful; one direct grenade or stickybomb will instantly kill weak targets like Scouts. Additionally, any explosives fired or deployed by a Demoman prior to the banner being activated will also inflict mini-crit damage if the Demoman is within the banner's active radius. The opposite is true, as walking out of its radius or the banner expires removes the mini-crit bonus.
    • The Battalion's Backup can give a Demoman better tanking abilities, and also allows him to resist Sentry Guns, one of his key targets to demolish. Meanwhile, the Concheror will easily restore a Demoman's health due to his weapon's high damage.
  • If a Demoman is using a "Demoknight" loadout consisting of a Sword and Shield, his close range abilities improve at the cost of his ranged power. Make sure to back him up if he charges into danger, as it will happen often.
    • Rockets can be used to bounce opponents to make them easier for a Demoman using a shield to kill. It can also knock opponents away from the Demoman if he misses a charge.
    • A Demoknight works best when his enemies don't see him coming. Create opportunities for ambushes by being a big, powerful distraction; Soldiers usually generate more immediate attention than a shield-wielding Demoman.
    • Be a team player and leave injured targets for your Demoknight buddy to finish off. This is even more important if he uses the Eyelander, as he starts off weak without any heads.
    • If an Engineer nest is in dire need of demolishing, it can be effective to ask him to equip a Stickybomb Launcher for the time being to take it down. Make sure to be polite!
  • Even with all your explosive power, Pyros will give you trouble with their compression blast. Like a double Soldier team, firing in intervals will give a Pyro little chance to reflect too many projectiles, although it will deal a lot of damage to the both of you if the Pyro is successful. If a Pyro is attempting to push away stickybomb traps or negating a Demoknight's charge using the airblast, it can be smart to run in and fire rockets in order to distract or kill the Pyro first.

Leaderboard class heavy.png Heavy

The Heavy and Soldier are among the strongest direct combat classes in the game. Although a Heavy may take some time to get to the front lines, a Soldier-Heavy pair can easily kill any enemies that stand in their path, using their hitscan and explosive weapons as the situation warrants to counter any attacks.

  • Heavies are often shock troopers that lead a push into enemy territory. His firepower is intimidating enough to kill multiple enemies or cause a retreat, and your can support a friendly Heavy with your equally high splash damage and higher mobility.
    • However, the Heavy is extremely slow and will take very long to get to his destination. Help by moving in first to attack enemies, giving the Heavy time to move or spin up his Minigun to deal with enemies as needed. If a combat situation is going poorly, you can simply rocket jump out and warn your partner of incoming danger, which is beneficial since a Heavy will find it difficult to back out of a fight.
    • By consuming a Buffalo Steak Sandvich or equipping the Gloves of Running Urgently, a Heavy can move much faster. This added mobility can be used to reach ambush locations almost as quickly as a Soldier. Using this, Soldiers and Heavies can perform ambushes on unsuspecting groups that do not expect either to be there.
  • Rocket jump onto higher terrain to cover Heavies from above. The higher terrain gives enemies fewer places to hide, and allows you to spot targets or ambushes for the Heavy.
  • Your banners will make a Heavy an even more powerful teammate. Mini-crits from the Buff Banner will shred any opponent at close range in seconds, and makes his Minigun damaging even at range. The defense buff from the Battalion's Backup will improve his tanking abilities even further and prevent Snipers from taking him down with headshots. Finally, the Concheror will help a Heavy maneuver better at the front lines, while replenishing his health as he rampages.
  • A Heavy using Natascha can slow enemies down, making them easier to hit with rockets.
    • Conversely, rockets can be used to juggle enemies, making them easier to hit for a Heavy using the Minigun or the Brass Beast.
    • Rockets can also be used to pin enemies against walls or corners, allowing a Heavy using the Killing Gloves of Boxing to score a kill more easily.
  • Whenever a Heavy is recovering health by eating a lunchbox item, be sure to watch for enemy pushes, and protect the Heavy as necessary. The Heavy may return the favor later by providing a Sandvich or Buffalo Steak Sandvich via dropping.
  • A Heavy with the Fists of Steel can act as a mobile shield for Soldiers. This can be especially helpful if dealing with Sentry Guns.
    • Even without the Fists of Steel, a Heavy can provide suppressive fire and tank damage from a Sentry Gun as you take them down.
  • Use the Disciplinary Action to increase the Heavy's movement speed, allowing him to get to destinations quicker.
    • This also gives the Heavy a speed boost while they have their gun revved. This is especially true with Heavies wielding the Brass Beast, as whipping them brings them back up to the base movement speed for the other miniguns.
  • Although both of you can tank damage, be very wary of Snipers and Spies. As the Soldier and Heavy are the slowest classes in the game, they are particularly vulnerable to backstabs, and Heavies are easy pickings for a Sniper, which can instantly negate your front line firepower.
    • The pair should always watch each other's backs for Spies, and never focus on only a single direction while fighting. Once exposed, your combined firepower will take down a Spy easily. Alternatively, simply stay near a Heavy using the Huo-Long Heater, although this limits your movement options.
    • Always be sure to use the Rocket Launcher or Righteous Bison to suppress enemy Sniper positions. This can allow Heavies to proceed forward more safely. If safe to do, you can also simply rocket jump and fight the Sniper head-on to remove the threat.

Leaderboard class engineer.png Engineer

Due to their lower health, firepower and mobility, Engineers won't be running straight into combat like you do. However, their ability to create Buildings make them imperative for any team; your job will usually be to protect Engineers and their buildings in order to maximize your team's defensive capabilities.

  • You can assist Engineers effectively by guarding their buildings while he is setting up. Buildings are most vulnerable while they are being built, so preventing or discouraging enemies from approaching can make setting them up easier.
  • Once an Engineer's sets up his buildings, it is usually a good idea to keep an eye on him until he upgrades them to higher levels. A Level 1 Sentry Gun is rather weak, and attentive targets can easily take them down. His other buildings, the Dispenser and Teleporter, take extremely long to construct and will cost him more time if they go down, which can also hinder your team.
  • Soldiers can serve as useful escorts for Engineers who are hauling their Buildings forward. As an Engineer carrying a building moves at about the same speed as a Heavy, Soldiers can keep up with little problem.
    • When an Engineer is hauling a Sentry Gun to the front lines, try to suppress any enemies attacking him, since hauling leaves the Engineer completely helpless. However, if the enemy has not noticed the Engineer's presence, it's usually wiser not to attract attention.
    • If you have the Disciplinary Action, hit the Engineer to bring his speed up. This will bring the buildings to where they are useful sooner.
  • You can also escort a friendly Engineer who has multiple critical hits in his Frontier Justice to the front lines when its time to move up. With your protection, its possible for him to eliminate several enemies safely before he begins building a base.
  • If an Engineer is under the effects of the Buff Banner, the Engineer's Sentry Gun will also deal mini-crits no matter where it is on the map. If providing support from the rear alongside an Engineer with the Wrangler, a Buff Banner can help to suppress enemies more effectively. The effect can be shared further with teammates if the Engineer has hauled the Sentry Gun to the front lines.
  • Engineers equipped with the Gunslinger will have more health and can build more offensive-based Combat Mini-Sentry Guns, letting them join you in the front lines as a supporting class.
    • Combat Mini-Sentry Guns can be a huge pest to opponents and serve as a distraction, giving you ample time to finish opponents off while they are busy dealing with the Mini-Sentry Gun. It will also weaken or deter enemies, especially ones who are weak at range or rely on avoiding damage, such as Pyros and Scouts.
    • If the Engineer has a Short Circuit equipped, he can evaporate projectiles while both of you are fighting.
    • An Engineer using the Gunslinger can benefit from the Buff Banner, as any supporting Combat Mini-Sentry Guns that have been deployed can inflict more damage against enemies that wander into its range. Your other banners will also help a Gunslinger Engineer more than if he had a Wrench, since he will be in the heat of battle more often.
  • A fully built Engineer base (especially one with a Level 3 Sentry Gun) will often be under attack by your enemies in order to push into your territory. Since you possess more firepower, protect the base whenever possible.
    • An Übercharged enemy will be one such opponent. Try to use your Rocket Launcher to juggle the enemy or his Medic; the Sentry Gun's knockback is usually enough to push enemies away once they are airborne. Conversely, if they do not currently have Übercharge, try ambushing approaching enemies from behind and using your rockets to knock them around corners into friendly Sentry Guns.
    • Spies will also attempt to infiltrate your base and sap buildings in order to disable or outright destroy them. As your primary weapons have a large splash radius, you can simply fire rockets towards a building whenever you suspect a teammate is a Spy.

Leaderboard class medic.png Medic

You are among the Medic's highest priority targets for healing, next to the Heavy and Demoman. Unsurprisingly, you will team up often with a Medic in order to wreck havoc on unprepared teams.

  • The Soldier is an excellent Medic buddy. Your Rocket Launcher is powerful enough to deal with enemies that threaten you and your Medic, and your large health pool grants you very high durability when combined with healing, which can also build up an Übercharge quicker. This means you can wander more confidently into enemy territory with a Medic in tow.
  • Your firepower means you will make the most out of various ÜberCharges.
    • A standard Übercharge will often be used to break through enemy territory, or crack open Engineer nests. Lead the way and blast opponents with your rockets as your team moves in from behind. If attempting to destroy a Sentry nest, make sure to take down the Engineer or Dispenser before his Sentry Gun, as this prevents him from repairing it.
    • You are devastating with a Kritzkrieg Übercharge. Critical rockets, including their splash, are immensely damaging and do not become weaker at a distance; a single rocket can instantly clear a contested objective, or stop an enemy push. If a Medic gives you a crit-boost, aim carefully and make each shot count.
    • The Quick-Fix can enhance a Medic's mobility since he will mirror your rocket jumps, allowing the both of you to leap in and out of battles. Meanwhile, its Übercharge builds much faster and grants high healing, allowing you to do what a standard Übercharge can with less time wasted building it. However, it carries more risk since you can still be killed during your Übercharge, especially with headshots and backstabs.
    • The Vaccinator will make one-on-one battles generally easier, provided your Medic uses the correct resistance. However, groups of enemies will be more difficult to fight, since they will tend to use multiple sources of damage compared to whatever the Vaccinator is resisting currently.
  • If you are a Medic's frequent patient, it may be smart to use certain weapons. In general, a primary with good clip size and splash damage (i.e Stock Rocket Launcher, Liberty Launcher) will fare better if he requires you to charge into enemy territory or has a Kritzkrieg charge for you, since they will be the most effective at clearing enemies.
    • Meanwhile, if you roam often or simply don't require as much healing, equip the Black Box or Concheror in order to ease a Medic's healing duty.
  • Since Übercharge builds faster when healing injured targets, you can harm yourself with rockets to assist in building a Medic's Übercharge. This is useful when there is little time to waste, but make sure its safe to do so.
  • Medics benefit most greatly from being under the effects of the Battalion's Backup, as they seldom attack enemies as much as you do. If the Medic is pushing forward with a Kritzkrieg ÜberCharge, using the Battalion's Backup can help the pair to survive considerably longer.
    • Similarly, a Medic pushing forward using a standard Übercharge can benefit from the effects of the Buff Banner.
  • While a Medic's healing will keep you alive, he is very vulnerable himself and can easily be taken out if the chance is given. Make sure your Medic stays close to you, and protect him from threats such as Scouts and Spies.
    • Snipers will usually try and take your Medic out at a distance. Constantly fire rockets in his direction to delay him, or rocket jump in and eliminate him completely.

Leaderboard class sniper.png Sniper

Snipers and Soldiers have conflicting playstyles; you work well at short to medium range, while a Sniper excels by staying back and attacking at a distance. While you may not be able to work hand in hand, you can make a Sniper's job much easier in various ways.

  • One of the best things you can do for Snipers is to escort them while they are moving between sniping positions. You can also keep attention off of them as they snipe, since an exposed Sniper is often a dead one.
    • Since your rocket jumps let you move out much quicker, use your firepower to clear areas before your Sniper buddy gets there. This keeps it safe for him and the rest of your team to move in.
    • In situations where you have to push into enemy territory, generate as much attention as possible using your immense firepower and health pool. This will keep enemies distracted from dealing with friendly Snipers, and they will be able to pick off injured targets.
  • A Sniper can follow you to the front lines if he equips the Huntsman. Its quick charge and decent damage can easily soften up enemies for you to eliminate. He will still be vulnerable after every shot, so protect him while he reloads.
    • Equipping the Direct Hit can also let you work alongside Snipers to provide long-range support firepower for teammates.
  • A Sniper can use Jarate to make a Soldier's targets easier to dispatch. This is effective with Rocket Launchers that have a high splash radius. If a Sniper is in the front lines using the Huntsman and Jarate, this opportunity will present itself more often.
    • Jarate can also extinguish you if you're on fire, which can be helpful when there are no friendly Pyros around.
    • A Sniper using the Sydney Sleeper can help in the same way, "tagging" enemies for the Soldier from a distance. This keeps the Sniper safe while you gain benefit.
  • It can be a good idea to whip friendly Snipers with the Disciplinary Action so they can get into prime position faster. It also increases their scoped speed, which can be useful for Sniper duels.
  • Banners can help a Sniper immensely. However, he has to be near you to benefit, so the effectiveness of your banners may vary depending on the Sniper's preferred range.
    • Using the Buff Banner will increase a Sniper's damage, allowing him to bodyshot opponents for lower penalty; however, if the Sniper is good at headshotting, this may be negligible. It also allows his Bushwacka to inflict critical hits on enemies for the entire duration of the buff, which can be especially devastating in ambushes.
    • The Battalion's Backup is extremely effective for Sniper duels, since it negates critical hits from enemy headshots.
    • The speed boost from the Concheror can get Snipers into position quicker, and also lets them move faster while scoped. It can also be a surprisingly potent healing tool; a fully charged headshot will grant the Sniper an instant health refill.
  • Enemies who tend to wander into friendly territory will often be a Sniper's biggest issues, such as Scouts and Spies. Depending on the Sniper's playstyle, you may encourage him to keep close to you near the front lines so you can protect him from threats, or simply fire rockets towards his direction if he prefers to hang back in order to cover your team.
    • If an enemy Sniper is constantly giving a friendly Sniper trouble, there is little you can do except jump in and eliminate the Sniper or fire rockets to distract him, if positioning allows it at all. It may be more worthwhile to let a Sniper duel play along if its difficult to kill an enemy Sniper, since this also keeps attention off your other teammates.

Leaderboard class spy.png Spy

You are an attention-grabbing class who can scatter enemy teams using your powerful rockets, while a Spy relies on attracting minimal attention to himself, while supporting your team by eliminating single key targets. As with the Sniper, you won't be fighting often together, but your combined efforts can accomplish several notable feats.

  • Due to your different playstyles, Soldiers and Spies will generally provide one thing for each other: a distraction. A Soldier who keeps enemy attention on him will grant Spies a larger margin of error behind enemy lines, while a Spy can keep enemies searching for him with his various watches, making it easier for you to move into enemy bases.
    • Most of the time, a Spy will place Sappers on enemy Sentry Guns prior to attacks or pushes, making them far easier for you and your team dispatch. You can assist by firing rockets at an Engineer nest, which can keep the Engineer occupied enough for a Spy to run in without much trouble.
    • Conversely, Soldiers can attract the attention of enemy groups easily, opening a window for Spies to approach and backstab them.
  • Spies using the Cloak and Dagger can warn Soldiers of enemy movements, which can make performing ambushes easier. This can also work with the Dead Ringer, as the Spy can simply feign death and notify his team of what the enemy has prepared for them.
  • While your banners won't help a Spy as much compared to other classes, the Concheror can be useful in some ways; if a Spy backstabs an enemy while under the Concheror's effects, it will instantly fill his health up to max. This is less effective with the Conniver's Kunai, since it already grants health and overheal on kill.
  • Be sure not to keep to close to a friendly Spy who's occupied with espionage. Your health pool and powerful weapons means you can deal with threats easily, but the Spy's weaker and situational weapons means this is not the case for him. If an enemy decides to engage with you, the Spy's cover will most likely be blown as well.

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