Contract strategy

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Contract strategy
The Shotgun Contract 01.png
"The Shotgun" Contract of the Jungle Inferno Mercenary Park Contract set.


This article is about Contract strategy for completing Primary and Bonus Objectives of Contracts using the ConTracker.

See also: List of contracts

General Strategy (All Contracts)

See also: ConTracker Instructions.
See also: Halloween Contracts strategy.
  • Be sure to consider the Objectives when selecting one of three alternate Contracts (e.g., the choice of Alternative Mode) as there are significant differences in difficulty between alternate Contracts, and your favorite Weapon, Mode, or Class might not have the "easy" Objectives.
  • It is possible to turn in any Contract by completing only one Objective, Primary or Bonus; but once your last Star has been used to activate a Contract, at least one Objective must be completed and turned in on that Contract before you can activate any other. Turning in a few extra Bonus Objectives gives you more flexibility in queuing up for maps as well as the ability to change Active Contracts; say, if you get stumped on a Contract, the other Player's vote to change to a map that doesn't work for your Contract, you want to work on different Contracts between attacking and defending rounds, or there are just too many Pyros on the team.
  • Usually, the action of at least one of the two Bonus Objectives is relatively easier to perform, and often enables you to earn CP and complete the Primary Objective at an accelerated rate. Contract Points earned against Bonus Objectives before the Primary Objective is completed count as double, sometimes a few CP more than double. So, depending on your knowledge and skills, focusing on particular Bonus Objectives can speed you through the Contract map.
Friendly-Fire
Main article: Friendly-Fire
  • If regularly available, Friendly-Fire can greatly accelerate the completion of Objectives.
  • A friend who is an expert at a Weapon or Class can use Friendly-Fire to help you with Contracts you are not so good at.
Map Choice
  • A familiar Payload map, like Badwater Basin (offering longer sight lines) or Upward (offering more ambushing and environmental hazards) is a good place to work on many Contracts.
    • Pushing the Payload Cart is a quick way to rack up the points for many of the "Score points" Primary Objectives.
    • The more or less continuous and slowly moving clustering of teammates and enemies around Medics, Engineer nests, and the Payload Cart provide many extended opportunities to work on the Bonus Objectives.
    • The cycling between attacking and defending rounds on Payload maps suit Objectives with Offense and Defense restrictions.
    • The timing of players rushing through known narrow areas is more predicable for traps and ambushes.
  • Alternatively, many of the same Contracts can be also worked on Attack/Defend maps, like Mountain Lab and Mercenary Park.
    • Attack/Defend maps also offer quick pacing between attacking and defending rounds, but the combat can surge less predictably, making it more difficult to stay on a particular technique.
    • However, Attack/Defend maps do offer convenient point objectives to capture or defend in a predictable sequence.

Courtesy Rounds
  • Focusing on a specific Objective might not be the best tactical contribution you can make to the team during possibly several rounds on the server. After a team has, perhaps unwittingly, helped keep the rounds going for you so you could complete an Objective, you don't have to leave immediately. You can stick around and play fully for the team for another round or two to complete the game for them.
  • Similarly, consider how others are reacting to your focus on Contract Objectives, as some personalities may attempt to vote kick you for not actively playing to the game objectives. To avoid such attention;
    • Push the cart when you can.
    • Spy-check for the Medic.
    • Monitor capture progress and assist with completing captures.
    • Alternate the rounds in which you work on contracts, so you can help your team.

Objectives

  • Many Contract Objectives are similar to requirements for certain Achievements -- good advice for obtaining a particular Achievement is also good for completing a similar Contract Objective. See Obtaining Achievements.

General Objectives

Score points / Score points as <Class> / Score points on <Map>
  • Generally, an action that earns points for Bonus Objectives also counts as "Score points ...". You can use this to your advantage when you can and work on Bonus Objectives before you finish the Primary Objective.
  • Pushing the Payload Cart while the Cart is not being attacked and while continuously Spy checking (you can do this on Badwater Basin or Swiftwater, but not on Upward) is a very fast and rewarding way to score points as <Class>.
Be MVP as <Class>
  • Spending a lot of time pushing the Payload can earn enough points for any "Be MVP as <Class>", as previously mentioned.
    • Don't push the Payload cart alone, or too far ahead of your team's sustainable defense and range.
    • If the enemy has stopped your team from advancing, watch your HUD and tap the Cart after the timer runs out to gain a guaranteed point.
  • The objective "Be MVP as <Class>" can count as playing as the <Class> if you switch to the <Class> just before end of the round after having earned the top score with a different class. The class you switch from should be a class you're good at.
    • Be sure to switch the Class before the timer reaches the last 15 seconds of the match, or you won't get the CP.
    • If you join a server while a game is ongoing, you may be so far down in points that focusing on MVP is an unreasonable goal, given the remaining time. What you can do, is take the opportunity to show full team support until the start of the next game.
  • Medic is a good Class for building high score, especially if you are good at staying alive, and building and popping effective ÜberCharges. Also, you can help push the Cart or capture points, but only after they have been cleared out by your team beforehand.
    • Additionally, during Setup time, you can heal teammates and activate the ÜberCharge repeatedly. You can score 4-8 points during Setup, and do this repeatedly on maps with several stages. This can easily add up for a large amount of points.
    • Step away from the Cart. When the Cart is near the enemy, you should attempt to gain points by killing the enemies near the cart or healing your allies.
Get a kill on offense / Get # kills in a single life ... / Dominate a player as <Class>
  • The secret to getting old is to not die: The primary way to complete these Objectives is to avoid getting killed while killing, a fundamental fighting principle.
  • Niven's First Law: Don't draw enemy fire. Also, don't stand next to someone or something that is going to draw enemy fire, like an Engineer nest.
  • Are you one-two kills short of the objective when Final is capped? Get it on the next stage or round. Kills in a life and kills going towards dominations do not reset between stages or rounds. It is highly recommended that you work on these Objectives on long, multi-staged maps, like Gold Rush, Hoodoo, or Dustbowl.
  • Play conservatively and stay near teammates for protection.
  • Don't play in the front of the group. Avoid close contact with the enemy, if you can. Let your strongest allies, like Heavies take and deal most of the damage while you finish the enemies off.
  • Hang around a Medic that plays safe in the rear. Or, you can play as a Medic if your team doesn't have one.
    • Keep the Medic safe from Spies, Scouts, and Pyros, and the Medic should keep you alive.
    • Most of the enemies that make it back to rear with the Medics are easily killed Scouts and Spies. Sometimes, you can find already damaged Demomen and Soldiers. Try to look for such players that are repeatedly trying to penetrate your team to kill and destroy Medics or Engineers and their nests, and learn the flank routes they usually take.
    • Take the ÜberCharge if offered. If it can help you complete your kills, and help the team, it's probably worth using the Übercharge.
  • Learn to recognize pushes and stay out of their way. Especially, give ground to ÜberCharge pushes, but look for an opportunity to get in on the kill when the ÜberCharge wears off with the Medic and Pocket in a bad position.
  • Learn the Sniper camps, and avoid their lines. Don't stand still.
  • Even when hanging out in back, avoid playing where you can get flanked or ambushed.
  • Equip with items that help you get Crit-Boosts (e.g., Crit-a-Cola or Phlogistinator) or help you get Kill assists (e.g., Buff Banner or Battalion's Backup).
  • Teaming with a Medic for well-timed ÜberCharges with the Kritzkrieg, or Vaccinator can help you with killing sprees, especially with the Vaccinator's resistances.

Capture/Pillage a Control Point / Capture an objective
  • Hang back from the front of your team, but be supportive. You can do more than just capping a point, such as killing enemies or defending. Watch the HUD for your team's progress on the capture and help to capture when it seems imminent.
  • As a Demoman or Soldier, carry the Pain Train. The increased capture rate will help capture the points faster.

Defend/Safeguard a Control Point / Defend an objective
  • To score the points for defending the point, the HUD must show that the enemy is capping, as well as you have to complete the kill while the enemy you're killing is still in the capture zone.
  • Hang back around the point out of sight as a Spyro, Soldier, Demoknight, Back Scatter Scout, or Spy.
  • Watch the HUD and listen to the Announcer for signs of an committed capture attempt.
  • Often, capturing players can tend to get out of the capture zone if they see you coming, preventing you from getting the kill to count as a defense. Also, running headlong into a capturing Heavy or Soldier is highly unlikely to succeed.
    • If you can, look for quick kills. Try to sneak up behind enemies for surprise kills, hence the suggestion for the Backburner, Back Scatter, or Backstabs.
    • Timing a Phlogistinator or other Crit-Boost effects can help with completing the kill while the target is on the point.
    • Set up traps with the Stickybomb Launcher around a Capture Point or under a Payload, and detonate them for quick kills the moment the HUD displays a capture attempt.
  • If the capping force is stronger than you, wait for help.

Mode Objectives

Capture the Flag Contract Objectives

  • The problem with Capture the Flag games is the fact that there is no time limit. If there is a strong set of Engineer nests and the other players are not skilled enough to take them down, or are not really interested playing to the game objective, you can end up with a fully finished Contract that you cannot turn in for a quite a long time.
    • Consider avoiding CTF maps unless you are working on CTF-only Objectives.
    • Early in a new round, get a feeling for the players and their game: if it looks like the Intelligence is not being captured, or, worse yet, you are warned not to capture it, leave the game and try another server before you make any progress on your Contract.
  • If you get stuck on a CTF with a lot of pending progress on your Contract and the nests are not falling, switch to Medic, find a reliable Pocket, and start breaking down the nests.
    • This usually requires repeated ÜberCharges, so become good at building ÜberCharges.
    • In compensation for the lack of a time limit, the map is set to build ÜberCharges faster the longer the round lasts.
    • It is possible that you will get help from others that want opportunities to capture the Intelligence for their Contracts.

King of the Hill/Control Point/DeGroot Keep Objectives

See Capture an objective and Defend an objective above.

PASS Time Contract Objectives

Make an interception in PASS time
  • Picking up a loose JACK dropped by or knocked from an enemy seems to count as an interception:
    • Where most of the players in a cluster fight over the JACK are going to be Scouts, a Pyro has a particular advantage.
    • A Powerjack Pyro can follow the carrier into a cluster of enemies to try to pick up the JACK in the fight.

Payload Contract Objectives

Push the Payload Cart
  • On Upward, you have to push the Cart 5 times father to earn pushing points than on other Payload maps.
Kill an enemy pushing the cart
  • Maps with confined spaces along the track, like Upwards, can bunch the enemy up close to the Cart for Phlogistinator or Backburner ambushes.
  • Maps with long straight sections, like Hoodoo or Gold Rush might be preferred by Soldier and Sniper mains.

Payload Race Contract Objectives

  • As with Capture the Flag maps, the problem with Payload Race games is the fact that there is no time limit; so go with the same advice.
    • Consider avoiding Payload Race maps unless you are working on Objectives specifically designed for Payload Race.
    • A particular problem is Hightower, as it is particularly used by players that want never-ending game rounds.
      • Being vote kicked just for trying to win the round is a real possibility if you end up with such players.
      • Banana Bay generally has less of a problem with this.
    • Particularly, when joining a game, test the Cart; watch and listen for players telling you not to push the cart, and leave the game if it looks like pushing the cart seems to be a problem.
    • Otherwise, it may be just up to you to ride the Cart to the top, so time it well.

Class Objectives

Kill while blast jumping as Soldier
  • The Market Gardener and Air Strike are great weapons to use for fulfilling this Objective.
  • Deploying the B.A.S.E. Jumper will extend the time you're airborne and lengthen the amount of time of when you're considered to be blast jumping.
Environment kill as Pyro
  • Upward offers several wide Pitfalls close to either the Cart's route or flank paths.
  • On Thunder Mountain, the Payload passes near cliffs at the start of Stage A and near the second checkpoint of Stage C. These are ideal for getting environmental kills when the enemy clusters at those points.
  • Do not equip with the Backburner, as you only get a maximum of 8 Airblasts while using it.
Get an assist with an Ubered teammate / Assist in destroying a sentry while Ubered
  • Only the stock Medi Gun's ÜberCharge will count towards progress for this Objective.
Dominate a player as Engineer
  • A potential technique for this is nesting on the Deck of Banana Bay, outside of each spawn room.
    • Partner with another Engineer and keep two Sentry Guns on the left ledge. You will have to replace a Sentry from time to time, but the idea is to use the security of the Deck to stay alive long enough to get a domination.

Weapon Objectives

Pyroland:

See Pyroland Contracts Strategy.

Mercenary Park:

The Amputator
  • This contract is particularly difficult to 3-star without cooperation of teammates, particularly with the "Heal 250 health within 1 second" Objective. In general, completion of this contract requires what might generally be considered "bad tactics"; so, take care to otherwise contribute to the team.
    • As the base rate for the Amputator is only 24 health per second, the entire team has to be injured and within taunt range in order to score against the Objective in the midst of combat.
    • The heal rate increases the longer the targets have gone more than 10 seconds without taking damage, up to at least 72 health per second after 15 seconds. At that highest Crit Heal rate, at least three heavily injured teammates are needed to achieve 250 health per second (see How to do The Amputator Contract).
    • It is not rare to see Soldiers and Demomen blast jumping around the spawn room during setup time. Use this opportunity to progress the Bonus Objective, but arrange for them to stop injuring themselves long enough for the 15 seconds to lapse.
    • The taunting Objective can be completed by healing a low-health teammate (if you have a friend assisting you, they can self-damage using rockets or similar explosives - fall damage works fine too) with the Quick-Fix and activating your ÜberCharge (see TF2 Amputator Contract The Easy Way). Make sure to wait 15 seconds between them last taking damage and beginning healing. (A smart location to do this is on a map with a way to hurt yourself in the spawn room. In the Egypt RED Spawn, the Heavy can jump up the crates onto the Resupply locker and into one of the flames -- the flame can easily get a Heavy to very low health amounts without having to worry about the enemy team, which is perfect for completing this objective).
    • Though it may seem like a good idea to work on this Contract in DeGroot Keep; be advised that there are very few places to taunt safely.
  • Despite the first bonus objective's description implying otherwise ("Heal 3000 health in a single life"), it can only be obtained through healing provided by the Amputator's taunt effect.Confirmation needed
    • Remain behind cover, but near the front lines, like where a Dispenser would be placed, but always remember that doing so makes you a ready target for Spies (you may need a Pybro).
The Direct Hit
  • Consider equipping the Buff Banner if you have selected this weapon for your Offense Weapons 2 Contract. The Buff Banner provides on-demand Mini-Crits, thus allowing you to quickly obtain Mini-Crit kills (rather than solely relying on air-shots from the Direct Hit).
The Flare Gun
  • Crit kills as Pyro: Use your Flamethrower at the enemy for 1-2 seconds, then quickly switch to the previously equipped Flare Gun (default: Q) and use it for the Crit. This usually will kill most classes, provided you deal enough damage with the Flamethrower.
  • Get 5 Flare Gun kills: Assist kills count as as well; find a Battle Engie and help out. Focus on the target that the mini-sentry is shooting at.
Jarate
  • This contract is easily completed by killing with the Sydney Sleeper.
Loose Cannon
  • Double Donks and Loose Cannon Kills: On defense on Payload maps, stand off at ideal range from a blind turn or doorway where Players are channeled into a narrower path straight towards you, like a chokepoint.
The Phlogistinator
  • Focusing on completing the Objective of 5 kills while Mmmph'd in a single life will definitely complete the other two Objectives.
  • You are very unlikely to survive any attempt to obtain 5 kills off of one Mmmph; not only will you have to survive at least one Mmmph to get to 5 kills in one life, but you will also have to survive building two or more complete Mmmphs.
  • Ideally, time your Mmmph to go in with another player who can draw fire off of you.
  • Don't get greedy when burning the Mmmph; jump out, get a kill or two, then get back under cover.
  • Spycheck as much as possible.
  • Build your Mmmphs carefully, work towards the back of your team, and follow behind others making attacks or defending.
    • Rely on your various flare weapons for building Mmmph, firing on clusters of players at longer ranges. A great weapon to use for this is the Scorch Shot, because of the flare's detonation on contact with the ground.
  • Hoodoo is an example of a map that clusters players together at predictable choke points, both for the purposes of building Mmmphs and getting multiple kills off of expended Mmmphs.
The Shotgun
  • This Contract is easily completed as the Engineer; as long as the Shotgun is active, Sentry Gun kills also count towards progress for this Contract.