Basic Engineer strategy
The Engineer has the unique ability to construct Buildings. His Sentry Gun compensates for his weaker weapons and fragility, providing more than enough firepower at the front lines in his stead. His Teleporter system transports teammates around the map, while his Dispenser heals and supplies ammunition. After constructing a building, he can pick up and haul it to a new location, allowing him to keep his base as his team advances or retreats. The Engineer and his buildings will frequently be targeted by Demomen and Spies. A well-timed enemy ÜberCharge, in particular, can quickly ruin all of his hard work. When his buildings are destroyed, it is most important that the Engineer makes it out alive so that he can reconstruct his base. A good Engineer will place his buildings in strategic locations and not be afraid to get his hands dirty defending them.
- 1 Primary weapons
- 2 Secondary weapons
- 3 Melee weapons
- 4 Buildings
Out of your available primary weapons, the Shotgun is your most reliable and deals the best consistent damage. It is a deceptively powerful weapon at close to medium range, but becomes much weaker at a distance. Use it to defend yourself when alone and scare off enemies that your Sentry Gun cannot target, such as disguised Spies.
The Frontier Justice has half the clip size of the Shotgun, but gains Revenge Crits for any kills or assists your Sentry Gun gets. This weapon shines if you place your Sentry Gun or Combat Mini-Sentry Gun in an offensive position, where it should be able to get a few kills or assists before being destroyed. Even if you have stored up a great number of Revenge crits, the small magazine size in addition to the threat of losing all of them upon death will prevent you from going on a mini-rampage. It is possible to destroy your own Sentry Gun to store accumulated crits, and then build another Sentry Gun. However, destroying your Sentry Gun at the wrong time may force your team to give up the area you were overseeing.
The Widowmaker consumes 30 metal per shot, but will refund metal based on how much damage you deal. Accurate shots at close range will yield more than 30 metal. Medium to long range shots will generally yield close to or below 30 metal. The Widowmaker deals increased damage to enemies targeted by your Sentry Gun, encouraging you to fight near buildings. You can provide great support in direct combat, especially if you also use the Gunslinger. On the flip side, missing too often will cause you to run out of metal and be unable to fire; you can stay near your Dispenser to compensate. Equip the Pistol alongside the Widowmaker so that you have a reliable ranged attack even when out of metal.
When compared to the Shotgun, the Pomson 6000 is less effective in direct combat; it deals reduced damage, has a smaller magazine size, and its projectiles are significantly slower. However, it is accurate and reloads quickly, so you can use it to freely harass faraway enemies such as Snipers. The Pomson 6000's true value lies in its utility; a Medic or Spy shot by it will lose a small portion of his ÜberCharge or Cloak meter, respectively. This is particularly useful when dealing with the standard invincibility-granting ÜberCharge or Spies using the Dead Ringer. The amount of charge lost is on distance, with none lost at longer ranges; you'll only be able to prevent their abilities from activating if you yourself take some risks. Consider using the Pistol alongside it so that you have a more reliable weapon for self-defense.
The Rescue Ranger grants you the ability to haul buildings from a distance at the expensive cost of 100 metal. Hauling requires a direct line of sight, shows a visible tracer, and marks you for death; you can safely move buildings across open areas, but are discouraged from sneaking into the enemy base. Use this ability to save your Sentry Gun, especially if you see enemy Stickybombs or an ÜberCharge. Additionally, the Rescue Ranger fires weak bolts that repair buildings for 4 health per 1 metal. Don't use this to stay away from battle; the Wrench still repairs faster and the bolts do not remove Sappers. Overall, the Rescue Ranger is an excellent weapon if you prefer to rely on your Sentry Gun for firepower. Its mobility pairs well with the Jag, which aids in redeploying hauled buildings.
The Panic Attack deploys 50% faster than the Shotgun, making it useful for a few panicked shots against a surprise attacker. However, the pellet spread widely increases as you fire consecutively, making it far less effective in prolonged combat. Unlike with the other classes, the Panic Attack replaces your primary weapon. If using it, keep your Pistol handy, avoid the main melee, and switch weapons when needed.
As an Engineer, you have a tremendous supply of Pistol bullets, so feel free to spam them to fend off enemies or check for Spies. It is deceptively effective at medium range, making it combo well with Combat Mini-Sentry Guns.
When the Wrangler is your active weapon, your Sentry Gun gains a damage-reducing shield and can be aimed manually. While the Sentry Gun is under your control, it fires more rapidly and isn't restricted by its slow turn speed. However, it will not automatically detect targets, forcing you to do all the aiming. Manual control is usually used to attack enemies outside your Sentry Gun's normal range or to siege the enemy base. You'll usually need to expose yourself to aim the Wrangler via your crosshair; like when using another weapon, duck in and out of cover to avoid being picked off. Deactivating the Wrangler will disable your Sentry Gun for 3 seconds, so you need to balance its activation with building repairs. If you need to focus on something else, don't be afraid to allow your Sentry Gun to function normally.
The Short Circuit's primary fire is a very short-ranged burst of electricity that deals damage equivalent to a Pistol bullet and draws from your metal supply, an overall downgrade. The weapon's selling point is its secondary fire, a ball of electricity that destroys projectiles and reveals Cloaked Spies. It's best used near your Dispenser, as each shot costs 65 metal. The Short Circuit is useful for defending from rockets, grenades, and even Stickybomb carpets. You can't pick up buildings while the Short Circuit is your active weapon; this means that your team needs to quickly take out the enemies firing projectiles before you no longer have metal to fire the Short Circuit in defense.
The Wrench is not just a weapon; hitting buildings with your Wrench will cause them to build twice as fast. Hitting a pre-constructed building you hauled speeds up reconstruction, so it's possible to build and upgrade while at spawn before hauling your buildings into position. If a Spy places a Sapper to disable a building, two hits from your Wrench will remove it. Disabled Sentry Guns take 0.5 second to reactivate after having a Sapper removed, so first take care of the Spy if he hangs around. The game prioritizes repairing and upgrading buildings over melee combat, making it possible to accidentally hit your buildings instead of an enemy; use your Shotgun to dispatch nearby enemies instead.
The Gunslinger grants you 25 additional health points and replaces your Sentry Gun with a cheap, rapidly constructed, but weaker Combat Mini-Sentry Gun. The Gunslinger is great when constructing a full Sentry Gun can be inefficient, such as when you're on the offensive, in the middle of combat, or moving around too often. If you're staying at medium range, support your Mini-Sentry Gun with the Pistol or Wrangler. For a more aggressive playstyle, use the Shotgun or Widowmaker; the Shotgun needs to be reloaded less frequently while a few well-aimed shots with the Widowmaker will give you enough metal to build another Mini-Sentry. While the Gunslinger can deal a guaranteed Critical hit upon landing three successful consecutive attacks, using a loaded Shotgun is less risky and deals more damage-per-second at point-blank range.
The Southern Hospitality grants a bleed effect on hit, but deals no critical hits and increases your vulnerability to fire. The bleed effect inflicted can be useful in a one-on-one fight and helps to track down Cloaked Spies. The fire vulnerability is negligible; if a Pyro manages to catch you alone and away from your buildings, you're probably going to die anyway.
Hitting buildings with the Jag, which has increased construction and swing speed, causes them to build even faster than when using the standard Wrench. This makes the Jag more effective for immediately constructing a Sentry Gun or redeploying a nest of buildings as your team moves around. However, the Jag has a reduced repair rate, deals less damage, and takes three hits to destroy Sappers, making defense against a constant assault or Spies much more difficult.
The Eureka Effect allows you to use the reload button to teleport back to your current spawn room or Teleporter Exit, allowing you to immediately restock metal for your buildings. However, hitting buildings does not speed up construction as quickly and all metal gained from external sources is reduced by 20%. Use nearby ammo pickups to initially your buildings, then teleport to-and-fro your base to upgrade them. The teleport can also be used to reach your buildings from far away or retreat from an imminent death. Although you cannot teleport while hauling a building, you can sneak a Teleporter Exit behind enemy lines to build a nest in their territory. Overall, the Eureka Effect makes it easier to construct a full base, but weakens your in-battle repairs due to the reduced metal pickups.
You are most valued for your Buildings, which all considerably impact a battle. It takes time to fully set up a base, which means you need to choose certain buildings to prioritize. The Sentry Gun provides most of your firepower, so fully upgrade it first in most situations. If your teammates can hold the line without the aid of your Sentry Gun, upgrade your Dispenser or Teleporter system first. Additionally, spread your buildings out so that not all can be damaged by a single explosive from the Soldier or Demoman. If any building is in danger of being destroyed, you can haul it away; it's sometimes more important to save an upgraded Sentry Gun than to stall your enemies.
The Sentry Gun automatically detects and fires at enemies within its radius, making you the best class for area denial. It's best to place Sentry Guns in well-frequented areas to prevent enemies from passing, hauling and repositioning it as needed to support your team. As soon as possible, secure a stable source of metal from either a Dispenser or ammo spawn to upgrade your Sentry Gun and improve its firepower. Keep in mind the power of your Sentry Gun and what it can comfortably fight, depending on where you placed it. If a Sentry Gun is placed out in the open, it can cover more ground but is more vulnerable to attackers. If placed in a corner, it is naturally protected from flanking by walls, but can only focus on certain angles. Precise placement of your Sentry Gun can be very rewarding; a few inches can keep it from being picked off by Soldiers or Snipers. Compensate for what the Sentry cannot detect with your Shotgun, especially enemy Spies.
Due to their small size and quick build time, Mini-Sentry Guns can often be placed in positions that a normal Sentry Gun cannot and perform exceptionally well when laid in concealed areas. These advantages, coupled with the bonus health the Gunslinger provides, allow for more aggression compared to the defensive playstyle of the default Sentry Gun. Place them alongside teammates at the front lines, forcing your opponents to choose between targets. They only cost 100 metal to deploy, so you should be able to provide a constant source of suppressive gunfire. Mini-Sentry Guns have reduced health and deploy significantly slower until constructed, requiring you to stay put and speed up the construction yourself if you want them to be anything beyond a minor distraction. They are far less useful when placed in defensive positions, where their reduced firepower won't be able to fight enemies off efficiently.
A Dispenser is typically the first building you want to construct so that you have a stable source of metal, as a Dispenser has the potential to dispense unlimited health and ammo. It takes a very long time for a Dispenser to build, even with the help of your Wrench, so consider placing it in a safe location to let it build by itself while you focus on setting up your other buildings. Placing Dispensers in forward locations will keep teammates healthy and allow them to hold an area for a longer period of time. Additionally, because the Dispenser is a solid object, you can hop on your own Dispenser to climb to inaccessible places or block narrow passages from enemy Spies.
The Teleporter Entrance and Exit are constructed separately, but upgrade via your Wrench and downgrade via destruction together. Keep a Teleporter system active to help a steady tide of reinforcements reach the front lines, even if the distance covered is short. As you leave spawn, drop a Teleporter Entrance so it will build itself and link to your Exit later. Place the Teleporter Exit near your other buildings, where it will be well defended, or behind cover, as a visible Teleporter will draw attention. Rotate the Exit using alternate fire so that it faces away from a wall and allows teammates to see the battlefield immediately upon coming through. If either Teleporter member comes under fire, hitting one end with your melee weapon will repair the other. Try to keep the Teleporter System at least at level 2, as level 1 Teleporters usually have too long of a recharge to be worth the wait. If guarding your buildings, refrain from standing on your Teleporter Exit, as enemy Spies are able to come through and telefrag you.