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Not to be confused with the Quadwrangler, a cosmetic item for the Medic.
Everyone loves remote control toys. But the problem with most of them is, unless you manage to remote control one directly down someone's throat, they're pretty useless as weapons. But what if we were to tell you that we fixed that obvious design flaw?
— Blog post highlighting the Wrangler

The Wrangler is an unlockable secondary weapon for the Engineer. It appears to be the remains of a wooden pistol grip implemented under an early-80's single-button style team-colored joystick, with a small, rectangular radar satellite dish protruding from the front. A team-colored wire which is taped and attached to the joystick runs from the back of it and into the radar dish.

When in use, the Wrangler allows the Engineer to manually take control of his Sentry Gun. Upon doing so, the Sentry Gun loses its default autoaim and automatic firing abilities. Instead, the Engineer can direct the building to fire in any direction with the primary fire button (default key: MOUSE1). If the player utilizes manual control over a Level 3 Sentry Gun, the alternate fire button (default key: MOUSE2) is used to fire rockets.

When firing either the guns or rockets, the Sentry Gun has no maximum range; however, the rockets suffer from damage falloff based on the Engineer's distance to the target. Unlike rockets, the Sentry Gun's bullets face damage falloff based off of the Sentry Gun's position when outside its normal range, not the Engineer's position; the bullets also experience some spread.

The Wrangler produces a translucent, team-colored shield around the Sentry Gun that absorbs 66% of all incoming damage. This shield lasts as long as the player keeps the Wrangler as their active weapon. However, repairs made to the Sentry Gun while shielded only restore 33% as much health and ammo. In addition, the firing rate of a manually-controlled, "Wrangled" Sentry Gun is increased depending on what level it is: Combat Mini-Sentry firing speed is increased by +50%, level 1 Sentry Gun firing speed is increased by +40%, and upgraded Sentry Guns' firing speeds are increased by +33%. A level 3 Sentry Gun's missile launch rate is also increased by +26.5%. A laser sight is emitted from the Sentry Gun, which follows the Engineer's crosshair. The laser sight has minor auto-aim ability; upon aiming at an uncloaked and undisguised enemy, it focuses towards their center, provided the Engineer keeps his crosshair on them. Other players can see this laser, and use it to quickly find the location of the Sentry Gun. It is possible for a player to shoot themselves with the Wrangler by standing in front of the (Wrangled) Sentry Gun.

While using the Jag, the 20% slower repair rate stacks with the 66% slower repair rate while the shield is active on the Wrangler. This makes it harder to keep the Sentry Gun up while it is receiving damage.

When the Engineer switches to another weapon or dies, the Sentry Gun is rendered inoperative for three seconds within its shield. Once the inoperative duration has passed, the shield disappears and the Sentry Gun resumes normal operation. If the Sentry Gun is sapped or hit by a charged shot from the Cow Mangler 5000 while it is in operation, all cooldown effects caused by the Wrangler are removed.

Being stunned by any means leaves the Engineer unable to fire, but keeps the Sentry Gun in the Wrangled state, effectively disabling it.

The Wrangler allows an Engineer to get to high places through the use of a Sentry Gun jump, similar to a Rocket Jump.

The Wrangler is automatically given to any player who obtains 17 Engineer achievements.



See also: Crafting


Class Token - Engineer Slot Token - Secondary Scrap Metal Possible Results
Item icon Class Token - Engineer.png + Item icon Slot Token - Secondary.png + Item icon Scrap Metal.png =
Item icon Wrangler.png Item icon Short Circuit.png

Strange variant

Related achievements

Leaderboard class engineer.png Engineer

Breaking Morant
Breaking Morant
Kill 10 Snipers with a sentry gun under the control of your Wrangler.

Building Block
Building Block
Have a sentry shielded by the Wrangler absorb 500 damage without being destroyed.

Patent Protection
Patent Protection
Destroy an enemy Engineer's sentry gun with a sentry under control of your Wrangler.
Pownd on the Range
Pownd on the Range
Kill 10 enemies outside the normal sentry gun range using the Wrangler.

Rio Grind
Rio Grind
Perform 50 repairs and/or reloads on a Sentry gun being Wrangled by another Engineer.

Search Engine
Search Engine
Kill 3 cloaked Spies with a sentry gun under control of your Wrangler.

Update history

July 8, 2010 Patch (Engineer Update)
  • The Wrangler was added to the game.

July 9, 2010 Patch

  • The Wrangler no longer shows the Shotgun's ammo count.
  • Fixed a bug where Wrangled level 3 Sentry Guns would still fire rockets when they were out of ammo.

July 19, 2010 Patch

  • Fixed an exploit that allowed team kills with wrangled Sentry Guns.

October 18, 2010 Patch

  • Fixed Engineers being able to build level 3 mini-sentries using The Wrangler.

October 19, 2010 Patch

  • Fixed Engineers being able to build level 3 mini-sentries for real this time.

March 10, 2011 Patch (Shogun Pack)

  • Fixed the "Best Little Slaughterhouse in Texas" Engineer achievement not counting Wrangler and Mini-Sentry kills.

October 13, 2011 Patch (Manniversary Update & Sale)

  • Wrangler taunt now performs the Pistol taunt animation.

June 27, 2012 Patch (Pyromania Update)

  • Fixed sentry sometimes spawning in shielded mode while the Wrangler was equipped, but not deployed.

July 10, 2013 Patch

  • Changed attributes:
    • Slightly reduced accuracy of manually-controlled sentry at long range.
    • Protective shield now fades 1 second after the owning Engineer dies.

November 12, 2013 Patch

December 20, 2013 Patch (Smissmas 2013)

  • [Undocumented] Added Festive variant.

January 9, 2014 Patch

  • Updated Strange Wranglers to track wrangled sentry kills.

January 10, 2014 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Strange Wranglers now count wrangled kills properly.

April 1, 2014 Patch

  • Updated the Wrangler so Strange parts can be applied to it.
    • Strange parts only increment if a Wrangler-controlled Sentry does the scoring.

June 18, 2014 Patch (Love & War Update)

  • Sentry bullets are now affected by damage falloff outside of sentry scan range.
  • Sentry bullet damage has been changed so it calculates damage based on the Sentry Gun's position, not the Engineer's.

March 12, 2015 Patch

July 2, 2015 Patch #1 (Gun Mettle Update)

  • Updated description to better detail the weapon's features.
  • Changed attributes:
    • Ammo and Repair given to a shielded Sentry is reduced by the strength of the shield (66% reduced) when shield is active.
    • Engineer death keeps the Wrangled sentry shielded and disabled for 3 seconds, same as when Wrangler is switched away. Previously Engineer death caused disable state for only 1 second.

July 8, 2015 Patch #1

  • Fixed the Wrangler not properly disabling Sentry Guns for 3 seconds on Engineer death.

October 28, 2015 Patch (Scream Fortress 2015)

  • Fixed an idle animation bug for the Wrangler.

December 18, 2015 Patch

  • Fixed Engineer's Wrangler contract updating points for players other than the Engineer doing the contract.

January 20, 2016 Patch

  • Fixed the Engineer's Wrangler contract updating points while the player is not an Engineer.

March 28, 2018 Patch #1

  • Fixed the Wrangler's death notice icon being clipped.

March 26, 2019 Patch


  • Shield and laser effect issues:
    • The laser emitted from the Sentry Gun while using the Wrangler may travel through some walls and occasionally move back and forth very quickly.
    • Picking up a Wrangled Sentry leaves the Wrangler shield visual effect in place for a short time. Also, upon deploying the sentry and Wrangling it, the laser emits from strange points, such as enemy Sentry Guns. This can be fixed by switching to another weapon then back to the Wrangler.
    • Using a Wrangled Sentry while the Sentry is built on a moving platform results in the shield being left behind when the platform and the Sentry move.
    • There is currently a glitch which causes the targeting laser of the Sentry to be emitted from the eyes of allies when the player aims at them. This can make it somewhat harder to aim at enemies. The glitch is only present on the user's screen; no other players see the effect.
    • The Sentry Gun can retain the shield and laser effects even when the Wrangler is not the currently held weapon. It may still operate normally, without taking reduced damage, but may also retain the Wrangled behavior, including a functional shield, if the player builds the Sentry Gun and then changes their loadout to equip the Wrangler.
      • The glitch persists upon the death of the Sentry Gun's owner, and can be fixed by switching to the Wrangler then switching away to another weapon.
  • Using the Wrangler to kill enemies with Sentry Gun rockets produces the level 3 Sentry Gun kill icon instead of that of the Wrangler.
  • Once a Level 3 Sentry Gun is directed to fire rockets, it does not play the normal rocket reloading animation.
  • If pointing the Sentry Gun at a far distance, the laser appears to move rapidly away from the player's crosshair, but the Sentry Gun still fires at the player's crosshair.
  • The Engineer achievement Pownd on the Range can be earned if the Engineer kills himself with his wrangled Sentry Gun outside of the normal range.
  • When attaching the Buildings Destroyed Strange Part to a Strange Wrangler, it does not track buildings destroyed.


Radigan Conagher holding the Wrangler.
  • The Wrangler, along with the Frontier Justice, the Gunslinger, and the Southern Hospitality, appears to have been designed by Radigan Conagher, the Engineer's grandfather. This is shown via a hidden link on the Engineer Update page.
  • To wrangle is to professionally handle animals, often directing them to perform certain actions.
  • When firing the Sentry Gun for a long time, an animation plays in which the Engineer twitches his hand and a quiet sigh can be heard, as if removing a cramp.
  • The Wrangler's joystick looks very similar to that of an Atari 2600 controller, though it lacks a button in the upper left corner.


See also