Team Fortress 2 Spy Guide: P2
Invisible Battle Lines
In every map of Team Fortress 2 invisible battle lines are established. These are areas where teams hold control over. On an attack/defense map, the defenders battle line usually extends just outside of the points being controlled. While in a Payload map Blue's battle line usually extends to somewhere behind the cart in semi-fortified area. Inside a team's battle lines you can expect higher amounts of enemy players, medic's charging up, engineer constructions and usually a point of interest (Intelligence/Flag/Control Point/Bomb-kart). This is the place directly behind combat; it's the "staging area."
Why is knowing this important as a spy?
Understanding your opponents strengths and weaknesses can help break down battle lines and if an opponents battle lines break it usually leads to a slaughter. More-over unique to the spy class, you have the ability to pick your targets
As the spy you'll be able to pick your targets, while killing other classes are important certain classes have more impact then others. Here's a top kill list and that classes impact on the battlefield.
Medic: This class keep the enemy team alive and when fully charged has the ability to devastate your team. Special attention should be paid to fully charged medic. Medic's do two main things to a battlefield, they offer stabilization and courage. Their continuous healing strengthens the battle lines and their very presence make players play a bit more risky. They will charge forward when they would normally retreat. They will fight outside of cover a little bit longer knowing they have healing backup nearby. T
Exception When to let a medic live. Yes, there are times when a medic hurts a team more then it helps. And if you spot it, by allowing the medic to live you're team better off for it. These are medics who don't use their charges or don't follow through with a heel. This type of medic is recognized when a medic team attacks and the medic fails to use the charge, repeatedly. This medic is actually just slowly leading the person they are healing to death. While this healers should still be a target they are much lower on the list then other medics.
Engineers: This class stabilizes the battlefield to a major degree. It brings new troops in via teleporter. It resupplies (and heals) troops via the dispenser. And it locks areas down with the sentry, be it a mini-sentry or a level three. This class can be the hardest to kill especially with them with nothing better to do then watch for enemy spies. The reason engineers are secondly on the list is because while their constructs are powerful, generally an engineer isn't responsible for pushing the enemy lines forward, but whoever the medic is healing is probably pushing into your lines.
Heavies: They don't hold the line, they are the line. Simplest way to break the back of an enemy push is to kill the heavies. Often the heavy class will be more goal orientated and tend to cap points or push bomb-carts while other classes with attempt to simply kill the enemy.
Snipers: Sniper are easy kills for spies and should be a higher priority especially since they tend to stay back from conflict. Razorback snipers can be easily dealt with by shooting the player in the head twice. Sniper's act as a destabilizing force for your lines, they take out priority target just like you do.
Constructions: Although this isn't a class I felt it was important to add. Every building that is destroyed is a building that can't be used by the enemy team. Dispensers and inactive teleporters often get overlooked but can aid the enemy team greatly. How often have you been on fire or low on health and an engineer's dispenser was the only thing that saved you?
Cheese Factor: When I play, I play dirty. If you do to, you'll enjoy this tip. By looking at the score boards it's easy to see who the top players are and by killing top player their deaths have greater impacts on the game. Especially since there are usually players who dominate the scoreboards. Basically, if given the choice to kill an low scoring player or someone I recognize as being of high value to the enemy team, I'll pick the higher value target.
Strategies for Engineer's
Here's a collection of tips and tricks when dealing with Engineers and their sentry guns.
- Have an engineer who's bunkered down in a tight confined space (on ledges, in small rooms, etc)? Use their teleporter. Engineers to save space in confined areas will stand on their teleporter, by using it with them standing on it.They get tele-fragged.
- Safe engineer. Sometimes an engineer is just too well protected, you're not able to get near the sentry without being discovered. One tactic to use is to head to their spawn to destroy the teleporters. Since teleportation is one of the most important functions of the engineer, the engineer will need to rebuild the teleporter. This mean leaving the safety of their nest.
- Remember the names of the engineers and watch the kill feeds. If you happen to notice an engineer died, you'll know his construction are available for sapping. This ties into the above tip, since engineers will use respawning as a way to rebuild a teleporter entrance.
- Safe engineer. Another tactic for engineers who are well protected is to go for the kill and ignore the sentries. This mean's going for a back-stab that will probably get you killed under the belief that your teammates will be able to take out the sentries before the engineer respawns.
- If you're a spy using Eternal Reward knife and you don't have a disguise you can still take out a sentry. While cloaked jump on top of the engineers sentry, you might have to jump crouch. Once on top, take out your sapper and disengage your cloak. The sentry to attempt to track you but will take longer because your standing on top of it. You can extend the time even more by moving around the edges of a sentry as it tracks you. Once sapped, you're free to stab the engineer. By de-cloaked above the sentry it's easier to get a stab on the engineer.
- Dispensers will hide you from sentries. Use them as cover when attacking engineers.
- Sentry Gun do friendly fire to engineers under the right circumstances. Normally rockets shot by sentries have to fly a certain distance before being able to do any damage to an engineer, but if a rocket hits a solid object before that distance the splash damage can effect the engineer. What does this mean? In a tough situation it's possible to kill engineer with their own sentry guns. This solid surface can be either you or the ground. The trick is to avoid a sentries bullets which will shoot you before the rockets. If you're fast enough using a Dead Ringer at the right moment will kill the engineer and leave you alive (barely).
- Another way to kill engineers place yourself behind a dispenser and line up the engineer with his sentry gun. Using the dispenser as cover start shooting at the engineer. His sentry will activate and turn towards the spy, but be blocked by him. He'll take the bullets. Special note: Rockets will pass through the engineer at close range.
- Engineer's in corners. A fair amount of engineers like to build with that back to the wall. A great way to beat this defense is to cloak and jump on top of the engineers constructions and then jump on top of the engineer's head. This will count as you touching a player and de-cloak you, but the majority of engineers never know somebodies standing on their head. Depending on your knife you're going to want to sap first and then take out the engineer. Or at the very least sap the sentry before going for the kill.
- Sap Shoot method. Engineers have a tendency to remove sappers from teleporters. If you want to get the job done, get in the habit of sapping a teleporter and then shooting it. Sapping the teleporter will cause the engineer to remove the sapper before attempting to repair the teleporter.
- Sap and Shoot Method. If a sentry is not guarded by teammates, simply sapping the gun and shooting it can quickly destroy even a level 3.
- If you can get away with sapping it, do it! Every little bit helps as a spy. If you can't take out the sentry, taking out a dispenser can lead to the sentry eventually being destroyed. Sap teleporters even if they don't have an active portal. At the very least you're ensuring the engineer cannot rebuild that construction until you sapper does it's work. For instance, upon pushing to a new point and receiving a new spawn point you might notice the enemy team's teleporters are still in front of your new spawn. By sapping them not only do you get points but the engineer has to wait for the sapper to finish before building a new teleporter at their new spawn.
- Mini Sentries. These can be the bane to support classes, they're easily to not see and they do a fair amount of damage. Using a Red Taped Record (sapper) on these will take the minisentry out of commission for 10 seconds, most engineer's will not remove a sapper from a mini-sentry. That's a long time in a first person shooter. This tactic usually makes the engineer switch to a regular sentry gun (which are much more manageable as a spy.)
- Steal Metal. Engineer when attempting to build needs lots of metal and a spy can effectively reduce the strength of an engineer by simply taking the metal. Some watches like Deadringer and Invis Watch will recharge using metal but if you're fully charged a good strategy is to shoot your gun a few times in spawn. This way you can always pickup metal. You can take metal whether you're cloaked or disguised.
How to Aim and things to practice
While this guide can't teach you're brain to have good hand to eye coordination it can give you some tips which might help improve your game.
-Every class has a different way to aim. Snipers tend to allow the targets to move over their cursor before taking the shot. Pyro's sweep fire back and forth on a horizontal plane. And spy's tend to aim with their movements more then their mouse. In order to get a backstab a spy has to be directly behind a target. Stop trying to aim with the mouse-the stiff movements of a player using their movement keys to aim is one of the ways a player can easily recognize a spy.
-A great way to practice getting stabs is before the round starts running behind you're teammates and attacking their back. Pick players who like to jump around and move about the battlefield.
-Want to improve you're aiming? Pick a spot on the way and practice shooting it. Don't just stand in one area shooting it. Practice running back and forth trying to hit the spot on the wall. Jump shots. Crouch shots. Spy around a few times and shoot. Run from around a corner and shoot the spot.
-Find a good look sensitivity and never change it. Pick whatever look sensitivity that you find to be comfortable-I'd recommend higher look sensitivity if possible but go what you're comfortable with. The reason you never want to change it is because of muscle memory and hand to eye coordination. Every time you change your sensitivity your brain has to relearn how to move.
Other Guides and articles by this author
- Team Fortress 2 Spy Guide: Best weapons and Picking the Right Disguise -page 1
Team Fortress 2 spy guide, with a complete breakdown of weapons, strategies used by pro players, tricks to getting high scores, become better at the game. Section 1: proper disguises, weapon bre..etc