An Introduction to Team Fortress 2 - A Fun, Free FPS
Although there are many things that set TF2 apart from other shooters: the cartoony, 50’s style aesthetic, the brilliantly designed levels or its very tongue-in-cheek approach, its main difference is in the classes you can play and how they all work together.
TF2 is exactly what it says, a team based game. It doesn’t matter if you’re the best FPS player ever, without your teammates backing you up, you’re going to lose. That’s why it’s vital to understand the different classes and how they work, so that you can make the most of your time playing the game and help your team to crush your opponents!
There are nine classes in TF2, which come under three main areas:
We'll explore each of these, and the classes in each one, below.
The offensive classes (the Scout, Soldier and Pyro) are at the front line of the team. That means they are often leading assaults, driving the enemy back and capturing control points.
The defensive classes (Demoman, Heavy and Engineer) help to slow the enemy down and prevent them from moving forward. They are good at holding chokepoints and making things difficult for their opponents.
The support classes (Medic, Sniper and Spy) have specialised abilities and tactics that can turn the tide of the battle. Although they aren’t as formidable when alone, they can be unstoppable when teamed up with others.
Scout – Main weapon: Scattergun; Backup weapon: Pistol; Melee weapon: Baseball bat
The Scout is a very fast moving, agile class that can quickly get behind enemy lines. Their exceptional speed and jumping abilities combine with an accelerated capture rate to quickly surprise enemies.
- Strengths: Fast moving, agile, difficult to hit
- Weaknesses: Fragile, sometimes difficult to control
Soldier – Main weapon: Rocket launcher; Backup weapon: Shotgun; Melee weapon: Shovel
The soldier is a dependable, tough character class that uses his rocket launcher to cause explosive damage to his enemies. He can also ‘rocket jump’ allowing him to get to otherwise inaccessible spots and rain down surprise, fiery death on his foes.
- Strengths: Lots of health, explosive rockets
- Weaknesses: Slow, limited ammunition and clip size
Pyro – Main weapon: Flamethrower; Backup weapon: Shotgun; Melee weapon: Axe
The Pyro is everyone’s favourite fire-loving maniac! The Pyro’s flamethrower makes short work of their opponents and sets them in fire, meaning that foes keep taking damage, even when the pyro is long gone.
- Strengths: Damage over time, surprise, very fast damage
- Weaknesses: Short range on flamethrower means they have to get close to opponents
Demoman – Main weapon: Grenade launcher; Backup weapon: Stickybomb launcher; Melee weapon: Whisky bottle
A one-eyed Scottish Cyclops, the Demoman combines a fearsome accent with high explosives. His grenade launcher allows him to bounce grenades around corners and into tight spots whilst his stickybomb launcher means that he can lay down carpets of mines and explode unsuspecting passers by!
- Strengths: Indirect fire means he can damage targets without seeing them; Stickybombs let him lay traps
- Weaknesses: Does not have a straightforward ‘Point, Aim and Shoot’ attack, so can be weak in close quarters combat
Heavy – Main weapon: Minigun; Backup weapon: Shotgun; Melee weapon: Boxing gloves
The Heavy is a huge Russian man with a great love of his minigun, Natasha. A very tough, slow moving class, the Heavy is extremely powerful when backed up with a Medic and his rapid fire minigun makes short work of anyone foolish enough to get close.
- Strengths: Lots of health, minigun is rapid fire and does not need to reload
- Weaknesses: Minigun is slow to spin up and fire; Heavy is a slow moving class
Engineer – Main weapon: Shotgun & Sentries; Backup weapon: Pistol; Melee weapon: Wrench
The Engineer’s strengths are in the buildings that he can construct and deploy; these include: Teleporters, to get his team mates back into the fighting quickly; Dispensers, which provide healing and ammunition and Sentry Guns, automated turrets of death that track and kill enemies.
- Strengths: Sentry guns are great at making areas impassable; Teleporters get teammates into the fight, Dispensers keep them there
- Weaknesses: Vulnerable without a sentry gun to back them up; needs a constant supply of metal to construct buildings
Medic – Main weapon: Syringe gun; Backup weapon: Medigun; Melee weapon: Bonesaw
The Medic is every player’s best friend. The only class capable of healing directly, a Medic teamed up with another good class (like a Heavy, Soldier, Pyro or Demoman) can be very difficult to stop. Especially when they activate an ‘Ubercharge’, a short period of invulnerability when neither the medic nor their healing target takes damage.
- Strengths: Healing, Ubercharge
- Weaknesses: Not very good by themselves
Sniper – Main weapon: Sniper rifle; Backup weapon: Machine gun; Melee weapon: Kukri
A class that’s expert at taking enemies out from a distance. A zoomed in headshot on another player will kill them instantly, almost every time. Snipers are greatly feared and a well-played one can command the battlefield.
- Strengths: Long range combat; kills in one shot
- Disadvantages: Fragile; not aware of surroundings when using scope
Spy – Main weapon: Knife; Backup weapon: Revolver
The Spy class is often the bane of many other classes. With their ability to cloak and disguise themselves as a friendly teammate, their backstab which instantly kills and their ability to sap and destroy engineer buildings, they are a constant thorn in the side of the enemy team.
- Strengths: Disguise, cloaking, sapping, one hit kills
- Weaknesses: Fragile; can be easily killed in open combat; not many ranged weapons
Playing each class in TF2 is a different experience, so you should try them all to see what works for you. One thing is sure though, if you keep at it, practice your class and learn all of their skills and secrets, you can really help out your team and achieve victory!