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Team Fortress 2: Characters and Gamemodes

Team Fortress 2 is Valve Software’s 2007 class-based first-person shooter. Team Fortress 2 is commonly referred to jokingly as a war-themed hat simulator because of its absurd focus on fashion while you detonate the enemy players. The game has an economy, with items sometimes selling for higher than a small car. It has a vibrant community with millions of players spanning the globe.

Valve Software, Public domain

Team Fortress 2’s Characters

Each class is unique to each other. In total, there are nine. Scout, Soldier, Pyro, Demoman, Heavy, Engineer, Medic, Sniper, and Spy. Every class can fight one another, but not every matchup is fair.

Scout

Scout is a lean, mean, running machine. He can flank you faster than you can say “Red spy in the base!” With his powerful scattergun and double jump, he makes quick work of his enemies with precision aim being a necessity. His secondaries can provide support with the mad milk by healing you for every hit you land (Which applies to your team too). But can be just as offensive with his secondaries like his pistol. His melee is the weakest for a reason. Use it mainly for utilities like the atomizer for a triple jump. His cocky personality suits his small and fast physique.

Class portrait of the Scout

Team Fortress 2 Soldier

The Soldier is a man who ONLY bleeds red, white, and blue. He loves America more than anything else in the world. Armed with a powerful yet slow rocket launcher, an experienced Team Fortress 2 player can tear up the battlefield. His rocket launcher gives him the most excellent utility in the game: rocket jumping. A challenging but rewarding skill. Even players with 1000s of hours in the game struggle to master it. He also has a shotgun for fighting enemies who can destroy or reflect his rockets. Or he can replace it with a banner for a health boost, passive health regen, or a full-charge buff. Each has a unique charge ability. His melee can be replaced with a whip for faster movement with a teammate, a pickaxe that speeds you up at low health, or a shovel that does critical hits when rocket jumping.

Class Portrait of the Soldier

Pyro

The crazed pyromaniac. One must shudder to imagine what inhumane thoughts lie behind its mask. We don’t know a lot about it, not even its gender. With its flamethrower, it leaves the battlefield scorched. It can’t fight other pyros with it, so it has a shotgun as a secondary. Or you can switch it out for a flaregun for critical hits (3x damage) on burning players. Its melee is usually swapped out for utilities like breaking spy sappers or a minor speed boost while holding the melee.

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Class portrait of the Pyro

Demoman

The black, Scottish cyclops himself. If he were a lousy demoman, he wouldn’t be sitting there discussing it with you now, would he? Armed with a grenade and sticky bomb launcher, he is a tactician. He can lay down sticky bombs to detonate at will and shoot out arcing grenades for instant damage on a direct hit. An accurate marksmen can shoot an enemy out of the air with his grenades. His melee is usually his default, but he can swap it for a sword. When swapping his grenade and sticky launcher for boots and a shield respectively, he becomes demoknight who can charge at insane speeds to cut down the enemy.

Team Fortress 2's Demoman
Class portrait of the Demoman

Heavy

Team Fortress 2’s beefy Russian soldier who loves his gun. His gun weighs one hundred fifty kilograms and fires two hundred dollar, custom-tooled cartridges at ten thousand rounds per minute. It costs four hundred thousand dollars to fire his weapon for twelve seconds. His minigun deals out massive suppressive fire with loads of damage. His secondary shotgun is practical during close-range encounters when his minigun isn’t ready to fire. You can switch it out for a sandvich (how it’s spelled in-game) which heals him to total health when eaten (and can be thrown to teammates and acts as a medium health kit. His melee can be swapped for items with various utilities like speed at the cost of a temporary health drain while active.

Class portrait of the Heavy

Engineer

The Engineer is a Texan full of Southern hospitality. The only thing higher than his IQ is his kill count. He is armed with a shotgun as a primary and a pistol as a secondary. He can swap his shotgun for many utilities and damage options, including a gun that can heal his buildings from a range. His pistol can be swapped out for a controller for the sentry, allowing for faster kills and rocket jumping with level 3 sentries. His construction PDA enables him to build buildings, while his wrench allows him to heal and upgrade them. He has a sentry, dispenser, and teleporters. All are upgradable to level 3. Sentries provide powerful area denial. His dispenser dispenses health and ammo. His teleporters teleport teammates right to the front lines, one at a time, after a cooldown.

Team Fortress 2's Engineer
Class portrait of the Engineer

Team Fortress 2’s Medic

The Medic is a mad German scientist who sees his team as more experiments than patients. Armed with a very weak syringe gun, he can heal using his secondary, the medigun. The medigun provides a constant, single-target healing source that pours health steadily. Once he has been healing targets for at least 40 seconds, he gains an ÜberCharge that lasts 8 seconds when activated. The ÜberCharge is pure power, granting the recipient and the Medic himself invulnerability with the only downside of being unable to capture points or push payload carts. He is a vital component of any Team Fortress 2 team. Other equipable mediguns provide different perks on Über like critical hits, high resistance against a single damage type with four mini-Übers, and a lightning-fast heal time with even quicker Über heal time in exchange for overheal potential.

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Class portrait of the Medic

Sniper

The Australian Sniper. His parents think he’s a crazed gunman, but he’s a trained assassin. If there are two people left on the planet, someone is gonna want someone dead. And Sniper is polite and efficient about it. His primary, the sniper rifle, is a powerful gun that can be charged up by scoping for some time for extra damage. His secondary, the SMG, is a weak gun for close range. It can be swapped out for jarate, the jar-based karate. Don’t ask what it’s made of. When applied to enemies, it causes all damage done to become mini-crit damage (1.5x damage). His melee is best used when in conjunction with jarate.

Team Fortress 2's Sniper
Class portrait of the Sniper

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Team Fortress 2’s Spy

Hailing from cheese-eating surrender monkey land, he is armed with a revolver, a sapper, a butterfly knife, an invisible watch, and a disguise kit. His revolver does moderate damage at medium range. His sapper can be used to disable and destroy Engineer buildings. The butterfly knife can backstab the enemy for an instant kill. The disguise kit helps secure these backstab kills, allowing him to pretend to be on the enemy team. The invisible watch enables him to become invisible for a short time. He can still be bumped into and damaged while invisible, so watch out. The sneakiest character in Team Fortress 2.

Class portrait of the Spy

Team Fortress 2’s Gamemodes

There are many game modes to partake in with Team Fortress 2. From pushing a cart full of explosives into an unwilling enemy team to playing good old king of the kill or capturing the flag, there’s a gamemode for everyone.

In payload, the BLU team is tasked with pushing a cart full of explosives into the RED team’s base. This game mode has something for every class. Offense classes can push the cart, defensive classes can provide support against flanks, and support classes can support the team in pushing.

Image of the payload cart

Capture the flag

Capture The Flag is probably the second most popular game mode. It tasks either team with capturing the enemy team’s briefcase. Do it three times, and you get to go home. Offense classes see the most play here as the community rarely tends to play the objective due to the infinite time limit. It can be fun if you just want to sit back and get kills for a while.

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Image of the RED intelligence briefcase

King of the hill

RED and BLU teams are tasked with capturing and holding one control point. This Team Fortress 2 game mode is for people who want a match that can be highly variable in length since capturing the point starts a timer for your team. If the other team captures the point, your timer will pause, and the other team’s timer will start. If you capture it again, it will resume from where it left off. A team needs to get their timer down to 0 to win and do it twice to win the match.

Team Fortress 2's badlands map
Image of the KoTH Badlands point

Control Point

Control point features either 3 or 5 points for either team to capture. The point closest to your spawn is the goal for the enemy. When the middle point is captured, the points behind and ahead are unlocked, allowing either team to capture it. In a map with 5 points, each team has 2 points on their side and one in the middle. In maps with 3, each team gets 1 point. You can either push into the enemy and capture a point or defend against an enemy push against your point. Capping a point will increase the timer round timer. If the timer reaches 0, both teams lose in a stalemate.

An overhead view of Team Fortress 2's Map: Process
Overhead view of the 5-point map “Process”

Attack/Defend

In the Attack/Defend Team Fortress 2 game mode, you have an attacking team (BLU) and a defending team (RED). The defending team must defend all the points, but not all are active simultaneously. The one closest to the enemy spawn is active at any given time unless it is already captured. Then, it moves to the next point. If RED wins, players swap sides and now must attack. If BLU wins, the map will progress to its next state as RED is pushed back, and players stay attacking or defending. Capping a point will increase the timer round timer if the timer reaches 0, RED wins.

Image of the A/D map Dust Bowl

Conclusion

There is so much strategy and intricate detail in Team Fortress 2. Its plethora of unique characters, mechanics, game modes, and maps give players a near-endless value for gameplay. Not to mention the entire in-game economy players can interact with. It is another timeless masterpiece by Valve and will live on in players’ hearts for decades.

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