View Full Version : New to 6v6 play? Read This (Updated as of 6/28/10)

09-21-2009, 04:55 PM
A lot of people appear to be interested in playing in the pickup games, but hesitate due to a lack of experience and familiarity with the 6v6 format. This thread will be a guide to some of the basics of competitive play to help people who are interested in joining the PUGs have a better idea of what to expect.



- In competitive 6v6, the class limits are 2 of every class except the medic and demo, of which teams are allowed only one each. Within these constraints, the most popular class composition in 6v6 is nearly always two scouts, two soldiers, a demo, and a medic.

- In most cases, the two soldiers, demo, and medic are necessities. Thus, it is commonplace for the two players on scout to switch to other classes when the situation arises.

- However, pyro, engineer, spy, sniper, and heavy all see regular use within the competitive setting as utility classes. For example, it is common for a scout to switch to sniper or heavy when defending the last point on 5CP maps like granary. When attacking the last point on the same maps, snipers and spies often come into play as well.

- Basically, you can play in 6v6 no matter what your favorite class is, but be prepared to switch to one of the core classes should your team require it.


- This is going to be the biggest change newer people will experience going from pub play to 6v6. Good communication between teammates is incredibly important to your team's success. Failing to notify your team that see the enemy coming from a certain direction is likely to lead to getting a lot of people killed.

- Things that you should be communicating to your teammates are: the position of the enemy, what classes the enemy team has, when you die, when you have heavily damaged an enemy, etc..

- Communicate even if you wouldn't normally use your mic on the pub servers, don't be shy, no bit of information is useless.


- 6v6 matches are played, in order of most common to least common: 5CP, attack/defend, and CTF maps.

- it is important to be able to describe succinctly the various points on the map you are playing for ease of communication to your teammates. The competitive community has a fairly exhaustive vocabulary for describing the various points on each map. HOWEVER, it is ok if you don't know the terms, so long as you can describe them well enough that your team knows what you are talking about.

- Example, on badlands: "spire" is the 4th (or 2nd) cap on the map, at the top of the hill. "Balcony" is the region directly overlooking the 4th cap point on the defending team's side, while "yard" is the large open area towards the middle cap point (where the attacking team comes from). These terms are short and generally specific enough for your team to know what you're talking about should you need to inform them of your location.

- For 5CP maps, the points are labeled from 1 to 5 from your team's perspective. thus, your team's first point is "1", the middle point is "3", and the enemy team's last point is "5." i.e.: Having capped 2, the team now pushes on to 3. and so on.

09-21-2009, 05:18 PM
thanks to various folks like zaz and john cataldo for helping me think of these.

airshot: Hitting someone with a pipe or rocket while they are in midair for whatever reason. Cool and makes you look like a pro but there isn't much reason to waste rockets on trying if you haven't practiced them. Don't call these "middies" because that sounds weird, dude.

put time on: The general act of standing on a capture point. Points tend to capture quite fast in the later stages of a game and someone jumping on and off a point during an engagement can put enough capture time on to take the point. as a general rule, if you like it then you shoulda put some time on it.

meatshot: a meatshot is a close range scattergun shot, these usually result in around 100 damage. The actual term was made up by daniel "carnage" sturdivant, usually considered one of the best scouts ever. It's an incredibly dumb term but has made its way into the general vocabulary of tf2. HAHA MEATSHOT is funny because you're making fun of the guy who made it up, ok?

kritz: Crits are disabled in competition. when you hear this word, the person is almost 100% referring to a kritzkrieg. Usually sounds like "KRITZ KRITZ KRITZ OH MY GOD KRITZ."

mumble: mumble is like ventrilo, a program for in-game communcation. It is slightly different from ventrilo and sometimes considered to be better due to lower delay in voice being relayed to and fro. Europeans seem to like it a lot. Notable in that it doesn't play that WAMP sound when you press the push to talk key!

rollout: The rollout is the particular path (and for soldiers and demomen, the sequence of jumps) that a class uses to get to mid as quickly as possible. Knowing your class's rollout for a map is very useful, but can take time to learn.

body block: you cannot clip through players on the opposing team. body blocking is the practice of blocking enemies from moving forward or escaping by standing in a doorway or strafing back and forth in front of them as they try to move. This is especially good for preventing ubered enemies from reaching your medic.

combo: This is the team's soldier + medic and the centerpiece of your team's offense. In some cases, this will include both soldiers or the demo, and other times, a single soldier and the medic.

pocket: The person who is playing pocket is the player that the medic is stuck to. This person will receive most of the ubercharges, and is the medic's primary guardian. 99% of time, this is a soldier. On some maps, this might also be a heavy or a demoman.

roamer: This generally refers one of the team's soldiers. a roaming soldier strays away from the combo, much like the team's scouts, and attempts to flank the enemy. a very common set up is one pocket soldier and one roaming soldier, but some teams will forgo the use of a roaming soldier and combo both soldiers together.

flash: this is the practice of a medic, with ubercharge active and running, putting the heal beam (and thus the uber) onto a different player than he originally activated it on. this will often times save a player's life or allow for rocket jumps when attacking a capture point. most usually heard simply as "flash me", or if you are steely glint, "OH MY GAAAAAAWD FLASH ME."

pick: To "pick" an enemy player is generally synonymous with killing a high value target such as the medic or demoman. This is a useful thing for scouts or snipers to attempt for, and something that you want to avoid happening to your team at all costs. A common usage is for the scouts to be instructed to attempt "a medic pick," meaning, the scouts should attempt to assassinate the enemy medic.

dropped uber: To drop an uber is to die with your ubercharge meter at 100% - that is, a wasted opportunity. this is extremely undesirable and it is almost always preferrable to use the uber when in danger, even if it is likely to be wasted.

forced uber: To damage or attack the enemy medic to the point where he uses his uber prematurely in order to save himself. Usually a good thing when it happens to the enemy team.

pop: Synonymous with "use" in reference to ubercharges. If the enemy team uses their uber, the common description is "they popped." Sometimes synonymous with "forced."

backcap: Due to the way cap times work in 5CP maps, it is often a strong tactic for someone (usually scouts) to go behind the enemy team as they attempt to capture a point, and capture the previous point. Example: the blu team controls point 2, and are attacking point 3. the red scouts sneak behind the blu team, and begin to capture point 2. This usually forces the team being backcapped to abandon their attack in order to stop it.

mid: In 5CP maps, this refers to the 3rd control point. On CTF maps like turbine this refers to the open middle area.

lit: If you tell the team that an enemy player is lit, that means that player is heavily damaged. I don't know why they say lit. The pro team compLexity uses "raped." Same general idea.

09-21-2009, 07:13 PM
thanks to various members of the community for contributing these. they are credited in the quote section. if you have a tip you would like to see added, PM me and i will add it and credit you.

- Make sure you have established in advance with your medic and soldier partner whether you are roaming or pocketing. It's absolutely crucial for everyone to be aware of what their role is for the combo.

- As pocket: the medic's life is going to be solely in your hands almost all the time. Your number one priority is protecting him from danger at all costs, even above trying to kill enemy players. This means you should always be communicating with your medic as to when you are pushing, where you're going, and when you're retreating.

- If the enemy comes at you with an uber, and you don't have yours ready, you will need to help your medic get away, as they will be doing their best to kill him. The easiest way to do this is fire rockets to bounce the ubered enemies up or away while your medic retreats. BE CAREFUL: you can easily bounce your opponent into your own medic and give him a free kill. Body blocks are also good for this, especially when you are ubered as you can prevent the enemy from escaping in tight spots.

- When you're ubered, feel free to rocket jump forward to get into the enemy's face. don't go too far forward, however, or your medic won't be able to keep up.

- As roaming: whenever possible, try and take the high ground when facing the enemy. Examples include the crates at granary mid or balcony on badlands. find alternate routes to get behind and flank the enemy. If you can get behind them and bounce them towards your teammates, it can result in a lot of easy kills.

- You need to be pretty comfortable with rocketjumping in general, as it will be necessary to get to mid quickly at round start, and attacking various points.

- Keep an eye on your ammo count. with less players in the game than a pub server, you're not as likely to pick up fallen ammo from enemies. also, during lulls in combat make sure your weapons are fully loaded at all times (rocket launcher first).

- If you're with the medic, and there's no fighting going on, start damaging yourself in order to build the medic's uber faster.

-Gunboats are incredibly useful for a roaming soldier, they take pressure off the medic by allowing you to rocket jump to collect health, they allow you to get to mid before the demo and they make it worthwhile to perform complicated jumps.

- Always be situationally aware and know when to back out or advance. Depending on what is going on around you, your playstyle will have to either change drastically or minimally. IE: Don't get cocky, kid.

- Scout Screening for your Demoman: Learn to do it. Nine times out of ten, you'll end up saving his life (granted you can actually aim). Scout screening consists of basically rolling with the demoman and sticking around with him, shooting anything coming his way (from any direction). Scout screening is vital due to the fact that the demoman uses projectile weapons (excluding the bottle, which won't ALWAYS save his life), whereas the scout's weapons are all hitscan. Much faster to save with a hitscan than a projective at point blank-10 yard range.

- On certain maps, Bonk! Atomic Punch (now with more isotopes!) is actually a viable item to use. Actually, it's useful on most maps mainly because it is used to look for sticky traps and/or to even cause the enemy demoman to blow them on you. It's really just a big mindfuck when it boils down to it (in competitive play, at least).

- It's also useful for escaping from sticky situations (no pun intended). If you can't aim with the pistol, or actually know you have enough skill (aim) to kill someone with just your scattergun/force-a-nature, Bonk! is the way to go. Very useful for getaways if you ever end up alone or under heavy fire.

- As a scout, you're used for picking people off, being a distraction (in some cases, at least), and capping/backcapping. Your main targets (besides scouts that you will inevitably fight) are the medic and demoman, same for almost anyone else on your team (excluding the medic). Without overcharge, every class (besides heavy) will die to two scattershots (from either the force-a-nature or scattergun).

[strike:201nbes1]- Choosing your weapons is really a measure of your own personal skill. There are many skill scouts who use the scattergun due to the fact that it has six shots instead of two, but also due to how they know they may miss a few shots in between. There are also the skilled scouts who use the force-a-nature knowing that they can land both hits, which, if both point blank (as they should be), will kill pretty much anyone (without overcharge or a heavy).[/strike:201nbes1]

- The pistol, as stated previously, is also a part of a measurement of your own skill. If you know you can't seal the deal with your scattergun/force-a-nature, you should probably use this (even though the Bonk! is quite useful, it's just a person choice, really) as a finisher.

- Above all, as a scout, you need to communicate with your team. I cannot stress this enough. COMMUNICATION IS KEY. Most of the time as a scout, you will be on your own or with your scout partner. You need to be able to tell people what is going on and who is coming where. Knowledge of the maps and names of areas on the map is both vital and essential to being a good scout. Not only that, but, knowing where the health packs and ammo packs are is also essentially, mainly because your medic will be healing the other heavier assault classes on your team.

- The primary job of the demoman in competition is to spam the hell out of any control point your team is fighting to capture. Ideally, your teammates will move onto the point to pressure it and put capture point on it, and as the enemy team attempts to block the capture, you are free to spam stickies and pipes and kill them all.

- When holding or defending a point, you will be expected to seal off an entrance with sticky traps. Make sure you're paying attention and detonating them at the right time, as if a scout slips through because you didn't detonate them fast enough, you will die. Probably.

- On a related scout note, make sure that your team's scouts are protecting you from the other team's. If they aren't, that needs to be fixed, or you better be really, really good with your pipes.

- General awareness of the map is crucial for a demoman, as to be most effective you need to know where the enemy team is going to be coming from so that you can spam them. As well, you will want to be able to stickyjump from point to point very quickly especially in the beginning of the game - the scouts and the demoman should usually arrive at mid at roughly the same time.

- Get to know your soldiers. Your soldiers, particularly your pocket, are your only defense against the opposing team. If the chance arises, play often and as medic/soldier outside of scrims with your pocket to learn how you both work in the roles. The only way to get better at this is practice and communication.

- Communicate, a lot. You have a good vantage point that's not too involved in combat to call targets and anything else of even middling importance. Depending on your team dynamics medic can make an extremely good position for calling tactical overhead (I.E. push left now, focus on the separated soldier, etc.). Also call out important situations, i.e. when you or most of your team is injured, when an enemy dies or falls back, etc.

- Ubercharge timing: There's no good way to teach this, but generally err on the side of earlier Ubers when you're in danger, as the worst case is dropping the uber (dying with 100% charge). This also has to be worked on by the people you'll be Ubering. To maximize Uber time you need to stick to a single Uber target and not lose the beam on them at all during an Uber v Uber battle, which means if your soldier/demo gets too far ahead of you, or you have to pop far before entering the battle area, you lose a lot of time.

- Heal order at round start (depending on map somewhat), you need a solid heal order so as many people as possible can get to the center of the map at the highest healths, a fairly solid order to use is Demo -> Scout(s) -> Roaming Soldier -> Pocket Soldier. Keep in mind with the soldiers you may need to switch back and forth to keep both high enough to jump to mid safely without dying on the way to their own rockets.

- Heal order in engagements: The general rule of thumb here is Red HP(Lit) players under attack - > Red HP players -> Players under attack -> all others. There are of course exceptions to this, i.e. keep your pocket at at least half-2/3rds hp, if he can't take a rocket and live you'll be very quick to go down after.

- Heal distance: This is a really variable subject, and depends a lot on where the enemy scouts/soldiers/demo are. If the scouts are nearby (or unknown) you're going to want to be close to your soldier, so you can dash to the other side when they show up, however, if the scouts aren't near you or if you're being spammed at by soldiers and the demo, you're going to want to play back from the pocket, to let him soak up most of the damage, and stay out of splash range.

- Uber discipline: When you Uber, don't just charge wildly into the opposition, while rushing in and getting 3-4 kills can be amazing, the reality is that it will almost never happen unless you far out-skill your opponents. Instead, focus on securing a good foothold and getting 1-2 kills with the Uber and then being in a safe position for the Ubercharge wearing off. It's very easy to rush in and get separated from your team only to get picked apart as soon as the charge goes down.

- No 'Battle-Medic'ing. There are very few exceptions to this rule, if you never pull out your needle gun even once in a scrim, that's great. With the increased regen on the normal needle gun there's even less reason to ever actually pull it out.

- Heavy is usually seen when your team is pushed to last and trying to defend; this usually makes it a last ditch kind of thing. If you do switch to heavy (or any utility class, really) make sure you communicate it to your team beforehand.

- If you have to run from one point to another, make sure you've got your shotgun out. Good scouts will jump all over you and kill you before you have the chance to spin up your minigun should you be ambushed.

- A notable map for heavies is cp_well: due to the 30 second setup time, many teams run a heavy at the beginning as his slowness in getting to mid is not an issue.

09-23-2009, 01:12 PM
thanks timmyfred. thank you so. fucking. much. oh my god. thank you so much. THANK YOU.

If you've decided that you enjoy the pug games and competitive setting enough to try joining or forming a regular team, that's great! Here are some websites that you might find useful for more in-depth strategy and such that this topic doesn't cover.

- gotfrag (http://www.gotfrag.com/tf2) and a beginner's guide to competitive play (http://www.gotfrag.com/tf2/story/43759/) by waar. gotfrag is the largest and most popular site for e-sports coverage and news on competitive play for a variety of games, including tf2. one of the biggest resources for in-game demos of the top tf2 teams, which are a great way to learn about tactics from some of the best.

If you are interested in keeping up on what's going on with tf2 leagues and such, this is where you should go. gotfrag mainly covers north american tf2 (as opposed to european leagues). Be aware that their forums are a wretched hive of trolls and villainy and if you seek a real answer to some kind of tf2 question, the last place you will get it is on their forums.

Their guide is similar to this topic but perhaps more in depth, aimed at people who are interested in getting started in the competitive tf2 scene.

- Ubercharged.net's competitive tf2 guide. (http://www.ubercharged.net/how-to-play-tf2/the-competitive-tf2-guide/) This is an excellent guide that covers everything in this topic but more in-depth, and more - including things like configs and binds. They have guides for all the classes (to the best of my knowledge) and do an excellent job of explaining a class's role in competition.

There's a lot of information here so if you're just looking to get the basics and jump right into the PUGs, you might want to save this for another time - but it's definitely worth a read if you think you might want to play competitively in the future.

- mikemarcin.net (http://www.mikemarcin.com/gaming/team-fortress-2/). Mike Marcin, aka Jaeger, is one of the top soldiers in all of tf2 and a member of compLexity, a team that has for a long time dominated tf2 leagues. He provides on his website various articles about strategy or tips, but the main draw here is demos + mp3s of his team's mumble chat during actual matches. This is much more advanced than casual players will ever need to know, but is a great way to understand how the top players in the game communicate and plan their strategies out.

If you are interested in founding a TF2 team, get in touch with HevyD or typezero, and they can set you up with a private vent channel and forums just for you and your team! plus, you will be able to access the CA match server for your scrims and matches!