Last week Valve stunned the world by making one of its most popular online shooters, Team Fortress 2 (TF2) Free to Play. This obviously resulted in a massive influx of players who for the last six odd years or so missed out on one of the most awesome online gaming experiences there is. When you pit newcomers against veterans who’ve been eating, breathing and doing all sorts of nasty stuff with Team Fortress 2 since 2007, the results will be a bit disastrous since Team Fortress 2 has quite a steep learning curve. And since we were all noobs one time, here’s a basic guide that should help you get by.
Practice makes perfect
Practise will teach you the basics
TF2 may look all cartoony and funny but it is a brutal game where the weak will die, painfully, over and over again. To avoid humiliation, Valve have been considerate enough to add in a Practice mode (present in the main menu itself) through which you can gain a better understanding of the different classes, diverse game modes as well as the maps. And don’t scoff at the bots; they will kick your butt all over the place.
Experiment with and understand your class
TF2 has nine distinct classes each of which have their strengths and weaknesses. Experiment with each of them to see which one suits your play style the best. Newcomers would be better off with sticking to easier classes like the Heavy, Medic or Pyro after which they can graduate to the tougher ones like Soldier, Spy etc. Once you find your groove with a particular class, you’ll be tempted to stick to that class but I strongly suggest becoming more of an all round player as some classes are useless in certain maps.
Choose your destiny
After you’ve zeroed in on your class, it’s time to fully understand its pros and cons. Sure the Heavy may seem like an invulnerable obvious choice at first but his slow movement speed makes him an easy target for spies and snipers. Similarly, the scout while fast and nimble can easily be decimated by a Heavy’s machine gun or a well timed rocket. Plus some of the larger maps are crawling with spies and snipers so running around all clueless like a Heavy will get you backstabbed or shot in the head in no time.
There’s no I in Team
A collaborative effort
TF2 is a team-based shooter and just so you understand what I’m saying, a TEAM BASED SHOOTER. This isn’t Call of Duty where you can stroke your e-private part after racking up a fifteen frag killstreak. It’s all about fulfilling objectives and working as a team to fulfill those objectives here without which both you and your team lose. Investing in a headset would also be a very good idea since constant typing while trying to avoid being burnt by a Pyro’s flame thrower can get a bit tricky.