Howdy hat-lovers, and welcome to a series in which I examine the ins and outs of my favorite shooter, Team Fortress 2. In this episode (am I allowed to call it that?) I’ll be focusing on the primary weapons of the Scout. I’ll examine their strengths and weaknesses, suggest loadout options and offer you my preferred play style with each weapon. This is by no means an exhaustive post – it won’t include details of how our lovable Bostonian can deal with each class in term, nor will I talk about general Scout tips and tactics (which you can read HERE). I hope you enjoy these bite-size chunks. For all weapon stats, check the Scout’s page on the TF2 wiki.
The Scattergun is the Scout’s primary, and arguably best weapon. It deals out high damage at short or medium range, and combining this with the Scout’s high maneuverability, produces a potent combination. It’s ideal for taking on opponents one-on-one in prolonged battles, or for heckling large groups of enemies. The only real weakness of this weapon is that it’s virtually useless at long range. You might as well just wave a soggy fish at the enemy. Wait a second…
Suggested Play Style: ‘Sneak Scout’
Flank the enemy using your super-duper, pro, map knowledge and get behind them undetected. Remaining unseen is crucial as you approach your victims and blast them from behind. Point blank shots deal 100+ damage, so two shots is enough to send all but the Heavy back to spawn. Even the big man himself will fall to 3 shots as he spins stupidly, looking for the source of his pain. Try to hold your shot until you are up close to keep the battles short.
The Scattergun is like ketchup: it goes with everything. To balance the weapons long-range inadequacies, equipping the stock pistol in your second slot is always a good option, or use the new Flying Guillotine, for a more exotic feel. As an add-on to the ‘Sneak Scout’ (it’ll catch on, trust me) use the Bonk Atomic Punch, allowing you to get behind enemy lines with ease. For your melee slot, use the Sandman’s Stun Ball to make dealing with unsuspecting foes even easier, or equip the Candy Cane to keep your health high (use Mad Milk in your secondary slot for the same effect).
The Force-A-Nature’s trademark ‘knockback’ ability is what sets it apart from the Scout’s other primary weapons. You can knock enemies into hazards, give yourself an extra jump or avoid rockets at the last moment. The two shot clip can be fired rapidly, meaning you can deal damage at a very high rate. These are compromised by a very slow reload speed and small clip.
Suggested Play Style: ‘Aerial Warrior’
Aiming down and shooting in mid-air with this gun will grant you an elusive third jump. Scout’s triple jump can get you places that you couldn’t reach before and give you a height advantage over the enemy. With your head in the clouds, literally, search for lone enemies and ambush them from above. Keep battles short and sweet and make use of the knockback, to keep enemies away if things get too hot. Whatever play style you use, always always knock enemies off the edge of the map. Nothing is more satisfying than watching an enemy plunge to their death (pl_upward is a good practice map).
If you’re bringing the Force-a-Nature to battle, you’ll want to polish off your stock pistol and haul it along too, as it’s the perfect band-aid to your primary’s ammo-related shortcomings and its large clip makes it a better choice than the Winger. If you’re feeling lucky, and a little stupid, equip the Crit-A-Cola instead to make those ambushes even more powerful. For your melee weapon, the Atomizer will give you a quad jump, letting you go where no Scout has ever gone before. Or use the Holy Mackerel. Just because you can.
Baby Face’s Blaster:
This gun may seem like a no-go at first. It removes the Scout’s main threat: speed. It also reduces damage by 30%. So why would you ever use it? Well, along with its pinpoint accuracy, it deals out damage that fills a ‘boost meter’ that increases your speed. A full meter will make you 40% faster. Yikes. Jumping will reset this boost, so as long as you keep your feet firmly on the ground, you’ll be able to zip around the map quicker than a rocket-propelled cheetah. Carrying a shotgun.
Suggested Play Style: ‘Headless Chicken’
The Baby Face’s Blaster is simply fun to use and you’ll be having the most fun when your boost meter is maxed out. Be cautious until it’s full: stay at arm’s length of your enemies to avoid dying and superglue your feet to the floor to stop you from jumping. When your meter is full, go mental. Charge around without a care in the world, using whatever weapon you can lay your hands on to harass the other team. Don’t stop moving and don’t worry about finishing enemies off and you’ll soon find that although you won’t be racking up the points, you will be grinning from ear to ear.
The Pretty Boy’s Pocket Pistol is a great match – it’ll save you from fall damage in the same way that jumping normally would, allowing you to keep your boost meter high and your legs unbroken. The Pocket Pistol isn’t great for combat, (getting close to a Pyro is a certain death) but it does give you extra HP – meaning that you can take along the Sandman without the usual health penalty. The stun ball is always useful and the bat is surprisingly effective when you’re moving at breakneck speeds. The Crit-a-Cola is also a good match as your speed stops you from taking damage, and the Wrap Assassin’s bleed damage will fill your boost meter at a rapid pace.
That’s all chuckleheads. Get out there and get practicing. If you agree (or disagree) with anything I’ve said, feel free to comment with your thoughts. Future TF2 articles will be posted on my own blog, samuelhorti.wordpress.com. If you enjoyed this article then head on over to see what else I have to say. A big thank you to What’s Your Tag? for allowing me to post this on their blog.
For more weapon loadouts and Scout tactics, check out the rest of the article over on Sam’s website.