Play an Engineer in Team Fortress 2

Engineers; the mechanics of Team Fortress 2. Full to the brim of knowledge and a truckload of beer, Engineers are defensive area denial players that can design, build and repair deadly Sentries that can shoot rockets, helpful Dispensers that deploy ammo, metal, health and team advancing Teleporters to keep the fight up, hold down an area or push back the opposing team. Whatever the situation, an Engineer will always be there to deploy backup and set a checkpoint to encourage the team to win the game. If a plan backfires, Engineers can whip out a Shotgun, a Pistol and their trusty building Wrench.


  1. Grab your toolbox. Engineers hold a 6/32 medium ranged Shotgun (Primary), a 12/200 Pistol (Secondary) and the Wrench that helps build the crazy contraptions (Melee). In addition to this, Engineers have multiple buildables that require metal to build (Four key).
  2. Get metal. When you spawn, every Engineer starts with a maximum of 200 metal (shown bottom right). To collect metal, walk over to ammo boxes, guns from the dead, a resupply cabinet or a Dispenser. Once you build something, you also have to upgrade it to its full potential. Every building can be upgraded from Level 1 (Newly built) to a Level 2 (Requires 200 metal) to a Level 3 (Complete). Upgrading a Sentry to its maximum level (3) makes it the most deadly, being able to shoot twin Gatling guns and rockets (which is like two Heavies and a Soldier shooting the target at the same time. whereas upgrading a Dispenser further helps the team by deploying more ammo, more metal and increasing the heal rate.
  3. Recognize when and how to use your primary weapons. Engineers are given a shotgun, a pistol, a wrench, and a tool for detonating their own buildings.
    • Use the shotgun for short-to-mid range attacks. This is your base weapon, which you will be using to attack for the majority of the time.
    • Use the pistol for long distance. While not pinpoint accurate, the Engineer's pistol is good for finishing off a retreating enemy. If you run out of ammo in the heat of battle with the shotgun, pull out the pistol and fire away.
    • Use your wrench to repair your structures, and for close combat. Wrench kills are fun, but not always practical in head-to-head combat. Save your wrench for repairing your sentry gun and other structures. Except against a spy sapping your buildings. Its quicker and more effective to attack a spy with the same weapon you use to fix your buildings than to switch between.
  4. Understand how to use each of your structures. Engineers have the ability to build a sentry gun, a dispenser, and teleporter entrance/exits. Select a blueprint and turn it 90º by right clicking, if you desire. Place a structure at your desired location and watch as it automatically begins to construct itself. You can also hit it a few times with your wrench to speed up the process. Be sure to keep it well guarded in the meantime, otherwise an enemy can easily destroy it before it finishes.

    • Sentry gun (130 metal). These turrets will automatically fire at any oncoming enemies, making them a staple in base defense. Sentries have a limited range, which is outlined by a wall of your team's color prior to placement.
    • Sentries have three levels of firepower (levels 1, 2, and 3), which can be upgraded by obtaining more metal and hitting it with your wrench. Each level upgrade requires an additional 200 metal. At its lowest level the sentry will only complement the team's defense/offense, at Level 2 and higher the sentry is capable of shutting down any enemies in the sentry's vicinity, with the exception of spies.
    • Level 1 sentries are very basic. They fire rounds and rotate much more slowly than other levels, making them susceptible to damage by faster players. They are comparable in firepower to the Scout pistol. Pretty much any class can handle a sentry at this point
    • Level 2 sentries have stronger firepower and can rotate faster than Level 1 sentries. They are roughly comparable to a Heavy's mini-gun.
    • Level 3 sentries are the most powerful, able to rotate and shoot rapidly with rockets and additional rounds. They are the equivalent of a Heavy's mini-gun and a Soldier's rocket launcher
    • Dispenser (100 metal). The dispenser slowly generates metal and ammo for teammates. It will also heal teammates, albeit much more slowly than a Medic.

    • Coupled with a nearby sentry, a dispenser can provide virtually unlimited metal, ammo, and health to an Engineer and to other players. Be wary that dispensers generate metal at a relatively slow pace, so don't expect to have a batch of metal right after it finishes constructing itself.
    • Place a dispenser strategically on the front lines to provide teammates a consistent source of health. These are invaluable during sudden death matches.
    • Unlike in Team Fortress and Team Fortress Classic, you cannot kill enemies by detonating your dispenser. You can, however, place a dispenser in a tight corridor to create a makeshift barrier. This is useful to hinder retreating enemies, as well as inform the Engineer of incoming enemies.
    • Dispensers have 3 levels. The more levels the dispenser has, the faster it can heal people. At level 1 it heals at the rate of 10 HP/sec At level 2 it heals at 15/sec At level 3 it becomes 20/sec almost as fast as a medic with a rate of 27 HP/sec.
    • Dispensers healing stacks with other near by dispensers, two or more makes for a very quick healing point for your team, however it requires the cooperation of a second engineer.
    • A heavy or pyro near a dispenser will never run out of ammo even if they fire constantly, so with proper placement you can have a heavy act as a makeshift sentry or pyro as a spy checker.
    • Teleporter (125 metal). The teleporter is highly useful for transporting newly spawned players to the front lines quickly. Remember that you will need to place a teleporter entrance and exit.
    • Be strategic when selecting a location for your teleporter entrance. You will want to place an entrance where your teammates can readily see it, but not so obvious as to leave it open to enemy fire.
    • Similarly, avoid placing exits out in the open. Not only do you want to preserve the life of your exit, but also the lives of your teammates as they come to learn where they've been teleported.
    • Remember that players passing through your teleporter will temporarily leave your team color's trail in their wake. Experienced opponents will take note of this and attempt to track down the location of your exit.
    • Your teleporter can transport one player about every 10 seconds unless upgraded, which then the time is reduced to 5 seconds for level 2, and 3 seconds for level 3.
    • Before building an exit, make use of your ability to turn structures by right clicking. It helps to give incoming players a clear view of where they are going, rather than staring into a corner.
  5. Develop a strategy. While Engineers are catered to being a defensive class, they still have much opportunity to play on offense as well. Be sure to experiment with different techniques and plans that offer the most benefit for you and the rest of your team.
    • Consider your defensive role. Most Engineers will spend their time within the base, placing sentries in locations where they cannot easily be destroyed. If you are very close to the re-spawn, you might consider building a far-off dispenser near the front line to provide health to your teammates since you have easy access to the supplies cabinet. Don't forget about placing a remote teleporter exit to assist in transporting your teammates. For a defensive engineer, the sentry gun should be positioned to best protect the objective.
    • Consider your offensive role. Engineers can be used to create "mini bases", which can provide a place for teammates to retreat for health and ammo, as well as a place to transport teammates with the teleporter. In an offensive role, a sentry gun should serve to protect the teleporter exit and dispenser.
  6. Be wary of Spies and their sappers. Spies are equipped with sappers, which will disable your structures and render them unusable. Sappers will also slowly drain your structure's power, and will destroy it if it is left on for too long. If a Spy saps one of your structures, quickly hit it a few times with your wrench to destroy the sapper and to repair your structure. It is usually a good idea to focus on killing the spy first, and then repair and/or rebuild your structures. Otherwise, the spy will just continue to sap your structures over and over again, or he could backstab you while you're facing your sentry.

    • It's important to remember that sappers will disable your structures. Hence, if a Spy saps your sentry, it will not be able to shoot until the sapper is removed. This can leave you vulnerable not only to the Spy's attacks, but also to other incoming enemies.
    • Naturally, don't forget that your sentries will not attack a Spy that is cloaked and/or is disguised as one of your teammates.
    • Usually your sentries, dispensers and teleporters will be first priority to be destroyed by the opposing team, whether attacking or (especially) defending. in many cases, therefore, building sentries and teleporters in hidden or unexpected, hard-to-reach locations can be a better decision than building it in traditional defense spots, which would be the first place targeted. Consider using a dispenser and a crouch jump to reach to roof on point C on Gravel pit, or the corner ledge on stage 1, point 2 in Goldrush. A team faced with a sentry in an unconventional position will sometimes be too stunned to strategize around it and destroy it!
    • Keep an eye out for demo men, whose stickies can knock out a whole set of engineer buildings if they're close together. Make sure to keep an eye on all the corners and blind spots where the demo man can launch stickies from
  7. Use more gun. Completing the achievements or finding weapons should give you the Gunslinger, Frontier Justice and Wrangler. You will also get another weapon if you craft.


  • Communication is essential in TF2. If you are guarding your intelligence in ctf_2fort, listen to your teammates (whether through chat or through voice) for information on enemy movement.
  • If you switch classes, your structures will vanish as soon as you re-spawn.
  • Pay attention to the HUD in the top left corner. If one of your structures takes damage, you will hear a beep and your HUD will highlight the damaged structure.
  • As per the engineer update patch (in July 2010), there are several new weapons and changes to engineer in TF2. The following are 4 new achievable weapons and tools, their advantages and disadvantages:
    • Frontier Justice: The Frontier Justice can be swapped into the Engineer's inventory in place of the standard shotgun. When an Engineer's sentry gun is destroyed, the Frontier Justice will earn bonus critical hits. They'll also get two bonus crits for every kill their Sentry makes and one crit for every assist. On the downside, the gun has a 50% smaller magazine than the regular old shotgun and doesn't get random crits.
    • Wrangler: The Engineer will swap his trusty pistol for the Wrangler, which will hand over a sentry's automatic aiming to the player. When using the Wrangler, your sentry will get a damage-absorbing shield, more powerful firing gun, and a faster firing missile launcher.
    • Gunslinger: Is a mechanical claw that replaces the wrench, that adds 25 max health to the wearer, and replaces Sentries with Mini Sentries (not as powerful as sentries, are not upgradable, but once placed are extremely quick to assemble, and can also be player controlled using the Wrangler), and every third punch in a combo is a critical hit, with no random crits.
    • Southern Hospitality: Is an advanced wrench that looks more like a cleaver with spikes! On hit, target bleeds out for 5 seconds, it has no random crits, and adds a 20% fire damage vulnerability to the wearer.
  • When working with other Engineers, consider placing a teleporter that leads back to your base. This is useful for giving a hand in an infinite store of metal, and for guiding other teammates back to the re-spawn. Bear in mind that this will confuse most players, so be sure to communicate your strategy to your team.
  • When upgrading your buildings, try to turn around every now and again making sure that no Spies or indeed any other players are creeping up behind you with the intention of killing you.
  • Pay attention to the Engineer's voice. You will hear him shout different things depending on the scenario. For example, he will shout "Sentry down!" if your sentry is destroyed, or "Spy sapping my sentry!" if a Spy disables your sentry.
  • Don't get too attached to a specific location on a map. A good Engineer will demolish and rebuild his structures in strategic locations in order to complete the objective and serve the team. Structures placed in a section of the map not currently in play are useless.
  • Remember that you can turn your structures before creation with a simple right click (default). This will rotate the blueprint on the ground by 90º. This is exceptionally useful for strategic placement on ledges and the like.
    • It's a good idea to turn your structures so that they are most effective. Rotate your teleporter exits to face the open, so that your teammates won't have to turn around in confusion. Rotate your sentries so that they don't waste time turning around to fire, giving your enemies less time to react.
  • Don't assume that you can only repair and upgrade your own sentries. If you are teamed up with another Engineer, and your sentry is destroyed, team up with the other Engineer to keep his own sentry from falling.
    • You can take sappers off of friendly Engineer buildings if he manages to get himself killed.
  • Try to find the best locations for which to build your sentry. Some good locations are enclosed rooms, around far corners, and behind large boulders.
    • You will want to build your sentry in a place where it can shoot any players that attempt to destroy it. Therefore, it's a bad idea to place a sentry out in the open, where a sniper or a well-placed series of rockets can pick it off from a distance. Edges and tight corners are also a bad idea, since an enemy can easily position himself to shoot the sentry without getting hurt; Also make sure that the sentry's sphere of influence covers all angles of attack, since player's weapons can out range the sentry's.
  • Be sure to pick up dead enemy (and teammate) weapons, and to pick up ammo boxes. They are a great source of metal to build/repair/upgrade your structures.
    • You gain 100 metal for each weapon picked up! Don't run too far away from your camp though!
  • You can jump up on your structures to build higher. To jump up, jump and crouch in the air while moving forward to get on top of your structures. Standing and jumping on your sentry or dispenser can give you access to higher ground where a spy cannot reach! If you can't get to this higher ground, you may still jump up and build a teleporter exit to get you there once it's complete. Your team, especially snipers, will love you for getting them up high and out of reach of the Spies and Scouts that love to kill them.
  • Establish-a-Forward-Base-in-TF2-As-an-Engineer , especially in CP maps, can be indispensable to your team.
  • Try to stay near the front lines, but back far enough to be able to build while not under fire.
  • If you find that a Spy is persistently sapping your sentry, use your wrench to kill him. You might find it easier to destroy the sapper and kill the Spy with your wrench at the same time, rather than to destroy the sapper and pull out your shotgun to kill the Spy.
  • You can speed up the building time of any of your structures by simply continuing to hit it with your Wrench after placement. This is generally a bad idea, however, because after placing a building you will probably be running to get more metal, unless you already have a nearby dispenser, and not doing so wastes time and is very risky.
  • If Pyros have the Homewrecker, they will be able to remove enemy sappers. Try to get a Pyro to "spy-check" your buildings, which is the easiest way to kill spies.
  • Almost never try to wrench a spy to death. A lot of Engineers seem to have the habit of always using their wrench. While the wrench has the highest crit-chance of all the melee weapons in the game, the shotgun will almost always out-damage the wrench. Only use the wrench if the shotgun pellets aren't hitting.
  • Team up with other engineers (and a pyro if spies are a problem) to provide cover and supplies for other players.

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