How to play Soldier

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How to play Soldier

Postby [CS] Joab on Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:47 pm

I realize I did a synopsis on how to play each class, but I want to do one for each class that is more in-depth. There are loads of videos on this and some are very helpful. This one is older, but the info still applies. The only difference is that he's using the shovel for melee (you can now opt for the Pain Train or Equalizer) and there are two more rocket launchers (Direct Hit and Black Box).

Two items of note that you'll see in this video:
1. Notice how he's constantly reloading. This is a must to play Soldier effectively.
2. Around the 1:15 mark he shows you how to lead your shots. This is the single most important aspect of playing this class. If you cannot figure it out, you'll never get good with the class. This guy's aim is good, but not great, yet he obviously gets a lot of kills. Perfect aim isn't important, just general accuracy. Take advantage of that splash damage (which is why I don't use the Direct Hit).

"A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education." -- Teddy Roosevelt
"There is only one person God has treated worse than He deserved." -- John Piper
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Re: How to play Soldier

Postby [CS] Joab on Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:40 pm

Last night Sgt.Speed found the Equalizer and asked, "What's an Equalizer?" Tsk, tsk. Once again, I cannot stress just how useful the official TF2 Wiki is, but I'll take the time to focus on the Soldier's load out here.

Primary weapons
Rocket Launcher: default weapon that carries 4 rockets

Direct Hit: fires 4 rockets that travel 80% faster and do 25% more damage on direct hits, but has a 70% smaller splash damage radius

Black Box: carries 3 rockets (same rockets as Rocket Launcher) but each rocket that hits an opponent grants you 15 health points; does same damage as Rocket Launcher

Which one to use? It's a matter of preference. If you are good at hitting targets you might do best with the Direct Hit, or like the health bonus the Black Box gives. But if most of your damage comes from near misses (splash damage) you are likely best off with the default Rocket Launcher. From what I have seen, most Soldiers get the majority of their damage from splash, not direct hits. I have seen some who are very good with the Direct Hit, but there aren't a lot of them.

Secondary weapons
Shotgun: it's a shotgun

Buff Banner: replacement for the shotgun; when you have dealt out 600 damage points you can activate it (by blowing your bugle), which gives nearby teammates 10 seconds of nearby mini-crits

Battalion's Backup: a reverse of the Buff Banner in that once you have taken 175 damage points you can activate it (blow your bugle) and nearby teammates are given 10 seconds of immunity from any critical hits

Gunboats: you take 60% less damage from rocket jumps when these are equipped

Which one to use? Most Soldiers use the shotgun because it's great for when you are caught in the midst of reloading rockets and need something right now. You can also finish off opponents with it, saving a rocket which might be needed later. The Buff Banner and Battalion's Backup help both you and teammates (of the two I see the Buff Banner used much more than the Backup). Gunboats are valuable only if you do a lot of rocket jumping (competitive TF2 players do so and use them), but for the average player they aren't worth the loss of the shotgun. I really enjoy hearing the Buff Banner bugle blow because I know I'm about to go on a killing spree thanks to a teammate, and I have used it myself (feels good to activate it). But, it's not easy to inflict 600 damage points without dying (which you need to activate it) and if there are few or no teammates around when the bugle is blown it's a wasted effort. It works best when there are many teammates nearby and you need the boost to capture that final point, or get the push cart to the last terminus.

Melee weapons
Shovel: it's a shovel

Equalizer: It causes increased damage and lets you move faster the more damage you take (speed increase only comes when you have the Equalizer out though), but it does only 50% damage when you are at full health and when you have it out it blocks healing and Ubercharge.

Pain Train: doubles capture power (equal to having two people on the point) but increases damage from bullets by 10% (only bullets, not projectiles).

Frying Pan: promotional item that is just a re-skin of the default shovel.

Which one to use? The shovel, Pain Train and Frying Pan do 65 damage. The Equalizer does 33-113 damage, depending on how much damage you've taken when you use it. Since I seldom am at full health for very long I use the Equalizer. When I'm at or below 50% total health it causes more damage than the other choices and lets me move a little faster (and if a Medic shows up I can switch to my Rocket Launcher and receive health). However, if I'm playing a Capture Point map on the BLU team I'll switch to Pain Train, since it's benefit is more suited to that game mode than the other choices. Finally, the Soldier's kill taunt requires the Equalizer to be equipped, so that might also sway your decision to use it. Frankly, I can think of no convincing argument to use the shovel or Frying Pan if you have the Equalizer and Pain Train.
"A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education." -- Teddy Roosevelt
"There is only one person God has treated worse than He deserved." -- John Piper
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