The newbie’s guide to the Heavy Weapons Guy

This is copied directly from Buff's guide on

I wanted to do a Heavy Weapons Guide for a long time, and here it is (finally) :)

The newbie’s guide to the Heavy Weapons Guy

In this guide I will cover general Heavy tactics, the unlockable weapons, how to take on the different classes and deal with Sentries.

The Heavy is a tower of power, sporting the biggest gun, the most health and the greatest damage output. He excels at close to midrange combat, be he alone or in a group. Close range he will kill you very quickly, usually within 5 seconds. However, this doesn’t mean you can just barge into battle, spin up your minigun and expect to kill half the enemy team.

General tactics:

Heavy Hog!
The minigun chews up ammo, so while firing, make sure you keep moving up so you can collect the weapons of the cowards you have killed. When outside of combat make sure you are as close to fully restocked as possible. Aside from using a lot of ammo Heavies tend to need to heal often too (since they don’t insta-kill, giving people time to get in a few shots). Learn the map to know all the health and ammo pickups by heart.

Corners are a Heavy’s friends. Suddenly showing up around corners with your minigun revved up and ready to fire will give you a prime opportunity to get close to the enemy without exposing yourself first. When you do this, walk normally towards the corner, jump and rev up midair so you land revved up and ready to fire. Be sure to pick out corners which are the main routes of travel so you run into people. Just waiting right around the corner is a good tactic if you are more of an ambush Heavy, since most people don’t expect to run around something only to be faced with a revved up Heavy standing less than 2 feet away. Be aware, jumping around corners can backfire quite gruesomely as cowards have the tendency to bunch together, so you can just as likely run into a group of enemies who will kill you before you kill them.

The video on this can be found here.

Mind your surroundings
Since the Heavy is the slowest class in the game and usually a very imposing threat they are favourite Spy targets. Keep an eye out to your surroundings and teammates to lessen the chance of being backstabbed. Mind the distance too, Snipers find your head very attractive, for the same reasons as Spies love your back. Make sure you can duck behind cover when there is a Sniper about. Keeping an eye out to the kill messages alerts you to the presence of Spies/Snipers and makes sure you are aware of them.

Timing is all
It takes 1 second for the minigun to rev up and down, 1 second of complete vulnerability. In areas where enemies are not likely to be you don’t have to stay revved up as it decreases the time you can spend killing the other team. Switch to the shotgun if you have it equipped while in these areas. Once you get close to the frontlines or where a Spy lurks (see my previous point on that) it’s best to rev up and proceed like that, ready to tear anything to shreds. Knowing when to rev down is possibly even more important, as it can give you the precious second(s) that make the difference between life and death. Constantly keep an eye on the tactical situation. As soon as the odds seem to shift against you, rev down and bail.

Ninja Heavy
This is something a lot of people miss. Even the great big obvious lumbering Heavy can take entire teams by surprise. Get to know the map and all alternative routes so you can take advantage of those. Some maps lend themselves better than others, cp_dustbowl won’t give you much options to flank while cp_steel allows you to pop up almost anywhere you want. You do not want a Heavy suddenly popping up in your side, especially not close range. Most likely he can take out 1, 2 and maybe even 3 people before the rest notices.

The Medic is your best friend. He keeps you alive and warns you of Spies/enemies coming up behind you (or at least he should). A Medic sticking to you will turn you from someone who kills a few to someone who kills a lot. In return you keep him alive by killing anything that attacks him. Position yourself in between him and the threat. Keep an eye out for his health meter at all times and as soon as it decreases turn around to see what’s attacking him. Usually it’s someone hoping to catch you offguard and kill the Medic before you notice, in these cases firing a few shots at him will be enough to scare him off. Someone deciding to kill your Medic will not back off when fired at and as such needs to be killed as quickly as possible. Considering he likely needs to pass you this shouldn't be too hard. If it’s a co-ordinated push to take both you and the Medic down, get ready for a fight. Tell the Medic to hide behind you and kill them. Personally I go after Pyros/Demos first since they can do a lot of damage in a short time. If you’re going to die tell him to bail and cover his escape, the Medic is always worth more to the team than you are. When he’s almost got an uber ready, don’t charge into enemy directly, wait those few more seconds so you can lay waste to the enemy team.

Spread the love
Sometimes, when there is a big fight going on in close quarters (or around the bomb cart when it's almost on the point on payload maps) it is better to rev up at a distance and start firing away at the group while moving towards them. This slowly pings away the health of all enemies you hit, giving your team just that little health advantage.

Unlockable Weapons:

Sasha vs. Natascha

- slowdown on hits, allowing you to keep them in you sights for much longer. Well suited for those pesky Scouts or fleeing enemies.
- Sounds really cool.
- -25% damage, meaning you can’t go about on your own since you take a lot longer to kill things and as such are much more likely to die.
- Turns you more into a support/group Heavy to slow people down so the rest of your team can kill them.

It depends on your style of play and personal preference. If you like to be the person doing the killing use Sasha. If you stick with the group/a kill buddy use Natascha. Be warned when using Natascha: Most Heavies use Sasha, and even if you get to him while he’s not revved up he will probably win the struggle (unless the odds are in your favour anyway, i.e. more health, have someone alongside you).

Shotgun vs. Sandvich

- 120 healing without anyone helping you, wherever and whenever you want!
- Tasty bread and meat
- takes up 4 seconds with loud nomming to give away your position
- like a taunt it renders you immobile and defenceless

The shotgun provides defence when you run out of ammo for your minigun, basically turning you into an Engineer on steroids. The healing the Sandvich gives you is usually redundant since you need to find a safe spot first. It depends on your preference and the map: If you prefer being able to heal over being able to defend without your minigun or if Health pickups are few and far between take the Sandvich. Usually though, there will be a Medic/Dispenser within reasonable range.

Fists vs. KGB (Killer Gloves of Boxing)

- 5 seconds of guaranteed crits when you kill someone with them!
- Crits transfer if you switch weapons!
- Killing someone within those 5 seconds extends the time by another 5 seconds!
- -20% attack speed
- no taunt killing

Since you will rarely use your fists except for melee only Sudden Deaths there’s really not much to say. If you manage to kill someone with them you can switch to your minigun and squeeze out the few crits needed to kill them and survive, but these occasions are rare.

Taking on the others:

Note: all these are written while not considering critical hits

Shouldn’t present a problem, considering they can’t sustain more than 2 seconds point blank fire and a few more seconds when on medium range. The Scattergun is nasty though, and when they catch you revved down though it only takes 4 shots point blank to kill you. They are nothing more than annoying little bugs if you got Natascha, since you take away the only thing that gives them an advantage: their speed. Be wary of good Scouts. They are few and far between, but they are just are great a threat to you as you are to them. Just keep them in your sights.

Close range they are not a problem, since their rockets damage themselves too and you have more health and a greater damage output. On medium range it can go both ways, depending on how often you hit each other. Just try to keep him in your sights as long as possible. This is a different matter if he has cover he can jump out from (jump out, shoot 1 rocket, back behind cover). If that’s the case, fall back as he minimalizes the risk to himself while you are still in the same danger. On long range it’s best to leave them alone since his rockets do more damage than the minigun.

Extremely dangerous close range. They will circle strafe you and can keep burning you while you won’t be able to hit them as often. If you spot them before they get you in range of the flamethrower they should not present much of a problem, unless it’s an open area and he has good aim with the flare gun. Another favored tactic seems to be setting you on fire, then switching to the Axetinguisher to feed you a crit axe. Make them eat lead for even thinking they can do that. If you get set on fire, the first thing you wanna do when the Pyro dies/retreats is run for health. The afterburn takes another 50 hit points away, and if you get set on fire with the flamethrower it's not that hard to kill the Pyro only to die to the afterburn.

Stickytraps will insta-kill you, so be careful of those. Shoot the stickies if you can see them. Other than that you can either blast them at close range with the minigun or, if you encounter them at longer range or with the shotgun out, just attack them with the shotgun, as the reduced damage is compensated by greater speed making you harder to hit. Most Demomen like to put down stickies, and unless you are firing at them with Sasha at short/medium range you do best to pull back. Even with a little aim he will kill you before you kill him.

All this boils down to is the following:
1. Who fires first?
2. Who has the most health?
3. Who has teammates with them?
If the answer is against you for at least 1 of these you’ll have a hard time killing him. At the frontlines you are likely to encounter enemies, so you should be revved up at all times and as such in the position to be the first to fire.

An Engineer on his own is nothing but another kill and some more ammo. He’s an entirely different story when he’s at his Sentry in which case he’s the biggest obstacle you can encounter.

Level 1 Sentry: Minor threat, it softens you up more than it kills you. Don't underestimare it though, it can do some real damage if you fire from far away/if it is being healed.
Level 2 Sentry: Moderate threat, can kill you pretty easily. Get to in between short and medium range to kill it.
Level 3 Sentry: Severe threat, a big nasty piece of machinery that will rip you to shreds. You’re only chance of killing it is getting point blank with a Medic healing you. If the Engineer is repairing it (which he most likely is, Engineers rarely leave their lvl 3 Sentries) you’ll need an Uber to kill it. Key to this is getting up close and personal as fast as possible (i.e. run towards it revved down, rev up when next to it). If your Medic has common sense he’ll try and take the knockback so you get to it faster.

NEVER attack a lvl 3 Sentry from higher ground, since the knockback will push you into the sky and out of effective range.

The video on taking down a Level 3 Sentry can be found here.

Easy kills at short to medium distance, but if he’s got the Blutsauger equipped and is at long range he will kill you since the healing from the needles roughly equalizes the damage from the minigun at this point. When encountered with a buddy, unless you’re in close range you go after the Medic first to deny the enemy firing at you the health advantage. Be careful, as sometimes when you’re firing at other people they like to sneakily nibble away your health with the ubersaw.

The single greatest threat to you. No problem at all at short to medium range, but as soon as he is at long distance he will do what Snipers do best: blow your brains out. You have 2 choices: A. firing away with the minigun hoping to hit him often enough to mess up his aim while ducking for cover or B. just running for cover in general. Personal preference and experience will decide your course of action.

The other single greatest threat to you. No danger once found out, but as long as you don’t know he’s there the backstab will turn you from Coward Killing Machine into just another ragdoll at the flick of a knife. Keeping an eye out to your surroundings and the kill messages is all you can do.

Hopefully you will find this useful. :)

For the few who are interested in it, Eggman created a PDF version which can be found here. :D

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License