Scout Tips by Lateralus

So, first of all, why am I qualified to write this? Well, I have 150 or so hours as scout now (yeah, I had 25 when I first wrote this), and play actively in comp mostly as scout as well. It's my favorite class and a lot of fun for me. Anyway, on to the Scout!

I'm going to start off with just basic strategies, then I'll go into how to fight each class. Also please note this is not an end all be all guide, it's just simply how I play.

General strategies

  • Always keep moving!

You are the fastest class, and you MUST use this to your advantage. If you stop, people will be able to easily hit you, and you don't have a lot of health to take that hit. So move back and forth, zig-zag, double jump, whatever, as long as you stay moving. Speaking of double jumping, this is essential to do when trying to escape, it makes predicting your movements A LOT harder.

  • Don't fight ANYONE head on (most of the time)

It's a battle you can't win. You will be destroyed by most classes if you simply run up to them, firing your gun. Try to flank people, run in from their blind spots, even zig-zagging in front of them is better then a full out assault. This goes double for the heavy, which I will talk about later.
I added in "most of the time" because if you KNOW you can kill them, (they have low hp, or are a weaker class) then take that opportunity. As a scout, you are an opportunist.

  • Don't be afraid to run

You don't have a lot of health, and you're no good to your team dead, so if you're low on health or find a situation you can't handle, RUN! Find a medic/dispenser/health pack, replenish, and go back in. Speaking of health packs, they are your best friend, especially in pubs where medics sometimes don't feel like healing you. Knowing all health pack locations is a must. However, make sure you aren't stealing them from burning or severely injured teammates. Make it hard for any pursuers by double jumping and weaving. Also watch for stickies tosses in front of you, demo can be annoying (skilled) like that.

  • Use the terrain to your advantage

Using the double jump, you can walk across areas that usually aren't possible to go across (2fort bridge). You can flank people this way by going over them then dropping behind them. This is a good strategy on point A of gravel pit, there are many pillars to jump on and get behind enemy lines. Also, some ledges will be accessible to you for a shortcut, such as goldrush 2nd stage first point to the right, there's a wooden ledge you can jump on to get up behind what usually are demos. There's so many shortcuts with the double jump, I'd die trying to list them all. There are some good videos on Youtube showing some popular ones, go check them out if you want.

Keep all these strategies in mind as we delve into each specific class. Also, I will be discussing strategies versus skilled players of the other class. If you can killed a skilled player of a class, you can kill a less skilled player.

  • vs. Scout

All this really boils down to is who has the better aim, and who can dodge the other guy better. The winner is typically whoever hits their opponent the most. One thing you shouldn't do is jump around too much. It's actually much easier to predict you if you jump and good scouts will destroy you. Also it's far far harder to aim. What I do is, use the 6 scattergun shots (unless they retreat, in which case pull out the pistol) and try to do as much damage with those as possible. If you know he's still got a lot of health, reload and hope you survive. If not, it's pistoling time. Usually that will get him to die, if not, reload pistol. Or pull out the bat if you want, but most scouts run away from that. Retreat for yourself is usually a bad option because your enemy will usually catch up to you, being the same speed. It's a good idea though to run for nearby health packs, that could easily turn the tide of the battle.

  • vs. Soldier

The soldier is probably your worst enemy if he's controlled by a skilled player. He's a large target and is the 2nd slowest class, however, which is where you get the advantage. Hopefully, you can get behind him to get one or two point blank shots in before they notice you. Once they start firing at you, your only hope is to jump like a maniac and get good shots in. If they pull out the shotgun, run right up to them, because there's no more explosive damage to worry about. If they have a medic on them, your best bet is kill the medic if he's not paying attention, or just simply run. Odds are he'll destroy you. Use your speed to your advantage, and you'll do fine.

  • vs. Pyro

The pyro can be annoying as hell, as he will burn you to a crisp if you're close range. The best thing to do is start shooting him from mid range where his flame can't reach. If he starts trying to flame you, run backwards and keep shooting him. If he pulls out his shotgun, run towards him and finish him off quickly. The trick is not to get lit on fire, or at least not stay under the flame. The flare gun can also be annoying from a distance, because if they hit you with it, you lose about half your hp pretty fast. Go for a health pack in this case.

  • vs. Demoman

Not that tricky, providing you don't walk right into a sticky trap. However, demos with good pipe aim can be really difficult if not handled right. Starting from behind him is the best option, because he can usually destroy you with a well aimed grenade if you run right at him. Try to kill him from the back, but barring that, run to about mid range and start hitting him, and avoiding pipes. Usually he won't be able to hit you with pipes from there, but watch the stickies. A very skilled demo will be able to use both to kill you, and surprise may be the only way to kill him.

  • vs. Heavy

This is the match up where your jumping around skills matter the most. First off, if you run headlong into a heavy with a minigun revved up, you're dead, no questions asked. Usually you want to find him unaware, with his gun unrevved and his back turned. You need to get as many point blank shots in as possible before he notices you, to make your life easier when his gun starts firing. When that inevitably happens, circle around him, jump around him, whenever, but make sure you're still shooting him. If his aim isn't good enough, and yours is, you should be able to get him. Also, if he's with a medic, forget about killing him it simply won't happen. Kill the medic and run like hell.

  • vs. Engineer

Very, very easy if he's without his sentry. It's just like killing a slow scout. Running up to him and unloading into his face is usually not a bad idea, just make sure to keep dodging, because if he can aim the shotgun, it can hurt. However, sentries are the bane of your existence. Sentries were designed to make it impossible for you to get by one, so usually don't even think about it. Although, you could always use Bonk if you wanted to, but I would recommend asking your teammates to kill the sentry. The only way to deal with a sentry by yourself is first, not to have the engineer there. If he is, leave it to someone else, you have no chance. Allowing that, you could shoot it around a corner at the edge of it's hitbox, snipe it with your pistol form a distance, or the way to do it if you're good at it, circle strafe it and shoot it. I don't recommend the last method unless it's the only way. One slipup and you're dead.

  • vs. Medic

You, as a scout, should always be thinking about "how can I kill their medics?" I am going to tell you now, you WANT to be annoying for the medic. Your JOB is to be annoying for the medic. Kill, distract, injure, piss off, whichever you do, you're doing good. If you see an opening to kill one of the other team's medics, TAKE IT. A word of warning though, don't be suicidal, if the medic is healing someone with their gun pointed at you, don't throw your life away, find an alternate route. As for actually killing the medic, they can be hard to kill, seeing as they are the second fastest class and like to jump around like you do. Catch them not paying attention and healing someone else, and you're pretty much golden. Catch them paying attention, and you'll soon have needles flying at you. Don't take too long, or else the needles will kill you, and try to get as many shots in as possible. If you feel the battle isn't going your way, run, and attack again later. The worst thing about a medic is the person they're healing. If they're smart, they will try to protect their medic. Your only hope then is get the job done fast as run like your life depends on it (it does).

  • vs. Sniper

Free kill if you get next to him while he's scoped in. Please, don't bat him unless you really are itching to embarrass him. He might unscope fast enough to pull out his SMG/kukri and unload on you. All you have to do is to run next to him and hit him twice point blank with the scattergun. If he's trying to snipe you, use your dodging strategies. Only really good snipers can hit a scout purposely dodging him. Also, pull out your pistol and start shooting him from a distance to mess with his aim. It won't kill him, but he probably won't be able to hit you.

  • vs. Spy

Spies won't really be a huge problem for you, because of your speed. He won't be able to stab you unless you walk backwards into him, or stand still in which case you should be dead anyway. Just be aware of who's around you, and spycheck anyone suspicious, there's no harm in helping your team catch a spy. In fact, it's easiest for you to catch a spy because of your speed. If you do find one, it's a free kill, spies usually don't put up much of a fight since everyone tries to pile him. Unless, that is, they have good aim. That revolver is painful if it hits correctly. One ambassador headshot and you're at about 30 health too.

There's the class by class, so I'll just leave you with a couple short tips.

  • If you're being serious, batting people from behind is generally unfavorable, since they can usually turn and fire before you kill them.
  • Try using guerilla tactics: run in, do some damage, and run back out, only to come in again a few seconds later
  • Shoot the medic! Sans crits, you'll probably not kill someone fully buffed with a medic healing him. Kill the medic, and run, then come back to kill their former patient.
  • Killing medics is fun! I repeat, kill the medic! You'll enjoy it soon enough.
  • You don't go through enemies. If you want to surprise them, stand on their heads! You can get a few shots in before their confusion wears away. Works especially well with heavies.
  • The pistol is your friend. Fire it while retreating, fire it while running in, and reload it when you have time. It can do that extra damage you need for a kill. It's especially useful if you unload your scattergun and the enemy is left with a few hp, finish him off with the pistol.
  • Speaking of reloading, always make sure you have 6 rounds in that scattergun. Any less can be your death. I hit my reload key randomly even if I know I'm loaded, it's just habit by now.
  • Be aware. If you're running forward to get behind a soldier but there's a revved heavy standing near him, running in isn't your best option. Wait until one of them is alone, or find another target.
  • Have fun! If you run into a soldier around a corner and he annihilates you with a crit rocket, laugh about it, don't get mad! You just got destroyed in the most spectacular way possible, be proud! Getting mad only makes you perform worse, since it starts getting harder to concentrate.
  • Speaking of anger, don't play if you're very angry. Pyros make me rage all too often, but I'm trying to be more calm when I get roasted, it's really useless to be angry. You won't contribute with rage, your aim will be off. Trust me I've tried. Just do another class until you've calmed down, or log off.
  • Finally, don't be discouraged if you're not good right off the bat. Keep practicing, and you'll eventually improve. If it's not enjoyable, change classes, the Scout isn't for everyone. Just don't play pyro please :D (play pyro is you want, I don't really care)
  • A bit more of a technical tip, but there's a setting in windoes known as mouse acceleration that could be helpful to turn off. It makes your aim less consistent. The only issue is playing with it off takes time to adjust to. If you want to try turning it off, read the guide here: http://www.teampandemic.net/features/12

That's all I can think of right now. This is not the end all be all to the Scout, there are many other ways to go about things. I also didn't mention team strategies like point capping and intel running. I hope that you're aware that the Scout is the best point scorer, since he is worth two people, and can run the fastest. I'll leave some of those strategies for you to develop, though, since there are many ways to go about them.

Thanks for reading!
~Lateralus

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