The Medic Guide

This is copied directly from Shiver's post on

I am by no means an authority of the medic, I just happen to find myself playing one for the majority of my TF2 time. I chose to write this guide because of the severe lack of good medics playing these days. I know a lot of regulars here play a good medic game, please offer your advice and fill in any gaps in information that I've left out.


The Medic

The medic plays a very special role as the backbone of the team. Many a game can be won or lost depending on the team’s medic. A good medic is capable of sustaining an offensive push long enough to break through an enemy’s defenses to win the game or holding back an offensive push by the enemy by bolstering the team’s defensive line in face of a strong opposition. The task of taking down a team of equal or greater skill level is an insurmountable one without the aid of a good medic. Surely we have all experienced being pushed back into our base or being unable to break a line of defense. How many times has this occurred as a result of a lack of adequate friendly medics or the presence of enemy medic combos? A good medic is worth his/her weight in gold. After all, what other class is capable of turning the tides of battle regardless of the situation?

Your Role as a Medic

First and foremost remember that you are a support class to your team. Your ability as a medic comes in second to the ability of your teammates. The best medic in the world cannot do much without the aid of his/her teammates. Remember this and remember this well. You are a support class and you need to support your team. Keep everyone alive for as long as possible and you will have fulfilled your most essential role.

Just because you are a support class does not mean that you need to regulate yourself as a secondary player and follow others blindly into the heat of battle. Play smart, know where you need to be to best support your team, and build up that critical ubercharge to swing the tide of battle to your team’s favor.
Bear in mind that you are not a combat class. Do not play as such and rush into the heat of battle when others are in need of healing. Trust your team to take out the enemy and keep both you alive. A reckless medic is a dead one and useless to the team. There are several exceptions to this rule: if your patient doesn’t notice the enemy around him/her in sufficient time, if you find yourself alone on the battle field, if you need a quick health boost from your blutsauger and your patient is in healthy condition, if you find yourself standing alone on a control point that is in dire need of defense, or any other situation dictated by common sense. Bottom line: don’t be a hero unless you have to.

Still Alive

As a medic you’ll frequently be the target of several attacks, knowing how to stay alive is crucial to keeping your team alive and building up your ubercharge. The most useful thing to remember is that your medigun’s beam will bend and stay attached to your target as long as you maintain a reasonable distance and your beam isn’t separated by another player or some other random human/computer-peripheral error. This means that whenever possible, you should stay behind cover of incoming fire while healing your target and keep in constant motion regardless of your target’s position. Constantly moving will make you a harder target for snipers and spies who would love to pick you off in an instant. Many a backstab can be foiled simply by moving.

On the topic of moving: move constantly and erratically as much as possible while keeping your medigun’s beam on your target. Switch directions without warning, jump around sporadically, back away from an incoming enemy and charge them when they least expect it; do anything possible to mess with your opponent’s aim and keep you alive for a few more crucial seconds while your patient deals with the immediate threat.

There may come a time when your patient is completely oblivious to your needs or is too engrossed in achieving a certain objective to notice you’ve fallen under attack. You have a few options. The ideal situation would involve some form of communication via voice, voicemenu, or simply dancing around in front of your patient until they get the clue and turn around. However, more likely than not you’ll end up having to fend for yourself. Read the situation: If you think you can take out the threat quickly and efficiently then by all means do so. If you can get out alive by running then haul your butt as fast as you can to the nearest safe point; it’s not the coward’s way out if you’re going to be overrun. It’s much better to stay alive to heal other teammates than wait to respawn and lose any progress you’ve made on your ubercharge. The same remains true if your ubered patient pushes deep into enemy territory and you notice a large number of foes waiting in the weeds to strike when your uber runs out. Unless you need the uber to complete a critical objective, such as destroying a sentry nest, or you trust your patient to be a highly skilled enough to be capable of handling the situation and coming out alive, you may want to consider retreating before your uber runs out. Inform your patient ahead of time so there’re no surprises. A good patient will retreat with you so that you both may live to see another fight.

A final word on staying alive, as a medic you’ll need to abuse health packs as much as possible. You can heal every other members of your team; you on the other hand need to rely on a slow passive regeneration if your health runs low. Know the map and grab the nearest health pack when necessity arises. If it looks like your patient is in good condition and is not under any immediate enemy fire and your health is critical, make a quick run for health and return to your patient. If on the other hand you have more than 75% HP and your team is pushing into enemy territory, consider sticking with your team and letting your passive regeneration bring you back to full health. A big exception to the rule of abusing health packs: there will come a time when you’re trying to keep someone alive that’s coming under enemy fire. If you notice their health dropping faster than you can heal them, and there’s no one else around to heal, let them grab the nearest health pack to keep the both of you alive a bit longer until reinforcements arrive.

Medical Triage (Who to Heal and When)

As a medic your job is to heal EVERYONE. The biggest mistake I see medics make in game is attaching themselves to a single target (a heavy most likely) and ignoring the needs of their other teammates. Heal everyone and keep as many people as you can buffed at all times. Having multiple people fighting with 150% health can tip the scales in your team’s favor far more than keeping a single person at full health for the duration of the battle. You can look around quite freely even when healing a patient. Scan around frequently to check the health of nearby teammates and prioritize your healing to those in need and those that are most capable of achieving the immediate objective. Preemptively heal as many people that are damaged as possible and you’ve made great strides in keeping your team alive. Keep in mind that the medigun has a healing ramp: those targets that have gone longer without being healed will recover their HP much faster than those who have recently received medical attention. If there are multiple targets in need and your immediate target is recovering health slowly, consider healing others around you before topping off your immediate target. You’ll get everyone at full health much faster and reduce the number of people splitting off from the group to find health.

Regardless of the objective your primary healing target should always be other medics. Keeping other medics alive is a priority: not only can they help you achieve your objective of keeping everyone in good healthy but you’ll also help them preserve any progress they’ve made on their ubercharge. After this your priorities are those that are on fire and those with low health. Every other class’ priority is conditional depending on the skill level of the player, situation and map as follows:

Scouts: Prioritize your healing to scouts on wide-open maps such as gravelpit, badlands, and granary where they excel. Sticking to a scout is detrimental to the team. Let them take the point to disrupt the enemy and run back to you for health. It takes less than 3 seconds to fully heal a scout who has run back from the front of battle to be healed. Keeping them constantly healed and running back to pick off enemies can be devastating as you keep the rest of your team alive.

Soldiers: Keep them buffed, especially when there’s a large distance to travel to the front. You’ll give them the ability to rocket jump with impunity and reinforce your front that much faster. Prioritize their healing based upon their effectiveness in the current situation. A soldier rocket spamming a chokepoint or trying to take out a long-range target is a lesser priority than a soldier engaging an enemy at mid to close range.

Pyros: Pyros make great medic buddies. They run only slightly slower than the medic and are capable of launching a continuous attack without needing to reload or dropping their speed to a crawl. Prioritize their healing when there’s a group of enemies in a relatively packed formation and watch the chaos ensue. Bear in mind not to stick to an ambushing pyro in wait for too long as your presence may give away his/her position to the enemy and ruin the surprise attack. A pyro with a medic can easily take down any single sentry gun that’s immediately around a corner on ground level without an uber.

Demomen: Demomen also benefit from the buff so they can sticky jump to the frontlines faster or get into tactical positions. When taking on a sentry gun in an elevated or distant position, the demoman is an ideal target. Keeping a demoman’s health full is critical when they’re popping in and out to lay stickies around a sentry or sentry nest. In general, a good demoman is a great overall target to heal regardless of the situation.

Heavies: The heavy + medic combo is easily the most known one in the entire game for a good reason. A fully buffed heavy has 450 HP and is a formidable tank to take down. Priority to heal the heavy DECREASES when engaging a target over a long distance or when you’re needed at the frontlines quicker. Sticking to a heavy effectively reduces you from being the second fastest class to the slowest class. Sometimes it’s better to ditch the heavy and get into position faster to heal those in immediate need.

Engineers: Plain and simple, when the engineer is bunkered behind a sentry and is coming under enemy fire. Keeping the engineer alive will keep the sentry alive longer, hopefully long enough to repel the enemy and leave your defenses intact. Even if the sentry falls, if the engineer remains alive and the enemy has been neutralized, the engineer is in a better reconstruct the defense before the next onslaught.

Snipers: Give them a quick buff on your way past them to give them a slight edge over other snipers. (Obligatory advice: Melee sniper is full of laughs but don’t rely on it.)

Spies: Give them a quick buff behind the front lines and detach yourself as soon as possible. Sticking to a spy with an enemy disguise will blow their cover even faster than usual. Buff them to help them survive any spy checks that come their way and fill up their health on their way back from a their surprise strikes so that they can get themselves back into backstabbing position faster than the enemy would expect.

Your Ubercharge: How to hit it, and not blow it.

Your ubercharge has two primary purposes: it can be used as an offensive push to break through a line of defense, or it can be used as a last stand against an enemy assault. In either situation timing is the key. You’ll want to hold off on using your uber for as long as possible to get the most effect. That ubercharge you’ve been working so hard to get will only last you a scant 10 seconds. You’ll need to find that sweet spot between popping it as soon as you come into trouble and popping it as soon as your patient has died. I personally like to hit it somewhere between my patient having 90% - 40% health, depending on the amount of fire he/she’s coming under. Each second that you wait is an extra second that you can get closer to the enemy to get into a better position before they scatter, or one extra second of invulnerability you have if you used it to block an enemy’s uber. There will come a time when you’ll need to pop your uber prematurely in order to save either you or your patient’s life. If you’ve come under ambush or encounter an enemy force and you notice either of your health depleting fast, don’t be afraid to pop your uber to keep the both of you alive. It’s much better to keep your teammates and yourself alive in the game than it is to die holding onto an uber. Remember: it’s not a waste if it was essential for keeping you and your team alive.

On the topic of multi-ubering: multi-ubering is the process of juggling between multiple targets to keep them all ubered (usually it’s a double uber, though at times more can be kept alive). While your uber is activated, simply switch healing targets back and forth to keep them all ubered. It takes about a second for the uber effect to fade; if you’re fast enough you can keep all your targets ubered for the duration of your charge. This comes at a great cost of reducing the total time your uber lasts for each additional target. For myself personally, I’d rather have the full 10 second duration of the uber on the ideal target for the situation than split the uber between two people and risk the chance of losing target with the person that’s most effective at getting the job done. The only time I would consider splitting the uber is under heavy fire and where that one second of invulnerability is all it takes to keep your teammate alive.

Taking down sentries with your uber is a joint effort between you and your patient. First and foremost, you need to know when to use the uber prior to engaging the sentry. Ideally if you’re using your uber to take out a sentry, it’s best that your patient is aware of this fact as well and is informed about the position of the sentry that needs to be taken out. Aim to activate your uber no later than 1-2 seconds after the sentry has locked onto your patient and then run out ahead of your patient while maintaining the uber. The sentry will lock onto the closest target and leave all others alone. Absorbing the knockback from the sentry is vital to get in a better position and also helps your target aim better. Run up to the sentry and remember to stand to the side. If you stand between your patient and the sentry, you will most likely end up absorbing several of the bullets aimed at the sentry and you may run the risk of not being able to take it down.

Too much focus is placed on the offensive uber. The defensive uber is not one to be overlooked. Holding onto an uber around the final capture point is a viable strategy to counter any offensive uber push. Chances are the enemy will be required to use their uber earlier on in an effort to clear out sentry guns. This places you in the position to activate your uber several seconds after the offense and allows you and your patient a few seconds to hold the point without risk and eliminate as much of the offense as possible. There will come a time when you lack a patient and your control point is falling under immediate threat. My advice is to activate your uber and stand on the point to hold off the capture for as long as possible. Waiting around for someone to come will only lead to the enemy capturing your point and you being killed during humiliation with a full ubercharge. Using your uber to stop the cap can be just enough to swing the game in your favor as you buy time for reinforcements to arrive/respawn to continue to hold the point.

Targets for your uber again vary from situation to situation. A quick reminder before I go into the class details: an intel carrier can never be ubered while he/she carries the intelligence. If you need to uber to fend off enemies, remind your patient that they need to drop the intel to receive invulnerability. Any class not listed below is not a prime target for ubers for various reasons I’m not going to bother to discuss. Only uber them when placed in a tight situation where no other alternative is available. Remember that anyone receiving an uber is apt to fall into tunnel vision and not be aware of his/her surroundings. Use your voice chat to alert players of impending threats such as a spy hovering behind them waiting to backstab, another sentry nearby, pipe bombs accumulating at their feet, or other enemies biding their time until the uber wears off. Also, sadly not every player is capable of using the uber to its fullest. Keep in mind past failed uber attempts and avoid ubering those who were unable to get the job done. As cruel as it sounds, it is a necessary evil in games where you’re not familiar with your teammates.

The Solider: An ubered soldier can do quite a bit of damage mid range but is in my opinion, the least preferred of the viable targets to uber. The soldier suffers from a low clip size which results in half the uber spent reloading. Make sure that they’re reloaded before ubering. If you must uber a soldier, consider switching off to another target halfway through the uber as the soldier depletes his/her rocket launcher and is forced to reload. When approaching sentries, the soldier is the least efficient at the task. A solider is unable to out damage a sentry gun that’s being repaired by an engineer because of the low clip size. The soldier can however kill the encroached engineer with splash damage, thus leaving the sentry gun exposed to destruction later on by popping in and out behind cover while launching rockets.

The Pyro: Never underestimate the pyro and its ability to render any crowd of people into a smoldering scene of chaos. In tight quarters with several enemies in a group the ubered pyro is devastating to say the least. If you need to clear out a control point fast, the pyro is the class for the job. When taking out sentries, the pyro is best suited for taking out a single sentry or two if they’re nested together and you’re lucky. Any more than that and the knockback will be too great for both you and the pyro to get close enough to deal lethal damage. The pyro is the ideal target for ground level sentries as he/she can burn through the sentry and kill the engineer that’s feverishly repairing the sentry. Make sure you approach the sentry from the same level so that it does not knock you and the pyro into the sky and to take the knockback to allow the pyro to get into position.

The Demoman: The demoman fares best against groups of enemies mid to long range. At close range most demoman suffer difficulties and may be unable to take out nearby enemies before the uber fades. Generally this class is a good target regardless of the situation, remember to make sure that the demoman is fully reloaded prior to activating your charge. When approaching sentries, the demoman is your best bet for taking down any and all types of sentry nests. Take the knockback of the sentries and the demoman will have a much easier time aiming his/her weapon and demolishing any pesky sentry nest high or low, big or small. If the knockback is too great, consider working in conjunction with another ubered medic + demoman team to clear the room of those pesky sentry guns.

The Heavy: The heavy is a good overall target for your uber. At long-range distances he/she will be unable to do much but close to mid-range the damage that an ubered heavy can cause is remarkable. Make sure that the heavy runs into position prior to hitting the uber or revving his/her minigun because as soon as he/she starts firing he/she will be unable to catch up to anything far away. Releasing the minigun and revving up while ubered is another wasted second of time when more destruction could be taking place. The heavy is an adequate target for clearing sentry guns so long as you are able to get into mid to close-range. Any further and the heavy will be unable to out-damage an engineer repairing the gun. Be sure to absorb the knockback for the heavy as he/she follows you closer to the gun before beginning to fire. Multiple sentries will pose a problem for the heavy as well as they will push him/her out of the ideal range for dealing damage.

The Krtizkrieg and You

I will begin by saying that I am not an authority on the Kritzkrieg. I much prefer the regular uber and will only use the kritz when I’m feeling particularly adventurous. Below is a quick list of my views of the weapon.

- The Kritzkrieg is MUCH more useful for defensive purposes; the reason being is primarily sentry guns. On offense you're frequently going to be pushing into enemy sentries and you need the regular uber to effectively take it out. Unless your team has 1-2 other medics, stick to your regular medigun to be the most useful to the team. There are a few rare cases where a well-timed kritz on offense can change the swing of the game. Try kritizing a soldier or two, having them spam point C on gravelpit and then rocketing up for an unattested capture.

- The Kritzkrieg uber is not a regular uber. Don't treat it as such and you'll get the most out of it. Don't save your uber for that "perfect chance" of decimating 1/4 of the other team. They'll likely rip you a new one before much gets accomplished. A wasted kritz uber isn't nearly as much of a loss as a regular one. Pop your kritz uber a second or two earlier than you normally would prior to engaging the enemy and stay clear of enemy fire. Your target will thank you.

- Speaking of targets: find competent ones that understand how to use their kritz uber and won't go rambo into enemy fire and dying. My policy when wielding the Kritzkrieg is to buff everyone but only uber those I know will pull through.

- Just about any class can utilize a stream of critical hits if their aim is good enough. Sadly none of us are that perfect. I like to save my kritz for soldiers and heavies. If the demoman has good aim the kritz can be very useful, otherwise prioritize the aforementioned two classes.

- Finally a tip that most people are unaware of. Critical hits have no effect on buildings. They do normal damage and it's a waste of a kritz to attempt to destroy a sentry. That being the case, a kritz uber makes the soldier MORE useful in taking out a camping engineer. Have the soldier pop out around the corner and launch a critical rocket at the wall BEHIND the sentry to OHKO the engineer. Then proceed to spam at your leisure to take out the remaining buildings.

The Elements of Medic (A quick and dirty list)

- It is my firm belief that a good medic is one that is intelligent and well versed about the game. An intimate knowledge of the maps benefits you in several ways: you’ll know where the health packs are located, you’ll know where fights are likely to occur and thus where you need to be, and also you’ll know where sentry guns are apt to be placed.

- A good medic should also have a broad range of experience of playing the other classes. Only by being in their shoes will you get a feel for each class’ capabilities, limits, and play-style. Awareness of this allows you to best cater to the needs of you teammates and keep your team alive and well. You’ll also be able to better predict the actions of enemy classes. Knowing how to dodge enemy attacks and not being taken surprise by an ambush from a pyro/heavy/spy can save both you and your patient’s life.

- Be smart, know when to fold your cards and get out of a firefight that’s rapidly falling out of your favor. If it looks like you’re going to be overrun and staying there will only get you killed, retreat to the next closest safe area. Don’t be afraid to retreat with a few seconds left of uber if it means that you’ll be alive to keep the rest of your team healthy at the frontlines.

- Voice communication is crucial to good teamwork. Use it and embrace it. I admit I get lazy at times and don’t bother but proper communication is the key to making the most out of your runs. You’ll piss off a lot of players that don’t understand the medic if you run away without warning. They’ll yell at you for abandoning them even if you made the right call for the team. Tell your patient that you’re heading back and hopefully they’ll follow you back to safety. Also use your voice communication to make sure your patient is fully loaded prior to giving them the uber. You don’t want to activate the charge only to hear the *click* *click* of a minigun or see a solider fire his last rocket.

- Don’t uber grief, even if it is unintentional. Don’t follow a player halfway into enemy territory with a full ubercharge only to not activate it and abandon them as they turn the corner into a sentry nest or a control point swarming with enemies. The universal sign for “I’m going to uber you” is when you attach yourself to a single player (that’s not damaged) for a couple of seconds while you have a full uber. Many players will think that you’ll follow them into enemy territory. Voice communication can alleviate this, or make it known through chat that you’re waiting for a specific class or bigger group before using the uber.

- Above all else you are a team player. Any medic that plays otherwise is not helping their team. Check your ego at the door and do your best for your team.

- Just because you have an ubersaw does not mean you need to brandish it whenever possible. Sure rushing into the enemy wielding the ubersaw may net you an uber quickly but it also runs the high probability that it’ll also leave you and/or your patients dead. Use it as if it were a regular bonesaw; only for defensive purposes and for taking out that spy creeping around you. Treat the additional ubercharge as a bonus and you’ll be less apt to be reckless. Your job is to heal, stick to it and don’t forget that.

- Don’t fall into the trap of staying behind in a “safe” location to build up an uber. You’ll spend the majority of your game over-healing a single player, buffing a bunch of people running through, building up an uber, running in, and repeating the process. I admit I’ve fallen into this trap many times as well. You’ll build your uber faster and be much more helpful if you’re at the front lines with your team. Don’t be reckless; know when to pull back to safety and your uber meter and teammates will be much better off.

- This cannot be stressed or repeated enough, keep everyone buffed whenever possible and constantly scan for those in need. Do not latch on to one target and ignore the needs of others. I don’t care if your target is the best player in the game and is netting you more assists than you’ve ever seen in your time. Get off him/her and heal others that need healing whenever possible. Your uber charges faster on damaged targets. Sticking to a single patient and keeping them buffed will only delay your team’s progress towards an uber. You’ll also see faster charge time during map setup time, make sure you make the most of it.

- Learning to aim your needlegun/blutsaugher can get you out of some tight situations. The needles fly out at a slight arc that increases the further they fly. They also aren’t hitscan weapons meaning the projectiles will need time to reach their target. You’ll want to aim slightly higher than usual and lead the crosshairs in front of your target. Because it arcs, you have the ability to shoot over obstacles and terrain onto enemies lower than you without them being able to see you. It’s nice to know but opportunities to use this will rarely ever come up in game. Practice when you can, but remember that it’s for emergencies only.

- Your blutsaugher can heal you fast when you’re in a tight spot and give you the edge to live long enough to fight another day. If your aim is good it’s capable to making quick work out of lighter classes, like pyros, that come straight at you. Use it to fill up your health and run away, don’t stand your ground unless you have no choice.

- If you’re about to complete an ubercharge and you don’t want to scream it out for the enemy team to hear, consider calling out another voice menu command to cancel out the “I am fully charged” voice. Enemies that are alerted to an incoming uber will be more prepared to handle you by laying sticky traps to separate you and your patient or make you the priority target to kill even more so than usual.

- Want to switch in that Krtizkrieg to give it a try? Need to switch out to the bonesaw during melee only sudden death? Too lazy to go to the character load out screen? Give this script a try. Copy and paste it into your medic.cfg file located in your …steam\steamapps\<user>\team fortress 2\tf\cfg folder. This will allow you to change your loadouts on the fly with the press of a button. Numpad 1 and 4 will swap to the Needlegun and Blutsaugher, respectively. Numpad 2 and 5 will swap to the Medigun and Kritzkrieg, respectively. Numpad 3 and 6 will swap to the Bonesaw and Ubersaw, respectively.

bind kp_end syringe
bind kp_downarrow medigun
bind kp_pgdn bonesaw
bind kp_leftarrow blutsauger
bind kp_5 kritz
bind kp_rightarrow ubersaw

alias "syringe" "equip 5 0 0; developer 1; echo Syringe gun Equipped; wait 300; developer 0"
alias "blutsauger" "equip 5 0 1; developer 1; echo Blutsauger Equipped; wait 300; developer 0"
alias "medigun" "equip 5 1 0; developer 1; echo Medigun Equipped; wait 300; developer 0"
alias "kritz" "equip 5 1 2; developer 1; echo Kritzkrieg Equipped; wait 300; developer 0"
alias "bonesaw" "equip 5 2 0; developer 1; echo Bonesaw Equipped; wait 300; developer 0"
alias "ubersaw" "equip 5 2 3; developer 1; echo Ubersaw Equipped; wait 300; developer 0"

- Sadly, the role of the medic can be a thankless job. People will complain that your team lacks a medic yet will offer little thanks when someone steps up to do the job, no matter how good of a job you’ve done. Some people just want to use you to further their scores; this is unavoidable. Do your job, do it well and take pride in knowing how integral your position is to the team. The better players will appreciate your efforts and this will make all the past discouragements from selfish players worth it in the end.

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