Guide for Team Fortress 2 – How to play Spy (definitive guide) (2021 latest edition)
So you want to play spy?
So you want to play the masked man, the prince of darkness, the man in the shadows, the spy?
Good, but do you want to play spy effectively?
If so, read this guide.
Disregard all other guides because this is the definitive edition of the ultimate guide to the spy class in tf2
The revolvers, should you use them?
The short answer? No.
The long and contrived answer?
The stock revolver is just bad, with a damage output of 20-60 per shot, it is a direct downgrade compared to the knife which is able to do up to 2700 damage with a single stab.
The Ambassador raises the skill ceiling for spy considerably, giving him the ability to perform critical damage on headshots, however considering the general skill level of the tf2 playerbase, the 15% damage penalty and the 20% slower firing rate makes it a direct downgrade to stock.
The diamondback rewards spies for sapping sentries and backstabbing foes with critical hits, this is an especially poor design by valve as by obtaining these crits you are reminded of the superior damage potential of backstabs. This design is insulting and I would like to suggest a rehaul of this weapon where it gains crits passively.
The L’etranger is a reference to the 1942 absurdist novella by French author Albert Camus of the same name. And thus a cross-over promotional item. This weapon serves as a fitting reminder of the absurd nature of the spy’s primary weapons. With the lowest damage output out of all the weapons in tf2, it stands in stark contrast to the damage potential of spy’s knives. To quote Camus, “I may not have been sure about what really did interest me, but I was absolutely sure about what didn’t.”
The enforcer is an invaluable weapon, with its 20% damage bonus when disguised, it serves as the perfect assassination tool after bamboozling your opponents with your disguise. The resistance penetration is indispensable in the recurrent situations such as shooting a fully revved brass beast heavy under 50% health. Out of all of spy’s primaries, I would rank this as the most useful in the most circumstances. This is the only primary that I would, on my good conscience, recommend.
The invisibility watch and you, a definitive guide on spy’s various tools of infiltration
Using the various watches available to the spy, he is able to become completely invisible, this is an invaluable skill as it grants you access to the enemy’s back lines. The spy has three watches each with unique attributes that offers different advantages and disadvantages. To successfully master spy, one must understand the optimal way of using each watch. Please note that I am an authoritative expert on spy and therefore my opinion on the following subject is objective fact.
The Stock experience allows for longer cloak time and ability to refill the cloak meter with ammo packs while invisible. This watch is bad because it encourages one to fall into routine along ammo packs harassing the enemy backline and generally adopting a stealth orientated mindset, instead of going for the sick dopamine inducing plays that gets you killed 90% of the time.
Cloak and Dagger
You passively regain cloak if you stand still while invisible with the trade off with a lower cloak duration. This is the perfect watch as it allows one to just sit in a good spot all game waiting for the perfect situation for a sick backstab to put on one’s youtube montage, which is the correct way to play spy by the way.
The dead ringer allows you to feint death, this is an effective get out of jail free card when that trick stab or chain stab you’ve been planning fails and you make a quick getaway.
The authoritative guide on Spy’s knives
The stock knife
The Stock knife is a knife, it appears to be a butterfly knife. What more is there to be said?
The Spy-cicle renders you completely immune to pyro, the looks of confusion on their faces as you extinguish yourself is priceless. When you have this knife equipped you can be as overconfident as you want around pyros because you know they can’t do anything to you. 🙂
The Big Earner
The Big Earner gives you speed after a backstab, this is balanced by the fact that it decreases the user’s max health. A very risky knife that rewards big plays and gives the player the dopamine rush they so relish when playing spy.
Your Eternal Reward
One of the best knives for spy as your enemy would not know what him them as you annihilate their backline with a sick chainstab. The downside is rendered irrelevant by the fact that spy’s primaries are all vastly inferior to the knives and thus one would not need to un-disguise often.
The Kunai’s unique ability to grant the user the health of backstabbed opponents makes it the undisputed best knife for any spy as it allows and even rewards risky plays. Furthermore it is a kunai, which just goes well with the typical spy cosmetic sets.
The disguise kit, subterfuge personified
It is a little known fact that I, the author of this guide is a graduate of the prestigious Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
The previous statement is in fact factitious.
Did I fool you? Have you been tricked, backstabbed and possibly bamboozled?
If yes, then I have showcased the power of spy’s disguise kit.
Using this kit we can pretend to be member of the opposing team, and thus bamboozle them and open an opportunity for backstabbing.
As an expert, I would suggest that you disguise as the scout, since he is the fastest character and therefore you should run faster when disguised as him.
The Razorback, your ultimate counter?!
Now, it has come to attention that Valve recently added a secondary weapon for the “Sniper” class called the razorback that allows him to survive your backstabs. Now before you uninstall the game in a fit of rage as I did when I first encountered this, hear me out” I believe that I, myself, the celebrated and undisputed best “Spy” player in my locality have discovered the best (and only) way to counter users of this dreaded weapon.
Now, first we must myth bust claims made by several “prominent” individuals and self-proclaimed “spy-mains” (doubtful) in the Team Fortress community that the best way to deal with a razor-back is to simply use the “spy’s” primary weapon. This is false and those people are charlatans looking to worsen your spy gameplay for their own benefits. Using the “primary weapon” method would only alert the sniper in question and allow them to SMG you down which would surely humiliate and discredit you in the eyes of your teammates.
The correct way to deal with the razor-back is to use your trusty knife to backstab the cocky and unaware sniper. Through about a week of trial and error, I noticed that the razor-back, when subject to a backstab would break, thus rendering the shield useless and opening up an opportunity for a second and fatal backstab. I call this the shield-break wait two seconds and backstab again combo.
The steps for defeating the razorback are simply:
1. Back-stab the cocksure and smug sniper
2. If you successfully pulled off the last manoeuvre, there should be a two second period in which according to the tf2 wiki, you will be unable to attack, Cloak, or switch weapons.
3. Simply back-stab the dazed and stupefied sniper again.
Target Priority as the Spy.
Scout, canonically the son of the Welsh singer Tom Jones, is perhaps one of the most trivial classes to deal with as the Spy. With his fast speed and small hitbox, the scout believes itself to be untouchable, compounded with the high damage output of his scattergun he is, on paper, an extremely dangerous class. However, remember that to balance this, the scout has a low health pool and that if you backstab him it is a guaranteed kill. Due to the danger the scout poses for your team mates and the fact that you can effectively one shot him, it is optimal to chase after scouts whenever possible.
Counter-espionage was one of the many functions spies in the real world, performed in service to their respective intelligence agencies. The Team Fortress game, although set in an alternate universe, should follow the same basic logic as ours. Therefore, it is your job, as a spy to prevent spies in service to the opposing team from carrying out espionage, sabotage, assassinations or other intelligence activities. To spy check as a spy simply interrogate your team mates in voice/text chat continuously and watch for any signs of treachery.
It is often claimed that the pyrotechnics guy is the best counter to a spy. In the ideal world, this is true, however, it is a known fact that only new players who are inexperienced the art of spy checking play this class. Therefore, it is easy to farm kills on pyros as they are usually unsuspecting new players. If you encounter an experienced player or a “Pyro main” simply mock and deride them in text chat with “no brain no aim pyro main”, “w+m1” or similar phrases until they switch off/ disconnect/ re-queue.
As Spy, you effectively counter soldier due to accurate hitscan properties of your revolver, if they are flying within your effective range and are not being pocketed by a medic, you should be able to pick them off with just 3 shots especially if you can reliably hit head shots. Remember that it is not a waste to solo-ult him as your ultimate is hard to pull off on a group of enemies.
The Heavy Weapons individual
The Spy is actually really good against the heavy, due to his slow movement (especially so when he is revved up) and his tendency to focus on the target he is shooting at. However, remember the last time you played heavy, remember all the fun you had as you mowed down all who dared to cross your killing field? Remember that time some sniper got you on the other side of the map or that spy who came out of nowhere and backstabbed you or that random crit which you couldn’t dodge because you were revved up and all the random unfair ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ that happens to you as a heavy? Next time you move to backstab the heavy weapons guy, ask yourself, do you really want to be that guy who screws over everyone’s favourite Russian hunk?
The demolition man, an explosives expert, boasts the highest potential dps in the game. In a hypothetical world where the player controlling the demoman is able to hit every shot made with his grenade launcher, he would easily kill the spy with consecutive pipes. Now consider a theoretical case where he anticipated your approach and sticky trapped the exact path you would take or the doorway you would pass through, detonating them at the exact moment you walk over/under/around them. In this scenario you would instantly die to the blast, do you really want to deal with a guy who is potentially able to do this to you? (in the situtation where he is lucky/skilled/omnipotent enough to pull this off) No I didn’t think so, avoid at all costs.
Despite what the team tells you in voice/text chat, it is simply not your job to deal with the engineer. During my research for this guide, I have notice that there is an abundance of instructions and advice on how to deal with spy as the engineer. From this I have deduced that the engineer must be the best counter to spy, therefore, it is advisable to avoid the little Texan at all costs.
It is not advisable to take on the sniper since he is the only character that is attuned to long ranged combat. A comparison of your respective weapons shows that his sniper rifles outclass your guns in range, damage and precision and are able to headshot, which delivers critical hits that are capable of one-shotting any class in the game, spy included. Especially after the ambassador nerfs, it is not prudent to challenge the sniper in a gunfight. To challenge his with your knife is of course suicidal as we know Australians have larger knives and to bring a knife to a gun fight is a foolish decision.
Dr. Medical science individual MD
Due to the medic’s low DPS output and low survivability in combat, he is often regarded as the least valuable member of any team compositions in the video game; team fortress two. In both casual and competitive play, he is considered a throw pick and is only picked for the novelty. Having a medic on your team is often more detrimental to you then the enemy. This is rather humorously commented on by the character’s in game voiceline: “Ze healing is not as revarding as ze hurting.” which translate from the medic’s native German to English as “Remedying my team’s lack of DPS is not as rewarding as hurting our chances of victory.” The best thing to do around a medic is to do nothing as having him alive hurts his team more than yours.
Trick-Stabs, A simple and intuitive guide
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