Team Fortress 2 is now free, so everyone with a Steam account owns it. If you haven't played before, it can be an intimidating, hat-riddled game. Previously we gave you a handle on the
, now we're going in depth on
Previously we talked about the
. Today the spotlight in on the Medic; a German Doctor of dubious medical ethics, and purveyor of the feared 'ubercharge'.
The Medic is the lynchpin of the Team Fortress 2 team. He is the healer, quarterback, scrum half, and mid-field genius. He should be just behind the front-lines, healing the wounded, uber-charging the most valuable players, and directing the team to victory. Even if the Medic isn't an effective combat soldier compared to his peers, make no mistake: Medics win matches.
The medic's main weapon is his medigun. Firing it at a friendly player, or enemy spy, will heal him or her to their maximum health over a period of time. The healing that the medigun isn't on a linear scale; heavily damaged troops will heal faster than those that just need topping off. You can also 'overheal' - taking a friend or enemy spy to 150% of their normal maximum health. That's great for the start of rounds while everyone hangs around, waiting for the gates to open, or when you're not directly in combat.
All of the mediguns have an overcharge secondary ability. As you heal, you'll fill a meter at the bottom of your screen. When that meter is full, you can deploy an ubercharge or a kritzkrieg (depending on which gun is equipped). An ubercharge gives you and your target a brief window of invulnerability. It's perfect for breaking down a tough siege or turret nest, or for pushing back against a relentless team of attackers. During an ubercharge, you and your target won't count towards capturing a point; you'll only start to count once the Uber wears off. You can tell an ubercharged player by the bright red or blue metallic skin. And their fiery eyes.
The question is; who do you uber? When you're ubering to break through a specific point, it's best to plan ahead and pick a class that you know can take down a group of sentries. Heavies at close to medium range, Pyros at extreme close range, or Soldiers and a pure explosive Demoman at any range are all decent targets, but talk about it before you deploy, either on voice chat or text-chat. There's nothing more embarrasing to leap out with an uber, only to discover that your soldier doesn't understand the goal, or the Heavy has run out of ammo.
You soon learn that your ubercharge is an extremely powerful weapon in the game, and learning to build and preserve that charge is one of the most vital skills to learn. Keeping yourself alive needs to your number priority; a medic with an 80% charge could win the game if his charge reaches 100%, or lose it if he dies. Stay alive, and stay aware of your current charge.
are alternate healing weapons, and each have a distinct overpower ability. The Kritkrieg gives the target a brief period of crits, while the Quick Fix boosts your healing power for a few moments. Many non-Medic players prefer and expect medics to have the ubercharge and don't really know how to play to take advantage of the alternate powers, but you'll develop your own style of healing in time. Playing on a regular server or within a regular group of friends should help in finding your own style.
The most valuable alternate weapons for the Medic
The melee weapon for the Medic is a simple bonesaw. Upgrade it as soon as possible to the
- it will recharge your uber meter on every hit.
The secondary slot weapon is a syringe gun. Upgrade it to the
, and every shot that connects will heal you for a small amount of health. Just be aware that the
slightly drains your health when you're using it. But as long as you're hitting something, you'll get that health back with significant interest.
Medic Starter Pack: worth paying for?
Absolutely: the Medic starter pack contains the Ubersaw and the Kritzkrieg. The Ubersaw is essentially a straight upgrade to the Medic. And you get a hat with a point on it. Winnar.
How to help a Medic
Don't get hit, and stand in front of him. If a medic is healing you, don't run too far ahead, or you'll be out of range of his beam. Be considerate around medkits. A Medic can heal you, but he can't heal himself. If you take the medkit, but leave your friendly medic hanging, you might cost the team an uber-cycle. Don't assume that just because the Medic is healing you, and has 100% uber, you're the main target. Talk to him/her, and call for the charge when you're in a good position. Finally, turn on reload at all times in the advanced settings menu - that means you're not going to be stuck with an empty weapon just as he triggers an uber.
Also note that if the other team is smart, he'll be their first target. He'll be the prime target for any cloaked or disguised spies, too. Spycheck regularly, and if you see a supicious friendly player hanging around a medic, kill him good. Remember that if the medic feels like he's not got the protection he needs, he'll ragequit. So be nice, and look after him.
How to fight a medic
In any situation, your first target is the Medic. Unless he's dead, any damage you do can be quickly healed away. He's actually pretty fragile and goes down quite quickly. Classes that can should splash damage from their rockets and grenades to whittle down their health, even if they can't be sure of a direct kill.
If you see an ubered Medic paired with an offensive class charging forward, some classes can use skills and items to separate them. The medic will remain invincible, but their target will be open to attack. Pyros can airblast them apart using the alternate fire on the Flamethrower. Soldiers and Demomen can use rockets and explosives to blast them apart. Scouts with some of their alternate shotguns can push them back, while the Sandman can stun an ubered character. If you don't have one of these abilities, hide.
Stay tuned for more guides for the rest of the TF2 classes!