So you want to know how to play a Spy in Team Fortress 2?

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Answered by: Michael, An Expert in the XBox Games - General Category
Out of all the classes in the now free computer game Team Fortress 2, the Spy may be the most difficult of all to use properly. To learn how to play a Spy effectively, one must be patient, be calm, and most of all, be quick with key strokes. The Spy's main role is sabotage and high-value target elimination. This means using your Electrosapper to destroy Sentry guns and other Engineer buildings and using your trademark Butterfly knife to back stab enemies.

The Spy has low health and generally weak weaponry aside from his magnum pistol, so direct confrontation with almost any other class is a bad idea. Thankfully the Spy can use a cloaking device and a disguise to vanish and fool opponents into thinking you're one of them. Using this, the Spy can maneuver around his enemies to use his real weapon, the back stab.

Back stabbing is an art in of itself really. The basic idea is to get within a 90 degree angle of an enemy's back and, well, stab him there. For the Xbox version, the Spy does not raise up his knife before you click to actually stab the enemy, so you must factor in that slight delay in your attack. If successful, a back stab is a guaranteed kill. Normally stabbing, however, is very weak, even weaker than the regular melee for all the other classes except the Scout. If you miss a back stab, it is best to try and cloak and get away, otherwise your chance of survival is very slim.

One of the most important lessons in how to play a spy is sapping buildings. Sapping Engineer sentries and buildings is no easy task either, but not too difficult once you understand it. When you switch to the electro-sapper, you can place it on a building by pressing the fire button when standing next to the building. This will not only start draining its health, but also disable the device. So sentries stop shooting, dispensers stop healing, and teleporters stop bringing in more baddies. The job's not done yet though. The Engineer can hit your sappers off in 2 swings of his wrench, which has a high crit rate so it would be best to avoid the wrench.

Engineers will generally immediately try to save a building you've started sapping. Unless the engineer is too far away, he will remove your sapper. However, this can be used to your advantage. Say you have an engineer protecting a sentry gun that's stopping your team from progressing. First disguise yourself so the sentry wont shoot you, then sap it. as the Engineer tries to bash the sapper off, you quickly maneuver behind him, switch weapons, and back stab him before he can remove your sapper, both killing him and his sentry. This is known as a "Sap/Stab". If the engineer already has his back to you and the sentry is also facing away from you, you can reverse the process and kill the engineer before you ever start sapping. This way is more effective, but needs a quicker hand.

Lastly is the spy's Magnum pistol. While it isn't that strong (as strong as a normal stab from your knife) it is the only ranged weapon you have. When someone discovers you're an enemy before you can start doing any damage, which will happen a lot at first, the best thing to do is backpedal and shoot them with your pistol. Even though it is weak, it is also pinpoint accurate, so if you aim at the enemy's chest, the bullet's going through his ribcage. You can also use your pistol to annoy Engineers who are just too well-protected to sap or stab. The magnum is powerful enough to take out his weaker buildings like dispensers and teleporters and even a level 1 sentry gun.

The Spy is difficult to learn how to play at first, but once you start to build some skill, the Spy's true colors come forward. A good spy can totally unbalance the enemy team. He can send an attacking team into disarray or leave a defending team defenseless. Just like all the other classes, the Spy is a very valuable asset to the team.

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