Please note that this guide is now largely out-dated. Use with caution. I'll start this off by saying that Soldier is my second-most-played class but there are far, far better players out there who use him exclusively. If they would care to add to this thread, it would be much appreciated. I'm going to stick to covering three things: 1. Essential Soldier tips and tricks. 2. Soldier strengths (and the classes you will kill most easily) 3. Soldier weaknesses (and the classes you should stay away from). Tips and Tricks --------------------- 1. NEVER, EVER take an ubercharge. Ever. Seriously. Pyros and Demos are much better choices for a medic to uber. The only exception to this rule is if you happen to meet a medic with a Kritzkrieg. Critical rockets, for those who haven't had the experience of using them, are pretty much the most powerful weapon in the game (EDIT: I've lied - I've just been informed that demomen grenades and stickies are more powerful. That said, the range and accuracy of a crit rocket makes it a more powerful tool under most circumstances even when compared to the higher damage of the demo's weapons). You are guaranteed an instant kill of every class except a heavy. 2. Rocket jump is your friend. To do a short-range rocket jump (for small ledges) simply aim at the ground, press jump and fire a rocket. You'll do a short hop into the air. To do a true rocket jump, you must crouch-jump and fire at the same time (press jump, press crouch and fire while in the air). Rocket jumps are used to reach areas you can't reach on foot (obviously). They can also be used to escape from enemies. Be aware that a rocket jump will drain at least 40 health points (unless a medic has over-charged you), so use it sparingly between health packs. Rocket jump is best used to surprise enemies on ledges, particularly on payload maps where they become inaccessible to certain teams depending on the area you're in. 3. Aerial attacks. Immediately after rocket jumping, you can fire 1-2 additional rockets while airborne. This allows you to fire over cliffs, ledges, and structures. Snipers and engineers don't usually expect ordinance coming from above them. 4. Dispensers. Like a demo, you chew up ammo quickly. Your rate of fire is also comparatively slower than every other class. This means you must be tactical. If an engy has a dispenser in a place where you can fire from and hit a chokepoint, use it! Pile rockets into the choke point and prevent the enemy from lining up their shots or lingering in it. 5. AIM! You are not a Pyro - W + MOUSE1 doesn't work for you. Similarly, you are not a Demo - spamming is bad too. You are a tactical class, so act like it. Don't fire at targets - your shots take time to reach them, so if they're moving you will miss. Aim in front of them, at the ground. Bounce them into the air, wait for them to land, then do it again. Similarly, your rockets are not a good weapon against people who have a position above you. Two choices in that scenario: rocket-jump and rain death upon them from mid-air, or switch to your shotgun. As a tactical class, you have enormous firepower in terms of damage, but if you don't play smart you will get hammered by the other classes that can rely on speed. 6. Conserve your ammunition! Firing rockets indiscriminantly at a target one after the other is usually a sure way to die. Pause between shots. Don't panic - you have 200 health. Aim to do the most damage to the target, and judge your shot. Wash, rinse, repeat. When you've depleted your 4 rockets and an enemy is still advancing on you, backpedal and use the shotgun - your reload is far too slow to use another rocket. Soldier Strengths ------------------------ You role is as a tough, hard-hitting thinking class. If you aren't fluidly advancing and retreating as you play, you aren't playing smart. Use your rockets against targets which they will destroy quickly and which will hurt the enemy team the most. Don't waste your firepower on point-grabbing kills without a purpose. As previously mentioned, critical rockets will kill everyone in their blast radius except heavies. If a medic has a Kritzkrieg active on you, fire into crowds. And once again, AIM! Don't spam - 4 well-placed rockets fired during a kritz session is better than 7 spammed. Otherwise, the appearance of crits will be difficult to predict and you'll have to rely mostly on luck to have them really be worth the extra damage. Your priorities as a soldier are as follows: -Killing engineer equipment, primarily teleporters and dispensers. Your rockets are lethal at any range and can be aimed easily. You will take out any dispenser or teleporter in two hits. ALWAYS aim for the dispenser first when attacking an engineer's emplacement. You deprive the enemy of health, ammunition, and most critically the engineer no longer has a source of metal. The best way to kill a dispenser that's being babysat is to fire a single rocket at the sentry, then unload the other three on the dispenser. Don't be afraid to aim at the ground beside it either. The engy will focus on the sentry, and his dispenser will go down. Your next task is to fire rockets BESIDE the sentry so as to damage and kill the engineer. Once he's dead, a level 3 sentry takes 4 rockets to kill. It's fast and easy. Always make sure the gun is unattended first though - there is enough lag between rocket impacts for a single engineer to keep that sentry alive indefinitely. -Stopping pyro assaults. Remember how I said to bounce enemies in the air? Pyros hate that shit. If you aim at them, a good one can airblast your rocket back at you. Aim in front of them and it's much harder. Pyros die after two rocket impacts at their feet - time your first and follow-up shot accordingly. You can stop pyro rushes in their tracks with this tactic. -Crowd control. See a group of enemies? Fire a rocket in their midst. Those who absorb the brunt of the blast go airborne, and everyone else takes splash damage. It's an effective way to break up a chokepoint, a cart rush, or a group of people actually using teamwork. -Cart support. As one of the few classes with effective ranged weapons, you're an ideal buddy for a cart push. Generally, aim at targets far away and let your friends deal with anyone who gets close. Once again, enemy dispensers and teleporters are ripe for the taking so long as you AIM. Soldier Weaknesses -------------------------- 1. You are slow, unwieldly, and you are going to get worked by snipers. Just know that up front and accept it. Don't do any of that nooblet soldier nonsense and try to rocket the ones shooting at you either - they will dodge. That said, unaware snipers are great targets because, once again, you fire first to bounce them in the air, then again for the kill. 2. Your greatest weakness is your limited ammunition - 4 rockets per clip can get the panicked soldier in trouble quickly, I've already covered what you should do instead. 3. Going head-to-head with an active sentry is not recommended under any circumstances, especially one being looked after by its engy. 4. Good pyros will airblast your rockets. Be sure to sidestrafe while firing to avoid this. 5. You are not an up-close-and-personal kind of guy, mmkay? Don't break out that shovel under any circumstances. If you do find yourself a little closer than you'd like, the shotgun is your weapon of choice. 6. Heavies. Engaging heavies at short-to-medium range is bad. Engaging heavies from sniper range is acceptable, but not often terribly effective. Generally while you help to wipe out heavies, you aren't going to be doing it alone, and your 4 rockets probably won't do it unless you're landing direct hits and he has no medic. 7. Spies like killing you almost as much as heavies and snipers. Watch your six. --- That's all I've got for the moment.