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Jan 12 2013

Another Newcomer Guide for 6v6 Part 1

This is heavily based on the ETF2L Newcomer Guide, and all credit goes to them. Source: etf2l.org/new

6v6 Newcomer Guide

Hey there!

If you are new to competitive 6v6  you have come to the right place.

This is just a friendly introduction for the essentials. This might look like a wall of text, but it contains everything you need!

Once you’ve read through all this, you are ready to go!

First, you need to find out if you even like the idea of competitive 6v6 style Team Fortress 2. Once you get to know it, you probably will!

It offers a great experience that is nothing like public server play, and captures the essence of the most exciting part about TF2 – teamwork. Everyone on your team will be doing their best to win, not just trying to get a high score. Virtually all random elements are gone, chaos is reduced to a minimum, so the team with superior teamwork always wins. This is the reason 6v6 may seem a bit too restrictive at first.

SO WHAT IS THE IDEA?

The idea of 6v6 is to offer players a more competitive experience in Team Fortress 2, where you play 6 players on each team, with a specific ruleset. It’s not as strict as it sounds though! There is a great deal of versatility on every map, many tactics and never only one “right way”.

ARE THERE ANY BASIC TACTICS WE CAN START WITH?

Possible tactics in each and every situation all depend on what classes you use and where you position yourself. Most teams run 2 Scouts, 2 Soldiers, 1 Demoman and 1 Medic most of the time.

Scouts protect the flank and dash in and out of combat to get finishing shots, one Soldier roams and acts as a “bomber” while the other Soldier protects the Medic, the Demoman deals out most of the damage and controls territory, while the Medic keeps the team alive and often serves as the team’s commander.

This is considered the “standard” class layout, a solid balance of speed, versatility and firepower. Don’t let anybody tell you your team can’t play with a Pyro instead of a second Soldier though.

Just be aware that Pyro/Heavy/Engineer/Sniper/Spy all come with serious downsides and situational upsides, so you may find them tricky to use in a gamemode centred around speed and positioning.

The more you play with it, the more you’ll learn when/where to use certain class and when/where not to use it. Remember that even now, after four years, 6v6 is still far from being “figured out”.

ANY SPECIFIC RULES TO KEEP IN MIND?

Several, don’t worry though, most of it is just common sense.

The game mode is 6 versus 6, that means 6 players per team. There is a limit of one per class on Heavy, Demoman and Medic. All the other classes are limited to 2.

WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE A TEAM?

You surely have some buddies that you like to play pubs with. If not, any responsible players who long for true teamwork, and are willing to practice and improve, are good candidates. Talk to them, play mixes, have fun, and get immersed in the 6v6 experience. You will certainly want to team up and fight for a higher cause!

Remember that playing a class in 6v6 is not the same as playing on pubs though. Introductions on the most common/expected playstyle of your personal class can be found here.

MIX? HUH?

Well, here in SA, what we call a mix is closer to a doublemix, but it is basically in the format of a pick-up, so what happens is we go wait on a server (Gameserv Mix 1 or IS Pickup I) for 12 people to join, then we all move to spectator as soon as we get to 12, then 1 person joins each team as the captain, and are generally the most experienced players on the server.

Then as the spectators are going crazy, screaming their favourite captain’s name, the captains have a melee fight as demomen, The winner of this little fight takes the first pick, and picks are taken in the form 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2-1, so once the winning captain has 5 players, then the other captain gets 2 picks, and the winning captain takes the last spectator left.

The players chosen are only of those who arrived “on time”, i.e. the first 12.

And then with these teams, classes are allocated and the teams ready up and the game begins. A mix/pick-up game  ends when a team gets a point difference of five, or the map ends (time limit of 30 minutes).

For more info about everything TF2 in SA, join the Steam Group.

You DO NOT leave until the mix is over, unless you get a substitute.

PREC?

PREC stands for PoV record and records a PoV Demo. That means: Whenever you play a competitive match, PREC will automatically record a demo (not a replay!) from your point of view, so in first person. That will also allow you to share your wicked sick killstreaks with your buddies and maybe even eXtv who might publish them, for a large fan base to see!

It will also make your life as a team leader easier, as it takes the necessary demos and screenshots required from you when playing an official match if you tell it to (Advanced Options).

You can download P-REC here.

You should not rely too much on the machine though because it is possible the tool fails. Double checking if all needed screenshots have been taken is recommended.

OKAY, NOW I PLAYED SOME MATCHES AND WANT TO IMPROVE, WHAT CAN I DO?

That’s a very good question that everyone will ask him- or herself at some point.

The core of competitive TF2 is teamplay, which requires practising with your team to improve. But you can grow as a player via independent practice as well, by working on your game sense and improving your aim, reaction speed and dodging skills.

Like in every other activity though, you won’t become amazing in a week. It will take a lot of practice, but the outcome will be highly satisfying!

AIM AND GAMESENSE, HOW DO I IMPROVE THOSE?

To train pure aim you can play MGE or TF2 Deathmatch servers. Good aim alone does not make a high level player, but will improve your deathmatching skills, which are still important to be credit to team.

The other vital player quality is gamesense. Gamesense in a nutshell is the ability to make good decisions in-game, and do it very quickly. Knowing the best way to approach a fight, intelligently picking targets, choosing good positions to be when holding ground or ambushing the enemy team, all that and much more is covered by gamesense.

You can improve your gamesense by reading guides, watching top teams play and just practising 6v6 matches. Amazing aim may propel you into higher divisions, but gamesense is what really counts.

The most important thing here is: Don’t get frustrated!

here will always be better players than you, but also there will always be worse! Where you belong on that scale is entirely up to you, and you can always move a bit higher!

Now have fun playing and the best of luck!

BUT I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS… and some other useful linkage

Try: How to Play Competitive TF2

Youtube and Google are also your friends. Just searching “tf2 scout guide” or whatever class you want to know more about, and you will generally find something pretty easily.

Here are some useful links, provided by RazerFox.

My Gaming Edge’s Competitive Videos
Community Fortress / eXtv Tutorials

eXtv: Intro to Competitive TF2
eXtv: Configuring Options
eXtv: Intro to TF2: The Basics
eXtv: Intro to TF2: Medic 101

Config’s stuff:
tf2mate
Chris’ FPS Configs for TF2 | Installation Guide
Chris’s Configs
(Configs are not necessarily, but more for those interested, as they can help with performance, etc.)

HUD’s:
Collection of Custom HUD’s
(HUD’s or Heads Up Displays are basically the damage indicator, health and ammo indicators on your screen when you play, lots of pro guys prefer custom ones.)

I hope this was a lot of help for all the newer guys.

3 comments

  1. Knightspore

    Very well written Zoidberg, i’ll be sure to link this to some of the noobies, and even some of the vets who don’t mix.

    1. Zoidberg

      Thanks, Knightspore, I appreciate it. If there is anything you want me to cover in Part 2 then let me know? So far I have training maps and rollouts on the list.

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