How to Play the Engineer in Team Fortress 2

Unlike the other classes you can play in Team Fortress 2 (TF2), the Engineer requires players to ditch their most basic instincts. Instead of running and gunning, you’ll find yourself sitting back and creating structures. Fighting up close isn’t his strong suit, but you can still make it work.

How to Play the Engineer in Team Fortress 2

If you’re struggling to understand how the Engineer should be played in TF2, look no further. In this article, we’ll equip you with the knowledge to rain down firepower and support your team. We’ll also answer some questions related to him.

How to Play Engineer in Team Fortress 2?

Here are some basic characteristics of the Engineer in TF2:

  • He has a Shotgun, Pistol, Wrench, and structures.
    The Engineer doesn’t have any long-range firepower of his own. His weapons are more suited to close-range and are barely useful beyond medium range. His Pistol can be used for longer ranges but it is still not the best choice.
    His Wrench is used to repair structures as well as upgrade them. He can hit enemies with it, but it’s not the best idea. Save the Wrench kills for when the enemy is really weak and you can smack him to death.
    The structures the Engineer can build are his main source of firepower. His Sentry Guns, Teleporters, and Dispensers are useful for the whole team. His Construction PDA is his building tool.
    Overall, the Engineer is defensive and is best played as a support unit. Playing him offensively isn’t the best course of action.
  • Building and upgrading with the Engineer require Metal.
    He spawns in with 200 Metal to start with. However, he can find more Metal by finding ammo boxes, looting from dead units, or a Dispenser. Metal is useful for building and upgrading.
  • Defensive and yet offensive.
    He spawns in with 200 Metal to start with. However, he can find more Metal by finding ammo boxes, looting from dead units, or a Dispenser. Metal is useful for building and upgrading.
    While doing all this, the Engineer will be attacked by enemies. He might have to fend them off with his weapons, and occasionally chase opponents down. He should only do this when he has backup nearby or his valiant charge will be in vain.

What Are the Engineer’s Structures?

Let’s take a look at the Engineer’s structures. They are Sentry Guns, Dispensers, and Teleporters.

Sentry Guns

Sentry Guns are automated turrets that have a limited range. They can be deployed to cover an area with blistering firepower. At Level 1, Sentry Guns aren’t too much of a threat, but when the Engineer upgrades it enemies will have to respect it.

Levels 1 and 2 Sentry Guns fire many bullets per second, but aren’t comparable to Heavy’s minigun. Level 3 Sentry Guns, on the other hand, can be comparable and even shoot rockets like the Soldier. Thus, the Engineer should upgrade a Sentry Gun as soon as possible.

Upgraded Sentry Guns have increased damage and HP, making them a force to be reckoned with. The Engineer doesn’t have to man his sentry gun, but he can take control of it with the Wrangler. However, crafting it only has a 50% chance to succeed.

There’s also a Combat Mini-Sentry Gun but it’s quite weak. It can only be deployed when the Engineer has the Gunslinger Melee weapon equipped.

After building a Sentry Gun, the Engineer can haul it with him to reposition as desired. He can leave it at hard-to-reach spots that have an open view of critical choke points. That way, enemies will find it extremely difficult to fight these Sentry Guns.

Keep in mind that when hauling a structure, the Engineer’s movement speed is reduced and he can’t shoot. If he dies hauling a structure, it is destroyed along with him. This will set the whole team back and potentially allow enemies to rush in.

With a Sentry Gun nearby, the Engineer can afford to play more aggressively. If he has a Dispenser and/or a Medic nearby, he can kill enemies with his Shotgun. The Sentry Gun can help deal extreme damage when combined with the Shotgun.


Dispensers are everyone’s best friend. They restore ammunition and health to the team, and the Engineer can get some Metal from them. These machines can even put out Pyro’s fires on characters.

An Engineer will often put a Dispenser near a Sentry Gun. Teammates will also stand near a Dispenser since it provides them with health and ammo. While it isn’t as good as having a Medic, a combination of both will prove hard to beat.

The higher the Dispenser’s level, the more health, ammo, and Metal it can provide. It also becomes tougher to destroy. Level 3 Dispensers provide 20 health a second, 40% ammo a second, and 60 Metal in five seconds.

Spies can also stand near a Dispenser to regain Cloaking time.

Engineers can haul Dispensers as necessary when it’s time to relocate. As with the Sentry Gun, the penalties of hauling a structure do apply. Keep this in mind.

When destroyed, a Dispenser will leave behind 50 Metal as its only trace. Any unit can pick it up as Metal or ammo regardless of teams.

A skilled Engineer will place a Dispenser to unite the team since the advantages of being near it are numerous. A team able to defend the Dispenser will have an anchor point to fall back to when things get hairy. As such, placing it within a Sentry Gun’s coverage is a great idea.


As the name suggests, these structures’ function is to let units move from a location to another instantly. Teleporters are great for quick movement, and teammates can instantly return to the front lines too. However, enemies tend to prioritize finding and destroying them.

A Teleporter comes in two versions; the Teleporter Entrance and Exit. Both cost 50 Metal and are visually distinguishable from each other. The Entrance has a yellow arrow pointing down, while the Exit has a blue arrow pointing up.

Whenever a player uses a Teleporter, it must recharge before another player can use it again. The recharging process lasts for a few seconds, but the time can be reduced by upgrading.

While the Engineer’s teammates are the only ones capable of using his Teleporters, enemy Spies are exempt from this restriction. They can use it even when undisguised and uncloaked.

A Level 1 Teleporter takes 10 seconds to recharge. Levels 2 and 3 take five and three seconds respectively. It’s better to upgrade the Teleporters as soon as possible.

It’s possible to return to the front lines instantly using a Teleporter, but a sneaky Engineer can even place an Exit somewhere enemies don’t look. This allows his teammates to catch enemies unaware. This is, however, a risky strategy and may become predictable after repeated use.

Just like the other structures, Engineers can haul Teleporter Entrances and Exits around.

To be effective in combat, the Engineer should learn how to use all three structures properly. By making them complement each other and his teammates, he’ll be able to defend any spot. Next, we’ll take a look at how to play him defensively.

How to Become a “Defensive” Engineer in Team Fortress 2?

A defensive Engineer doesn’t rush to his death to protects his teammates. You will only find yourself dying needlessly, much to the ire of your teammates.

  1. Always be near your Sentry Gun or Team.
    The Engineer is comparatively fragile, so a few hits will kill him. You’ll have to protect yourself by being near your Sentry Gun or a few teammates. Staying near a Medic or Dispenser increases the chance of survival.
  2. Upgrade as soon as possible.
    Make it a priority to gather Metal and upgrade your structures. Level 1 structures are very weak and not very dependable. After you upgrade, you can spend more time defending and rooting Spies out.
  3. Find the best defensive spots.
    Don’t forget to memorize the best spots to camp out and set up. Strategize to cover a large area at once with the help of your teammates. Good synergy with your team will allow you to protect any important points.

How It Feels to Play Engineer in Team Fortress 2?

Most of the time, you’ll be stuck behind the front lines building, covering spots, and repairing structures. There isn’t as much excitement as with the aggressive classes, but you still have to find Spies. You can think of playing Engineer as more relaxed with some bursts of adrenaline now and then. You should be on guard in case someone is hiding and waiting to ambush you. The enemy team always targets the Engineer if possible.

You’ll also be shuffling back and forth between your structures to maintain their health. This takes a lot of metal, but you can loot enemies during a lull in the battle.

Of course, you can ditch the defensive dogma and play more aggressively. That may be more fun, but you’ll also be dying much more often.

What Is TF2 Engineer’s Real Name?

The Engineer’s real name is Dell Conagher. He’s a soft-spoken and polite man.

Being an engineer by profession, the Engineer loves building structures. His motto is “I like to make things” – short, sweet, and direct.

To back up his construction skills, he has 11 science PhDs to help him design and build his three structures. You can easily tell that he’s a smart man who happens to know how to fight too. A fun fact is that the Engineer’s favorite equation is a part of the same one used to manage Team Fortress 2’s lighting. Its name is Phong. The equation can be seen on page five of Illustrative Rendering in TF2, an official document from Valve.

Where Is the TF2 Engineer From?

The Engineer is from Texas. Bee Cave, Texas is a city around 12 miles from Austin. It’s located near the center of the Lone Star State, within Travis County.

Bee Cave is a tiny city; only a few square miles of land. As small as it is, people now know about it thanks to playing Team Fortress 2.

How Do You Get Metal as an Engineer in TF2?

The best way to get Metal is to walk over to ammo boxes and fallen weapons after a firefight. Dispensers also provide Metal, but at a slower rate. When structures are destroyed, they leave some Metal behind as well.

For Payload, the carts also produce some Metal over time. Another source is the Resupply Locker, refilling up to 200 Metal.

Build, Shoot, and Repair

The Engineer is a very complex class to master and play. Now that you know how the Engineer is played, you can go ahead and support your team. Teammates appreciate a good Engineer who knows their stuff.

Do you think the Engineer can be aggressive? What’s your favorite Engineer weapon? Let us know in the comments section below.

2 thoughts on “How to Play the Engineer in Team Fortress 2”

Engineer2 says:
Advice: If you know there is an enemy spy on the other team make sure to walk around and jump over your dispenser, an enemy spy could be using it to regain cloak but they will not be invisible when you’re walking into them.
L says:
Very cool guide, and useful for new players! One correction to add is that Level 3 Sentries’ bullets don’t do any more damage than a Level 2’s: more health and the ability to fire rockets is the only difference. In addition, you haul buildings using right-click and you can change the direction a teleporter exit will face by right-clicking while building or hauling it! The direction your teammates will face when they come through is indicated with an arrow on the blueprint, so try to face it away from walls so that your teammates can’t get backstabbed immediately after teleporting!

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