How to Spy Guide

How to Spy Guide: Basics

Welcome to Backstab!

So you've decided to play as a Spy, and are looking for tips on how to actually play well. This is good. The skills required to play such a crafty class are not as intuitive for many players, and typically results in suffering and frustration without practice. Do not lose heart—most Spy players don't become gods overnight, except for those very rare few who should be ignored for the sake of self-motivation.
  1. Check Your Corners
    One of the more general mistakes by new players is to forget to check their own backs in case someone's walking behind them. Keep your eyes open for people who might discover you simply because you forgot to make sure you were in the clear.

  2. Disguises Aren't Lasting
    While you're prowling about, keep in mind that your disguises will only fool people who aren't paying attention. While some techniques allow a Spy to further trick players, your lack of being able to attack their enemies will become clear the longer you're around. To address this, use your spywatch often! If the charge duration is a concern, try to keep an eye out for locations you could calmly recharge your cloaking with, memorize the locations of ammo boxes, or consider using the Cloak and Dagger watch. The CaD is motion based, and will let you recharge while standing still, preferably where enemy players won't blindly walk into you.

  3. Stay Calm and Run Away
    The last thing you should ever do when in a sticky situation is panic, and the same carries to playing as a Spy. If you've been discovered, attempt to run. If you've been cornered, attempt to outmanuver your foes or otherwise get out of reach. Immediately cloak if you've not been set on fire, as you'll need the edge to avoid being eliminated. Above all, do not run backwards: you'll travel slower and likely walk into some form of hazard.
  4. Pick Your Targets Well
    While the impulse to backstab every enemy in front of you may be strong, remember that a Spy is an inherently fragile class that will be blasted apart if you blow your cover over peanuts. Count how many allies an enemy has around, double check that you won't be caught off guard or be discovered when running up to them.

Misc. Tips

For more information, check the official TF2 wiki, this guide for a general overview of the class, and this guide for a deep look into mechanics. Have any questions that can't be answered with a quick google search? Send me an email.