I’m sure this has happened to you at least a couple of times while playing Team Fortress 2 by now: You’re low on health and on fire after fighting a Pyro. You make a beeline for the nearest health kit, but just as you are about to grab it, a near-full health Scout jumps in from freakin’ no where to take it, leaving you to burn to death.
Well, you can’t really avoid selfish or clueless behaviour like that, but you can be part of the solution and become a better player by learning some health kit etiquette! This guide will show you how.
Take only what you need
Not all health kits are made equal. The small pill bottle heals you for 20.5% of your total health, the medium first aid kit heals you for 50% of your total health, while the large ice cooler heals you for 100% of your total health.
If you’re only slightly injured, you don’t need to take the medium or large health kit; the small health kit will be fine to patch you up. Leave those for other players who have way less health than you. On the other hand, if your health is in the red or you’ve been set on fire by a Pyro and are about to die, don’t feel shy about taking the large or medium health kit.
Look at the players around you
Before you walk that last few paces to the nearest health kit, take a look around you and see if there are any other players who need it more than you. Perhaps their health is in the red whereas yours is about half, or maybe they’ve been set on fire by a Pyro and need to pick up a health kit to put out the fire.
You don’t want to be the Scout who steals health kits while your team-mate burns to death. And I’m doubly sure you don’t want to be the poor Heavy who burns to death while the Scout grabs the health kit before you do. It’s all about courtesy and consideration for your fellow gamers. Besides, building up that awareness of your surroundings and the situations you’re in sets apart the beginners from those who truly know how to play.
Medics have priority on health kits
Building on the previous point, Medics should have priority on health kits at all times. Why, you might ask? There are two reasons for this.
First, Medics are the only class which can heal. As the saying goes, a dead Medic does no healing. Let the Medic take the health kit if they are low or on fire and make sure you press “E” to call for him to heal you. Take care of your team’s Medics, and they will take care of you.
Second, Medics build up their ÜberCharge meter faster when they’re healing injured players. By letting a Medic heal you instead of taking a health kit, you’re helping your team get that next ÜberCharge invulnerability or Kritzkrieg critical bonus faster.
The cheat sheet
Here’s the cheat sheet if everything that came before was just a wall of text to you.
You should only take a health kit if…
- there’s no Medic near you
- you’re set on fire by a Pyro
- your health meter is in the red
- no one else is on fire
These tips have been ingrained into most of the pro players out there. It takes awhile to get used to, but you’ll be a more considerate and, most importantly, a better Team Fortress 2 player if you can keep these in mind.
Special thanks to my team-mates from [5th] Company aka -V- Co. for helping out with the screenshots.
If you have any questions about this guide that you want answered or if you have a suggestion for a future TF2 Protip guide, please feel free to ask in the comments below.