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The Spy is a suave backstabbing rogue who has the ability to instantly kill any class by attacking with his melee from behind. He can position himself as he sees fit with his Cloak and can get important Picks when an opportunity presents itself. Spy is weak in direct combat; he is designed to take out important targets and then retreat. As a pick class, the Spy will usually target the enemy Demoman, Heavy or Medic. Against Medics, Spy's goal is to either force Medic to use his Übercharge or kill him outright, wasting the charge. The Spy is also capable of disabling and destroying the Engineer's buildings with his Sapper.


Main article: Spy (6v6)

In 6v6, the Spy is an offclass due to his poor damage output and low health. Spy will usually only get one chance at getting a pick; after he makes a play, the enemy team will be on guard for the rest of the match. A player may switch to Spy when the enemy Medic has a large Über advantage, during a stalemate, killing an enemy Demoman before his team makes a push.

In terms of assassination power, Spy has less potential than Sniper; Sniper can fire multiple times and get multiple picks, but Spy usually only gets one chance for a pick and will almost certainly die afterwards. However, because he is not often used in 6v6, players do not typically check for Spies, allowing him to make a play. Spy is most commonly used as a surprise tactic for breaking stalemates against teams that stay out of Sniper sightlines and deny Roamer bombings. However, keep in mind that Spy is still much less versatile than Sniper.

Spy's other major use is to spy on the enemy team. He can gather vital information and relay it to his team, such as enemy Medic's Übercharge and choice of Medigun, surprise offclasses, enemy positions. The Spy can also be utilized for backcapping thanks to his cloak.


Main article: Spy (Highlander)

In Highlander, the Spy is used as a pick and support class. He is often used to pick the enemy Medic, Heavy, Demoman, Sniper, Engineer, or any key targets that are giving his team trouble. Spies in Highlander must be aware that the enemy team has a full-time Pyro and is spychecking more often, leaving the Spy with fewer opportunities for picks.

The Spy is also the best scouting class in the game, providing valuable information to his team. He can easily call the enemy Medic's Überchage meter, enemy positions and pushes, and loadouts, thanks to the safety provided by the Cloak and Dagger.


When confronted by an enemy, Spy is almost always at a severe disadvantage; his poor damage output and health prevent him from going toe-to-toe with most combat classes. In a pinch, Spy may need use deceptive movements to manipulate an attacking enemy into showing him their back. This technique is called "trickstabbing," and may be the only way for him to escape a bad situation.

Spy may opt to use a revolver to harass distant enemies or pick off isolated ones. The Ambassador is often the best choice for this playstyle, as it allows Spy to deal critical hits with headshots. When utilizing this tactic, Spy will often stay by his team and assist them in dealing damage, though he is outshined in both range and damage by Sniper. In order to utilize his full potential, he must cause confusion in the enemy team, preventing them from focusing on his own team.



Weapon 4v4 6v6 Highlander
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The Revolver deals a base damage of 40, with a clip of 6 rounds. This weapon deals consistent damage.
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The Ambassador deals 34 base damage. At close to mid-range, critical headshots with this weapon will deal 102 damage. However, the weapon is hampered by a cooldown period, during which it will not deal critical hits. At mid to long-range, headshot damage will begin to fall off, preventing Spy from sniping targets from afar.
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The L'Etranger deals a base damage of 32. In exchange for its damage penalty, it passively increases Spy's maximum cloak by 40%. On every hit, Spy instantly regenerates 15% cloak. It is one of the only ways to manually recharge the Dead Ringer, and can extend the Cloak and Dagger's cloak time to nearly the length of the Invis Watch.
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The Enforcer deals as much damage as the stock Revolver, but has a base damage of 48 when Spy is disguised. As a drawback, it suffers from a 20% firing speed penalty. While it is overshadowed by the stock Revolver in most situations, it ignores damage resistances and deals full damage against Wrangled Sentries, Vaccinator shields, and Fists of Steel.
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The Diamondback deals a base damage of 34. For every Engineer building Spy saps and destroys and for every backstab kill, he will get one guaranteed critical hit (102 damage) for his Diamondback. These crits can be used to take out damaged enemies who would otherwise survive, or to weaken enemies in direct combat.

This weapon is banned, as it allows Spy to out-damage every class in the game at mid to long-range.


Weapon 4v4 6v6 Highlander
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The Sapper is the Spy's main tool for disabling and destroying enemy Engineers' buildings. The stock sapper will disable an enemy building when placed, but if an enemy engineer removes the sapper with his Wrench, the building will resume its operation. One of the most common strategies for attacking an Engineer's buildings is to backstab the Engineer, then sap his buildings. If your team is making a push, simply sapping his Sentry Gun may disable it long enough for your team to destroy it.
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Red-Tape Recorder
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Much like the stock sapper, the Red-Tape Recorder also disables enemy engineer's buildings. This sapper, however, does not destroy the buildings it saps; rather, it reverses the construction of the building. While inferior to the stock Sapper in most situation, it may be useful to weaken a Sentry Gun before your team attacks. It is banned in some leagues.


Weapon 4v4 6v6 Highlander
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The Knife is Spy's weapon of choice. When attacking from behind, it will instantly kill, regardless of health. From the front, it deals a paltry 40 damage (known as butter-knifing). Spy's most common tactic is to get behind enemy lines with his cloak, deceive the enemy with his disguise, and then then use the knife to backstab key targets, often at the cost of his own life. When the element of surprise is lost, however, Spy must use his revolver or cloak in order to escape.
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Your Eternal Reward
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The Your Eternal Reward drains Spy's entire cloak meter when using the Disguise Kit outside of spawn, and reduces his maximum cloak time by 33%. The only way for Spy to disguise without using all of his cloak is to backstab an enemy. Upon landing backstab, the Spy will instantly disguise as the victim, the victim's body will disappear, and the enemy team will receive no notification of their teammate dying other than a quiet, but distinctive, stabbing sound. This weapon is rarely seen in competitive play, as enemies will immediately call out Spy's position and disguise to their teammates. Because it is rarely used, however, players do not expect it, and the moment of confusion after the backstab may allow Spy to land another kill before retreating.
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The Spy-cicle partially protects Spy from Pyro's fire. When ignited, the Spy-cicle melts (preventing him from landing any more backstabs) and protects Spy from all fire damage for one second. He will be immune from afterburn for 10 seconds, giving him time to escape. After it melts, the Spy-cicle takes 15 seconds to recharge, although Spy can recharge his Spy-cicle faster by picking up ammo packs. However, backstabbed victims are turned into ice sculptures, revealing the Spy's presence. Note that with other knives, Spy can continue to backstab after being ignited. Users should take their play-style as well as the current status of the round into consideration before choosing this knife over the stock knife.
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Conniver's Kunai
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When the Conniver's Kunai is equipped, Spy's maximum health is reduced to 70, allowing him to be killed instantly by most point-blank attacks. On backstab, Spy absorbs his victim's health, providing him with overhead up to 210 points. If he was previously on fire, backstabbing an enemy will extinguish him. Be careful while using this knife; Spy will die to any decent attack if caught before he can land a backstab. Once he backstabs, he can either use the health to escape, or attempt to land a trickstab, using his overheal to protect him.
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Big Earner
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The Big Earner reduces Spy's base health to 100 points. Killing an enemy with this weapon, either with a backstab or regular melee attack, will recharge the Cloak meter by 30% and increase Spy's movement speed for 3 seconds. This knife is best used when enemies are spread out; the movement speed buff allows Spy to quickly close the distance between enemies before they can react.


Weapon 4v4 6v6 Highlander
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Invis Watch.png
Invis Watch
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The default Invis Watch for Spy is time-based. It provides Spy with 10 seconds of cloak time, during which he will have a 20% damage resistance. It takes 30 seconds to recharge passively, but Spy can pick up ammo boxes to refill his cloak meter. The Invis Watch is best suited for an aggressive play style, allowing Spy to roam the map quickly, landing multiple kills. In competitive settings, however, players will tend to be more Spy-aware, the 10-second window may not be enough.
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Cloak and Dagger
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The Cloak and Dagger is motion sensitive; as long as Spy holds still, his cloak will regenerate. This watch has doubled cloak recharge rate (15 seconds) but drains significantly faster than the Invis Watch. This watch's cloak cannot be replenished by ammo boxes while cloaked. The Cloak and Dagger is best suited for a more passive playstyle, allowing Spy to hide and relay important information to his team, such as enemy positioning and Medic Übercharge. The Cloak and Dagger is often paired with the L'Etranger in order to offset the reduced cloak time.
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Dead Ringer
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The Dead Ringer is unique among Spy's watches. Instead of cloaking him when deployed, Alt-fire allows him to "arm" it. While the Dead Ringer is armed Spy will not be able to attack. When damaged, Spy will instantly turn invisible, drop a fake corpse, and gain a movement speed boost, allowing him to escape. The attack that activates the Dead Ringer will have its power reduced by 75%, allowing a fully-healed Spy to survive any attack short of a backstab. For the first 3 seconds after the first attack, Spy will have a 65% damage resistance which will soon fade to the standard 20%, and will not become visible when bumping enemy players. The Dead Ringer allows Spy to escape after a backstab, but prevents him from cloaking on demand. Alternatively, he can briefly face his enemies in direct combat, dealing as much damage as possible before activating the Ringer and retreating. Regardless of his tactics, Spy must wait between 10-20 second before the Ringer recharges, as ammo boxes and Dispensers will not recharge it.

See Also[edit]

External Links[edit]

DarkNecrid's Comprehensive Pub & Competitive Spy Guide