The Medic is generally considered the most unique and one of the most important classes in Team Fortress 2. His ability to negate damage with his healing and usage of the ÜberCharge mechanic make him the core part of the team and led the development of the metagame based around ÜberCharges, pushing, holding and defending points.
In all gamemodes, the Medic's main job is to keep his team in shape, by healing hurt teammates, allowing them to rejoin the fight and turn the tides of the battle in their favour. Usually, the Medic will heal some classes more than others, either because they require more heals to be on the front line, or their role is to protect the Medic. These classes are commonly referred to as the combo, which consists of the Heavy, the Demoman, and the Pyro. As for the other classes, some will mostly receive just an overheal (such as the Scout), and some are generally not healed at all (such as the Engineer or the Spy).
On maps without set-up time (such as King of the Hill or 5CP maps), in the beginning of each round the Medic will give the Demoman an overheal, to enable him to rollout to the middle point. After that, he will give overheals to all players, and in the end, just before arriving on the point, will give a full overheal to the Heavy, bringing him to 450 HP.
On maps with set-up time, the gameplay varies, depending on which side the Medic is on. In both cases, during set-up time, the Medic will prepare an ÜberCharge, that is aimed to be used later during a round. On attack, the Medic often waits in spawn, so as to not risk losing (dropping) the Über by dying, while the team goes out without him. The team then try to get an important kill or force the enemy Medic to activate his Über, so that the attacking Über's effectiveness rises.
- Main article: ÜberCharge
The ÜberCharge is one of the most important mechanics in the game. Often, the Über percentage will be the deciding factor in whether or not to push or hold a point. Über advantages don't play as important a role in Highlander as they do in 6v6, but tracking the enemy Über is a good and useful tactic, separating average Medics from good Medics.
It is very important that the Medic positions himself in a way that would make it harder to catch him out. Each map has its established holding points, which are the most beneficial for a Medic. Many of them are easy to escape from but hard to get into, and not in a direct line of sight from any possible Sniper locations.
Another key aspect of playing Medic on defense is knowing when to stay in, and when to back out. If the Medic stays in an unfavourable engagement and ends up dying with the rest of the team, not only will the team lose the currently defended point, but most likely lose the next one, as the Medic will not have the ÜberCharge ready in time. The enemy team will most likely also position itself in a way that would deny the defenders from trying to retake control of the point.
Some of the Medic's weapons present very interesting aspects of gameplay, and can be used to execute different strategies.
- Crusader's Crossbow - Most Medics' go-to primary weapon. The Crusader's Crossbow can heal the Medic's teammates by hitting them with the crossbow bolts, as can it damage the opponents. The Crossbow has the biggest possible amount of hit points healed per second in the game, and a successful hit on a teammate can easily change the outcome of a 1v1 battle. The damage and healing abide to the principle of reverse falloff - the farther the Medic is his teammate or opponent, the more hitpoints will he heal or take away from them. The Crossbow was previously used for arrow building (using the Crossbow to build Ubercharge at an increased rate), but the Uber gain from arrowing has since been reduced. However, this weapon is objectively more useful than any other primary for Medic.
- Syringe Gun - The stock Syringe Gun is tied with the Blutsauger for the highest damage per second of any of the Medics primaries, but the Syringe Gun has a higher passive healing rate than the Blutsauger, making it more ideal for overall survivability. However, because it lacks the support potential of the Crusader's Crossbow, and since the Overdose's damage penalty is negligible, the Syringe Gun is not often used in Competitive.
- Overdose - Often preferred over the Syringe Gun despite its slightly lower damage output because of its speed boost dependent on the Medic's ÜberCharge percentage. The loss of damage is often negligible, and the upside of the increased movement speed will often enable the Medic to get out of a close-call situation.
- Blutsauger - Rarely used; its health on hit benefit is negligible compared to the lowered survivability of the Medic because of his weakened health regeneration.
- Medi Gun - The stock Medi Gun has the best all-around Über, which turns the Medic and his patients invincible for a maximum of 8 seconds. However, it takes the longest of any Über to build, with a minimum of 40 seconds and a maximum of 160 seconds (overhealed patients near a dispenser or cart). The heal rate for the Medi Gun is minimum of 24 hp per second, and a maximum of 72 hp per second.
- Kritzkrieg - The Kritzkrieg is an interesting alternative to the Medi Gun. While having the same heal rate as the Medi Gun, the Kritzkrieg's Über charges 25% faster than the Medi Gun's Über, and grants the patient 100% crits when activated. This can be used to maintain an Über advantage by getting the crits before the enemy Medic gets Über, killing him, and recharging the Kritzkrieg. It can also be used as a high-risk, high-reward surprise play to kill the enemy Medic, who has Über. It takes 32 seconds to charge.
- Quick-Fix - This weapon is rarely used in Highlander. It can be used when the Medic has less than 40 seconds to build an Uber or wants to benefit from the extra heal rate. It charges 10% faster than the standard ÜberCharge rate, and heals 40% more but it cannot fully overheal (only 125%, which means it always builds at max rate). It can be used to carry out surprise bombs on the enemy Medic, due to its nullification of knockback but most Medics prefer use the Kritzkrieg to assist in taking out the emend Medic. The quick-fix uber is considered the weakest of all the medi-guns, being vulnerable to Spies, Pyros that reduce healing with the primaries, Kritzkrieg or simply focused fire from the opposing team.
- Vaccinator - The Vaccinator trades a powerful Uber charge for four smaller charges that give 75% resistance to one of three damages: Explosive, Bullet, and Fire and 100% crit immunity. It also increases the survivability of the Medic and his patient while healing because of a passive 10% resistance to one of the three damage types. It builds at a 60% faster rate than stock (24 seconds total or 6 seconds per bubble). However, it also a -66% overheal build rate. It is the most complex medi-gun to use, since it takes more mechanical skill and heal management to build efficiently. It can be used for holding last at Uber disadvantage and in clutch plays. The Vaccinator can aid greatly in increasing the Medics survivability in a 1 vs 1 since it increases the Medic's effective health against a damage type by 75%. Additionally, the Medic is able to use a bubble and change the passive to another resistance to receive a 10% extra damage soak. They may even use two or three bubbles at once. The Vaccinator continues building while a bubble is deployed, and the Uber building rate is increased if you are receiving damage from the correct resistance. There is a technique using the Vaccinator that where a Medic will pop a bubble and tank the pocket with a crossbow for 75 hp (and effective 130 with the bubble) in 1.5 seconds for extra damage sponging. It can also negate headhsots and bombs but the Medic must be mindful that the team will have limited overheal, if any. The main counters of Vaccinator are team coordination, baiting bubble usage, Pyros reducing bubble effectiveness, melee, and Kritzkrieg.
- Übersaw - Run by most competitive Medics, the Übersaw grants the Medic an ability to add 25% to the Über percentage by hitting an enemy player. This ability often grants the Medic an escape possibility, if he succeeds in hitting the chasing enemy and getting the Über that way. The Ubersaw is rarely used to extend Ubers (switching off the Medigun to melee, landing a hit and switching back) due to the risk of dropping your pocket and risking your own death.
- Amputator - Rarely used; It enables a healing area effect, which allows to keep multiple teammates alive; it leaves the Medic very exposed though, as it requires for him to taunt. This weapon also boosts the Medic's passive health regeneration (1 hp/s if you are actively holding it, ramping up with time to 3 hp/s), but this is not considered worth sacrificing the Ubersaw for. The Amputator also builds Uber while taunting, but much slower than with the Mediguns.
- Solemn Vow - This weapon essentially gives Medic Spy-vision, meaning that Medic can view the names, health, and Ubercharge percentages of his enemies as a passive benefit (while the weapon is not active). This can be useful for Medics who want to track the enemy Medic's Ubercharge. However, in high-level play, this weapon becomes less useful, as most Medics are capable of tracking the enemy's Uber mentally. It is much less viable in Higlander as this function can be performed by the Spy. The Solemn vow also requires Medics to peek sightlines in order to get a good look at the enemy Medic, which is dangerous, especially if the other team has a competent Sniper. The Solemn Vow can also be used to provide very accurate damage callouts to the rest of them team, and to quickly assess the rough collective health of the opponents.
- Vita-Saw - The Vita-Saw gives the Medic who uses it up to 60% Uber after death (with 4 melee hits), at the cost of ten hp. Most of the time, this is considered not worth the base health reduction since the weapon requires you to land hits with your melee, have Uber built, and then die to get the benefit.