The Importance of Splash Damage
Welcome, future Soldier mains to the first part of the guide to understanding how to play Soldier.
The first and very important thing that many new players are forgetting about is splash damage. Splash damage is the damage that comes from the Rocket explosion.
Ok, but how do I use this?
Unless you are using the Direct Hit and/or trying to hit someone in the sky, you should always aim at the feet of the enemy. This is very important, because, when you shoot at the feet, a pyro cannot air blast the rocket back towards you.
The Direct Hit
The Direct Hit is also one of the first weapons you might get as Soldier. This weapon was given to Soldier by Miss Pauling when the administrator found out about the Red Demoman’s and Blu Soldier’s friendship.
This weapon is sort of different from all the other Soldier weapons.
You need to hit your targets directly or you will not do any damage.
The rockets also travel very fast in the air, so it is easy to hit your targets
This weapon actually does decent damage against sentries, but lacks the charged shot, thus it cannot disable sentries.
Next weapon you might get is the Original; this weapon is the same as stock, except for ONE LITTLE DETAIL, that is not really important.
When you equip this weapon, you might notice that the weapon is at the bottom of your screen, unlike the stock Rocket Launcher that is on the right of the screen.
This also means that the rockets shoot from the bottom of your screen instead of right. This makes shooting around the corner without the enemy seeing you impossible, but might make Rocket Jumping (will get into it later) easier.
The weapon also does not take up any important screen space, so this weapon might be the perfect fit for people who do not want much clutter on their screen.
The Beggar’s Bazooka
Next is the Beggar’s Bazooka.
This weapon is also very different from all the other weapons. This weapon cannot be loaded, when you hold left click, you will start putting rockets into the bazooka chamber, you can put up to 4 rockets in there. When you stop holding left click, all the rockets will pop out at once. You can also spam left-click.
The last Rocket Launcher I will get into here is the Air-Strike, this is a very good rocket launcher that has very high potential.
The Air-Strike does around 80 damage per shot, which is just a bit more than stock, although this is not mentioned. When you Rocket Jump into the air (covered in the next chapter) you can shoot 4 rockets, just like the Beggar’s Bazooka, except for the fact that you will fire one less.
This weapon is great for clearing out control points or the space around the payload.
A very important part of being a Soldier is knowing how to Rocket jump. It can ALWAYS come in hand; there is almost no situation where it can’t.
How do you Rocket Jump?
You see, it is very simple.
You need to aim down to the floor with a rocket launcher of your choice. Then jump and crouch at the same time and shoot to the ground. You will fly high above the ground. The crouching and jumping part is very important.
You can also POGO with a Rocket Launcher – that is another part of Rocket Jumping.
To POGO you should not crouch or jump, but instead just aim down to the floor and spam left click. This will make you jump like, if you were on a POGO stick.
Please keep in mind that this section of the guide is only a basic rocket jumping guide.
There are many more things you can do with Rocket Jumping and I strongly recommend looking up a guide for Rocket Jumping.
The Soldier has a wide selection of secondary weapons.
For example, you can just take a simple shotgun….. or you can use something like a buff banner, which gives you critical hits. You can also equip a parachute (great combined with the air-strike).
The Rage Meter
If you have chosen a banner (The Concheror, buff banner, battalion’s backup, etc.). You might wonder how to activate them.
To activate a banner and get a buff you need to fill your “RAGE” meter. To fill the meter, you need to do a lot of damage in a single life (when you get good, you will basically have it charged all the time).
After your “RAGE” meter is filled, you just need to equip the banner and left-click. You will now get the benefit it offers.
Panic Attack or Stock
This is a common question I get. Anytime someone asks I answer with “My personal preference of shotgun is the Panic Attack, but choosing between the Stock and Panic Attack is really up to your own personal choice and what you need from a shotgun”.
Same here. I would definitely recommend reading the advantages and cons of both these weapons and comparing what you need the most in the battlefield.
The B. A. S. E. Jumper and the Air-Strike combo
What you might see combined a lot is the B.A.S.E Jumper and the Air-Strike. This is because the B.A.S.E Jumper is a parachute.
Rocket jump up with the airstrike, deploy the parachute by pressing space in mid-air and shoot, you will be able to shoot super fast while in the parachute. This combo can be very powerful if used correctly. Try to rocket jump behind everyone and then pour rocket rain hell on them. Best used on control points and payload.
The soldier has some good melee weapons. I will now list the most interesting of them and their uses.
This melee once used to be useful, until it was nerfed. Today, it is basically only good for its taunt – its taunt kills you and players around you. Very good for running into crowds (or rocket jumping into crowds) and killing everyone around, including you.
The Escape Plan
The Escape Plan makes you faster when you take damage. The lower health you have, the faster you are. Basically the only use for this is to Escape, as marketed.
The Market Gardener
This is basically the best soldier melee. If you Rocket Jump and hit a target while Rocket Jumping, you will do critical damage.
The Disciplinary Action
This is my melee of choice. This weapon is the easiest weapon to hit someone with. This weapon can literally hit someone that is behind you. It also gives you and your friend a speed boost when you hit them with it (unless they are the enemy).
Market Gardening + The Rocket Jumper
As I said in the previous chapter, the Market Gardener deals critical damage while Rocket Jumping.
A popular combination with this weapon is The Rocket Jumper, which does no damage, but only allows you to Rocket Jump.
Which means that the Rocket Jumper and the Market Gardener are a combo made in heaven. This strategy is very hard though, so I would not recommend doing it.
The Concheror gives you a passive buff, healing you every second – up to 4HP per second, which is REALLY useful. Upon deploying, you will get a speed boost and 4HP per second regeneration.
The Buff Banner
The Buff Banner gives you critical hits when deployed.
The Battalion’s backup
The battalion’s backup greatly increases your defense when deployed. This is the perfect tool for a great push.
Credit to Honza