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TF2 Weekly: Scout's Primary (FAN vs. Scattergun vs. Shortstop)

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Posted 01-23-2011 at 11:59 PM by Kamon
Updated 01-24-2011 at 12:04 AM by Kamon

TF2 Weekly

Force-a-Nature vs. Scattergun vs. Shortstop

Monday, January 24th of 2011

Hey everyone, it's Kamon here, and I'm here to resurrect my TF2 Weekly series. The original threads were an attempt to post an overview and personal opinion on certain weapons, and see how they fared in popularity. I got a little too busy to continue it, but now I can no longer resist with all of these weapons. So, my first TF2 Weekly of 2011, we're going to focus on the Scout's Primary Weapons.

The Scattergun

Ammo loaded: 6
Ammo carried: 32
Point Blank: 85-105 (297 DPS)
Attack Interval: 0.64 seconds
The Scattergun is the default primary for the Scout, and a weapon every avid TF2 player has either held or been on the receiving end of. It has a large spread while firing and high damage rampoff, meaning it'll do little to enemies that are far away while destroying anybody who happens to be in your face. It also carries 6 rounds, which means you can deliver quite a bit of damage to someone before you scurry off. It isn't the quickest weapon to fire in the game, firing every 0.64 seconds, but it should get the job done.

The Scattergun is a great general weapon for the Scout, who is usually ducking around corners and trying to get the jump on enemies before they can spot him, while being a fairly decent all-around weapon. It is plagued by a slow reload time, requiring about 4 seconds to completely reload with all 6 rounds.

I personally find that the Scatter Gun works best on maps where you have to get up and close to your opponents at times, but are otherwise forced to keep on the run in order to stay alive--something that should be true to most Scouts.

As for accompanying secondary weapons, the Pistol provides you with a go-to option when you don't have time to reload--which happens a lot. Crit-a-cola will allow you to deliver substantial damage to enemies you get the jump on, while Mad Milk will give you some survival options, although your best bet is usually to flee in most cases. Bonk Energy Drink is usually situational and doesn't depend on your primary.

Let me just say now that I'm not going to focus on any of the Melee weapons, as none of them make any substantial difference in play style with any of the primary or secondary weapons, with the exception of the Sandman--which I find does best with the FAN below. Otherwise, I've got nothing to say about them.

The Force-A-Nature

Ammo loaded: 2
Ammo carried: 32
Point Blank: ~92-113 damage
Attack Interval: 0.4267 seconds
The first unlockable for the Scout, the Force-A-Nature, is an entirely different beast from the Scattergun on its own. While it is similar in both appearance and function--firing a spray of pellets in an even wider spread than your first primary weapon, it plays quite differently. First and foremost, the Force-A-Nature's main function is to deliver a one-two punch (two shots per magzine) even faster than the Scattergun, while also offering a faster reload. It also allows you to propel enemies away from you when blasting them at a close range, as well as giving you a nice tricky third jump when pointed at the floor.

At the cost of damage, surely, right? Not quite. While each individual pellet in the FAN may do less than those of the Scattergun, it actually fires a couple more pellets--meaning, at point blank, you will do more damage than with the Scattergun. Of course, you're still doing even less damage at a distance due to the increased spread size, making the Pistol a fantastic secondary to accompany the FAN.

The FAN's secondary feature, the fabled triple jump, is sometimes good enough reason to take it over the Scattergun alone. It can allow the Scout to truely do what he does best--scout the battlements--and get to places that normally only Soldiers and Demomen dreamed, but in shorter times and receiving less damage.

The knockback function of the FAN is a double-edged sword; While you will knock an enemy back and possible throw them off guard, you won't be able to deliver two point-blank shots in succession usually. However, this can sometimes assist you in an emergency escape, and can give you the ability to knock enemies off ledges or off of a point.

I find the FAN works best in maps where you can duck around corners, take shortcuts, and get close and personal with enemies from above, behind, or wherever those shortcuts take you.

As for secondaries, the pistol's fantastic damage rate and the FAN's lack of long-range damage make them go hand in hand very well. Crit-a-cola may work well with the hit-and-run strategy, coupled with the pistol. Mad Milk's slow wind up throw makes it an unappealing mix, and Bonk, as usual, is situational.

The Shortstop

Ammo loaded: 4
Ammo carried: 36
Point Blank: ~69 - 72
Attack Interval: 0.5 seconds
The Scout's first craftable primary is the Shortstop, which despite looking a little more Secondary than usual, IS in fact a replacement for the Scattergun. It has slightly less damage ramp-up than the Scattergun and FAN, but it makes up for this with incredible accuracy, more balanced damage, incredibly quick clip reload equal to that of the Pistol, and a MUCH smaller cone of fire. It also has a slight slowdown effect on hit, giving the opponent a 40% slowdown to half a second with every strike... which, isn't much, to be fair.

One of the most notable things about the Shortstop is the reload speed. As soon as you finish a clip, you're probably going to have slapped another in and be firing off some more rounds before you know it. This lets the Scout not only fair decently in a close-range game, but the increased accuracy and lower spread allow you to do substantial damage in a mid-range game similar to that with the pistol. It doesn't fire quite as fast as the FAN, but it fires faster than the Scattergun.

Notably, the Shortstop isn't going to deal as much damage at point blank, and each shots will generally do less than those of the Scattergun. Again, this is at close-range; this weapon encourages the Scout to hang back and hammer away at enemies where he's at a safer distance. Consider that the Scout is a rather fragile class, this isn't such a bad thing after all.

The Shortstop is part of the Milkman set, which has a benefit of giving the Scout 25 more max health, putting him at 150 HP. This makes him more difficult to kill when combined with his improved range-game and the Mad Milk secondary, not to mention how agile he already is.

Like I mentioned above, the Shortstop works best in situations where you can roam a little more freely and fire at a distance. If you're getting too close and personal, and you're being given ample time to reload your weapons, try switching back to the Scattergun or FAN. Otherwise, I find myself using the Shortstop more often than either of them.

As far as secondaries go, the first thing I should mention is the Pistol is rather off-limits this time, because the Shortstop shares ammo with the Pistol. This makes it rather unappealing. Crit-a-cola, however, does give you ample power, even against distant enemies, and you should have an easier time avoiding rockets and the likes at a distance. Mad Milk helps you stay alive, and with the Milk Man set, puts the Scout at an entirely new level of annoying.

Thanks to the folks at for the statistics.
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