Countering the Gunslinger

Defeating the Gunslinger
Defeating the Gunslinger

SPUF has pretty much agreed: we hate the gunslinger. I am not going into a rant about whether it is overpowered or not – check any page of SPUF for that. Regardless of whether or not it is OP, it is still no fun to play against. But it can be countered by most classes without too much effort. Of course, you can always call a friend over to help you take it out, but sometimes you just have to do it yourself.

The mini-sentry has 100 health and 48 DPS, which is formidable considering it is such a small target.  Many times, your crosshair is bigger than the sentry you are looking at.  It builds faster than it takes a dominated machina-toting gibus-wearing sniper to ragequit and fires quicker than a hatless spy frantically firing his revolver at an overhealed heavy.

This guide also covers tackling an engineer/mini-sentry combo, where the engineer is hanging around near his mini-sentry so he can constantly feed spam to the other team.


The scout has probably the hardest time countering the mini sentry. His scattergun only does good damage at close range, and getting to close range can be difficult to do depending on the location of the sentry. The pistol works fine when you are out of the sentry’s range. However, in order to hit consistently, you will need to be standing relatively still, which is not a good idea for a scout.

I try to avoid the mini-sentry as much as possible, taking an alternative route to avoid it. But sometimes you just have to stand and fight it.

Your only real strategy is to make liberal use of your double jump, constantly changing directions to avoid that hail of aimbotted bullets coming your way. If you can find any rocks or walls on your way over, use them as cover as you leapfrog your way over to it. Then circle-strafe it while landing a few solid shots with your scattergun. Don’t be afraid to grab a medpack when you need it.

If the engineer is around, you’ve got a real problem. In this case, your priority is the engineer. He’s not difficult to take down, even with the +25 health from equipping the gunslinger. Plus, many engineers suck with their shotgun, so don’t worry about taking a lot of damage from him while you are at it. Try to approach the engineer from a route that gives you the most cover from his sentry, even if it takes you longer to get to him. Alternatively, you could try to put him in between you and the sentry, causing his own sentry to do damage to him. After he’s dead, run for a medpack and use the options above to take out the mini-sentry.  Feel free to spam “need a dispensah here” during the entire fight.  After all, it is only fair that if he is annoying you, you annoy the hell out of him right back.


Soldiers don’t have to worry about the mini-sentry. Two rockets from the stock launcher will kill it 99% of the time, no matter how far away you are.

If the engineer is around, it’s easy to take him out. It shouldn’t take you more than three rockets to his face, but if you are far away or relying on splash damage, you might need four. Either way, you have two choices: kill the mini-sentry first, or kill the maggot first. I usually go for the sentry, because I usually run the shotgun as my secondary. Two rockets to the sentry, two to the engineer’s face, then finish him off with the shotgun. If he tries to build another, one shot from the shotgun will usually destroy it before it can finish building. If you don’t run the shotgun, get the engineer first to prevent him from building another while you are reloading your launcher.  Don’t forget to add his head to your collection, provided the lady with the creepy voice hasn’t stolen your heads again.

Of course, if you are good at dive-bombing, rocket jumping is an option, but I find that I rarely need to do so.


Apart from the scout, pyros have the most trouble. If you can’t run, try to find another route that will allow you to get close to the sentry without having to take a lot of damage, then burn it with your flames. M1-ing right towards the sentry is a good way to get killed unless you are really close to it. The flare gun is a poor choice against the sentry, because it will take four flares to kill a mini-sentry at full health. Running the homewrecker allows you to take it out in one swipe, but still, you have to get there alive to do so.

If the engineer is alive, you are going to have even more fun! Take him out first, and like the scout, try to put him in between you and the sentry. Use any available medpacks liberally; you will need them.


The demo laughs drunkenly at the mini-sentry as he places two stickies underneath it and blows it sky-high. Seriously, it is so easy to take one out as a demo. If you are a demoknight, first, shame on you, and second, either use your grenade launcher or charge and take off its little metal head.

If the engineer is still alive, you have a choice: take him and his sentry out and then taunt, or taunt then take them out and then taunt again. Take out his sentry with those two stickies, then use your weapon of choice to kill that egotistical Texan.  Of course, having a celebratory drink is a given.


Sasha says that baby sentry will die! You have more health than the sentry, have more DPS than the sentry most of the time, and you have sandvich. Have yourself a snack before reducing this annoyance to little pieces of metal.

If the engineer is alive, kill the puny man first. Honestly, it doesn’t matter which you take out first, but the baby sentry doesn’t run away from you, unlike the cowardly engineer.


You aren’t using the gunslinger too, right? Right? We shall assume you are credit to SPUF and aren’t using it. Your best bet, if you don’t already have a sentry built, is to plant down a level 1 and distract the mini-sentry while it is building. Your level 1 sentry should have no trouble taking out the mini-sentry, especially if you are whittling down its health with your pistol. If you already have a sentry somewhere else, build a dispenser around a corner and make trips back and forth to it while whittling down its health. Or if there’s a medpack nearby, use it.

If the engineer is around, go behind a corner, build a level 1 sentry, then try to lure him around the corner by sniping at him with your pistol. Most engineers using the gunslinger don’t have very much sense and will blindly follow you into a trap. Once he’s dead, take out the mini-sentry as above.


You shouldn’t have to face a mini-sentry alone because your team is always around you, right? If worst comes to worst, you can take it out by circle-strafing it while shooting syringes at it, but it’ll take a while. Don’t be afraid to pop behind cover to let your health regeneration do its business.

If the engineer is around, forget it. If you can separate them, then you might have a chance. If so, then take out the engineer first, then take out the sentry.  Raus! Raus!


Killing one as a sniper is simple: stand outside the mini-sentry’s range and shoot it with your rifle. If you can’t get outside its range, go behind cover to charge up a rifle shot, then pop out and take it out very quickly. Another thing that works is to no-scope it once with your rifle, then finish it off with the SMG.

If the engineer is around, you can quick-scope him if you are talented enough, then take out the sentry. If not, then get behind cover, charge up a shot, then bodyshot him, then take out the sentry.  Thanks for standing still, wanker!


Disguise, then sap it. It’s not that hard, people!

If the engineer is hanging around, you have such a wealth of options, a virtual smörgåsbord! You can stab, then disguise and sap. You can sap, then knife or shoot him to death. My preferred method is sap, cloak, and when the engineer foolishly comes out to try to get rid of the sapper, decloak and make him pay for his stupidity.


As you can see, the gunslinger is more annoying than anything else. It works well against pyros, scouts, and medics, but is just an annoyance to the other classes. Hopefully this article will be rendered useless soon by a Valve patch nerfing the gunslinger. Once can only hope.

One thought on “Countering the Gunslinger

  • June 6, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    As for fancy double-jumping with scout, no matter what meet the scout teaches you, sentries can’t be dodged.


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