Ever since my very first life in Team Fortress Classic, I’ve been a support main who instantly gravitates to the healing class in any multiplayer shooter. Most games come with one or more options for wannabe battlefield medics, and healing weapons are often some of the most visually- and mechanically-interesting firearms in the roster. So, after years of getting my hands on everything from syringes to potions to defibrillators to whack or shoot my teammates with, I wanted to take an article to discuss the ones that came to mind when I think about healing weapons that for whatever reason left a lasting impression on me.
1. TF2’s Crusader’s Crossbow: I know the Medigun is the most effective healing weapon in the game, and I have no shortage of love for mine (or my Kritzkrieg), but the Crusader’s Crossbow is actually my favorite gun in the game for how well it augments Medic’s primaries. By firing a bolt that can heal allies and damage enemies, it adds a long-range battlefield presence to Medic that doesn’t exist otherwise, and it lets you augment your support through burst healing and spychecking. It’s also has a long and checkered update history where supplemental abilities came and went, but its core functions have always remained. It was in the first set of crates I ever opened, it was the subject of my third SPUF of Legend video, and it will always hold a special place in my heart. Heck, Blizzard thought it was so awesome they turned it into an entire character! Speaking of which…
2. Overwatch‘s Sonic Amplifier: I never thought I’d find a healing primary that outclassed the TF2 Medigun in sheer ease of use, but Lucio’s boombox is now my absolute favorite option for becoming a team’s total dedicated healer. It combines my two favorite class abilities in shooters (healing and advanced mobility) into the same gun, then adds a compression blast and a powerful Sound Barrier, and it can work its magic on everybody on the team at the same time! More than any other character in Overwatch, Lucio as a character class is entirely defined around a single weapon. Just think about it: He runs at normal speed, has the standard 200 health, and his only personal ability is wallriding. Almost everything he brings to the table is part of this insanely versatile and effective device, and that alone is enough to make him one of the most powerful classes the game.
3. Killing Floor 2’s HMTech-101 pistol: Considering Killing Floor 2 has a whole tree of firearms that heal faster and better than the HMTech1, it might seem odd I’m listing the dinky starter Medic pistol as my favorite healing weapon in the game. Statistically, there’s no reason for a Medic to use it over the other weapons once you can afford better guns, but the true versatility of the Medic pistol comes on any other class. As the only gun in the game that weighs a single block, and costing a measly 200, the HMTech1 gives every class in the game a ranged healing option (and a better sidearm than the slotless 9mm) that fits into all but the most inflexible builds, and I believe that every player should buy one regardless of their perk or loadout. The ability to heal teammates at range is too powerful to pass up.
4. Borderlands 2’s Grog Nozzle: This entry’s a bit different, because it’s not about saving others, it’s about healing yourself! Grog’s Nozzle in Borderlands 2 is far and away my favorite gun in the whole game, and I’ve worked it into every single build I’ve ever used. You get it just for starting a quest in a DLC cave, and while it doesn’t pack much firepower, it heals you for 65% of damage dealt from any source while holding it! This means that grenades and quick-switching with projectiles can drastically increase the rate of healing available, and on top of that the gun has an insanely-high 47% chance of coating the enemies in jarate, making it even more of a combo weapon. Other games have guns that heal the user by dealing damage, but the Grog Nozzle is my personal favorite just because of its very quirky playstyle. (Especially since this one died a grisly death…)
5. Planetside 2‘s Revive Grenade: Now Planetside 2 actually has a heal grenade that would seem a more logical addition to this list, but that grenade cannot possibly compare to the amazing utility of the revive grenade. In a game where the TTK is insanely high and vehicles are a death sentence to non-Bazooka-wielding infantry, Medics like me spend most of their time hiding behind cover trying futilely to keep their masses of allied soldiers from falling like rats. Honestly, I probably spend 30% of my time healing, 5% shooting and the rest reviving corpses, so a grenade that lets you resurrect a whole bunch of dead people without exposing yourself to whatever killed them is a godsend. The game knows it too, which is why it costs a lot more certs than any other grenade, but I get it anyway because it is so, so worth it.
6. Loadout‘s 1-HKO: This is the only weapon on this list that I made myself, and I talk about it a bit in my SPUF of Legend video about Loadout, where you can also see it in action. I had two roommates back in 2014 when this game was alive and despite our vastly differing playstyles and primary weapons, we all used the 1-HKO (Health Kit Ordnance) as our secondary because of how effective it proved to be. It shot a rapidfire stream of healy-blobs which let you heal teammates from any range, and its base form requires only a single unlock (the heal bullet-type) to create. But if you purchase all the parts, you can regenerate health passively, identify any player’s current HP just by looking at them, and even burst-heal yourself by shooting the bullets at a wall directly facing you. I miss you, little gun. Those were good days.