Anti-Demoman strategy

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I feel like every bone in me body's broke!
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The Scout

The Demoman is a versatile class, sporting above-average health and devastating weaponry. When formulating tactics, you can usually depend on the roles of most classes not dramatically changing. This does not apply to the Demoman, who can opt for an explosive-oriented playstyle with a Stickybomb Launcher or a melee-oriented playstyle with a shield like the Chargin' Targe. Each style has its own evident strengths and weaknesses, so pay attention to his loadout to avoid being caught off guard.


Attributes Anti-Demoman strategy
Demoman emblem RED.png Role
  • The Demoman is great at both offense and defense. He is particularly good at mid-range combat.
  • As his name implies, the Demoman is excellent as demolitions. Pay attention to where he places his explosives, especially if you can't move from cover.
  • A Demoman using a shield instead of a trap secondary weapon will always have the shield visible. If you can see a shield on the Demoman's left arm, you can be certain that his loadout has no secondary weapon and is melee-oriented.
Leaderboard class medic.png Health
  • The Demoman has a base health of 175, so he can withstand a considerable amount of damage.
  • Certain weapons change the Demoman's maximum health or heal him each time he gets a kill. Check what weapons he's wielding to estimate his health pool.
  • A Demoman carrying a shield has significant resistance to fire and explosive damage, but is fully vulnerable to bullets and melee attacks.
Leaderboard class scout.png Speed
  • The Demoman is slower than the majority of the classes, but he can still chase you down if he uses a melee combat loadout or utilizes explosive jumps.
Leaderboard class soldier.png Power
  • The Demoman is deadly at range but fires all of his projectiles in an arc. Make it difficult for him to aim by getting close and moving unpredictably.
  • All of the Demoman's explosives can harm himself, giving you an advantage if you force him to fight at close range.
  • A Demoman with a shield and melee weapon can charge at you to deal critical damage. Avoiding his charge and staying outside his extended melee range gives you room to counterattack.


Explosive loadout

A Demoman with an explosive loadout can deal high damage over a large area. It is best to engage him at close range, where his weapons are hard to aim and inflict self-harm. The Stickybomb Launcher, in particular, forces you to consider possible Stickybomb traps as you navigate the battlefield. The Demoman's explosive weapons take a long time to reload, so catching him by surprise leaves him at a major disadvantage.

"Demoknight" loadout

Alternatively, a Demoman can literally charge into battle by equipping a damage-reducing shield, indicated by a shield strapped to his left arm. The Demoman can use the shield's charge ability to quickly close a distance and deal critical hit melee damage. A Demoknight typically also takes a melee weapon with extended range, skewing melee fights in his favor, as well as the Grenade Launcher for ranged combat. He sacrifices the Stickybomb Launcher, which makes his area control much weaker, and he can be pressured to swap between his weapons and run out of melee or ranged resources quickly.


Main article: Demoman weapons


Weapon Anti-Demoman strategy
Grenade Launcher
Grenade Launcher + reskins
  • The Grenade Launcher has a long reload time and a small clip. Attack the Demoman while he is reloading.
  • A Demoman's grenades can bounce over cover and around corners; narrow passageways are especially dangerous, given the grenades' splash radius. However, the bounce makes grenades unwieldy at close range.
  • Grenades travel somewhat slowly and in a wide arc. If you are playing a class with good movement options, you have time to dodge or take cover.
  • The Loch-n-Load has only three shots in a clip. The Demoman must reload more often, which gives you more opportunities to fight back.
  • Grenades fired from the Loch-n-Load travel faster and further, but only explode on direct hits. If you dodge his initial shots, you won't need to worry about them exploding under your feet.
  • The Loch-n-Load's grenades have a longer trajectory, so a smart Demoman can bombard exposed targets, such as Engineer buildings, from a long distance. Against this, move away or force the Demoman out of his spot, where he won't have a clear shot.
Ali Baba's Wee Booties
Ali Baba's Wee Booties + reskins
  • Ali Baba's Wee Booties give the wearer an extra 25 max health, allowing the Demoman to remain in combat longer.
  • The Booties require the Demoman to give up his Grenade Launcher. Stay out of melee range and fight back with ranged weapons.
  • The Booties give the Demoman a 10% speed bonus and increased turning control when charging; remain in areas that have obstacles or escape routes to avoid a Demoman's charge.
  • You can try to fake out a charging Demoman by moving in one direction, then doubling back. Once the Demoman begins to turn in one direction, turning the other way becomes nearly impossible.
Loose Cannon
Loose Cannon
  • The Loose Cannon's cannonballs do not explode upon a direct hit with a player and deal significantly less damage upon hitting a surface. If you dodge a cannonball, you can assume the explosion will deal minimal damage.
  • The Demoman needs to time the Loose Cannon's charge so that cannonballs explode immediately after hitting you. Moving towards or away from him can affect his aim, unlike when he uses the Grenade Launcher.
  • The Loose Cannon has a smaller range than the Grenade Launcher and will usually fire slower.
  • The Demoman may use the cannonball's knockback to push you away from your team or into a hazard. Position yourself properly to stop him from landing an easy kill.
B.A.S.E. Jumper
B.A.S.E. Jumper
  • The Demoman gives up his Grenade Launcher to use the B.A.S.E. Jumper, making him weaker in direct combat, especially when grounded.
  • A parachuting Demoman will typically carpet bomb you with his Stickybomb Launcher. If the Demoman stays hovering in the air, he becomes a slow and easy target to react to.
    • His other, less practical option is to charge at you from the air using one of his shields. A Demoman with the B.A.S.E. Jumper and a shield is locked into melee combat.
  • The B.A.S.E. Jumper is ineffective in indoor areas with low ceilings. Retreat to a different venue if necessary.
  • The B.A.S.E. Jumper cannot be deployed again once retracted until he touches the ground. Harass a parachuting Demoman to force a retraction, potentially causing fall damage.
Iron Bomber
Iron Bomber
  • The grenades launched by the Iron Bomber do not roll or bounce very much. The Demoman may count on the timed explosion to act as a temporary trap if he misses you with it directly, like a timed Stickybomb.
  • Although the Iron Bomber has a greater margin of error on missed grenades, its grenades have a 15% smaller blast radius than the regular grenades. If the Demoman is shooting grenades at the ground, you don't need to move as far away to avoid the explosion.
  • As when dealing with Stickybombs, be wary of a retreating Demoman, as he may use the Iron Bomber to lay traps too.
  • The Iron Bomber has a 30% shorter fuse time, giving you less time to avoid the Demoman's grenades.


Stickybomb Launchers

  • Stickybombs can be destroyed by bullets, melee attacks, and certain class-specific weapons, such as the Short Circuit. If you come across a Stickybomb trap, shoot them before they explode to minimize damage.
  • Firing an explosive or a compression blast around corners can dislodge, but not destroy enemy Stickybombs. Try to scatter them in a direction where they won't harm teammates.
  • The Demoman will often watch over his Stickybomb traps, which may leave him distracted and vulnerable to flanking.
  • Stickybomb traps often contain more than one Stickybomb. If you see one, be sure to check for others, or make sure that the Demoman is not nearby to detonate the trap before proceeding.
  • Killing a Demoman will automatically remove all his Stickybombs. If your team is unable to push forward because of them, try to take out the Demoman first.
  • Some maps have certain spots where Stickybombs can damage enemies through thin or grated walls (a notorious example is the floor under the first RED spawn on Upward.) Take caution around these areas.
Weapon Anti-Demoman strategy
Stickybomb Launcher
Stickybomb Launcher + reskins
  • A Demoman may use the Stickybomb Launcher to fight directly at medium range, but will have trouble at close range due to the lengthy arm time.
  • The Stickybomb Launcher takes a long 6 seconds to fully reload. Attack the Demoman before he can regain a full clip.
  • Stickybombs are typically placed in hard-to-see spots as traps. Be wary of these spots and check your surroundings; the best trap is the one you do not expect.
  • Once the Demoman detonates his Stickybombs, your team has a prime opportunity to advance and overwhelm him before he can lay another trap.

Scottish Resistance
Scottish Resistance
  • The Scottish Resistance can be used to set up and detonate multiple traps. If you encounter Stickybombs from this weapon, they are likely not the only trap you will have to deal with.
  • A Demoman can see his Scottish Resistance Stickybombs through walls, so he may react to combat happening near them.
  • The Scottish Resistance is not suited for direct combat because of its Stickybombs' longer arming time. A Demoman using the weapon will likely switch to his Grenade Launcher or melee weapon when confronted, giving you a moment to react.
  • The Scottish Resistance is one of two Stickybomb Launchers which can destroy enemy Stickybombs, allowing for easy area control.
Sticky Jumper
Sticky Jumper
  • A resourceful Demoman might use the Sticky Jumper to get reach higher ground or cover long distances to ambush enemies, all while remaining in good health.
  • A Demoman with the Sticky Jumper can retreat as quickly as he arrives. If he lays Stickybombs as if to retreat, weaken him enough so that fall damage can kill him.
  • A Demoman with the Sticky Jumper will still have access to the Grenade Launcher and his melee weapon, so he can still put up a decent fight.
Quickiebomb Launcher
Quickiebomb Launcher
  • The Quickiebomb Launcher fires Stickybombs that arm quickly and are thus hard to dodge. It can be used in direct combat similarly to the Grenade Launcher.
  • The Quickiebomb Launcher holds only four shots. Although the initial assault may be difficult to avoid, you only need to hold out for a little while before the Demoman must reload.
  • The Quickiebomb Launcher's projectiles deal 15% less base damage, but this increases to +35% with a charged shot. Fight against this weapon at close range.
  • The Quickiebomb Launcher charges its shots 70% faster. Don't assume that a faraway Demoman can’t hit you.
  • Like the Scottish Resistance, the Quickiebomb Launcher can also destroy enemy Stickybombs.


Instead of using a Stickybomb Launcher, the Demoman can employ a shield that gives him the ability to rush at opponents every few seconds. Charging instantly removes debuffs and grants him a guaranteed Critical Hit near the end of the charge. The shield also provides the Demoman added resistance to explosive and fire damage.

  • A Charge can be delayed or nullified by using weapons with stun, slowdown, and knockback.
  • The Demoman's charge typically goes forward. Avoid it by strafing, rather than backpedaling.
  • Shields do not provide any resistance against bullet damage.
Weapon Anti-Demoman strategy
Chargin' Targe
Chargin' Targe + reskins
  • Of the Demoman's available shields, the Chargin' Targe gives the most resistance to fire and explosion damage. Attack with bullets from outside his melee range.
Splendid Screen
Splendid Screen
  • The Splendid Screen doesn't provide as much resistance to fire and explosions as the Chargin' Targe does, but allows him to charge more often.
  • The Splendid Screen deals considerably more impact damage and can do so at any range.
  • The Splendid Screen recharges the Demoman's charge quickly. Until you see the Demoman charge, always assume his charge is ready.
Tide Turner
Tide Turner
  • Like the other shields, the Tide Turner provides resistance to fire and explosions, albeit much less than the Chargin' Targe. Use bullets for maximum damage.
  • Unlike the other shields, the Tide Turner provides full turning control while charging. Move vertically up obstacles to avoid his charge, as the Demoman cannot jump while charging.
  • Every point of damage the Demoman takes drains his charge meter by 1%. Landing a solid hit on him will stop his charge instantly.
  • The Tide Turner only guarantees a mini-crit at the end of a charge, so the Demoman must land the shield bash or follow-up attacks to kill you from full health.
  • If the Demoman lands a melee kill, he instantly refills 75% of his charge meter. If he kills a nearby teammate, be prepared for a charge.


Weapon Anti-Demoman strategy
Bottle + reskins
  • A Demoman may resort to his Bottle at close range, where his other weapons can damage himself. Since his movement speed is below average, most classes will have an easy time outrunning the Demoman while retaliating with ranged weapons.
  • You can weapon heckle an impatient Demoman by staying between melee range and just inside safe Grenade Launcher range.
Eyelander + reskins
  • A Demoman will often use the Eyelander with a shield and charge at foes to gain on-kill bonuses to his speed and health. Take advantage of this behavior by kiting him or luring him into traps.
  • If the Demoman forces you into close combat, fighting back might be better than running away. Alternatively, die to another source to prevent him from getting his bonus.
Scotsman's Skullcutter
Scotsman's Skullcutter
  • The Demoman will likely pair the Scotsman's Skullcutter with a shield to maximize its damage potential and counter its speed reduction. Be ready to dodge his charge.
  • The Scotsman's Skullcutter also reduces the Demoman's charging speed, which actually gives you more time to avoid the Demoman's charge.
Claidheamh Mòr
Claidheamh Mòr
  • The Claidheamh Mòr increases the Demoman's charge duration. Strafe rather than back away when the Demoman charges.
  • The Claidheamh Mòr inflicts a flat 15% vulnerability and cannot collect heads, so the Demoman will always have a maximum of 175 health.
  • The Claidheamh Mòr refills 25% of his charge meter upon a kill. If you see the Demoman kill a teammate, know that he can probably charge at you soon.
Pain Train
Pain Train
  • The Pain Train grants the Demoman an increased capture rate. By Stickybomb jumping, the Demoman can quickly travel to objectives. Be prepared to contest an enemy Demoman flying through the air.
  • The Demoman suffers 10% more damage from bullets while the Pain Train is in his loadout. The Scout and Heavy, classes typically found contesting objectives, gain a significant advantage over him.
Ullapool Caber
Ullapool Caber
  • The Ullapool Caber creates an explosion on contact with enemies or objects. A Demoman might use it as a suicidal last resort, so kill him before he reaches you.
  • Do not cluster near teammates, as this and the Demoman's other explosive weapons can punish you all.
  • If you cannot avoid being struck by the Ullapool Caber, fight back so that the Demoman dies from the blast or resulting fall damage.
  • A Demoman can pair the Ullapool Caber with a shield to execute a kamikaze playstyle. Dodge to the side to avoid his charge, then counterattack.
  • A Demoman with the Half-Zatoichi is Honorbound to obtain a kill before switching weapons; he loses 50 health otherwise. Stay out of his melee range to force him to switch weapons and suffer the penalty.
  • If a Demoman scores a kill with the Half-Zatoichi, he will regain about 100 health; treat him as if he has recently spawned.
  • Wielders of the Half-Zatoichi can instantly kill each other; if you also have it equipped, catching the Demoman off-guard makes for a quick kill.
Persian Persuader
Persian Persuader
  • The Persian Persuader allows the Demoman to get his charge earlier by collecting ammo; steal any nearby ammo boxes when fighting enemies.
  • Every successful hit with the Persian Persuader allows the Demoman to gain 20% charge. Paired with the Splendid Screen, the Demoman will almost always have a charge ready - be ready to dodge.
  • Expect a Demoman equipping this weapon to opt for a purely melee-oriented strategy, as his max ammo for both his explosive weapons are reduced by 80%. Fight back with ranged weapons.

See also