I've been sitting on my engineer's arse for a while now carefully crafting my dispensers and sentries to the state of the art in area denial duties near mission critical top-secret intelligence conveniently stored in a lightweight briefcase. Once I'm done with that, however, I noticed I have really little use for teleporters, however.

  • I could use those to bring people from base to the intelligence room, but spies would use that easily, making the move downright stupid.
  • I could do the other way round, but then I'd let my defending teammates accidentally warp away from the intelligence room.
  • I could place the teleporter from the spawn to an offensive area, but then I wouldn't be able to tend to them.

At a loss of what to do with the teleporters I figured that they could make for an EWS (early warning system) for the base. Here's an example on the map I was playing on:

T│              ←
L│ T ────────────┐
M│          HA   │ → entry points
T└─┬────         │ I intelligence
▓▓▓│             │ D dispenser
▓▓▓│ ┌───┐ ┌───┐ │ S sentry
▓┌─┘ └┐▓▓│ │▓▓▓│T│ T teleporter
▓│    └──┘ │▓▓▓│ │ H health
▓│I S      │▓▓▓│ │ A ammo
▓│D   ┌────┘▓▓▓│↑│
▓└────┘▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓│ │

The idea is that less savy players would damage the teleport as they go through, giving me enough time to prepare for their attack

By placing the teleport entry near that "battlements" area, I could pass it as a legit teleporter yanking you out of the area. The other teleporter on the stairs however would be harder to justify.

Is this a common tactic? Does it have a chance of working? Or will it just confuse my teammates and waste my time?

  • 4
    I find it funny that I can draw an approximate map of the relevant area but I can't for the life of me remember how that map is called.
    – badp
    Mar 24, 2011 at 11:29
  • 3
    It looks like the basement in 2fort (left part in this image).
    – Oak
    Mar 24, 2011 at 13:38
  • 2
    Eeew. Teufort... Jul 13, 2011 at 16:15
  • 2
    @SteveV. uh, dingalings don't sound when you hit disguised spies.
    – badp
    Dec 11, 2011 at 22:06
  • 2
    Oh. Maybe that's just my imagination adding the dings in my brain. Drat.
    – Steve V.
    Dec 12, 2011 at 12:37

3 Answers 3


Even if you don't plan on using teleporters, it's a good idea to place them.

For most classes, them taking out your TP won't make a difference, as StrixVaria noticed.

However, for whatever reason, most people who play Spy can't resist sapping teleporters. Sometimes, I even fall into this mind set, and I really should know better. Given that disguised Spies are the only enemy class that your sentry won't shoot, it's a good idea to know in advance that a Spy is around.

For the same reason, I will sometimes place a teleporter at one of our spawn doors even if I don't plan on using it, then use voice chat to warn my teammates if it's either sapped or destroyed as well as info on which class did it (note: This doesn't work if it was destroyed with a standard shotgun, as 4 classes use shotguns: Pyro, Soldier, Heavy, and Engineer). The other thing is that, if it isn't destroyed, I can later decide to use it by building an exit somewhere... but this removes your ability to tell where Spies are, because sapping one end of a teleporter saps both ends.

Other uses for teleporters

If you're defending an area in a map where the objectives only move in a single direction, consider hiding a teleporter exit somewhere the enemy may not look. As long as the entrance is not built, the exit will not spin up with flashy colors and noise, allowing you to build the entrance later once the activity has moved past where the exit is located.

pl_badwater is a good example for this. As RED, point 2 can be easily overwhelmed if you don't already have a defensive emplacement there. However, if BLU does quickly take point 1, they may not check the back area behind point 2 as well as they should. Particularly since the door between point 1 and point 2's back area is closed prior to point 1 being taken.

pl_frontier_final is also an interesting example. There is a back route between points 2 and 3 that is not commonly used. It is too high for RED to normally jump up to it, but putting a Dispenser down can allow you to jump up to it (just make sure you pick up or destroy it. Using this passage, you can sneak back to point 1 and place a teleporter exit, allowing you to move troops behind them.

  • 1
    Teleporters are also good for crafty telefragging. Jus' saying.
    – user821
    May 1, 2011 at 10:16
  • Well, if the exit is by your nest, and you watching your Teleporter when it gets sapped, you can asume that one of the spies is at spawn. Then you can carefuly remove it without standing on it.
    – The Man
    Feb 2, 2015 at 18:16

On CTF maps, here's a neat trick for getting spies. Note that this usually only works once, though...

  1. Place the teleporter entrance outside of your spawn or at another place a spy is likely to come across it.
  2. Place the exit down in the intel room. It MUST be placed either directly under or behind the intelligence.
  3. Build a sentry gun in the intel room, facing the exit.
  4. Wait

Spies will take the teleporter, assuming they'll come up somewhere close to where your stuff is built. Upon exiting the teleporter, the spy will unintentionally grab the intelligence, removing their disguise in the process. As a result, your sentry will blow them to kingdom come.

This is obviously very situational, but I've executed it several times on maps like 2fort and turbine. It is AWESOME watching spies rage at this trick.

  • The proper counter to that is having the Dead Ringer open when you teleport through an unknown entrance! Jul 13, 2011 at 18:36
  • @Raven True, but then you aren't prepared for an immediate backstab if you DO end up behind the engie. Also, how often have you seen people actually do this? Other than me, I suppose... Jul 13, 2011 at 19:06
  • I'm totally doing this as soon as i get home.
    – Steve V.
    Dec 11, 2011 at 21:35
  • It is a very nice trick, that works just once (per spy) though :]
    – Konerak
    Mar 4, 2012 at 16:18

This tactic has been used in the past, and savvy players know not to sap or attack teleporters when they're close to an objective.

If anything, this will provide an early warning to the savvy player that there is an Engineer nearby, and they will take extra precaution to prepare for a sentry gun.

Of course, there is always the chance that a not-so-savvy player will happen upon your teleporter and wreck it, giving you the warning you desire. But really, as engineer, how much warning do you need? The sentry is generally pretty good at picking off targets the instant it sees them, and it makes all sorts of racket alerting you to the danger.

Just stay alert, really. If anything, watch the kills at the top right; when your team has lost a lot of players recently, or if you see the name of someone you know to be a nearby defender, get ready.

  • 2
    Well, wouldn't the loud beeping of the sentry be a dead giveaway anyway?
    – badp
    Mar 24, 2011 at 11:48
  • You are aware that your section on alerting you doesn't apply to disguised Spies, but they could sap your teleporter to give themselves away.
    – user2974
    Mar 24, 2011 at 12:04

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