In order to avoid being gunned down by a sentry gun (especially one placed in the corner of a room), I often try to hide around corners, fire my flamethrower and gradually "worm my way in" to destroying the sentry. However, I often wonder: is this necessary? Could I simply stand around the corner and shoot flames?

The reason that I am uncertain about the answer is that, sometimes, when I blast my flamethrower around a corner, it almost "repels" against the corner of the wall, e.g. here: enter image description here and, other times, it goes through the (other side of the) wall, e.g. here:enter image description here

In either of these cases, would the flamethrower do damage to, say, a Sentry in the corner of the wall (roughly where my flamethrower is aimed)?


The answer is... it depends.

Flamethrowers actually fire a stream of particles in a roughly conic shape.

Walls in Source are weird if they're thin. They may or may not block weapons fired close to walls... this is most noticeable with explosive weapons, but also affects other projectile weaponry (including the Flamethrower's particles). This is why, if you angle the flamethrower correctly, you can burn enemies through the setup gates on certain maps.

Even in areas where walls are thicker, if you and the sentry are near a corner, you can sometimes hit that sentry due to the short width of walls near corners combined with the fire's cone shape.

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  • +1 Had no idea about the Walls in Source, interesting info – senpai Dec 13 '14 at 21:54
  • @memescientist There's a thing somewhere in the Source Developer Wiki warning mappers to make walls at least 32 units wide for this reason iirc. TF2 isn't the only game with this problem... I've heard its even worse on CS:S where some hitscan weapons can fire through thin walls. – Powerlord Dec 13 '14 at 21:56
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    well in CS:S that's referred to as wallbanging, and that's intentional, where certain parts of some walls on map can be fired through. – senpai Dec 13 '14 at 21:57

Sometimes flames will curve off from the wall. Normally when you fire at a wall the game stops your flamethrower from using ammo, as you can only consume ammo when there is a sufficient distance between your position and the wall so that you can spread fire outwards.

If you are that far away from the wall, and have flames coming out as you hold down M1, they will deal damage to players caught in the path of the flames.

This is a trick pyros love to use against sentries. Find a ledge beneath the sentry, and fire towards the sentry. This will damage the sentry without exposing you to the damage, and a tricky way to remove Level 3s and minis.

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