For each class, what are efficient methods (like which weapons to use) to destroy the Tank Robot?

I asked this question so that I could know how to help quickly destroy the Tank Robot regardless of which class I'm playing as. I'm thinking of situations where I and my teammates have destroyed all the other robots, except the tank, which is coming close to deploying the bomb. In this case, every class should be helping to deal as much damage to it as possible.

Factors to consider:

  • Sniper, Heavy, Pyro: Primary weapon or a melee weapon?
    (Note that for most classes, only primary weapons are usually upgraded in MvM, while melee or secondary weapons are usually not upgraded.)
  • Other classes: Which weapons to use?
  • Medic, Spy: Help destroy the tank (if so, which weapons), or another role?

Tank Robot

  • I've only tried dealing with tanks as Engineer... I just spam my Wrangler. (It takes about three or four full rounds of level 3 Sentry Gun bullets to take it down.)
    – BoltClock
    Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 8:31
  • Does the Pyro's Homewrecker hammer work on it? Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 9:03
  • @Shadur: The tank is treated as a player so the Homewrecker ends up being weaker against tanks and machines... strangely.
    – BoltClock
    Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 9:30
  • @TheAnnoyingPyro probably because it would be super OP.
    – kotekzot
    Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 10:52
  • @kotekzot: Yeah, you'd be able to one-shot all the lite classes (assuming the robotic versions share the same health as their regular counterparts).
    – BoltClock
    Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 10:53

6 Answers 6


Ok, I did some calculations for the sniper.

First, let's consider rifles. There is always the basic version, and the fully upgraded version. We are talking about killing the tank, so upgraded means full damage, faster recharge and faster reload, as well as maximum ammo capacity. Since the damage is subject to some randomness, I averaged the lower and upper bounds each to get my values. I also assume perfect reflexes for firing as soon as the charge reaches 100%, and the auto-rezoom feature enabled.

Sniper rifle:

  • Unscoped basic weapon: 33 dps (down to 24 with 15s to find new ammo)
  • Scoped basic weapon: 35 dps (down to 31)
  • Unscoped upgraded weapon: 107 dps (down to 85)
  • Scoped upgraded weapon: 128 dps (down to 116)


  • Unscoped basic weapon: 26 dps (down to 16)
  • Scoped basic weapon: 41 dps (down to 29)
  • Unscoped upgraded weapon: 84 dps (down to 60)
  • Scoped upgraded weapon: 140 dps (down to 109)

Sydney Sleeper:

  • Unscoped basic weapon: 33 dps (down to 24)
  • Scoped basic weapon: 40 dps (down to 34)
  • Unscoped upgraded weapon: 107 dps (down to 85)
  • Scoped upgraded weapon: 144 dps (down to 129)

Bazaar Bargain:

  • Unscoped basic weapon: 33 dps (down to 24)
  • Scoped basic weapon: 24 dps (down to 22)
  • Unscoped upgraded weapon: 107 dps (down to 85)
  • Scoped upgraded weapon: 90 dps (down to 84)


  • 0% charge basic weapon: 33 dps (down to 24)
  • Scoped basic weapon: 40 dps (down to 35)
  • 0% charge upgraded weapon: 107 dps (down to 85)
  • Scoped upgraded weapon: 148 dps (down to 134)

Hitman's Heatmaker:

  • Unscoped basic weapon: 27 dps (down to 19)
  • Scoped basic weapon: 28 dps (down to 25)
  • Unscoped upgraded weapon: 85 dps (down to 68)
  • Scoped upgraded weapon: 103 dps (down to 93)

Conclusion: Whatever you do, use the Machina, it has the highest damage in all catgories. (40 is close enough to 41 - don't say anything!)

Now to consider melee weapons. I also assume the basic weapon as well as the fully upgraded weapon. Upgrades are damage +100% and hit speed +60%.


  • Average basic: 106 dps
  • Average upgraded: 296 dps

Tribalman's Shiv:

  • Average basic: 53 dps
  • Average upgraded: 150 dps


  • Average basic: 81 dps
  • Average upgraded: 228 dps


  • Average basic: 80 dps
  • Average upgraded: 222 dps

Now, while this far the Kukri would be best, you might notice that we forgot about one circumstance. If you are below 50% health you deal much more damage with the Shahanshah:

  • Average basic: 132 dps
  • Average upgraded: 369 dps

With that in mind, a stunning 369 average damage per second, while you never have to reload, makes the machina with its 148 dps look like a toy.


(I deleted the previous calculations concerning other classes' melee weapons, because I clearly made mistakes. I also corrected the melee calculations for the sniper, which were wrong, too. I have no idea what I did a couple days ago. I redid the melee calculations WITH critical hit chance of 15%.)

  • The Bushwhacka could come close to the Gunslinger in short bursts depending on how good/numerous your Buff Banner Soldiers are.
    – Toomai
    Commented Sep 7, 2012 at 14:12

Well both badp's answer and nrohwer's answer are very well detailed in DPS calculation, I'm simply going to list each class and a good overall strategy for each without taking into account dps calculation or specific weapons.
So my answer is more of a basic "what to do to at least do something helpful" than actual "best circumstances with best weapons".

  1. Scout - Not much you can do here, try your best with your primary. When the additional forces come, such as spies or snipers, take care of them.
  2. Soldier - Rockets rockets rockets! If you have the Equalizer, rocket yourself to low health and use that instead.
  3. Pyro - Flamethrower until you are out of ammo, then run and get more ammo or use secondary/melee weapons. The Phlogistinator's 'Mmmmph' criticals definitely help with high DPS.
  4. Demo - Grenade Launcher, and Sticky Launcher. Spam them like crazy.
  5. Heavy - It costs $400,000 to fire this gun for 12 seconds.
  6. Engy - Wrangled or not, your sentry is going to do good damage. I like to Wrangle it until the Tank comes within the sentry's automated range, then whack it with my wrench while it auto fires to replenish it's ammo. See other answers for best dps.
  7. Medic - Equip the Kritzkrieg if you have it and Ubercharge your heavy/demo again and again and again. If you don't have this medigun, just keep healing your team mates when the reinforcements come.
  8. Sniper - Use your gun or melee weapon, which ever most upgraded. Best is melee (Shahanshah with low health is ideal) but if most of your upgrades are in your rifle, use it instead.
  9. Spy - Not much you can do here, try your best with your primary. When the additional forces come, such as spies or snipers, take care of them.

Hope this helps!

  • 2
    Important point that if you cannot do lots of damage to the tank (spies/scouts) you are definitely going to be most useful killing other forces so the big guns can focus on the tank.
    – Sadly Not
    Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 17:51
  • 1
    .. but if there's no-one else around, it never hurts to empty a clip into that tank. Commented Sep 13, 2012 at 21:33
  • @AllenGould well yeah that goes without saying, I did say "When the additional forces come"! :) Commented Sep 13, 2012 at 22:13
  • 1
    +1 for Meet The Heavy reference. Seriously, if you're carrying a giant freaking minigun, and you can't figure out what to use when a tank shows up, I don't think arqade can help you. It's pretty much Sascha's ideal situation: a huge slow non-dodging target.
    – Paul Z
    Commented Sep 25, 2012 at 22:04
  • The only thing I would change on this is for the Medic to Kritz-charge the heavy/demo, not Ubercharge.
    – Robotnik
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 8:00

It's strictly a problem of maximizing your damage per second. For the record, tanks have between 18,000 and 60,000 hitpoints (see details here.)

For most classes this normally means using as much of your primary weapon as possible on this bad boy. (I have honestly no idea about the role of a spy on the tank.) You probably already considered maximum damage per second in your calculations, but obviously you realize that you want to do as much damage as possible spending as little time as possible while reloading and fetching ammo.

This for example brings many demomen to prefer the Scottish Resistance to the stock Sticky Launcher for the very simple reason you can lob 14 stickies instead of 8 at a time, which is a better use of a kritzkrieg uber. Combine this with the fact that mediguns charge really really fast in MvM setup phase, and this brings you to the very effective strategy of kritzing a sco-res demoman before the start of the wave. Each crit sticky does 353 damage, so that's 4,942 damage off the tank as soon as it enters the field. That's not counting damage upgrades.

During the wave, though, the best kritzkrieg option is probably a soldier with a fully upgraded Beggar's Bazooka. With perfect timing you can deal multiple volleys of 10 crit rockets each. That's a total of 2,700 damage per volley (again ignoring damage upgrades). A fully upgraded kritzkrieg uber lasts 14 seconds. Say you hit the uber perfectly; with fully upgraded reload and firing times and clip... well, that's certainly a ton of rockets. Maybe even four volleys. The wiki doesn't give base activation and reload times so I can't really tell. This would be a good thing to make science about, or at least a good reason to pop that kritz canteen.

Things get more complicated and maybe counterintuitive when it comes down to the engineer. Let's say you focus 100% on the tank. Your options are:

  1. Wack the sentry with your wrench while your sentries attack it.
    • 170 dps from your sentry guns (level 3 firing speed)
    • 67 dps from your sentry missiles (assuming firing speed also affects missile firing speed)
    • 288 wrench's dps (level 4 wrench attack speed)
    • Total while the sentry is active: 525 damage per second for those 9.3 seconds.
    • After 9.3 seconds (assuming you don't want to switch back to taking care of the remainder of the bots) you can simply destroy your sentry, build another one and use a building upgrade canteen. All of these actions are as fast as you are, so let's say this takes you 2 second (and $50) every 9.3 seconds. That means your sentry is only active 82% of the time (9.3/9.3+2), which brings the sentry dps down to a combined 194 dps ((170+67)*.82).
    • Your wrench dps also goes down, as you can't keep wrenching while you do this. Say you need to take an additional second to get back to the tank and wrenching. That's means you are only wrenching 73% of the time (8.3/9.3+2), so that's only 210 dps.
    • Total: 404 dps.
    • 63 dps from your minisentry (I usually don't bother but... I also assume minisentries also get bonuses from firing rate)
    • A minisentry lasts you 19 seconds (150 bullets/7.9 bullets/sec) and then needs three seconds to be replaced (let's say you're doing a perfect job out of this). So it's only active 86% of the time. So your minisentry dps reduces to 54.
    • Grand total: 458 dps.
  2. Wrangle your sentry:
    • 340 dps from your sentry guns (level 3 firing speed)
    • 74 dps from your sentry missiles (the fire rate increase from wrangling is currently unkown, let's estimate 10%)
    • 54 dps from your minisentry (can't be wrangled); see above for the calculation
    • Total while wrangling: 468 damage per second
    • You fire 21.3 bullets per second, depleting your 200 bullets in 9.3 seconds. Every 9.3 seconds you must take your sentry offline as you restock metal for the time the wrangler needs to go offline. So that's 3 seconds without your sentry firing every cicle.
    • You spend the first 0.67 seconds switching to the wrench (assuming perfect reflexes), then start banging on the sentry, putting in 40 metal per hit. In 2.33 seconds you hit the sentry 4 times, putting in 160 bullets.
    • Once the wrangler does fade, your sentry deals regular 160+67 dps until you decide to wrangle it again. Say you only do when your sentry is fully stocked on bullets again. Every strike of the wrench puts 40 bullets in, but in the meantime the sentry fires 15.3 bullets. So you need to strike the sentry 2 additional times in 1.2 seconds of regular sentry fire.
    • Once you reach this point you need to switch to the wrangler and wait for it to fade in. That's an additional .67 seconds of regular sentry dps. The sentry fires 19 rounds in this period, so that's almost 10% off your wrangling time, bringing it down to 8.4 seconds.
    • This all means your sentry goes through a 13.2 seconds cycle where you do 414 dps 64% of the time, 237 dps 14% of the time and no damage 23% of the time.
    • Total without the minisentry: 298 damage per second.
    • Grand total: 352 damage per second.

Obviously every upgrade you take or don't take changes the dynamics of every number above. Wrenching the tank probably isn't so good of an idea if you haven't spent $800 in maximizing your wrench rate; you then probably want to go ahead and wrangle. You also probably also don't want to focus 100% on the tank, your sentry could for example take care of the other robots.

It is certainly worth reminding though, in general, that you do have a melee weapon, that it can be upgraded to fire very fast and that melee crits do hurt. If you're out of ammo and the nearest ammo pack is too far away, it definitely is time to bring out that bat!

(Homework: scattergun or bat, which is better?)

  • Nice answer. Any tips for the Sniper? Primary weapon or a melee weapon? Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 12:57
  • @galacticninja I'd need to do the math. Gut says melee.
    – badp
    Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 13:19
  • Isn't this supposed to be a cooperative mode? I would guess the spy's job on the tank is "walk the other direction and go kill some flimsier robots."
    – Paul Z
    Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 17:19
  • @PaulZ I agree that often tanks aren't the only thing on the field, I've just walked off from Wave 7 of Mannworks advanced where we couldn't get past the second set of uber medics because we either took too long to take the tanks or focused on them too much and got a lot of little silly deaths along the way with respawn timers upwards of 15 seconds; I don't know which one is the true reason. Yes, the spy probably is best off not wasting time knifing the tank.
    – badp
    Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 18:46
  • @PaulZ I remember waves where I and my teammates have destroyed all the other robots, except the tank, which is coming close to deploying the bomb. If this is the case, then someone playing as a Spy should be helping to deal damage to it. Commented Sep 7, 2012 at 5:04

I just did some calculations for the demoman. I left out the shields, because their hit damage is really low compared to other weapons and takes a long time to recharge. The guaranteed critical hits also don't help, because of the reachrge time. I did not consider the Ullapool Caber, because it is such low base damage that even the explosion hit will not help it to be better than other melee weapons of the demoman. If I talk about fully upgraded melee weapons, you have to remember, that a shield needs to be equipped in order to be able to upgrade damage. And finally, if you use the sticky-bomb launchers (either one) you should ALWAYS only lay out 8 bombs, detonate them UNDER the tank and then shoot another 8, regardless of how big your clip is. This is because the bombs do more damage if detonated within 5 seconds. These 5 seconds usually suffice to lay out 8 bombs, with the only exception being the standard sticky bomb launcher, where you only manage to get out 7 within 5 seconds. As soon as you upgrade it, that doesn't matter anymore.

This time (compared to the sniper calculations above) I factored in critical hits with their base probability. This probability actually goes up depending on the damage done within the last 20s. If you are striking at the tank, you do substantial damage, so all damage per second values except for the Eyelander, the Claidheamh Mòr and the Persian Persuader are actually higher than the provided values, though I suspect not by much.

In general can be said, that the gap between these values is even wider when comparing melee with primary/secondary weapons, because melee weapons get up to 50% higher critical chance with caused damage, compared to only 10% for non-melee weapons.

For the grande launchers I assumed that you would restock your ammo, when your carried ammo is empty, but your clip is still full. I also assumed (for all calculations) that it takes 15s to get new ammo. I used average values for the damage, but you have to keep in mind, that the damage done depends on how you hit the target.

The Grenade Launcher:

  • Stock: 90 dps (down to 55 with restocking time)
  • Fully upgraded: 291 dps (down to 203)

The Loch-n-Load:

  • Stock: 82 dps (down to 54)
  • Fully upgraded: 333 (down to 233)

The Stickybomb Launcher:

  • Stock: 139 dps (down to 94)
  • Fully upgraded: 203 dps
  • I did not provide a dps value for fetching new ammo, because by the time you emptied your ammo, you have done about 11250 of damage. This also took you 55s to do. With the help of your team, the tank should be destroyed by now.

The Scottish Resistance:

  • Stock: 146 (down to 108)
  • Fully upgraded: 202 dps
  • Again: One load of ammo causes 15700 damage. (Though I doubt that you will get there, because that takes 78s to do)

The Bottle: (or any other standard melee weapon)

  • Stock: 106 dps
  • Fully upgraded: 296 dps

The Eyelander: (or any other weapon that behaves like it) Also, the Claidheamh Mòr, the Half-Zatoichi and the Persian Persuader:

  • Stock: 81 dps
  • Fully upgraded: 228 dps

The Scotman's Skullcutter:

  • Stock: 127 dps
  • Fully upgraded: 355 dps

The conclusions you draw from this should be your own, because there are many combinations possible here. Also, you can cause an inital critical hit with the help of a shield, as well as launching grenades when you are further away from the tank. A good combination I see in here is to use the Loch-n-Load until you are close, or whenever you are separated from the tank and then switch to the Scotman's Skullcutter when up close.

  • 1
    There's certainly always a great pleasure in finishing off the very last tank with the ullapool caber however :P
    – badp
    Commented Sep 15, 2012 at 18:19

I just spent a while testing on a map where I happened to join right after round 5 with 3800 to spend. Soldier+Beggar's Bazooka: With full crits and full damage upgrades, 486 damage per hit Assuming perfect reflexes, 2.1112 seconds to load 10 shots (with full clip upgrades) and 0.1432 seconds to fire them (with full fire rate upgrades.) If you've got a medic with fully powered kritzkrieg (lasts 14 seconds) then you can get off 6 rounds. However, as you only carry 50 ammo, this means your canteen has to have 3 ammo fills. If you space your ammo fills out perfectly you can use them to skip reload times and get a grand total of 9 rounds off per kritzkrieg.

So 9 rounds per kritzkrieg, times 10 rockets per round, times 486 damage per rocket, is:

43,740 damage. Even the highest health tank would be taken down to 1/4 health in 14 seconds. That makes this hands down the best weapon, albeit quite hard to obtain.

(For the curious, the dps of that is 3124.28. Wow.)

  • The banner in general is just really good. Stand near your teammates (especially the Pyro and heavy) so they get minicrits as well. With good timing, your banner will end around the time the Pyro's phlog Mmmph is charged, and will be ready again by the time it ends, giving him almost endless crits or minicrits.
    – Robotnik
    Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 7:18

I am going to base this off of a how each class would be used in the Meta.

Scout - IF there are no other enemies or money to gather, using what ever he has will work. But, if there are enemies/money to collect, unlesss the tank is at the hatch and his DPS will save the team, he should be off killing robot snipers and spies and collecing money.

Soldier - Use your rocket launcher until a full Buff Banner, use the Buff Banner, then keep firing. Always make sure that you have 1 shot left to rocket jump to an ammo box quickly. More upgrades make it better.

Pyro - If using Phlog, then it should be pretty simple. Burn with Phlog until charged, then activate, repeat. Remember to grab ammo when needed. If you do not have Phlog, use your primary to damage tank, unless spies (good example is in Wave 666) come. Then you should go deal with them so your team can keep the max DPS out on the tank without dying to a backstab.

Demoman - Use you grenade launcher and stickybomb launcher. If the tank is first or very close to the start of the wave, the Medic can give you Kritz to all of your stickies so you can get heavy early tank damage.

Heavy - Not much to say. Just use your minigun, stay close to Buff Banner and Medic, and remember to check ammo so you do not waste time firing an empty mag.

Engineer - IF the tank is by itself, wrangle until it is within auto range, then keep giving it ammo. If there are other enemies besides the tank, do not move the sentry and let it deal with the smaller bots that could be a problem. Try to move your dispencer to a good spot the heavy and soldier could use to fire on the tank. That can give them ammo and prevent them from wasting time on trying to find a box.

Medic - IF using Kritzkrieg, use it on the Heavy or Soldier, preferably the one with more experience, ammo, and upgrades into his primary. Use your particle shield to deal consant damage to it. If you do not have Kritzkrieg and do not have particle shield, go heal one of the stronger classes who is dealing with the smaller bots. If there is no one doing that, make sure everyone else stays alive and has over heal, and revive anyone who does go down. If it truly comes down to it, use your Syringe Gun.

Sniper - IF there is a Buff Banner soldier, and you are using Bushwacka, you can go grab maxed out attack speed on it. Your DPS with it will be insane while the Buff Banner is up. If there is no Buff Banner, or you do not have Bushwacka, it depends on the enemies coming with the tank. If the tank is alone, you can attack it with anything you want, but if there are enemies, use your sniper rifle and deal with them, and/or use your Jarate to slow them down.

Spy - Use your revolver to deal damage to it, but make sure you can easily switch to killing and slowing down robots if they show up. Spy should never go after the tank if there is something else that needs to be killed.

Those are all of my ideas based on my experience playing the game, but what you do is based off of what is needed. A Buff Banner Soldier and a Bushwacka Sniper can easily deal with a tank while everyone else is back at the front lines, with maybe the Heavy going with them. You can also subsitute the Sniper with the Demo or the Heavy, and grab almost anyone else if it is needed.

In the end though, it all depends on the situation. If the tank is not out yet, send 2-3 people (with the set ups above) to deal with it, and leave the rest to kill the other robots. If the tank is near the end, use the weapon that has the most upgrades. If your Sticky Bomb Launcher is what you put your upgrades in, then use that.

Everything above is based off of my experiences with a working team with good upgrades. The amount of players needed to deal with it can change if the team skill level is low, or if the Scout has not been doing his job.

  • Combined tactics: Heavy + engineer. Have the engineer place the dispenser somewhere in range of where the Heavy is standing while he hoses down the tank. When the heavy has to move, move the dispenser with him, then go back to move your sentry as well. Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 18:40

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