How To Backstab In Tf2

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The only difference is in the animation. Something you do the swipe, something you do the backstab motion, but it all takes the same time. Valve also added a thing where if you are in a backstab position, before attacking at all, you will raise your arm. This is purely a visual helper and doesn't affect the result of your backstab. Still, if you click just outside of the backstab range, you will do the regular 'poke' or 'swipe' with the knife, but if you are in range, you will do the downwards stab. Because melee hit. Guaranteed to make your friends upset about facestabs! Download Team Fortress 2 Cheats - IMGUI TF2 Hack: Other Source Engine Games: 4: Jul 24, 2020: M: Source Code Old TF2 Hack - Team Fortress 2 Aimbot & ESP: Other Source Engine Games: 4: Dec 4, 2015: Solved TF2 Taunt Slide Hack Coding Need help Questions & Answers - Hacking Help: 3: May 13, 2014: M: Source Code Netvar code dumper and TF2 example.

The Spy

A backstab is a context-sensitive attack that a Spy can perform with any of his melee weapons. When a Spy uses any one of his knives to hit an enemy from behind, a successful backstab is performed, resulting in an instant kill in almost all cases, with the exception of invincibility granting effects such as ÜberCharge or the Bonk! Atomic Punch.

  • 2Backstabbing techniques
  • 4Related achievements


Should a Spy perform a melee attack that connects with an enemy while he is behind said enemy, a backstab will occur. Backstabs deal damage equal to 200% of the target's current health and are also always critical hits, resulting in a total damage of six times the victim's current health; while the critical damage can be negated, this does not stop the stab from being lethal unless the target has significant additional protection.

A backstab will trigger as long as the Spy is anywhere within a 180° angle behind the enemy, utilizing the enemy's current aiming direction as straight forwards. To indicate that a Spy is within the required range and angle to perform a backstab, he will raise his knife and turn it downward, primed for a kill. The knife will remain in this position until the target is no longer in reach, or the Spy attempts a backstab by attacking. The knife turns downward even if positioned behind a cloaked or disguised enemy Spy. As the Spy's melee weapons do not have a delay between the swing being initiated and the damage being dealt, as long as the knife is pointed downward, the Spy simply needs to attack for an instant kill to occur.

Like normal melee attacks, backstabs can be performed while disguised, though the Spy proceeds to lose his disguise whether the attack connects or not. Backstabs are nothing more than pure damage, and so cannot injure or kill invulnerable players. Buildings and Halloween bosses cannot be backstabbed.

Robots in Mann vs. Machine can be backstabbed just as normal players. In addition to this, if a robot is sapped, it can be backstabbed from any direction, not just from behind. However, giant robots operate much differently. Backstabbing a giant has a base damage of 750, but this is reduced to 25% of that (188) by default; each armor penetration upgrade restores 25% of the base damage, up to 125% of the base (938). Spies must therefore upgrade their knife in order to have a chance at taking out giant robots.

Various weapons affect backstabs in some fashion:

  • Backstabbing with Your Eternal Reward or the Wanga Prick causes silent death. The victim will not scream, their body will vanish, and no killfeed notification is given to the victim's teammates. The attacking Spy will disguise as the fallen enemy almost instantly.
  • Backstabbing with the Conniver's Kunai will take the victim's remaining health and give it to the Spy, up to a maximum of 210. This is offset by a lowered base health.
  • Backstabbing with the Big Earner will fill the Spy's Cloak meter by 30%, regardless of which cloaking device is equipped. A backstab with this weapon will also give the Spy a three-second speed boost.
  • Backstabbing with the Spy-cicle will turn enemy ragdolls into an ice statue, which also creates a loud freezing/cracking noise.
  • Attempting to backstab a Sniper wearing the Razorback will result in the backstab being blocked, in addition to preventing the Spy from attacking, cloaking, or switching weapons for 2 seconds afterward. Thus, the Razorback makes Snipers less prone to backstabs and encourages Spies to use their selected revolver instead.

Backstabbing techniques

  • Stab-and-Sap: Stab a (turtling) Engineer, before switching to your Sapper and sapping the Engineer’s Sentry Gun; this must be done fast enough that the Sentry Gun doesn't have time to turn around and kill you. An experienced Spy may track the Sentry Gun's turning direction and move against it after he stabs (as it will follow him, this will buy him more time), this set of movement is also known as circle-strafing. Using Your Eternal Reward can make the approach easier, as you instantly disguise upon a successful backstab, preventing the Sentry Gun from detecting you and retaliating; a Spy without a prior disguise must rely on cover to avoid the Sentry Gun's attention, as the Sentry will not be fooled by your instant disguise once it has already begun firing. This tactic is slightly easier on Engineers using the Wrangler, because the Sentry Gun is disabled for three seconds after the Engineer's death.
  • Sap-and-Stab: Sap an Engineer's unattended building as bait, hide, then stab him when he returns to remove the Sapper. Alternatively, sap a turtling Engineer's building then switching to the Knife to backstab him, as a less effective variant of the stab-and-sap technique.
  • The Topstab: Sometimes paranoid Engineers will place their Sentry Gun and Dispenser in a fashion that allows the Engineer to have his back to a corner, making him seemingly protected from backstabs. It is possible to kill him by climbing over his Dispenser or Sentry Gun and jumping onto his head. Face the same direction as the Engineer and crouch until you get the 'Knife-raised' animation, allowing you to score a backstab.
  • Quickstab: While an unaware enemy is running towards you, let them run past you before spinning and stabbing their retreating back. This is one of the only reliable methods of backstabbing Scouts or any enemy that believes your disguise.
  • Sidestab: As the name suggests, a side stab is accomplished by stabbing the back of an enemy from the side. Because of how the characters' hitboxes are positioned, this is easier from the enemy's right than his left.
  • Dropstab: This involves the Spy waiting at a high spot, and jumping down on an unsuspecting enemy's head while holding crouch, and killing the enemy in a similar fashion as the Topstab.


Trickstabs happen when an enemy has spotted the Spy, and the Spy tries to outmaneuver the enemy in order to attempt a backstab.

How To Backstab In Tf2
  • Matador: Usually most effective against support classes attempting to engage in melee combat (including Engineers), this involves tricking an enemy into turning towards in your direction by pretending to run around him one way, then quickly moving back, strafing into backstabbing range as he turns toward, and backstabbing your pursuer.
  • Stairstab: This technique involves running up a flight of stairs (or a ramp) and jumping over your pursuer's head, landing behind or on top of him and scoring a backstab. This is less effective against more experienced players as it is often highly predictable and can be easily countered.
  • Cornerstabs: This takes advantage of the map such that the enemy pursuing the Spy would turn a corner (which does not necessarily need to be blind), and exposing his side to the Spy, in a similar fashion to the Matador stab.
  • Circlestrafe stab: A highly advanced yet unreliable type of trickstab that is designed to counter strafing enemies who won't turn enough to fall for a matador, or enemies who backpedal. There are currently four known types.
  1. For enemies who are holding W and a strafe key while strafing into the Spy, the Spy moves into and intersects the path of the pursuing enemy.
  2. For slow, backpedaling enemies (e.g. Soldiers and Demomen), the Spy backpedals along the enemy's side and attempts a sidestab.
  3. For enemies who are strafing between two points, such as a Scout aiming towards a Spy, the Spy strafes to the opposite direction of where the enemy is strafing, and relying on the enemy to strafe back into him (e.g. A Scout moves towards the Spy's left side, the Spy moves towards his right side, and eventually the Scout strafes back into the Spy while attempting to strafe-aim).
  4. For enemies who are attempting to strafe behind the Spy, the Spy matches the enemy's movement by holding S and a strafe key, and attempts a sidestab while backpedaling.
  • Surfstab: An extremely situational stab where the Spy surfs explosive damage or enemy airblasts, and kills the/another enemy while landing on them, similar to a Dropstab.
  • Airstab: Also an extremely situational stab where both the Spy and the enemy get near each other while airborne, the stab is applied specially at high speeds, similar to a sidestab, the Spy will quickly flick his aim to the enemy's back and then stab. To prevent the lost of your momentum while airborne due to bumping, strafe around the enemy and then stab.


See also: Lag compensation
  • Due to glitch in the game, a stab that has appeared to have occurred from the front can sometimes be rendered as a backstab. Known more commonly as a facestab, these kills are now mostly the result of lag compensation by the game engine itself. Prior to many game patches, facestabs were more common due to bugs in the way the game detects a backstab. Facestabs take two forms: the 'valid' stab and the 'true' facestab. Most of what the recipient sees as a facestab is usually either a cornerstab or a sidestab, where on the Spy's screen, he sees it as attacking the target's back, but due to lag, the target sees the Spy attacking from the front. A valid facestab works as intended by the developers, making correct use of lag compensation. In a true facestab, the Spy appears to be attacking an enemy from the front on both players' screens, but lag compensation results in it being registered as a backstab. This is considered a bug.
  • Another community-coined term is the failstab, which refers to a backstab which should have succeeded but instead did only normal Knife damage, despite the backstab animation playing fully and the Knife connecting. These stabs are almost always linked to the latency conditions between the server and the player. A similar variant is a stab that plays the animation and the sound effect but does no actual damage.
  • Rarely, during taunts, the player's 'back' changes position; it becomes directly behind the player's 3rd-person camera, which means that players can avoid backstabs by moving the camera away from the Spy. This generally occurs by accident; for example, when you position the camera in front of you to watch the taunt yourself, making your back into your front. Facestabs can also rarely occur this way.
  • The angle required for a backstab is based on the direction the victim is looking; however, all players have models whose normal stance has their backs rotated to the left slightly, due to the way they carry their respective weapons (this is most prominent with Heavies). This means that at certain angles you appear to be stabbing your target in the back, when in fact you are not inside the 180 degree angle for backstabs. Equally, there are valid backstab positions which appear to have you stabbing slightly into the front of your victim. These hit-box positions can be determined by the shoulders of the character models.

Related achievements


War Crime Spybunal
Kill a Spy who just backstabbed a teammate.


Shock Treatment
Kill a Spy whose backstab attempt was blocked by your Razorback.
Consolation Prize
Get backstabbed 50 times.


Agent Provocateur
Backstab your Steam Community friends 10 times.

Counter Espionage
Backstab a disguised Spy.

Dr. Nooooo
Backstab a Medic that is ready to deploy an ÜberCharge.

High Value Target
Backstab an enemy who is dominating 3 or more of your teammates.

Is It Safe?
Backstab 50 enemies who are capturing control points.

Sap an enemy building, then backstab the Engineer who built it within 5 seconds.

Backstab 1000 enemies.

Backstab 3 Snipers in a single life.
Come in From the Cold
Get a Revenge kill with a backstab.

Die Another Way
Kill a Sniper after your backstab breaks his Razorback.

FYI I am a Spy
Backstab a Medic who has healed you in the last 5 seconds.

Identity Theft
Backstab the enemy that you're currently disguised as.

May I Cut In?
Backstab an enemy and the Medic healing him within 10 seconds of each other.

Slash and Burn
Backstab an enemy, who then switches to Pyro before they respawn.

The Man with the Broken Guns
Backstab an Engineer, then sap 3 of his buildings within 10 seconds.

You Only Shiv Thrice
Backstab 3 enemies within 10 seconds.

Update history

October 25, 2007 Patch

How To Backstab People In Tf2

  • Fixed a Spy backstab exploit where you could stab a player who was not facing away from you.
  • Fixed a case where a Spy stabbing from the front of a player would score a backstab.
  • Fixed Spy backstab exploit.

February 24, 2009 Patch (Scout Update)

How To Backstab In Tf2Backstab
  • Changed backstab handling to fix facestabs.
  • [Undocumented] Reduced stab radius to 160 degrees. Removed quickbackstabs and thus reduced the Spy's backstab range (Has since been reverted). Made backstabs quicker.
  • Increased backstab check so that Spies can side-stab again.

May 21, 2009 Patch (Sniper vs. Spy Update)

  • The Heavy and Sniper now have new custom death animations.
  • Added a backstab custom death animation to the Heavy.
  • Fixed a couple of cases where viable backstabs would fail.

August 13, 2009 Patch (Classless Update)

  • Cloaked Spies standing in valid backstab positions no longer raise their Knife.

December 17, 2009 Patch (WAR! Update)

  • Added more backstab animations.
  • Added backstab death animations for Scout, Spy, Medic, Demoman, Engineer, and Pyro. All death animations have a 25% chance to play.
  • Fixed a glitch where the Spy would take fall damage after backstabbing someone while standing on top of him.
  • Fixed the knife not playing its backstab animation when crits are disabled.


  • When a player for the opposing team is standing on top of the Spy, the Spy can always perform a successful backstab regardless as to whether or not the Spy's aim falls within the regular backstab radius.
  • Occasionally, when swiping at an enemy, the Spy will do the backstab animation, even if it wasn't a backstab.
  • Occasionally, a Spy will take fall damage after backstabbing someone while standing on top of him, even though this was supposedly fixed in October 18, 2011 Patch.


  • Originally, the Spy's Backstab animation was just over a second long and manifested as the current animation, but was slowed down. This was changed to the current, sped up version used today in the interests of balance. Before this change, skilled Spies would 'quick-stab'. This involved staying out of Backstab range of the victim, and then swinging the Knife just before entering Backstab range, thereby bypassing the Backstab animation but still rewarding an instant kill.
  • The Sniper's unique Backstab animation was first seen in Trailer 2 before any Backstab animations were integrated into the game.

External links

Revolver (Big Kill) ·Ambassador·L'Etranger·Enforcer·Diamondback
Knife (Saxxy, Golden Frying Pan, Sharp Dresser, Black Rose, Prinny Machete) ·Your Eternal Reward (Wanga Prick) ·Conniver's Kunai·Big Earner·Spy-cicle
Invis Watch (Enthusiast's Timepiece, Quäckenbirdt) ·Cloak and Dagger·Dead Ringer
Sapper (Ap-Sap, Snack Attack) ·Red-Tape Recorder
Fancy Fedora·Backbiter's Billycock·Camera Beard·Magistrate's Mullet·Frenchman's Beret·Familiar Fez·Détective Noir·Le Party Phantom·Noh Mercy·Charmer's Chapeau‎·Private Eye‎·Janissary Ketche·Cosa Nostra Cap·Made Man·Rogue's Col Roule·Nanobalaclava·Counterfeit Billycock·L'Inspecteur·Spectre's Spectacles·Griffin's Gog·Intangible Ascot·Under Cover·Dr. Whoa·Dashin' Hashshashin·Doublecross-Comm·Sneaky Spats of Sneaking·Business Casual·Triad Trinket·Ninja Cowl·Stealth Steeler·Hat of Cards·Distinguished Rogue·Lacking Moral Fiber Mask·Exorcizor·Scarecrow·Voodoo-Cursed Spy Soul·Cut Throat Concierge·Dapper Disguise·Bloodhound·Base Metal Billycock·Bootleg Base Metal Billycock·Megapixel Beard·Pom-Pommed Provocateur·Powdered Practitioner·After Dark·Belgian Detective·Blood Banker·Harmburg·Rogue's Brogues·Macho Mann·Escapist·Frenchman's Formals·L'homme Burglerre·Bountiful Bow·Bozo's Brogues·Candyman's Cap·Foul Cowl·Hyperbaric Bowler·Ethereal Hood·Backstabber's Boomslang·Napoleon Complex·Deep Cover Operator·Au Courant Assassin·Aviator Assassin·Rogue's Robe·Sky Captain·Spycrab·Lady Killer·Facepeeler·Nightmare Hunter·Rogue's Rabbit·Shadowman's Shade·Pocket Momma·Puffy Provocateur·Stealthy Scarf·Lurker's Leathers·Graylien·Buttler·Teufort Knight·A Hat to Kill For·Chicago Overcoat·Lurking Legionnaire·Dead Head·Big Topper·Showstopper·Brain-Warming Wear·Reader's Choice·Upgrade·Aloha Apparel·Aristotle·Assassin's Attire·Bandit's Boots·Dressperado·Murderer's Motif·Harry·Shutterbug·Avian Amante·Voodoo Vizier·Bird's Eye Viewer·Crabe de Chapeau·Smoking Jacket·Particulate Protector·Cosmetic items wearable by all classes
Item sets
The Saharan Spy·The Man of Honor·The Invisible Rogue·The Gravelpit Emperor·The Automatic Pilot Pack
Special taunts
Buy A Life·Box Trot·Disco Fever·Luxury Lounge
Meet the Spy·Responses·Taunts·Voice commands
Spy strategy (Basic·Community·Anti-class) ·Spy match-ups·Spy checking·Team strategy
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Like any online game, Team Fortress too can be either fun or utterly annoying depending on the teammates, enemies and your level of skill. If you are new to this massively popular game, here’s a short guide to TF2 classes and suggestions for your first pick.

Detailed View of Hero Classes

There are nine official hero classes in Team Fortress 2, and they are as follows:

  • Demoman
  • Engineer
  • Heavy
  • Medic
  • Pyro
  • Scout
  • Sniper
  • Soldier
  • Spy

The classes can be divided into three main roles – offensive (Scout, Soldier, Pyro), defensive (Demoman, Heavy, Engineer) and supportive (Medic, Sniper, Spy). However, these roles are not mandatory, and you can play a character outside their role, depending on your chosen strategy. For beginner players, though, it’s recommended to stick to the primary position.

Tf2 Trickstab Wiki

If you are new to this amusing shooter, which we assume you are, these short descriptions with basic stats will help you decide on the suitable class and dive right into the fun running and shooting havoc.

1. Demoman – No

Many new players believe that Demoman is an easy pick, since the hero abilities allow you to deal a massive amount of damage in one shot, and set traps. However, due to low-speed levels and rather difficult controls, the Scottish demolition expert may not be the best choice for the player. Demoman is incredibly vulnerable in melee combat unless you have great control of the aim, which takes time to master. However, as alluring as the 300 critical damage can be, you are unlikely to master him in a few first games, which will ruin all the fun you are supposed to have.

2. Engineer – No

The reason why you shouldn’t choose Engineer among all the available Team Fortress 2 characters lies not only in stats but also in the main mechanics of the hero. First of all, Engineer, as a support hero, has low health level, which means you won’t survive even two hits from an experienced player. Furthermore, a beginner will hardly be able to grasp the concept of constructing buildings to kill enemies for you rather than doing it yourself. You won’t be likely to have fun at first trying to figure out how your hero works, plus you don’t get to run and shoot at every moving target.

3. Heavy – Yes

This is the first right choice for a beginner. First of all, you have 300 health – that’s twice the amount some other TF characters have, and such a massive amount of HP allows a new player to fool around, make mistakes, and learn. Moreover, you are the definition of a killing machine in the Team Fortress universe. The entire team orbits around you, protecting you from all dangers, as you smash through the enemy crew. You don’t have to control too many things at once while playing as a Heavy, which makes it a perfect hero for beginners. The one thing you should look out for is the opponent spy, who can kill you with one clever backstab.

4. Medic – Maybe

You rarely find a player in a shooter who isn’t there to kill enemies, right? This is why Medic is the least played character among all the Team Fortress 2 classes. The controls are not particularly difficult; it’s rather the fact that your teammates rely on you. And you don’t get to take part in the crazy havoc going on on the map. You need to learn how to prioritize who to heal first and to master the art of quick decisions. Another main role is to look out for a Spy and attack him when you spot the saboteur near your allies. If you enjoy a support role in multiplayer games, then this role is perfect for you. However, most players don’t, hence it earned a “maybe”.

5. Pyro – Yes

How To Trickstab In Tf2

Despite the fact that this hero is among the most hated in the community, Pyro is a great choice for beginners. Why? First of all, the mechanics of the character allow you to carry games even without significant shooting skills. The flamethrower doesn’t require you to aim precisely to deal a lot of damage, plus you can score a kill due to the afterburn ability. Avoid using the W+M1 (W on your keyboard and left mouse button) strategy, as it is seen as extremely simplistic and prevents you from learning other creative fighting techniques. This strategy can be easily abused, as Pyro’s stats allow you attack long enough to deal significant damage, but other players often label it as lack of skill. Take it from us, there are a lot of fun things you can do as a Pyro even if it’s your first ever take on shooters.

6. Scout – No

Many players make the mistake of choosing this character because it may seem familiar at first if the player has previous experience in such games as “Call of Duty” or “Battlefield.” The truth is, this is one of the hardest classes in the game, and even if you know how to shoot an enemy, Scout will take some time to readjust. To play fairly well, you will have to gain a basic understanding of the hero’s mechanics, and learn specific skills, such as “flicking” aim.

Despite the Scout’s speed being the highest among all TF2 class speeds, in the beginning, this will ruin your game rather than help it.

7. Sniper – No/Maybe

This gaming class requires even more skill than the Scout, and it’s almost impossible for a beginner to score kills from the first game, or, at least, have fun doing it. If you are a veteran CS:GO player with crazy skills, then mastering Sniper won’t take a lot of time. However, for a new player, Sniper will be overwhelming. You have to employ all your concentration power to hit enemies and watch out for every other class, as Snipers are very vulnerable due to their low HP level and frequent immobile position. You may be ok as a sniper and charge body shots, but you will barely have fun.

8. Soldier – Yes

Soldier is one of the best classes for a beginner, and arguably one of the best classes in the game. Players don’t need to think and calculate their moves to kill enemies due to their big blast radius. All you need to do for a successful game is see an enemy, then fire. In the event that your rocket launcher is not the best option for some reason, shotgun is a nice backup and a great “hitscan”. This class usually brings the most satisfaction into the game for a beginner. Moreover, after a few rounds, you will be able to take down a few enemies at a time. Plus, you can rocket jump – doesn’t that sound like an epic start?

How to trickstab in tf2

9. Spy – No

How To Face Stab Tf2

Spy is allegedly the most sophisticated class in the Team Fortress 2. To be successful in this role, you need to predict the behavior of every other class: their thoughts and their future moves. Spy is also a vulnerablehero due to having low HP, so any other class can easily kill you once you have been discovered. Your gear includes a knife, a sapper, a revolver, and a cloaking device. You will spend a lot of time trying to master these items and their unique strategies, and won’t have a lot of chances to relax and enjoy the game. So, Spy is a class for an advanced TF2 player.

To impress your friends and enemies in the game, equip one of these expensive items and be the cool guy on the server

How To Backstab People From Far Away In Tf2

Check other articles on our blog to learn more useful gaming tips and unbeatable tactics.