Boy oh boy do I love me some payload. At times I suspect it’s the most popular game mode in Team Fortress 2, probably because its asymmetrical nature keeps the battlefield fresh and changing, or because it always has the most visually exciting and dynamic map designs, or because it ends with a massive explosion.

Almost every payload comes with a particularly tough stretch. This is the hardest stretch for the attacking team, and usually pops up somewhere around the penultimate check point. It’s usually the longest stretch, and often the final stretch before the offensive spawn moves forward. All of these aspects are screaming “NEED A TELEPORTER HERE,” and everyone (including the defense) knows it. Here are some spots on popular payload maps that work brilliantly for you to stick your teleporter.

Each of these spots must fulfill three aspects: (1) They must be close enough to the final checkpoint so as to be useful to your teammates pushing the cart, (2) they must be moderately easy for you to defend, I’m thinking you should get at least 30 teleports in before anyone can kill you, (3) they must be hidden, to make #2 easier and just in general to keep enemies from knocking on your front door every five minutes.

In the example pictures I’ll be using Gunslinger the whole time, but due to the intended longevity of these spots, lvl 3 sentries work well too. I’m just impatient.

PL_BARNBLITZ

This spot is great because it’s quite easy to get to; once your team has captured third just sneak around the side stairs of the middle building, slip over the snow bank and up the spiral staircase near where red’s second spawn used to be.

Make sure to shoot the crate to my right occasionally; Cloak-n-Dagger spies kept hiding there.
Make sure to shoot the crate to my right occasionally; Cloak-n-Dagger spies kept hiding there.

The only thing to look out for is non-spies sneaking up from the bottom stairs; while this shouldn’t be much of a problem since your team should control the courtyard, enemies will have some prime time to hurt you should they approach from this angle.

But the benefits far outweigh the chances of this. There’s a large ammo kit just up the stairs. Your team can attack the checkpoint from four different angles, at three different altitudes. You have complete control over the area from the directions enemies will usually attack from. There is zero chance of an aerial attack. And, as the picture shows, spies are easily counterable. I was single-handedly holding off three of them in the match where I took that screencap.

PL_UPWARD

This is probably the weakest spot on the list; its a testament to pl_upward’s balance that there are no real good teleporter spots for offensive engineer. There’s the elevated cabin just off of red’s old spawn, but enemies tend to look in there and blow you to hell. That’s why I get better luck with this one:

Sometimes I don't build the sentry, because it chip-damages enemies above me and alerts them to my presence.
Sometimes I don’t build the sentry, because it chip-damages enemies above me and alerts them to my presence.

The hardest part to this tele is defending it, but if the enemy doesn’t check down there, you should be fine. It’s hard to approach as a spy due to bottomless pits everywhere, there is a medium health kit right there to replenish you, and a small ammo kit across the walkway in the side cabin.

Also this tele doesn’t have to be as good as others, because your team should be able to defend itself adequately enough; this stretch difficult for the defense as well due to the distance from spawn. Nobody in pubs seems to know about that door on the defense’s second floor that opens for this checkpoint and no others.

PL_BADWATER

The juggernaut of payload maps. It must be played a million times a day. I bet it’s the third most popular map in TF2 behind 2fort and Dustbowl. The worst part for defense (except pushing last of course) is the stretch between the third and fourth checkpoints (second and third if you don’t count spawn as a checkpoint). Your spawn hasn’t moved forward yet, and the stretch pushes you through a bad chokepoint up a hill.

So why don’t I ever see engineers using this teleporter spot?

badwater teleporter

It’s infinitely defendable. Your sentry is more of an alert than anything; nobody can enter the stairs without tripping it. You are otherwise completely invisible to the enemy. There are two health kits and two ammo kits right there. And your team can approach the cart from two different directions.

So there you go. I’ve had some great success with each of these spots. Also, say hi to wordpress! We’re gonna be making our new home here. I may rename one of my weapons in honor of poor spuf.blog.com, stay tuned.

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