Team Fortress 2 Heavy Weapons Guide

This is Heavy's weapons guide for Team Fortress 2, breaking down all of our Russian monster's primary, secondary, and melee weapons. It can be hard to choose between a pump-action Shotgun and a Sandvich, but this should make it easier to weigh the pros and cons.

Team Fortress 2 Heavy Weapons Guide

Heavy is notorious for having some of the most powerful and astonishingly bad weapons. To be fair, his primary weapons fire so many bullets that they all have immense killing power. However, many of them do still have downsides that are worth considering before you spend $2 on a Strange Festive Natascha. His melees have the largest disparity in value. Some offer a very high amount of utility to Heavy, whether it is through safety, speed, or the ability to summon crits after a successful knockout with a certain pair of boxing gloves.

Heavy’s Primary Weapons

Stock Minigun

The Stock Minigun, which Heavy has named Sasha, is very hard to beat in terms of killing power. Out of all of Heavy’s weapons, Sasha may be the strongest in Team Fortress 2. It is so remarkable that this single weapon’s power is the main reason why many players call Heavy a bit overpowered. In reality, sacrificing your movement in a movement shooter is a big ask. In order to do so, you need to be a tank with consistent damage, which is why Heavy gets the power he deserves. His damage is generally only dwarfed by Demoman and sometimes Soldier. However, a Sniper that does not get stopped for an entire match can also achieve this damage. To learn more about Sniper’s weapons and how they stack up to each other, check out our Sniper Weapons Guide.

Concept art for Heavy's stock loadout, which includes the Minigun, Shotgun, and an unused pipe melee concept.

Concept art for Heavy’s stock loadout, which includes the Minigun, Shotgun, and an unused pipe melee concept.


The Tomislav is the only primary for Heavy that just might be better than Stock. It fires 20% slower and 20% more accurately, with a 20% faster spin-up time and no spin-up sound. Heavy has a considerable amount of trouble killing at long range, and his damage is reduced at medium range. This weapon helps fix those issues, giving Heavy a more effective range. The reduced firing speed is somewhat countered by the accuracy, as the bullets spread less from the target and tend to hit more often. However, damage at close range is weaker than the Stock Minigun due to the reduced firing rate, and because accuracy is not a factor at close range. The Tomislav is a very good example of a side-grade. The upsides and downsides are extremely balanced, which results in a better weapon depending entirely on your situation and overall playstyle. 

Concept art (left) and the unused model and texture (right) of the original Tomislav concept.

Concept art (left) and the unused model and texture (right) of the original Tomislav concept.

Brass Beast

The Brass Beast does what Heavy does best, doing damage in exchange for being an immovable object. However, it turns out that a Heavy needs to be able to move during combat in order to survive. This weapon increases damage by 20% from stock, which makes it seem like the best weapon on paper. In order to buff survivability, Heavy takes 20% less damage when below 50% max health. If he had received a flat 20% damage taken reduction, this weapon may be on the level of the Stock Minigun and Tomislav. But with only a minor increase in defensiveness, it is difficult to stay alive once immobilized. The spin-up time is 50% slower and movement speed is reduced by 60% when deployed, and this movement speed reduction seems to hit during spin-up. This is a great reduction in overall speed and you are also no longer able to deploy your minigun quickly in reaction to seeing an enemy.

With an adjusted playstyle this weapon can be effective, but at this point, you are essentially roleplaying as a level 2 Sentry. The Tomislav and Stock Minigun allow for more mobile gameplay with very similar damage. The 20% increase in damage is not very noticeable when you are forced to hold a position. Due to the fact that miniguns do more damage at closer range, being able to move forward while shooting or running and then redeploy quickly would also lead to doing more damage. For these reasons, the Brass Beast tends to fall below options. But in Payload it is a decent option considering the payload cart will push you faster than you can normally move while deployed. If you cannot get onto the payload cart, try crouch jumping. A normal jump will not be enough to get on top of the cart unless you are on a higher elevation than the cart.

Huo Long Heater

The Huo Long Heater is another Payload staple, as you will need an ample supply of ammo to keep it revved up, and the payload cart is a good supply. Provided you have a nearby Engineer nest, you can use that as well.

The Huo Long Heater generates a ring of fire around the Heavy, consuming 4 ammo per second from generating the ring. About 15 ammo is consumed per second while firing. To increase damage further, all damage is increased by 25% against burning players. This buff is active as long as the weapon is still out, although not necessarily deployed. The fire deals 12 damage every 0.5 seconds, so as long as they remain in the ring they will continue to take this damage. Once the enemy escapes the ring, the afterburn will remain for 8 seconds. Assuming the weapon is still being held out, the afterburn will deal 80 damage in total. If the Huo Long Heater is put away by the attacking Heavy, the afterburn damage is reduced to 64 in total. 

Concept art for the Huo Long Heater.

Concept art for the Huo Long Heater.


The Natascha is a good example of a weapon that could be more powerful if the coding was not so sloppy. Ultimately, with the way movement works in Source Engine, it might not even be very easy to implement this effect correctly.

With the downsides of 25% reduced damage and a 30% slower spin-up time, it is no question why this weapon is rarely used. It deals considerably less damage than all other Heavy primaries. The upside is a 100% reduction in enemy movement speed on hit. However, strafing is not slowed down by this speed reduction. This is a pretty big problem, as smart players can still move very close to their normal movement speed once they start strafing left and right (mashing A and D) while running forward. This can also be achieved by merely walking diagonally. This also removes the movement speed reduction after using the Bonk! Atomic Punch. The fact that this has not been patched out indicates that it likely has to do with how Source Engine’s movement works. With this in mind, movement speed reduction should probably just be scrapped as a mechanic unless it can be implemented more effectively. 

Heavy’s Secondary Weapons


The Sandvich is Heavy’s best friend, or the best friend of his best friend if he has a Medic by his side. When firing or taunting with it, you enter a third-person taunt animation for 4 seconds and restore 300 health over that time. If you throw it with secondary fire and pick it up back up, it refills your recharge bar so you can immediately use it or throw it again. If a teammate picks it up, it functions as a medium medkit which heals for half of their total max health. The Sandvich has a 25-second cooldown, but picking up a health pickup while at max health will recharge the Sandvich. Of course, it can also be along with returning to the resupply cabinet or respawning.

It is clear why this is considered his best secondary, it can be used to keep your handy Medic alive! Heavy has plenty of ammo for his primary unless you have the Huo Long Heater, so a Shotgun is rarely worth using. Medics seem to gravitate toward Heavies faster than any other class, and for good reason. They are a very strong duo and it can be difficult to kill a 300-health monster that is constantly being healed, which is why focusing on the Medic first is often necessary. A Heavy’s job is to protect his Medic if he has one, and nothing works better than a Sandvich. When a Heavy with the Sandvich equipped is killed, the ammo pack on his body instead grants 50 health on pickup (75 health for Scout).

User manual for the Sandvich “Edible Device”.

Second Banana

The Second Banana is very similar to the Sandvich and aims to do the same job. When used, the same taunt animation is played as the Sandvich, but it only heals for 200 health. When thrown and used by somebody else, it functions as a small medkit, healing for one-fifth of max health. The upside is that it takes 10 seconds to recharge, and it is also still recharged by picking up a health pickup at max health, respawning, or stopping by a resupply cabinet. When your ammo box is picked up after death, it also heals for 50 health to all classes except Scout, which receives 75 health. Most Medics would rather have a Sandvich over a Banana, but you can throw them out fairly quickly to make up for their lackluster healing power. For this reason, it stands on a very similar level but seems to be slightly less popular than its counterpart.

Promotional material for day 3 of the Jungle Inferno update, announcing the Second Banana.

Promotional material for day 3 of the Jungle Inferno update, announcing the Second Banana.

Dalokohs Bar

The Dalokohs Bar is similar to the Sandvich but provides a small buff to max health. When eaten, it increases max health by 50 and heals for 100 health over the duration of the eating animation. The max health increase does not stack, capping at 350 health. This recharges over 10 seconds and is also recharged by picking it up after dropping it, health pickups, respawning, or resupply cabinets. When dropped for a teammate it heals for the same amount as a small Medkit. For helping teammates, this is comparable to the Second Banana.

This does have the specific utility of functioning well in conjunction with the Gloves of Running Urgently (GRU), healing for just enough to quickly negate the health lost and also increase max health slightly. The GRU takes some time to regain health after use anyways, so you might as well speed it up while you are waiting to heal before engaging. This synergy is what puts it on the same level as the other foods, despite the fact that it heals slightly less than the Banana.

Family Business

The Family Business is a very fun Shotgun to use, so much so that it convinces many Heavies to ignore their primary weapon entirely. This role has many names, most notably Fat Scout, but I prefer Big Mafia Scout. The Family Business shoots 15% faster at the cost of 15% less damage and has a 33% larger clip size. This reduction in damage is relatively small, a close-range shot can still deal about 75 damage on hit. This means it takes two shots to kill a light class, which is the same as a normal shotgun, except now it can be achieved 15% faster, and with more ammo, it has more forgiveness for missing shots. 

A scrapped version of the Family Business (bottom) and the existing version of the Family Business (top) both feature a hammer and sickle sticker on the stock.

A scrapped version of the Family Business (bottom) and the existing version of the Family Business (top) both feature a hammer and sickle sticker on the stock.

Buffalo Steak Sandvich

The Buffalo Steak Sandvich is the most fun food he can bring to the fight, but unfortunately, with a sensible Heavy playstyle, it is pretty low impact. But if you abandon reason, this snack can allow you to do a lot of damage with your bare hands. Upon eating, Heavy’s speed is increased by 30%, he is locked into melee only for the duration of the 16-second buff. All damage done by Heavy in this state is a mini-crit or deals 35% additional damage. When thrown for a teammate, it functions as a medium-sized Medkit, healing for 50% max health, the same as a Sandvich. The recharge time is 30 seconds and can be recharged in the same manner as the other foods. However, committing to melee combat is generally considered a very bad idea for Heavy. This is why this weapon is a fun way to play but does not really compare to the damage of a Minigun.


In almost all circumstances, your primary weapon will do more damage than a Shotgun. Additionally, the Family Business will also be more effective in many situations as well. So using the Stock Shotgun on Heavy is pretty uncommon, but there is nothing wrong with it. It does make sense to want to improve your regular Shotgun gameplay, considering it is this fire rate that you should be used to when using a Shotgun.

Panic Attack

The Panic Attack is a very odd Shotgun, but in short, it excels at extremely close range. Heavy struggles to get in his opponent’s faces, so this is ultimately why it is very weak for Heavy. It can be enjoyable to whip out at a Scout about to land on you, but damage ramp-up is so high at close range for the Minigun that it might not even be worth using the Panic Attack in that one situation. But if you want to add a bit of flair to your Big Mafia Scout loadout you can try this weapon, and you will truly learn the value of positioning.

The Panic Attack's Steam Workshop thumbnail.

The Panic Attack’s Steam Workshop thumbnail.

Heavy’s Melee Weapons

Gloves of Running Urgently

The Gloves of Running Urgently (GRU) make the Heavy 30% faster, with the cost of losing 20 health on deploy and losing 10 health every second deployed. However, your health will not be reduced below 100 by the health decay. After putting away the GRU, your health is steadily healed the exact same amount of health lost, with a small margin of error for rounding. It is worth noting that you cannot use this to heal back to max health if you only have 150 health before deploying. Additionally, health lost by other sources will not be accounted for in the amount you are healed after putting the GRU away. Max overheal is reduced to only 150% of max health or 125% when healed by the Quick-Fix. In order to very quickly heal after running, many Heavies will eat their food right before entering the battle. The Dalokohs Bar is generally considered the most effective option in this specific situation.

Team-colored Gloves of Running Urgently (left) and Festive Gloves of Running Urgently (right).

Team-colored Gloves of Running Urgently (left) and Festive Gloves of Running Urgently (right).

Fists of Steel

The Fists of Steel make the Heavy much tankier, a very good strong option to whip out when you are on the verge of death and are retreating from battle. This reduces all damage from ranged sources by 40%. However, melee damage taken is increased by 100% or doubled. It is not possible to quickly switch away from these as a Demoknight charges at you, as it takes 100% longer to holster this weapon. Additionally, healing from Medics is reduced by 40% and maximum overheal is reduced by 40% while this weapon is active. Still, being able to almost immediately take 40% reduced damage from the majority of damage sources is very powerful.

Killing Gloves of Boxing

Staying alive and running quickly to the frontlines is more important than killing power for a melee weapon. However, if you are committed to killing with your fists, the best option would be the Killing Gloves of Boxing (aptly nicknamed KGB). They fire 20% slower, but on kill, grant 100% crit chance for 5 seconds. With Heavy’s already slow melee firing rate, this only really gives you one punch to kill an enemy that is trying to get away from you. If you get another kill with the KGB, the 5-second timer on the buff resets. If you switch to another weapon, you will still do 100% critical hits for the duration of the buff. This is 195 damage per hit. This allows for an explosive moment of killing power, provided you are able to get a kill.

Most enemies will avoid melee combat once they see these gloves, especially if they are glowing with guaranteed critical hits. Eating the Buffalo Steak Sandvich gives you a better chance at reaching your enemy in order to land a hit, and deals 88 damage instead of 65.

Promotional material for the Heavy Update, showcasing the Killing Gloves of Boxing (K.G.B.)

Promotional material for the Heavy Update, showcasing the Killing Gloves of Boxing. (K.G.B.)

Warrior’s Spirit

A bit weaker of an option for a melee Heavy option is the Warrior’s Spirit. It deals 30% more damage at the expense of taking 30% more damage from all sources and heals for 50 health on kill. With the increased damage, it deals 85 damage on hit and 114 damage on a mini-crit. If granted a random crit, expect 254 damage, enough to kill most targets. You might be considering using this with the Buffalo Steak Sandvich in order to do 114 damage per punch for 16 seconds while also moving 30% faster. Not a terrible idea, but you will take about 50% more damage from all sources. This is such a significant downside that this combo is pretty risky, and for just the 30% increased damage this melee weapon rarely sees use.

Eviction Notice

The Eviction Notice is a very goofy and weak weapon. It used to be very weak and saw little use, and now it is very weak and sees some use because it can be a bit fun to use. Dealing 60% less damage, they fire 40% faster and grant a 15% movement speed boost on the wearer while they are the active weapon. On hitting an enemy, you receive a speed boost for 3 seconds. This does not stack, but a new hit will reset the boost cooldown, similar to the Disciplinary Action. The enormous downside to this movement buff is that on switching to this weapon, you lose 20 health, an additional 5 health per second. This decay will not drain you below 100 health, functioning similarly to the GRU but draining at half the rate. This is a massive downside comparable to the GRU’s downside, with almost no worthwhile upside.

Not only is this Heavy’s weakest weapon, but this is also one of the weakest weapons in Team Fortress 2.

Promotional materials for the Eviction Notice, which was released during the Über Update.

Promotional materials for the Eviction Notice, which was released during the Über update.

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