Home Strategy Tactical Tuesday – Rocking the Rocket Jumper

All the intensity of the original Rocket Launcher, now with 100% less damage and only half the fat.

As I mentioned in the Soldier Polycount Madness article, there was one item included in the Mannconomy update that didn’t get the recognition that many other items did. It wasn’t the Vita-Saw or the GRU (though most people didn’t know they existed for some time). It was the Rocket Jumper.

The Rocket Jumper doesn’t do fancy things like cause damage or hurt enemies. Instead, it gives you 64 Rockets (4 in the chamber, 60 in the Soldier’s lapel pocket) that are intended solely to allow you to practice your rocket jumps. Think of it as the ulimate training tool. Sure, the Soldier still takes fall damage, but because the rockets do zero dégats, you can spring around the map all day, mostly unscathed.

Because I don’t have the Rocket Jumper (and because I am terrible at Soldier, and therefore rocket jumping), I asked you, the millions thousands hundreds dozens of Top Tier Tactics readers to send me more information about how this training tool could be used outside of TR_Walkway.

The replies came pouring trickling in!

Rocket Jumper Run-Down

Before we get to the submissions, let’s take a second to review the most important points about the Rocket Jumper and its tactical applications.

  • The Rocket Jumper’s rockets do no damage to enemies or to you
  • Reflected Rocket Jumper rockets do not do damage to your allies
  • The Rocket Jumper does not prevent fall damage
  • The Rocket Jumper/its rockets appear identical to the Rocket Launcher/its rockets
  • The Rocket Jumper is not craftable. It is find-able in the drop system
  • It can also be purchased for 50 cents in the Mann Co. Store
  • The Rocket Jumper negates self-damage caused by the Equalizer taunt (bug?)

Your Submissions

TF2 commentator leptir was the first to send in footage on how the RJ could be used for maximum efficiency. His pal IAreSnipar recently recorded and commented on footage featuring the ‘Jumper on Hightower (a most appropriate map, given the weapon’s abilities). In this video, IAreSnipar demonstrates how the lack of self damage makes the Rocket Jumper a great tool for constant ambushes and tactical retreats.

While many of IAreSnipar’s jumps failed spectacularly, it’s obvious early on how much of an advantage the zero-damage RJumping ability is. Of course, this is heavily countered by the complete reliance on the Shotgun and Equalizer/Shovel. While these weapons are still deadly killing machines, they lack the appeal of insta-gibbing your foes with completely balanced critical-hit rockets.

Here’s a different video by Cyclopsided, featuring the Rocket Jumper on Gravelpit. As you can imagine, Gravelpit is a great map for rocket jumping, and Cyclopsided shows off some impressive positioning skills as he flies around the map with the Rocket Jumper.

Finally, Krowbar submitted this montage demonstrating the bug/feature that causes the Rocket Jumper to negate all damage from the Equalizer’s Kamikaze taunt. While the results aren’t perfect, they are hilarious.


Given the changes made to the Gunboats, it’s pretty likely this “feature” will be patched out.

So, does the Rocket Jumper have tactical applications? Perhaps on certain maps in certain situations, but the tradeoff of ridiculous mobility at the expense of nearly all the Soldier’s killing power is very steep. Two Soldiers with Rocket Jumpers, Shotguns, and Pain Trains could probably cap points faster than 2 Scouts could, but would run into a lot of trouble if they encountered even a single Sentry.

For now, just use the Rocket Jumper for its intended purposes:

  1. Practicing rocket jumps
  2. Trolling the hell out of enemy Pyros
9 replies to this post
  1. Craftable: Primary Token, Soldier Token, Scrap Metal; supposedly 33% chance. Unless they patched that within the last 48 hours.

    • and a thought: I’ve never seen any use the Gunboats after they got patched. Who uses it and is it really balanced?

      • Apparently it was OP in competitive circles, allowing Soldiers to dive bomb medics. Of course, now it’s all but useless to the other 95% of TF2 players.

  2. Sounds like a RJ soldier is like a scout; fast and has a shotgun type weapon. Except with more vertical mobility, HP, juggling, and stronger melee weapons. This doesn’t seem fair.

    • I don’t think it can juggle cause to juggle you need to deal damage to the enemy(Ex: create a sever and put god mode on and try to rocket jump. It’s basically the same effect).

      But yeah. In theory you play it like a Scout with 200 HP, Rocket Jumps, and the Totally Balanced Equalizer.

  3. Best combo ever:
    Rocket Jumper
    Buff Banner
    Shovel

    Equip that and Rocket Jump into people and melee them.

    You are now the trollolololo Soldier! Make sure to taunt after every kill

  4. That super 100mph quad pogo jump on the gravel pit vid was amazing. A few notes on the Rocket Jumper. If someone is truly good at aiming then they can be devastating with the shotgun. Sure they might lose to other players that are really good at aiming, but they can really cut through most typical players. Also, with properly timed shots at the ground, while you’re falling down, it’s often possibly to negate all fall damage using ‘hurt free explosions’ to remove your downward momentum. I’ve played in arena servers where players with excellent aim would dominate with the shotgun, esp. since they often managed to get the first kill for the 1st blood crit boost. Finally, I do wish they would reskin the weapon. I was thinking perhaps make it look like orange plastic, or something (like a toy). At least change it in the 3rd person world view, have an option to keep it looking normal in the 1st person view model. Who has done this yet?—> Accidentally select the rocket jumper when hastily changing weapons for the soldier and then fighting your ass off and way later realizing that you weren’t actually hurting anyone. Funny but extremely aggravating…

  5. It’s exhilarating to finally find a writer who actually knows what they are talking about. Honestly, with as much advice as there is floating around on the internet, television, radio, and magazines, it is hard to know what to think anymore. Good to know I am not the only chick who thinks this way.

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