The Dispenser is a building that can be constructed by an Engineer providing health, ammo, and Metal to nearby teammates. Engineers rely heavily on metal from their Dispensers to construct and maintain their Sentry Guns and other building. Any player may replenish their supplies by simply standing next to the Dispenser. Retrieving ammunition or health from the Dispenser does not affect its supply of metal.
Dispensers can prove to be very valuable in supporting a team when used effectively. As well as providing a steady health increase for teammates, Dispensers act as a portable ammo source. They can provide additional metal for other Engineers to use. Dispensers will also attract many teammates to one area which can help to better forward an attack, particularly if the team is scattered and ungrouped. However, it can also make the group an easy target for rocket splash damage or incoming grenades.
The Dispenser costs 100 Metal to place. A newly built Dispenser contains 25 metal and thereafter generate 40 metal every 5 seconds. It can hold up to 400 metal as represented by a gauge on the front of the Dispenser. A Dispenser can be manually rotated to face a different direction before one builds it. When the blueprint is shown, using the alternate attack button (default key: L trigger) will rotate the blueprints 90 degrees counterclockwise. A destroyed Dispenser leaves behind 50 Metal that can be picked up as metal or ammo by all players regardless of team affiliation.
- Health: 150
- Cost: 100 Metal
- Health: 10 / sec
- Ammo: 20% / sec
- Metal: 40 / 5 sec
- A Pyro standing near a Dispenser can act as a mobile 'firewall'. The Dispenser is capable of replenishing the Flamethrower's ammo faster than can be fired. This is a great anti-Spy measure, but it does leave your team an attacker short.
- The Heavy can utilize a Dispenser in the same way, laying down a hail of bullets across a large area. This can be used as an anti-Spy measure, or to defend an area such as a cap point or choke point. Any Heavy using this technique needs to be aware of the damage drop off of his Minigun. This can be used to control hallways or even in an enemy's base (such as the sewers in 2Fort) to keep either an entrance open or a safe place for a teleporter. A Heavy can fire continuously; sweeping an area to send away stickies and check for hidden Spies.
- A Sniper can keep firing without having to leave his position to replenish ammo if stood near a Dispenser. Since many Spies cannot resist sapping an unguarded Dispenser, it can be used as an early warning system.
- When entering Sudden Death, building a Dispenser first is important to provide health, ammunition, and metal to your team.
- Dispensers give health for any teammates nearby, including disguised enemy Spies. As a Spy, if you see an enemy Dispenser, consider leaving it intact to fill your health meter
- When in a centralized area close to other Engineers, consider putting all the Dispensers close to each other. The healing and ammo dispensing mechanisms do stack for multiple Dispensers, so placing them together will allow you and your teammates to refill and heal up to full health much faster than with a single Dispenser by each Engineer's Sentry Gun. While the risk of losing the Dispensers is higher, the benefits can sometimes be enough to keep your teammates on the attack.
- A Dispenser can effectively block narrow passages from enemies, slowing down their progress. This is very effective versus Scouts when coupled with a Sentry Gun nearby.
- A Dispenser can also be used for spychecking if placed in a narrow hallway, as Spies can not go through your buildings even while disguised.
- The healing beam and ammo supply mechanisms are two separate functions of the Dispenser, someone in healing range of a Dispenser is not necessarily close enough to take ammo from the Dispenser.
- Similarly, a Dispenser can sometimes supply ammunition and metal through walls but cannot heal through them.
- An Engineer can stand on his own Dispenser, allowing him to reach higher platforms than he could just by jumping, allowing for more strategic deployment of Sentry Guns and other buildings. Keep in mind, however, that a sentry is taller than a Dispenser, regardless of which level it is.
- Dispensers take the longest to build. It is usually best to construct one, and then put up a sentry while it is still building.
- Dispensers cost the least amount of metal. Use this to your advantage, such as by blocking a Demoman's bombs while escaping.
- While Sentry Guns are usually the main target of ÜberCharge pushes, destroying the Dispenser is equally important. Without it, it will take much longer for the enemy to rebuild, not to mention heal and resupply, and allow your team more time to regroup for a decisive push.
- Sentry Guns fire and rockets can be blocked by Dispensers. Additionally, Sentry Guns will detect enemy players standing behind friendly Dispensers, but unable to kill the enemy. It's commonly used by the Spy as a shield and used to kill the Engineer in the process.
- By standing within the healing range of a Dispenser, it is possible to stay underwater indefinitely.
- Engineers can use enemy dispensers to refill their metal, but not their health.