Medic Ubercharge Mechanics

April 27, 2010

OK, another nerd post, this time dealing with the ubercharge. It’s basic stuff but I figure it’s easier to have it all written down in one place.

Charging Uber

The uber charges at 2.50% per second when you heal someone not at full overheal or during setup time. It’s a fairly common misconception that it charges faster the lower health you are, this is not true. It charges at the same rate whether you are on 1 hp or at 149% buff.

The uber charges at 1.25% second when healing a fully overhealed player.

It’s important to know this so you can keep track of enemy uber. The more accurate you are, the more often you will know you have an advantage and you get more opportunities to push. Even a 5s uber is enough to start a push on some points.

It’s kinda hard to keep track of this accurately during a match, so until you’re used to it, the easier way to think about it is:

5% per 2 seconds

10% per 4 seconds

25% per 10 seconds

50% charge in 20 seconds

75% in 30 seconds

Full charge in 40 seconds

But eventually, your goal is to keep track of enemy uber down to the 2.5% or second. It will become second nature after some practice especially if you’ve played Quake before, as it’s really not that different to timing item spawns. Keep track of the round time when the enemy’s uber fades or when he respawns – you can calculate from there. This is another reason why it’s important to always call a medic pick, if people stop doing it shout at them. Once you get good you can also see whether anyone spawned with the medic and guess whether he had anyone to charge, making your estimates more accurate (unless ofc people call their team is near their spawn). But of course, you must always know the fastest possible time they can have uber. This is what makes or breaks picking their medic at 95% charge or whether he ubers you back off the point.

Basically, if anyone asks “Do we have uber advantage?” you should be able to say how much you’re ahead or behind accurately.

Uber Drain Rate

It’s important to know this in uber vs. uber battles as it forms the basis of your decision on whether to stay and fight or run and live. In Buick’s words:

“Another thing that you need to be keen on is uber management, you NEED to let your team know that you multi-ubered and how many times (targets) you did. You need to do the math in your head and let them know exactly how many seconds each team has left on their ubers. If you see the opponent multi-uber count how many new targets he
hit, do the math in your head, and prepare your team to swoop in the split second it drops. It’s unacceptable to just say “we ubered, oh they ubered” and then not speak until it’s over. When both teams uber it’s war within a war.. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen a medic uber, multi 2 new people and not realize that he needs to get out of danger MUCH sooner than usual. Instead he realizes it once the uber starts flickering and it’s far too late then, he’s as good as dead if he went too far in.”


Anyway, the base drain rate during ubercharge is 12.50% uber per second (uber/s). This means you hold uber for 8 secs + 1.5 sec of fade time.

However, it gets quite complicated when you multi:

Robin Walker clarifies the issue:

Hi Stuart.

You pay a 50% base drain cost for every extra person being affected by the uber. So the formula is:

Drain amount = (base drain) + (0.5 * base drain * (num ubered players -1))

You only pay 50% for the extras because we wanted to still reward juggling.


In other words, this means:

Uber 1 person: 12.5% uber/s = 8 seconds of uber

Uber 2 people: 20% uber/s = 5 seconds of uber

Uber 3 people: 25% uber/s = 4 seconds of uber

Uber 4 people: 31.25% uber/s = 3.2 seconds of uber

Even though you won’t uber more than 4 people, like ever, just in case:

Uber 5 people: 37.5% uber/s = 2.67 seconds of uber

So in general, you can tell when their uber will run out and make a decision from there.

Once you get used to this, you can be even more precise. The uber only drains faster if a medic keeps multiple people ubered. If a medic ubers 2 people but lets one drop halfway, he starts off with the faster drain rate (20% u/s), but goes back to the base drain rate once the uber on one person has faded (12.5% u/s).


Uber person A and B = 20% u/s

Person B stops flashing, only A is ubered = 12.5% u/s

This could mean the difference between an extra second on uber which can be significant.


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