Team Fortress 2 is a multiplayer, team-based first-person shooter developed by Valve, and was first released as part of The Orange Box on October 10th, 2007 for the PC and Xbox 360, and for PlayStation 3 on December 17th, 2007. It was also later released as a stand-alone package for Windows on April 8th, 2008. Fans of the original Team Fortress (and its GoldSrc-based update, Team Fortress Classic) waited years for the release of this sequel, which many had assumed had become vaporware. The result is a class-based shooter that takes after its predecessor in name and concept only, everything else, from gameplay to visual style, has been shifted, tweaked, and polished over its 9 year development.
Years in the Making
Valve seems to have a penchant for agonizingly lengthy development cycles; the gap between the first two Half-life games was 6 years. According to Valve staff in the game's commentary, TF2's delays were the product of ideas that failed after significant time had been invested in them. The clean-cut spy movie look of the released product was not even a notion in the early stages of this game's R&D. The first screenshots make TF2 look like an attempt at a realistic modern combat simulator. This was the initial intent, but this idea was scrapped in favour of a more light hearted style way late as far as most developers would be concerned.
The Valve team have also spent a huge amount of time looking into a shooter that incorporated a commander for each team who had some form of overlord viewing angle and the ability to give players on the ground information and orders. The idea was tested and redesigned countless times, but there was no way to guarantee that both the commander and the fighters would both have fun in any given game; the possibility of a poor commander or lousy squad members messing up the whole experience weighed too heavily on Valve and, after all the invested time, they abandoned the idea completely. There were many other detours on the way to making TF2 the game it is today, and Valve has a blog open that sort of regularly posts messages about such things as well as in-progress update news.
The art style in Team Fortress 2 was drastically changed from that of the original, which strove for the appearance of military realism. By contrast, TF2 has a comical, cartoon-like appearance, with characters having deliberately humorous taunts and exaggerated animations. Ever wondered what The Incredibles would look like as a class-based first-person shooter? TF2 is your answer. Valve constructed the models and architecture of TF2 using the Source Engine, their in-house development platform and graphics engine, but made several major modifications to the shader system along the way. The reflections in Team Fortress 2 all have a more rubbery look to them, even on the characters. This causes models to have more defined silhouettes even in darker locations, an effect intended to improve the readability of other players during combat.
The classes themselves were built explicitly to be identifiable and easy to recognize immediately at any distance to prevent confusion; this has contributed considerably to the ubiquity of the game's characters in internet chat rooms as well as encouraged the Valve team to make a number of "Meet the Team" videos starring the individual characters. The individual classes now, as a result, have personalities and characteristics that are fleshed out to a degree never attained by a multiplayer shooter. Despite the cartoonish feel the game displays, this should not be interpreted to mean technical laxity; the "Meet the Team" videos are all done with the in-game engine and speak for themselves if you need convincing on this point.
On June 23rd, 2011, nearly 4 years after it's release, Valve had announced that the Steam version (PC and MAC) of Team Fortress 2 had become free-to-play, "For freekin' ever". There are now 2 account types, free and premium. Those who previously bought the game before the game went free-to-play, will automatically have a premium account. Those who have downloaded the game for free of course will have a free account. Those who want a premium account can make any microtransaction purchase from the in-game store to be upgraded to a premium account.
The free and premium account differences are:
|Backpack||50 slots||300 slots (Expandable up to 1,000)|
|Items||Standard||Standard, rare and cosmetic|
|Crafting||Limited blueprints||All blueprints|
|Trading||Receive items only||Full trading|
|Gifting||Can receive gifts||Can give and receive gifts|
Everything else in the game has remained unchanged.
Team Work by Design
The "Team" in Team Fortress 2 is there for a very good reason. From the start, Valve's objective with TF2 was to create a multiplayer shooter where cooperating with those around you would always lead to a team that is better than the sum of its parts.
When it first debuted with the Orange Box in 2007, no deathmatch mode existed in Team Fortress 2. Every map involved holding points, capturing briefcases or, (also new) pushing a Fat Man in a railroad cart into enemy territory. That is because these play styles lend themselves coordination and team progress rather than individual achievement. One man can certainly take all the points or steal the flag, but their job is made extremely difficult by the open layout of the maps and the variety of stalwart defense options the game has to offer against rushing. Instead, pushing the front line or forcing a major breach in the opposition's defenses are the much preferred ways to go about winning a match.
Even now that deathmatch has been incorporated (in the form of Arena mode) , most servers have kept their previous map rotations or only added one or two of the new deathmatch based maps and tournament play excludes Arena mode almost entirely.
The Class System
There is no middle-ground in the roster of characters for TF2. The Soldier is usually considered the all-in-one trooper but he is slower than most other classes and is armed with a rocket launcher--a far cry from the universally effective assault rifles of most shooters. There are 9 classes available to both sides during play, and though their secondary weapons may coincide, no two classes have significantly overlapping niches. As a result (usually in combination with circumstance) each class has particular foes they prefer to fight against and particular friends they prefer to work with.
The exploitation of class synergy is more than half the battle in TF2; the Heavy may have a boat load of health and a gun to match, but one backstab from the Spy or one headshot from a Sniper will put him down. However, if the Heavy enlists the support of another class, such as a Pyro or Scout, to deal with such menaces the two allies together become far greater adversaries than they would be by their individual merits. Even classes like the Spy, who at first glance seems like a loner, can make an awesome teammate for sabotaging defenses on the way inside enemy territory. The Spy is the second least played class in TF2; the extra difficulty rookie Spies make for themselves by not working in tandem with their allies is at least partially responsible for that.
Another way TF2 encourages teamwork is in the respawn system. When players die, they are assigned to a respawn wave rather than simply waiting for an individual timer to hit zero. Aside from the multitude of exploitative tactics that this potentially fixes, the waves also make sure that players remain in contact with each other. This convenience of positioning and exposure increases the chance that players will try to work together when they get back in the field, concerning themselves with a more dedicated push than individual struggles for victory (once again, the class synergies make teamwork a better option nearly always). The effect is really more psychological than it is practical, but it is a conscious effort by the developers to get players to work together.
Minimally Explosive Atmosphere
Very few things in TF2 explode. The weapons in the game with splash damage are the Demoman's bombs, the Soldier's rockets, and the Pyro's flamethrower. Other than these, the only thing that blows up are characters that get hit for massive damage. Valve saw the common shooter grenade as a barrier to effective teamwork during the development of Team Fortress. A splash damaging bomb meant the potential for an everyman's weapon, useful against any opponent and effectively leveling the playing field between classes. A breakdown of the rigidly assigned capabilities of the classes would be detrimental to the teamwork aspect.
The other major issue Valve saw in using grenades was one that crops up in many shooters (CounterStrike being a home turf example for Valve) where grenades are spammed with reckless abandon during matches with the hope of landing a kill on that one unfortunate soul that doesn't know what is going on. Curbing exploitation of new, inexperienced players and enhancing team cohesion were both strikes against grenades, so Valve took them out. They have been criticized by the community ever since for doing so; some avid modders have even developed grenades for use in TF2, though these mods have caught only minimal popularity amongst players.
The game has nine classes: Demoman, Engineer, Heavy, Medic, Pyro, Scout, Sniper, Soldier and Spy. Each class has its own personality and appearance, as well as a unique set of weapons and abilities. For instance, the heavy is a large Russian packing a mini-gun he calls Sasha, while the engineer is a Texan who can build turrets as well as health and ammo dispensers. Each class offers its own play style, and an effective mixture of all the classes is crucial to a team's success. So far, Valve has shown an admirable commitment to updating Team Fortress 2 with new maps, character abilities, upgrades, and achievements.
The Scout is the "twitch" class of Team Fortress 2. He attacks his enemies with his fast movement and double jump ability. His weapons are the scattergun (a close-range shotgun), pistol and a baseball bat. He is tied for lowest HP with the Engineer, Sniper, and Spy at 125 but he is also the only one of those classes that sees head-on conflict. As such, Scouts must use their speed to get in, do damage to vulnerable targets, then hop back out again. The scattergun is tailored to this style - a shotgun that is formidable within a few feet but becomes useless even at medium ranges. The scout is normally used for objective acquisition, like capturing a flag or control point, or moving the cart in Goldrush, and is useful in taking out priority targets such as medics. When standing on a control point the scout counts for two people.
The easiest class to understand, the Soldier is just an all-round fighter. Despite his slow movement speed, his rocket launcher is very strong in good hands. Being both a good defensive and offensive class, the Soldier can cause great amounts of damage with his rockets (particularly critical rockets, which have a tendency to obliterate everything nearby) and has the second largest amount of health in the game. The Soldier also has the ability to "Rocket Jump", a skill allowing the Soldier to reach otherwise impossible heights by shooting at his feet and propelling himself into the air, with the cost of around a quarter of his health (about 52 damage). Along with the Heavy, the Soldier is the class which received the least number of changes from the original game. Since launch, the most prominent change made to the class is an increase of the Soldier's rocket ammo.
The Pyro uses fire to burn his/her enemies, doing huge amounts of up-front damage as well as additional damage over time. Upon release, he/she only had a shotgun and an axe to support their flamethrower which meant he/she was inclined to ambush their enemies. Later, the Flare Gun was added, giving skilled Pyro practitioners the ability to set opponents aflame from afar. He/she was also given a new ability, the Compression Blast, a burst of air that can be shot out of the Pyro's flamethrower to push nearby enemies back or deflect incoming projectiles (possibly right back at the enemy). Despite being a powerful offensive class, the Pyro can also be a useful for defense as his/her flamethrower is great for covering tight corridors and checking for spies (compromising invisible or disguised enemy spies by lighting them on fire). Also, as they are always wearing a mask, it still unknown as to the gender of the Pyro. There has been much speculation that the Pyro is actually female and Valve have hinted at this as well, but they have not officially confirmed or denied his/her gender. One reason behind this belief is a flowery fanny pack in the lockers in the spawn on the map 2Fort, as well as the game sometimes referring to he/she as female in the main menu.
If an enemy force is too great to handle head-on, the Demoman can break up the action. His only direct hit weapons are his melee weapons: the xXx Whisky bottle, The Scotsman's Skullcutter & the Eyelander Longsword) so he must rely on indirect combat (by using his grenade launchers). The Demoman is also the only character who has such weapons. Using the physics of the game, his knowledge of the maps, and his anticipation of enemy movements, the Demoman must be smart and kill his enemies either by bouncing his pipebombs off walls toward unseen foes or lay traps for them with his Sticky Bomb Launcher. The grenade launcher is very strong, and can quite easily kill most of the classes with weaker health pools; engineers, scouts or spies but it only explodes on contact with enemies if it hits them without touching anything else. Sticky Bombs are adhesive & can be attached to nearly any surface and remain until their layer detonates them, they are destroyed by bullets, or their layer dies. The main use of sticky bombs, besides defence and traps is taking out enemy Engineer buildings. Sticky Bombs can also be used like the Soldier's Rockets to propel the Demoman into the air, it can also be done with pipebombs, but is generally more difficult.
Heavies are heavy. This means they are slow, the slowest class in the game. However, they have the highest health pool as well as the biggest and, arguably, the most powerful gun. The firepower of his mini-gun (his main weapon) is very high and is similar to the mounted turrets in other games. At close range the heavy puts out the most damage of any class, able to mow down nearly all the classes in mere moments. However, when shooting this weapon the heavy must spin it up first, which takes a few seconds, after which the heavy walks at a snail's pace, making him very vulnerable to fast classes (like the scout) or long-ranged classes (like the sniper). The gun is also rather inaccurate at long range. Though the Soldier is the preferred partner for competitive play, Medics normally flock to Heavies for their massive HP and imposing turret-like character. Heavies are very big in size so they're are easy to hit from different distances but with their small head they are hard targets for headshot when they are not firing their minigun. They are also useful for pushing through enemy Engineer emplacements, especially when being "Übered" by friendly medics.
The Engineer is responsible for creating your team's homebase away from homebase. The Engineer can build four different buildings: a sentry gun, a dispenser and the entry and exit for a teleporter. To build these things, the Engineer must use metal, obtained from any source that gives ammo, such as dropped weapons or friendly dispensers and resupply lockers. The sentry gun is a stationary autoturret that fires with pinpoint accuracy at enemies in range of its 360 swivel. It can be upgraded up to three levels, each time adding more health and bigger weapons. Dispensers deliver ammo, metal and health to anyone standing near it. Teleporters allow teammates to transverse across the map quickly. All of the Engineer's buildings have health and can be destroyed by the enemy. As such, Engineers tend to stay near their machines so they can fix them, especially if the enemy is near and also to deter any Spies, against whom undefended buildings are sitting ducks. The Engineer uses his Wrench to repair buildings as well as upgrade them and accelerate their construction. Engineers are equipped with a pistol and a shotgun, and so are not totally reliant on their buildings to deal damage and capable of defending themselves to a degree.
The Medic is one of the weakest offensive classes in the game, primarily concerned with healing their teammates via their Medigun, which emits a beam that attaches to an ally (including disguised enemy spies) allowing the Medic to move around and stand a short distance from the person they are healing. As well as healing damage, Medics can "Over-heal" another players' hit points to 150% of its normal value, though if not constantly being healed this extra health will slowly drain. Their most imposing ability is providing invulnerability to himself and one teammate for 10 seconds, known as the Übercharge, when they have collected enough charge from healing. When they have to resort to combat, the Medic carries a rapid-firing Syringe Gun and a Bonesaw.
The Sniper's Sniper Rifle is the best stock long range weapon in the game. With little health and fairly weak close combat weapons, the Sniper is best used for picking off inattentive enemies at long range. The longer the scope is zoomed in, the more powerful the Sniper's shot becomes and a fully charged headshot will kill any class in the game excluding the Heavy wearing the Fists of steel. Headshots do triple damage and are the best option for a skilled Sniper. When forced to fight at close range, he has a small submachine gun and a Kukri, a machete-type blade.
As the game's stealthy class, the Spy has the ability to cloak, briefly turning invisible to enemy players unless damaged, and to disguise himself as other classes and/or as a member of the opposing team. He uses these abilities to sneak behind enemy lines where he can use his Sappers to sabotage enemy Engineer buildings, and his butterfly knife and revolver to assassinate enemy players. When used on an enemy's back, his knife can cause an instant kill; a Backstab. When he uses any of his weapons, except for the sapper, any disguises are removed, so the Spy must be careful about when and where he attacks. He also cannot attack while cloaked. In the right situation, a Spy can be among the most powerful classes in the game, sometimes turning the tide of a round singlehandedly. On the other hand, playing Spy successfully is extremely hard if the enemy team is coordinated and attentive. A disguised enemy spy can be identified by his lack of ability to fire his weapon, his ability to take damage from "teammates," and collisions with his "allies."
Team Fortress 2 has many game modes, from shooter classics like team deathmatch and capture the flag, to unique objective-based modes like payload and special delivery.
- Capture the Flag (CTF) - Each team tries to carry the opposing team's intelligence briefcase (flag) back to their base. The first team to 3 captures wins.
- Payload (PL) - One team pushes a bomb cart down a set of rails towards the defending team's base. The cart heals and supplies the offensive team with ammunition. The cart will move faster as more players push and it will slowly roll backwards if unpushed for 30 seconds. Checkpoints along the track prevent the cart from rolling back too far and extend the time limit.
- Payload Race (PLR) - Like payload but, each team has their own cart. Teams must push their own cart while also preventing the enemy cart from advancing. The first team to push their cart to the end of their track is the victor.
- Control Point (CP) - Control Point maps have certain areas that teams fight to control. The team that captures all points wins. On most CP maps, teams can only capture a point if it neighbors a point they already control. Points capture faster with more team members present.
- Attack/Defend (CP) - A subset of the Control Point mode in which the defensive team has possession of all the control points at the beginning of the game. The offensive team tries to capture each successive point. The defending team cannot recapture points. All official Valve maps have Blu attacking and Red defending.
- Territorial Control (TC) - The goal in Territorial Control is to capture every territory on the map. To capture a new territory, a team must win a Control Point round on a small section of the larger map. There is currently only one Territorial Control map, Hydro.
- Arena (Arena) - The Arena mode has teams go against each other in a full out deathmatch, but unlike the other modes you do not respawn until the end of a round. If members of both teams are alive after 1 minute a single control point becomes available for capture. Health packs are rare on Arena maps so players must rely on medics and dispensers.
- King of the Hill (KotH) - King of the Hill mode has two teams going after a single control point, which is briefly locked and neutral at the beginning of every round. The first team to hold the point for 3 minutes wins.
- Medieval Mode (CP) - An "olde-time"-themed mode where players are limited to a certain set of non-ranged and bow weapons. Players drop small health packs when killed. The only official Medieval Mode map is Degroot Keep (CP) although the mode can be forced on any map using console commands. While in Medieval Mode, text entered into the game chat will be altered to be "period appropriate": "my" becomes "mine," "you" becomes "thou," etc.
- Special Delivery (SD) - A mixture between "Control Point" and "CTF" style game modes, in which the two teams attempt to gain control of a neutral flag (Australium) and bring it to the capture point located on a rocket launch pad. While a player carrying the Australium stands on the launch pad, the pad will slowly rise to the top of the rocket. A team wins when they place the Australium in the top of the rocket. If the Australium is dropped, a countdown timer begins, during which only a member of the team who dropped the Australium can pick it up. When the timer ends the Australium resets to the original spawn point.
- Mann Vs. Machine (MVM) - A cooperative horde mode where the Red and Blu teams unite to fight off waves of robots produced by Gray Gravel Co. Hundreds of robots resembling the 9 classes carry a bomb towards a point at one end of the map. If the bomb reaches the point it explodes and players must restart the wave. Robots drop cash when killed that players use to upgrade their equipment.
Team Fortress 2 currently features over 30 official maps, many of which can be played in more then one game mode. The first six maps listed are the ones the game initially shipped with and all maps after those are in the order in which they were introduced to the game. Some maps were originally just community maps (those made by modders and not by Valve themselves) but were promoted to official status by Valve because of their quality and reputation. So far twelve community maps have received this distinction.
- 2 Fort (CTF) - 2Fort is the oldest and most iconic map in the Team Fortress franchise. It consists of 2 almost identical Forts in which each team attempts to capture their enemies Intel. Generally the team has to capture their Enemy's Intel 3 times to win the round.
- Well (CTF/CP/Arena) - Well is a Control Point map and a Capture the Flag map. The center point is probably the most recognizable part of the map: A station like building where occasionally a trains passes through killing anyone or anything in its way. A new Arena version of this map was released in the Heavy update.
- Hydro (TC) - Even though Hydro is basically another Control Point Map, it is unique as it is split into separate territories, hence the Territorial Control mode name. The Control Points consist of rounds where each team has to defend their point, as well as capture their enemy's. 2 points are only ever active in a single round. The Teams must capture an area to take control of it, winning the round, where upon the beginning of the next round, they must defend it. Moving around the Map like the board-game "Risk", eventually a team will have only a single area left. The winning team must take this Control Point to win the match. Whereas the losing team can only Defend until the time limit runs out, to take back an additional area. However the losing team's last Control Point is very easy to capture, making it unlikely that winning team will fail to.
- Granary (CP/Arena) - A team must capture all 5 control points to win. Each team begins with 2 points under their control. Similar to Well. A new Arena version of this map was released in the Heavy Update.
- Gravel Pit (CP) - The blue team must capture all 3 points in the allotted time while the red team tries to defend them.
- Dustbowl (CP) - Dustbowl has a wild-west theme and is a larger map that typically involves checkpoint control in 3 areas. The attacking team (Blu) must take all 3 areas to win. However if they fail to capture an area before the time runs out, the defending team (Red) wins and swaps to become the attacking team.
- Badlands (CP/Arena) - Both teams rush to capture all of the points on the map. A new Arena version of this map was released in the Heavy update.
- Gold Rush (PL) - Introduced in the medic update, it was the first map to introduce the game mode, Payload. One team must push a cart with a bomb into the opposing teams base before the time runs out.
- Turbine (CTF) - A community created map selected by the TF2 Developers to become an official map. Turbine is an indoor, symmetrical capture the flag map, Where control of the middle is absolutely crucial to your teams success.
- Fastlane (CP) - A community created map selected by the TF2 Devs to become an official map. Fastlane is a symmetrical control point map with five points.
- Badwater Basin (PL) - Introduced in the Heavy Update, the map will be set up very similar to Gold Rush but will be much larger and more open.
- Lumberyard (Arena) - The first map of the new Arena gametype. It is also the first to feature the new alpine environment. It was released in the Heavy Update.
- Ravine (Arena) - Ravine is the second map of the new Arena game type. It was released in the Heavy update.
- Steel (CP) - Steel requires the attacking team to take capture point E. It is in play the entire match and can be captured at any time, however there are 4 other capture points, A-D. Capturing these aids the main objective of taking E and adds more time. It is a community map added with the Heavy update.
- Junction (CP) - A community map added with the Scout update, Junction is a map full of tight corridors and short sight-lines creating frantic battles.
- Watchtower (Arena) - Watchtower is a community map which emphasizes on open spaces and large sight-lines with both teams vying for the central building. It's the only other map to use the alpine art style introduced in Lumberyard.
- Egypt (CP) - A large community map; Egypt is a a very open map with lots of verticality. It has a unique desert art style and was introduced in the Scout update.
- Sawmill (Arena/KotH/CTF) - An arena map which goes back to the alpine art style previously seen in Lumberyard. The capture point is situated on the top of a hill in a large building which is surrounded by two deadly saw blades. The map features rain and is the first map to include a weather effect in TF2.
- Nucleus (Arena/KotH) - A circular map with a giant doomsday device in the centre. The map includes long sightlines and has a bottomless pit under most of it. The capture point is only accessible through catwalks which are suspended over a deep chasm.
- Pipeline (PLR) - The first Payload Race map for Team Fortress 2. The map has three rounds all in which both teams are trying to get their cart to the end of the track first. It was included in the Sniper vs. Spy Update.
- Hoodoo (PL) - The most popular community payload map prior to the Sniper vs. Spy update, in which it was made an official map. It is a fast paced payload map that, like Gold Rush, is split into 3 sections.
- Offblast (Arena) - A community map which was added with the Classless Update. Offblast is a high-altitude map and most fights will take place over a perilous mountain top, with no protection on the sides.
- Viaduct (KotH) - Viaduct is an all-new map especially built for KotH, set outside of the entrance to a secret underground base. Viaduct is also the first Valve-made Team Fortress map to take place during a snowfall. Both teams start at the base of a low hill, and will have to climb to get to the capture point at the hill's peak. The various elevations of the map and multiple routes to the central point guarantee some frenzied battles as the point changes hands during gameplay.
- Yukon (CP) - A community map based in mountaintop coal mine. There are 5 control points in total and there are several alternate routes to reach them.
- Harvest (KotH) - A community map originally set in the day time and made for the arena mode but was modified for the Haunted Halowe'en Special. The map became KOTH and was set in the night time. It also featured exploding pumpkins and had the ghost of Zepheniah Mann, who would scare any player who crossed his path.
- Gorge (CP) - An attack/defend map with only to control points, Gorge is an alpine themed map with quick rounds and a short turnaround.
- Doublecross (CTF) - The second official map to be set in the night time, Doublecross is a CTF map with a quick turnaround. Action takes place across the map's two bridges which span over a bottomless chasm.
- Freight (CP) - A community map based in a train yard. There are 5 control points in total, with trains constantly moving between points.
- Upward (PL) - Payload map set atop a mountain in an abandoned warehouse.
- Thunder Mountain (PL) - A large payload map with a long track and many buildings full of several rooms. It contains three stages.
- Hightower (PLR) - A Payload Race map. The two teams' bases are faced across from one another over a small map. The two teams must race their cart around into the enemy teams base.
- ColdFront (CP) - A 5 control point community made map with an Arctic theme. It has two bases facing each other and an abandoned shack in the middle of the map.
- Degroot Keep (CP) - Three point control point map in and around a castle. Teams have to capture points A and B on either side of the castle before capturing point C, which is blocked by the castle gate. If point C isn't taken within a certain time, the gate will close and the teams will have to retake A and B before continuing.
- Gullywash (CP) - A 5 point control point community made map set in the desert.
- Foundry (CP) - A 5-point control point map featuring a foundry and cauldron fire hazard.
- Doomsday (Special Delivery CTF) - A single neutral objective (Briefcase of Australium) must be captured and delivered by either RED or BLU to the rocket. The team that successfully delivers the briefcase to the rocket and launches it wins the round outright.
- Mannworks (Co-op) - A Mann Co. factory that is now under siege by the Gray Horde. The objective is to defend the area from the robotic assault and prevent the delivery of the explosive bomb payload that will destroy the site.
- Coal Town (Co-op) - A historical coal mine map set in the desert that is now under siege by the Gray Horde. The objective is to defend the area from the robotic assault and prevent the delivery of the explosive bomb payload that will destroy the site.
- Decoy (Co-op) - The "official, totally not a trap for robots..." headquarters of Mann Co. that is now under siege by the Gray Horde. The objective is to defend the area from the robotic assault and prevent the delivery of the explosive bomb payload that will destroy the site.
- Coal Town Event (Co-op) - A special nighttime version of Coal Town that was introduced for the 4th Annu-hell Scream Fortress update, this map features the new zombie enemies who have replaced the standard-issue robots that Gray Mann typically sends into battle. Only available during the annual Halloween updates each year.
- Ghost Fort (KoTH): A haunted, twisted version of the standard Lakeside KoTH map, Ghost Fort is the latest Scream Fortress map to be introduced in the yearly Halloween updates. Not only are players tasked with capturing and controlling the Control Point, but they must face the wrath of the mighty wizard Merasmus, who is the newest TF2 mini-boss addition to the game.
- Big Rock (Co-op) - The largest MvM map ever created, Big Rock introduces the threat of the teleporting Mecha-Engineer in Gray Mann's quest to destroy Mann Co. forever. The objective is to defend the area from the robotic assualt and prevent the delivery of the explosive bomb payload that will destroy the site. Introduced in the Mecha Update.
- Process (CP) - Set in the mountains at a symmetrical industrial facility, Process is a traditional community made map with 5 control points
- Standin (CP) - A community made map with 3 central control points that can be captured at any time by either team. Standin is set in rocky, mountainous terrain.
- Helltower (PLR) - A haunted, twisted version of the current Hightower map that was released in the 2013 Scream Fortress Update. Players race to push their special carts containing the bodies of Redmond or Blutarch Mann in order to send the other brother to hell first.
- Snakewater (CP) - A community-made map created by Tovio Sawen.
- Mannhattan (Co-op) - A new MvM map based in the urban sprawl of the East Coast, players are tasked with defending the manufacturing division of Saxton Hale's own Mhanko boutique line of products. In a unique twist, the robots of the Gray Horde can not only move their own spawn point forwards, but they can also introduce new bombs into the map at certain times, forcing the player to dynamically adapt to the changing battlefield.
- Rottenburg (Co-op) - A new MvM map set in the quaint European town that the Medic calls home, Rottenburg falls under the siege of the Gray Horde and the wrath of Grey Mann's power-hungry ways. To face the new onslaught, the Medic has come up with new devices that can turn the tide of battle when the going gets tough. The Reanimator brings back slain teammates from the dead, the Projectile Shield repels all incoming enemy attacks, and the Medic can now shoot Mad Milk-spiked syringes that saturates the robots and allows for some health to be regained upon inflicting damage upon those under the influence of the syringes.
There are hundreds of items in Team Fortress 2 that players can unlock. They are divided into categories based on which slots they fill on the loadout screen.
- Weapons are the only items that actually change how the game plays. New players start with the just stock set of weapons, but a large number of variations are available through the unlock system.
- Hats are cosmetic items that can only be equipped in the head slot.
- Miscellaneous items (misc) are non-hat cosmetic items. They can be clothing, glasses, badges, belt attachments, or anything else that is not a hat. Players can only equip two miscs.
- Action items can be activated in game by pressing the G key by default. These include taunts, gifts, nosie makers, and the Dueling Mini-Game.
- Tools are usable items with several different purposes. Crates, keys, name tags, paints, gift wrap, and and many other items fall under this category.
Items are assigned a quality based on their origin. Quality is conveyed in game by the color of an item's name and has no affect on the actual item models.
- Normal (gray) items are the stock weapons provided to every player by default.
- Unique (yellow) items are crafted, dropped, bought, or rewarded for achievements.
- Vintage (blue) items were unique items before the Mann-Conomy update changed several crafting recipes.
- Genuine (dark green) items are awarded players who participate in promotions for other games on Steam, like pre-orders.
- Strange (orange) weapons track the number of kills (or a different statistic for some weapons) achieved with that weapon. They are unboxed in crates and rewarded to players who complete Tours of Duty in Mann vs. Machine mode.
- Unusual (purple) hats are rare items found only in crates. Each has a special particle effect to distinguish it from hats of every other quality.
- Haunted (green-cyan) items are distributed during halloween events.
Strange Weapon Ranks
Strange weapons record the amount of kills you get, increasing in rank when you reach a certain amount of kills. Increasing in rank will change the adjective your strange weapon gets. This column shows the basic ranks and how to get them (there are some exceptions, e.g. the spirit of giving).
There are five ways to obtain items in TF2:
Each updated class has a list of achievements specifically related towards them. Players must accomplish certain tasks to get an achievement and some might require the player to accumulate a certain objective (eg. Get 1000 kills) or to pull off a single feat (eg. Backstab a disguised Spy).
After acquiring a specific amount of achievements the player unlocks an achievement milestone, which in turn unlocks a new weapon. Each milestone corresponds to a weapon and the amount of achievements needed for each milestone varies depending on class. All classes have three unlockable items, with Soldier having a bonus fourth item.
Included with Sniper vs. Spy update, random drops allowed people to unlock items by simply playing the game. Valve created a marker time based the average amount of time played by normal TF2 players. Every time the player reaches this amount of time played they have a chance of unlocking an item. This means that the more a person plays the game the higher the probability that they will receive an item.
The chance of unlocking an item after playing the marker amount of time is based on a completely random formula and is in no way affected by the players skill or how well they are doing in a certain game. The item unlocked is also random and so it is possible to acquire duplicate items (Valve have said they intend to introduce a trading system so that players can swap items) which end up in the players 'backpack' and is accessible through the loadout screen.
In an April 2010 blog post, Valve announced an update that changed the random drop mechanic. Instead of rolling randomly at intervals for item drops, the game will instead roll to determine when a player's next drop is. To cut down on "idling", the update will also include a maximum amount of play time per week that a player can find random drops. This update also penalized all those that were deemed "cheating" by going on servers that allowed a person to idle for hours. All of the items they had received from idling were removed. Valve also rewarded those that did not idle by giving them a hat to equip that resembles a halo named "angle". The chance for those that idled to receive any randomly dropped items was decreased slightly and for those that didn't, their chance was increased slightly.
Hats are a rare unlockable item which change the appearance of class and are purely an aesthetic feature. Apart from hats, there are badges and other miscellanea that can be put on a class.
Included in the WAR! update, crafting is the ability to create new items through combining old ones that are in your inventory. It is accessed through the loadout screen and is a box next to your backpack.
To create new items you need to combine several items that you have found. The items you can make include hats, weapons, and tokens. You can experiment with the crafting system and find new blueprints.
Making a hat is the hardest thing to craft. You need to make three scrap metals, then combine those to make a reclaimed metal which you need three of, and combine those three reclaimed metals to make a refined metal. You need three refined metals to make a hat.
Added in the Mann-Conomy update, players can now trade their items to other players. The trading screen is accessed through the loadout menu.
When in a trade, players are taken to the trading screen showing the contents of their backpack. Players can use the provided text chat box to negotiate. Players then pick the items they want to trade and check off a box to signal that they're ready. Items can be gifted by one player picking the items to be gifted and the other player checking the ready box with no items selected.
The Mann Co. Store
The Mann Co. Store lets players purchase various items with real cash. In addition to weapons and hats for sale, the update introduced a number of one-use items that provide different effects. Paint cans and the Name Tag are used to personalize your items by changing their color and renaming them. Gift boxes, the Secret Saxton and the Pile O' Gifts, will gift players on the server you're currently connected to a random item. The Mann Co. Supply Crate Key will unlock a Mann Co. Supply Crate, which can only be obtained through drops or trading, providing you with one items listed on the crate's description. The Dueling Mini-game is used to engage in duels with an opponent in the server you're currently in. Duels are won by killing your dueling partner more times then he/she can kill you and winners are rewarded with a new misc. slot badge or an will upgrade it if they win enough duels.
The store uses money from the Steam Wallet, which uses funds from any currency and payment options that Steam already accepts. Players can added money to their wallet in set amounts or with the exact total upon checkout. Prices in the store vary depending on the rarity of the items. Generally, cosmetic items like hats are more expensive than weapons but this is not true in all cases. For example, the Camera Beard and the Black Box both cost $2.49 USD. Items that were contributed by community members receive a portion from sales.
Valve has released a series of large free updates for the PC version of Team Fortress, each focusing on a different class. Each update gives the specified class new unlockable weapons and new Steam achievements. The updates will also be coming to the Xbox 360 version some time in the future and Valve has yet to give a firm release date.
Note: The (AM# - #) next to an unlockable weapon refers to the corresponding Achievement Milestone needed to unlock that weapon and the amount achievements, for that class, needed to reach that milestone. For example, Achievement Milestone 1 (AM1) for the Medic requires 10 of his classes achievements to unlock the Blutsauger. This would be written as The Blutsauger (AM1 - 10). The amount achievements needed to reach each milestone varies between classes, generally it's easier to unlock weapons with later classes as the number achievements required to get to each milestone is less.
- New unlock system: players could now unlock weapons (later hats) by earning achievements. This is now one of five ways to obtain items (see Unlock System section for more information).
The Blutsauger (AM1 - 10) - New syringe gun that drains health from the enemy.
The Kritzkrieg (AM2 - 16) - New medigun that's Ubercharge gives its recipient 100% chance to score critical hits, instead of the invulnerability given by the original medigun. It charges 25% faster then the normal Medigun, due to its risky nature.
The Ubersaw (AM3 - 22) - Melee weapon that converts damage dealt into Ubercharge. Slower then the ordinary Bonesaw.
The Flare Gun (AM1 - 10) - Long distance gun that sets enemies on fire.
The Backburner (AM2 - 15) - New flamethrower that guarantees a critical hit when used from behind.
The Axtinguisher (AM3 - 22) - Melee weapon that guarantees a critical hit when the enemy is on fire.
- Flamethrower given Airblast ability - can push stickies and grenades, deflect rockets and push people a short distance.
- New community map: Steel (CP)
- New game mode: Arena (Arena)
The Sandvich (AM1 - 10) - Healing item that restores 120 health within 4 seconds, rendering the heavy immobile during a comedic animation.
Natascha (AM2 - 15) - New minigun that slows the target upon damaging them. Does 25% less damage then Sasha (original minigun).
The K.G.B. (Killer Gloves of Boxing) (AM3 - 20) - Melee weapon that grants 5 seconds of critical hits to every weapon after killing an enemy. Slower than standard Fists.
The Sandman (AM2 - 16) - Baseball bat and ball which, when the ball hits an enemy, causes them to be stunned temporarily in proportion to the distance the ball traveled. Also works on invulnerable player. The Scout cannot use his double jump ability while this is equipped. Players take 50% less damage while stunned.
The Force-a-Nature (AM1 - 10) - Slightly less powerful and containing less ammunition than the Scattergun; this weapon gives the Scout a "knockback" effect, allowing him to push enemies back or push himself higher into the air while jumping.
Bonk! Atomic Punch (AM3 - 22) - A radioactive drink which gives the Scout a short burst of energy enabling him to travel faster and also dodge bullets. A side effect of the drink is that the Scout suffers a period of slowdown after his temporary high which means he is more susceptible to attack.
Also part of the Scout Update were some changes to the Spy class. These included:
- Faster backstab animation for the Spy.
- The ability to see the Player ID for enemies when disguised as part of their team.
- The ability to alter the weapon shown when disguised as enemy character by using the "last disguise" hotkey.
- When backstabbing from a disguise, the kill speech is now appropriate to the class you were disguised as.
Initially billed as simply the Sniper update, Valve started slipping in hints to the Spy's inclusion (such as the Spy appearing cloaked behind the Sniper on the third day's background picture). On day 4, it was revealed that the update included the Spy.
- New Arena maps: Sawmill and Nucleus
- New game mode: Payload Race (PLR)
- New Payload Race map: Pipeline
- New community map: Hoodoo (PL)
- New unlock system: players could now unlock weapons and hats through random weapon drops that would occur by simply playing the game. This is now one of five ways to unlock items (see Unlock System section for more information).
- New Sniper weapons:
The Razorback (AM3 - 17) - A tribal shield with an electric voltage running through it. When the Sniper has this equipped he is immune to being backstabbed as when the Spy hit him in the back he will will experience a short period of being temporarily stunned and will have to wait before his knife cools down before he can us it again. The Razorback breaks apart after a single stab.
The Huntsman (AM1 - 5) - A bow and arrow which works in the same way as the original Sniper Gun but has the added ability to impale it's victims to walls. Even if the target isn't killed they still have the arrow sticking out of their body. The Huntsman can hold 12 arrows (which is less then the Sniper Gun's 25) and takes 1 second to fully charge itself
Jarate (AM2 - 11) - A jar filled with the Sniper's urine. When it is thrown at an opponent, the disgust is so intense that it causes them to take 35% more damage for a short period of time or until they wash Jarate off by jumping in water. Jarate will disrupt enemy spy cloaking devices and can also be used to douse teammates who are on fire.
Dead Ringer (AM3 - 17) - A pocket watch which gives the ability to feign death for 8 seconds (similar to Team Fortress Classic.) When the Spy gets hit by a non-lethal attack, a copy of his corpse will take his place and react accordingly while the Spy is granted 8 seconds of stealth. The Spy cannot cloak normally with this item equipped and upon reappearing a distinctive ring can be heard.
Cloak and Dagger (AM2 - 11) - This wrist watch allows the spy to remain invisible for longer periods of time, as the cloaking ability is only drained whilst moving. Cloaking cannot be replenished by picking up ammo as normal, the spy must remain stationary.
The Ambassador (AM1 - 5) - An even bigger revolver for the Spy that features an engraving of the Scout's mother. The Ambassador features pinpoint accuracy and head shots will register as critical hits, but it's damage is lower and it is subject to recoil and must recover after each shot.
This was the first major update not to have specific features (weapons, achievements, etc) focused towards one or two classes. Hence the name.
- Added an additional 18 unlockable hats (two for each class). As of this update every class had 3 unique hats. The Scout, Sniper and Engineer also have an additional hatless model.
- New community maps: Offblast (Arena) and Yukon (CP)
- New game mode: King of the Hill (KotH)
- New KotH map: Viaduct (Nucleus and Sawmill now also KotH maps)
- Sawmill now also playable as a CTF map.
- Added new effects for players that have a critical effect such as Kritzkrieg, capturing a flag, and winning the round.
- Added custom animations for the losing team.
A special update which lasted between October 29th until November 2nd 2009. The achievements (and the hats that came with them) were only only available between those 5 days.
- New KotH map: Harvest
- Five new 'scarechievements' which unlocked Halloween based hats:
WAR! Update (Demoman and Soldier Update)
Similar to The Sniper vs. Spy Update in that two classes would update simultaneously, in this case the Demoman and the Soldier, the WAR! update added new weapons, maps, achievements etc. The update had another layer to it in that the two classes were pitted against each other. In the end Soldiers had killed more Demomans than the demomans killed soldiers, so the soldiers got an extra weapon, the gunboats.
- New unlock system: items can now be created through crafting (see Unlock System section for more information).
- New maps: Gorge (CP) and Doublecross (CTF)
- New Demoman Weapons:
The Eyelander (AM2 - 11) A replacement to the Demo's melee weapon, The Eyelander decapitates any enemy that it kills. As it's cursed you start off with less health but, for every hit you get to a neck, you receive a health and speed boost (up to 4 times). It deals no crits unless used with The Chargin' Targe's charge ability.
The Chargin' Targe (AM1 - 5) - This wooden shield is designed to work best in conjunction with The Eyelander. It replaces the sticky bomb launcher and gives the Demo a 65% blast damage resistance and 50% fire resistance. The alt-fire makes you lunge forward quickly, damaging anyone in your way.
The Scottish Resistance (AM3 - 17) - A tactical replacement to the sticky bomb launcher. It carries twice as many stickies as normal and can set off individual (or clusters of) bombs off by facing them, instead of blowing them all at once. On the down side it has a longer priming rate (0.4 sec per bomb).
The Direct Hit (AM2 - 11) - This more accurate rocket launcher trades precision for area of effect. It has a 70% smaller blast radius but it's 80% faster and has 25% more destructive force. It also deals a mini-crit to any airborne enemy that has been pushed in the air by explosion.
The Equalizer (AM1 - 5) - Melee-slot pick axe which increases in power the more damage you take. As you lose more health The Equalizer becomes both faster and stronger. It's most powerful when you're on the verge of death.
The Buff Banner (AM3 - 17) - Secondary-slot item that gives nearby teammates temporary mini-crits on all damage they deal. When equipped, as you deal damage a rage meter in filled up. When full the Soldier sounds his bugle and any friendlies near your flag will gain 10 secs of mini-crit damage.
The Gunboats - A pair of boots that reduce rocket jump damage by 75%. It is a secondary-slot item.
To celebrate TF2's 119th update, the developers of the game decided to commemorate the occasion with a special addition to the game as long with releasing a Heavy figurine for sale.
- 4 medals which indicate the length of time a person has being playing the game:
- Primeval Warrior (played since the pre-launch beta). A Platinum medal. This was added after the 119th update.
- Grizzled Veteran (from 0-3 months after release). A Gold medal.
- Soldier of Fortune (3 months to 1 year after release). A Silver medal.
- Weekend Warrior (1 year to present after release). A bronze medal. The name was later changed to Mercenary due to user demand.
- A recap of every update made to the game (click the above link).
Apart from bringing TF2 to Macs the update also added new features and items.
- TF2 playable on Mac platform.
- New Training mode - gives players basic training on how to play the game (currently you can only play the mode as Soldier and on a CP map).
- New Offline Practice Mode - allows you to play the game against bots on variable difficulty settings.
- Users who played the game on Mac in the first few days of its release were given free white earbuds (similar to those which come with Apple iPods) for their backpacks.
- The game menus where simplified, making them easier to navigate
The Engineer was the last class to receive an update.
- Special limited edition Golden Wrenches - same as the normal wrench but when killing an enemy it also turns them into a gold statue. Only a hundred were available.
- New Payload maps: Upward and Thunder Mountain
- New Payload Race map: Hightower
- New community map: Coldfront (CP)
- New Engineer weapons:
Frontier Justice (AM1 - 5) - A replacement shotgun which holds less ammo but gains two critical hits from every kill with the sentry. Also receives a bonus crit when the sentry is destroyed.
(AM2 11) - A replacement pistol which has the player take over their sentry gun. It also creates a shield around the sentry, which blocks up to 66% of damage, and it increases the firing rate of the sentry.
The Southern Hospitality
- A new community submitted wrench. Enemies hit by the wrench take bleed damage, but the wrench does not deal critical damage.
(AM3 - 17) - A glove which replaces the wrench. Players gain an extra 25 health and can create "mini-sentries", which are weaker than regular sentries but build four times as fast.
An update that brought new ways to receive items.
- The Mann Co. Store - You can now purchase items with real cash.
- The Mann Co. Catalog - An index of every item in the game.
- Backpack space has been doubled.
- Players can now trade and gift their items to others people.
- Certain items can now be customized by changing their name or color.
- Weapons and hats can now be a part of a set. Equipping all the items in a set will confer additional bonuses.
- Added the winning entries of the Polycount Contest
The Shortstop - Primary weapon replacement. Holds four shots in a clip and slows the target by 40% for .5s
Mad Milk - Replaces the Pistol. Similar to Jarate, you and your teammates heal 75% of the damage done to the saturated enemies.
The Holy Mackeral - A wrapped fish that goes in the melee slot. Counts the number of times you hit an enemy in the kill feed, even if they enemy doesn't die. Otherwise, it's not much different from the Bat.
The Special Delivery set: Equipping the Milkman hat as well as all the weapons above provides you with an additional 25 points of maximum health on the wearer.
The Black Box - Replaces the Rocket Launcher or Direct Hit. It has a smaller clip by 25% (one rocket) but grants the player 15 health on hit.
The Battalion's Backup - Replaces Buff Banner, Shotgun, or Gunboats. Works like the Buff Banner, build up a "rage" meter for all damage you take and deal but grants a defensive buff. Reducing damage by 35% and negating crits for nearby team members.
The Tank Buster set: Equipping the Grenadier's Softcap hat as well as all the weapons above provides you with 20% sentry damage resistance on wearer.
The Rocket Jumper - This Rocket Launcher deals no damage to you or any enemies and has 200% max primary ammo, but comes with a penalty of -100 health. This is meant to help new Soldiers practice Rocket Jumping.
The Degreaser - Replaces the Flamethrower. It allows the player to switch weapons 65% percent faster but it loses 25% burn damage.
The Powerjack - Replaces the Pyro's melee weapon. Deals no random crits but does 25% extra damage and restores 75 health on kill.
The Gas Jockey's Gear set: Equipping The Attendant hat as well as all the weapons above provides 10% movement speed increase and 10% additional bullet vulnerability.
Gloves of Running Urgently - These boxing gloves make the heavy run 30% faster but do -50% damage. Also, when they are active the heavy loses 6 health per second.
The Vita-Saw - While it reduces the health on the wearer by 10 it also saves up to 20% of your Uber-charge when you die.
The Sydney Sleeper - Replaces the Sniper Rifle. While it can't head shot it applies Jarate on target for 8 seconds after fully charged.
Darwin's Danger Shield - Replacement for the secondary slot. This alligator skin shield provides 25 max health on the wearer.
The Bushwacka - Replaces the Kukri. All swipes that would normally mini-crit will instead perform a regular crit. User also gains a 20% increase to fire vulnerability.
The Croc-O-Style set: Equipping the Ol' Snaggletooth hat as well as all the above weapons will cause lethal headshots to leave you with 1 hit point remaining.
L'Etranger - Replaces the Revolver. This weapons deals 20% less damage but gives the player 15% cloak on each hit.
Your Eternal Reward - Replaces the Knife. Prevents the user from using the disguise kit but performing a backstab will automatically disguise you as the enemy stabbed. Opponents killed with the knife, backstab or not, don't scream and their corpses quickly fade away.
The Saharan Spy set: Equipping the Familiar Fez hat as well as all the above weapons will reduce the decloak sound volume but will make the cloak shimmer for an extra .5 seconds if you're hit.
A special update which began on October 28th, 2010. The achievements, as well as the acquisition/wearing of special hats and items, were only only available during the event.
- Added the TF2Maps.net Art-pass winners: Mountain Lab and Mann Manor.
- Four new 'ghostchievements'.
- During the Halloween event, there will be special gift drops in the Mann Manor as well as the first official boss of TF2: the Horseless Headless Horseman.
- Descriptions of items can now be customized with the "description tag"
- Items bought in the store can now be gift wrapped
- New Demoman weapon:
The Sticky Jumper - This Sticky Bomb Launcher deals no damage to you or any enemies and has 200% max primary ammo, but comes with a penalty of -75 health. This is meant to help new Demomen practice Sticky Bomb Jumping.
A special update released on December 17th, 2010.
- Added the Medieval Mode game mode, which restricts players to melee unlocks and certain items.
- Added three new weapon sets to the Mann Co. Store: The Medi-eval Medic, The Hibernating Bear, and the Expert's Ordinance for the Medic, Heavy and Demoman.
- Added 20 new hats.
- Increased the size of the backpack by 100 spaces.
- Added a "festive holiday key" that opens the festive holiday crates that are only available until the end of December.
- Added a "stamp store" that will let players buy "stamps" for community made maps to help support the map makers. The stamps will give the player a special particle effect when they're on maps that they own stamps for.
- New Scout weapons:
The Boston Basher
- A spiked bat that deals bleed damage for 5 seconds on hit. If you miss the hit, however, the damage and bleed is applied to yourself.
The Candy Cane
- A candy cane that makes the enemy drop a health kit upon a successful kill, but adds a 25% explosive damage penalty to yourself.
The Back Scratcher - A garden rake melee unlock that increases melee damage by 25% and health gained from healthpacks by 50%, but reduces the effectives of Medic healing (by Medigun or Crusader's Crossbow) by 75%.
The Loch-n-Load - A grenade launcher that adds damage dealt and 25% projectile speed while sacrificing -60% of the normal grenade launcher clip size, adding 25% damage to the user and projectiles that shatter when they hit a solid object.
The Ullapool Caber - A melee unlock that when struck against a solid object (wall, enemy, etc.) explodes and damages everyone in a certain radius while losing the ability to critical hit.
The Claidheamohmor - A melee unlock that increases the duration of your Chargin' Targe-charge by .5 seconds while having a penalty of no critical hits and a -15 health effect.
The Brass Beast
- A primary unlock minigun that adds 20% damage while increasing the spin-up time by 50% and slows the user down by 60% while the gun is spinning.
The Buffalo Steak Sandvich
- Once eaten, the users move speed increases. However, all damage taken by the player will be minicrits and the user can only use melee weapons while the effect is active.
- A melee unlock that increases melee damage by 30% while taking -20 overall health from the user.
- A primary unlock that replaces the syringe gun. The crossbow fires bolts that heal teammates and do damage to enemies based on the distance the shot travels. No headshots are available with this weapon and the overall ammo is reduced by -75%.
- A melee slot unlock. When the taunt for this weapon is performed it will heal all teammates within a certain radius.
The Jag - A melee unlock wrench that increases the construction (and deployment) speed of buildings by 30%. Damage dealt by the wrench is reduced by -25%.
This update arrived on April 14th 2011
- A Coaching mechanic was introduced which allows less experienced players to call a player that has signed up for coaching.
- Three new classes, the Spy, Demoman and Engineer, have been added to the basic training teaching device.
- A new UI for voting has been added.
- Dynamic Model Loading has been added which reduces the amount of memory TF2 uses.
- Servers can now associate themselves with Steam ID's allowing Valve to track good and bad server and take appropriate action.
- Duelists can now choose a mutual class to be locked in for the duration of the game.
- Bots can now play payload and bot Spy's have been improved.
- Voice chat has been improved with Steam's new SILK audio codec.
- Players running TF2 in DX8 can now see paint.
- An update of the Hatless Update released a misc item, the Companion Cube Pin, which was given for pre-ordering Portal 2 before April 15th.
- New map: Badlands (KOTH)
This update came out on May 5th, 2011.
- Introduced the replay feature, which allows players to record their current life (or previous life) by pressing F6. Servers must have the replay function turned on for it to work. Players can then edit the clip in-game using the replay editor. Editing options include in and out points and multiple camera perspectives (third person, first person and free camera.) Things like kill icons, text/voice chat and other HUD elements won't appear in the replay. After a clip has been edited, players can upload the clip directly to YouTube from within the game.
- Added crafting numbers to crafted headgear. The first 100 players to craft a new headgear get the craft number attached to the name of the hat, i.e. "Team Captain #95". This is only available for newer headgear.
- Added 11 new hats and miscellaneous items: Team Captain, Furious Fukaamigasa, Hottie's Hoodie, Connoisseur's Cap, Large Luchadore, Western Wear, Ol' Geezer, Doctor's Sack, Crocleather Slouch, Villain's Veil, and Frontline Field Recorder.
- Added 8 new achievements for editing and posting replays.
- Added a new equippable taunt, "Director's Vision," for obtaining the "Star of My Own Show" achievement.
- Various fixes and new styles for Aperture Labs Hard Hat and Blighted Beak.
This update was released on June 23rd, 2011.
- A primary unlock minigun that increases the silent, spin-up time by 75% and slows the firing speed down by 20%.
The Family Business
- A shotgun with a 40% increase in clip size, while damage done decreases by 15%.
The Eviction Notice
- A melee unlock that increases firing speed by 50% while decreasing the damage by 60%.
- This replaces the syringe gun, dealing 10% less damage but as the Medic's Ubercharge builds, his movement speed can increase up to a max of 10%
The Quick Fix
- A secondary unlock which a 40% faster heal rate and 25% faster ubercharge build rate when compared with the default Medi Gun, however, the Quick Fix cannot overheal. When a Ubercharge is deployed the healing rate is tripled and is immune to movement effects. When healing a faster class the medic will match their speed.
The Solemn Vow
- This melee weapon allows the user to view enemy health and names
The Enforcer - Replaces the Revolver. This weapons deals 20% more damage but there is a 0.5 second increase in the time taken to cloak.
The Big Earner - Replaces the Knife. There is a 30% increase in the cloak timer on each kill, however, the health of the wearer will decrease by 25%.
The Made Man - A gentleman always has a flower handy to drop on an opponent's grave.
The Bazaar Bargain - Replaces the Sniper Rifle. Each consecutive headshot gives an additional +10 charge per second, however, a body shot reduces the bonus and a missed shot clears the bonus entirely with a -20 base charge rate penalty.
The Shahanshah - Replaces the Kukri. There is a 25% increase in damage when health is less than 50% of the maximum, though, there is a -25% decrease in damage when health is more than 50% of the max.
The Splendid Screen - A shield unlock which adds +25% fire damage resistance and +20% explosive damage resistance on the wearer. The shield can deal a +70% increase in charge impact damage at any range.
The Persian Persuader - A sword unlock which provides a 100% increase in charge recharge rate. All ammo collected becomes health.
Ali Baba's Wee Booties - Shoes which add an additional +25 to the maximum health on the wearer, as well as a 100% increase in turning control while charging.
The Soda Popper - A scattergun that has a 50% faster firing speed in addition to a 25% faster reloading speed, however, it decreases clip size by 60% and cannot deal random critical hits. As you run, the weapon builds 'hype.' When the hype meter is full, the player unleashes mini-crits.
The Atomizer - A bat that grants triple jump, though deals 10 damage on the third jump. This bat has a 30% slower firing speed and -20% damage done.
The Winger - A pistol unlock that deals 15% extra damage, but is complicated by a decrease in clip size by 60%.
The Mantreads - A pair of boots that takes -75% away from the push taken by damage and deals 3x falling damage for any player you land on.
The Disciplinary Action - A riding crop that when it hits an ally, it boosts both players speed for several seconds. It also does 25% less damage.
The Liberty Launcher - A rocket launcher that fires rockets at 40% extra speed while also cutting the clip size by 25%
The Reserve Shooter - A shotgun that has a 15% faster weapon switch speed that also mini-crits airborne targets for three seconds after the switch. It also has a 50% smaller clip size.
The Market Gardener - A shovel that deals crits whilst the player is rocket jumping. When not rocket jumping, The Market Gardener does not produce random critical hits.
The Detonator - A replacement for the Flare Gun. The alt-fire detonates an explosive flare.
This update was released on October 13, 2011.
- New community map: Gullywash (CP)
- Added a second miscellaneous loadout slot and changed a few items that were previously hats to miscellaneous items. For example, the Spy can now equip the Noh Mercy and the Camera Beard at the same time.
- Added a high-five cooperative taunt. Players on the same team can now high-five each other with different animations depending on their class.
- Introduced loadout presets. Buttons on the various class loadout pages allow players to save up to four different loadouts per class.
- Added the Decal Tool. This store-only item allows players to put a custom decal onto certain new items.
- Added 21 new hats, 11 new miscellaneous items, three weapon reskins, and a new noisemaker.
- Unveiled the Steam Workshop, a more user-friendly redesign of the community item-submission page and a community-rated database of user submitted weapons and items.
Update released October 27, 2011.
One week previous to the event (October 20, 2011), the Horseless Headless Horsemann was re-enabled on the Mann Manor map, Halloween-specific items were made available for equip, and the Thriller taunt was turned on again.
- Added the Eyeaduct event map featuring the dreaded Monoculus.
- Added Halloween costume item sets for each class as well three miscellaneous items, three hats, and new styles for the Spine-Chilling Skull and Ghastly Gibus.
- Added two new weapons: Unarmed Combat and Wanga Prick.
- Added two new Halloween-only achievements.
- All players received a Halloween Goodie Cauldron.
A special update released on December 16th, 2011.
Added the Engineer “Brainiac Pack”: The Pomson 6000, The Eureka Effect, The Brainiac Goggles (Accessory) and the Maths-Enhancing Hair-Do (Hat).
Added the Pyro “Moonman Pack” : The Third Degree, The Phlogistinator and the Manmelter 3600 ZX, The Bubble Pipe (Hat) and The Moonman Backpack (Accessory).
Added a new CP map, the Foundry.
Added 14 new Community weapons and hats.
Added Naughty Crates and Nice Crates that will revert back to normal on Dec.22.
An update released on June 27th, 2012. The update coincides with the release of the final "Meet the.." video, this time for the Pyro.
- Adds a new map called Doomsday.
- New game mode - Special Delivery. It is a one-flag CTF variant where RED and BLU fight to deliver Austraulium to a rocket on the far side of the map.
- Pyrovision - Before July 5th 2012, all players received a "Vintage" pair of Pyrovision goggles. When equipped, its allows the player, to see the world as Pyroland; a cutesy and childlike version of TF2. Players laugh when they die, you "Best Friend" enemies as opposed to dominating and a number of other effects are seen.
- The miscellaneous items Burning Bongos, Infernal Orchestrial and Balloonicorn were added
- New Scout Weapons - "The Public Enemy" Pack
Pretty Boy's Pocket Pistol - A pistol giving the player an health increase of 15% as well as immunity to fall damage. The gun also has a 25% slower firing speed and an extra 50% of fire damage for the user.
Baby Face's Blaster - A 40% more accurate scattergun that builds "boost" on hit. When activated, this boost gives the user double the run speed. On the flip side the gun has a -30% damage penalty, 35% slower movement speed and the "boost" resets when the player jumps
- New Sniper Weapons - "The Urban Professional" Pack
The Cleaner's Carbine - A new SMG which gives the player 3 seconds of crits on kill. The weapon also has a -20% clip size, a lack of random critical hits and a 35% slower firing speed
The Hitman's Heatmaker - A sniper rifle that gains "focus" for the user on kills and assists. This entails a 25% faster charge, decapitation headshots and no unscoping on use. "Focus" activates on fire when focus meter is full. On body shors, there is a -20% damage penalty.
- New Soldier Weapon - "The Dumpster Diver" Pack
The Beggar's Bazooka - The soldier's new rocket launcher that, when the fire button is held, three rockets are loaded up and unleashed on fire. The launcher also has a +3 degrees random projectile deviation, makes the soldier unable to collect ammo for dispensers and overloading the chamber will cause a misfire.
The Escape Plan - added as an alternative to the Equalizer, which gives the soldier a speed boost when he takes damage. this ability was removed from the Equalizer.
The Scorch Shot - New flare gun which knocks targets back on hit and ignites surrounding enemies in a small radius and also has a -50% damage penalty.
Rainblower - A flamerthrower replacement that has the same stats as the regular flamethrower. The item fires rainbows instead of flames and the player sees in Pyroland. The item can only be seen by others who are also in Pyroland.
Lollichop - A giant lollipop that replaces the Fireaxe. Allows the player to see in Pyroland. The item can only be seen by others who are also in Pyroland.
An update released on August 15th, 2012. The update adds a new robot faction known as the Gray Horde to Team Fortress 2 and includes the first-ever TF2 Co-op mode. Six players team up to face down the Gray Horde and defend Mann Co. from the wrath of Gray Mann.
- Adds several new maps for use in the new Co-op mode: Mannworks, Coal Town, and Decoy.
- New Game Mode - Six Player Co-op: A new mode in which players (in teams of six) face off against the forces of the Gray Horde in order to prevent the robot horde from delivering a large bomb to the Mann Bombhole.
- Adds Upgrade Centers to the new Co-op Mode, which allow players to upgrade their weapons in their arsenal with the "money" they collect from the defeated robots during the cool-down period after each round.
- Adds Tactical Options: Allows players to utilize special tactical options for their selected character against the robot hordes. Each character has unique tactical advantages that can help turn the tide of battle against the Gray Horde. For example, the Sniper's Jarate and the Scout's Mad Milk can slow down opponents when upgraded.
- Adds Incredible Loot Rewards: Survive against every wave of enemies in a selected mission to unlock incredible loot for the players.
- Adds Mann Up Mode: A special, pay-to-play mode in Team Fortress 2 that grants access to specialized loot and items that are quite rare.
- Adds 35 new Co-op Mode achievements to Team Fortress 2.
- Adds Canteens, special Mann Co. canteens given to the player that can hold up to three uses of the following perks in each one:
Ubercharge: Supplies 5 seconds of personal invulnerability on the user
Critical Hit Boost: Full "Critical Hits" hit power for 5 seconds
Ammo/Clip Refill: Never stop shooting with this instant ammo clip refill
Return to Base: Instantly returns the player to the respawn room for last-minute base defense, also provides short speed boost
Buildings Upgrade: For the Engineer who needs Lv. 3 buildings in a hurry
An update released on October 26th, 2012. This update continues the annual tradition of Halloween-based updates for Team Fortress 2.
- Ghost Fort: A haunted, twisted version of the standard Lakeside KoTH map, featuring the spectral ghost of the wizard Merasmus as the newest TF2 mini-boss
- Wheel of Fate: A interesting twist to the standard King of the Hill mode formula, the Wheel of Fate becomes active whenever the control point changes hands, unleashing a potentially bad (or good) fate upon those caught within it's influence!
- Magic Spells: Several special gift drops that allows the user to cast spells upon the items within their inventory. Shifting paint colors! Ghost summoning! Flaming footsteps and much more!
- Wave 666: The newest Mann vs Machine addition, Wave 666 takes place at Coal Town when dusk has set upon the land. It also adds a whole new enemy type to the game with the introduction of zombies, who have replaced the Gray Horde and are eager to eat your brains! Can you survive the onslaught of the undead?
- Adds two new Halloween-specific achievements to Team Fortress 2.
- Adds new hats, cosmetic items, and the Bat Outta Hell weapon that can be used by all classes excluding the Engineer and Spy.
An update that was made available for release on December 20th, 2012. This update includes a new robot-class addition to the popular Mann vs Machine mode along with new weapons, the return of Naughty/Nice Crates, and a new MvM map.
- Take Up Arms Against the Mecha-Engineers: Joining the ranks of the Gray Horde is the Mecha-Engineer, a robotic version of our favorite Texan who can teleport around the map and gives the ability to teleport to his fellow robotic teammates!
- Big Rock: The largest map ever made for Mann vs Machine, Big Rock is the newest addition to the formidable MvM lineup, providing unique challenges and being the place where the Mecha-Engineer class makes their debut.
- Return of the Naughty and Nice Crates: As with last's year's Australian Christmas 2011 update, the special Naughty and Nice-themed crates make their return to Team Fortress 2, containing various smissmas goods! On January 3rd, 2013, these special crates will revert back into normal crates.
- New Demoman Weapon
Loose Cannon - A grenade launcher that fires cannonballs that knock back opponents. The projectiles explode after 2 seconds and deal 50% less damage after they make contact with a surface. The fuse time of the cannonball can be controlled by holding down the fire button.
Rescue Ranger - A shotgun that allows the engineer to pick up buildings at long range at the cost of 130 metal. While carrying buildings the engineer takes mini-crits. Shots from the Rescue Ranger repair friendly buildings. Engineers carrying the weapon have 50% less primary ammunition.
Vaccinator - A medigun that allows the medic to cycle through resistances to bullet, explosive, or fire damage. Healing applies 10% selected resistance to the medic and his target, while an ubercharge applies 75% resistance. The Vaccinator charges 50% faster than the standard medigun but overheals 66% slower.
An update released on February 14th, 2013. This update brings Team Fortress 2 to the world of Linux and includes a special edition Tux Penguin (all classes) to all players who try the game before March 1st, 2013.
- Linux Arrives: Team Fortress 2 has finally become available for gamers on the Linux system.
- Tux Penguin: Everyone who tries Team Fortress 2 on Linux before March 1st will receive a special edition Tux Penguin item that is usable by all classes in-game.
An update released on May 17, 2013, the Robotic Boogaloo update is the first update to consist solely of community-created content. The 57 new items are robot-themed re-imaginings of classic cosmetic items. Also included are special RoboCrates which contain the new items and must be opened with the new RoboCrate Key.
An update released on July 10, 2013, this update introduced new summer-themed crates and keys, 2 new maps, fixed bugs on old maps, and tweaked several weapons for balance (changelog).
- Summer Coolers come in 8 different colors and contain a total of 64 new community made items submitted through Valve's new Gold Star verification system. A Summer Appetizer crate was released a week before the event.
- New maps: Standin (CP) and Process (CP)
- Various fixes for the majority of existing maps in Team Fortress 2. Fixed sentry jumping exploits, clipping issues, incorrect geometry, lighting bugs, and many of other issues.
- Major balance changes for dozens of weapons including Battalion's Backup, Dead Ringer, Quick Fix, Escape Plan, Cow Mangler 5000, and others. Item set bonuses were removed from the game.
- Idling (running one or more instances of TF2 in order to receive item drops) is no longer possible because of changes made to the game's text mode and new rules put in place by Valve.
The Scream Fortress 5th Annual Helloween Special
An update that was released on October 29th, 2013, this update brought around the latest additions to the annual tradition of Halloween-themed updates being released for Team Fortress 2.
- Helltower Awaits! A demonic version of the payload race map Hightower in which players must push a special cart carrying one of the bodies of Redmond or Blutarch Mann in a race to send the other brother to hell first. Beware the horrors of the witching hour!
- Spell books: Special books that can be equipped in order to use magical spells.
- Over 100 New Items: Over 100 twisted, creative, and downright horrifying community-created items are introduced to Team Fortress 2.
- Eight special Scream Fortress-specific achievements that go along with the new Helltower map.
The Two Cities Update
An update released on November 21st, 2013, this update brought two new Mann vs Machine maps, a new Control Point map, achievements, new upgrades, the ultra-rare Australium weapons set, and other changes.
- New Maps: Mannhattan (Co-op), Rottenburg (Co-op), and Snakewater (CP).
- New Achievements related to the newly-released maps.
- New Soldier Upgrade that allows for special rockets that shoot faster, stun foes that do not die from the blasts, and creates larger blast radiuses on successful hits.
- Added The Reanimator, Projectile Shield, and Mad Milk Syringes (Medic) for use in Mann vs Machine.
- Updated Statistical Information that shows your stats during Mann vs Machine matches (Kills, Deaths, Healing, Tour #, Score, Tank Damage, Support, Money, etc)
- Mann Co. Victory Guarantee: All money earned in a MvM match can go towards unlocking a full Refund that can be used for tactical purposes when the going gets tough. Want new upgrades? Want to switch to a new character class? With the Mann Co. Refund, it's possible!
- New Killstreak Kits that allow players to craft special Killstreak Weapons, each with their own unique effects that can be added to not only the weapon, but the user's character as well.
- Adds special Australium weapons to Team Fortress 2.
These updates didn't change the game as significantly as the major ones but still changed the game in a notable way.
Minor Engineer Update
Though not a large update like the class specific ones, this patch gave engineers the ability to upgrade their teleporters and dispensers to level 3. Rank 3 dispensers give ally players health and ammo at a greater rate and also included new upgrading animations. Rank 3 teleporters recharge faster than normal.
Minor Spy Update
Released along side the small engineer update. Spies became able to recharge their cloaking ability by picking up ammo off of the ground.
A small update affecting critical hits and the balancing of weapons. Critical chances were lowered. The Heavy's unlockable gun, Natascha, was given increased slowdown and strength. Soldier's rocket ammo rose from 16 to 20.
Loadout Screen Update
This update changed the character loadout screen to include a slot for headgear. Headgear is purely a cosmetic change (characters can wear a variety of unlockable hats) and has no effect on how the classes play.
Cheater's Lament Update
A small update in which all hats unlocked obtained through external idling application were removed from the players who used them.
In addition to that, players who didn't cheat were rewarded with a new special hat - Cheater's Lament. It is is a shining halo which is attached to the player's head by two strings.
Hats are a popular collectible item in Team Fortress 2. They range in popularity and rarity, and the number of hats in the game has been increasing in recent updates due to the involvement of the Team Fortress 2 community. Below is a list of all the hats in Team Fortress 2 that can be equipped by any class. The page for each class has a complete list of class-specific items.
Miscellaneous items are cosmetic just like hats, except they have their own two slots on the loadout screen, allowing players to equip them at the same time as hats. Below is a list of all the miscellaneous items in Team Fortress 2 that can be equipped by any class. The page for each class has a complete list of class-specific items.
Team Fortress 2 has received a lot of critical acclaim, and to-date has a 92% Metacritic score from 17 critic reviews. From Gamespy, TF2 took the Best Multiplayer Game of the Year award and best Unique Art Style. 1UP gave similar awards, Best Multiplayer Experience and Best Artistic Direction. IGN also gave TF2 best Artistic Design. As well as receiving countless awards with its inclusion in the Orange Box, PC Gamer UK put TF2 as the Best Game Of All Time in in it's yearly Top 100 list for 2008.
Team Fortress 2 is somewhat famous for its clever and original introduction videos for each individual class in the game. Below are links to each video. In addition, in an update on August 19, 2008, Meet the Sandvich was released, being the first (and, to date, only) 'Meet The' video not introducing an actual class.
After the announcement that Steam and all Source games were coming to the Mac, the TF2 Blog addressed some questions about the Mac version of the game. Firstly, people who own a copy of TF2 on PC automatically own a copy of the game for the Mac (and vice-versa). Secondly, the game will support cross-platform play as well as Steam Cloud support. Finally, the Mac version of TF2 was built specifically for OSX and is not just an emulation of the PC version.
The Mac version of the game was released on June 10, 2010.
Team Fortress 2 for Linux was released February 14, 2013, the same day Steam for Linux came out of beta. It is functionally identical to the Mac and PC versions.
Golden Wrench Charity Event
With the release of the Engineer Update on July 8, 2010 one hundred " Golden Wrenches" were randomly handed out to players to replace their Engineer's regular wrench. Shortly after this event one of the lucky few to receive a Golden Wrenche realised that he may not even be lucky: Jon "WiNGSPANTT" Tran of TopTierTactics.com decided to destroy his specimen as it seems to him that it is cursed. In his words it has "served as a source of constant inquiry, hate, jealousy, and unwanted negative attention."
Wanting to get something good out of this, WiNGSPANTT opened a small donation platform favouring the Child's Play Charity. Along with him, 7 other Golden Wrench owners stepped up do destroy their item as well. For every 25 donations of $10 or more, the identity of one of those 7 would be revealed. Needless to say that mark has been overstepped.
The wrenches were destroyed on August 31, 2010. Which resulted in a "worldwide" notice to every TF2 player currently playing on a server, just as when a Golden Wrench was found during the 3 days of the Engineer update.
Minimum PC System Requirements
- CPU: 1.7 GHz Processor
- RAM: 512 MB
- Graphics card: DirectX 8.1 capable
- Windows 7/Vista/XP
Recommended PC System Requirements
- CPU: Pentium 4 3.0 GHz or better
- RAM: 1 GB
- Graphics card: DirectX 9 capable
- Windows 7/Vista/XP
Minimum Mac System Requirements
- OS X version Leopard 10.5.8, Snow Leopard 10.6.3
- RAM: 1GB
- Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce 8 or higher, ATI X1600 or higher, or Intel HD 3000 or higher