The Dead Ringer is awarded for completing 17 of the Spy-specific achievements in Team Fortress 2. It can also be found as a random drop, purchased from the Mann Co. Store, or crafted by the player.
Spies using the Dead Ringer are unable to cloak at-will. Instead, when the Dead Ringer is active and the player takes damage, the player will drop a fake corpse as if killed and become invisible for just under seven seconds. During this time, the Spy is completely invisible, even if brushed by enemy players or taking damage.
When active, the Dead Ringer provides 90% damage reduction from all sources, enabling the Spy to survive in situations that would kill any other class.
The greatest drawback of this item is its very loud, very distinctive decloak sound. However, this penalty can be significantly reduced by wearing the Saharan Spy set which decreases the volume of all decloak sounds.