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Archive for the ‘Tutorials’ Category

A TF2 Newbs Guide to Halloween Event Maps

Posted on: October 22nd, 2014 by Obey

The following blogpost is a guide about the many Halloween-themed maps, items, and events that have had annual updates since they first began in 2009. Most of the following information is from the Official TF2 Wiki.


FYI: I am currently (Oct 25, 2016) working on a comprehensive FAQ of all Halloween Items. There’s a whole lot of them, so check back here in a few days and hopefully I’ll have a link here.


NOTE: Links to more about the 2015 Halloween Event, Scream Fortress VII, and the current 2016 Halloween Event. No, they’re not complete yet………..

Table of Contents AKA Timeline of Halloween Updates

  1. What is Halloween/Full Moon Mode?
    1. What changes during the annual Halloween Event?
  2. Halloween 2009: Harvest Event map, the Ghastly Gibus, and the Mildly Disturbing Halloween Mask
  3. Halloween 2010: Mann Manor map, the HHH, the Halloween class Masks, and Haunted Scrap
  4. Halloween 2011: Eyeaduct map, the Monoculus, and some Halloween Costumes
  5. Halloween 2012: Ghost Fort map, Halloween Spells, Voodoo-Cursed Souls, more Halloween Costumes, and the Skull Island Topper
  6. Halloween 2013: Helltower map, Spellbooks, and a mock-Hell Underworld
  7. Halloween 2014: Carnival of Carnage map, random global Curses, and a Bumper Car Underworld
  8. The Halloween TF2 Story, in comic book form.
  9. All Halloween Items, and How to Earn Them


1. What is Halloween/Full Moon Mode?

The “Halloween/Full Moon Mode” is a server setting that permits players to wear Halloween/Full Moon-restricted cosmetic items (H/FMs). The mode is defaulted OFF except for three days around the real-life Full Moon, as well as for several weeks around Halloween (late October/early November). On a private or community server, H/FM Mode is defaulted OFF, but can be turned on by a server administrator with certain ConVars.

The “Eternaween” tool item which you can use to call a vote on your current server (public or private), to allow Halloween/Full Moon Mode for the next two hours. You can’t use this item on servers that disable voting, however, and you keep the item if the vote is downvoted or disabled. They can be bought for less than $0.05 on the Steam Market. This tool only enables the use of cosmetics; it doesn’t trigger Halloween Events.


Halloween Event

The Halloween Event is a period of several weeks around Halloween (late October/early November) when the Halloween Event maps (only) have extra features:

  • Players on any Halloween Event map drop Halloween Pumpkins when killed.
    • Picking them up refills your ammo/metal and grants a short full-crit boost.
    • Picking up 20 of them (from any map) will unlock the Mildly Disturbing Halloween Mask.
  • A Haunted Halloween Gift can appear on Mann Manor, Eyeaduct, Ghost Fort, Helltower, and Carnival of Carnage.
    • Picking it up will earn you different items, depending on the map.


2. The Haunted Halloween Special (2009)

400px-Haunted_Hallowe'en_SpecialThe first annual Halloween Event launched the following features:

  • Harvest, a KOTH (king of the hill) map.
  • Harvest Event, its Halloween Event counterpart, also a KOTH map.
  • Scarechievement achievements that can be earned.
    • Completing certain achievements could earn you Halloween-themed cosmetic items.
  • Halloween Pumpkins are powerups dropped by players who die on any Halloween map.  It refills ammo/metal and grants a short crit boost. Picking up 20 of them (from any map) will unlock the Mildly Disturbing Halloween Mask.
  • Pumpkin Bombs deal up to 140 damage (area-effect) to anyone standing nearby when they take any damage.
  • The Ghastly Gibus was earned by the first 11,111 users to find a secret page in the splash pages of the event. Since then, anyone who dominates a player wearing the Ghastly Gibus will earn the “Ghastly Gibus Grab” Scarechivement, as well as that year’s current incarnation of the hat. You can still earn a version of this non-tradable hat by earning the achievement, regardless of what map you’re on when completed.
  • The Gentle Mann’s Service Medal was also earned by the first 10,319 users to find a second secret page.  This is item is now Limited (Market page).



Harvest (koth_harvest_final) is a relatively simple map, fall-themed with pumpkins and carts, with only one central point inside a building in the center of the map. It is one of the easiest maps to learn.

Harvest Event


Harvest Event

Harvest Event (koth_harvest_event) is essentially a darker, spookier version of the same map, featuring explosive pumpkin bombs (shoot to detonate), and a ghost haunting the building in the center occasionally. If you haven’t played any Halloween maps before, give Harvest Event a try.

The ghost is Zephaniah Mann. This is his land–he is the original owner of the land, and the father of Redmond and Blutarch. If he touches you, he stuns you for a couple of seconds. Say hello!


During the annual Halloween Event, Halloween Pumpkins also drop from killed players, and Pumpkin Bombs lie in various players on the map.


3. The Scream Fortress Update (2010)

365px-Second_Annu-hell_Screm_FortressThe second annual Halloween Event launched the following new features:


Mountain Lab

mountain lab

In Mountain Lab, BLU leaves from a large house and must capture three points in order while the RED team defends a laboratory in the daytime.

Mann Manor

mann manor

In Mann Manor, RED defends an old haunted house at nighttime. The first “boss monster” of TF2, the Horseless Headless Horsemann, spawns at the current contested capture point about every 8 minutes and goes on a rampage. Say hello to old Silas Mann before he one-hits you!


The HHH will choose a random player as “It”, and he will chase and slay that player, unless you can avoid getting killed long enough, get killed, OR “tag” another player with a melee weapon hit. The HHH can also be killed.

During the annual Halloween Event: Pumpkin Bombs fill the map, Halloween Pumpkins are dropped by killed players, and the Haunted Halloween Gift will spawn at fixed locations around the map.


4. The Very Scary Halloween Special (2011)

365px-Scream_Fortress_Very_Scary_Halloween_SpecialThe third annual Halloween Event offered Eyeaduct, a reskinned Viaduct map, and introduced the following features:

  • Eyeaduct, a reskinned KOTH map of Viaduct, with two hidden areas: Underworld and Loot Island.
  • Halloween Goodie Cauldron will be given to any player who logs in to TF2 during any Halloween Event, but only once ever.
  • Introduced the Monoculus boss.


EyeaductEyeaduct (koth_viaduct_event) is the Halloween Event version of the mostly symmetrical King of the Hill map Viaduct. Except now, you have to contend with MONOCULUS!

MonoculusThis angry floating eyeball-boss appears every 3 minutes, and prevents the capture of Eyeaduct’s point while it exists. It teleports around, leaving behind portals that go to the Underworld.

Defeating Monoculus (dealing the killing blow) for the first time will earn you the all-class hat of the same name. But wait! It will return in 3 minutes, stronger than before (unless it escapes)! Each level of Monoculus gives is more health and a faster attack rate.



Underworld map

The Underworld is a dangerous place, continually draining your health.

If you manage to escape, you’ll become temporarily buffed, and your attacks will stun Monoculus if you hit it while under its effects.

During the Halloween Event, Halloween Pumpkins are dropped by killed players, and the Haunted Halloween Gift will spawn at fixed locations around the map. Any accessories found in Gifts from the Underworld will be Haunted quality. Also, killing Monoculus and entering its portal will take you to Loot Island instead of the Underworld!

Loot Island

loot island

Unlike the Underworld, Loot Island doesn’t damage you over time, and it has a book “portal” for you to jump into to return to the Eyeaduct map.

During the Halloween Event, if you can reach the book in time, you can earn the Bombinomicon all-class accessory! If not in time, you’ll die.


5. The Fourth Annual Spectral Halloween Special (2012)

365px-Fourth_Annual_Scream_FortressThe fourth annual Halloween Event brought a host of new content for Team Fortress 2:

  • Ghost Fort, a reskinned Lakeside map.
  • Merasmus, a wizardly boss who blasts you with magic, makes you dance at his whim, spins a wheel of random magic effects, and taunts you repeatedly.
  • Halloween spells are temporary powerup abilities you can strategically use in battle.
  • Wave 666, a reskinned MvM map with waves of difficult zombie bots
  • Another collection of Halloween cosmetics.

Ghost Fort

ghost fort

Ghost Fort (koth_lakeside_event) is the Halloween Event version of the desert-themed Lakeside King-of-the-Hill map. (Hard to recognize, isn’t it?) Ghost Fort’s layout is slightly altered from Lakeside, with upper platforms around the central control point, and the enclosed room with the pool of water replaced with a “bottomless” pit. Also, a team must control the central point for 7 minutes, instead of the usual 3 minutes.

Merasmus also haunts, continually harassing players. If you get turned into a bomb, rush the wizard to stun him and gain a buff.  Twice before he dies, Merasmus will disappear and disguise himself as a random furniture prop. If defeated, he opens a portal to Skull Island.

During the Halloween Event: Halloween Pumpkins are dropped by killed players, and the Haunted Halloween Gift will spawn at fixed locations. Also, killing Merasmus opens a portal to

  • Halloween Pumpkins are powerups dropped by players who die on any Halloween map.  It refills ammo/metal and grants a short crit boost. Picking up 20 of them (from any map) will unlock the Mildly Disturbing Halloween Mask.
  • The Haunted Halloween Gift will spawn on Ghost Fort under the same conditions as Mann Manor (see above). On the Ghost Fort map, however, the Gift grants either a Halloween Spell, a Voodoo-Cursed Item, or (rarely) a Halloween-themed cosmetic item.  See below for the details on these.
  • The control point has been enchanted to spin the “Wheel of Fate” each time the central control point is capped. The random result of the spin affects the players of both teams with wacky powers.
  • Halloween Spells are tool items used to give various effects to weapons, cosmetic items, or classes.  Remember, these spell effects permanently affect an applied item, but the effects are not visible except during Halloween/Full Moon Mode.

Skull Island

skull island


Ghost Town and Wave 666


What, Advanced-level MvM matches too easy for you? Then fill your Upgrade Canteen with Ammo Refills and head to Ghost Town (mvm_ghost_town), a reskinned, nighttime Coal Town that WILL DESTROY YOUR FACE with zombie bots.  Six-hundred and sixty-six of them, in fact–and they are Expert level, which is harder than anything MvM can throw at you.  It’s beatable, but you’re probably gonna die to the zombie apocalypse, so you might as well die with an empty clip and a broken sentry.



6. The Scream Fortress Fifth Annual Helloween Special (2013)



The fifth annual Halloween Event offered Helltower, a variation on the Payload Race map Hightower, over a hundred new cosmetic items, and a few new tool items.



800px-Plr_hightower_event_centertowerHelltower (plr_hightower_event) is the Halloween-themed version of Hightower, with a Clocktower replacing the building above the chasm. Since it is a Payload Race map, you try to push your cart while preventing your opponents from doing the same. When one side wins, everyone teleports to a mock Hell and try to kill off the other side one last time to win.

  • Halloween Pumpkins spawn on all Halloween maps.  If picked up by touching it, it refills ammo/metal and grants 3.2 seconds of crit boost.  Picking up 20 Halloween Pumpkins (from any map) would unlock a hat, the Mildly Disturbing Halloween Mask, a paper bag that has a different face depending on which class wears it at the time. You can still earn this non-tradable hat.
  • The Haunted Halloween Gift will grants one or more of the following:
    • One of the many Halloween 2013 cosmetic items; unlike purchased cosmetics, these freebies will be uncraftable and untradable
    • Spellbook Pages, which can be placed into a Spellbook (see below)
    • A Costume Transmogrifier tool item, which will convert one Halloween 2013 costume item into another
  • Occasionally, the Clocktower will toll a bell to announce the Witching Hour, during which hostile Skeletons will spew forth from the temporary glowing bridges of the Clocktower. During that time, players can access a Book of Rare Spells at the Clocktower.
  • You can pick up and cast Magic Spells!


Meteor Storm


Helltower Magic Spells

Magic Spells are temporary powerups granting special abilities, and are not usable until you equip a Spellbook Magazine, Fancy Spellbook, or Fireproof Secret Diary. They are retained when you die, but they are lost after being cast. You must cast the spell you currently have before you can pick up another.

    • Regular Magic Spells on Helltower:
      • (EDIT: Restored spell lists to the previous settings.)
      • A two-charge Fireball that shoots a ball of fire that also causes afterburn
      • A three-charge Teleport that shoots a ball that teleports you to the ground it impacts on
      • A two-charge Superjump (with small health boost)
      • A single Healing Aura that grants 1-second invulnerability and 3-second fast healing
      • A two-charge Ball of Bats that explodes into a cloud of bats that cause bleeding
      • A single-charge Pumpkin MIRV that launches a volley of pumpkin bombs that you or your team can shoot to explode
      • A single-charge Invisibility that grants 8-second invisibility, even while attacking, but you cannot push the cart while cloaked
    • Rare Magic Spells can only be found at the Clocktower’s Book of Rare Spells during the Witching Hour, defeating a Skeleton King, or found randomly in Hell. They include:
      • A mini-Monoculus is summoned to attack your enemies for 8 seconds
      • Three Skeletons are summoned to attack your enemies
      • A single-charged Ball Lightning that damages and pulls targeted enemies for a short while
      • A Meteor Shower attacks the impact area after an initial fireball
      • Minifies the caster to a tiny body and a big head, granting unlimited jumping and increased movement/attack/reload speeds
      • One of the other standard Spells


7. Scream Fortress VI (2014)


Merasmus’s Carnival of Carnage [sd_doomsday_event] is a Halloween Event map, and a reskin of Doomsday, Valve’s only official-to-date Special Delivery map. Compete to be the team to raise a suitcase full of tickets to the top of the Strongmann Machine, while Merasmus launches snarky comments and global curses at everyone.


Under construction….


Updated 11/5/14:  Merasmus’s curses remove all projectiles and empties sentries of ammo whenever players are teleported to the main point of the map.

Carnival of Carnage Magic Spell List

Magic Spells are temporary powerups granting special abilities, and are not usable until you equip a Spellbook Magazine, Fancy Spellbook, or Fireproof Secret Diary. They are retained when you die, but they are lost after being cast. You must cast the spell you currently have before you can pick up another.

    • Regular Magic Spells on Carnival of Carnage:
      • A two-charge Fireball
      • A three-charge Teleport
      • A two-charge Superjump (with small health boost)
      • A single Healing Aura that grants 1-second invulnerability and 3-second fast healing
      • A two-charge Ball of Bats that explodes into a cloud of bats that cause bleeding
      • A single-charge Pumpkin MIRV
      • A single-charge Invisibility that grants 8-second invisibility
      • Fires a Tesla Bolt that damages and pulls targeted enemies for a short while
      • A Meteor Shower attacks the impact area after an initial fireball
      • Minifies the caster to a tiny body and a big head
    • Bumper Car Spells can be gained and cast during the Carnival Underworld mini-game, and include:
      • Bombinomicon Head: Deals 50 damage to you if the timer runs out. If you run into an enemy, removes the timer and damages/knocks back the enemy instead.
      • Boxing Rocket: Shoots a giant boxing glove as a rocket.
      • Uber Heal: Removes 50% of your damage taken only
      • Parachute: Launches you into the air then lets you float down slowly

For starters, make sure to read this post by Valve about what’s coming. And then there’s this splash page….


Bumper Cars in a Carnival Underworld

Akin to a game of Super Smash Bros., players drive around on bumper cars trying to either ghostify the entire enemy side, or complete the objective in one of three mini-games. Bumper cars are receive greater knockback as they take on further damage, and players who fall off the track turn into ghosts.

If you’re ghosted, hold down your jump button to fly, and if you can touch one of your allies, you will return your bumper car to the game!

The three mini-game modes are:

  • “Falling Platforms”: Random platforms just start falling, so try to stay on the last one!
    • Spells are disabled in this minigame only.
    • If there is only one platform remaining, the Horseless Headless Horsemann appears in an attempt to make players fall off.
  • “Bumper Car Soccer”: Both teams try to push a beach ball into their opponents’ goal three times to win.
  • “Duck Collectors”: Both teams run around on a figure-eight track trying to collect 200 rubber duckies as a team to win.
    • Hitting opponent cause 2-point golden duckies to fly out of their rammed car.



8. The Comics For Each Halloween Special

The story may be ridiculous, but knowing the story will make your battles on the Halloween maps make a little more sense.  Maybe? Yes. Probably. If you squint.  That said, here are the comics to catch you up with why you are, in fact, shooting down a giant eyeball of hate and casting spells from a dog-eared periodical:

Halloween 2011: “Bombinomicon”

Halloween 2012: “Doom-Mates”

Halloween 2013: “Grave Matters”

Halloween 2014:  “Blood Money”

9. List of Items…?

This part is under construction.  Fixing it SOON.

The Ghastly Gibus was earned by the first 11,111 users to find a secret page in the splash pages of the event. Since then, anyone who dominates a player wearing the Ghastly Gibus will earn the “Ghastly Gibus Grab” Scarechivement, as well as that year’s current incarnation of the hat. You can still earn a version of this non-tradable hat by earning the achievement, regardless of what map you’re on when completed.

Halloween Pumpkins are powerups dropped by players who die on any Halloween map.  It refills ammo/metal and grants a short crit boost. Picking up 20 of them (from any map) will unlock the Mildly Disturbing Halloween Mask.


The Haunted Halloween Gift will randomly spawn, choosing a player on the server. The Gift spawns only at several predetermined locations. Only the chosen player will be able to see the lime-green gift box, and has 3 minutes to retrieve it before it disappears.  If picked up, that player cannot earn another for at least 45 minutes of playing time, while the gift respawns for someone else in 30 seconds. (The Gift will not spawn unless there are at least 10 non-bot players on the server.)

For the Gift to spawn, must be a registered server with at least 10 players on the server.

      • Retrieving the Haunted Halloween Gift on the Mann Manor map will grant one of nine Halloween Masks, one of each class but can be worn by any class. Multiple copies of these masks can be collected, and by collecting one of all nine masks, a Saxton Hale Mask can be crafted. Unlike the Halloween Masks, the Saxton Hale Mask does not have a Halloween/Full Moon holiday restriction, so it can be worn at any time.
      • The Haunted Halloween Gift will spawn on Eyeaduct under the same conditions as Mann Manor (see above). On the Eyeaduct map, however, the Gift grants one of 27 Halloween Costume 2011 cosmetic items. Any Gifts found in the Underworld will be Haunted quality.
      • The Haunted Halloween Gift will spawn on Ghost Fort under the same conditions as Mann Manor (see above). On the Ghost Fort map, however, the Gift grants either a Halloween Spell, a Voodoo-Cursed Item, or (rarely) a Halloween-themed cosmetic item.  See below for the details on these.

Halloween Spells

This update also launched the collection and usage of Halloween Spells.  They are obtained by picking up Halloween Haunted Gifts–the green-yellow gifts that can drop for you about once every forty-five minutes, that only you can see.

NEW!  As of 10/13/14, these tool items are now tradable!

Halloween Spells are tool items used to give various effects to weapons, cosmetic items, or classes.  Remember, these spell effects permanently affect an applied item, but the effects are not visible except during Halloween/Full Moon, Halloween maps, and servers that have Halloween mode turned on.  They can only be found on Ghost Fort. There are four kinds of Halloween Spells:

      1. Footprint Effects (hat-slot item): Causes the equipped player to leave behind glowing footprints of a certain color.
      2. Paint Effects (any cosmetic item): Causes the equipped cosmetic item to color-change from its original color, to a specific color, then back again.
      3. Vocal Effects (a hat equippable by a specific class): Causes the equipped player’s voice to be lowered, similar to the Big Head curse.
        • If applied to an all-class hat, its effect will work for any wearer.
      4. Weapon Effects (specific weapons): Causes the equipped weapon to have specific effects, such as pumpkin-shaped projectiles and ghostly particles rising from dead enemies.

Voodoo-Cursed Items are also funky-looking tool items. Their purpose is to collect 7 of one kind, then use them to craft a Pile of Curses.

In turn, a Pile of Curses is a tool item that you can open like a crate, but without needing a key.  When opened, it drops one of 9 Voodoo-Cursed Souls–a cosmetic (Halloween/Full Moon restricted) item that changes the appearance of one of the nine classes into a zombie. There is a chance that the Soul will be Haunted quality. In addition there is a chance that a Halloween Spell may drop as well as the Soul.  (Previously, Eerie Crates were also a possible drop, but they were retired after the Halloween 2012 event; the cosmetics from that crate are still purchasable from the Mann Co. Store).

The Haunted Halloween Gift will spawn on Helltower under the same conditions as Mann Manor (see above). On the Helltower map, however, the Gift grants one or more of the following:

      • One of the many Halloween 2013 cosmetic items; unlike purchased cosmetics, these freebies will be uncraftable and untradable
      • Spellbook Pages, which can be placed into a Spellbook (see below)
      • A Costume Transmogrifier tool item, which will convert a chosen Halloween 2013 costume item into another costume item from the same group that is equippable by the given class (i.e. a Soldier Costume Transmogrifier could convert a Scout’s “Hound’s Hood” into a Soldier’s “Shaolin Sash”).


The winning survivors can then march over to Skull Island and unlock the Bereavement achievement “Hat Out of Hell”, gaining an “Unfilled Fancy Spellbook” action slot item.

        • Putting at least three Spellbook Pages into it changes it into a Fancy Spellbook action slot item, but otherwise has no (apparent) additional function.



The Horseless Headless Horseman (the “HHH”), haunts Mann Manor. About every 8 minutes, he spawns at the currently contested control point and goes on a rampage, quickly running up to and killing players on both teams with his gigantic axe. He targets a nearby random player, which declares that player “It”.  That player will be the first to die unless s/he either manages to avoid getting killed for 30 seconds, or hits an enemy player with a melee weapon, “tagging” that player with the “It” status.  Occasionally it will also taunt, stunning all nearby players for a few seconds in fear (unless they’re wearing the Saxton Hale Mask or the Horseless Headless Horsemann’s Head). He is immune to all on-hit effects and all status effects.

The Horseless Headless Horsemann (the “HHH”) has lots of health, which is based on the number of players on the server, and can be harmed by players from both teams. If killed, he will not respawn for another 8 minutes, and kill credit will go to the last three players to damage it.  Getting kill credit on the HHH for the first time will earn you the “Gored!” Ghostchievement, a you-only-get-one-ever Haunted Metal Scrap, which in turn can be used to craft either the Horseless Headless Horsemann’s Headtaker melee weapon for the Demoman, or one of three random styles of all-class, tradable skull-themed hats.


The HHH Headtaker functions just like the Eyelander, gaining strength as you earn heads of slain enemies.

      • Like Mann Manor, Eyeaduct has its own unique “boss monster”: the Monoculus! It appears about every 3 minutes from the start of the round or its last appearance. When it spawns, the point resets to neutral ownership and cannot be captured. This giant eye-boss shoots barrages of eyeball crit rockets, and gets temporarily angry when critically hit. It teleports around the map, and when it does so, it leaves behind a portal leading to the Underworld where the player can reach the other side to earn a powerful invulnerability/crit/speed buff. Monoculus must be defeated within 2 minutes, or it escapes without being successfully killed. Regardless of outcome, it will respawn once more in about 3 minutes; each time Monoculus is killed (until the map restarts), Monoculus level increases by one as it becomes stronger!! Naturally, getting your opponents to work together to defeat Monoculus can be difficult.
      • If Monoculus is killed, it creates a giant portal to the Underworld.  Players entering the portal must quickly run to Loot Island to reach the Bombinomicon book in time.  Reaching the Bombinomicon unlocks the “Dive Into a Good Book” Eye-chievement and the Bombinomicon cosmetic item.  Being present on a server when Monoculus is killed unlocks the “Optical Defusion” Eye-chievement and the Monoculous head-replacing cosmetic item.
      • Merasmus also haunts Ghost Fort is the Soldier’s former roommate and very cantankerous wizard, Merasmus.  He appears every few minutes and continually harasses the players and interrupts play. The wizard prefers to float in midair near the control point, but will teleport randomly, whacking players with his staff, launch volleys of bombs, and cast a spell that both ignites you and launches you into the air.  When Merasmus teleports, several players will have their heads replaced with a bomb, which will certainly explode unless you reach the wizard in time. The bombs then stun the wizard and grant you a short invulnerability/crit/speed buff.  Twice before he dies, Merasmus will disappear and disguise himself as a random furniture prop, similar to the PropHunt game mode or Hide and Seek.
      • Merasmus must be killed within one-and-a-half minutes, or he will escape. If defeated, he opens a portal to Skull Island for a few seconds, where players can climb the island to earn the Necromannchievement “Wizards Never Prosper” and the Skull Island Topper all-class hat.  Merasmus will then return in a few minutes, having gained a level and thus stronger.  The Skull Island Topper hat will record the highest-level Merasmus you have witnessed defeated.  If not defeated, Merasmus will reset to level one.  (Hint: Headshotting Merasmus with the Huntsman sniper bow is very effective!)
      • All those who succeed in returning from Skull Island in time will gain the invulnerability/crit/speed boost for a short time.


HOLY SNAP this has been a lot of work!

[N] Obey

A TF2 Newbs Guide to Getting More and Better Items

Posted on: July 4th, 2014 by Obey

The following is a beginner-level guide describing all of the ways to earn weapons and cosmetic items in TF2. For details on items, gameplay, or anything else Team Fortress related, be sure to bookmark The Official TF2 Wiki.



trophy Over 25k lifetime hits!

Updated 11/2/16:

  • Simplified information about item qualities
  • Compared rocket launcher prices with differing item qualities
  • Added links to Halloween-themed items where necessary
  • Added more pictures for easier reading
  • Hit 25,000 lifetime hits by November 1st

Updated 7/31/16:

  • Added links to recent tutorials on class rebalances and matchmaking changes since Pyro vs. Heavy patch

Updated 4/23/16:

  • More info about free hats you can earn
  • More info about Australium and Graded (contract) Weapons


So you’ve just started playing TF2, learned some maps, captured some points, and found a couple of nifty items. But other players are blowing you up with awesome weapons while wearing ridiculous hats.  How can you get more weapons and cosmetic items?  That’s what this guide is for, so read on!

Similar bloglinks useful to you:


Table of Contents

0. Being Free-to-Play vs. Being Premium

1. Earn Items By Playing TF2

  • Achievement Items
  • Free Cosmetics You Can Earn
  • The TF2 Item Drop System
  • Rewards for Playing Mann vs. Machine, the Players-vs.-Bots “Horde Mode”
  • Earn TF2 Items While Playing Other Steam Games

2. Crafting Items: What To Do with Metal, Crates, and Robot Parts

3. Buying Items From the Mann Co. Store or the Steam Market

  • Explanation of Item Qualities like Stranges and Unusuals
    • Updated: Rocket Launchers as example of price comparison
    • Updated: Typical item prices of each quality
  • Decorated Weapons, earned by contracts
  • Trading-Up Items

4. Trading Items With Other Players

5. Free Unusuals!

6. What To Do If You Have Too Many Items

7. Helpful Links


0. First: Are you Free-to-Play?

There are two kinds of TF2 accounts: free-to-play accounts and premium accounts.

  • Free-to-play (or “F2P”) accounts only get one page of 50 inventory slots, limited crafting options, can only drop some basic items, and most importantly, have limited trading options.
  • Premium accounts start with six pages of inventory slots (300 total), have full crafting options, can drop basic and rare items, and have normal trading options.

Why aren’t all accounts Premium? The reason is to reduce the number of spammers and cheaters on Steam by attaching a small monetary cost to each account, so that thousands of accounts cannot be used by a single person for these schemes.

So if you are free-to-play, you will not have full access to all of the kinds of items out there. There are a couple of simple ways to gain a premium account:

  • Buy something in the Mann Co. Store, anything at all, no minimum. A single US$0.49 weapon is all you need.
  • Buy the Orange Box from the Steam Store for US$19.99, which grants you a Premium TF2 account as well as two other Valve games: Half-Life 2 and Portal.
  • Have someone trade or gift you an Upgrade to Premium Gift, which is a tool item that makes your account premium when used.
    • However, your Steam Account must be premium to be able to trade from the Steam Client, which means you’ve made at least $5 worth of purchases. Steam Trading and Steam Chat are two features disabled if you’ve never bought anything on the Steam Account you’re using.

Upgrade Premium

Why would someone give you a Premium Gift? Doing so grants the giver a Professor Speks accessory, or adds to the counter of their existing Professor Speks.

If you make a purchase that upgrades your account to premium, you are asked to refer one person on your friends list as someone who has helped you in the game.  That is how a person is awarded a Professor Speks or ranks up its counter.


Now that you know your status, here are all of the ways that you can acquire new items:


1. Earn Items By Playing the Game

Earn “Achievement Items”


There are hundreds of achievements to earn in Team Fortress 2. Just play the game, and if you complete a specific task, the achievement will unlock and announce it to everyone on the server. You can check which achievements you have or haven’t learned in your Steam Client.

Spy achievements

If you earn enough class-specific achievements, you will earn one of three weapons available for each class. These items significantly change the role or options available for that class, such as a Sandvich healing item for the Heavy, or a Huntsman bow that replaces the Sniper’s rifle!  Here is the full list of 27 achievement weapons in TF2.

Note: These achievement-reward items have the untradable trait, so you can’t trade them away later. And if you use them to craft metal or another item, the resulting item will carry that untradable trait, and the game will warn you that that will occur.  This is to keep players from having dozens of separate Steam accounts just to farm for items. Only achievement-reward items will have the untradable trait.

There are “achievement servers” in the TF2 community, but TF2Newbs doesn’t have one; they’re frowned on by Valve.


All-Class Cosmetics You Can Earn

Professor SpeksAs stated above, earn the Professor Speks all-class cosmetic by gifting someone an Upgrade to Premium Gift. It cannot be painted or traded.

Ghastly GibusEarn the Ghastly Gibus all-class hat by earning a domination on a player wearing their own Gibus. There are multiple, slightly different versions (the Ghastly, Ghastlier, Ghastlierest, Ghostly, and Galvanized), and dominated any player except for the Galvanized will earn you your own Ghastly Gibus (the other versions were awarded earlier). You can earn this achievement at any time, and it can be worn at all time, unlike many Halloween-themed items. It is paintable, but cannot be traded.

You can also get the Pyrovision Goggles by dominating a player that is wearing them. Pryovision items changes the scenery on most official maps so that you play in a pastel-painted world of balloons and laughter instead of the screams and gibs of your enemies. You can change its vision in your Advanced Options menu.

Mann Co CapEarn a Mann Co. Cap all-class hat the first time you buy anything at the Mann Co. Store, regardless of amount spent. (You can only earn one.) It is paintable, but not tradable. You can also buy a real-life version from New Era. There is a second hat, the Mann Co. Online Cap, which you can earn by buying something from the Mann Co. Online store, which sells real-life Valve merchandise like posters, T-shirts, and hats!

World Traveler's HatEarn the all-class World Traveler’s Hat by buying your first Map Stamp, which is not an item, but a donation that goes directly to the author(s) of the Community-made map you choose. You can level it up by buying more Map Stamps. When you play on a map where you’ve purchased map stamps, you can give your hat unusual effects! This hat is paintable, but not tradable.

Other cosmetics you can earn by playing TF2:

  • There are lots of other cosmetics that can be earned during the annual Halloween or Winter Holiday events! See my Halloween Items FAQ to learn how to earn Halloween-themed items. Some can be earned at any time, like the Ghastly Gibus.
  • Director’s Vision: Earn this all-class taunt by recording a replay of yourself playing the game, then enter the video editing window. It’s that easy.
  • Frontline Field Recorder: Get this hat by uploading a replay video to YouTube from within TF2, and earn 1,000 lifetime views.
  • Proof of Purchase: By being gifted the game, or buying TF2 yourself, like in the Orange Box from the Steam Store, earn this hat.
  • Party Hat and TF Birthday Noisemaker: Get an all-class hat and an action item by playing the game on August 24th, TF2′s anniversary launch date. The Noisemaker can only be used on August 24th (or any server that has Birthday Mode enabled).
  • Spirit of Giving: Earn this accessory playing during the annual Winter Holiday. Rank it up by gifting, such as using a Secret Saxton tool item.
  • Horace the Bear Mask: Be an RPS Supporter (for the gaming news website Rock Paper Shotgun).


Earn Items by Playing the Game

Team Fortress 2 wants to reward you for playing, and does so by granting you periodic “item drops”. Approximately every hour you play in a week, up to roughly 10 hours a week, you will earn a random item, usually a weapon but rarely (perhaps a 3% chance) a cosmetic item such as a hat. Most, but not all, craftable weapons can drop via this system, and if you don’t play much one week, that extends the playing time where you can earn items in the next week only. “Weeks” for this purpose begin on Wednesdays at 7 PM Eastern Standard Time (which is also Thursdays at midnight Greenwich Standard Time; doesn’t change for Daylight Savings Time).


The list of possible weapons available is roughly the same as the craftable weapon list plus the achievement-reward weapon list (i.e. almost all non-stock weapons). “Stock” weapons are the default weapons and action-slot items of each class, which are also the only weapons that most computer-controller bots use, and they’re the only weapons you can access in those rare, unfortunate times when your server loses connection to the item server :(  Stock weapons never drop, and you can’t lose access to them by crafting or trading.

By a similar but separate system, crates (and rarely, other tool items such as Name Tags instead) can drop for you as well, and they are NOT limited by your weekly playing time.  Of course, you need keys to open crates; they are basically opportunities for Valve to make money by selling you keys. Crates always provide a random item out of a list, and the series number relates to the list of items available to drop; most crates drop Strange-quality weapons (with a 1% chance for a random Unusual item instead!).

Crate drops are rarer than in years past; players got annoyed by having too many crates.  Sometimes, such as during the winter holiday, crate drops will occur more often. You may also get a crate once a week in your account just for logging in. They’re simply “opportunities” to spend money on keys for virtual items.


Earn Items by Buying and/or Playing Other Games

Many cosmetics can be earned just by buying certain games. Some were only available during pre-order, but many are still available if you buy the game today. Here is the current list of games that award TF2 items, maintained by the Official TF2 Wiki. Note that many of these items will be Genuine quality.

For example, the $4.99 game Poker Night at the Inventory features five unlockable items (some of which may be difficult to do so), as you play Texas Hold ‘Em against the Heavy, Strongbad and other characters. You need to get good at playing poker, but you can earn:


Its $4.99 sequel, Poker Night 2, features five more unlockable items, as you play Texas Hold ‘Em and Omaha Hold ‘Em with Claptrap, Ash Williams and others! Earn the following:


See this link to learn how to earn TF2 items by playing these free-to-play Steam games:


Earn Items by Playing “Mann Up Mode” in MvM


Mann vs. Machine, or “MvM”, is a horde mode where you and five other players form a RED team that defends against an onslaught of class-specific BLU robots.  The free-to-play “Boot Camp” mode does NOT earn you items, but is good for practicing the game. The real rewards can be gained by completing “Mann Up” missions, which require a brown Tour of Duty ticket that costs US$0.99 in the Mann Co. Store (not to be confused with the white Surplus tickets). Tickets are used up and rewards are earned only when you successfully win an entire mission.


  • Each completed mission earns you an item drop, in exchange for your Tour of Duty ticket, if you did not previously have credit for that mission on your current Tour.
    • If playing the “Two Cities” Tour, you will instead earn some robot parts, and possibly even a Fabricator, after each mission.
  • Each completed Tour of missions will earn you different rewards, on top of your usual mission rewards:
    • “Two Cities” Tours reward Killstreak Kits, and one or two higher-tier Fabricators.
    • Other Tours reward one of several kinds of Strange Botkiller weapons, depending on both random luck and which Tour had been completed.
    • Completing any Advanced or Expert difficulty Tour also has a small chance (~2%) of getting an Australium weapon! (You won’t have any chance to drop them on Intermediate Tours.)

fabricator rl

For more information on MvM and the items you can earn by playing in “Mann Up” Mode, please refer to the TF2 Newbs’ Guide to MvM Item Hunting.

2. You Can Craft New Items


You can take undesired items and turn them into metal, which is used to craft other weapons.

two weapons of same class  —> one scrap


                                          three scrap  <—> one reclaimed


                                                     three reclaimed <—> one refined



What Can You Do with Metal?

  • Use as a trading currency (see Trading, below)
  • Craft cosmetics, such as hats
  • Craft weapons


Crafting Cosmetic Items

There are two ways to craft cosmetic items such as hats. Here is the first:

three refined  —> one random cosmetic item

The above menu says the output is a “random headgear”, but in reality the output is some kind of cosmetic, such as a hat or an item that equips elsewhere on your person, and are never weapons. For instance, you might get a Football Helmet for a Heavy, or an Itsy-Bitsy Spyer that hangs on the hip of your Sniper, or a Big Mann on Campus sweater for a Scout. These items are always Unique quality; you’ll never get Stranges or the like. Almost every non-Limited cosmetic can be crafted, but of course, what you receive is randomized.


But if you want to ensure that you get an item that a specific character can use, consider the next formula:

four refined + class token  —> random class-specific cosmetic item

With the above formula, you apply some extra metal and a token, but you ensure that you’ll get an item wearable by the token’s class (and possibly other classes also, depending on the item you receive). Use this formula if you really want more cosmetics for your favorite class.

See this page for a list of many other crafting recipes, which are also found in your Crafting menu.


Crafting Weapons

There is a list of craftable weapons under the second tab, “Common Items”. Simply follow the recipe to craft a desired weapon. If you lack the items, you can’t make the item, but you may be able to trade someone for the parts you need (or just buy it from the Mann Co. Store instead).

The top recipe reads, “Fabricate Class Weapons” with the following recipe:

scrap + class token + slot token –> random matching weapon

The above formula will generate one random weapon out of the possible craftable weapons that match both the class and weapon slot of the tokens. For example, following this recipe with a Pyro token and a Secondary token can generate a flare gun, detonator, reserve shooter, manmelter, scorch shot, or panic attack. See the “Crafting Weapon Classifications” heading in the the TF2 Wiki Crafting page for the full list.


What Are Crates For?

Crates are opened with keys (usually Mann Co. Crate Keys, but special crates require special keys), and they can be purchased from the Mann Co. Store for US$2.49, traded, or bought and sold in the Steam Market. Opening a crate provides you one random item (usually Strange) from its short drop list, but rarely (about a 1% chance) grant you an Unusual hat!

Mann_Co._Supply_CrateOh, if you have too many crates, you should probably just delete any duplicates you have. You’re unlikely to sell any on the Market, as you’d only get one cent, and there are thousands of them for sale already. You’ll always have more crates than you’ll ever open–they’re simply opportunites to buy a random Strange item.

What Are Robot Parts For?

If you have robot parts in your possession, you have probably been playing some Mann vs. Machine “Two Cities” missions. These are used for crafting certain Killstreak Kits.  See this MvM Item FAQ for more information.


3. You Can Buy Items

Access the Mann Co. Store within the TF2 game itself. You can’t while you’re playing in a server, however.


Items You Can Buy from the Mann Co. Store

You can buy most Unique-quality items in the Mann Co. Store.  Unique is the standard item quality that doesn’t do anything special, and signifies something that is probably not rare. Want a different kind of rocket launcher for your Soldier?  It’s probably US$1 or less. Want a new community-designed hat? Snap one up for US$2 to $10. Just look at the catalog of items in the in-game menu, and purchase with your Steam Wallet funds.

Starter Packs

Don’t want to bother with crafting or trading, but you want all the possible options available for your favorite class? You can buy a Starter Pack the gives you one of each Unique weapon for that class! They run between $2 and $7, depending on the class; some classes like the Soldier have more items, so they’re more expensive.

You can also buy (from either the in-game Store, or from the Market) an Unlocked Class Crate, which will drop you one random cosmetic equippable by that class. You could get just about anything. They’re $2.49 in the Mann Co. Store.

You can’t buy everything at the store, such as an Unusual hat… but there’s lots to buy on the Steam Market!

Items You Can Buy on the Steam Market

  • You can’t buy most plain Unique-quality weapons in the Market, but you can buy Unique Tools such as crates, keys, robot parts, and killstreak kits.
  • Also, almost all Strange, Haunted, Vintage, Collector’s, or Unusual item can be bought and sold on the Steam Market.
  • Unique items that are also Limited can also list on the Market. Limited items cannot be crafted, item dropped, or bought from the Mann Co. Store anymore.
  • Decorated weapons can also be bought and sold in the Market.


A Short Explanation of Item Qualities–and Rocket Launchers!

“Wait a minute. Why do I need an explanation of item qualities?” you ask.

Not all rocket launchers are created alike. (Set aside the Black Box and the Liberty Launcher and all those others; we’re talking just about the stock Rocket Launcher.) The stock Rocket Launchers are all alike, of course.


But there are many kind of reskinned rocket launchers. They’re all functionally the same. How they’re different is that they might be promotional items, have different colors on the weapon itself, or have a counter to track kills or other statistics. (The pictured Rocket Launcher is a Decorated weapon; scroll down to the next section to learn more about Decorated weapons.)

Here’s a comparison for the different rocket launchers out there, and the cheapest price for one on the Steam Market (as of this writing):

All of the above rocket launchers behave identically in play. But they’re also a show of status: players may assume that if you’re using the stock rocket launcher, that you haven’t been playing very long. Sure, it’s a silly game, but it stands out all the same.


Item Qualities

Okay–here’s the different item qualities out there:

  • Stock items are items that every TF2 account has access to; they cannot be removed, sold, or traded.
  • Unique items are common items, often found via the TF2 item drop system or from certain older crates.
    • They can typically be traded, but not marketed.
    • Achievement items and some Halloween-themed items are untradeable Uniques.
  • Limited items are uncommon; they can no longer be purchased or crafted, such as retired hats.
    • They can be traded or marketed.
  • Vintage items are simply items that were crafted before March 15, 2011.
    • These are cheap to buy on the Market.
  • Strange items track total kills (on weapons) or points scored (on other items) while the item was equipped.
    • Most commonly, Stranges are dropped from a crate; the item is randomly chosen.
    • A few Strange items are rare, such as the Kritzkrieg.
    • A few Strange items have been made so by Strangifier items, which are also sometimes rare.
  • Australium weapons have a golden sheen, but are otherwise Strange weapons.
    • They are a rare reward for completing Mann vs, Machine tours, and are valuable.
  • Haunted items are usually Halloween-themed cosmetics.
    • In some cases, they can only be worn during Halloween/Full Moon times.
    • They can be purchased cheaply on the Steam Market.
  • Genuine items are promotional items, often given away for (pre)purchasing another Steam game.
    • Many of these can be purchased on the Steam Market.
  • Collector’s items are rare, requiring a rarely-dropped Chemistry Set plus two hundred identical copies of the item to craft.
    • They can be purchased on the Market, but are usually expensive.
  • Killstreak weapons show in the killfeed how many kills the player has earned since their last death.
    • The killstreak property only modifies the weapon, and doesn’t change its quality color. But it does add value to the weapon.
    • Specialized Killstreak kits also add a temporary visual sheen to the weapon after five kills are scored during the same life.
    • Professional Killstreak kits add the visual sheen and an eye effect to your character as well.
    • Killstreak kits and fabricators (used to craft the kits) are Mann vs. Machine rewards.
  • Unusual items are rare, with a visual effect centered near the head of the character.
    • They are very rarely (1%) dropped from a crate, and are always valuable.

See my MvM Item FAQ for more information about Australium weapons and Killstreak Kits.


Decorated Items

decorated item is a weapon, cosmetic, or taunt that has been reskinned with different visual effects (and rarely, different sounds). Below is the Warbird, a rare decorated rocket launcher from the Tough Break season:


A ”season” is a period of weeks, directly after a major content patch such as the Tough Break Update, that allows players to complete missions/contracts in order to earn random items with randomly generated paint jobs. A decorated weapon or item includes the following:

  • One of six Grades of rarity, which determines the text color of the item. Civilian is very common; Elite is rare.
    1. Civilian:                contracts only
    2. Freelance:            contracts only
    3. Mercenary:          contracts or crates
    4. Commando:        contracts or crates
    5. Assassin:                                    crates only
    6. Elite:                                           crates only
  • Each item Collection (of item skins or “paint job” themes) has many weapons in a variety of Grades.
    • For example, items from the Concealed Killer Collection are generally camouflage-themed.
    • Some Collections are only Grades 1-4, and some are only Grades 3-6 (see above).
    • Each skin is tied to its specific grade. For example: The “Warbird” above is always a Grade 6 Elite.
  • Each Weapon has one of five random levels of Wear, which changes the look of the weapon skin somewhat. All are equally as common, but the more Wear variations are less popular because the weapon skin is less visible. (The wear patterns are also randomly positioned to give a further uniqueness to each individual item.)
    • Factory New (most popular and valuable)
    • Minimal Wear
    • Field-Tested
    • Well-Worn
    • Battle Scarred (most of the paint job has worn off)
  • NOTE: Weapons DO NOT increase their Wear when used. They have a set level of Wear when dropped which does not change. A weapon’s Grade, Skin, and Wear is entirely cosmetic and does not change its gameplay whatsoever.
  • Also, these Weapons and Cosmetics are Limited quality. Unboxed Weapons and Cosmetics will have a chance of being Strange (and in a few cases, being Unusual, or both!)
    • Also, items exist that can Strangify these items.
  • These weapons will be tradable and marketable. If you wish to trade or sell a weapon, look up its worth on the Market or another site like first, so you don’t get scammed. Unusual items are always valuable and very rare.

How to earn Graded items:

  1. Buy-in to the current update Season by purchasing the appropriate pass from the Mann Co. Store. This will grant you a fixed number of contracts to complete over a set period of time (even if you join late in the Season). Completing these contracts (with tasks such as completing objectives on a certain map or getting kills while playing a certain class or weapon) will earn you a graded weapon OR one of several Weapon Cases.
    • NOTE: You can purchase these Weapon Cases from the Steam Market also, as the cases, their corresponding keys, and the items obtainable within are all marketable and tradable.
  2. Or, you can simply buy Cases and the appropriate Key for the Case, and use the Key in your TF2 inventory screen.


How to Trade-Up Graded weapons:


Some items can be used in a trade-in, much like crafting, into another item.

  • 10 Graded items of the same Grade level, regardless of Collection or Update, can be traded in for 1 random item of the next higher Grade.
    • Example: 10 Freelance items for 1 Mercenary item.
    • You may collect ten decorated items from all of the different collections ouut there, but the formula will only work if they are all of the same Grade.
    • BEWARE: The possible output item is from all available Collections, not necessarily the same Collection.
  • 5 qualifying items can be traded into a Civilian Grade Stat Clock, a tool item similar to a Strangifier for Graded items only.
    • Qualifying items include any Freelance Grade or higher item (of any Collection), and any Strange item (Graded or not).
    • ANY item with the “untradeable” trait also qualifies, but the resulting Stat Clock will also be “untradeable”.
      • Yes, this means you can use your untradeable Achievement items to create a Stat Clock!
  • During the annual Halloween event, you can trade-in three qualifying items for a random, untradeable Halloween cosmetic.
    • Find this function by right-clicking your Soul Gargoyle tool item.

How can you tell the difference between a Strange Graded Item, and a vanilla Graded Item with a Stat Clock attached? Look at the item name: one will be Strange, and the other will say “Stat Clock”.


4. You Can Ask Others to Trade or Give You Items

Yes, there are gifters who play TF2 regularly. Very few players just go around looking for Newbs who need items. But there are plenty of players wiling to give a couple of weapons or an odd hat to someone who has none.  The important thing is to be nice and civil. Spamming chat with demands for free items will annoy anyone who would have been willing, and that behavior can get you banned from the Newbs servers.


If you want people to trade or gift you, show some proper etiquette:

  1. Be gracious and don’t make demands.  Don’t spam the text chat or the voice chat.
  2. Many players are willing to trade away a spare copy of a weapon (not cosmetics) for a single scrap metal, or its equal value of any two weapons. Likewise, if you happen to have extra copies of an item, you can offer to trade two of them to someone for one weapon you need.
  3. If there is an item you want to trade for, or to ask for free, you should ask people in chat if they have specific items you’re looking for.  But don’t spam the chat with constant messages.
  4. Look at your friends’ profiles, and click on Inventory to see their TF2 items.  Unless their profiles are private, you can find out what spare items a friend has, which can help you make them a trade or gift offer.
  5. When you really want to trade items, go to a trade server, such as Newbs #2 and #18 Trade Servers. You won’t be interrupting anyone’s game with trade offers or chatter, and you’ll meet up with others actively looking to trade.


Trading Items for Items

Trades do not involve the exchange of Steam Wallet funds (that’s what the Steam Market is for). So how do you trade items for other items and know one of you isn’t being cheated out of value? Over the years, players have established a de facto economy by using certain common and uncommon items as currencies, specifically metal, keys, and earbuds.

Metal is the crafting ingredient discussed above to create random cosmetics and weapons. Because of these uses, metal also has worth in the economy.

Common item prices are discussed in “ref”, an abbreviation for refined metal. A refined metal is 1.00 ref.

A reclaimed metal is .33 ref, since it takes three reclaimed to make a refined.

A scrap metal is worth .11 ref, since it takes three scrap to make a reclaimed (nine to make a refined).

For example: A hat worth 1.33 ref is worth a refined and three scrap.

If you play TF2 10 hours a week and smelt all of your non-cosmetic drops into metal, you’ll average one refined metal in three weeks.

Keys, or standard Mann Co. Crate Keys, cost US$2.49 in the Mann Co. Store. Since they’re tradable (after a week) and the price doesn’t change, they are good for trading valuable items. Popular, in-demand items that are not very rare are often measured in keys, such as taunts or popular hats.

How much ref a key is worth changes based on the demand in the economy (how bad people want keys, or metal). Refined metal is also useful for making “change”, since a key cannot be broken into smaller values. As of January 2016, a key is worth about 20 ref.

Buds, or Earbuds, are a somewhat rare, Limited cosmetic item. Buds were often used as currency for rare, high-demand items, such as Unusuals. They’re not used for trading much anymore.


5. Where Can I Get Free Unusual Hats?

The following is a list of phrases people enter into their search engines:

how to get easy hats in tf2
tf2 free hats
tf2 easy unusuals
tf2 item giveaway
tf2 free keys
free tf2 unusuals

…and so on.  I know this because the blog dashboard shows me certain search engine terms that bring readers to this blog. Lots and lots of TF2 players want free unusual hats, keys and items.  New players beg for free items, and sometimes start raging when they don’t get what they want.

The TF2Newbs community, like many other public gaming communities out there, frown on begging. Repeatedly asking for items disrupts the game and can lead to a permanent ban on Newbs servers.  Would you want your games interrupted by beggars?

My point is, earn or buy items yourself. Trading exists so that you can meet other players and swap items. It’s a metagame–a game within a game–to collect desirable items. Don’t disrupt a good game by begging; go to a trade server if you’re looking for something specific.

TF2Newbs’ Trade Servers (type these into your console to jump right in):



6. Too Many Items?

Well, that’s embarrassing: it is certainly possible to fill your backpack with so many crates, weapons, tools, and cosmetics that you cannot hold more. When this happens, you won’t receive more items from the item drop system; it “stops the clock”, so to speak.  What do?


  1. Delete worthless items: crates and untradable duplicate items are the only ones I would advise deleting.  You’re not likely to sell them on the Market or trade them for any value. (The only crates that have a value are crates numbered in the 20s–because each class has one that only carries items for that class–and crates #30, #40, #50 and #60, which are rare and may drop high-demand Strange weapons.)
  2. Condense your metal: 18 weapons <-> 9 scrap metal <-> 3 reclaimed metal <-> 1 refined metal.  Refined metal can “carry more value” in a smaller space, and is faster if you want to trade for a valuable item. Condense your space further by trading for keys or more valuable items.
  3. Buy a Backpack Expander, or several, from the Mann Co. Store (US$0.99) or the Steam Market. Each one gives you 100 slots (two pages) more, up to a maximum of 2000 slots or forty pages. This is very necessary if you’re collecting robot parts from “Two Cities” MvM Tours, or trying to get one copy of every weapon.
  4. Check to see if you own a Summer Adventure Pack, Summer Starter Kit, or a Gift-Stuffed Stocking tool item. A Backpack Expander is inside, among other items.
  5. Put items up for sale on the Steam Market. While on the Market, the item is removed from your inventory, so you can fill those slots once more. You can remove the item from the Market if it doesn’t sell, and then you will receive the item once more.
  6. Check the Crafting List and see if there are any desirable weapons or cosmetic items you can craft. For example, if you don’t have a B.A.S.E. Jumper parachute for your Soldier, you can craft one at the cost of a Sticky Jumper, a Buff Banner, and a reclaimed metal.


7. Other Useful Links You Should Bookmark in Your Browser:


I hope this blogpost has helped you learn about the wide variety, and multiple functions, of the items of Team Fortress 2.  The item-acquisition game within the “war-themed hat simulator” keeps players coming back. If I have helped you in your quest for mighty loot, feel free to say so in the comments, or post in the forums.

[N] Obey


A TF2Newbs Guide to MvM Item Hunting

Posted on: January 6th, 2014 by Obey

This guide focuses more on the items that can be found in the TF2 MvM game. See the links below if you’re looking for something else regarding MvM. Thank you for all the clicks! 17,000 hits and counting!


  • The official TF2 Wiki has a page of strategies and tactics for playing MvM.
  • This Community guide does a great job in telling you what upgrades you should/shouldn’t purchase in MvM.
  • Go here to learn about the kinds of items in TF2, and how to get more of them.


Table of Contents

0. Updates

1. MvM Game Modes: Mann Up vs. Boot Camp

2. Tours of Duty, and the Rewards They Give

3. Botkiller Weapons

4. Killstreaker Weapons, Kits, Fabricators, and Robot Parts

5. Australium Weapons


0. Updates

Updated August 11, 2016:

  1. Added links at top, incl. upgrade guide.
  2. Added more pictures to break up all the text, and some clearer explanations. Removed price information.

Updated December 26, 2014:

  1. Added: Now all Advanced and Expert Tour Completions grant the same chance of earning an Australium weapon.

Updated September 18th, 2014:

  1. Completing the same Mann Up mission over and over does not consume your tickets, nor does it earn you any items.

Updated July 13th, 2014:

  1. Added this link which provides GIFs showing all of the Professional Killstreak eye effects in every color.
  2. Added this link which shows many of the Specialized Killstreak weapons’ colored sheens.

Updated June 24th, 2014:

  1. The five weapons released during the Love & War Update now have Killstreak Kits that can drop.
  2. Added “important waves” to Two Cities’ Tour mission descriptions.

Updated April 4th, 2014:

  1. Some killstreak kits are now available in Mann Co. Crates, starting with crate #83.
  2. Tour of Duty Tickets are US$0.99 each, and Squad Surplus Vouchers are US$1.99 each in the Mann Co. Store (not the 49 cents and 99 cents respectively I had posted). The tickets had been on sale during my original post.

Updated February 8th, 2014:

  1. (My mistake!) Standard killstreak kits, which drop at the end of every Two Cities’ Tour, are only useable for one specific weapon. This is also true for Specialized, and Professional Killstreak Kits and their Fabricators.
    • For example, you may finish a Two Cities’ Tour and receive a “Black Box Killstreak Kit”, along with your other item drops.
  2. As of the 2/7/2014 patch, the following weapons can now drop killstreak kits and fabricators (and did not before):
    • Lugermorph, Big Kill, Iron Curtain, Frying Pan, Black Rose, AWPer Hand, Chargin’ Targe, Splendid Screen, and Mantreads
  3. (My mistake!) A Tour Badge is earned by completing any one mission of that Tour, not the entire Tour.


1. MvM Game Modes: Mann Up vs. Boot Camp


Boot Camp mode is the free-to-play version. You don’t need tickets to play, but you’re not going to get any item drops at the end of the missions; you still get your usual timed item drops as you play. You can also play Boot Camp mode on private servers, so you can enjoy benefits on those. A change implemented in 2016 allows Boot Camp games to hold more than 6 players, depending on the permissions of the server. I’ve played in games with 10 players. Boot Camp mode is perfect for practicing a new class, weapon, or map.


Mann Up mode is the pay-to-play version, and it has completely different missions (waves of enemies) on the same maps. Mann Up rewards players with item drops and, for those who complete Tours of Duty, special weapons such as Botkillers and Killstreakers! Mann Up mode is only available on Valve-run servers. Players in Mann Up mode are seriously trying to win, and the number of Tours they have on their belt speaks to their knowledge of what works and what doesn’t; unlike TF2, some weapons or methods are useless, and some are almost essential (like having a medic and an engineer, or resistance upgrades on a heavy). Practice in Boot Camp until you’re familiar with the meta, or frustrated players may leave or kick you.


NOTE:  You should already have a Power Up Canteen (or the Battery Canteen is the same thing with a different look). If you don’t have one for some reason, you can craft one for 4 scrap in the Crafting menu.

If you’re hoping to earn a very rare Australium weapon (see below), you need to complete an Advanced or Expert Mann Up Tour, which will require between 3 to 6 tickets to complete each Tour.


Six MvM Maps:

bigrock1  bigrock2

Big Rock (mvm_bigrock) is a very long MvM map that launched with the introduction of robot Engineers into the game.


coaltown1  coaltown2

Coal Town (mvm_coaltown) is an MvM with a single downhill dirt ramp leading to where the robots spawn.

A Boot Camp-only reskin of this map, Ghost Town (mvm_ghost_town), takes place at night with the robots reskinned as zombies. Neither of these have robot Engineers.



Decoy (mvm_decoy) is a short map known for a wooden overpass bridge near the robots’ spawns, and where two bridges cross a deep gulch near the bomb drop point. Robot engineers are never present in this map.


mannhattan1  mannhattan2

Mannhattan (mvm_mannhattan) is one of the Two Cities Update maps. This map features two additional forward spawns (doors A and B) where gatebots–robots with a glowing yellow head–will attempt to unlock, in order to have a shorter route and more bombs to deliver to the bomb drop point.


mannworks1  mannworks2

Mannworks (mvm_mannworks) is a foggy map surrounded by gray rocks, with two robot spawns and a tank spawn set into the cliffs. This map never has robot Engineers.


rottenburg1  rottenburg2

Rottenburg (mvm_rottenburg), the other Two Cities map, takes place in a German-style town. The robots’ paths wind around buildings and over ramps, and the city proper can be confusing to get around.


2.  Tours of Duty, and the Rewards They Give

A Tour of Duty is a collection of missions, across several maps, on official Valve MvM servers. Each tour has from 3-6 missions, and each mission requires a Tour of Duty Ticket. The tickets (which cost US$0.99 in the Mann Co. Store) are tan with a picture of Saxton Hale on them, and are only used up if you succeed in the mission.  “Mann Up” Mode refers to this pay-to-play style, as opposed to free-to-play “Boot Camp”. faq_tourofdutyfaq_squadsurplusEach player has the option, before beginning a mission, to use one Squad Surplus Voucher each. These vouchers are grey with a treasure chest on them (and cost US$1.99 in the Mann Co. Store), and are likewise used up only if you succeed in the mission. If you beat the mission, each player receives one extra standard item drop. (They don’t provide any more robot parts, nor do they provide a better chance for Australiums or other random loot. It’s functionally a six-player Secret Saxton that your team receives when you win.)

Rewards for a Tour of Duty

maxresdefaultThis player completed a single “Two Cities” Tour mission.

The real rewards are earned when completing the Tour.

  When you finish a single mission, you will receive:

  • Credit for that current mission if you haven’t already done it on your current tour
  • You earn the badge for that Tour, if you haven’t already
  • One random item drop (for example, a Mad Milk)
    • Plus one additional random item drop for each Squad Surplus Voucher used
    • All of these random item drops have the usual ~3% chance of dropping a hat or other cosmetic/tool item.
  • (Two Cities tours only) A random number (4 to 7) of robot parts, some of which may be rare


fabricator rl“Two Cities” Tours grant Killstreak Fabricators and Kits.

The other tours grant different varieties of Botkiller Weapons.

All Tours of at least Advanced difficulty have a small chance of dropping an Australium weapon also.


When you finish the last mission in a Tour, you will get the above, and also:

  • You will receive a random Special Weapon or Kit
    • Two Cities Tours grant a random Standard Killstreak Kit, plus one or two random Killstreak Fabricators also (see below)
    • All other Tours grant a random Botkiller Weapon, depending on which Tour you completed (see below)
  • One increment is added to the applicable badge’s Tour Counter
  • (Updated 12/22/14): You also have a roughly 2% chance of getting an Australium weapon as well, if you completed an Advanced or Expert Tour
    • Perhaps Australium weapons are slightly likely to drop soon after Valve pushes a new TF2 update or sale, but who knows?
  • All the missions are cleared so that you can complete another Tour and get its reward again


You will not get the weapon/kit granted by the Tour until you complete every mission in the Tour. Tours are repeatable; you can keep earning weapons each time you complete all of the missions of the Tour, and ramp your Badge’s counter. Be warned: You can complete the same mission repeatedly in Mann Up mode, but you will not get any item drops whatsoever.  But you keep your tickets too, so you can play again.  You do have to have a ticket in order to begin play, however. See below for more information on the reward items.






There are five levels of mission difficulty:

  1. Beginner, the easiest (Boot Camp only)
  2. Intermediate (Boot Camp or Mann Up)
    • “Oil Spill” is the Mann Up Tour
  3. Advanced, the “middle difficulty” (Boot Camp, or Mann Up)
    • “Steel Trap”, “Mecha Engine”, and “Two Cities” are the three Mann Up Tours
  4. Expert (Boot Camp or Mann Up), the hardest mission difficulty
    • “Gear Grinder” is the Mann Up Tour
  5. Nightmare, a single zombie-themed mission (Boot Camp only)


Here is a list of the current “Mann Up” Tours of Duty, in order of difficulty:

“Operation Oil Spill”

  • Difficulty: Intermediate (2 out of 5)
  • Special Weapons: Rust BK Mk. I (common), Blood BK Mk. I (uncommon)
  • Chance of Australium Weapon on Tour Completion: no
  • Number of Missions: 6
    • Map: Decoy
      • “Doe’s Doom”
      • “Day of Wreckening”
    • Map: Coal Town
      • “Cave-in”
      • “Quarry”
    • Map: Mannworks
      • “Mean Machines”
      • “Mannhunt”

“Operation Steel Trap”

  • Difficulty: Advanced (3 out of 5)
  • Special Weapons: Silver BK Mk. I (common), Gold BK Mk. I (uncommon)
  • Chance of Australium Weapon on Tour Completion: yes
  • Number of Missions: 6
    • Map: Decoy
      • “Disk Deletion”
      • “Data Demolition”
    • Map: Coal Town
      • “Ctrl+Alt+Destruction”
      • “CPU Slaughter”
    • Map: Mannworks
      • “Machine Massacre”
      • “Mech Mutilation”

“Operation Mecha Engine”

  • Difficulty: Advanced (3 out of 5)
  • Special Weapons: Silver BK Mk. II (common), Gold BK Mk. II (uncommon)
    • Mark II Botkiller weapons feature Engineer heads, instead of Heavy heads.
  • Chance of Australium Weapon on Tour Completion: yes
  • Number of Missions: 3
      • This Tour introduced the use of Engineer robots, and their teleporters and sentries
    • Map: Decoy
      • “Disintegration”
    • Map: Big Rock
      • “Broken Parts”
      • “Bone Shaker”


“Operation Two Cities”: with notes so you can differentiate between them

  • Difficulty: Advanced (3 out of 5)
  • Special Weapons: Killstreak Kits, Specialized Fabricators (common), and Professional Fabricators (uncommon)
  • Chance of Australium Weapon on Tour Completion: yes
  • Number of Missions: 4
    • The only way to earn Robot Parts is by completing Two Cities missions.
    • Map: Mannhattan
      • “Empire Escalation”
        • Wave 5: 10 Giant Black Box Soldiers start spawning in the 2nd sub-wave, and 8 Giant Bonk Scouts start spawning late
      • “Metro Malice”
        • Wave 1: 8 Giant Rapid Fire Soldiers spawn with 3 Uber Medics each, making a demoman team member almost required
    • Map: Rottenburg
      • “Hamlet Hostility”
        • Wave 3: 3 Giant Super Scouts with a Tank shortly thereafter
        • Wave 4: at end of wave, 12 Giant Super Scouts, and 3 Giant Heavies with 2 Quick-Fix Medics each
        • Wave 7: 3 Tanks in quick succession
      • “Bavarian Botbash
        • Wave 1: 2 Giant Super Scouts in the fist sub-wave
        • Wave 7: Tank, 4 Giant Deflector Heavies, 4 Giant Spammer Soldiers, and 8 Giant Burst Demos, each spawning no more than 30 seconds apart

“Operation Gear Grinder”: the hardest Tour to date

  • Difficulty: Expert (4 out of 5)
  • Special Weapons: Carbonado BK Mk. I (common), Diamond BK Mk. I (uncommon)
  • Chance of Australium Weapon on Tour Completion: yes
  • Number of Missions: 3
    • Map: Decoy
      • “Desperation”
    • Map: Coal Town
      • “Cataclysm”
    • Map: Mannworks
      • “Mannslaughter”


3.  Botkiller Weapons

botkiller heads

Rust, Blood; Silver, Gold; Carbonado, Diamond heads of Botkiller weapons

All Botkiller (BK) weapons are Strange quality, keeping track of the number of the (human player) kills you inflict with them, and they are able to take up to 3 Strange Parts as well. Each time you complete the Tours “Oil Spill”, “Steel Trap”, “Mecha Engine”, or “Gear Grinder”, you will earn one random Botkiller weapon. See above for the list of Tours, which correspond to the types of botkiller weapons (rust, blood, silver, gold, carbonado, and diamond) they reward. There are only 9 kinds of Botkiller weapons at this time, and they are the stock trademark weapons for each class:

  • Scattergun for the Scout
  • Rocket Launcher for the Soldier
  • Flame Thrower for the Pyro
  • Stickybomb Launcher for the Demoman
  • Minigun for the Heavy
  • Wrench for the Engineer
  • Medi Gun for the Medic
  • Sniper Rifle for the Sniper
  • Knife for the Spy

Trivia: The level of the BK weapon is equal to the number of those Tours you completed when you earned the weapon (i.e. your 5th completion of Gear Grinder may grant you a Carbonado or Diamond BK Weapon that is Level 5). BK weapons are essentially reskinned Strange weapons, which are a mild status symbol in the greater TF2 community; players equipped with Botkiller weapons are usually players who have invested more time in the game, and act as a trophy to their skill.  They are tradable, but players can simply invest time and tickets to earn a weapon, unlike unusual hats. Fortunately, when you earn a BK weapon, it is ready to use! That is not the case with some Killstreaker weapons, which are much more complicated.


4.  Killstreaker Weapons, Kits, Fabricators, and Robot Parts

Killstreaker weapons count your current “kill streak” or number of kills that you have made since your last death. The number of kills in the streak made by killstreaker weapons the player possesses is announced in the killfeed in the top right corner after the player’s name (i.e. ” 2 >” ), and at intervals of five, the killstreak is announced to the whole server at the top of the screen. There are 3 ascending tiers of killstreaker weapons, in order:

  1. Standard Killstreak weapons only do the killstreak counter, as counted above.
  2. Specialized Killstreak weapons do the killstreak counter, and also display a colored sheen to the weapon. The color grows brighter as the wielder’s killstreak increases. There are seven possible sheens:
    • Team Shine (Red, Blue)
    • Hot Rod (Pink)
    • Manndarin (Orange)
    • Deadly Daffodil (Yellow)
    • Mean Green (Lime Green)
    • Agonizing Emerald (Green)
    • Villainous Violet (Purple)
  3. Professional Killstreak weapons have both the killstreak counter and a killstreak sheen. Also, they cause a glowing particle effect to the wielder’s eyes when a killstreak of at least five kills is attained, similar to the Eyelander’s. There are seven possible effects:
    • Cerebral Discharge (yellow bolts)
    • Fire Horns (orange fires and a glowing orange pentagram overhead)
    • Flames (pink-red cloudy flames)
    • Hypno-Beam (lavender concentric circles)
    • Incinerator (green-to-gray smoke floating straight up)
    • Singularity (yellow-green dancing lights near eyes)
    • Tornado (gold-bordered dust clouds floating upwards)

Click here to see GIFs of all of the possible Professional Killstreak glowing eyes effects. See this forum thread to see what many weapons’ sheens look like (and to vote on your favorite glowing-eye effect!).


Killstreak kits are the tool items used to make a weapon a killstreak without changing its item quality or other traits. They are keyed to a specific type of weapon, such as a Flare Gun Killstreak Kit. Kits can be applied to a stock item if you choose, creating a separate Unique item in your inventory. Let me say that again: Killstreak kits can be applied to ANY weapon of its type. Yes, you can have a Collector’s Professional Killstreaker Sandvich. Or a Botkiller Standard Killstreaker Stickybomb Launcher. Or a Vintage Specialized Killstreaker Backburner. But as you will see below, only Unique-quality Killstreak weapons can be used in the creation of better ones.


Killstreaker fabricators are tool items used to make even better killstreaker kits. They are keyed to a specific type of weapon, such as a Specialized Killstreak Shotgun. However, each fabricator comes with a list of robot parts and weapon(s) needed to construct the kit. It also shows the specific weapon it is keyed to, and what sheens/effects it will grant. Killstreaks and the kits and fabricators required to make them are tiered:

  1. Standard killstreak kits are found each time you complete a Two Cities Tour.
  2. Specialized killstreak fabricators are commonly found each Tour you complete also. In order to finish the kit, each requires:
    • 24 random Battle-Worn robot parts
    • 5 random Reinforced robot parts
    • 1 Unique-quality Standard Killstreak weapon of your choice
  3. Professional killstreak fabricators are rarely found each Tour you complete as well. In order to finish these rare kits, each requires:
    1. 16 random Battle-Worn robot parts
    2. 6 random Reinforced robot parts
    3. 3 random Pristine robot parts
    4. 2 Unique-quality Specialized Killstreak weapons of your choice

Fortunately, killstreaker weapons, kits, fabricators, and robot parts are all tradable and giftable, so you’re not forced to earn every single part if you don’t want to. Just remember that only yellow Unique Killstreak weapons can be used in construction of kits, even though they can be applied to Strange, Collector’s, Vintage and others. The robot parts are:

  • Common
    • Battle-Worn Robot Money Furnace
    • Battle-Worn Robot Taunt Processor
    • Battle-Worn Robot KB-808
  • Uncommon
    • Reinforced Robot Emotion Detector
    • Reinforced Robot Humor Suppression Pump
    • Reinforced Robot Bomb Stabilizer
  • Rare
    • Pristine Robot Currency Digester
    • Pristine Robot Brainstorm Bulb




An Example: Chung decides to begin a Two Cities tour, and manages to complete the Empire Escalation mission. He finds a huntsman (his random item drop), two battle-worn taunt processors, two battle-worn money furnaces, and a reinforced emotion detector. He has to complete a Tour to get a beloved killstreaker kit. Encouraged, Chung finishes the tour. Besides the other items and robot parts he has found, he earns a Standard Scattergun Killstreaker Kit, and a Specialized Killstreak Black Box Fabricator (Deadly Daffodil) . He’s been playing as Scout, so he applies the Standard Scattergun Killstreaker Kit to his stock Scattergun, giving him a Unique Killstreak Scattergun. Looking at the fabricator, he sees the randomly-generated formula required to earn a Specialized Killstreak Black Box:

  • 1 Unique Standard Killstreak Weapon
  • 13 Battle-Worn Money Furnace
  • 9 Battle-Worn KB-808
  • 2 Battle-Worn Taunt Processor
  • 5 Reinforced Bomb Stabilizer

Chung decides to begin another Tour in order to earn the Spec Black Box. After finishing the Tour of four missions once more, and trading off some scrap for three Money Furnaces he was still missing, he has all of the parts he needs to make the Spec Black Box. When he finished the second tour, he earned another Killstreak Kit–which he will apply to an Ubersaw because he wants to keep his Killstreak Scattergun–and he also got a Professional Killstreak Sandvich Fabricator (Agonizing Emerald, Flames). Chung decides to use the Ubersaw and finishes the Black Box. But he’s not going to use the Black Box to make a ProK Sandvich; he’s going to shop the fabricator around for something he would like to have.


5.  Australium Weapons

aussie minigun

Very rarely (about 2% of the time) when finishing any Advanced or Expert difficulty Tour, you may be rewarded with an Australium Weapon of a random type as well as the standard Tour Rewards. These are Strange-quality weapons with a very obvious golden sheen continually visible.

These are the weapons currently possible to exist as Australium versions:

  • Scout: Scattergun, Force-a-Nature
  • Soldier: Rocket Launcher, Black Box
  • Pyro: Flame Thrower, Axtinguisher
  • Demoman: Grenade Launcher, Stickybomb Launcher, Eyelander
  • Heavy: Minigun, Tomislav
  • Engineer: Frontier Justice, Wrench
  • Medic: Blutsauger, Medi Gun
  • Sniper: Sniper Rifle, SMG
  • Spy: Ambassador, Knife
  • All Class: Frying Pan

The Frying Pan is an oddball among these. Being an all-class weapon (unlike other versions of Frying Pan) it will build and repair buildings when held by an Engineer, and it will backstab when equipped by a Spy; don’t think it’s a do-it-all tool for every class. They just allowed the given animations to perform the essential functions for each class.

If you get an Australium Frying Pan, keep it! There are perhaps a couple of dozen in existence, and they are worth thousands of US dollars!  This is not a joke. With it in your inventory, people will immediately start to offer you lowball trades for it, and you should ignore them.



I hope this guide is useful to you. Ten hours’ time went into the creation of this guide, drawing heavily from the Official TF2 Wiki and the TF2Newbs community alike. But since many of us were confused about what was required to acquire some of the high-end killstreak weapons, I figured a clear document detailing the process would be an asset. I will try to update this document on occasion as needed.

[N] Obey


P.S.: Other TF2 guides I’ve written:

Thanks for reading, and be sure to bookmark!

Getting TF2 to work with a G15 (or G13, or G19) display

Posted on: January 14th, 2010 by cmptrwz

It is fairly well known at this point that TF2 has Logitech G15 LCD support. When it was discovered people rejoiced!

Then they found out it didn’t work. Apparently the source engine has G15 support, and they didn’t ship all the pieces with TF2.

But you can rejoice, for the secret of getting TF2 to work with a G15 (and, as a result, G13 and G19) has been discovered!


Inviting people to play Team Fortress 2 with you. Sometimes it pays to go away.

Posted on: March 15th, 2009 by octo dhd

Since the inception of the TF2 Newbs server (a stock rotation server) on the first day of beta one of the challenges has been to keep the server full, or at least populated enough where I don’t have to sit there for 6 hours by myself.   Unfortunately due to things outside of my control we’ve had to change the IP addresses of our servers a couple of times, combined with our rapid expansion in total servers (currently we have 8 maintained by me + 2 donated to the community by others) early in the day its common to find the servers empty, requiring people interested in playing to sit on an empty server waiting for those first few people to join.   When I have time, this would be me. Oh how I yearned for a way to easily invite my friends who were around to come play too. Once in a blue moon I could hit shift-tab, bring up the overlay pick a friend, and invite them to the game I’m in.  But most of the time the option just wasn’t there.  I then learned from someone very very smart, that all you need to do in order to get the invite option to come back is to change your ‘status’ on steam, and it’ll magically reappear.


Here are some non-resized pictures to help.

Oh look no invite

Lets go change our status

Oh yay! I can invite now