Your ad here, right now:

Posts Tagged ‘gift’

What Are Limited User Accounts?

Posted on: April 18th, 2015 by Obey

Steam has made some changes to the client software in an attempt to reduce the number of phisher/hacker accounts. Rest assured that the following doesn’t apply to you if you have ever spent at least US$5 lifetime at the Steam Store.

UPDATE 5/31/15:  Valve explains their reasons for having limited users to PC Gamer.

A limited user is any Steam account that has not yet spent at least US$5.00 at the Steam Store; such a user is similar to a universal free-to-play account. Limited User accounts have had many of the functions of the Steam client removed–mostly to prevent phishers and hackers from creating throwaway Steam accounts. Among the features that are now disabled for Limited User accounts include:

  • Sending friend invites
  • Voting or posting on anything in Steam Workshop, Greenlight, or Reviews for a game/software
  • Opening text chat windows with another user or groups
  • Gaining Steam Profile Levels and Steam Trading Cards
  • Participating in the Steam Market

The above restrictions are lifted if the user buys a game(s) of at least $5 value in the Steam Store for yourself or as a gift, buys at least $5 worth of Steam Wallet funds, or adds a prepurchased Steam card to the account.

Limited User accounts can still play free-to-play games on Steam, promotional trial games like Free Weekends, receive and play gift games from another person, trade games and/or in-game items, and activate promotional CD keys (like from hardware companies or a Humble Bundle). However, none of these actions will earn full user access; at least $5 of funds and/or content must be purchased from Steam (or a Steam card from a third-party, and then applied) to remove the Limited User restrictions. Again, receiving a game(s) or in-game items as gifts will not remove the restrictions.


[N] Obey

A Word About Trading: 12/19/2014

Posted on: December 20th, 2014 by Obey

Two things here:

  1. Some recent changes on Steam about trading
    • If you do a lot of Steam trading, you really need to read this post.
  2. Some minor TF2 patches
    • Naughty and Nice 2014 crates started dropping for TF2 players since December 15th. They cannot yet be opened.


[In a serious tone of voice] Some recent changes have occurred regarding items and games gifted on Steam. There are new delays that have been added before certain items can be gifted, because of a myriad of reasons; the main two reasons are dishonest hackers/phishers/botters, and to prevent users from taking advantage of volatile global currencies (such as the recent fall of the Russian ruble, or the riskier currencies of Southeast Asia).


1. Any item(s) that you purchase from the Mann Co. Store or from the Steam Community Market cannot be traded for 7 days.

This has been recently increased from the old three-day limit. So if you’re wondering why you can’t trade something after three days, this is why.  So if you’re buying something so that you can turn around and gift it to a friend, you have to wait a full week in order to do so.

2. Any gift copy of a game that you receive from another person cannot be gifted for 30 days.

For example, Kit buys a gift copy of “Castle Crashers”, immediately sending it to me.  When I receive it, I must choose whether to add it to my game library, or to add a gift copy to my Steam inventory.  If I do the former, the game is permanently added to my Steam account (regardless if it is installed on any computer), and can never be removed or transferred (but it can be hidden from view in the Steam interface).  If I do the latter, I cannot trade that copy of “Castle Crashers” to someone else until thirty days have elapsed.

I am not sure the rationale for this, but one of many possible reasons is to discourage players from buying lots of copies of a game while on sale, then selling them at a profit when the sale ends. Then again, taxes also come into play (see below).

3. Steam Guard must be activated on your account for 15 days before you can trade anything on Steam.

This is primarily to prevent phishers and hackers from making a Steam account to immediately use it for nefarious uses. This rule has been in force for several years already.

4. When you change your Steam password, you cannot trade any items for 5 days afterward.

This is a security measure intended to discourage hackers from quickly stealing control of someone’s account to take all of the valuable items.

Changing your Steam password is a good thing to do on a regular basis, and Steam does not want to discourage you from doing so.  However, if someone manages to steal your password, the first thing a thief or hacker will try to do is to change the password.  This measure does not prevent you from losing access to your account.  It does give you a chance to notice that you cannot login, and thus notify Steam so that they can begin to investigate.

If you know that you are going to be away from Steam for a length of time, consider changing your password before you are away.  Save the new password somewhere, like writing a note for yourself on your phone or send an email to yourself, since you may forget the new password before you come back to Steam.

5. If you do a lot of trading on Steam, you may be required to declare them on your taxes!

(The following deals predominantly with US users of Steam, but other countries’ regulations may differ, so refer to this Community Market FAQ as a starting point.)

5a. If you exceed 200 sales transactions (where you are the seller) on the Steam Community Market in a calendar year, you may be unable to complete any further sales transactions until you complete a 1099 Tax Form.

Surprise! The IRS requires Steam to report gross sales and provide tax forms of users that both: 1) Exceed 200 annual sales in a year, and 2) Exceed US$20,000 in those sales. Therefore Steam may provide you with a 1099 Tax Form, and possibly suspend further sales pending completion of the documentation, so that they can comply with US law even if you never reach the latter minimum of $20k of sales.

Do not assume that these transactions are automatically taxable, even if Steam contacts you regarding this tax form.  However, it is your responsibility to determine any tax liabilities, so you should consult your tax advisor.

Right.  Well, let’s get on with the dinky patch notes….

Patch Notes: 12/15/14

  • Fixed a client crash related to ragdolls
  • Updated Mann Co. Store prices for foreign currencies to current USD equivalents
  • Updated rd_asteroid
    • Began interior art-pass process
    • Reduced respawn times for both teams by 1 second

Undocumented Changes


Patch Notes: 12/17/14

Undocumented Changes

Added End of the Line Community Update Medal.


[N] Obey

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