TF2 wiki

***Team Fortress 2*** is a team-based multiplayer first-person shooter developed by [Valve Software]( as part of the game bundle [The Orange Box]( It was first released for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360 on October 10, 2007. A PlayStation 3 version then followed on November 22, 2007. Following suit, it was released as a standalone title on April 9, 2008, and on June 10, 2010, *Team Fortress 2* was released for Mac OS X. The PC and OS X versions of *Team Fortress 2* adopted a “Free to Play” model on June 23, 2011, with all revenue being generated from microtransactions in the [in-game Store]( After several months of closed beta, *Team Fortress 2* was finally released for Linux operating systems on February 14, 2013.

The game was first announced in 1998 as a sequel to the original [*Team Fortress*]( mod for *Quake* (a first-person shooter video game, developed by id Software), but has since been through various concept and design periods. In 1999, the game appeared to be abandoning the art styles of the original [*Team Fortress Classic*]( by transitioning toward a more realistic and militaristic style of gameplay. However, the design continued evolving over the game’s nine-year development period and game engine switch. The final art style rendition of *Team Fortress 2* resembles that of the original *Team Fortress* and *Team Fortress Classic* games, and also features a cartoon-like visual style based on the art of [Dean Cornwell](, [J. C Leyendecker](, and [Norman Rockwell]( *Team Fortress 2* followed a popular trend in CGI films at the time, in particular, films made by [*Pixar*](, such as [*The Incredibles*](

The absence of media information or apparent development progress for six years of the game’s development caused it to be labeled as vaporware, and it was regularly featured in the *Wired News’* annual vaporware list, among gaming news outlets. Since its release, however, the game has received critical acclaim and several awards.

Like its predecessors, *Team Fortress 2* is centered around two opposing teams competing for an objective. These two teams are meant to represent a demolition and a construction company as a part of the backstory: Reliable Excavation Demolition ([RED]( and Builders League United ([BLU]( Players can choose to play as one of nine [classes]( in these teams, each with their unique strengths, weaknesses, abilities, and roles. Although the abilities of some classes have changed from earlier *Team Fortress* incarnations, the essential elements of each class have remained.

*Team Fortress 2* is the first of [Valve](’s multiplayer games to incorporate detailed statistics for players. These statistics include the time spent playing as each class, the average point score, and the most captures or objectives achieved in a single round. Persistent statistics tell the player how they are improving concerning these statistics, such as if a player comes close to their record for the damage inflicted in a round. *Team Fortress 2* also features numerous [achievements]( for carrying out certain tasks, such as scoring a certain number of kills or completing a round within a certain time. New sets of class-specific achievements were added in updates after the main release. These have added new abilities and weapons to each class once unlocked by the player. Unlocked achievements and statistics from previously played games are displayed on the player’s [Steam Community]( or Xbox LIVE profile page.

### Maps

*Main article:* [*List of maps*](

On the PC and OS X versions of *Team Fortress 2*, the initial release only included six official Valve maps, with several dozen more being added to the game over the years by Valve and the *Team Fortress 2* community. On the console versions, however, these original six maps, all released by Valve, are still the only maps available. The official maps are commonly themed with an evil genius or retro-spy tech mentality, with secret bases that are concealed within industrial warehouses, as well as exaggerated super weapons such as laser cannons and missile launch facilities taking the role of objectives. During Halloween (called [*Scream Fortress*]( and Christmas (called [*Smissmas*](, several new maps are enabled that often feature Halloween and Christmas/winter themes respectively.

When players joins certain maps for the first time, an introductory video shows them how to complete map objectives. Map player limits are 24 on the PC and OS X, although the player limit has been altered on some servers to reach as high as 32, while the player limit on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 is 16.

### Game modes

*Main article:* [*List of game modes*](

*Team Fortress 2* shipped with three game modes: [Capture the Flag](, [Control Point](, and [Territorial Control]( Since the game’s release, several new game modes have been added, such as [Payload](, [Arena](, and [Mann vs. Machine]( Several of these game modes feature both Valve-made and community-made maps. Several [unused game modes]( have been discovered over the years.

### Customization

*Main article:* [*Customization*](

Since the [April 29, 2008 Patch](,_2008_Patch), also known as the [**Gold Rush Update**](, the Loadout menu was introduced. This menu allowed the player to change their [weapons]( and, with the introduction of [cosmetic items]( in the [Sniper vs. Spy Update](, their cosmetic items (previously referred to as **hats** and **miscellaneous items**, or **miscs**) to change the appearance of their class.

In the [Über Update](, [special taunts]( were added to the game as action slot items and were given their own loadout slot in the [Love & War Update]( Taunts allow players to perform certain animations, often used to taunt the enemy players after death. Some taunts are partner taunts, which allows two or more players to perform a taunt together (such as the [Square Dance](, which can be performed with one other player, and the [Conga](, which can be performed with many other players).

The [Gun Mettle Update]( in 2015 introduced the [Decorated]( quality, allowing players to customize the look of their weapons by applying different textures to them, later transitioning to the [War Paint]( system with the [Jungle Inferno Update]( in 2017.

Cosmetic items, taunts, and Decorated weapons can all feature special [particle effects]( on them.

## Development

### Origins

Originally developed as a freeware mod for *Quake*, *Team Fortress 2* switched to the GoldSrc engine in 1998 after the development team of Team Fortress Software – consisting of Robin Walker and John Cook – was first contracted and employed by Valve. At the time, *Team Fortress 2* was called [*Valve’s Team Fortress*]( At the point of Team Fortress Software’s acquisition, production moved up a notch, and the game was promoted to a standalone, retail product to tide fans over since, as well as time issues, much of the *Team Fortress* player base had purchased [*Half-Life*]( solely in anticipation of the free release of *Team Fortress 2*. Work began on a simple port of the game which was released in 1999 as the free *Team Fortress Classic*. Notably, *Team Fortress Classic* was built entirely within the publicly available GoldSrc Software Development Kit (SDK) as an example to the community and industry of its flexibility.

Walker and Cook were heavily influenced by their three-month contractual stint at Valve and began working full-time on their design, which was undergoing rapid metamorphosis. *Team Fortress 2* was to be a modern war game, with a command hierarchy including a commander, with a bird’s-eye view of the battlefield; parachute drops over enemy territory; networked voice communication; and numerous other innovations.

The new design was revealed to the public at the 1999 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) where it earned several awards including Best Online Game and Best Action Game. By this time *Team Fortress 2* had gained a new subtitle, [“Brotherhood of Arms”](, and the results of Walker and Cook working at Valve were becoming evident. Several new, and at the time, unprecedented technologies were on show: parametric animation; seamlessly blended animations for smoother, more life-like movement; and Intel’s multi-resolution mesh technology dynamically reducing the detail of on-screen elements as they become more distant to improve performance (a technique made obsolete by decreasing memory costs, since today’s games use a method known as [level of detail](, which employs more memory but less processing power. *Team Fortress 2* has switched to this method as well). No release date was given at the exposition.

In mid-2000, Valve announced that *Team Fortress 2’*s development had been delayed for a second time. They put the news down to development switching to an in-house, proprietary engine that is today known as the [Source engine]( It was at around this time that all news ran dry, and *Team Fortress 2* entered its notorious six-year vaporware phase, which was to last until July 13, 2006. During that time, both Walker and Cook worked on various other Valve projects – Walker was project lead on *Half-Life 2: Episode One* and Cook became a [Steam]( developer among other things – raising doubts that *Team Fortress 2* was the active project that was being repeatedly described.

### “Invasion” design

*See also:* [*Invasion*](

When the infamous *Half-Life 2* source tree was leaked in late 2003, two *Team Fortress 2* models were included along with the *Team Fortress 2* source code – which was fully compilable. They consisted of an alien grunt and a very stylized, out-of-proportion human soldier. The code was interpreted by fans as making references to parts of the *Half-Life* backstory; however, the two leaked player models did not resemble any known style from the *Half-Life* series, leading many to think it was meant for *Team Fortress 2*.

The [Source SDK]( was released with the *Half-Life 2* source code, and also provided references to *Team Fortress 2*. Some code merely confirmed what was already believed, but other segments provided completely new information such as the presence of NPCs in multiplayer matches, the possibility of the game taking place in the *Half-Life 2* universe, fixed plasma gun and missile launcher emplacements, and more.

None of the leaked information appears to have had any bearing on today’s version of the game. This iteration was mentioned in an August 2007 interview with Gabe Newell by GameTrailers and [a September 2010 interview with PC Gamer](, in which he mentions “Invasion” as being the second phase of *Team Fortress 2’*s development under Valve Software.

### Final design

The next significant public development occurred in the run up to *Half-Life 2’s* 2004 release: Valve’s Director of Marketing Doug Lombardi claimed that *Team Fortress 2* was still in development and that information concerning it would come after *Half-Life 2’s* release. This did not happen, nor was any news released after Lombardi’s similar claim during an early interview regarding *Half-Life 2: Episode One*. Near the time of *Episode One’s* release, Gabe Newell again claimed that news on *Team Fortress 2* would be forthcoming – and this time it was. *Team Fortress 2* was unveiled again a month later at the July 2006 EA Summer Showcase event.

Walker revealed in March 2007 that Valve had quietly built “probably three to four different games” before settling on their final design. Due to the game’s lengthy development cycle it was often mentioned alongside *Duke Nukem Forever*, another long-anticipated game that went through many years of protracted development and engine changes before being released.

The beta release of the game featured six multiplayer maps of which three contain [optional commentary]( by the developers on game design, level design, character design, and provide more information on the history behind the development.

*Team Fortress 2* does not attempt the realistic graphical approach used in other Valve games using the Source engine such as *Half-Life 2*, *Day of Defeat: Source*, and *Counter-Strike: Source*. Rather, it uses a more stylized, cartoon-like approach “heavily influenced by early 20th century commercial illustrations”. The effect is achieved using a unique Valve in-house rendering and lighting technique making extensive use of ‘[Phong shading](’. The development commentary in the game suggests that part of the reason for the cartoonish style was the difficulty in explaining the maps and characters in realistic terms. The removal of an emphasis on realistic settings allows these questions to be sidestepped. The game debuts with the Source engine’s new dynamic lighting, shadowing, and soft particle technologies, among many other unannounced features, alongside *Half-Life 2: Episode Two*. *Team Fortress 2* was also the first game to implement the Source engine’s new Facial Animation 3 features.

The art style of the game was inspired by J. C. Leyendecker, as well as Dean Cornwell and Norman Rockwell. Their distinctive styles of sharp silhouettes and shading to draw attention to specific details were adapted to make the models distinct, with a focus on making the characters’ team, class, and current weapon easily identifiable. Silhouettes and animation are used to make the class of a character apparent even at range, and a color scheme that draws attention to the chest area brings focus to the selected weapon.

Maps are designed with a neutral space between two bases. They are archetypal spy fortresses but disguised as inconspicuous buildings to give plausibility to their close proximities. The maps have little visual clutter and stylized, almost impressionistic modeling, to allow enemies to be spotted more easily. The impressionistic design approach also affects textures, which are based on photos that are filtered and improved by hand, giving them a tactile quality and giving *Team Fortress 2* its distinct look. The bases are designed to let players immediately know where they are. The RED base uses warm colors, natural materials, and angular shapes, while the BLU base uses cool colors, industrial materials, and orthogonal shapes.

### Release

During the July 2006 Electronic Arts press conference, Valve revealed that *Team Fortress 2* would ship as the multiplayer component of *Half-Life 2: Episode Two*. A conference trailer demonstrated the game’s new graphical style was featuring all of the original *Team Fortress* classes, pointed towards a more lighthearted and whimsical visual style as opposed to the dark, somewhat more traditional, a military simulation that had initially been shown. Newell said that their goal was to create “the best looking and best-playing class-based multiplayer game”.

A beta for *Team Fortress 2* was released via Steam on September 17, 2007, for customers who pre-purchased The Orange Box and for those who activated their “Black Box” coupon, which was included with ATI HD 2900XT Graphics cards. In addition to The Orange Box customers, LAN gaming centers using the ‘Steam for Cafe’ system had the game installed and ready to play.

*Team Fortress 2* was released October 10, 2007, as both a standalone product via Steam and at retail stores as part of The Orange Box – a game bundle pack priced at each gaming platform’s standard price. The package also contains *Half-Life 2*, *Half-Life 2: Episode One*, *Half-Life 2: Episode Two*. and *Portal*. Valve offered The Orange Box at a $5 discount for those who pre-purchased it via Steam before the October 10 release, as well as the opportunity to participate in the final beta test of *Team Fortress 2*. The game receives periodic, free updates that give the game new content, bug fixes, and additional features.

*Team Fortress 2* became free-to-play on June 23rd, 2011 on Steam.

## Critical reception

*Team Fortress 2* was very well received by critics and consumers alike. Charles Onyett of IGN awarded *Team Fortress 2* an 8.9/10 praising the quirky graphics and fun atmosphere, but criticizing the lack of extra content, like [bots](, as well as the removal of class-specific Grenades which were one of the defining features of the original *Team Fortress*. By contrast, *PC Gamer UK* praised *Team Fortress 2* for removing the Grenade, continuing to compliment Valve Software for the unique nature of each of the game’s characters. Despite some mild criticism over map navigation and the Medic class, PC Gamer UK awarded the game 94%. X-Play awarded The Orange Box with its highest rating (5/5) with nothing but good things to say about *Team Fortress 2*. Review aggregation site Metacritic ranks *Team Fortress 2* as having received “universal acclaim”, with an average critic review of 92%, based on 12 reviews by game critic sites, and a 9.6/10 rating based on user ratings. As of January 21, 2008, The Orange Box has a GameRankings score of 96.2% on the Xbox 360, making it tied for the highest ranked Xbox 360 game and a score of 96.2% on the PC.


*Team Fortress 2* has won several awards since its release. In its “Best of 2007” awards, honored the game with an award for “Best Artistic Design” for the PC. Additionally, *Team Fortress 2* received awards for “Best Multiplayer Experience (PC),” and “Best Artistic Direction (PC)” from in its 2007 editorial awards. The game also won “Best Multiplayer Game of the Year” both on the PC and on any platform in GameSpy’s 2007 Game of the Year awards along with an award for “Most Unique Art Style.”

## Promotional events

*Main article:* [*Promotional items*](

Over the years, *Team Fortress 2* has collaborated with several different games, companies, and communities to feature special crossover content such as weapons and cosmetic items. Some of these events include having *Team Fortress 2* content shipped to the associated game, such as featuring one of the mercenaries, maps, or other content.

## External links

* [The archived *Team Fortress 2* page]( at the official site of The Orange Box.
* [The Orange Box](
* [Valve Software]( official site.
* [The Official Team Fortress 2 Blog](
* [The Team Fortress 2 Game Hub]( on Steam.

**Major game updates** (oldest to newest):

* [*The Gold Rush Update*]( (April 29, 2008)
* [*The Pyro Update*]( (June 19, 2008)
* [*A Heavy Update*]( (August 19, 2008 )
* [*The Scout Update*]( (Febuary 24, 2009)
* [*The Sniper vs. Spy Update*]( (May 21, 2009)
* [*Classless Update*]( (August 13, 2009)
* [*Hallowe’en Special*]( (October 29, 2009)
* [*WAR! Update*]( (December 17, 2009)
* [*119th Update*]( (April 29, 2010)
* [*The Mac Update*]( (June 10, 2010)
* [*The Engineer Update*]( (July 8, 2010)
* [*The Mann-Conomy Update*]( (September 30, 2010)
* [*Scream Fortress Update*]( (October 27, 2010)
* [*Australian Christmas*]( (December 17, 2010)
* [*The Hatless Update*]( (April 14, 2011)
* [*The Replay Update*]( (May 5, 2011)
* [*The Über Update*]( (June 23, 2011)
* [*The Manniversary Update*]( (October 13, 2011)
* [*Very Scary Halloween Special*]( (October 27, 2011)
* [*Australian Christmas 2011*]( (December 15, 2011)
* [*Pyromania Update*]( (June 27, 2012)
* [*Mann vs. Machine Update*]( (August 15, 2012)
* [*Spectral Halloween Special*]( (October 26, 2012)
* [*Mecha Update*]( (December 20, 2012)
* [*Robotic Boogaloo Update*]( (May 17, 2013)
* [*Two Cities Update*]( (November 21, 2013)
* [*Smissmas 2013*]( (December 20, 2013)
* [*Love & War Update*]( (June 18, 2014)
* [*Scream Fortress 2014*]( (October 29, 2014)
* [*End of the Line Update*]( (December 8, 2014)
* [*Smissmas 2014*]( (December 22, 2014)
* [*Gun Mettle Update*]( (July 2, 2015)
* [*Invasion Update*]( (October 6, 2015)
* [*Scream Fortress 2015*]( (October 28, 2015)
* [*Tough Break Update*]( (December 17th, 2015)
* [*Meet Your Match Update*]( (July 7th, 2016)
* [*Scream Fortress 2016*]( (October 21, 2016)
* [*Smissmas 2016*]( (December 21, 2016)
* [*Jungle Inferno Update*]( (October 20th, 2017)
* [*Scream Fortress 2017*]( (October 26th, 2017)
* [*Scream Fortress 2018*]( (October 19th, 2018)
* [*Scream Fortress 2019*]( (October 10th, 2019)
* [*Scream Fortress 2020*]( (October 1st, 2020)
* [*Scream Fortress 2021*]( (October 5th, 2021)
* [*Scream Fortress 2022*]( (October 5th, 2022)


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