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Team Fortress 2

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Although this product has been released, it remains under active development - information may change frequently and could be outdated or irrelevant.
Team Fortress 2
Team Fortress 2 cover
Developers
Valve Corporation
PASS Time Escalation Studios[1]
Engines
Source
Release dates
Windows October 9, 2007
macOS (OS X) June 10, 2010
Linux November 6, 2012
Reception
Metacritic 92
Taxonomy
Monetization Free-to-play
Microtransactions Cosmetic, Loot box, Player trading, Unlock
Modes Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person
Controls Direct control
Genres Action, FPS
Art styles Stylized
Themes North America, Sci-fi
Series Team Fortress
Team Fortress 2 on HowLongToBeat
Team Fortress 2 on IGDB
Team Fortress 2 guide on StrategyWiki
Team Fortress 2 on MobyGames
Team Fortress 2 on Wikipedia
Team Fortress
Team Fortress (mod) 1996
Team Fortress Classic 1999
Fortress Forever (unofficial mod) 2007
Team Fortress 2 2007

Warnings

The macOS (OS X) version of this game does not work on macOS Catalina (version 10.15) or later due to the removal of support for 32-bit-only apps.

General information

Official wiki - Run by the TF2 community and hosted by Valve
GitHub Issue Tracker includes other Source-based games
Steam Community Discussions
Steam Workshop

Availability

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Retail
Icon overlay.png
Gives access to Premium account features[2]
Windows
Steam
Icon overlay.png
Free to play, Install with steam://install/440
Also available to purchase in the Orange Box bundle, which gives access to Premium account features.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
All versions require Steam DRM.

DLC and expansion packs

Essential improvements

Skip intro videos

Use the -novid command line argument[3]
  1. Or alternatively, go to <path-to-game>\hl2\media
  2. Delete or rename Valve.bik.

Increase performance

TF2's default settings are generally not well optimized. Therefore, it is recommended to install a custom config, such as mastercomfig.
Install mastercomfig[citation needed]
  1. Go to the mastercomfig website and choose a preset that suits your needs, alongside any addons that are relevant to you and download the necessary VPK files.
  2. Place the VPK files you downloaded in <path-to-game>\tf\custom and follow these directions to add the necessary launch options. (Don't forget to remove the -dxlevel launch option after launching the game)
  3. Boot up the game and test the performance/visual fidelity. If you run into any errors, check the troubleshooting section.
  4. If there are any settings that you would like changed without changing presets, you can use modules to alter individual settings.
Any already existing custom configs you might have will need to be moved from <path-to-game>\tf\cfg to <path-to-game>\tf\cfg\user. You will need to create the user folder yourself. It is also recommended to check if any commands in these custom configs overwrite mastercomfig's.

Higher texture quality

Using the console command mat_picmip #, one can change TF2's texture quality preset independently from the in-game settings, where # can range from 2 to -10. The lower the value, the better.
The in-game "Very High" Texture detail setting uses -1, therefore it isn't the highest possible texture quality the engine can offer.
Set mat_picmip value in autoexec.cfg[4]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\tf\cfg and create a text file named autoexec.cfg, if it doesn't already exist.
  2. Open autoexec.cfg and add the line mat_picmip -10.
  3. Save and close the file. This will ensure that the command is read on start-up.
IMPORTANT: if you use mastercomfig, autoexec.cfg will need to be moved to a folder named overrides inside <path-to-game>\tf\cfg.
Alternately you can use the launch parameter +mat_picmip -10

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Steam <path-to-game>/tf/cfg/
Steam Cloud settings are stored in <Steam-folder>/userdata/<user-id>/440/remote/
Demo files are stored in <path-to-game>/tf/
It's unknown whether this game follows the XDG Base Directory Specification on Linux. Please fill in this information.

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud
Approx. 1 GB available.
Settings, in-game sprays and Steam Workshop submissions.

Video

In-game general video settings.
In-game general video settings.
In-game advanced video settings.
In-game advanced video settings.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Multi-monitor
Ultra-widescreen
Some UI assets don't fill the entire screen.
4K Ultra HD
Interface scales with resolution and can become unusable.
Field of view (FOV)
Slider from 75 to 90°. See Field of view (FOV) for further options.
Windowed
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Use the -window -noborder command line arguments.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Up to 16 samples.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
MSAA, up to 8x.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
Labeled as "Wait for vertical sync".
60 FPS and 120+ FPS
300 FPS cap by default. With console, can change "fps_max" to any value; use 0 for uncapped framerate. The game will break when above 1000 fps, so it may be worthwhile to keep the framerate capped.[citation needed]
High dynamic range display (HDR)
In-game HDR option refers only to HDR Rendering for rendering Bloom and sun shine type effects.
Color blind mode
Under "Advanced HUD Options". Only changes some minor effects like Jarate and Mad Milk.[5]

Field of view (FOV)

For 16:9, a setting of 90° results in a FOV slightly above 106°.
Console commands can change the FOV to arbitrary values, but are not allowed in Competitive Mode. Viewmodel FOV can also be adjusted.
fov_desired[citation needed]
  1. Open the console (~).
  2. Enter fov_desired #, where # is your desired FOV.
viewmodel_fov[citation needed]
  1. Open the console (~).
  2. Enter viewmodel_fov #, where # is your desired viewmodel FOV.
It is also possible to turn on Use minimized viewmodels in the Advanced Options menu.
Alternatively, input tf_use_min_viewmodels 1 into the console.
Plugins[citation needed]
It is possible to increase the FOV limit up to 130 or even unplayable 179, using server-side plugins such as this one. However it is important to note that, while allowed by the ETF2L, and while client-side plugins are not classified as a cheats they are not officially supported by Valve. Some cheats include fov increase hacks, so use at your own risk.

Input

In-game key map settings.
In-game key map settings.
In-game mouse/gamepad settings.
In-game mouse/gamepad settings.

Controller support

See also: Xbox 360 controls on the Official Team Fortress Wiki.
Enabling Xbox 360 HUD[citation needed]
  1. Open the console (~).
  2. Input exec 360controller.

Notes

To reverse the change, input exec undo360controller.

Audio

In-game audio settings.
In-game audio settings.

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Over-all game volume and separate music slider.
Surround sound
7.1, 5.1 surround sound, 4 speaker surround. Linux version lacks the surround support as SDL itself was chosen to handle the audio without the additional API such as SDL_mixer or OpenAL.
Subtitles
The Developer Commentary is the only part of the game with subtitles.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
"Silence the audio while the game window is in the background" check box
EAX support
Linux only. Open alsoft-config (included with OpenAL package) and in HRTF tab set HRTF Mode to Forced On. It'll work only if you have a 32-bit package of OpenAL.

Localizations

Language UI Audio Sub Notes
English
Brazilian Portuguese
Bulgarian
Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese
Czech
Danish
Dutch
Finnish
French
German
Greek
Hungarian
Italian
Japanese
Korean
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Romanian
Russian
Spanish
Swedish
Thai
Turkish
Ukrainian
The game contains files for complete subtitles, but they are not compiled. The user can compile it themselves using the captioncompiler.exe program which is provided with the game.

Network

In-game general multiplayer settings.
In-game general multiplayer settings.
In-game advanced options/multiplayer settings.
In-game advanced options/multiplayer settings.
For more information, see the "Source Dedicated Server" section of our Source engine article.

Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
Local play
32 Co-op, Versus
Use Nucleus Co-op.
LAN play
32 Co-op, Versus
Online play
32 Co-op, Versus

Connection types

Ports

Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
TCP 27014-27050
UDP 3478-4380, 27000-27030
Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) support status is unknown.

VR support

3D modes Native GG3D Notes
Nvidia 3D Vision
TriDef 3D
Headsets Native Notes
HTC Vive
This game might be playable with the Revive Compatibility Layer (compatibility list).
Oculus Rift
Available under Video Settings. See Oculus Rift for more information.
OSVR
Windows Mixed Reality
This game might be playable with the Revive Compatibility Layer (compatibility list).
Devices Native Notes
Tracked motion controllers
Supports Razer Hydra Sixense API. Exit the Hydra tray application and use the launch options +sixense_enabled 1[6]
See Input for details.
Traditional controller
See Input for details.
Keyboard/Mouse
Play area Native Notes
Seated
Standing
Room-scale

Oculus Rift

By default VR mode will run full screen, to switch back to a borderless windowed set the vr_force_windowed convar.
Toggle world view models[citation needed]
  1. Open the console (~).
  2. Enter cl_first_person_uses_world_model 1 to enable or cl_first_person_uses_world_model 0 to disable.

Issues fixed

Generic fixes for issues

Console Commands[citation needed]
  1. Reload the HUD: In console, hud_reloadscheme
  2. Resync the game state with the server (start/stop an in-game demo): In console, record s; stop
  3. Reload sound resources: In console, snd_restart
  4. Re-connect to a server: In console, retry
  5. Re-show missing/hidden viewmodel: In console, r_drawviewmodel 1
Restart the game[citation needed]
Verify Your Game Cache[citation needed]
  1. Find Team Fortress 2 in your Steam Library
  2. Right-click the game name
  3. Select Properties
  4. Go to the Local Files tab
  5. Select Verify Integrity of Game Cache...
  6. This may take a while, just wait for it to finish
  7. Once it's done press OK
  8. Launch the game
Delete your Team Fortress 2 registry settings[citation needed]
  1. Delete the entire content of HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Valve\Source\tf\Settings
Reinstall Steam[citation needed]
Fully re-install Team Fortress 2[citation needed]

Sprays are not visible

As of the September 16, 2021 update, sprays are no longer available on official Valve servers and can be disabled per server by the server admins.
Multiplayer Decal Limit[citation needed]
  • Try raising Multiplayer Decal Limit. Check settings cl_allowdownload, cl_allowupload, cl_playerspraydisable, mp_decals, r_decals and r_spray_lifetime.

Purple and black broken textures

A generic fix for this issue can be found on our Source engine page.

Game Crashes at Valve Logo on Startup

Game Crashes at Valve Logo on Startup[citation needed]

More than likely, you are having DirectX issues. Try the following:

  1. Reinstall the latest DirectX
  2. Find Team Fortress 2 in your Steam Library
  3. Right-click the game name
  4. Press Properties
  5. Select Set Launch Options...
  6. Input -dxlevel 80. 80, 81, 90, and 95 are all valid options, corresponding to Shader Models. Lower is more compatible but 80 may cause more frequent crashes.
  7. Try setting -nod3d9ex. This will disable some DirectX 9 extensions used in Windows Vista/7.

Game crashes after closing MotD

Game crashes after closing MotD[citation needed]

Some servers use Pinion advertisement, a buggy plugin that sometimes crashes TF2.

  1. Update Flash/Java plugins.
  2. Disable HTML motd (in advanced options, under performance options)
  3. Install a Pinion blocker by editing the hosts file.
  4. Try adding the following lines to your autoexec.cfg or in the launch options
  • sv_motd_unload_on_dismissal "1" // The MOTD contents will be unloaded when the player closes the MOTD.
  • alias closed_htmlpage ""; echo BLOCKED an attempted html wait timer"
  • cl_disablehtmlmotd 1

Note that some servers require you to watch the MotD for a minimum amount of time (e.g. 30 seconds)

Cosmetic items do not appear on a player

Bug is caused by the dynamic-model-loading system implemented in Team Fortress 2.
Touch a resupply cabinet[citation needed]

Getting disconnected while playing on a LAN with multiple players

This is caused by multiple players trying to connect to a server using the same client port.
Use unique client ports[citation needed]
  • Each player needs a different client port, by adding this to the launch options: +clientport N, where N is a number between 27005 and 27032, but not 27015 or 27020.

Game cache files are stuck validating

Game cache files are stuck validating[citation needed]
  1. Close Steam and delete ClientRegistry.blob in the Steam folder:[7]
  • Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\
  • OS X: ~/Library/Application Support/Steam/

Low FPS fix

Ubuntu (12.10 to 17.04) or any distro with Unity desktop
Fix low FPS on Ubuntu (12.10 to 17.04) or any distro with Unity desktop[citation needed]

Once the game has loaded and the FPS have dropped below playable:

  1. Press Esc. to return to the game menu.
  2. Go to Options → Video
  3. Switch Display Mode from Fullscreen → Windowed

From here on, the game should increase dramatically in performance.

  1. Optional: Switch back from Windowed -> Fullscreen
Linux with Cinnamon Desktop
Fix low FPS on Linux with Cinnamon Desktop[citation needed]

To increase performance:

  1. Press the Windows (Super) Key to open the mint menu
  2. Go to System Settings → Display (May be under General settings instead)
  3. Enable "Skip Compositing Manager", then close the window.
  4. Launch the game
  5. Switch Display Mode from Windowed → Fullscreen

Cinnamon, by default, skips the compositing rendering manager if an application runs fullscreen, which in turn, disables Vsync. Enabling the compositing manager turns ON Vsync and (depending on the system) slows the game down.

  1. Optional: Switch back from Windowed -> Fullscreen
Anti-Virus Exception
Add an anti-virus exception[8][9]

Anti-virus software can interfere with a file in TF2's folder, which gets updated constantly during gameplay.

  1. Open anti-virus program.
  2. Select settings > exceptions/exclusions.
  3. Add the following folders to the scan exceptions:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\appcache\stats\
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\
C:\Program Files\Steam\appcache\stats\
C:\Program Files\Steam\SteamApps\common\

No Sound In Linux

No sound in Linux[citation needed]
  • Ensure that the PulseAudio is installed and it's daemon is enabled. If not, you can command the game to use ALSA instead by adding SDL_AUDIODRIVER=alsa to the Launch Options as a 1st thing to do.
  • If that does not work, specify AUDIODEV instead, use aplay -1 command to list available sound cards.

Loading Screen Freezes in Linux

Loading Screen Freezes in Linux[citation needed]
This happens mostly if you are on a non-english user in ArchLinux, but that may happen on other distros as well.
  1. Find and edit locale.gen file and remove the commentary (# symbol) from en_US.UTF-8
  2. Generate the locale with locale-gen command as root.

Textures load slowly on Linux

Textures load slowly on Linux[citation needed]
Happens only when you are using any configuration file responsible for improving the framerate such as Chris' FPS Config.

Set mat_picmip 2 to mat_picmip -1 in the configuration file.

Game does not start on ArchLinux

Game does not start on ArchLinux[citation needed]

Ensure that the lib32-libpng12 has been installed.

FL_LoadGlyph error in Linux

Caused by any user who inputs a Unicode symbol in chat
Make the game use Unicode supported font by default[citation needed]
  1. Open sourceschemes.res and change ConsoleText into Unifont
  2. Open chatschemes.res and change the fonts into a Unicode supported one such as Arial, Ubuntu etc.
  3. Remove/Purge the fonts-wqy-zenhei package
You must install Unicode supported fonts.
You have to perform this method in every update for the game.

Audio delay/distortion when using PipeWire

Change the value of snd_mixahead to 0.03 or higher[10]

Mouse sensitivity is doubled than what was set in Linux

Caused by the use of the very outdated SDL2 library included with the game
Go to the bin folder in main game's directory and remove libSDL2-2.0.so.0 this will enforce the game to use the one from your PC, if SDL2 library isn't available on your system, install it or use the Steam Linux Runtime container.[11]

Flickering Black Graphics on Linux

Caused by a Mesa driver bug
Fixing via console commands[citation needed]

Add these console commands to autoexec.cfg

  • mat_phong 1. This enables phong lighting, which is usually only disabled for graphical preference or for framerate improvement.
  • mat_bumpmap 1. This enables bumpmapping, which some may prefer disabled.
This fix affects visual quality
Fixing by rolling back Mesa driver[12]

Users can rollback to Mesa version 20.1.7 or earlier to avoid the issue as long as mat_bumpmap 1 is set.

Other information

API

Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9
OpenGL 2.1 OS X and Linux, uses Valve's DirectX 9 to OpenGL conversion called 'ToGL'. Can be launched on Windows with -gl launch parameter.
Shader Model support 2, 3
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes
Windows
macOS (OS X)
This 32-bit-only macOS game does not work on macOS Catalina (10.15) or later.
Linux

Middleware

Middleware Notes
Physics Havok Heavily modified variant.
Audio Miles Sound System, OpenAL, SDL SDL and OpenAL are used in Linux.
Interface SDL
Cutscenes Bink Video
Multiplayer Steamworks

Total Conversions

Name System Description
TF2 1.0.1.8 Source 2013 Windows, Mac OS X, Linux Based on the February 2008 build of the game which does not contain any additional weapons, cosmetic items or even recent game modes, it is ported into Source 2013 engine which fixes a lot of security exploits. This is currently the most original form of the game. Requires Source SDK 2013 Multiplayer.
TF2 Classic Windows, Mac OS X, Linux Based on the February 2008 build, it is a community-maintained mod which brings in some features from TFC such as 4-team modes, VIP/escort etc. Right now it provides community-made balances and unique weapons, graphical improvements (such as dynamic lighting for some particle effects) and new features that are completely absent in the original game. The update cycle is slow, but brings in many new changes that keeps it very fresh. Requires Source SDK 2013 Multiplayer. Discord server link: https://discord.com/invite/3zMk4vn
TF2 Vintage Windows, Mac OS X, Linux A fork of TF2 Classic. It aims to bring back the game to the pre-Mannconomy Update which happened in October 2010. Primarily focused on gameplay and quality updates. Requires Source SDK 2013 Multiplayer and Team Fortress 2.
Lambda Fortress: Extended Windows, Mac OS X, Linux Based on Team Fortress 2 Classic Beta 4. It is a community mod, which adds Half-Life: Source and Half-Life 2 campaign with co-op features. Requires Source SDK 2013 Multiplayer and Team Fortress 2. Discord server link: https://discord.gg/QEHADrdhZr
Open Fortress Windows, Linux Based on the February 2008 build, it is a open-source mod, which adds lots of custom content such as new gamemodes and maps, Mercenary and Civilian classes. It is in development now, but can be downloaded using SVN (TortoiseSVN for Windows or various SVN clients for Linux). Requires Source SDK 2013 Multiplayer and Team Fortress 2. Discord server link: https://discord.gg/mKjW2ACCrm

Console commands

"List of useful console commands" - Official TF2 Wiki
Games running on the source engine can utilize Source Engine Console Commands for various tasks.
These commands can be saved into <path-to-game>\tf\cfg\autoexec.cfg to be executed when the game launches.
Enabling the console in Source games[citation needed]
  1. Launch the game
  2. From the main menu select Options
  3. Select the Keyboard tab
  4. Click the Advanced button
  5. Check the box next to Enable developer console (~)
  6. Click Apply

Notes

Press ~ to open the console.
Some commands may first require you enabling sv_cheats. You can do so with sv_cheats 1.
Many servers will not allow you to play with cheats enabled, or will disable them upon entering the server.
Users without a US keyboard could experience some problems.

Command line arguments

View this Steam Support Article regarding launch options as well as the relevant Valve Developer wiki page for further information and a list of useful Source engine launch options.
You can launch Team Fortress 2 with launch parameters - these parameters can dictate how certain aspects of the game behave.

System requirements

Windows version requires a CPU supporting SSE instructions.
Windows
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 7
Processor (CPU) Intel Dual Core 2.8 GHz
AMD Dual Core 2.8 GHz
System memory (RAM) 512 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 15 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce 8xxx series
ATI Radeon X1600
Intel HD Graphics 3000
DirectX 8.1 compatible
DirectX 9 is required for Competitive Mode.[13]
Windows XP and Vista were previously supported, but as future updates for this game and Steam occurred; the support was dropped, even with retail copies.
macOS (OS X)
Minimum
Operating system (OS) 10.5.8
Processor (CPU) 1.7 GHz
System memory (RAM) 1 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 15 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce 8xxx series
ATI Radeon X1600
Intel HD Graphics 3000
Linux
Minimum
Operating system (OS) Ubuntu 12.04
Processor (CPU) Intel Dual Core 2.8 GHz
AMD Dual Core 2.8 GHz
System memory (RAM) 1 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 15 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce 8600/9600 GT
ATI/AMD Radeon HD 2600/3600
OpenGL 2.1 compatible
Sound (audio device) OpenAL Compatible Sound Card
Other (Graphic Drivers: Nvidia 310, AMD 12.11)
OpenGL versions require the GL_EXT_draw_buffers2 extension.[14] A hacky workaround exists.

References