return to homepage

Game History

Team Fortress as a series started in the late 90s. The original Team Fortress was a mod for the PC game Quake, which was released for free online. The group behind the game (TF Software, comprised of Robin Walker and John Cook) were eventually picked up by Valve. Team Fortress Classic was released shortly after their employment, which was a port of the Team Fortress within the Half-Life engine.

The original TF game was a more realistic military FPS than what we know the series for now. While the classes were the same back then, many had different weapons, and most notably, everyone had a base grenade item. Yes, even Medic.

Development on Team Fortress 2 started sometime before 1999, when the first tech-demo of the game was shown off at that year's E3. Like its previous incarnation, this early build of the game featured a much more realistic and military styled aesthetic. It also featured an extra 10th class at the time, known as the Commander, who would act like a coach of sorts and watch the match from a birds-eye view in order to direct teammates.

In 2000, Valve officially announced the game was being delayed, and stopped making any announcements on development for quite a long time afterwards. It fell into development hell for quite some time, with the next official announcement that Valve was still working on the game coming in 2004. Walker has since stated that during those years and the ones leading up to the final build of the game, Valve redesigned and redid the game three or four times.

A near-final build of the game was shown off at the July 2006 EA Summer Showcase. While it was still a bit different than what finally released, this build of TF2 is the first time the game's more cartoon art style was shown off. Many character designs were tweaked between this build and the final version, and some weapons were changed or outright scrapped. These changes include the removal of Spy's original-design emblem armbands, making Medic look a bit less old, and completely removing a Scout primary (the nail gun) and a Spy primary (the tranq gun), among others. The version of 2fort the original looks-at-the-cast was set on was also different than the final product, most notably in the lack of a roof over the connecting bridge in the middle of the map.

Finally, on October 10, 2007, Team Fortress 2 was released on Steam and in stores within the Orange Box bundle (which also included all-up-to-that-point Half-Life games and the first Portal game). At the time, the game was purchase-only, and was not yet free-to-play. It also featured no additional cosmetics or weapons; everyone simply ran stock, and that was it. In 2011, the game went free-to-play, and most of the game's revenue comes from the in-game Mann Co. shop.

In 2012, a secondary game mode was added, Mann vs. Machine. The comics are a tie-in to said update. MVM functions as a player-versus-AI mode, pitting a team of 6 players against multiple waves of robots all fashioned after the mercenaries. These levels are categorized into various tours that require Mann Up Mode tickets to play. At the end of each tour, a Botkiller weapon, an Australium weapon, or killstreak parts/kits/fabricators are awarded depending on the specific tour and your luck.

The game has had numerous other updates since its 2007 release, all with various names, such as the "WAR!" update or the "Love and War" update. However, the last major named update, "Jungle Inferno", was in 2017. Since then, all updates have been small bug-tweaks or seasonal updates for events like Scream Fortress or Swissmas.


"The youngest of eight boys from the south side of Boston, the Scout learned early how to solve problems with his fists. With seven older brothers on his side, fights tended to end before the runt of the litter could maneuver into punching distance, so the Scout trained himself to run. He ran everywhere, all the time, until he could beat his pack of mad dog siblings to the fray."

Scout is the first class in the line-up. What he lacks in overall health (packing a whooping 125 base health) he makes up for in speed, having the fastest base speed of any class. He also has the ability to double-jump, making him incredibly agile on the battlefield. He also has the base ability to capture points faster and push payload carts faster, something only Soldier and Demoman can do if they have a certain weapon equipped. He is the first of the Offense classes.

According to the comics, his real name is Jeremy. The Scout is voiced by Nathan Vetterlein.

His stock loadout includes the Scattergun, a shotgun-like weapon that shoots a random pattern and is better at close range, the Pistol, which better for long-range attacks, and the Bat, a very standard baseball bat that does base melee damage.

His options for other primaries include:

His options for other secondaries include:

His class-specific other melee options are:

"Though he wanted desperately to fight in World War 2, the Soldier was rejected from every branch of the U.S. military. Undaunted, he bought his own ticket to Europe. After arriving and finally locating Poland, the Soldier taught himself how to load and fire a variety of weapons before embarking on a Nazi killing spree for which he was awarded several medals that he designed and made himself. His rampage ended immediately upon hearing about the end of the war in 1949."

Despite having one of the slowest movement speeds in the game, Soldier is one of the most flexible classes due to his ability to rocket jump. By shooting your launcher at your feet or walls, you can get across any map in mere moments. He has the second highest health pool. Soldier is the second member of the Offense class.

While never given an official real name, he is also known by "Jane Doe". The Soldier was voiced by the late Rick May.

His stock loadout includes the Rocket Launcher, a self-explanatory weapon that launches rockets at enemies, the Shotgun, another self-explantory gun that works better at close range, and the Shovel, which deals basic melee damage.

His other primaries include:

His other secondaries are:

Finally, his other (somewhat) class-specific melees are:

"Only two things are known for sure about the mysterious Pyro: he sets things on fire and he doesn't speak. In fact, only the part about setting things on fire is undisputed. Some believe his occasional rasping wheeze may be an attempt to communicate through a mouth obstructed by a filter and attached to lungs ravaged by constant exposure to his asbestos-lined suit. Either way, he's a fearsome, inscrutable, on-fire Frankenstein of a man. If he even is a man."

(Note: While the canon description uses he/him for the Pyro, I will be using they/them for Pyro moving forward.)

The Pyro is a heavily up-close-and-personal fighter, as every flamethrower they use has a relatively short range. Setting someone on fire has them take afterburn damage, which lasts either until they die, put out the flames, or the flames eventually go away. They are an incredibly useful class for Spy-checking because of it. Most of their flamethrowers have an airblast, which when alt-fire is clicked can launch enemy projectiles (rockets, Huntsman arrows, other Pyros' flares, etc) or enemies themselves away. They are the third Offense class.

The Pyro has no real name. They are voiced by Dennis Bateman (who also voices the Spy).

Pyro's stock kit includes the Flamethrower, which as mentioned can set enemies on fire or knock back enemies/projectiles, the Shotgun, a stock item they share with multiple classes, and the Fire Axe, which does basic melee damage.

Their other primaries include:

Their other secondaries include:

Finally, their other class-specific melees are:

"A fierce temper, a fascination with all things explosive, and a terrible plan to kill the Loch Ness Monster cost the six year old Demoman his original set of adoptive parents. Later, at the Crypt Grammar School for Orphans near Ullapool in the Scottish Highlands, the boy's bomb-making skills improved dramatically. His disposition and total number of intact eyeballs, however, did not.

Word of his proficiency with explosives spread, and it was not long before Crypt Grammar received two visitors; the Demoman's real parents, who lovingly explained that all Demomen are abandoned at birth until their skills manifest themselves, a long-standing, cruel, and wholly unnecessary tradition among the Highland Demolition Men. His unhappy childhood had ended, but his training had just begun."

Demoman is one of the more versitle classes. His grenade launchers can send bombs almost halfway across a map, and the stickybomb launchers are great for making room quickly. However, despite being one of two explosive classes, Demoman is also known for having one of the most popular subclasses, known as the Demoknight. By equiping a shield in your secondary slot, you can charge into battle with your melee instead of a grenade. He is the first Defense class in the line-up.

Demoman is one of the few classes with a full known name, Tavish Finnegan DeGroot. He is voiced by Gary Schwartz, who also voices the Heavy.

His stock loadout includes the Grenade Launcher, which shoots pill-shaped grenades that explode on impact or a moment or two after hitting the ground, the Stickybomb Launcher, which can be used to place stickybombs that explode when denonated with alt-fire and that can be used to sticky jump, and the Bottle, which does standard melee damage even in its broken form.

His other primaries are:

His other secondaries include:

Lastly, his (mostly) class-specific melee options are:

"Like a hibernating bear, the Heavy appears to be a gentle giant. Also like a bear, confusing his deliberate, sleepy demeanor with gentleness will get you ripped limb from limb. Though he speaks simply and moves with an economy of energy that's often confused with napping, the Heavy isn't dumb; he's not your big friend and he generally wishes that you would just shut up before he has to make you shut up.

The Heavy is the team tank. With the highest health pool of anyone (clocking in a whooping 300), he can easily hold points for longer than any other class, especially when paired with a Medic. His size also means he takes only half the knock-back from Sentries and other sources. One of the few downsides of the Heavy is his slow speed, however, as he is the slowest class and gets slower when the minigun is spinning. Surprisingly, he is one of the few classes outside of Medic that can heal teammates, with a variety of "lunchbox" items that can be equipped in the secondary slot.

The Heavy's real name is Mikhail, sometimes shortened to Misha. He is voiced by Gary Schwartz, who also voices the Demoman.

His stock kit includes the Minigun, a large bullet-spewing weapon that can easily mow down enemies, the Shotgun, a stock weapon he shares with other classes, and the Fists, which as every other stock melee do base damage.

His other primaries include:

His other secondaries are:

Lastly, his other melees include:

"This amiable, soft-spoken good ol' boy from tiny Bee Cave, Texas loves barbeque, guns, and higher education. Natural curiosity, ten years as a roughneck in the west Texas oilfields, and eleven hard science PhDs have trained him to design, build and repair a variety of deadly contraptions."

The Engineer is the most utility-based classes. He has the ability to put out a few different buildings: the Sentry, which automatically shoots any enemy that comes through its line of sight, the Teleporter, which can take teammates from spawn to the frontlines in a mere moment, and the Dispenser, which can resupply teammates with ammo and health. All of these buildings take Metal, a resource only the Engineer has to deal with. He is a less aggressive class, often played from the backlines to support the team rather than rushing in. Unless, of course, you follow the Battle Engineer path. He is the last Defense class.

The Engineer's full name is Dell Conagher. He is voiced by Grant Goodeve in the games, but by Nolan North in one of the animated shorts.

His stock kit is the Shotgun, a weapon he shares with numerous other classes, the Pistol, a weapon he shares with Scout, the Wrench, which does basic melee damage but is primarily used in building/upgrading/maintaining buildings, and the Construction and Destruction PDAs.

His other primary options include:

His other secondaries are:

Finally, his other melees/wrenches are:

"What he lacks in compassion for the sick, respect for human dignity, and any sort of verifiable formal training in medicine, the Medic more than makes up for with a bottomless supply of giant needles and a trembling enthusiasm for plunging them into exposed flesh. Raised in Stuttgart, Germany during an era when the Hippocratic oath had been downgraded to an optional Hippocratic suggestion, the Medic considers healing a generally unintended side effect of satisfying his own morbid curiosity."

The Medic is the team's primary healer, and the only class that can constantly output any sort of healing. The various Medi-Guns at his disposal come equipped with various forms of an Ubercharge, which do a variety of bonuses to teammates when activated. As being the only healer, playing him is basically painting a target on your face, as he is the first class most people want to get out of the way during a fight. Typically, Medics tend to stick to high-damage teammates such as a Heavy, Soldier, or Demoman. He is the first Support class of the line-up.

The Medic's real name is Ludwig, but nobody knows if that's his first or last name. He is voiced by Robin Atkin Downes.

His base kit includes the Syringe Gun, which does some small damage but isn't very useful, the Medi-Gun, which does constant healing when aimed at a teammate and has the base Ubercharge ability of making yourself and teammates invicible for its duration, and the Bonesaw, which does basic melee damage.

His other primaries include:

His other Medi-guns/secondaries are:

Finally, his other melees are:

"Half rugged outdoorsman, half alien observer, this taciturn strip of beef jerky has spent the better part of his life alone in the bush, slow baking under the Australian sun."

The Sniper is the most back-of-the-line member of the team. You will typically find Snipers hiding in the backlines or in high places, picking off members of the enemy team with headshots. He is most effective at long range, but some of his other primaries can be used for more front-line defense. While the headshots are certainly the best support a Sniper can give his team, some of his secondary options can provide extra support via free mini-crits for the team. He is the second Support class.

The Sniper's real name is Mundy (birth name Mun-dee). He is voiced by John Patrick Lowre.

His stock loadout includes the Sniper Rifle, which does one-hit-KO headshots when charged up, the SMG, which rapidly fires and is useful when forced to fight close range, and the Kukri, which does basic melee damage.

His other primaries are:

His other secondaries are:

Lastly, his other melees include:

"He is a puzzle, wrapped in an enigma, shrouded in riddles, lovingly sprinkled with intrigue, express mailed to Mystery, Alaska, and LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU! but it is too late. You're dead. For he is the Spy - globetrotting rogue, lady killer (metaphorically) and mankiller (for real)."

The Spy is the class you either love or hate. Equipped with a disguise kit and a variety of invisibility watches, he can slip behind enemy lines and one-hit someone with a backstab. He can also take down Engineer buildings with a Sapper, which disable them until either he or a teammate can destroy them fully. When diguised as an enemy, the Spy can use their teleporters and dispensers, and will not be picked up by an enemy Sentry. He is both the last Support class and the last class in general in the line-up.

The Spy has no known real name. He is voiced by Dennis Bateman, who also voices the Pyro.

His base kit includes the Revolver, which deals decent damage, the Knife, which is capable of backstabbing enemies for one-hit kills, the Diguise Kit, which lets you put on diguise of either an enemy or an ally, the Invis Watch, which lets you go invisibile for a short time, and the Sapper, which as mentioned can disable enemy Engineer buildings.

His other primaries include:

His other knives include:

His other invisibility watches include:

Finally, his other Sappers include:

Various Official Things

Official Website/Blog | Official Wikia | Official Subreddit | Official YouTube Channel

Meet The Team Animations

Other Official Animations

Meet The Sandvich

Mann vs. Machine

Mann vs. Machine - The Sound of Medicine

Expiration Date

Jungle Inferno

Original TF2 Trailer (Beta Designs)


Update-Related Comics:

The Insult That Made a "Jarate Master" Out of Sniper


A Visual History

Loose Canon

Bidwell's Big Plan

Meet the Director

Dr. Grordbort's Crash Landing


True Meaning

A Smissmas Story

Blood Brothers

A Fate Worse Than Chess


The Shadow Boxers

Grave Matters

Blood Money

The Contract

Gargoyles & Gravel - Scream Fortress 7

The Showdown

Main Comics Storyline:

Catch-Up Comic

Ring of Fired

Unhappy Returns

A Cold Day in Hell

Blood in the Water

Old Wounds

The Naked and the Dead

Actual Game Junk

Teams are split evenly between 12/12 in casual or 6/6 in competitive between the RED and BLU teams in order to complete objectives. There are no class limits in public servers, meaning multiple people can play the same class. All but one (CtF) game mode are timed.

Main Game Modes:

Attack/Defend: The BLU team has to capture all of the RED team's points depending on the map. Points have to be captured in order with the exception of the Steel map, where the main point can be captured at any point throughout the game. RED cannot re-capture any point already taken by BLU.

Capture the Flag: Both teams have some form of intelligence, hidden at the bottom of their respective bases. Teams battle it out to be the first one to captue the other team's intelligence (typically a briefcase in normal maps) three times. On each capture, that team gets a few seconds of free crits.

Control Points: Split between 3CP and 5CP versions, teams battle over a variety of control points, trying to be the first one to capture all of the avaliable points. Points can be recaptured as long as they are open, and cannot be captured out of order.

King of the Hill: Teams try and hold a single point in the middle of a map for 3 minutes. Time cannot be extended outside of overtime. Most KOTH maps are best of two.

Payload: The BLU team tries to push a Payload cart from point A to point B with various checkpoints on the way. The RED team's job is to stall them until time runs out, or they lose.

Popular Other Modes:

Mannpower: A more intense version of CtF that features power-ups and a grappling hook item. Teams fight to capture the other team's intelligence flag ten fimes.

Medieval Mode: A mode where all "modern" weapons are not allowed, forcing many classes to only use their melees. Demoknights and Hunstman Snipers are the most common classes to see in this game mode, but all classes can be used.

Payload Race: Similar to regular Payload, but with both teams having carts to push to win. The catch is that each team can also push the other team's cart backwards. The most famous and popular map of this type is Hightower.

Mann vs. Machine: Teams of six players fight against waves of robots in order to win. The paid version, known as Mann Up Mode, gives specialty weapons or killstreak parts/kits/fabricators as prizes at the end of tours.

Vs. Saxton Hale: A non-official gamemode but still incredibly popular in community servers, this pits one player (the "Hale") against however many other players. Either the rest of the players kills the Hale, or the Hale kills the rest of the players. Many servers that run this mod use characters from 'Freak Fortress', a very popular fandom group of 'freaks' based on the TF2 characters.

And, if you were curious, my personal loadouts:

Scout: A Strange Spirit of Halloween Scattergun, either the Mad Milk or the Pretty Boy's Pocket Pistol, and the Atomizer

Soldier: Either a Strange Carbonado Botkiller Rocket Launcher MK. I or a Portal Plastered Black Box, a Strange Concheror, and a Spectral Shimmered Disciplinary Action

Pyro: A Strange Specialized Killstreak Phlogistinator, a Strange Specialized Killstreak Festivized Scorch Shot, and a Pumpkin Plastered Powerjack

Heavy: A Strange Gold Botkiller Minigun MK. I, either the Second Banana or the Dalokahs Bar, and the Fists of Steel

Demoman: A Plaid Potshotter MK. II Grenade Launcher, a Strange Rust Botkiller Sticky Bomb Launcher, and a Strange Festivized Alpine Scotsman's Skullcutter

Engineer: Either a Creamed Corn Rescue Ranger or the Frontier Justice, the Wrangler, and either a Strange Eyestalker Wrench or a Strange Carbonado Botkiller Wrench MK. I

Medic: A Spririt of Halloween Crusader's Crossbow, either a Strange Festivized Hypergon Medi-Gun or a Festivized Quick-Fix, and either a Crawlspace Critters Amputator or a Horror Holiday Ubersaw

Sniper: Either the Fortified Compound or a Strange Carbonado Botkiller Sniper Rifle MK. I, either the Jarate or the Cleaner's Carbine, and the Bushwacka

Spy: The Ambassador, a Strange Gift Wrapped Knife, the Cloak and Dagger, and the stock Sapper