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Understanding Chemistry Sets
By Jimo
I will give you information on how to obtain and craft a Chemistry Set in Team Fortress 2.
This guide will give you information on how to obtain and craft a Chemistry Set in Team Fortress 2.

Chemistry Sets are unique recipes which will output items once crafted. They can craft item strangifiers which will turn the specified item into a strange variant and collector's quality[wiki.teamfortress.com] items.

Finding Chemistry Sets
Chemistry Sets can be obtained through the in-game drop system. They are uncommon drops and there are many different kinds. The title of the chemistry set indicates which item it will generate.

In the example below, the chemistry set will create an item which when used, will turn a Bird-Man of Aberdeen into a Strange Bird-Man of Aberdeen. The tooltip will reveal the materials which are needed to complete the set.

Chemistry Sets are also tradable. You can either make a post on the official TF2 trading forum or join a trading server. Additionally you can look at some of the community driven trading websites below.

Whenever you use a third party website for trading always practice safe browsing habits; Steam Support has a great article on this which can be found here. You can also follow some of these tips to avoid being taken advantage of or scammed by dishonest users.

Additionally you can read my guide on avoiding common scams.

If you're unfamiliar with how trading works you can read my Beginner's Guide to TF2 Trading.


You can also find Chemistry Sets on the Steam Community Market. If you're unfamiliar with how to use the market you can read my Steam Community Market guide.


Always look at the materials list before deciding to purchase or trade for a chemistry set. Sometimes the materials are very difficult to obtain. It may not be a good idea to craft a chemistry set which requires certain hard to obtain botkiller weapons or strange festive weapons.
Using Chemistry Sets
Once you've gathered the required materials you'll need to craft your Chemistry set. To do this click on Items from the main menu of Team Fortress 2 and then select Backpack.

Navigate to the chemistry set you want to craft. Click on the thumbnail and then select Inspect. The thumbnail of the chemistry set will display how many items you have compared to how many items it takes to craft it.

On the next screen drag and drop the required materials from the left side to their respective box on the right.

At any time you're able to click on Apply even if you don't have all of the required materials in the boxes. This will save the items into the chemistry set so you can save room in your inventory. The items will be consumed upon use and saved items cannot be returned.

Once you have all of the required materials in the boxes you'll be able to click on a button labeled craft. The Chemistry Set and the materials will be consumed upon use.

Once you've clicked on craft a timer will appear. Once the timer reaches zero the item will be placed in your backpack.

If you crafted a strangifier you'll need to use it on the item it's for. To use the strangifier locate it within your backpack and select the use with button with the thumbnail selected.

You'll then need to look through your backpack for the corresponding item that the strangifier is for. Strangifiers can be applied to any item quality variants, including Unusuals. Once you've selected it follow the prompts to apply the strangifier to the item.

When you're done following the prompts your item will now be of strange quality. The strange items track scoreboard points, which is a combined statistic of things such as point captures and kills.

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Marcatron Mar 13 @ 12:21pm 
if you have already put stuff inside and then trade it off, will all the stuff you enter be lost to the receiver or will they get to continue with what they got?
Serenity Apr 18, 2014 @ 9:28pm 
Any suggestions for a chemistry set that doesn't work? I found an Ein strangifier set. Some of the "compatible" ref / items can't be selected at all. The ref and stranges that do work get loaded fine in the "will consume" boxes, but "apply" never becomes clickable even when all six recipe items are selected. The set has an expiration date. :/
JOMBLO Feb 1, 2014 @ 8:35am 
how to get collectors?
fatswimdude lft open Jan 25, 2014 @ 4:42am 
I'm sure it's been asked, but do the items used have to be craftable? If so that makes collector's items even harder :/
Xanthulis Dec 5, 2013 @ 10:21pm 
Oh, nice. Thanks for the quick responce :D
Jimo  [author] Dec 5, 2013 @ 10:17pm 
Kills / points captured / assists all count towards your in-game score. That's what it tracks.
Xanthulis Dec 5, 2013 @ 10:16pm 
What does the "points scored" thing do/mean under the strange item?
Rambro [☑ rekt] Nov 27, 2013 @ 12:56pm 
For anyone still interested in this guide, I've found a few sets with extremely low requirements. Some stuff to search for on the steam market include Strange fire axe, Strange family business, Strange fists of steel, Strange connivers kunai, or any silver botkiller MK 1. These are really low stranges, especially the fire axe.
Jimo  [author] Nov 22, 2013 @ 9:59pm 
The guide mentions that Collectors quality items are a possible output. This is more of an introductory guide, not a collectors strategy guide.
Mega Munchy Nov 22, 2013 @ 8:15pm 
What about the collector's chemistry sets? & what about tactics on getting the chem set's collector's quality output?