Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2

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Guide to Every Free Item in TF2
By OctorokHero
Ever wanted to bolster your inventory with new hats or weapons, but don't have the money or the metal to do so? Team Fortress 2 holds a surprising amount of items tied to achievements or events that can be obtained at no cost other than time or opportunity. This guide will list all of the free items you can find without a drop and the requirements to get them.
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Introduction


"Free crap!" -Scout

Team Fortress 2 became free-to-play with the release of the Über Update on June 23, 2011. With this change came an influx of new players ready to try a great game which was now at no cost. The Über Update also implemented a system to differentiate free players and premium players who had spent money on the game. Free players cannot craft cosmetic items, and have a limited drop system, making hats and other cosmetics almost impossible to obtain without paying. This is a problem for some players, as some of them have no way or are not allowed to spend money in the game. Fortunately, Team Fortress 2 holds a wealth of free items that are tied to achievements or timed events that can be obtained by both premium and free players. This guide will list every item that can be earned without needing to pay or wait for a drop and how to get them.

NOTE: This guide does not include items received by preordering or purchasing other games, as these items require money to be spent externally. This guide also does not cover items formerly obtainable for free (such as the Gentle Manne's Service Medal), as these items cannot be obtained any more and to cover them would be pointless.

Let's get hunting!
Obtainable Any Time
These items can do not require playing during specific events to obtain, meaning that they can be earned at any time in the year.

Milestone weapons

Weapons for each class can be obtained by earning enough achievements in a class's achievement pack to unlock that pack's milestone achievements. Each pack has 3 milestones, resulting in 3 weapons per pack and 27 weapons in total. The requirements for each milestone and weapon earned differ for each class:

Milestone 1
Scout: requires 10 achievements, rewards Force-A-Nature
Soldier: requires 5 achievements, rewards Equalizer
Pyro: requires 10 achievements, rewards Flare Gun
Demoman: requires 5 achievements, rewards Chargin' Targe
Heavy: requires 10 achievements, rewards Sandvich
Engineer: requires 5 achievements, rewards Frontier Justice
Medic: requires 10 achievements, rewards Blutsauger
Sniper: requires 5 achievements, rewards Huntsman
Spy: requires 5 achievements, rewards Ambassador

Milestone 2
Scout: requires 16 achievements, rewards Sandman
Soldier: requires 11 achievements, rewards Direct Hit
Pyro: requires 16 achievements, rewards Backburner
Demoman: requires 11 achievements, rewards Eyelander
Heavy: requires 16 achievements, rewards Natascha
Engineer: requires 11 achievements, rewards Gunslinger
Medic: requires 16 achievements, rewards Kritzkrieg
Sniper: requires 11 achievements, rewards Jarate
Spy: requires 11 achievements, rewards Cloak and Dagger

Milestone 3
Scout: requires 22 achievements, rewards Bonk! Atomic Punch
Soldier: requires 17 achievements, rewards Buff Banner
Pyro: requires 22 achievements, rewards Axtinguisher
Demoman: requires 17 achievements, rewards Scottish Resistance
Heavy: requires 22 achievements, rewards Killing Gloves of Boxing
Engineer: requires 17 achievements, rewards Wrangler
Medic: requires 22 achievements, rewards Ubersaw
Sniper: requires 17 achievements, rewards Razorback
Spy: requires 17 achievements, rewards Dead Ringer

Mercenary Badge
The Mercenary badge is a cosmetic item that is automatically given to any player who begins playing Team Fortress 2 for the first time. It is not always given right away and may not be received until a few logins later.

This badge was introduced in the 119th Update along with three other badges: Soldier of Fortune, Grizzled Veteran, and Primeval Warrior. The Primeval Warrior is the highest tier while Mercenary is the lowest. The Mercenary is the only badge that can still be obtained, as the other three required starting in certain time periods.

Professor Speks
When a player gets a premium account for the first time, they may choose one player on their Steam friends list that helped them. The player chosen gets the Professor Speks as a reward. This method means that the recipient does not have to have a premium account.

Ghostly Gibus
The Ghostly Gibus can be obtained by earning the achievement Ghastly Gibus Grab, which requires a player to dominate another player wearing a Ghostly Gibus by killing them four times without being killed by them. Doing so will allow you to earn a Ghostly Gibus of your own.

This hat is often confused with the Ghastly Gibus, which has a different history. The Gibus series of hats (Ghostly Gibus, Ghastly Gibus, Ghastlier Gibus, Ghastlierest Gibus) were first released in the Haunted Hallowe'en Special update in 2009. Initially, only 10,319 Ghastly Gibus hats were obtainable through a hidden page on the update's page. Introduced in the same update was the corresponding achievement. In the Scream Fortress Update, all existing Ghastly Gibuses were automatically transformed into Ghastlier Gibuses. The Ghastlier Gibuses became Ghastlierest Gibuses in the Very Scary Halloween Special, with existing Ghastly Gibuses being upgraded as well. The Spectral Halloween Special upgraded any last existing Ghastlier Gibuses and introduced the Ghostly Gibus as a replacement. Now, Ghastlierest Gibuses can only be obtained through trading or the Steam Community Market, and Ghastly and Ghastlier Gibuses do not exist at all anymore.

Pyrovision Goggles
The Pyrovision goggles are earned by completing the achievement A Fresh Pair of Eyes, requiring a player to dominate another player wearing the Pyrovision Goggles to earn their own pair.

The Pyrovision Goggles were introduced in the Pyromania Update. Any player who logged into Team Fortress 2 between June 27, 2012 and July 5, 2012 received a Vintage pair of Pyrovision Goggles with the attribute "Witnessed the 2012 inferno". The pair given by the achievement is Unique and does not have the attribute.

Power Up Canteen
The Power Up Canteen is both a cosmetic and an action item for Mann vs. Machine mode. Getting one requires completing the Steel Fragnolias achievement by completing all waves in a Mann vs. Machine mission successfully. This item does not require playing in Mann Up mode; it can be obtained on any Mann vs. Machine server.

Full Head of Steam
The Full Head of Steam hat is given to any player who earns the achievement Foundry Milestone by completing 7 achievements in the Foundry pack. These achievements can be earned on the Control Points map Foundry.

Gentle Munitionne of Leisure
The Gentle Munitionne of Leisure hat can be earned by any player who completes 7 Astro-chievements to earn the Doomsday Milestone achievement. These achievements can be earned on the Special Delivery map Doomsday.

Director's Vision
Unlike the other examples here, the Director's Vision is a taunt. It is unlocked by completing the achievement Star of My Own Show. This achievement requires saving a replay and using every tool available in the replay editor. Replays cannot be saved on Valve servers, so a community server that supports replays must be used.

Frontline Field Recorder
The Frontline Field Recorder hat is given to players who earn the Local Cinema Star achievement. This achievement is difficult to gain; a replay uploaded to YouTube must get 1,000 views. Time and patience is required to earn this achievement and hat.
TF Birthday Items


These items are obtained by logging into Team Fortress 2 on August 23, the release date of the original Team Fortress in 1996.

Party Hat
The Party Hat is given to anyone who logs into TF2 during the TF Birthday event. It is not restricted to the event.

Noise Maker - TF Birthday
This Noise Maker is given to anyone who logs into TF2 during the TF Birthday event. It has unlimited uses but cannot be used outside of the event.
Halloween Items


These items are received by completing various tasks in one of the six Halloween themed maps: Harvest Event, Mann Manor, Eyeaduct, Ghost Fort, Helltower, or Carnival of Carnage. Most of these items can be obtained on any server with the appropriate map, but the Haunted Halloween Gift can only be obtained on Valve servers.

Mildly Disturbing Halloween Mask
The Mildly Disturbing Halloween Mask is earned by completing the Candy Coroner achievement. This achievement is achieved by collecting 20 pumpkins dropped by dead players. These pumpkins have a 12.5% chance of dropping from dead players on the Halloween maps and always drop from fake props attacked while fighting Merasmus on Ghost Fort. When collected, these pumpkins refill the player's ammo and give them 3.2 seconds of guaranteed critical hits. This item is restricted to Halloween or Full Moon events.

Haunted Halloween Gift
Haunted Halloween Gifts are items that show up on Mann Manor, Eyeaduct, Ghost Fort, and Helltower. They only spawn on registered Valve servers and will be designated for one player on the server. When a gift spawns, the chosen player is notified and has 3 minutes to find it. If the player finds the gift in time, they will receive its contents, detailed below, and must wait around 3 hours before another one will spawn for them; if time runs out before they find the gift, it disappears and another one will spawn 5-10 minutes later. The contents of the Haunted Halloween Gift depend on what map it is found on:

  • Mann Manor: One of the 9 Halloween masks based on one of the classes. Premium players who have all 9 can craft them into the Saxton Hale Mask.
  • Eyeaduct: One of the 27 costume parts from the Very Scary Halloween Special. If the gift is found in the Eyeaduct Underworld, it will be Haunted quality.
  • Ghost Fort: Either a Halloween spell that can be applied to another item, a Voodoo-Cursed item that premium players can craft into a Pile of Curses that gives a Voodoo-Cursed Soul for one of the classes, or rarely a Halloween-themed cosmetic item.
  • Helltower: Either a Halloween item from Scream Fortress 2013, a Spellbook Page to add to the Fancy Spellbook, a Spooky Crate, or a Costume Transmogrifier that transforms a costume piece into one for the specified class.

Haunted Halloween Gifts do not spawn on Harvest Event or Carnival of Carnage.

Horseless Headless Horsemann's Head
The Horseless Headless Horsemann's Head is a hat that can be obtained by completing the Sleepy Holl0WND achievement. To earn this achievement, you must be one of the last three players to damage the Horseless Headless Horsemann before he dies. The Horseless Headless Horsemann normally spawns in Mann Manor, but some community servers may spawn him in other maps. This hat is restricted to Halloween and Full Moon events.

Haunted Metal Scrap
The Haunted Metal Scrap is a crafting ingredient used to make several items. It is given to players who earn the Gored! achievement, requiring them to use a melee attack on the Horseless Headless Horsemann during his death animation. Free players cannot do anything with the Haunted Metal Scrap, but premium players can use it in two crafting recipes:

  • If crafted with four Refined Metal, the Haunted Metal Scrap will become either the Spine-Tingling Skull, the Spine-Cooling Skull, or the Spine-Twisting Skull. These items are hats that are not limited to Halloween.
  • If crafted with two Refined Metal and a Scotsman's Skullcutter, the Haunted Metal Scrap will become the Horseless Headless Horsemann's Headtaker, a melee weapon for the Demoman that is a reskin of the Eyelander.

Only one Haunted Metal Scrap is available per account; as such, the owner must choose only one item to craft it into.

Antique Halloween Goodie Cauldron
The Antique Halloween Goodie Cauldron is given to players who participate in an annual Halloween event for the first time. Upon use, it awards the player the Seal Mask, as well as one random Halloween item from the Very Scary Halloween Special (with the exceptions of MONOCULUS!, the Bombinomicon, the Apparition's Aspect, the Last Breath, the Infernal Impaler, or the Spine-Chilling Skull 2011). This item may only be obtained once.

MONOCULUS!
MONOCULUS! is a hat that is rewarded by earning the Optical Defusion achievement, requiring the player to be one of the last three people to damage MONOCULUS! before it dies while fighting it on Eyeaduct. This item is restricted to Halloween or Full Moon events.

Bombinomicon
The Bombinomicon is a cosmetic item rewarded to any player who completes the achievement Dive Into a Good Book. When MONOCULUS! is killed on Eyeaduct, it leaves behind a purple portal that any player can enter. The portal leads to Loot Island, a separate section of the Eyeaduct underworld. Players who make it to the top of the island and jump into the Bombinomicon located there will earn this item and the achievement. This cosmetic is not restricted to Halloween.

Skull Island Topper
The Skull Island Topper is obtained in a similar manner to the Bombinomicon. Upon Merasmus's death in Ghost Fort, a portal to Skull Island will open. Players who make it to the top and touch the hat will earn the hat and the achievement A Lovely Vacation Spot. This hat is not restricted to Halloween.

Fancy Spellbook
The Fancy Spellbook is an action and cosmetic item also received the same way. When one of the carts is pushed to its final destination in Helltower, all players will be transported to Hell. Everyone who makes it to the top will earn the Fancy Spellbook and the achievement Hat out of Hell. This item starts as the Unfilled Fancy Spellbook and can be filled up with Spellbook Pages received from achievements or Haunted Halloween Gifts. When it has three pages, it will become the Fancy Spellbook and track the number of pages it is filled with. The Fancy Spellbook can be used as a cosmetic anytime, but it can only be used as an action item on maps with usable spells.

Page of Tumidum
The Page of Tumidum is a Spellbook Page given to players who earn the The Mann-tastic Four achievement, unlocked by completing four achievements from the Bereavements pack (Hat out of Hell does not count) on Helltower. This page is the only one of its kind and can only be received from this achievement.

Halloween Gift Cauldron
The Halloween Gift Cauldron is awarded to any player who completes the achievement Carnival of Carnage: Bumper to Bumper to Bumper. This achievement is earned by scoring at least one win in all three of Merasmus's bumper car minigames in Carnival of Carnage: Bumper Car Soccer, Falling Platforms, and Duck Collectors. When this item is used, the player is given three Halloween cosmetics from the Scream Fortress 2014 update. One of these items is guaranteed to be of Haunted and Strange Quality, while the other two will always be Unique.

Necro Smasher
The Necro Smasher is a melee weapon usable by every class except Spy. It is given to any player who unlocks the achievement Carnival of Carnage: Step Right Up. To get this achievement, you must complete four achievements in the Merasmachievements pack on Carnival of Carnage.
Christmas Items


Team Fortress 2 distributes many free items to players during each year's Christmas update.

Gift-Stuffed Stocking
The Gift-Stuffed Stocking is given to every player who logs in during a Smissmas event, regardless of whether or not they had obtained one before. It is an action item that, when used, grants the player a Giftapult, a Backpack Expander, a Name Tag, a Description Tag, a Tour of Duty Ticket, and three random weapons, with a chance of receiving a taunt, cosmetic, or Enchantment: Eternaween item instead of a weapon. None of the items received can be traded.

The Tour of Duty Ticket can, by extension, grant more free items upon completion of the mission, such as Botkiller weapons, hats, robot parts, Fabricators, and possibly an Australium weapon.

Spirit of Giving
The Spirit of Giving is a cosmetic item given to every player who logs in during a Smissmas event for the first time. It is always Strange quality, and it tracks the number of gifts that are given to other players through use of Secret Saxtons, Piles o' Gifts, Random Robo Community Crate Key Gifts, and Piles of Robo Community Crate Key Gifts.

Noise Maker - Winter Holiday
This Noise Maker is distributed to every player who logs into a Smissmas event for the first time.. It has unlimited uses but can only be used once.

Secret Saxton
A free Secret Saxton is given to every premium player who logs in during a Smissmas event. It is given regardless of whether or not the player was given one last year.
Obtained Through Other Games


Several hats or weapons in Team Fortress 2 are tied to other games. The items listed here can be received from free-to-play games and only require a download and progression in the game to earn.

Alien Swarm Parasite
The Alien Swarm Parasite is an all-class hat earned from the game Alien Swarm. Unlocking the achievement Hat Trick by completing two cooperative missions online will reward this hat.

Black Rose
The Black Rose is a melee weapon for the Spy that is identical to the default Knife. It is earned by completing the achievement 1st One Down in Alliance of Valiant Arms by playing one game after creating a character.

Bolt Action Blitzer
The Bolt Action Blitzer is an all-class hat that is tied to the game CrimeCraft Gang Wars. To receive this hat, the achievement Key to the City must be completed by getting to level 6 and earning the key to Sunshine City.

Spiral Sallet
The Spiral Sallet is an all-class hat. Completing the achievement Mission Accomplished in the game Spiral Knights will reward the player with this hat.

Flamingo Kid
The Flamingo Kid is a hat for the Sniper obtained by playing Super Monday Night Combat. It is given to players who earn the Rookie Agent achievement by reaching Agent Level 5.

Triclops
Super Monday Night Combat also grants the Triclops, a hat for the Pyro. Getting it requires earning the All-Star Agent achievement by reaching Agent Level 20.
Awards


Valve grants special items to players who make major contributions to the Team Fortress 2 gameplay and community. While these items can be received for free, earning them will take lots of time, effort, and dedication.

Community items

Community items are not specific items. Community is an item quality that is applied to items given by Valve to players who make a significant contribution to the Team Fortress 2 community. These items have the unique Community Sparkle particle affect when used and the message "Given to valuable Community Contributors" in the description.

Self-Made items

Self-Made items are also not specific. Self-Made is an item quality that is applied to items given by Valve to players who have an item that they created accepted into the game. These items also have the Community Sparkle effect, as well as the message "I made this!" in the description.

Map-Maker's Medallion
The Map-Maker's Medallion is an all-class cosmetic item. It is given by Valve to players who create a map that is accepted as an official map. The item is always Genuine quality rather than Community.

Tournament Medals
Tournament Medals are all-class cosmetic items. They are distributed to players who participate in certain major Team Fortress 2 tournaments. A wide variety of different Tournament Medals exist, and they all look different. For example, the medal pictured here is the UGC Highlander Tournament (Season 11) medal.

Wiki Cap
The Wiki Cap is an all-class hat that always has the Community quality. It is given to valuable contributors to the Official Team Fortress Wiki. The recipients are chosen by the Wiki's staff.

Memory Maker
The Memory Maker is a melee weapon for all classes except the Engineer and Spy. It is the same as the default melee weapon. It is awarded to finalists (but not winners) in the annual Saxxy Awards. If multiple people collaborate on a video, a Memory Maker will be given to all of them.

Saxxy
The Saxxy is a melee weapon for all classes, including the Engineer and Spy. It is the same as the default melee weapon, with the difference that enemies killed with it turn into Australium statues. It is awarded to winners in the annual Saxxy Awards. If multiple people collaborate on a winning video, each one will get a Saxxy. The description states the year it was won in and the category that was won, as well as stating that it is "imbued with an ancient power", referring to the ability to turn enemies into Australium statues.
Conclusion


"Hey, you did it. Get up here, grab some free crap, you earned it." -the Bombinomicon

As shown, there's a lot of free gear for the taking hidden in Team Fortress 2. Every player should have some of it, while only the people most dedicated to the game will get certain items. With the items you can get for free, it's not hard to build up a modest collection. What are you waiting for? Get out there and go find those hats!

Thanks for reading my guide! Be sure to rate it if you liked it and leave a comment if you have feedback. There's more to come eventually, so stay tuned!
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35 Comments
doctor crentist gaming Oct 4 @ 5:37pm 
:sentry:
Тянка nagotora Aug 18 @ 9:03am 
:sentry:
Тянка nagotora Aug 18 @ 9:02am 
😂😘😘🎶🎶🎶🎶
remyyt333yi Jun 26 @ 12:32pm 
:medicon:
Spongy Sponge Jun 5, 2020 @ 8:28pm 
WHY DID I TURN PREMIUM JUST AFTER CHRISTMAS WWHHHYYYYYYYYYY i could of gotten a tour of duty ticket but didnt since i was premium just after
Larry Pickle Apr 16, 2020 @ 3:39am 
:medicon:
swooshified Feb 3, 2020 @ 3:53pm 
:spycon:
DinkyDine Jun 9, 2019 @ 5:26pm 
:sentry:
CloudyMoonshine May 7, 2018 @ 2:53pm 
:sentry:
CloudyMoonshine May 7, 2018 @ 2:53pm 
:sentry: