Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2

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TF2 Casual Mode Ranking and XP
By Toxins 🐑
Everything you need to know about Casual Mode badges, levelling up, and how to get XP!
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Casual Mode: A brief introduction
Casual Mode was introduced in the Meet Your Match update and replaces the old Valve 'pubs'. In Casual Mode you get to play a 12v12 game from start to finish without fear of being auto-balanced at the last second. The team you start with will be the team you finish with, and you will get to play a full round with that team! Furthermore, you will get a badge that levels up the more you play!

Important Note: On 27th September 2016 Casual Mode received a significant update, which changed the way XP is awarded and changed the way players are matched in Casual Mode. I will update this guide in the next few days to reflect the changes.
Gaining XP
UPDATE as of September 27th 2016:

To get XP in Casual mode all you need to do is play!

XP are awarded in 3 ways:

  • Score - You will get ~3 XP per point
  • Objective - You get awarded additional XP based the sum of all points scored in the game divided up based on how many rounds your team won / how many CPs your team capped / How many times you captured the intelligence / etc.
  • Completion - You will get ~1 XP per 10 points scored in the match, i.e. the sum of all points scored by both teams combined

The exact equations for calculating XP are still uncertain. As before though, you cannot lose XP in Casual Mode. Unlike before there is more of an emphasis on team performance and overall XP gain has been reduced by ~33-50%.

Prior to September 27th 2016 (OUTDATED/IRRELEVANT NOW)

To get XP in Casual Mode all you need to do is play and finish a match, even if you drop into a match in progress you will receive XP at the end. There are 3 ways to get XP:

  • Finish a Match - This will net you 100 XP
  • Win a Match - This will net you a bonus 50 XP
  • Score Points - You will get 6.5 XP per point (rounded down)

It really is that simple. You can only gain XP in Casual Mode (there is no Elo) and the bonus for winning is rather small in comparison to the XP you will get from scoring points, so just have fun!
XP Needed to Level-Up
When you play Casual Mode you will notice your current badge, XP, and XP needed to level up is shown (along with some other stats).


The amount of XP you need to advance to the next level varies depending on what 'Tier' your current badge is. The XP requirements are listed in the following table:

Tier
Levels
XP/level
Civilian
1-25
750
Freelance
26-50
1250
Mercenary
51-75
2000
Commando
76-100
3000
Assassin
101-125
4500
Elite
126-150
7000

Looking at the table it's clear that while leveling up in the Civilian Tier might be fairly fast (perhaps you will level up every 2-3 matches played), when you get to the higher tiers level-ups will be much less frequent (perhaps every 25 matches in the Elite Tier). To better illustrate this, the pie chart below shows the proportion of XP accumulated by level 150 that is gained from each Tier. Notice that XP accumulated in the Civilian Tier (Levels 1-25) only accounts for 4% of the XP needed to reach level 150. Also notice that the XP you accumulate in the Civilian, Freelance, Mercenary, and Commando tiers combined, is less than half the XP you need to reach level 150!
The Badges
There are 150 badges, separated into 6 'tiers', with each tier further divided into 5 ranks of 5 levels per rank.

  • Level - denoted by the 1-5 stars along the top of the badge
  • Rank - denoted by adornments such as bullets, plates, and banners
  • Tier - denoted by the color of the badge, stars, and banner

Levels

There are 5 levels per-rank, indicated simply by the number of stars that appear along the top of the TF2 logo. Every 5 levels you advance you will go up to the next 'rank'.

Ranks

There are 5 ranks per tier. Ranks are indicated by the number of 'embellishments' on your badge. These embellishments come in the form of bullets. plates, banners, and blades.

Rank 1
Badge
TF2 Logo badge only
Rank 2
Badge
TF2 Logo badge with 6 bullet casings
Rank 3
Badge
TF2 Logo badge with 6 bullets and a small plate
Rank 4
Badge
TF2 Logo badge with 6 bullets, a large plate, and a banner
Rank 5
Badge
TF2 Logo badge with 6 bullets angled up, a large plate, a verticle blade, and a banner

Tiers

There are a total of 6 tiers, and they mirror the tier system used in recent Cases. Each tier consists of 5 ranks (25 levels), and is indicated through the coloration of the TF logo, star/s, and banner (when present).

Tier 1
Badge
'Civilian' Tier, a light blue
Tier 2
Badge
'Freelance' Tier, blue
Tier 3
Badge
'Mercenary' Tier, a deep blue
Tier 4
Badge
'Commando' Tier, purple
Tier 5
Badge
'Assassin' Tier, magenta
Tier 6
Badge
'Elite' Tier, red
F.A.Q.
There have been several questions brought up in the comments, so I'll address the common ones here:

Does my Casual Rank affect matchmaking?

No. When Valve introduced Casual Mode they made it sound as if there would be matchmaking, they have since clarified that Casual Rank is not taken into account when filling a Casual Made game.

What happens after level 150?

At present that eventuality hasn't been planned for. At level 151 the badge looks exactly the same as a level 1 badge. XP can still be accumulated but you will not rank up anymore.

Do you get more XP in different game modes, e.g. Mannpower?

No. I have tested all game modes and the XP given always follows the rules in the guide.

Do you get more XP in multi-sage maps, e.g. Thunder Mountain?

No. You still get XP according to the rules in the guide. Since a round on these maps usually takes a long time to complete you will probably accumulate a lot of points (and therefore XP), making it appear that the map is giving you more XP than others.

Do you still get XP if you substitute into a game?

Yes. It's entirely possible that you will substitute into a game that is just ending and collect your 100 or 150 XP for a loss/win without even spawning!

Why didn't I get any XP after finishing a game?

This happens occasionally if the GC (Game Coordinator) goes down or if you click 'Disconnect' quickly. When this happened to me in my tests I always received the missing XP in the subsequent match.

I got more XP than your guide said, what happened?

See above. You are probably getting your 'missing' XP from a previous match.
Acknowledgements
Thanks to Reddit user spundarce for grabbing all the badge images from the game files.

Thanks to Reddit user Lil_Brimstone for doing some tests and discovering how XP works in Casual Mode.

Thanks to Steam user Hearts Desire for giving me info on XP needed per level.

Thanks to Steam user Shalltear Bloodfallen for giving me info on XP needed per level at Elite tier.
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219 Comments
cx Jul 1 @ 7:00am 
Cool!
Link86 </3 Jul 5, 2021 @ 3:41pm 
Also getting auto-balanced...
Nugget Apr 27, 2021 @ 9:10am 
what do the points for the classes mean?
lown Nov 18, 2020 @ 12:41pm 
How much time approximately is needed to go from tier 2 level 1 to tier 3 level 1?
Challenger Sep 28, 2020 @ 5:24am 
@Atesli once you finish leveling 150 you come at tier 1 lvl 1 even if you finish tier 1 lvl 150 your gonna keep doing the same thing also we got like 8 tires 150 lvl thats max lvl its kinda like the overwatch ranks except in that game you get at 99 lvl and ya get a star doing it 5 times of 500 lvls that is ya get silver doing it again ya get gold then platnium ya get the point !
Challenger Sep 28, 2020 @ 5:22am 
Heres a way to tell people how to gein it make sure your being a tryharder just kill as many enemies and medics and buildings and capturing and taking intels as possible be the first score make sure you got the highest one no matter what and you will lvl up as fast as you can thats how i did it sence the Jungle Update came that is still works :D !
dedenyt Sep 18, 2020 @ 3:46am 
you get a pretty medal, Burn
-Profesional six year old, HoovyKitty
Burn Sep 3, 2020 @ 4:23am 
Why are we still here? Just to suffer?
Burn Sep 3, 2020 @ 4:23am 
what is the point of XP? just to level up?
Shiro Aug 26, 2020 @ 9:32am 
>without fear of being auto-balanced at the last second
ha ha