Quality is a property of items, which is represented in-game by the color of the item's name and (in most cases) by a title prefixed to the item's name. An item can have only one quality, which is determined when the item is created and remains unchanged, except in rare circumstances.
Quality is a purely cosmetic property, and has no effect on gameplay other than some additional on-screen messages.
Normal is the quality which is, by default, assigned to the Stock weapons available to all players. These weapons do not display nor take up space in backpacks, and are unavailable during trading. Due to glitches, an extremely small number of non-stock Normal items exist in backpacks and are tradable.
The color of Normal items' titles is gray.
Unique quality, sometimes mistakenly referred to as "normal" (meaning "regular"), was introduced with the Gold Rush Update, and is the default quality assigned to non-stock items.
The color of Unique items' titles is yellow.
Vintage is a quality that debuted at the Mann-Conomy Update. At that time, all pre-existing non-promotional Unique items were changed to Vintage, to distinguish them as having been obtained before trading and the Mann Co. Store were available.
Vintage quality has also been applied to items in the following limited circumstances:
- Lugermorphs obtained from Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse were changed to Vintage in the November 19, 2010 Patch, clearing Unique to be exclusively used for Lugermorphs obtained from Poker Night at the Inventory.
- Foster's Facades and Stockbroker's Scarves are Vintage if obtained before January 4, 2011.
- In the March 15, 2011 Patch, expensive crafting recipes for three recently-released groups of items were modified to be cheaper. Items crafted using the initial recipe were changed to Vintage. These were:
- Sun-on-a-Stick and Sharpened Volcano Fragment from RIFT pre-purchase promotion.
- Fan O'War, Concheror, Conniver's Kunai, and Half-Zatoichi from the Shogun Pack update.
- Loch-n-Load, Ullapool Caber, Brass Beast, Buffalo Steak Sandvich, Warrior's Spirit, Crusader's Crossbow, and Amputator from the Australian Christmas update.
- The Lo-Fi Longwave was distributed by default as Vintage. Unique versions were only granted if the player already owned a Vintage version.
- The Pyrovision Goggles were distributed in Vintage quality to all players who launched the game before July 5, 2012.
Additionally, due to glitches, a small number of additional Vintage items exist outside of these official sources. The color of Vintage items' titles is dark blue.
Unusual quality was also added in the Mann-Conomy Update. Unusual items are virtually all hats or miscellaneous items that are obtained rarely from opening crates, and have one of several special visual effects attached to them.
Two exceptions to this rule exist, although their being Unusual does not signify anything other than title color:
- Haunted Metal Scrap is a crafting item obtained in Unusual quality by completing an achievement. "Haunted" in this instance is part of the item's name, not a second quality.
- The Horseless Headless Horsemann's Headtaker is a weapon obtained in Unusual quality by crafting an Unusual Haunted Metal Scrap. It does not have a visual effect, unlike the version wielded by the Horseless Headless Horsemann.
The color of Unusual items' titles is purple, identical to Haunted items'.
Genuine quality items started being distributed with the February 3, 2011 Patch. They are usually awarded to players who have pre-ordered a related game on Steam, although some have also been granted for visiting a booth at Comic Con, playing in a tournament, creating maps, or subscribing to a newsletter.
The color of Genuine items' titles is dark green.
Strange is a quality introduced in the Über Update. Strange items are virtually all weapons that are obtained commonly from opening regular crates from Series 19 and above. All Strange items have the capability of upgrading the rank prefix on their name, based on tracking a count of a specific in-game event, usually the number of players that the weapon has killed.
Many Strange items have the capability of tracking additional counters, via the attachment of Strange Parts (Unique-quality single-use Tool items that are obtained uncommonly from certain crate series).
The color of Strange items' titles is orange.
Haunted quality items, available from the Very Scary Halloween Special event, are all Halloween Costume items that were obtained from the Underworld section of Eyeaduct. Similarly to Vintage and Genuine, the only difference from their Unique counterparts is cosmetic.
The color of Haunted items' titles is purple, identical to Unusual items'.
Community quality items are extremely rarely granted directly to important contributors to the Team Fortress 2 community. Any item can be issued in Community quality, and one item, the Wiki Cap, is only issued in Community quality.
Community quality items have increased shininess, and sparkle in-game.
The color of Community items' titles is light green, identical to Self-Made items'.
Self-Made quality items are issued to the creator(s) of submitted items that are introduced to Team Fortress 2.
Additionally, a Self-Made Lugermorph was granted to each employee of Telltale Games, but were later converted to Vintage along with Lugermorphs obtained from Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse.
Self-Made quality items have increased shininess, and sparkle in-game.
The color of Self-Made items' titles is light green, identical to Community items'.
Valve quality items are solely owned by Valve employees. Some of these weapons may have additional attributes attached, such as unobtainable unusual particles or overpowered weapon stats.
Valve quality items have a fiery visual effect in-game.
The color of Valve items' titles is dark magenta.
Possible weapon qualities
Please see the table listed here.
Possible hat qualities
Please see the table listed here.
Possible miscellaneous item qualities
Please see the table listed here.
- [Undocumented] Added Vintage quality.
- [Undocumented] Added Unusual quality.
- [Undocumented] Added Genuine quality.
- [Undocumented] Added string for potential new item quality called "Completed".
- [Undocumented] Added Strange quality.
- Updated the Strange quality color from gold ( ) to orange ( ).
- [Undocumented] Updated the Rarity3 quality color from orange ( ) to brown ( ).
- [Undocumented] Added Haunted quality.
- [Undocumented] Added "tobor_a" quality.
- Two unused item qualities referred to as Rarity2 and Rarity3 are specified in the game's files. Their colors are two shades of brown; and respectively.
- The qualities "Completed" and "tobor_a", are specified in the game's files, but neither has an associated color.