Teleporters are a type of building that can be constructed by an Engineer using the Build Tool. Two components make up a complete and functional teleporter set: The Teleporter Entrance and the Teleporter Exit. Both ends appear as team-colour-painted devices that rotate quickly to form glowing, circular pads.
Players who stand on a fully charged Teleporter Entrance are instantly transported to the Teleporter Exit in a flash of light and particles. After a brief period of recharging, another teammate can pass through. With the ability to transport teammates quickly over any distance, Teleporters are an essential component to any team not defending their front porch: when fully upgraded, respawned teammates can be back on the front lines many times faster than walking or even most special jumps. A team can easily have their offensive push or defensive setup crumble if they lack prompt reinforcements, while one with a judiciously-placed exit can apply constant pressure and even sneak into an unaware enemy's territory.
Teleporters cost 125 metal each to place, 200 metal to upgrade to Level 2, and an additional 200 to upgrade to Level 3. Upgrading a Teleporter will decrease the entrance's recharge time. Upgrading the Teleporter on one end will automatically upgrade it on the other. However, if one end is destroyed, the remaining end reverts to Level 1. Although the model itself does not change when upgraded, the particles surrounding the teleporter become faster and more intense. The sounds the Teleporter makes also change subtly.
If a Spy places an Sapper on one end, another Sapper is automatically placed on the other end, if it exists. In turn, an Engineer can remove both Sappers by destroying one on either teleporter. The Engineer may then proceed to repair both ends of the teleporter system by using his Wrench on either end. However, since the Spy can place an infinite amount of Sappers on either the entrance or the exit of the teleporter, the Engineer may not be able to fully repair the teleporter system before another is placed upon it. This will result in the entire system being destroyed unless the Spy is killed or scared off.
Both Teleporters' health increases as they are being constructed until they reach a maximum of 150 health upon completion. When completed, a Teleporter Entrance will be instantly charged if there is an exit available, but subsequent charges will take ten seconds each unless the Teleporter is upgraded. Destroyed Teleporters leave 60 metal worth of pieces each.
Teleporter (top-down view)
Inactive teleporter (top-down view)
Players who have recently teleported are surrounded by a distinctive, glowing particle effect for eighteen seconds after teleporting. The effect is visible if the player looks at their feet after Teleporter use. Spies who are disguised or Cloaked are not affected by this. Players cannot normally use the enemy team's Teleporters. However, Spies can use enemy Teleporters, even while Cloaked or undisguised. Standing on a Teleporter Exit when it is used by an enemy (whether it is an enemy exit or a friendly exit used by an enemy Spy) results in a fatal telefrag.
By default, players appear facing the direction the Engineer was facing when he placed the Teleporter Exit. The Teleporter Exit can be rotated by clicking the player's alternative attack button before placing the building and an arrow on the blueprint indicates the direction a teammate will be facing upon use. The Teleporter Entrance can be rotated too, though this has no gameplay effect. The entrance has an arrow that automatically points towards the exit (if it exists), which is unaffected by the rotation of the Teleporter Entrance. This arrow shows the player the general direction in which they will travel. The builder earns half of a point each time a team member uses his Teleporter. Engineers don't earn points for using their own Teleporters.
While the Teleporter's blueprints are out, the Teleporter Entrance shows an arrow pointing to the ground while the Teleporter Exit shows an arrow pointing away from the ground. This is to distinguish the entrance and the exit while building.
Players who are carrying the Intelligence cannot use a Teleporter.
According to the Team Fortresscomics, teleportation was invented under the effects of Australium.
There is a small extra cost in Metal to upgrade a Teleporter to the next level if a completed entrance or exit is being upgraded while the other end is still in the process of constructing. It is unclear if this is a bug or intentional. It may be that the extra cost is the result of the game interpreting the incomplete state of one end of the Teleporter as being "damaged" since an incomplete building does not possess the maximum health of a completed building, and thus a small repair cost in Metal is incurred. The phenomenon occurs only once per construction.