The Haunted Halloween Gift is a special pickup which is spawned during the Annual Scream Fortress Halloween Update in Mann Manor, Eyeaduct, Ghost Fort, and Helltower. It is a large, lime-green gift box with a bright orange ribbon. The player who collects the gift will receive various items, depending on which map the user is playing on.
The Haunted Halloween Gift will spawn at one of many predetermined locations on Mann Manor, Eyeaduct, Helltower and Ghost Fort. When a player receives a gift, they will incur an approximate 3-hour cooldown, during which time they will be unable to find gift boxes. After this cooldown finishes, they will be eligible to find another. If a player does not pick up their gift box within 3 minutes, the gift is despawned and the player must wait 5-10 minutes before another spawns. Once they finally receive their gift, they incur the usual ~3-hour cooldown. If the player's cooldown expires when they are not connected to a game server or playing a non-event map, they will receive a gift spawn within a minute of connecting to a server running the event map.
Ten player connections to the server are required (meaning players who are on a team, in spectator, or actively joining the server) for the gift to drop; additionally, servers must be registered with TF2 Quickplay on Steam, to prevent cheating or farming to gain items. The total player count only includes actual Steam clients, not bots or the replay user.
Prior to Scream Fortress 2013, users were chosen at random to receive the gift box. When a player received a gift, a new recipient was randomly selected after approximately 25 seconds. If that player did not receive their gift within 3 minutes, it despawned and a new player was selected.
Prior to the Spectral Halloween Special, gifts dropped server-wide. When a gift dropped, a notification was sent to every player on the server. Upon spawning, the gift would be temporarily transparent and unable to be picked up, allowing players some time to search for it and kill their competitors. The gift would then solidify and be awarded to the first player to touch it. Should multiple players be touching the gift as it solidified, the recipient would be selected at random. A second alert would notify all players that the gift was found and congratulate the recipient.
Due to the gift's rarity and the fact that any player could pick it up, it was not uncommon for all players on a server to abandon the map objectives and race to find the gift. The reasoning behind the new system included eliminating the need for such a server-wide scramble.
Spawn locations on the Underworld in Eyeaduct
These audio cues are heard, along with a notification, when the Haunted Halloween Gift spawns or is found by a player.
Haunted Halloween Gift in Mann Manor.
Haunted Halloween Gift in Eyeaduct's Underworld.
Message that appears when a Halloween Gift has spawned for the player to claim.
Message that appears when the player finds a Halloween Gift.
Message that appears when the player fails to find their gift in time.
Message that previously appeared during past events when Halloween Gift spawned.
October 27, 2010 Patch (Scream Fortress Update)
- The Haunted Halloween Gift was added to the game.
October 28, 2010 Patch
- Fixed spectators collecting the Haunted Halloween Gift in Mann Manor.
October 29, 2010 Patch
- Fixed players who are spectating teammates being able to collect the Haunted Halloween Gift in Mann Manor.
October 26, 2012 Patch
- The Haunted Halloween Gift is now only visible to (and can be collected by) one player. This applies to Mann Manor, Eyeaduct, and Ghost Fort.
- A gift may appear in an unreachable corridor near the first control point on Mann Manor. In this situation, the gift remains unfound until it disappears after a few minutes.
- A player who finds a gift in the underworld in Eyeaduct who subsequently dies of attrition damage will not receive the gift. This can be avoided by jumping into the fog and triggering a fall death instead.
- Collecting a gift in Eyeaduct, Ghost Fort and Helltower for the first time will earn the player the Masked Mann achievement.
- Gifts and their particles will not appear in a Replay recording.
- When playing on certain non-Halloween maps during the Halloween event period, there is a small chance a player will be notified "The Haunted Halloween Gift has disappeared", although no gift was spawned.
- Occasionally, if a player collects the gift, it will not show the message, and no item will be obtained.
- A different alert shows up when the gift spawns in Eyeaduct's underworld: "The Haunted Halloween Gift has spawned somewhere below..."
- If the Haunted Halloween Gift spawns seconds before the round ends and nobody collects it before the teams switch sides, the gift will remain in place during the change.
- It is possible to collect the gift during Humiliation or while being stunned by ghosts.
- ↑ "The Fourth Annual Scream Fortress Event Begins Tomorrow!", TF2 Team, TF2 Official Website, October 25, 2012. Accessed October 26, 2012