Critical hits

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The Engineer feeling a critical hit.
The Soldier

Critical hits, also known as "crits" or "full crits", are attacks that do extra damage and have distinctive sound effects when fired and upon hitting a target. Players on the receiving end of the attack will have the words 'Critical Hit!!!' (or 'Mini-Crit!' respectively) appear over their head in green letters, accompanied by a loud ding.

Critical hits can be easily distinguished from normal hits. Most melee weapons have a unique swinging animation. Projectiles, such as rockets or stickybombs, have a team-colored glow and sparkle effect. Bullets have team-colored trails. Flamethrowers produce additional team-colored particles. These visual effects are accompanied by a crackling electric sound upon firing.

Self-inflicted critical hits will not deal critical damage to the user, but will still play the sound effect.

Critical hits deal three times the base damage of the weapon and ignore both the distance modification and the random damage modification of normal shots, though explosive weapon crits still suffer from splash damage fall-off. As a result, weapons that are normally merely nuisances at long range (such as Miniguns) can become dangerous when critting. The extra damage is of the "critical" type instead of matching the weapon's original type, meaning it cannot be resisted by the Vaccinator's normal healing or Upgrade Station buffs - though this also allows other mechanics to target critical damage specifically, such as the Battalion's Backup and the Vaccinator's ÜberCharge which fully neutralize the extra damage.

When a player is killed by a critical hit, the class will let out a loud scream that differs from ordinary non-melee deaths, unless the class was gibbed (in which case they let out a larger "ouch" noise than explosive kills usually cause). The kill feed icon for a critical hit surrounds the weapon icon with a red glow.

Crits and mini-crits do not stack in any form - that is, meeting multiple conditions to earn a crit or a mini-crit will not deal any more than the normal damage boost. For example, the Frontier Justice's revenge crits will not deal any additional damage if the Engineer is ÜberCharged by a Kritzkrieg, nor will a player marked for death and coated in Jarate suffer more than standard mini-crits. This means that team co-ordination is required if multiple players have ways to increase their crit output, or extra damage will be wasted. If both a mini-crit and full critical hit occurs with the same attack, the critical hit overrides the mini-crit.

Critical hit chance

See also: Damage
Critical hit chance based on damage.

The base crit chance for standard weapons is 2%. This is modified by a bonus percentage based on how much damage the player has done in the last 20 seconds, which scales from 0% at 0 damage to 10% at 800 damage.[1] For example, if the player has dealt 200 damage in the past 20 seconds, the additional bonus percentage is 2.5% and so the overall crit chance is 4.5%. As a result, the highest natural crit chance attainable is 12%.

Melee weapons are designed to crit far more often than ranged ones in order to encourage their usage at close range. Their base crit chance starts at 15% - higher than attainable for ranged weapons with the recent damage bonus maxed out - and their recent damage bonus scales from 0% to 45%, meaning a player that has done 800 damage or more in the last 20 seconds has a melee crit rate of 60%.

Among those weapons that trigger randomly, critical hit probability is determined differently based on the type of weapon. Single-shot weapons, such as the Shotgun, Revolver, and Rocket Launcher, determine the chance to crit with every shot. Thus, every shot of the Shotgun will have a 2% chance to launch a flurry of critical pellets, assuming no previous damage done. Rapid-fire weapons, however, which include the Minigun, Syringe Gun, Flamethrower, and Pistol check for critical hits once a second. With weapons like these, a positive crit determination results in all shots for the next two seconds being critical. This only applies to the active weapon; getting two seconds of crits on one's Pistol will not cause their Shotgun to fire crits during this time.

Special cases

An Engineer with the Frontier Justice's Revenge Crits available.

There is a wide variety of situations that affect whether a weapon can deal critical hits or not.

Weapons that can gain both random crits and situational crits

The following weapons can deal guaranteed critical hits in specific situations in addition to being capable of scoring them at random.

Weapons that cannot gain random crits but can gain situational crits

The following weapons have a 0% chance of random crits in all situations, but can still deal critical hits in specific situations or if the user is crit-boosted.

Weapons that cannot gain random crits and cannot gain situational crits

The following weapons have a 0% chance of random crits in all situations and do not have a mean of scoring crits on their own, though they can still deliver crits if another effect is in play.

Weapons that cannot crit in any way

The following weapons cannot deal critical hits in any way. They can however mini-crit if the situation is right.

Weapons that are exempt

The following items cannot deal critical hits or mini-crits at all, usually because they cannot deal damage. Note that they will still glow when crit-boosted; there will simply be no effect.

Crit boost

Crit boost is a state in which a player is guaranteed to deal critical hits with any weapon. A crit boost is demonstrated by the player's weapon glowing in their team color, with sparks of electricity surging and crackling from it. This affects most weapons that do not normally deal random critical hits, such as the Knife, Sniper Rifle, Gunslinger, and Eyelander, causing them to deal critical attacks for the duration of the boost. The Cow Mangler 5000, on the other hand, will not receive critical hits from a crit boost.

A crit boost can be attained under the following circumstances:

  • During Humiliation, the winning team is granted a crit boost.
  • Capturing the intelligence in a game of Capture the Flag gives the entire capturing team a 10 second crit boost. This value can be altered or disabled by the server host console via a command.
  • Upon killing an enemy with the Killing Gloves of Boxing, the Heavy will be crit boosted for 5 seconds. The crit boost applies not only to the Killing Gloves of Boxing, but to all the Heavy's currently equipped weapons.
  • The Phlogistinator allows a Pyro to crit boost itself for about 10 seconds upon activating "Mmmph", but the crit boost only affects the Phlogistinator (Or any flamethrower he picks up in that 10 second period).

First Blood

In Arena Mode, a 'First Blood' buff is granted to a player who achieves the first kill of a round. It consists of a five-second crit boost.

  • If players switch weapons during the buff, the electricity around their weapon will disappear, but critical hits will still be delivered.
  • Triggering feign death with the Dead Ringer gives the attacker the 'First Blood' buff.
  • The 'First Blood' buff counts as an ÜberCharge towards the Heavy achievement Supreme Soviet.
  • Obtaining 'First Blood' as a Scout unlocks the First Blood achievement; killing five enemies with 'First Blood' unlocks First Blood, Part 2.
  • The 'First Blood' achievement can also be earned by a Scout in Competitive Matchmaking mode, but no critical hits are awarded for the first kill.



A Demoman being pelted by mini-crits.
Icon displayed above a marked 'player' and can receive from all sources mini-crits
HUD Icon displayed when 'marked for death' and you can receive mini-crits from all sources

Mini-crits add an extra 35% damage to a weapon's damage. Like normal critical hits, they ignore damage falloff, but unlike critical hits, they are still given ramp-up at close range and random spread. Full crits override mini-crits. Like full crits, mini-crits will have a glowing red outline in their kill icons and will be displayed with a larger font when combat text is enabled. If the player is under a Mini-crit buff state (such as the Buff Banner or Buffalo Steak Sandvich), or the victim is under a Mini-crit debuff state (such being Jarated or marked for death), all taunt attacks will also Mini-crit.

There are currently nine ways for a player to deal consistent mini-crits to all other players:

There are also currently five effects that force a particular player to take mini-crits from all incoming damage:

Finally, there are five ways of achieving mini-crits that require both the attacker and the target to be in a particular situation:

  • Hitting an airborne enemy with the Direct Hit who was propelled airborne by an explosion.
  • Shooting an airborne enemy with the Reserve Shooter during the 5-second mini-crit period it has after switching to it.
  • Hitting a burning enemy with the Detonator or Scorch Shot.
  • Directly impacting an enemy within half a second before a cannonball explosion with the Loose Cannon.
  • Hitting a burning enemy with the Axtinguisher from the front.

Former ways to achieve a mini-crit:

  • The Sun-on-a-Stick originally dealt mini-crits on burning enemies. It currently deals full crits.
  • The Flare Gun originally dealt mini-crits on burning enemies at close range. It currently deals full crits regardless of range.
  • Formerly Mini-Crits could be delivered by shooting enemies to the head with the Ambassador. It currently deals full crits.
  • The Pyro's Compression Blast was formerly able to turn enemy Stickybombs into mini-crits by reflecting them. It now gives no mini-crit boost on reflecting Stickybombs.
  • The Direct Hit formerly dealt mini-crits to any airborne target. The weapon now only inflicts mini-crit damage to airborne targets who have been launched into the air by an explosion.
  • The Buffalo Steak Sandvich originally forced the user to take mini-crits while under its effects. This has been changed to a basic 25% damage increase.
  • The Crit-a-Cola also originally forced the user to take mini-crits while under its effect. It later changed to a basic 25% damage increase, but then altered to 10% damage increase.
  • The Soda Popper originally dealt mini-crits while under its hype effect. Now hype effect has changed to grant up to 5 extra air jumps.
  • The Cleaner's Carbine originally granted 8 seconds of mini-crits on kill. It now gains "CRIKEY" charge with damage dealt using the Cleaner's Carbine, and grants the mini-crit boost when the "CRIKEY" meter is full using alternate fire.

Mini-crit boost

A mini-crit boost is the state of having all damage being dealt modified into mini-crit damage. Currently, this is achievable while under the effects of Crit-a-Cola, an active Buff Banner, activating "CRIKEY" charge with the Cleaner's Carbine and while under the effect of Buffalo Steak Sandvich. While being mini-crit boosted from the Buff Banner, the player's active weapon glows a faint yellow on RED, or a faint blue-green on BLU, and has the same color effect of particles swirling around their feet, and the text "Mini Crit!" will appear above the player's health bar, while being mini-crit boosted by the Crit-a-Cola will look more like a normal crit boost, but the weapon will glow lighter.

All damage sources, including afterburn and Sentry Guns, only deal mini-crit damage when the player dealing the damage is being boosted. If the player loses the boost after firing a projectile while the projectile is in mid-flight, it will lose its status as a mini-crit. Conversely, after the Pyro sets fire to several players, returning to a mini-crit boost will immediately transform any afterburn damage to mini-crit status. Sentry Guns will only mini-crit while the Engineer is being mini-crit boosted.

Related achievements

Leaderboard class scout.png Scout

First Blood
First Blood
Get the first kill in an Arena or Competitive match.
First Blood, Part 2
First Blood, Part 2
Kill 5 enemies with the First Blood crit buff in an Arena match.

Leaderboard class soldier.png Soldier

Crockets Are Such B.S.
Crockets Are Such B.S.
Shoot two non-boosted crit rockets in a row.
Tri-Splatteral Damage
Tri-Splatteral Damage
Kill 3 enemies with a single critical rocket.

Leaderboard class pyro.png Pyro

Kill a Soldier with a reflected critical rocket.

Leaderboard class demoman.png Demoman

Beat Me Up, Scotty
Beat Me Up, Scotty
Use a critical swing with the Eyelander to kill 5 enemy players.

Leaderboard class heavy.png Heavy

Communist Mani-Fisto
Communist Mani-Fisto
Kill an enemy with a critical punch.
Crock Block
Crock Block
Survive a direct hit from a critical rocket.

Leaderboard class engineer.png Engineer

Use a revenge crit to kill the enemy player that destroyed your sentry gun.
Kill 3 enemies with revenge crits without dying.

Leaderboard class medic.png Medic

Deploy an ÜberCharge on a teammate less than a second before they're hit by a critical explosive.

Backpack Full Head Of Steam.png Foundry achievements

Cap Trap
Cap Trap
Kill an enemy who is capturing a control point with a critical hit.

Mvm navicon.png Mann vs. Machievements

Kritical Terror
Kritical Terror
Use a canteen charged with 'Crit Boost' to destroy a giant robot.

Update history

December 20, 2007 Patch
  • Fixed critical bullet tracers not being visible to players other than the firer.

February 14, 2008 Patch

  • Added a small delay (200 ms) before a zoomed Sniper shot can get a critical hit.

February 28, 2008 Patch

  • Added options for servers who want to become custom games: Disable Critical hits (tf_weapon_criticals), eliminate respawn times (mp_disable_respawn_times), and raise maxplayers above 24.

March 6, 2008 Patch

  • Fixed critical modifier for explosive weapons (rockets, pipe bombs) increasing critical chance more than intended.

February 24, 2009 Patch (Scout Update)

  • Added crit boosted on/off sound effects.

July 14, 2009 Patch

  • Fixed Mini-Crits resulting in reduced damage for weapons at close ranges.

July 21, 2009 Patch (Xbox)

  • Added Option to Toggle Critical hits.

July 13, 2010 Patch

September 30, 2010 Patch (Mann-Conomy Update)

October 19, 2010 Patch

  • Fixed the Holy Mackerel hit triggering the first blood event in Arena mode.

January 10, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed the Heavy's Fists not playing the critical hit animation.

February 7, 2011 Patch

  • The Sun-on-a-Stick was changed to always mini-crit against burning targets if the attack is not already critical.

March 11, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed the revenge crit label not being localized correctly.

April 14, 2011 Patch (Hatless Update)

April 15, 2011 Patch

  • Replaced the -25% damage attribute with no-crit attribute on the following:
    • Eyelander
    • Gunslinger
    • Southern Hospitality
    • Horseless Headless Horseman's Headtaker
    • Ullapool Caber
    • Claidheamh Mòr

June 28, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed a case where Crit Boost effects were being removed from players being healed.
  • Fixed a problem with Arena mode first blood Crit Boost not removing itself at the correct time.

February 2, 2012 Patch

April 27, 2012 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Stickybombs and grenades now have a team-colored aura when fired and a rapidly flashing critical particle effect.

December 21, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed a regression with mini-crit damage calculation.

January 8, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed a regression where Mini-Crits were being affected by long-range damage fall-off.

January 7, 2015 Patch

February 11, 2015 Patch #1

  • Fixed the Panic Attack not using the correct sound for crits.

March 12, 2015 Patch

  • Fixed an exploit related to the Gunslinger and hitting teammates to generate a guaranteed third hit that is critical.
  • Fixed the Phlogistinator's bottle not getting the crit-boost material effect.


  • The vast majority of effects and achievements cannot tell the difference between a critical hit and a mini-crit, and as a result treat all mini-crits as regular crits. This makes it possible to gain crit-based achievements using only mini-crits.
  • The "Mini Crit!" text is still displayed when combat text is enabled if a teammate assists you with a mini-crit, instead of showing the damage they dealt.
  • Crit indicators are still displayed even if the "victim" is ÜberCharged and receives no damage.
  • Occasionally, when being crit boosted and you die, the particle effect and sound will still play, despite not giving critical hits.