Training Mode is a single-player only game mode that helps players learn the basics of the different classes available in the game. The mode is aimed towards inexperienced players and demonstrates gameplay mechanics and teamwork within a "safe" environment. A series of specific scenarios are given for each class.
Basic training consists of two sections: "Target training" and "Dustbowl training".
Target training is composed of four sections, Soldier, Demoman, Spy, and Engineer training, in that order. In Soldier training, the player begins in a simple spawn room and is instructed basic movement commands, including , , , directional movement, crouching, and jumping, to reach a small booth supplied with health and ammo. In the booth, the player is taught how to use the Rocket Launcher, Shotgun, and Shovel at the weapon's optimal ranges upon wooden targets. Upon destroying these targets, a special 'HIT!' particle will appear if it was destroyed correctly; otherwise, the target is indestructible. After practicing upon wooden targets, the player is given live targets that will move around, attempting to fool the player. There are no weapon restrictions in this portion, so it is up to the player how they destroy the targets. After completing Soldier target training, the game proceeds to Dustbowl training.
In Demoman training, the player spawns in said booth, and is unable to move from that booth. Similarly to Soldier training, the player is first given wooden targets and required to use the appropriate weapon to destroy it. The player is given targets in special situations designed for Demomen; for example, the player is given a target partially hidden behind an object to be destroyed with the Grenade Launcher, five targets which must be destroyed by a single stickybomb detonation, and a target far away for destruction by a charged Stickybomb. Unlike Soldier training, there are no live targets. After completing Demoman training, Spy training is unlocked.
In Spy training, a friendly Spy bot demonstrates cloaking to move past a Sentry Gun. The barriers of the booth are then lowered, and the player is allowed to do the same. The player will then be educated on disguises and sapping, and will have the chance to employ these techniques against a hostile Sentry Gun. Live targets are then provided for training the backstab ability, as well as demonstrating that a person with your name is an enemy Spy. After completing Spy training, Engineer training is unlocked.
In Engineer training, the player is first taught how to use the Build PDA to build a Dispenser, and how metal is consumed in doing so. It also teaches that hitting the building with the Wrench will speed up construction, and the purpose of the Dispenser. Next, the player is taught how to upgrade buildings, and the player is required to upgrade the Dispenser to level 3. After this, the barriers will lower, and the player is required to build a Sentry Gun at the indicated position, and upgrade it to level 3. The player is taught that metal can also be obtained from ammo boxes and dropped weapons. Afterwards, the player is told to use the Sentry Gun as cover as the Red team attacks. The Red team will damage the buildings, and the player is taught that the Wrench can repair them. The player is instructed to haul the Dispenser next to the Sentry Gun, and informs the player that a Dispenser nearby can provide health and metal during an attack. Afterwards, the player is told to build a Teleporter entrance and exit. It instructs that repairing one end repairs the other, and that on the Teleporter exit, there is an arrow which indicates the exit direction for players. Finally, it instructs the use of the Destroy PDA. When the player destroys all of the buildings, Engineer training ends.
After the player completes Soldier target training, they will be able to proceed to a training version of Dustbowl. Once there, basic instructions are provided on the rules of the Control Point game mode. The first round gives the basics of play, the second round introduces the Medic, and the final round introduces the Engineer. After the final point is captured, the player "graduates" Soldier training and is returned to the main menu. After completing Soldier training, Demoman training is unlocked.
Offline Practice allows the player to begin an independent round with no class limitations and against only Bots in three Practice modes: Control Points, King of the Hill, and Payload. Bot difficulty and the amount of total players (recommended to be set at 16-24) can be configured before setup. Currently the maps Dustbowl, Gorge, Viaduct, Badlands, Nucleus, Lakeside, Sawmill, Upward, Thunder Mountain, Hoodoo, Gold Rush, Badwater Basin, and Barnblitz can be played in Offline Practice. Stats and achievements are turned off during the round, though item drops still occur if connected to Steam.
Training maps carry the tr_ prefix.
- In Spy training, the player is unable to switch to the Revolver at first. However, the player can switch to Revolver pressing quick-switch key. (default key 'Q')
- If the player destroys the Sentry Gun using Revolver, the game will say "Well done" and tell the player to backstab the targets. However, the targets will not appear.
- If the player goes to the spot that was previously indicated as cover from the Sentry Gun, then the game will tell the player to sap the already destroyed Sentry Gun, making this goal unobtainable and need to restart the training.
- Strings related to Demoman training show that a map called tr_goldrush was to be included in the Training Mode.
- On the day Training Mode was added, it was possible to join other player's training sessions through the server browser. It was fixed in a patch later that day.
- During the Spy tutorial, if the player is killed by the Sentry Gun while attempting to sap it, the killcam will show that the Sentry Gun was built by the Soldier.
- In the player's "tf" folder, there is a text file called "trainingprogress" that indicates the player's progress. "-1" is no progress on a class, "0" is some progress, "1" is completed, and "2" is for completing both parts of the Soldier's training. There are values for the Scout, Pyro, Heavy, Medic, and Sniper, indicating that training courses for them were planned at one point, or may possibly be added in the future.
- There is unused content on tr_dustbowl for additional Spy Training.
The Scout target
The Soldier target
The Pyro target
The Demoman target
The Heavy target
The Engineer target
The Medic target
The Sniper target
The Spy target