Critical hits

From Team Fortress Wiki
Revision as of 23:08, 17 June 2024 by Mediarch (talk | contribs) (WindBot did the thing)
Jump to: navigation, search
The Engineer feeling a critical hit.

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 have the words "CRITICAL HIT!!!" in green, or "MINI-Crit!" in yellow, respectively, appear above their head. Buildings are immune to both types.

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 (exemptions are the Cow Mangler 5000, the Righteous Bison, and the Pomson 6000), bullets have team-colored trails, and flamethrowers produce additional team-colored particles. These visual effects are accompanied by a crackling electric sound upon firing and receiving a Critical hit.

Self-inflicted Critical hits do not deal critical damage to the user, but 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 Critical hits 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 critical hitting. 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 lets 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.

Critical hits and Mini-Crits do not stack in any form — that is, meeting multiple conditions to earn a Critical hit or a Mini-Crit do not deal any more than the normal damage boost. For example, the Frontier Justice's "Revenge" Critical hits do not deal any additional damage if the Engineer is ÜberCharged by a Kritzkrieg, nor does a player marked for death and coated in Jarate suffer more than standard Mini-Crits. This means that team coordination is required if multiple players have ways to increase their Critical hit output, or extra damage is wasted. If both a Mini-Crit and full Critical hit occur 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 Critical hit 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 Critical hit chance is 4.5%. As a result, the highest natural Critical hit chance attainable is 12%.

Melee weapons are designed to Critical hit far more often than ranged ones in order to encourage their usage at close range. Their base Critical hit 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 Critical hit 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 the Rocket Launcher, determine the chance to Critical hit with every shot. Thus, every shot of the Shotgun has a 2% chance to launch a flurry of critical pellets, assuming no previous damage done. Rapid-fire weapons, which include the Minigun, Syringe Gun, Flamethrower, and the Pistol, check for Critical hits once a second. With weapons like these, a positive Critical hit determination results in all shots for the next two seconds being critical. This only applies to the active weapon; getting two seconds of Critical hits on one's Pistol does not cause their Shotgun to fire Critical hits 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 Critical hits and situational Critical hits

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 Critical hits but can gain situational Critical hits

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

Weapons that cannot gain random Critical hits and cannot gain situational Critical hits

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

Weapons that cannot Critical hit in any way

The following weapons cannot deal Critical hits in any way because they Mini-Crit when they normally Crit. Mini-Crits work like normal on these weapons.

Weapons that are exempt

The following items cannot deal Critical hits or Mini-Crits at all, usually because they cannot deal damage. Note that some of the items still glow when Crit-boosted; there is simply no effect.

Crit Boost

A crit boosted Rocket Launcher.

Crit boost is a state in which a player is guaranteed to deal Critical hits with any weapon that is not specifically unable to score Critical hits. A Crit boost is indicated 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; however, weapons that do not damage enemies (for example, Mad Milk, Jarate, Bonk! Atomic Punch, or Crit-a-Cola) do not gain any benefits from Crits. Only the Cow Mangler 5000 is exempt from this rule, as it does Mini-Crits instead of Critical hits.

A Crit boost can be attained under the following circumstances:

  • During Humiliation, the winning team is granted a Crit boost.
  • The ÜberCharge from the Kritzkrieg grants the Medic's heal target an 8 second 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.
  • On Halloween maps during Halloween, killed players randomly drop candy-filled Halloween pumpkins. When picked up, the player is awarded around 3–4 seconds of Crit boost.
  • On the Map Crasher, the intelligence carrier gains Crits until death.
  • Upon killing an enemy with the Killing Gloves of Boxing, the Heavy is 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).
  • In Mann vs. Machine, players can fill their Power Up Canteen with a Critical hit Boost buff, which grants them a 5 second Crit boost upon activation.
  • In the Versus Saxton Hale game mode, all melee weapons except the Market Gardener, Holiday Punch, and all Spy melee weapons are Crit boosted.
  • The last player in either Versus Saxton Hale or Zombie Infection gains Critical hits for all weapons.

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 disappears, but Critical hits are still delivered.
  • Triggering the Dead Ringer's feigned death 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 Mode, but no Critical hits are awarded for the first kill.


A Demoman being pelted by Mini-Crits.
Icon displayed above targets "Marked For Death", indicating they receive mini-crits from all sources.
HUD Icon displayed when the player is Marked For Death, indicating receiving 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 damage spread if enabled. Full Critical hits override Mini-Crits. Like full Critical hits, Mini-Crits have a glowing red outline in their kill icons and are 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 as being covered in Jarate or marked for death), all taunt attacks also Mini-Crit. Aesthetically, Mini-Crits do not trigger critical death lines from victims, unlike full Critical hits.

A Mini-Crit can be dealt under the following circumstances:

There are also currently seven effects that force a particular player to take Mini-Crits from all incoming damage (see also: Marked For Death):

  • Being marked by the Fan O'War.
  • Being an Engineer who is hauling a building with the Rescue Ranger equipped, or has done so in the last three seconds.
  • Being covered in Jarate.
  • Being a Soldier who has the Escape Plan active, or had it active in the last 3 seconds.
  • Being a Intelligence courier in the Mannpower gamemode who has held the flag for more than 90 seconds without capturing it.
  • Carrying the JACK from the PASS Time gamemode without nearby teammates.
  • Being hit by an egg sack explosion or a Salmann on Slime.

Finally, there are four ways of achieving Mini-Crits that require both the attacker and the target to be in a particular situation:

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 the Crit-a-Cola, an active Buff Banner, activating the Cleaner's Carbine's "CRIKEY" charge, and while under the effects of the Buffalo Steak Sandvich. When a player is Mini-Crit boosted from the Buff Banner, their active weapon glows a faint yellow on RED, or a faint blue-green on BLU, while the same color effect of particles swirl around their feet, and the text "Mini Crit!" appears above their health bar. Being Mini-Crit boosted by the Crit-a-Cola looks more like a normal Crit boost, but the weapon glows 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 loses its status as a Mini-Crit. Conversely, after the Pyro sets fire to several players, returning to a Mini-Crit boost immediately transforms any afterburn damage to Mini-Crit status. Sentry Guns 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.

Controlpoint.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 2, 2009 Patch

  • Modified Critical hit calculation. Overall, Critical hit chance is now much more recent-performance based:
    • Base chance is now 2% (was 5%)
    • Bonus range based on damage done changed from 0%-15% to 0%-10
    • Damage range required for bonus changed from 0-1600 to 0-800
  • Sniper Rifle now supports Crit Boost state like all other weapons (i.e. Kritzkrieg makes all shots Critical hits)

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 a majority of 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.
  • Occasionally, when dying while being Crit boosted, the particle effect and sound still play despite not giving Critical hits.
    • The sound bug can be fixed by typing snd_restart into the console.
  • Sometimes, when firing a shot that is a critical, it does not play the critical sound effect. This only affects random Critical hits.
    • The opposite could also happen, the critical sound plays but no Critical hit is fired.


  • Crit indicators are still displayed even if the victim is ÜberCharged and receives no damage.
  • Even when a Spy feigns death with the Dead Ringer, the "CRITICAL HIT!!!" bonus-effect text follows the cloaked Spy normally, giving away the Spy's position.