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This flamethrower is built for the Pyro who likes to ambush their opponents.
Backburner publicity blurb

The Backburner is an unlockable primary weapon for the Pyro. Its appearance is very similar to the default Flame Thrower, with the exception of a team-colored part on the front of the weapon that resembles a dragon's head.

The Backburner does not roll for random critical hits, but it guarantees critical hits whenever it is used on an opponent from behind. The game counts the Pyro as being behind someone if the angle between the direction the victim is facing and the direction from which the flames are coming from is too large. More precisely, this is done using the dot product between the vector of the direction the victim is facing and the vector of the direction of the flames. If this dot product results in a number greater than 0.8, then the player is seen as being behind and deals crits; if the number is less than 0.8, then normal damage is dealt.[1]

The Backburner, like the Flame Thrower, Degreaser, Rainblower, and Dragon's Fury, has the compression blast ability, but uses 50 ammo per blast rather than 20 like the Pyro's stock flamethrower.

Afterburn reduces healing and shield resists from a Medi Gun by 20%.

The Backburner is automatically given to any player who obtains 16 Pyro achievements.

The kill icon for the Backburner was contributed by NeoDement .

Damage and function times

See also: Damage
Damage and function times
Shot type Particle
Damage type Fire
Ranged or Melee damage? Ranged
Flame damage (close) 100% 6.5-13 / tick
Flame damage (far) 50% 3.25-6.5 / tick
Critical 9.75-19.5 / tick
Mini-crit 4.3875-8.775 / tick
Afterburn 4 / tick
Afterburn (mini-crit) 5 / tick
Function times
Attack interval 0.105 s
Ammo consumption interval 0.08 s
Afterburn duration 3-10 s
Airblast cooldown 0.75 s
Values are approximate and determined by community testing.

Note: Flame damage is proportional to particle lifetime instead of distance from target. Unlike most weapons, Critical hits are also affected by the scaling. Additionally, there is a very slight damage variance (±0.08 / particle) due to differences in particle angles.



See also: Crafting


Class Token - Pyro Slot Token - Primary Scrap Metal Possible Results
Item icon Class Token - Pyro.png + Item icon Slot Token - Primary.png + Item icon Scrap Metal.png =
Item icon Backburner.png Item icon Degreaser.png Item icon Phlogistinator.png Item icon Rainblower.png
Item icon Nostromo Napalmer.png Item icon Panic Attack.png Item icon Dragon's Fury.png

As a crafting ingredient

Backburner Reclaimed Metal Degreaser
Item icon Backburner.png + Item icon Reclaimed Metal.png = Item icon Degreaser.png
Reclaimed Metal Soda Popper Backburner Phlogistinator
Item icon Reclaimed Metal.png + Item icon Soda Popper.png + Item icon Backburner.png = Item icon Phlogistinator.png

Strange variant

Related achievements

Leaderboard class soldier.png Soldier

Backdraft Dodger
Backdraft Dodger
Kill a Pyro who has airblasted one of your rockets in the last 10 seconds.

Leaderboard class pyro.png Pyro

Hot on Your Heels
Hot on Your Heels
Kill 50 enemies with your flamethrower, from behind.

Hot Potato
Hot Potato
Reflect 100 projectiles with your compressed air blast.
Kill a Soldier with a reflected critical rocket.

Mvm navicon.png Mann vs. Machievements

Hard Reset
Hard Reset
As a Pyro, reset the bomb 3 times in a single wave.

Update history

June 19, 2008 Patch (Pyro Update)
  • The Backburner was added to the game.

July 1, 2008 Patch

  • Fixed Backburner's flame critical hits not being recalculated after collision. This meant that it would check if the target was looking away once and after that the flame could score a critical hit again even if the orientation changed.

July 29, 2008 Patch

  • Changed attribute:
    • Removed health bonus from the Backburner (previously gave 50 extra max health).

August 19, 2008 Patch (Heavy Update)

  • Added firing sounds to the Backburner.

April 29, 2010 Patch (119th Update)

  • Changed attribute:
    • Added a 20% damage bonus to the Backburner.

May 19, 2010 Patch

  • Changed attribute:
    • Reduced Backburner damage bonus from 20% to 15%.

September 30, 2010 Patch (Mann-Conomy Update)

  • [Undocumented] The Backburner was added to the crafting blueprint for the Degreaser.

January 7, 2011 Patch

  • Backburner was assigned a unique kill icon.
  • [Undocumented] Fixed players claiming health by switching to the Powerjack as the enemy dies from burn damage from the Flamethrower.

February 3, 2011 Patch

  • Updated model (the dragon attachment) with optimizations and LODs.

February 7, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed burning deaths to always use the death notice icon for the weapon that started the burn.

April 14, 2011 Patch (Hatless Update)

  • Changed attributes:
    • Removed the restriction on airblast.
    • Airblast ammo cost increased 150%.
    • Damage bonus reduced to 10%.

July 12, 2011 [Item schema update]

July 22, 2011 Patch

  • [Undocumented] The damage bonus attribute was changed from "+10% damage done" to "+10% damage bonus".

January 11, 2012 Patch

  • [Undocumented] The Backburner was added to the crafting blueprint for the Phlogistinator.

June 27, 2012 Patch (Pyromania Update)

  • Changed attribute:
    • Removed +10% damage bonus attribute.
    • Note: Because of base damage increase by 10%, damage remains unchanged.

November 12, 2013 Patch

December 22, 2014 Patch (Smissmas 2014)

  • Added Festive variant.
  • [Undocumented] Updated the Backburner model to use the c_models system.

December 17, 2015 Patch (Tough Break Update)

  • The base Flamethrower's damage fall off over distance has been decreased, resulting in higher damage output at range.
  • Extinguishing a teammate will now return 20 health to the Pyro.

January 7, 2016 Patch

  • Changed attribute:
    • [Undocumented] Updated 20 health restoration when used to extinguish a burning teammate from neutral attribute to positive attribute.

February 2, 2016 Patch

  • Updated the Backburner to add the pilot light.

April 25, 2016 Patch

  • Fixed the Festive Backburner missing the pilot light.

July 7, 2016 Patch #1 (Meet Your Match Update)

  • Added: Direct damage reduces Medi Gun healing and resist shield effects by 25%
    • Medics hear a "healing interrupted" sound when this is happening to their heal target.

October 20, 2017 Patch #1 (Jungle Inferno Update)

  • Flamethrowers no longer apply maximum-duration afterburn on contact. Afterburn duration is now based on how long the target is in contact with direct flames.
  • Better visual sync, more consistent (no visuals/damage mismatch).
  • New particle effects.
  • Airblast
    • Hit detection for both players and projectiles is now a consistent cone.
    • Airblasting players now factors in the momentum of the Pyro and target, giving both more control over the interaction.
    • Airblast now causes target player to have reduced footing and air control for a short period.
    • Now factors in the upward angle of the airblast, rather than having a fixed upward force.
    • Total push force slightly increased.

October 30, 2017 Patch

  • Fixed flamethrowers not damaging buildings at close distance.

November 7, 2017 Patch

  • Fixed not seeing the new flamethrower effects on some machines.

December 13, 2017 Patch

  • Fixed a bug with the Backburner using its owner's angle to determine whether the attack is behind the victim.

March 28, 2018 Patch #1

  • Flame damage per second now ramps up based on density of flame encountered, up to 200%.
  • Initial flame damage per second reduced by 50%, resulting in the max damage being unchanged.
  • Fixed Flamethrower particles sometimes failing to draw on the client.
  • Fixed Flamethrower flames not colliding with tf_generic_bomb entities.

March 28, 2018 Patch #2

  • Fixed a server crash related to the Flamethrower.


  • Rarely, when the Backburner is turned off during full crits, the flame effect still loops even after the player stops firing. Unlike a similar bug with the Minigun, the "flame" can only be seen by the player.
  • The Backburner can be inspected while being fired.


  • The attribute "No random critical hits" is missing from the description.[2]



See also


  1. game\shared\tf\tf_weapon_flamethrower.cpp:L2669-2692
  2. The respective entry in the item schema lists it as crit mod disabled hidden.