Casual Mode

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See also: Competitive Mode
Meet Your Match.png
Who else is ready to win?
The Spy queuing up

Casual Mode, or Casual, is a Team Fortress 2 main menu matchmaking mode, offering a wide selection of game modes and maps to choose and queue up for, either individually or with up to 5 other players. This matchmaking mode replaced Quickplay in the Meet Your Match Update with the July 7, 2016 Patch.


In Casual Mode, the matchmaking system will attempt to match players to servers that are:

1. In Setup time

2. Hosted in a nearby location

However, these criteria might be loosened if server availability is limited. For instance, a player may be matched to a game already in progress, or to a server hosted in a region located further away from the player.

Casual Mode allows players to filter and select the maps they would like to play in. All maps are split between "Core Game Modes" and "Alternative Game Modes". Attack/Defend, Capture the Flag, Control Points, King of the Hill and Payload are featured under Core Game Modes. Alternative Game Modes features Payload Race, Misc (miscellaneous, maps that do not fit under common game mode types), Mannpower and PASS Time. During events, additional categories may be added, such as select Halloween maps for the duration of Halloween events. In each of these subcategories, the maps can be individually filtered out further.

In Casual Mode, a player can start or join a "Party", joining a temporary group of up to 6 players. This group of players will be matched to the same server simultaneously, with all players playing on a single team. Party members are retained between games, although players of the same party may be moved to different teams due to auto-balance. Previously, with Quickplay, games that friends were in could be joined by pressing "Join Game" on their Steam Profile. This is no longer possible in Casual Mode, which disables "ad-hoc connections", but is still possible for community servers.

In Casual Mode, players gain experience points (XP) from completing matches and scoring points recorded on the in-game scoreboard. Accumulating XP contributes towards a badge or "Coin" for Casual Mode that is displayed on the top left of the main menu. This Coin changes aesthetically as the player levels up. There are 150 levels, with each level requiring more experience than the last. These levels are divided into 6 stages: Civilian, Freelance, Mercenary, Commando, Assassin and Elite in ascending order (mirroring the Grade system used for Decorated weapons). Each stage consists of 25 levels. Each stage also changes the color of the Coin, ranging from light blue to bright red. Within each stage, there are another five sub-stages consisting of five types of Coins. In the first of the sub-stages, the player is given a plain Coin. Levelling up the five individual levels within this stage will add one star at a time (starting from one) onto your Coin. Every five levels obtained adds more accessories to the Coin, but will reset the star-count to one. After 25 levels, this accessory system will reset and the Coin will change color.

In addition to levels, there are Tiers. After surpassing Level 150, the Coin is reset to Level 1 and the player's Tier increases by 1. The Coin's appearance also resets. There are currently 8 Tiers in total, meaning the Casual Coin is maxed out at Level 150, Tier 8.

The Casual Mode level is a cosmetic feature that records how much and how well players have participated in matches. These levels can never be lost, nor do they affect matchmaking. Casual Mode's levels differ from Competitive Mode's ranks; Competitive Mode's ranks do affect matchmaking and can be lost.[1] Instead, Casual Mode uses the Glicko rating system, also commonly referred to as "MMR" (Matchmaking Rank). This rating goes up and down depending on if the player wins or loses the match, and can be viewed in the player's Personal Game Data on Steam under the "Match History" tab next to "Result Displayed Rating". When a player stops playing for an extended period of time, the MMR will increase or decrease more depending on how long the player has not played. This is known as "uncertainty decay".[2]

Casual Mode has sv_pure set to 1, which forcibly disables custom files (apart from HUDs and custom hitsounds) on official Valve servers. The specific whitelist is listed in cfg/pure_server_whitelist.txt.



Level icon Level Needed XP Owned XP Grade
Level 1 Casual.png
1 0 0 Civilian Grade
Level 2 Casual.png
2 750 750
Level 3 Casual.png
3 1,500
Level 4 Casual.png
4 2,250
Level 5 Casual.png
5 3,000
Level 6 Casual.png
6 3,750
Level 7 Casual.png
7 4,500
Level 8 Casual.png
8 5,250
Level 9 Casual.png
9 6,000
Level 10 Casual.png
10 6,750
Level 11 Casual.png
11 7,500
Level 12 Casual.png
12 8,250
Level 13 Casual.png
13 9,000
Level 14 Casual.png
14 9,750
Level 15 Casual.png
15 10,500
Level 16 Casual.png
16 11,250
Level 17 Casual.png
17 12,000
Level 18 Casual.png
18 12,750
Level 19 Casual.png
19 13,500
Level 20 Casual.png
20 14,250
Level 21 Casual.png
21 15,000
Level 22 Casual.png
22 15,750
Level 23 Casual.png
23 16,500
Level 24 Casual.png
24 17,250
Level 25 Casual.png
25 18,000
Level 26 Casual.png
26 1,250 18,750 Freelance Grade
Level 27 Casual.png
27 20,000
Level 28 Casual.png
28 21,250
Level 29 Casual.png
29 22,500
Level 30 Casual.png
30 23,750
Level 31 Casual.png
31 25,000
Level 32 Casual.png
32 26,250
Level 33 Casual.png
33 27,500
Level 34 Casual.png
34 28,750
Level 35 Casual.png
35 30,000
Level 36 Casual.png
36 31,250
Level 37 Casual.png
37 32,500
Level 38 Casual.png
38 33,750
Level 39 Casual.png
39 35,000
Level 40 Casual.png
40 36,250
Level 41 Casual.png
41 37,500
Level 42 Casual.png
42 38,750
Level 43 Casual.png
43 40,000
Level 44 Casual.png
44 41,250
Level 45 Casual.png
45 42,500
Level 46 Casual.png
46 43,750
Level 47 Casual.png
47 45,000
Level 48 Casual.png
48 46,250
Level 49 Casual.png
49 47,500
Level 50 Casual.png
50 48,750
Level 51 Casual.png
51 2,000 50,000 Mercenary Grade
Level 52 Casual.png
52 52,000
Level 53 Casual.png
53 54,000
Level 54 Casual.png
54 56,000
Level 55 Casual.png
55 58,000
Level 56 Casual.png
56 60,000
Level 57 Casual.png
57 62,000
Level 58 Casual.png
58 64,000
Level 59 Casual.png
59 66,000
Level 60 Casual.png
60 68,000
Level 61 Casual.png
61 70,000
Level 62 Casual.png
62 72,000
Level 63 Casual.png
63 74,000
Level 64 Casual.png
64 76,000
Level 65 Casual.png
65 78,000
Level 66 Casual.png
66 80,000
Level 67 Casual.png
67 82,000
Level 68 Casual.png
68 84,000
Level 69 Casual.png
69 86,000
Level 70 Casual.png
70 88,000
Level 71 Casual.png
71 90,000
Level 72 Casual.png
72 92,000
Level 73 Casual.png
73 94,000
Level 74 Casual.png
74 96,000
Level 75 Casual.png
75 98,000
Level 76 Casual.png
76 3,000 100,000 Commando Grade
Level 77 Casual.png
77 103,000
Level 78 Casual.png
78 106,000
Level 79 Casual.png
79 109,000
Level 80 Casual.png
80 112,000
Level 81 Casual.png
81 115,000
Level 82 Casual.png
82 118,000
Level 83 Casual.png
83 121,000
Level 84 Casual.png
84 124,000
Level 85 Casual.png
85 127,000
Level 86 Casual.png
86 130,000
Level 87 Casual.png
87 133,000
Level 88 Casual.png
88 136,000
Level 89 Casual.png
89 139,000
Level 90 Casual.png
90 142,000
Level 91 Casual.png
91 145,000
Level 92 Casual.png
92 148,000
Level 93 Casual.png
93 151,000
Level 94 Casual.png
94 154,000
Level 95 Casual.png
95 157,000
Level 96 Casual.png
96 160,000
Level 97 Casual.png
97 163,000
Level 98 Casual.png
98 166,000
Level 99 Casual.png
99 169,000
Level 100 Casual.png
100 172,000
Level 101 Casual.png
101 4,500 175,000 Assassin Grade
Level 102 Casual.png
102 179,500
Level 103 Casual.png
103 184,000
Level 104 Casual.png
104 188,500
Level 105 Casual.png
105 193,000
Level 106 Casual.png
106 197,500
Level 107 Casual.png
107 202,000
Level 108 Casual.png
108 206,500
Level 109 Casual.png
109 211,000
Level 110 Casual.png
110 215,500
Level 111 Casual.png
111 220,000
Level 112 Casual.png
112 224,500
Level 113 Casual.png
113 229,000
Level 114 Casual.png
114 233,500
Level 115 Casual.png
115 238,000
Level 116 Casual.png
116 242,500
Level 117 Casual.png
117 247,000
Level 118 Casual.png
118 251,500
Level 119 Casual.png
119 256,000
Level 120 Casual.png
120 260,500
Level 121 Casual.png
121 265,000
Level 122 Casual.png
122 269,500
Level 123 Casual.png
123 274,000
Level 124 Casual.png
124 278,500
Level 125 Casual.png
125 283,000
Level 126 Casual.png
126 7,000 287,500 Elite Grade
Level 127 Casual.png
127 294,500
Level 128 Casual.png
128 301,500
Level 129 Casual.png
129 308,500
Level 130 Casual.png
130 315,500
Level 131 Casual.png
131 322,500
Level 132 Casual.png
132 329,500
Level 133 Casual.png
133 336,500
Level 134 Casual.png
134 343,500
Level 135 Casual.png
135 350,500
Level 136 Casual.png
136 357,500
Level 137 Casual.png
137 364,500
Level 138 Casual.png
138 371,500
Level 139 Casual.png
139 378,500
Level 140 Casual.png
140 385,500
Level 141 Casual.png
141 392,500
Level 142 Casual.png
142 399,500
Level 143 Casual.png
143 406,500
Level 144 Casual.png
144 413,500
Level 145 Casual.png
145 420,500
Level 146 Casual.png
146 427,500
Level 147 Casual.png
147 434,500
Level 148 Casual.png
148 441,500
Level 149 Casual.png
149 448,500
Level 150 Casual.png
150 455,500


Tier icon Tier
Level 150 Casual.png
Casual Mode Tier2.png
Casual Mode Tier3.png
Casual Mode Tier4.png
Casual Mode Tier5.png
Casual Mode Tier6.png
Casual Mode Tier7.png
Casual Mode Tier8.png

Pie chart showing the proportion of XP accumulated by level 150 that is gained from each Tier.[3]

Update history

July 7, 2016 Patch #1 (Meet Your Match Update)
  • Added Casual Mode to the game.

July 8, 2016 Patch

  • Removed the abandonment penalty.
  • Players are only required to have a single mode selected before queuing.

July 14, 2016 Patch #1

  • Fixed a problem where in-progress games with open slots would not receive new players.
  • Fixed a case where players would sometimes not receive experience (when playing a match to completion).
  • Fixed not getting domination/revenge events.
  • Added a feature to the game mode selection screen that allows players to play on specific maps.
  • Added the Vote Kick option.
    • Players that are kicked will receive partial experience after the match ends.
  • Maps previously using the stopwatch timer will now play to completion, regardless of the first team's time.

July 28, 2016 Patch

  • Matches can now start with fewer than 24 players when there are not enough compatible players in queue.
    • The match will still add additional players (up to 24) as they become available.
    • This should improve queue times for low-population regions and game modes.
  • Added maps cp_gullywash, cp_snakewater, and koth_probed.
  • Fixed not being able to cycle between spectator modes.

August 3, 2016 Patch

  • Fixed map objectives (e.g. flags, capture points, carts) sometimes becoming unresponsive in Casual Mode games.
  • Fixed a case where players could be late-joined into games playing a map that they didn't have selected.

August 29, 2016 Patch

  • Fixed Casual mode badges incorrectly displaying the level 1 badge when at max level.

September 12, 2016 Patch

  • Fixed an exploit related to not respawning in the spawn room at the beginning of Casual Mode matches.
  • Increased the matchmaking system's preference for matching large pre-made parties against each other in Casual Mode. This should result in more balanced matches, but may cause a slight increase in queue times for larger parties.

September 27, 2016 Patch

  • Players can now form rematches at the end of a Casual match.
    • At the end of a Casual match, players will have 30 seconds to opt-in to a rematch.
    • If at least 6 players from BLU and 6 players from RED have chosen to rematch, then a rematch will begin.
    • A rematch will use the same teams, map and server.
  • Players can now re-queue into Casual Matchmaking during the end of a match.
    • Players who decline a rematch or simply don't vote in the rematch voting period will automatically be re-queued.
  • Updated the way XP is earned in Casual matches.
    • Players will now be awarded more XP based on their team's performance at the end of a match.
    • XP is no longer lost for leaving a Casual match early.
    • A breakdown of XP sources is now shown when your XP bar fills up.
  • Casual matches now more strongly prefer to distribute players to teams based on experience, in order to better avoid creating one-sided matches.
  • Casual matches are now more likely to start with fewer than 24 players in lower population game-modes or regions, wherein the wait time for a full match would become excessive.
    • The current minimum allowable match size in such situations is twelve players.
    • The matchmaker will still attempt to place late-joiners into these matches as they become available.

September 28, 2016 Patch

  • Fixed some players not being able to click on the new rematch UI elements.
  • Fixed the end of round music not playing in Casual matches.

October 12, 2016 Patch

  • Players will now be randomly selected to participate in a survey at the end of Casual matches.

October 21, 2016 Patch (Scream Fortress VIII)

  • Join Halloween matches by selecting the "Halloween" category in Casual
  • Added "Load Saved Settings" and "Save Current Settings" buttons to the Casual mode Map Selection menu.
    • Search criteria is now manually saved to give players more control over the default settings when the game is launched.
  • XP earned in Casual matches has been adjusted to reward players more for their personal contribution to the match.
    • XP per point has returned to 6.5 XP per point.
    • XP earned for match completion and objective completion now scales based on your score relative to total amount of points scored by everyone in the match.
  • Increased the matchmaker's priority of matches with imbalanced teams.
    • This should reduce the occurrence of extended imbalanced matches when multiple players leave.

November 2, 2016 Patch

  • Fixed Casual search criteria being saved automatically while connecting to a server.

November 23, 2016 Patch

  • Fixed Casual mode search criteria sometimes not loading properly when starting the game.

December 21, 2016 Patch (Smissmas 2016)

  • Matchmaking Improvements.
    • At the end of a Casual match, players are automatically formed into a new match with the same players and teams.
      • Players get to vote on which map the new match will take place on.
        • There are 3 maps to vote on, chosen based on the maps everyone in the match had selected when they began searching for a match. The current map is always the first option.
      • This replaces the Rematch system.
    • Players can now set their maximum acceptable ping by clicking the new gear icon in the top right of the Casual and Competitive matchmaking lobby screens and choosing "Ping Settings".
  • New autobalance system to help with balancing teams when players leave a match. The system will ask players to volunteer to switch teams.
    • Automatically enabled for all Casual match servers.
      • Players who switch will be able to earn bonus XP as a reward.
    • Community servers can enable this new feature by using "mp_autoteambalance 2".

January 16, 2017 Patch

February 14, 2017 Patch

  • Fixed a case where Casual servers would spontaneously terminate with "Server shutting down" upon losing connection with the matchmaking service.
  • Updated the logic used to pick the maps players can vote on in the end-of-match map vote on Casual servers to help maintain healthier game mode representation across regions.
    • Casual servers were often rotating to unrelated game modes during votes, resulting in partially filled servers in certain regions.
  • Added new survey questions to the end-of-match survey for Casual and Competitive modes and fixed a bug where multiple surveys could be displayed at the same time.

June 2, 2017 Patch

  • Players who leave a Casual match for any reason cannot be re-matched into the match in question for a few minutes.
  • Players who are vote-kicked from a Casual match cannot be re-matched into the match in question for several hours.

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

  • Redesigned the matchmaking screens to be lightweight overlays that can be summoned and dismissed from anywhere within the game.
  • Moved the Casual badge panel to the main menu.
  • Levels now go beyond 150. All players now have a Tier in addition to their Level. All players start at Tier 1. When your Level goes past 150 your Level resets to 1, your Tier goes up by 1, and your Casual badge will change its appearance to reflect your new status.
  • Players who had reached level 150 will have any experience beyond 45500 (the amount required to hit 150) put into an overflow pool. While playing Casual matches, any XP you earn will be matched and deducted from your overflow pool until it runs out.
  • The "Vote for the next map!" dialog can now be minimized to view the top scoring players.

March 28, 2018 Patch #1

  • Casual Improvements
    • Casual Mode now uses the Glicko skill rating system behind the scenes to better create balanced matches and group players by skill level
    • The maps listed in the Casual matchmaking screen are now sorted alphabetically
    • Added ctf_sawmill, ctf_well, cp_5gorge, ctf_2fort_invasion, and ctf_foundry to Casual Mode
    • Updated the match-end map voting to only vote on maps for the current game mode (if you are playing Payload, you will only vote on Payload maps)
  • Fixed not using the initial observer point when first connecting to a Casual server.
  • Fixed not being able to spectate observer points or your own buildings in Casual Mode.

May 17, 2018 Patch

  • Fixed matchmaking players being able to sit at the MOTD so they can't be kicked by players in the match. They will now show in the scoreboard on their assigned team and will be valid vote-kick targets by members of their team.

June 7, 2018 Patch

  • Players who consistently demonstrate a pattern of negative behavior in-game (based upon excessive reports from other players and several other factors) will now receive a temporary matchmaking ban.

March 26, 2019 Patch

  • Fixed a rare case where players could appear to be in a match they could neither join nor abandon

April 16, 2019 Patch

  • Fixed an issue causing matchmaking to fail for many users due to Steam network changes

July 25, 2019 Patch (Summer 2019 Pack)

  • Fixed not seeing the team-goal hints during Casual matches

July 3, 2020 Patch

  • Fixed matchmaking badges not displaying the correct tier in the scoreboard and other dialogs

January 8, 2021 Patch

  • Added pl_pier to the list of maps for Casual matchmaking


  • Occasionally, the "Vote For Next Map" option may not allow players to vote, or so it may appear to a player joining just after the vote closed.
    • This can be countered by entering next_map_vote 0, 1, or 2 in the console. 0 will vote for the first map, and 2 will vote for the 3rd map.
  • If a player gets disconnected in the middle of a match and attempts to rejoin, the player may be kicked for an "ad-hoc connection", despite it being through the matchmaking system, thus preventing the player from joining.
  • Badge colors do not appear while in DirectX 8.
  • Players may receive up to an hour long matchmaking ban during the early morning hours of the fall US Daylight Savings Time switch.


See also


  1. "Casual Mode Update"
  2. Team Fortress Wiki IRC logs, 2019-07-14, Valve employee confirming uncertainty decay.
  3. Guide to TF2 Casual Mode Ranking and XP