Competitive Mode

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Competitive logo laurel.png
"Competitive" redirects here. You may have been looking for Community competitive play.
See also: Casual Mode
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Competitive Mode is a Team Fortress 2 main menu matchmaking mode. This matchmaking mode is accessible only by logging on to a Premium account with a valid phone number linked to the user's Steam account, and that has earned at least level 3 in Casual Mode. Players may also purchase a Competitive Matchmaking Pass from the Mann Co. Store to gain access. If a player is eligible for Competitive Matchmaking but has a VAC ban on their account, the only way to obtain access is to buy a pass from the Mann Co. Store. Like regular matches, there are no bans to any weapon and/or class.


Competitive Mode is a more refined version of the Casual game modes. As a result, it is much less chaotic and random in nature than Casual matches. Each player is able to level up their rank depending on their performance and the outcome of the match. It is also possible to lose rank levels, a common example being a user performing poorly during a match and losing their rank due to their performance. Once players join the game, they have the option to mark themselves as "ready" to start the match (similarly to the Mann vs. Machine game mode) once enough players have joined. Once a player marks themselves as ready, a timer starts counting down to the match start. Players leaving a Competitive match mid-game receive a Matchmaking cool-down punishment which prevents them from playing Matchmaking for a limited time. Each repeated offense increases this timer.


Each player has a rank which can be leveled up by performing well in competitive matches. Players must complete 10 placement matches in order to gain a rank, and can level up the rank as they win more matches. Players are ranked using a model based on the Glicko rating system used in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. A player's rank is determined by Matchmaking Rating (or MMR). MMR is a range of numbers that represent a player's skill level. MMR "Confidence" refers to how wide the range of numbers is for an individual. Lower ranges indicate higher confidence, and higher ranges indicate lower confidence. The amount of MMR that is gained from a match is also determined by MMR Confidence. Leaving a match (also known as "abandoning") negatively impacts a player's MMR.[1]

Rank Icon/Name
Rank1.png Rank2.png Rank3.png
Rank4.png Rank5.png Rank6.png
Rank7.png Rank8.png Rank9.png
Rank10.png Rank11.png Rank12.png

Changes from Standard Multiplayer

  • Competitive Mode has a round-based match system with alternate announcer voice lines, an interactive winner's screen, and features fewer game modes than Casual lobbies. It also boasts a more exclusive and truly skill-based gameplay that revolves around superior strategy, positioning, and team communications over seemingly random engagements.
  • Competitive Mode currently supports 6v6.

Stress Tests

The competitive beta mode was available to premium players when a stress test event was active if they met the requirements above. In order to participate, users needed to be in the official group and have the Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator enabled, as well as have a Competitive Matchmaking Beta Pass. When a stress test was active, a "Play Competitive" button would appear on the main menu with a Stress Test badge when the test began.


Main article: List of maps
Name Picture Game mode File name
Badlands CP Badlands Central point.PNG Control Point cp_badlands
Badwater Basin Plbadwater.png Payload pl_badwater
Foundry Cp foundry mid.png Control Point cp_foundry
Gorge Cp gorge.jpg Control Point cp_gorge
Granary TF2 Granary Map.png Control Point cp_granary
Gullywash CP Gullywash 3.png Control Point cp_gullywash_final1
Metalworks Cp metalworks b22 5.jpg Control Point cp_metalworks
Process Cp process middle point.png Control Point cp_process_final
Snakewater Snakewater mid.png Control Point cp_snakewater_final1
Sunshine Sunshine main.png Control Point cp_sunshine
Swiftwater Pl swiftwater.jpg Payload pl_swiftwater_final1
Turbine CTF Turbine Center.png Capture the Flag ctf_turbine
Vanguard Cp vanguard.png Control Point cp_vanguard
Viaduct Viaduct 01.jpg King of the Hill koth_viaduct

Update history

July 2, 2015 Patch #1 (Gun Mettle Update)

February 29, 2016 Patch

  • Added content and features necessary to begin limited public testing of the TF2 Competitive Mode beta.

March 3, 2016 Patch

  • Updated cp_foundry to support the Competitive mode beta.

March 10, 2016 Patch

March 17, 2016 Patch

  • This update will most likely cause issues with custom UIs and HUDs. We suggest disabling them if you experience any problems.
  • Updated content and features for the TF2 Competitive Mode beta.
  • [Undocumented] Updated the backpack icon for the Competitive Matchmaking Beta Pass. (Previously a Name Tag.)
  • [Undocumented] Added a backpack icon for an unused Competitive Matchmaking Beta Pass Gift.

March 18, 2016 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Converted existing Competitive Matchmaking Beta Passes to Vintage quality.
  • [Undocumented] Added a general purpose Competitive Matchmaking Beta Pass.
  • [Undocumented] Added the Competitive Matchmaking Beta Invite.

March 22, 2016 Patch

March 24, 2016 Patch

  • Updated content and features for the TF2 Competitive Mode beta.
  • Actually fixed the round timer not showing up in non-competitive games.

March 29, 2016 Patch

  • Updated content and features for the TF2 Competitive Mode beta.
    • For more information on how you can participate in testing, please visit
    • Fixed seeing incorrect rank icons during the match summary.
    • Fixed team medal totals not matching the total medals handed out during the match summary.
    • Increased the rate at which medals are revealed during the match summary.

April 25, 2016 Patch #1

  • Updated content and features for the TF2 Competitive Mode beta.
    • For more information on how you can participate in testing, please visit
    • Added a ten second countdown to the beginning of each round after the first.
    • Added cp_gorge to the map rotation to test attack/defense format (using stopwatch mode).
  • [Undocumented] Removed cp_granary and cp_foundry from the Competitive Mode rotation.

April 26, 2016 Patch

  • Fixed the round timer not showing up in non-competitive games.

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

  • Competitive Mode is no longer in beta.
  • Added new sound vo files for Competitive Mode.
  • Added check to prevent players with P-REC loaded from participating in matchmaking.
    • Prevents P-REC crashing which results in players receiving abandon penalties.
  • Fixed class change notifications appearing to the enemy team for a period of time after teams swap sides in Competitive Mode.
  • [Undocumented] Added the Competitive Matchmaking Pass.

July 9, 2016 Patch

  • Updated ConVar zoom_sensitivity_ratio so its value is saved across sessions and it can be adjusted in Competitive Mode.

July 28, 2016 Patch

  • Abandon penalty times are now longer for first-time abandoners with a low number of games played.
  • Abandoning a game now results in significant rank loss. This loss is always greater than losing a given match.
  • Fixed an issue where players could drop and reconnect too many times before triggering an abandon.

August 16, 2016 Patch

  • Players in the first tier of ranks (1-6) now lose substantially fewer rank points on match loss.
  • Players with high win/loss ratios in recent matches now earn bonus rank points in order to accelerate their progress toward a more appropriate rank.

August 29, 2016 Patch

  • Fixed Competitive 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 Competitive Mode matches.

September 27, 2016 Patch

  • Competitive matches no longer terminate when any player abandons the match.
    • Bots will now fill in for players who have abandoned, or temporarily disconnected from, Competitive matches.
    • Matches that finish at an advantage or disadvantage (e.g. 6v5 or 5v6, not counting any bots) will now result in smaller or larger skill rating adjustments for advantaged wins or disadvantaged losses, respectively.
    • Competitive matches that lose more than one player per team will keep the current behavior of ending the match.
    • Players who abandon Competitive matches still receive a large skill rating penalty and Competitive matchmaking cooldown, regardless of whether a bot was allowed to take their place.

October 12, 2016 Patch

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

October 21, 2016 Patch (Scream Fortress 2016)

  • The Competitive maps list has been updated.
    • Added pl_badwater and ctf_turbine.
    • Disabled cp_granary and cp_badlands.
    • Maps will continue to enter and exit this list over time.

October 25, 2016 Patch

  • Removed ctf_turbine from the Competitive maps list.

December 21, 2016 Patch (Smissmas 2016)

  • Matchmaking Improvements.
    • 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".
  • Updated mat_monitorgamma so it can be adjusted in Competitive mode.
  • Matchmaking
    • The Competitive maps list has been updated.
      • Added cp_granary and cp_badlands.
      • Disabled cp_snakewater and cp_foundry.

June 2, 2017 Patch

  • Fixed Competitive match history sometimes appearing as empty when connection to matchmaking servers is lost.

June 3, 2017 Patch

  • Fixed UI not displaying the "Searching..." panel when queued for competitive matchmaking.

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 and Competitive badge panels to the main menu.
  • [Undocumented] Added ctf_turbine to the Competitive Mode rotation.

March 28, 2018 Patch #1

  • Competitive Revamp
    • The matchmaking system used for Competitive Mode has been overhauled. Players will now be ranked using a model based on the Glicko rating system used in CS:GO.
    • The old 18 Competitive ranks have been consolidated into 13 new ranks. You can view the new ranks on the updated Competitive FAQ page (
    • Competitive ranks have been reset and players must win 10 matches to earn a new Competitive rank
      • Note: The previous system started everyone at Rank 1, and required - in most cases - considerable time for players to reach a rank that properly reflected their performance. The new system - by way of placement matches - considerably shortens the time required to reach an appropriate rank
    • The requirements to access Competitive Mode have changed: If you do not own a Competitive Matchmaking Pass, you must now be at least Casual level 3 in addition to being a Premium user and having a valid phone number associated with your account.
  • Fixed not using the initial observer point when first connecting to a Competitive server.

April 12, 2018 Patch

  • Changed the timeout before a missing player is marked as having abandoned a competitive match to be three minutes from the first time a player disconnects from the server, rather than from the moment the match is formed.
  • Moved the Competitive MMR change notification so it no longer overlaps your rank.

June 26, 2018 Patch

  • Tweaked Competitive Mode MMR calculations.
    • MMR mobility increased somewhat across the board.
    • Players who have high game counts relative to the rest of the player base should see fewer adjustments of 1 or 0 MMR.

October 22, 2018 Patch

  • Fixed competitive match history failing to load.

April 16, 2019 Patch

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

August 21, 2020 Patch (Summer 2020 Pack)

  • Fixed Competitive badges not displaying correctly.

December 2, 2021 Patch (Smissmas 2021)

August 11, 2022 Patch

  • Fixed some missing Announcer voice lines during the Competitive post-match summary.


  • At some point when the Competitive mode was in beta, it was planned to add 9v9 along with the 6v6 mode. However, this was not tested in the stress test and neither added in the final release.[2]


See also

External links