Competitive Mode

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Competitive logo laurel.png
This article is about the game mode. For other uses, please see Competitive (disambiguation).
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Competitive Mode is an official game mode released for Team Fortress 2. The mode is accessible only by having a Premium TF2 account and a phone number associated with the Steam account. Players can 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 get access is to buy a pass from the Mann Co. Store. Like regular matches, there are no bans to any weapon and/or class that can be used.


Competitive Mode is a more refined version of the Casual game modes, but is much less chaotic and random in nature than Public 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, for example by not performing above average and losing a match. Once players join the game, they will have the option to mark themselves as "ready" to start the match (Similar to the Mann vs. Machine game mode) once enough players have joined. Once a player marks themselves as ready, a timer will start counting down to the match start. Players leaving a Competitive match mid-game receive a Matchmaking Cooldown punishment which prevents them from playing Matchmaking during 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 start at the rank "Fresh Meat" and can level the rank up as they win more matches.

Rank Icon Rank Name
Fresh Meat.png 1: Fresh Meat
Troublemaker.png 2: Troublemaker
Small-time Thug.png 3: Small-Time Thug
Local Enforcer.png 4: Local Enforcer
Problem Solver.png 5: Problem Solver
Hired Gun.png 6: Hired Gun
Mercenary Comp.png 7: Mercenary
Field Mercenary.png 8: Field Mercenary
Contract Killer.png 9: Contract Killer
Master Persuader.png 10: Master Persuader
Headhunter.png 11: Headhunter
Liquidator.png 12: Liquidator
Excutioner.png 13: Executioner
KIll Conslutant.png 14: Kill Consultant
Raging Siciopath.png 15: Raging Sociopath
Expert Assassin.png 16: Expert Assassin
Elite Exterminator.png 17: Elite Exterminator
Death Merchant.png 18: Death Merchant

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
Map Game mode File name
Plbadwater.jpg Badwater Basin Payload pl_badwater
Cp foundry mid.png Foundry Control Point cp_foundry
Cp gorge.jpg Gorge Control Point cp_gorge
CP Gullywash 3.png Gullywash Control Point cp_gullywash_final1
Cp metalworks b22 5.jpg Metalworks Control Point cp_metalworks
Cp process middle point.jpeg Process Control Point cp_process_final
Snakewater mid.jpg Snakewater Control Point cp_snakewater_final1
Sunshine main.jpg Sunshine Control Point cp_sunshine
Pl swiftwater.jpg Swiftwater Payload pl_swiftwater_final1
Cp vanguard.png Vanguard Control Point cp_vanguard
Viaduct 01.jpg Viaduct 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.

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.


See also

External links