A Deathcam shot with gib labels.
The Deathcam, also known as the Freeze Cam, is a gameplay feature that activates upon death. When a player is killed, the camera zooms in on their killer (in the case of assists, the one that dealt the fatal blow; if the killer was a Sentry Gun, the camera focuses on the Sentry rather than the Engineer who built it) and freezes for several seconds. At this point, their name, health (if they die before the Deathcam engages, they are noted as "the late"), and whether or not they are the player's Nemesis (or have just gotten Revenge on the player) are displayed. Their currently active weapon may also be displayed in its own tab, along with custom name and description. In addition to this, an 'On the bright side' box may be displayed, detailing how the player's stats measured up to their own personal records in that round.
During the freeze frame sequence, the option to take a screenshot comes up (default key: F5); taking a screenshot is accompanied by a flash and the sound of a camera shutter. The screenshots are located in (folders prior to the Steam main folder) /Steam/steamapps/*steamname*/Team Fortress 2/tf/screenshots. This is a function built into Team Fortress 2 and separate from the Screenshot function built into the Steam client overlay (and usually bound to F12). With the addition of the Replay function, the player may also be prompted to press the Replay key (default key: [) if they wish to keep a record of the life that just ended; this ability depends on the server supporting the feature (noted by a film icon in the server list).
If the player's ragdoll appears in the shot, it may be marked with a 'You!' label. If they were gibbed, their body parts are marked with humorous labels such as 'Your arm!', 'Your head!', 'Your lungs!', 'A bit of you!', 'More bits!', and so on.
The Console command
hud_freezecamhide 1 and the "Hide HUD during freezecam screenshots" option under Advanced Options hides both the "killed by" message and what remains of the HUD in the normal Killcam shot. Neither setting hides the killers' Killstreak indication.
According to the developer commentary, the function of the Deathcam in gameplay is to allow the player to discern the location of their killer and adapt their strategy upon respawn. This functions to lessen the frustration of being killed by an unseen or unexpected opponent and to turn the player's demise into a learning experience. Some achievements also require the killer to taunt immediately after killing someone so that the camera shows the killer in a particular pose, while others require the killer to taunt over the body of the fallen opponent. However, the victim must be a live player. Deathcam achievements cannot be made against AI bots.
||Gore-a! Gore-a! Gore-a!|
Provide the enemy with a freezecam of you taunting over 3 of their body parts.
Provide an enemy player with a freeze cam of you and the sentry that just killed them.
October 25, 2007 Patch
- Deathcam screenshots now move the player id panel to the lower right, and hide other hud elements until the freezecam fades.
August 19, 2008 Patch
- Made the freezecam item panel description easier to read.
August 31, 2009 Patch
- Fixed freezecam screenshots sometimes being saved outside the Screenshots folder.
June 16, 2010 Patch
hud_freezecamhide 1/0 console command.
- When set to 1, freezecams no longer display "You have been killed by..." messages.
September 2, 2011 Patch
- Added a checkbox to the Advanced Options dialog that will hide the HUD during freezecam screenshots.
July 2, 2012 Patch
- Fixed Pyrovision sometimes activating in killcams for more than just weapons and cosmetics.
June 21, 2022 Patch
%killername% and other placeholder names sometimes showing up on the kill cam and stats screen.
July 29, 2022 Patch
- Fixed an occasional lag spike when showing the kill cam for some players.
October 18, 2022 Patch
- Fixed the match status HUD not being hidden during freezecam screenshots.
- When killed by a Sentry Gun that is destroyed, no killcam occurs. If the Sentry is destroyed during the "zoom in" process, a variety of effects can occur, the most likely being that the "zoom in" is interrupted (and the camera goes back to focusing on the dead player), but the sound block-out still occurs (at varying degrees of loudness).
- Opening and closing the class change menu during the freeze frame may cause the class model to remain frozen against a black background that covers the left half of the screen until the freeze frame ends.
Killcam with no hiding setting/options selected.
Killcam with Console command
hud_freezecamhide 1 or "Hide HUD during ..." selected under Advanced Options.