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A BLU Spy, honest.
He could be in this very room! He could be you! He could be me! He could even be—
The BLU Spy on RED Spy before getting his head blown off by BLU Soldier

The Spy has the unique ability to disguise as other classes, both on his own team and the enemies. This, as well as his cloaking ability, helps him move unnoticed among the other players. While wearing a disguise, the Spy appears as the disguised class from the other team's perspective, and to the Spy's teammates, he appears as a friendly Spy wearing a mask representing his current disguise.

Applying a disguise

The masks that the disguised Spy wears as his teammates see him. The mask corresponds to the disguise.

On the console version, a disguise can be applied by opening the Disguise Kit, selecting the desired class to disguise as, and pressing confirm (default: Xbox Button A.png- Xbox 360). On the PC, a disguise is selected by pressing the number corresponding to the class the player wishes to disguise as. For example, a player could press the 5 key to disguise as an enemy Heavy.

Alternatively, a PC player may use the 'Concise Disguise Menu' from the advanced PC Options. When using the Concise Disguise Menu, a player first presses 1, 2, or 3 to select a class category (Offense, Defense, or Support) and then presses 1, 2, or 3 to select a class from the group. For example, a player might press 1 to select Offense, and then press 3 to select the Pyro as their disguise.

By default, the player disguises as a member of the opposite team, but they may also choose to disguise as one of their teammates by pressing the 'toggle disguise team' key (default: - on PC, Xbox Button Bumper Right.png on Xbox 360) while in the Disguise Menu. A disguise may be selected as normal afterwards, and pressing the toggle key again switches back to enemy disguises. On PC, a player may save themselves time by pressing the 'last disguise' key (default: B) which automatically disguises as the last class and team the player selected from the Disguise Menu.

Using the Disguise Kit is not instantaneous. After a disguise is selected, a Spy produces glowing particles of his team's color and a brief cloud of smoke for approximately two seconds (or half a second if switching between disguises), after which he stops emitting these particles and is fully disguised as the selected class and team. This can be avoided by being cloaked to any degree before selecting a disguise; once a disguise is selected, smoke particles begin forming which are not hidden by cloaking; however, selecting a disguise while already cloaked produces no smoke or team-colored particles. In either case, disguising creates a small amount of noise, which is somewhat dependent on which cloaking watch is used; these sounds can potentially give away the location of a Spy.

If the player has Your Eternal Reward equipped in their loadout, the Disguising costs a full cloak charge. It is not possible to disguise without a full charge or while cloaked (even if the Cloak Gauge is being kept full by a nearby Dispenser). The Spy's only other means of Disguise requires him to perform a successful backstab on an enemy team member; non-backstab knife kills and kills with other weapons do not trigger this automatic disguise. Once successful, the enemy dies from the backstab, and the Spy immediately assumes a disguise identical to the enemy they just killed without any smoke cloud effect.

Canceling a disguise

To cancel setting a disguise from the 'Disguise Menu', the key Q is bound to 'lastinv' by default.

If a disguised Spy wishes to drop his disguise, such as for capturing a control point (see Control Point - Limitations), they can disguise themselves as a Spy of their own team or attack with any of their revolvers or knives. There is no default key set for dropping a disguise, however one can be created by binding a key to change to a Spy of the same team.

   bind "x" "disguise 8 -2"

For advanced Spy scripts, see Scripting.

Gameplay while disguised

HUD display showing current disguise, fake name, fake health, and weapon.

While disguised, the Spy's team sees him wearing a paper cut-out mask bearing the face of the class he is disguised as, and when they aim at him, his health indicator displays the team and class he is disguised as below his name (e.g. "Disguised as enemy Demoman" or "Disguised as friendly Sniper"). Enemies, on the other hand, see him as the team and class he is disguised as, and when they aim at him, he appears to have the identity of an allied or enemy player with his disguise. If the chosen team has at least one player of the chosen class the Spy disguised as, the Spy takes on the identity of one of those players randomly. If the selected team has no player of the selected class, the Spy takes on the identity of any random player on the selected team regardless of class. When a Spy copies a player's identity, he takes on the name, health, and weapon loadouts of that player unless the Spy disguises as a class that the chosen team has no players of. In that case, the Spy has the standard loadout. If the chosen disguise class has a slower move speed than the Spy's, the Spy reduces his speed to match that of his disguised class's default speed except when cloaked. Loadout effects that change the speed of the class, such as the Scotsman's Skullcutter, are not taken into account nor does his speed increase to match that of the Scout if disguised as him.

When disguised as the enemy, Spies do not bleed from enemy fire nor do they receive knockback from any source except the Pyro's compression blast and the Scout's Force-A-Nature. Weapons with "On hit" effects, such as the Blutsauger, do not trigger when hitting, including hits that kill the Spy. However, being burned or soaked affects disguised Spies as normal. Weapons that positively affect allies on hit, such as the Crusader's Crossbow, do not grant these effects to disguised enemy Spies and damage them as normal.

While disguised, a Spy can pick up Health kits to recover the 'health' of his disguise in addition to his actual health, if the player he disguised as was below full health at the time he disguised, even if the Spy's actual health is full. Inversely, a Spy who is injured, but their disguise's health is full or Overhealed, may still pick up a Health Kit. However, the cross icons that appears above him while healing are his actual team's color, not the color of his disguise.

If a Spy is disguised as an enemy, enemy Medics are capable of healing him with any of their medi guns. Both the Spy's real health and fake health are healed and overhealed as expected. Should a Spy become undisguised, the healing immediately breaks off. If a Medic decides to heal a disguised Spy, the "ammo loaded" count he sees is a random valid number based on the disguise's held weapon, from 1 to the weapon's maximum. Switching disguise weapons re-randomizes the value to the new weapon; as a result, switching back and forth results in an ever-changing count for weapons such as miniguns or flamethrowers, and is suspicious to attentive Medics. As with real allies, being disguised as a Medic or Spy displays "Übercharge: 0%" or "Disguised as X" instead of a loaded ammo count.

Buildings react to a Spy's disguise. Enemy Sentry Guns do not target Spies disguised as their Engineer's team, while Dispensers only provide resources to a Spy if his disguise matches its team. Teleporters work the same regardless of the Spy's disguise.

While a Spy is disguised as an opponent, he cannot capture control points or push Payload carts, nor can he block opponents from doing so. Conversely, a Spy disguised as a member of his own team can contribute to captures as normal (disguising as a friendly Scout or a Soldier or Demoman wielding the Pain Train only uses 1x capture rate).

Actions while disguised

There are several actions that can be taken that are specifically designed to make the disguise more convincing to enemy team members:

  • Changing disguise weapon - Changing to the Revolver, knife, or Sapper and pressing the 'last disguise' key (default key: B) causes the disguise to mimic the weapon of the class in the same or equivalent loadout slot (ex: holding the Knife while disguised as a Scout makes the disguise hold out the Bat). If the person the Spy is disguised as has equipped an unlockable weapon in the chosen slot, the Spy appears to be wielding the same weapon in their disguised state.
  • Reloading - If the disguise weapon is one that reloads a magazine or shells (e.g., Rocket Launcher, Scattergun, SMG, Syringe Gun, Shotgun, etc.), reloading the equipped Revolver (default key: R) causes the disguise to reload their weapon. This does not apply to weapons like the Flare Gun or Sniper Rifle which do not have magazines as such. Reloading cannot be faked while the Revolver has all 6 rounds loaded, or while disguised with a weapon like the Minigun, which has no reload animations. Reloading plays the equipped Revolver sound clip, regardless of the disguise weapon being reloaded. Note that the fake "ammo loaded" count displayed to Medics healing the Spy does not change as a result of reloading.
  • Voice commands - Any voice commands made while disguised are broadcasted to the Spy's team as coming from them and to the enemy team as coming from the person they are disguised as. A Spy can call for an enemy Medic to heal them in this way. This can, however, alert the person the Spy is disguised as to their presence, since they see voice commands attributed to them but not coming from them, and they may tell their team.

Disguise removal

A Spy automatically loses his disguise if he is killed, steals the enemy's Intelligence, or if he attacks with any weapon apart from the Sapper. Alternatively, a Spy can manually remove his disguise by opening the Disguise Menu and selecting a Spy on his own team.

If a Spy has the Dead Ringer triggered, he does not lose his disguise. If the Spy was disguised as an enemy, the enemy team sees a death of the Spy himself as if he became undisguised. If the Spy was disguised as a teammate, the enemy team is instead lead to believe that said teammate has died, with the Spy dropping a corpse of the teammate's class instead of his own.



Disguises do not have matching hitboxes. This can be used to minimize risk of headshot.
A Spy disguised as a Sniper equipped with an impossible loadout for a Sniper.
  • Disguises do not change the sizes of the Spy's actual hitbox, shapes, or positions. Using certain disguises can therefore reduce the risk of being headshot.
  • Picking up health kits or getting healed affects the disguise's health accordingly.
    • Health kits can be picked up while disguised regardless of how much health a disguise has. This can be used to steal health kits from enemies, but it might waste one that the Spy's teammates might need.
  • Disguising prevents taunting.
  • Disguises provide knockback immunity, regardless of the disguise's team, with some exceptions (such as the Pyro's compression blast).
  • Disguised Spies can still walk through teammates, but not through enemies.
  • The Sapper does not remove the disguise if used.
  • Certain classes that have weapons that cannot be actively used, but instead are worn (such as the Razorback, Darwin's Danger Shield, or the Gunboats) can allow a disguised Spy to appear to have both the default weapon (by changing disguise weapon) and the wearable item equipped simultaneously, creating an impossible loadout and potentially giving away the Spy's disguise to observant players. For example, in the image to the right, the Spy disguised as a Sniper is wearing the Darwin's Danger Shield and holding the SMG, both secondary slot weapons.
  • While disguised as a Pyro, presenting any primary weapon (e.g. Degreaser) causes the Spy to give out a quiet sound that can be heard even while Cloak is activated. Experienced players can notice this and deduce that a Spy is nearby if there are no Pyro players around or if multiple Flame Thrower sounds can be heard.
  • Disguising as an enemy Spy, from the enemy team's perspective, makes the Spy appear as one of their Spies wearing a mask. There is no control over which mask the disguise wears, and it is impossible to appear without a mask, sometimes causing giveaway cues (like wearing a Heavy mask while still moving at full speed). The Spy's own team still sees them as a friendly Spy wearing a Spy mask.

On the PC, the Disguise function can also be accessed directly through the Developer's Console using the disguise X Y command with the following parameters:

Class X Value Team Y Value
Leaderboard class scout.png Scout 1 Enemy -1
Leaderboard class soldier.png Soldier 3 Friendly -2
Leaderboard class pyro.png Pyro 7 BLU 1
Leaderboard class demoman.png Demoman 4 RED 2
Leaderboard class heavy.png Heavy 6
Leaderboard class engineer.png Engineer 9
Leaderboard class medic.png Medic 5
Leaderboard class sniper.png Sniper 2
Leaderboard class spy.png Spy 8

Related achievements

Achieved.png General achievements

Master of Disguise
Master of Disguise
Trick an opposing Medic into healing you.

Pumpkin.png Scarechievements

Costume Contest
Costume Contest
Kill a Spy disguised as your current class.

Leaderboard class pyro.png Pyro

I Fry
I Fry
Ignite 10 disguised Spies.

Leaderboard class engineer.png Engineer

The Wrench Connection
The Wrench Connection
Kill a disguised spy with your Wrench.

Leaderboard class medic.png Medic

FYI I am A Medic
FYI I am A Medic
Use your bonesaw to kill a spy who has been calling for 'Medic!'.

Hypocritical Oath
Hypocritical Oath
Kill an enemy Spy that you have been healing.

Leaderboard class spy.png Spy

Counter Espionage
Counter Espionage
Backstab a disguised Spy.

FYI I am a Spy
FYI I am a Spy
Backstab a Medic who has healed you in the last 5 seconds.
Identity Theft
Identity Theft
Backstab the enemy that you're currently disguised as.

Insurance Fraud
Insurance Fraud
Kill an enemy while you're being healed by an enemy Medic.

Update history

October 31, 2007 Patch
  • Medi Gun no longer continues to heal enemy Spies who have lost their disguise.

November 7, 2007 Patch

  • Fixed Spies exploit enabling them to attack while disguising, without losing disguise.

December 21, 2007 Patch

  • Fixed cloaked/disguised/disguising Spy reporting his achievements to everyone else.

February 28, 2008 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Added "Toggle Disguise Team" binding in Options->Keyboard to toggle the disguise team for the Spy's PDA.
  • [Undocumented] Changed PDA menus to accept keys bound to "slot1", "slot2", etc., and "slot10" cancels.
  • [Undocumented] Fixed "lastdisguise" command not remembering if you were disguised as your own team.

April 29, 2008 Patch (Gold Rush Update)

  • Teleporter effect no longer shows up on invisible or disguised Spies.
  • Spies disguised as their own team can now capture control points.

May 21, 2008 Patch

  • Improved prediction of Spy's speed changes when disguising.

December 15, 2008 Patch

  • Fixed overheal particle effect showing up incorrectly on disguised or cloaked Spies.

February 24, 2009 Patch (Scout Update)

  • Spies disguised as enemy team can now see player IDs for enemies.

March 5, 2009 Patch

  • When disguising, Spies now always start showing the primary weapon in their disguise, and can then switch it with the last-disguise key.

March 13, 2009 Patch

  • Fixed client crash when determining which disguise weapon to use for a Spy.

May 29, 2009 Patch

  • Fixed Spies disguised as their own team not drawing blood effects.

June 23, 2009 Patch

  • Fixed disguised Spies occasionally looking like they have invulnerability, instead of the correct fake Spy mask.
  • Disguised Spies will no longer lose their disguise weapon when they interact with a weapon locker.
  • Force-A-Nature & Flamethrower air blast knockback effects no longer work on disguised Spies.

June 25, 2009 Patch

  • Reverted Force-A-Nature and airblast knockback on disguised Spies, so that they can once again be knocked back

August 13, 2009 Patch

  • Disguised Spies no longer trigger On-Hit effects (like the Blutsauger's heal).

October 14, 2009 Patch

  • Fixed disguised Spies not getting ammo from enemy Dispensers.

December 7, 2009 Patch

  • Fixed Spies being able to disguise while performing a taunt.

December 17, 2009 Patch (WAR! Update)

  • The Spy now pretends to be carrying the weapons & wearables of the target he's disguised as.
  • Alternative Spy disguise menu, which lets you choose disguises using just the 1-3 keys.
  • Players no longer see the wearables that are a part of a friendly Spy's disguise, fixing various graphical glitches.

January 13, 2010 Patch

  • Disguise weapons copying weapons with special animation requirements (Sword, FaN) now look correct.

April 28, 2010 Patch

  • Fixed Spies disguised as Medics hearing the autocaller sound.
  • Fixed items that can be worn by any class having the wrong model when worn by a disguised Spy.
  • Fixed bug with disguised Spy sometimes seeing his own name in the disguise status HUD.

September 30, 2010 Patch (Mann-Conomy Update)

  • Updated how Spy disguise targets are selected to more randomly distribute the selections.

October 6, 2010 Patch

  • Your Eternal Reward no longer disguises the Spy if the victim survives the backstabbing attempt (because of ÜberCharge, The Razorback, etc).
  • Your Eternal Reward no longer disguises the Spy if they are carrying the flag.
  • The Holy Mackerel no longer displays a fish hit message when a Spy disguised as the attacker's team is hit.

December 17, 2010 Patch (Australian Christmas)

  • Spies can now change their disguise weapon via 'lastdisguise' while using 'Your Eternal Reward'.
  • Already-disguised Your Eternal Reward Spies are no longer forced to switch to displaying the melee weapon when they make a kill.

April 14, 2011 Patch (Hatless Update)

  • Improved TFBot reactions to cloaked and/or disguised enemy Spies.

June 17, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed a server crash caused by disguising Spies.

August 3, 2011 Patch

  • Disguised Spies now properly have their equipment glowing during an enemy team critboost.

September 6, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed items not drawing correctly on disguised Spies.

October 13, 2011 Patch (Manniversary Update & Sale)

  • Responses related to cart progress no longer play when disguised.
  • Fixed particle effects not showing up on Spy disguise items.
  • Fixed Spies never using genuine, community, or self-made items as disguise weapons.

October 10, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed disguised Blue team Spies showing blue health particles over their heads when disguised as the Red team.

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

  • Changing to a new disguise while already under a disguise takes 0.5 seconds instead of the normal disguise time of 2 seconds.
  • In the disguise menu, pressing 'reload' will also toggle the disguise team.

July 15, 2015 Patch #1

  • Fixed an issue with Unusual Revolvers where the unusual effect would sometimes not disappear when the Spy would feign death, disugise, cloak, etc.

June 21, 2022 Patch

  • Fixed an exploit where a Spy could disguise and create an invisible bullet blocking shield at their feet.
  • Fixed the Spy using incorrect disguise weapons when disguising as Soldier, Pyro, Heavy, or Engineer with no member of the same class on the opposing team.

August 11, 2022 Patch

  • Fixed the Spy being able to disguise after picking-up the intelligence.

Unused content

  • An addcond (49, TF_COND_DISGUISED_AS_DISPENSER) exists that causes the player to be disguised as a Dispenser when crouching.
  • There are disguise masks in the files for each Robot class, except for the Engineer, whose mask is blank.


A BLU Spy holding a Powerjack while undisguised.
  • When spectating a disguised Spy, the "X is currently holding" box may display weapons and items that actually belong to the player the Spy is disguised as.
  • If a Spy is disguised as a member of his team and uses voice commands, the enemy is notified of these commands in chat as enemy voice commands.
    • This also happens for spectators even if they do not spectate anyone.
  • A weapon that normally changes bodygroups does not change bodygroups when used as a disguise weapon. For example, the Medic's Vaccinator still has the stock Medi Gun's backpack and the Engineer's Short Circuit overlaps with his normal glove when used as disguise weapons.[1]
  • A weapon with a wearable item use does not spawn said wearable when used as a disguise weapon. For example, Soldier's banners only display the bugle (the weapon itself) and not their respective backpacks (extra wearable) when used as disguise weapons.
  • Wearable weapons that cannot be actively used allows the Spy to change his disguise weapon to the default one of that slot. For example, the Sniper equipping the Darwin's Danger Shield and the SMG, both of which are secondary weapons, as shown on the picture above.
  • Occasionally, a Spy appears to be holding the weapon of a class they were previously disguised as.
  • A Spy disguised as a player with weapons that grant passive effects (such as the Scotsman's Skullcutter) does not possess these passive effects (e.g. decreased movement speed).
  • Disguising as a class that the enemy team does not have may cause the disguise's displayed health to be an impossible value. For example, if the enemy team has no Scouts, a Spy disguises as an enemy Scout, and the Scout disguise decides to choose a Heavy player's name, the Scout disguise also takes on the health of the Heavy (such as 300), which is an impossible value for a Scout to have as the maximum possible health a Scout can have is 185.
    • Picking up a health kit resets the disguise's health down to a valid number.
  • A Spy disguised as a player of the enemy team may incorrectly display his actual alias to his opponents when aimed at or through the use of voice commands.
  • If a Spy disguises as an enemy Soldier who has the Battle Bob equipped with the "Without Helmet" style, the disguise has a helmet on as if they were wearing the "With Helmet" style.
  • If a Spy disguises as an enemy Engineer who has the Hotrod equipped, the disguise's Hotrod flips down over his face upon switching to any kind of Sapper. On a real Engineer, this would occur when carrying a building, new or hauling; since the Sapper counts as a building, this behavior occurs.
  • If a Spy disguises as an enemy who has the Grandmaster equipped, the Grandmaster appears as the Spy's team color.
  • If a Spy disguises while holding a specialized or professional killstreak weapon, the opposing team sees the sheen on the disguise's class's weapon.
  • If a Spy is disguised as a Robot in Mann vs. Machine, shooting him with the Crusader's Crossbow causes a metal impact sound to play rather than the standard flesh impact sound.[2]

See also


  1. https://youtu.be/3jUPs_hIhSE
  2. Video showing off Robot disguise bug.