Dueling Mini-Game

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At the end of the day, long as there's two people left on the planet, someone is gonna want someone dead.
The Sniper

The Dueling Mini-Game is an action item. It is represented by two crossed, team-colored Ambassadors.

When used, it allows the player to challenge another player to a duel. The item must be equipped in the Action slot of the class the player is currently using, or can be activated from the Backpack by selecting the item and clicking the 'use' button while connected to a server. When activated, the game inquires if the player wants to challenge someone on their friends list, who needs to be playing Team Fortress 2 at the time, or someone on the server they are currently on. A notification pops up when the challenge is activated, and the selected player then chooses to accept or deny the challenge. When activating a duel, the challenger has the option of selecting a class-locked duel. If a class-locked challenge is accepted, both players are locked to that class for the entire game (The class-selection screen can be opened, but changes do not take effect). If the player challenges someone on a server, everyone currently in the server is notified. A player may only be in one duel at a time, but there may be multiple duels going on in a server at once.

If both players accept, the duel begins. This item is not consumed if the other player refuses the duel. At the end of the round, whoever has more duel points wins. Kills and assists against the opponent, including "finished off" credited kills, are worth 1 point.

The item's quantity is not reduced if the server changes level, one of the players is kicked, or the score is tied.

When a duel is accepted or rejected, the classes involved may speak special responses.

The duel leaderboard can be seen here, which lists the players with the most duel wins.

Each day, the person worldwide with the most duel wins from the previous day is given the Dueler.


The goal is to obtain Duel Points by killing the opposing duelist or assisting in their death. The player's opponent has an icon above his head to identify them, similar to a domination. The Scoreboard also changes to show the amount of Duel Points of each player, replacing the usual information available through it. In addition, both parties are notified via pop-up message with each point scored.

Whoever has more duel points by the end of the round wins. Alternatively, if one of the duelists leaves the server or changes teams, their opponent wins, regardless of whether or not they change back or reconnect (including use of the 'retry' console command).

The Dueling Mini-Game is canceled if one of the duelists is kicked or forced into another team (as a result of automatic balancing, for example), the server resets, or the map changes, although the duel continues if players vote to restart the map. If both players score the same amount of points when the round ends, the Dueling Mini-Game item is not consumed.

Audio cues

Cues are taken from the song Playing With Danger.

Accompanied by a class response.

Winning badges

Regardless of the result, upon completing their first duel the player is given the Bronze Dueling Badge. The badge also levels up with every tenth win. When this happens, the player gets a random item along with another "Dueling Mini-Game" with 5 uses. These items are announced to the server as "[Player] has earned: [item]", rather than the usual "has found" template. At levels 25, 50, and 75 the badge increases in quality. After that, the badge continues to climb in levels up to level 100, but no longer changes. Dueling badges currently only show wins, not losses.

Level 1
(play a duel)
Bronze Dueling Badge Bronze Dueling Badge
Level 25
(win 240 duels)
Silver Dueling Badge Silver Dueling Badge
Level 50
(win 490 duels)
Gold Dueling Badge Gold Dueling Badge
Level 75
(win 740 duels)
Platinum Dueling Badge Platinum Dueling Badge


Update history

September 30, 2010 Patch (Mann-Conomy Update)
  • The Dueling Mini-Game was released.

October 6, 2010 Patch

  • During a duel, the Dueling Mini-Game item used to initiate the duel cannot be deleted, traded or crafted.
  • Dueling Mini-Game now drops with 5 uses.

November 3, 2010 Patch

  • Fixed a bug that prevented Mac players from receiving the in-game notifications for items, duels, etc.

December 17, 2010 Patch

  • Added leaderboard to track duel wins.

December 22, 2010 Patch

  • If the round is not fully running a duel cannot be initiated.
  • Challenging someone with a duel who has also challenged you automatically starts the duel.
  • If a server plugin forces you to switch teams your duel is given back for another use.

January 3, 2011 Patch

  • Duel result notifications now show the winner's Steam avatar.

April 14, 2011 Patch (Hatless Update)

  • Added class specific duels.

July 18, 2011 Patch

  • Updated duels to apply a short duel ban to the loser if they team switched or disconnected during the duel.

March 28, 2012 Patch

  • Added a daily periodic reward hat for duel wins.

September 16, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed a noclip exploit related to dueling and coaching

October 15, 2014 Patch

  • Fixed the Duels leaderboard not displaying current counts.

January 27, 2015 Patch

  • Fixed a bug related to overhead icons disappearing (Dueling Partner).

July 2, 2015 Patch (Gun Mettle Update)

  • Updated Duels to not consume a duel for a non-zero tie.

August 2, 2017 Patch #1

  • Fixed being able to accept a duel request during the round-end bonus time.

September 16, 2021 Patch

  • Updated the material for the RED dueling icon to match the BLU dueling icon


  • If the teams are scrambled after a duel is set up, both duelists may be on the same team, but the duel is not ended.
  • If two or more duels are going on concurrently in a server and one of them ends, the other duels may have their scores locked; the scoreboards of the remaining duelists go back to normal, but the duels only actually conclude when they would normally do so (if the round ends, etc.).
  • If a Spy disguises as a player with the Dueling Mini-Game equipped in their action slot, pressing the action key brings up the duel prompt, even if the Spy player does not have it equipped. However, selecting a player from the prompt does nothing.
  • Both the in-game leaderboard and the online leaderboard are currently frozen and have been for some time; however, both dueling and the dueling badge still work correctly and the badge levels up after 10 duel wins.


  • If the badge is deleted, a new one is awarded upon completing another duel. This new badge has the same stats as the old one, but with a new "date received".
  • It was stated in an interview with Gabe Newell that the Dueling Mini-Game spun-off from a full game mode idea. Gabe Newell also hinted at the possibility of adding other mini-games in the future.[1] [2]


See also