Lo-Fi Longwave

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Guaranteed manufactured with a minimum of 7 Leopards! You'll need each of them, too, given that you've clearly devoted more time to memorizing a dictionary than anything that even looks like contracting a pectoral muscle.
Saxton Hale on knowledge-testing headwear

The Lo-Fi Longwave is a promotional cosmetic item for all classes. It is an off-white hard hat with a miniature radio tower mounted on top and the KritzKast logo printed on the front.

This item is awarded in Unique and Vintage quality to participants and winners of various KritzKast giveaways and contests.


  • The hat was first awarded in Vintage quality to a limited but unspecified number of players for being a member of the KritzKast Steam Group prior to 7pm (GMT+1) June 12th 2011, 1 hour before the live recording of podcast episode #121. Before a hat was awarded, the members had to obtain a passing score on the KritzKast quiz. Players who did not win on the quiz were allowed to retake it as often as they wished so long as they left four hours between attempts. Those who were not part of the KritzKast Steam Group before the deadline received a message from Saxton Hale stating they were "manly enough not to receive" the "girly" hat.
  • The 30 winners of the Lo-Fi Longwave Owners Group "Meet the Robin" event were also awarded Vintage hats. Those who were already in possession of Vintage were awarded a Unique version of the hat instead.
  • Players were able to submit questions before August 31, 2011 for a KritzKast interview with the creator of NerfNow. The questions used in the interview had the player quoted and granted a Vintage Lo-Fi Longwave.[1]
  • Since episode #129, a Vintage hat has been given to each "Player of the Week", assuming they did not already have one. This policy has been retroactively enforced.
  • As part of the celebrations for episode #200, a total of 600 Unique Lo-Fi Longwaves were given out via the KritzKast Facebook page, Twitter, and Steam Group.[2]
  • Players were able to submit questions before January 14, 2013 for a KritzKast interview with the creator of Backpack.tf, Brad Pitt. The 23 players whose questions were picked from the more than 6,000 submissions all received a Vintage Lo-Fi Longwave, a special badge on their backpack.tf profile, and had their question used in the interview with Brad Pitt.[3][4]
  • Players were able to submit questions for a KritzKast interview with co-creator of Scrap.tf, Geel9, until May 12, 2013. Users whose questions were picked for interview received a Vintage Lo-Fi Longwave. In addition to this, 100 random participants in voting on questions received a Unique version of the hat.[5]
  • Each month, a Monthly Screenshot Competition is run in the KritzKast Steam Group. Players that win one of these competitions receive a Vintage Lo-Fi Longwave.
  • In celebration of 1000 Facebook likes, KritzKast held a competition for a signed poster from i49 2013. Additionally, everyone who entered the competition received a Unique Lo-Fi Longwave.[6][7]
  • During the AbleGamers 24H Fundraiser for AbleGamers, KritzKast had announced at the $10000 donation milestone that those that had donated $30 or more would get a Vintage Lo-Fi Longwave as an added bonus to the other perks for donating to the charity. The Lo-Fi Longwave was also given out randomly to players that were on the AbleGamers server during each donation milestone in Vintage quality.
  • KritzKast's favorite participant entries to the TF2Haiku were rewarded with a Unique Lo-Fi Longwave.
  • During Valentine's Day in 2014, a single random winner would be drawn from within the people who commented on this post found in the KritzKast Steam Group with the person who they think should win and their nominee would receive a Vintage Lo-Fi Longwave painted Pink As Hell. The players who nominated someone for the Lo-Fi also got one in Unique quality.[8]
  • On March 13th 2014, as Steam servers went down a single player could obtain a Vintage Lo-Fi Longwave by coming up with the most original comment on a KritzKast Facebook post.[9]
  • On November 16th 2014, KritzKast announced on their Steam Group page, in celebration of PodKast Episode #300, 300 Lo-Fi Longwaves would be awarded to everyone who completed the mini-comp. Although, toward the end of the podcast, they announced that all 700+ people who enter the mini-comp would get a Unique Lo-Fi Longwave.
  • During the Birthday event for r/RandomActsOfTF2, KritzKast donated 5 Lo-Fi Longwaves to celebrate the joyous event. Two players could get two each, for themselves and a chosen friend, if they send a screenshot of them inviting said friend to the sub-Reddit and supported either Heavy or Pyro respectively. Another one got up for grabs for commenting the best bit of advice for beginner players.
  • On August 8th 2016, KritzKast member uberchain announced a contest via their Steam Group page that whoever could post video evidence of them beating his high score in the fan-made game Sandvich Maker 3000 before August 13th would receive a Unique Lo-Fi Longwave. The person who had the highest score by the deadline would receive a Vintage version instead.[10]
  • On September 24th 2016, KritzKast member Agro created a "Lo-Fi Caption Contest" on the KritzKast subreddit which entailed that the best two entries would win a Vintage Lo-Fi Longwave; one for the submitter, and a Unique Lo-Fi Longwave for their friend. Due to vote fluffing and various other problems related to the voting method, all that entered received a Vintage Lo-Fi Longwave and those who entered the contest past the deadline received a Unique Lo-Fi Longwave in compensation for the problems.
  • On October 15 2017, KritzKast member Agro announced a "Death and Despair" themed killcam contest on the KritzKast Steam Group. Agro gave all participants a few weeks to submit their entries, and the best five entries would be chosen by admins on October 31 2017, at midnight (UK time). The prizes consisted of a Vintage Lo-fi Longwave for the first place winner with a bonus of a random can of paint, and four Unique Lo-fi Longwaves for the four runner ups. The killcam that came out on top was a screenshot of a gibbed Demoman in the vents of Turbine, with his blood on the walls, along with parts of his body strewed about.
  • On February 5th 2018, it was announced on the KritzKast blog that three Vintage Lo-fi Longwaves would be given out along with cash prizes to the winners of a Team Fortress 2 themed tattoo designing contest in celebration of Valentine's day. Participants had until the 23rd of February to submit their art. Winners who already had a Vintage Lo-Fi Longwave in their inventory were given the opportunity to select a friend who would instead receive one in a Unique quality.[11]
  • On January 2020, KritzKast member Agro announced an "Edging" competition beta to test the ruleset. Participants have to get as close as possible to levelling up in Casual Mode with the highest score and tier. On 27 May 2020, the KritzKast Twitter announced the competition, making it public. First and second place winners received a Vintage Lo-Fi Longwave, a friend of the first place winner and a random participant could receive a Unique version. Participants who achieved 1 XP from levelling up would get a place in the Hall of Fame.
  • On April 28, 2021, KritzKast announced the distribution of 10 Lo-Fi Longwaves to take place on June 10th, 2021, in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the hat's introduction to the game, and for the 10,000 follower milestone on the KritzKast Twitter page.[12] They announced through their Discord server that one Lo-Fi Longwave would be distributed to a random active Discord member every day through June, 2021. They announced through a YouTube Community post that they would be distributing a Lo-Fi Longwave to one random comment from a public subscriber on any video posted in June 2021.[13][14]
  • Individuals can still earn a Vintage Lo-Fi Longwave by creating an SFM or similar media poster and submitting it to the KritzKast Discord.[15] It must meet the requirements found in the relevant #thumbnail-rules channel and, if the poster is approved, it may be used in a YouTube thumbnail and the individual receives a Vintage Lo-Fi Longwave shortly after.
  • On February 14, 2023, The official KritzKast Twitter account announced a 24-hour competition for Valentine's Day.[16] The objective of this competition was to post a picture of a Sandvich; some users made real-life sandwiches, as well as digital art. The rule of the competition remained unclear throughout the day, but was later revealed that the secret rule was "The way to a Mann's heart is through his ribcage but I'd rather you offer me something I might like to eat!"[17] The winners were awarded a Vintage Lo-Fi Longwave.

Painted variants

Main article: Paint Can
Mouseover cells to preview the images on a dark background. Click on the images to enlarge them.
Single colors
Painted Lo-Fi Longwave E6E6E6.png Painted Lo-Fi Longwave D8BED8.png Painted Lo-Fi Longwave C5AF91.png Painted Lo-Fi Longwave 7E7E7E.png
An Extraordinary Abundance of Tinge Color No. 216-190-216 Peculiarly Drab Tincture Aged Moustache Grey
Painted Lo-Fi Longwave 141414.png Painted Lo-Fi Longwave 2D2D24.png Painted Lo-Fi Longwave 694D3A.png Painted Lo-Fi Longwave 7C6C57.png
A Distinctive Lack of Hue After Eight Radigan Conagher Brown Ye Olde Rustic Colour
Painted Lo-Fi Longwave A57545.png Painted Lo-Fi Longwave CF7336.png Painted Lo-Fi Longwave E7B53B.png Painted Lo-Fi Longwave F0E68C.png
Muskelmannbraun Mann Co. Orange Australium Gold The Color of a Gentlemann's Business Pants
Painted Lo-Fi Longwave E9967A.png Painted Lo-Fi Longwave FF69B4.png Painted Lo-Fi Longwave 7D4071.png Painted Lo-Fi Longwave 51384A.png
Dark Salmon Injustice Pink as Hell A Deep Commitment to Purple Noble Hatter's Violet
Painted Lo-Fi Longwave 2F4F4F.png Painted Lo-Fi Longwave 424F3B.png Painted Lo-Fi Longwave 808000.png Painted Lo-Fi Longwave 729E42.png
A Color Similar to Slate Zepheniah's Greed Drably Olive Indubitably Green
Painted Lo-Fi Longwave 32CD32.png Painted Lo-Fi Longwave BCDDB3.png
The Bitter Taste of Defeat and Lime A Mann's Mint
Team colors
Painted Lo-Fi Longwave A89A8C.png Painted Lo-Fi Longwave 839FA3.png Painted Lo-Fi Longwave 3B1F23.png Painted Lo-Fi Longwave 18233D.png
Waterlogged Lab Coat (RED) Waterlogged Lab Coat (BLU) Balaclavas Are Forever (RED) Balaclavas Are Forever (BLU)
Painted Lo-Fi Longwave B8383B.png Painted Lo-Fi Longwave 5885A2.png Painted Lo-Fi Longwave 483838.png Painted Lo-Fi Longwave 384248.png
Team Spirit (RED) Team Spirit (BLU) Operator's Overalls (RED) Operator's Overalls (BLU)
Painted Lo-Fi Longwave 803020.png Painted Lo-Fi Longwave 256D8D.png Painted Lo-Fi Longwave 654740.png Painted Lo-Fi Longwave 28394D.png
The Value of Teamwork (RED) The Value of Teamwork (BLU) An Air of Debonair (RED) An Air of Debonair (BLU)
Painted Lo-Fi Longwave C36C2D.png Painted Lo-Fi Longwave B88035.png Painted Lo-Fi Longwave UNPAINTED.png
Cream Spirit (RED) Cream Spirit (BLU) Unpainted

Update history

June 10, 2011 Patch

  • [Undocumented] The Lo-Fi Longwave was added to the game.

July 1, 2011 Patch #1

October 18, 2011 Patch #1


  • Lo-Fi, or low fidelity, is a term that describes an audio recording with technical flaws, such as distortion, hum, or background noise.
  • In radio terminology, longwave refers to parts of radio spectrum with relatively long wavelengths.
  • The hat's description is a tagline for pirate radio.
    • This was originally from the movie Serenity.
  • According to KritzKast episode 121, the radio tower was mounted directly to the classes' heads during the hat's development. It was modified by Valve to use the same hardhat as the Aperture Labs Hard Hat.
    • KritzKast episode 122 elaborated to say that the radio tower was mounted into the classes' heads with concrete blocks.
  • KritzKast member Agro confirmed that there are a limited number of Lo-Fi Longwaves available for distribution; however, he did not disclose the exact number.