Particle effects are used frequently in Team Fortress 2 to serve as decorations or visual cues for both various in-game events and cosmetic purposes. Any particle effect can be attached to any item or model theoretically, however, some effects appear exclusively on items of a particular quality; for example, the Unusual effects only appear on items with the Unusual quality.
- 1 Status effects
- 2 Weapon effects
- 3 Gameplay effects
- 4 Decorative effects
- 5 Unused particle effects
- 6 Update history
- 7 Bugs
- 8 Notes
- 9 External links
Status effects are used to indicate a change in player state to other players. A common example would be the overheal particles emitted from an overhealed player or one that recently picked up a health kit.
The burning player effect is used during the burning of players. When viewed in Pyroland, the flames are replaced with multi-colored sparkles.
The critical spark effect is used to indicate that a player's weapon will deal critical damage. This is accompanied by a team-colored tint on the weapon itself. It is also used on the Medi Guns to indicate that a charge is ready to be deployed.
Currently, these weapons are missing the critical glow effect. This means the effect is either purely cosmetic, or it hides the visibility of the weapon being boosted, often confusing the weapon holder and enemies. As of now, the following weapons do not glow while crit boosted:
|List of weapons with missing critical glow effect
|Cow Mangler 5000
|Festive Buff Banner
|Ali Baba's Wee Booties
|Festive Chargin' Targe
|Darwin's Danger Shield
Marked For Death
The Nemesis effect pulses outwards from the Domination icon above a dominating player. The effect is team-colored to match the team of the dominating player.
When a player is overhealed by a Medic, the player will emit medical crosses. The overheal effect is also emitted when injured players pick up health kits. It is also used on the Medi Gun beam itself, as well as the trail of the Crusader's Crossbow.
Gameplay effects are used to indicate gameplay events.
Australium laundry trail
While the Australium briefcase is being carried, it emits a stream of boxer shorts and socks.
While birthday mode is activated, players will spurt balloons instead of blood.
When playing Mann vs. Machine, dropped credits will a emit green dollar sign particle if the robot was killed normally. Dropped credits will emit a red particle if the robot was killed by a Headshot or by bleed damage through the Explosive Headshot upgrade or by the Tribalman's Shiv.
Intelligence paper trail
While either the Intelligence or Ticket briefcases are being carried, they emit a stream of papers.
Decorative effects are not used to indicate any gameplay changes and are used purely for aesthetics.
Holy glow effect
The holy glow effect is attached to the Cheater's Lament.
Map Stamps effect
The map stamps effect is attached to the World Traveler's Hat. These render similarly to the purple and green Unusual confetti effects but use stamp sprites instead. Like the Treasure Hat, the effect is influenced by the movement of the wearer and will only be emitted when the player is in motion.
Snow burst effect
The snow burst effect is produced by using the Winter Holiday Noise Maker and by beginning the Skating Scorcher taunt. Snowflakes burst outwards to form a sphere around the player before slowly drifting downwards and fading away.
Particles eminate from the base of the Spy-cicle, emulating a cool mist.
There is no known localized name for the Treasure Hat effect, but it is attached as a new particle system defined as "coin_spin". The particles from this effect are influenced by the movement of the wearer and will only be emitted when the player's model is in motion: even moving on the spot with a taunt will cause coins to fall.
Unused particle effects
G.R.U. skull effect
The G.R.U. skull effect was emitted when the Gloves of Running Urgently were wielded by the player.
Rotating Birthday Cake
- One end of the particle effect on Kill-a-Watt and Terror-Watt may randomly attach to temporarily random areas of a map, causing the effect to stretch from the point through any walls to the wearer's head.
- On certain graphics drivers, particles no longer appear to have a distinct bright glow. This applies to the medibeam, unusual effects, and energy-based weapons. It has also has been reported by DirectX 11 users.
- Upon death or disconnect, particle effects often stay in the spot the player was, fully animated.
- The 'Marked for Death' particle effect sometimes appears when the user is not marked for death.
- Particle effects of cosmetic items may appear in First Person view.
- The particle effects of the player and their cosmetic items does also appear while spectating someone.
- Effects that have been adjusted may not appear.
- The Genteel Smoke effect does not appear on the Loadout menus.
- Due to an issue with both the Genteel Smoke effect and Earbuds Musical Notes effect, any item that goes to the
bip_headbone (i.e. most items that go to the Hat equip region), paired with an item that has the smoke/notes effect and shares the same bone, will cause the item to get slightly out of sync with the player's movement, occasionally clipping on the character's player model.
- If a player who is marked for death uses a Teleporter, the particle effect will remain above the entrance for a few seconds.
- Particle effects that are attached to an item will not be visible to the player wielding it in first-person view unless the player is using the
- Cosmetic items with particle effects can create multiple effect combinations.
- Particle effects get hidden by Wheel of Fate big heads effect. However, if being watched as the head expands, the effect will be repositioned and be visually correct.