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Kill Icon
Killicon skeletons.png
Basic Information
Damage Done: 26-34 Medium Skeletons
Affected By:
• Battalion's Backup: No
• Bonk! Atomic Punch: Yes
• Candy Cane: No
• Chargin' Targe: Yes
• Dead Ringer: Yes
• Gunboats: ?
• Mini-crits: Yes
• ÜberCharge: Yes
Found On: Helltower, Gorge Event, Hellstone

Skeletons are AI-controlled entities found in the Halloween maps: Helltower, Gorge Event, and Hellstone. They can also be spawned using console commands with sv_cheats enabled.

There are two types of Skeletons that can spawn: team-colored and green. While team-colored Skeletons can only inflict or receive damage from the opposite team, green Skeletons can inflict or receive damage by either team. Team-colored Skeletons are only spawned by the players on the server using a Rare Summon Skeletons Magic Spell.

There are 3 different variants of Skeletons: Small Skeletons, Normal Skeletons, and Skeleton Kings. Normal Skeletons always spawn in numbers on every other witching hour (when the clock on the clock tower strikes midnight), alongside a single, larger Skeleton King with a greater pool of health. When killed, Normal Skeletons will cause Small Skeletons to sprout from their remains, which will continue to attack until destroyed. The Skeleton King will drop a Rare Magic Spell upon death.

If spawned through the console using the command ent_create tf_zombie before the Scream Fortress Fifth Annual Helloween Special, the Skeleton would be a random class wearing a Voodoo-Cursed Soul, with an invisible melee weapon.


All Skeletons move at a speed of 300 Hammer units per second when navigating the map. Small skeletons spawn with 50 health and do 10 damage on hit. Medium Skeletons spawn with 100 health and do 10 damage per hit. Skeleton Kings spawn with 1000 health and do 100 damage on hit. Skeletons are not affected by damage falloff, status ailments, such as Mad Milk or bleeding, and on-hit effects, such as Rage-building or the Blutsauger's on hit healing. They are, however, affected by critical hits.


On Helltower, Skeletons will spawn in a group of 5, consisting of 4 Medium skeletons and one Skeleton King. On other maps with the command tf_halloween_zombie_mob_enabled 1 in effect, 20 Medium skeletons will spawn every 8 minutes at predetermined out-of-sight spots relative to the nearest player. In both spawning situations, they will run towards the player, maneuvering around obstacles. They are unable to jump or crouch, and are unaffected by any form of knockback.

Once they are close enough to a player, they will start to melee attack them. Upon killing a Medium skeleton, 3 glowing skulls will be scattered to the immediate surrounding area. These will spawn Small skeletons, which will continue attacking the player. Once the target is killed, or has gotten to an inaccessible point (such as a roof in which there are no solid pathway connections), the skeletons will move on to the next nearest player. Should no players be present to target, all Skeletons will stop in place and stand still. All types of Skeleton will gib on the spot after being on the playing field for an extended period of time without being killed.

Skeletons will target all bots that take up player slots, such as TFBots or puppet bots, but will not target any Engineer buildings or bosses such as the Horseless Headless Horsemann, Merasmus, and MONOCULUS!. All TFBots, Sentry Guns, and team-allied MONOCULUS! will target the skeletons, however. Skeletons created with a Magic spell have the same stats and navigation, but will attack both the opposing team and other Skeletons that are not on the team of the summoner.

Skeleton Variants

  • Normal Skeletons

Every other witching hour, Normal Skeletons will spawn in numbers alongside the Skeleton King, targeting all players to attack. They will run around the battlefield, attacking nearby players until they are killed, after which a number of Small Skeletons will appear from their remains. Team-colored Skeletons can also be summoned by using a spell and will attack only the opposite team.

  • Small Skeletons

When a Normal Skeleton is killed, a number of Small Skeletons will appear from its remains. These skeletons have less health, but will still run through the battlefield and attack players around them. When a Small Skeleton is killed, no more will appear as a result of that skeleton.

  • Skeleton King

Every other witching hour, like the Normal Skeletons, the Skeleton King will appear announced by the team's employer. The Skeleton King will act like other skeletons, running through the battlefield and attacking players. However, it also acts as a boss, being considerably bigger than the other skeletons, having a greater amount of health, and dealing more damage. When it is killed, the Skeleton King will drop a rare spell.

Related achievements

Pumpkin.png Bereavements

Helltower: Skeleton Coup
Helltower: Skeleton Coup
Kill 99 skeletons

Console commands

In order to enable the spawning of Skeletons on a non-Halloween map, the server must be running Halloween mode. The server administrator can manually enable this mode by using the command tf_forced_holiday 2. The server is also required to have cheats (sv_cheats 1) enabled, which will disable obtaining achievements. TF Zombie entities can be manually spawned with the command ent_create tf_zombie.

Command Description
tf_halloween_zombie_mob_enabled If non-zero, enables skeleton spawning.
tf_halloween_zombie_mob_enabled <integer>
Either 1 or 0. Default is 0 (disabled).
tf_halloween_zombie_mob_enabled 1 will enable the skeleton horde on all AI-noded maps.
tf_halloween_zombie_mob_spawn_count Determines the total number of skeletons to spawn each wave.
tf_halloween_zombie_mob_spawn_count <integer>
Whole number between 0 and how many skeletons to spawn each wave. Default is 20.
tf_halloween_zombie_mob_spawn_count 5 will spawn 5 skeletons per wave.
tf_halloween_zombie_mob_spawn_interval Determines the time between consecutive skeleton waves.
tf_halloween_zombie_mob_spawn_interval <integer>
Whole number between 0 and how many seconds before the next wave. Default is 480.
Setting the spawn interval to 0 will cause skeletons to continuously spawn and can cause the server to crash.
tf_halloween_zombie_mob_spawn_interval 40 will spawn a wave of skeletons every 40 seconds.
tf_halloween_zombie_damage The amount of damage a skeleton hit does. This command no longer works as of the Scream Fortress Fifth Annual Helloween Special.
tf_halloween_zombie_damage <integer>
Whole number between 0 and how much damage each skeleton melee attack will perform. Default is 10.
tf_halloween_zombie_damage 20 will make skeletons do 20 damage every hit.
tf_halloween_zombie_speed The speed at which the skeletons move at. This command was removed as of the Scream Fortress Fifth Annual Helloween Special, so skeletons always move at the same speed.
tf_halloween_zombie_speed <integer>
Whole number between 0 and how much fast the zombies will move in Hammer units. Default is 300.
Setting the speed to around 1000 and higher will cause the zombies to damage themselves and die while moving.
tf_halloween_zombie_speed 400 will make the skeletons move at 400 Hammer units.

Unused content

  • There exists 3 unused skeletons in the game's files: a plain skeleton that does not glow any specific color, a skeleton that glows an orange color, and a skeleton that glows a purple color.



  • Sometimes, the Skeleton King will hit a player standing behind a wall or above him (e.g., balconies on Helltower).
  • On rare occasions, the Skeletons summoned by either team will freeze and won't move or attack, rendering them useless. They can still receive damage as normal.
  • Skeletons will not spawn on AI-noded maps if there are no players on both teams, even with bots present.
  • If there is already a large amount of skeletons on a map, any further spawned will gib immediately after spawning.
  • Taunt kills will not affect skeletons, and they will do no damage to them if they manage to hit.


See also