Sniper vs. Spy Update

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This article is for content released in the update. For the patch itself, see May 21, 2009 Patch.
Sniper vs Spy titlecard.png
You've met the Scout, the Soldier, the Demoman, the Heavy, the Engineer, and the Sniper. Then, for some reason, a sandwich. But now it's time to meet the stealthiest, shiftiest, most secretive, suit-wearing TF team member of all... ...again...
TF2 Official Blog

The Sniper vs. Spy Update was the first two-class patch and the fifth major content pack released for Team Fortress 2.

Initially at the center of the update was the Sniper class, and the day by day progress went smoothly. An announcement on Day 4 revealed that the Spy would also benefit from the update. Each class was given three new weapons along with achievements.

The Update was first announced on April 1, 2009, and was released in the May 21, 2009 Patch.


The Sniper vs. Spy Update page officially began on May 12th, 2009, as announced on the Official Blog post "G'day". The update was released on May 21st.

There was a 2-day gap between announcements due to the weekend. Announcements resumed as usual on May 18th.



Main article: List of maps
Name Picture Game mode File name
Pipeline Pipeline.jpg Payload Race
RED Bombcart.pngBLU Bombcart.png
Sawmill (Arena) Sawmill.PNG Arena
Nucleus (Arena) Arenanucleus.png Arena
Hoodoo Plhoodoo.png Payload
Hoodoo Bombcart.png


Main article: Weapons
Huntsman Huntsman
Razorback Razorback
Jarate Jarate
Ambassador Ambassador
Dead Ringer Dead Ringer
Cloak and Dagger Cloak and Dagger


Main article: Cosmetic items
Batter's Helmet Batter's Helmet
Soldier's Stash Soldier's Stash
Pyro's Beanie Pyro's Beanie
Demoman's Fro Demoman's Fro
Football Helmet Football Helmet
Mining Light Mining Light
Prussian Pickelhaube Prussian Pickelhaube
Trophy Belt Trophy Belt
Fancy Fedora Fancy Fedora

Pre-announcement references

While officially announced on May 2nd, 2009, Valve had hinted prior to the release.

"Jarate: The Jar-Based Karate" Flyer

Jarate: The Jar Based Karate

On April 1, 2009, Valve published a post on the Official Blog, "a sneak preview of the next class update!", showing an order form for the Sniper's new weapon, Jarate. However, due to the date of the posting, April Fool's Day, many believed the advertisement to be a joke.

Sniper Update Confirmation

The next day, April 2, 2009, Valve published yet another post on the Official Blog, "Wave goodbye to yer head, wanker", which confirmed that the Sniper was indeed the next class to be receiving an update. The post also hinted at 2 other updates, one that would be completed before the Sniper Updates release, and another that include some new content for all classes. These were later revealed to be the Spy update and the addition of cosmetic items, respectively.

Sniper Primary Weapon Exploration

On May 5, 2009, Valve made a post titled "You better hold onto your head, mate" which explored the reasoning as to how the Sniper's new primary weapon came about. It discussed that one of the main reasons for the unlock was due to players feeling hatred toward Snipers, as they were the cause of many deaths that were outside their area of engagement. The article concluded with stating that the Sniper's new unlock would promote the Sniper to move in closer to his enemies to give them a fighting chance.


  • The Sniper vs. Spy Update also brought about the implementation of the item drop system. For a brief period, the new Sniper and Spy weapons were only obtainable through random drops, regardless of how many achievements had been completed. This was changed back just over a week later with the May 29, 2009 Patch, which brought back the Milestone System in addition to the item drop system.
  • Sawmill (Arena) was the first map for Team Fortress 2 created and released by Valve that contained an atmospheric effect with the introduction of ambient rain; and Pipeline was the first map to take place during night.
  • A BLU Spy periodically appeared behind the RED Sniper in the Day 3 post of the Sniper Update, before the joint Spy Update was ultimately revealed.
  • By counting all of the Announcement days, the weekend delay and the bonus day, the Sniper vs. Spy Update is the longest major class update to Team Fortress 2.
  • The Camera Beard can be seen before it was released, listed on the catalog on Day 4, with writing from the Spy calling it "ridiculous".
  • As of January 24, 2013, the cosmetics released in this update have been retired and can no longer be found as random drops, crafted, bought, or unboxed in Unusual quality.
  • On Day 4, the Dapper Rogue catalogue includes a possible reference to the spycrab, with an advertisement for a "Crab-Walking Kit."

Update gallery

External links