Unusual quality is an item quality used on cosmetic items, taunts, and weapons. Unusual items have special attached particle effects, and are considered to be some of the rarest items in Team Fortress 2. There are currently 499 cosmetic items that can have one of 86 total effects, 56 taunts that can have one of 15 total effects, and 10 weapons that can have one of 4 effects. The only methods of obtaining an Unusual item are by unlocking a Mann Co. Supply Crate with a Mann Co. Supply Crate Key (at an about one in one hundred, or 1.00%, chance of unboxing), purchasing one on the Steam Community Market, getting a Taunt Unusualifier as a bonus for unboxing a case, or via trading.
Unlike regular items which can only be obtained from specific crates, any item obtainable in Unusual quality can be unboxed from any given crate, however the particle effects obtained depends on the series of crate the unusual item was obtained from. So, to unbox a cosmetic item with a "Series One" effect, a "Series One" crate must be opened, and so forth.
People in the TF2 community, mostly traders, call effects in generations or gens. Gen 1 unusual effects are the 14 effects from crates of Series #1 to Series #25. Gen 2 effects are all the unusual effects from crates of Series #26 to Series #57. Gen 3 is the last generation of effects from crates of Series #59 onwards. Other series such as the Robotic Boogaloo and the Scream Fortress effects are simply classified as their own effect sets.The hexadecimal color code for Unusual items is .
Other Unusual Items
Two special items of Unusual quality were introduced with the Scream Fortress Update: the Haunted Metal Scrap, and the Horseless Headless Horsemann's Headtaker. However, unlike regular Unusual items, the Unusual Metal Scrap is dropped for any player who has taken part in defeating the Horseless Headless Horsemann with a melee weapon, while the Headtaker can be obtained by crafting it from a blueprint that includes the Unusual Metal Scrap. Besides bearing the Unusual quality, the Horseless Headless Horsemann's Headtaker is statistically identical to the Eyelander. In addition, neither of these items has an attached particle effect. Due to these characteristics, these two Unusual items are not considered as valuable as regular Unusual items.
The first 14 effects were added to the game with the Mann-Conomy Update, 8 more unusual effects were added with the August 18, 2011 Patch, and 7 additional effects were added with the June 19, 2013 Patch. The unusual effect pool used by any given series of crate is listed in its potential uncrate results list.
The first 14 effects can be obtained from any crate of Series #1 to Series #25.
The next 8 effects can be obtained from any crate of Series #26 to Series #57.
The final 7 effects can be obtained from any Series #59 crate onwards.
There were 4 more Halloween-exclusive effects added with the Very Scary Halloween Special, 5 with the Spectral Halloween Special, 8 with Scream Fortress 2013, 6 with Scream Fortress 2014, 7 with Scream Fortress 2015, 4 with Scream Fortress 2016, and 11 more with Scream Fortress 2018. 2 Halloween-only taunt effects were added in with Scream Fortress 2014, 4 were added with Scream Fortress 2016, and 6 more with Scream Fortress 2018. Unlike other effects, these could only be obtained during Halloween season, from any openable crate. The Halloween effects from Scream Fortress 2015, Scream Fortress 2016 and Scream Fortress 2018 are only found in special, limited edition crates which released with those updates: The Gargoyle Case, the Creepy Crawly Case and the Violet Vermin Case respectively.
The first 4 Halloween-only effects, introduced in the Very Scary Halloween Special.
The next 5 Halloween-only effects, introduced in the Spectral Halloween Special.
The next 8 Halloween-only effects, introduced in Scream Fortress 2013.
The next 6 Halloween-only effects, introduced in Scream Fortress 2014.
The 2 Halloween-only taunt effects, introduced in Scream Fortress 2014.
Scream Fortress 2016 added 4 unusual effects. Items with these effects were able to be unboxed during the Scream Fortress 2016 update, from any crate. Now can only be unboxed from the Creepy Crawly Case.
The 4 Halloween-only taunt effects, introduced in Scream Fortress 2016.
Scream Fortress 2018 added 11 unusual effects. Items with these effects were able to be unboxed during the Scream Fortress 2018 update, from any crate. Now can only be unboxed from the Violet Vermin Case.
The 6 Halloween-only taunt effects, introduced in Scream Fortress 2018.
Love & War
End of the Line
Gun Mettle Update
The Gun Mettle Update added 4 unusual effects exclusively for Decorated weapons. Items with these effects can only be obtained by unlocking the Powerhouse Case, Concealed Killer Case, Pyroland Weapons Case, or the Warbird Weapons Case.
With the introduction of the Jungle Inferno Update the Energy Orb effect has been removed from the unusual effect pool. Meaning only Isotope, Hot, and Cool are obtainable from unboxing.
Invasion Community Update
List of Unusual Items
- With enough player movement, Unusual effects from the Invasion update (Subatomic, Atomic) will become off-center from the player's head.
- Unusual effects from the End of the Line update (Morning Glory, Death at Dusk, Molten Mallard) also show similar bugs, except parts of the particle effect (sun, duck respectively) drift a huge distance away from the player.
- 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.
- Sometimes an Unusual effect floats in the air separated from the player's model instead of sticking to the cosmetic item.
- This can occur when a player taunts.
- Effect may also appear on the player's abdobmen, or chest; it may also disappear along with the cosmetic.
These effects were added to the game, but are currently unused.
These effects were unused in the game files, but have since been removed.
- The effect named "It's A Secret To Everybody" is a reference to a popular phrase in the video game series The Legend of Zelda. The effect itself appears to be a reference to the moon in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.
- The effect named "Something Burning This Way Comes" references the fantasy horror novel by the name Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury; the title is itself a reference to the Shakespeare piece Macbeth, towards a specific line in Act 4, Scene 1.
- The effect named "Dead Presidents" refers to a slang term used to describe U.S. currency, which comes from the fact that most U.S. banknotes depict deceased Presidents.
- The effects named "Sulphurous" and "Phosphorous" are references to the chemical elements Sulfur/Sulphur and Phosphorus.
- The effect named "Chiroptera Venenata" is rough Latin for "Poisonous Bat".
- The effects named "It's a mystery to everyone" and "It's a puzzle to me" are references to two emotes from the Something Awful forums. The effect itself has a ghost orbiting around.
- One of the dances the skeletons does in the effect "Death By Disco" might be a reference to the battle stance of Papyrus, a character in Undertale.
- The effects named "Kill-a-Watt" and "Terror-Watt" are references to the measures of electrical power kilowatts and terawatts.
- Community contributors whose Unusual effects are accepted through the Steam Workshop are awarded a Self-Made Unusual Cap.
- Some unusual items (such as the Finder's Fee, or items with the Community Sparkle effect) cannot be unboxed and are given to certain players for finding major bugs in the game, or somehow contributing to the game in some form.
- The effect named "Skill gotten gains" is a play on the phrase 'Ill gotten gains' meaning money obtained through illegal acts.
- The first ever unusual ever unboxed was a Stout Shako with the effect of Circling Peace Sign.