Upgrade Station

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MvM Upgrade Station.png
When a robot kills a human, we erupt into a pleading mist of blood, meat particles and tears, which you can't really trade for anything. But when a robot dies, he explodes in a shower of money, which, during between-wave lulls, you can exchange at any Upgrade Station for weapon, item and ability upgrades.

An Upgrade Station is a place for players to buy weapon upgrades, abilities, and Power Up Canteen buffs in Mann vs. Machine. Players may access one of the two kiosks in the base at any time to purchase upgrades with collected credits. The cost of each upgrade does not increase with a repeated purchase. Between waves, players may modulate the number of levels in an upgrade by pressing the + and - buttons to redistribute their credits if they have made a mistake before accepting the upgrade. Once accepting the upgrade it cannot be revoked unless all upgrades are refunded.

During the setup of the first wave of the mission, upgrades can be sold back if the player wants to change weapons, classes, or buy a different upgrade. During the setup for each wave, players may refund their upgrades in the upgrade station menu as many times as necessary. A Wrench icon (MvM Class upgraded.png) will appear next to a class in the Class Selection Menu if that class already has upgrades applied to it. Weapon upgrades apply to only a single weapon but take effect for all classes that can equip the weapon. Un-equipping a weapon will deactivate all upgrades associated with that weapon, but they will be regained if the player re-equips it. Disconnecting from a server and rejoining will allow the player to retain their current amount of credits and upgrades if the player chooses the same class.

Failing to complete a wave refunds the credits spent during the setup of that wave to give the player a chance to use a different strategy. Otherwise, credits will not be refunded after accepting the upgrades.

Since there are no Resupply Cabinets in the base, purchasing an upgrade from an Upgrade Station will restore health and ammo without needing to switch classes. Players cannot heal using the Upgrade Station during waves.

User Interface

MvM Upgrade UI.png

Upgrade Stations are accessed by walking up to them. By default, the primary weapon slot is selected. The UI automatically shades upgrades in a slot if the player cannot afford them. Players may hit the "Cancel" button at any time or simply walk away from the kiosk before accepting an upgrade to regain the credits used during the session.









These are available only to the Engineer.

Power Up Canteen

These are available to any class with a Power Up Canteen, Battery Canteens, or Kritz or Treat Canteen in their Action Slot. Canteens can have a maximum of three charges and only one charge type at a time.

Note certain weapons cannot be upgraded. These include:

Related achievements

Mvm navicon.png Mann vs. Machievements

Maximum Performance
Maximum Performance
Max out all resistances on a single class.

System Upgrade
System Upgrade
Max out all primary weapon upgrades.

Shell Extension
Shell Extension
During a wave, use a canteen charged with 'Ammo Reload' to refill an empty weapon slot.

Ghost in the Machine
Ghost in the Machine
Use a canteen charged with 'Teleport to Spawn' and then kill the bomb carrier within 5 seconds.

Kritical Terror
Kritical Terror
Use a canteen charged with 'Crit Boost' to destroy a giant robot.

German Engineering
German Engineering
Use a canteen charged with 'ÜberCharge' to destroy 15 robots.

During a wave, use a canteen charged with 'Instant Building Upgrade' to build a new sentry gun within 3 seconds of your previous sentry gun's destruction.

Do Androids Dream?
Do Androids Dream?
As a Scout, use the Sandman to mark 15 robots for death in a single wave.

Heavy Mettle
Heavy Mettle
During a wave, use rage as a Heavy to push a robot about to deliver the bomb.

Vial Sharing
Vial Sharing
As a Medic, share your canteen 5 times in a single wave.

Wall Of Pain
Wall Of Pain
Block 5,000 damage with the shield as a Medic in a single life.

Robot Flush
Robot Flush
Kill 5 enemies with a single rocket while upgraded with rocket specialist.

Dazed And Defused
Dazed And Defused
Stun 50 robots while upgraded with rocket specialist.

Update history

August 15, 2012 Patch
  • Added Mann vs. Machine.

August 17, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed a client crash related to the Mann vs. Machine upgrade panel.
  • Fixed seeing incorrect upgrades in the Mann vs. Machine upgrade panel.
  • Updated upgrade icons to remove numbers.

August 23, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed the Metal Regen upgrade displaying a percentage instead of an incremental value.

September 4, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed a client money display issue when purchasing or selling bottle charges after changing classes.
  • Fixed Sniper Rifle reload upgrade not reducing the time delay from hip shot to scoping.

September 21, 2012 Patch

  • Added the ability to buy projectile penetration for the Crusader's Crossbow.
  • Fixed the Medi Gun overheal duration attribute causing the overheal effect to decay faster, rather than slower.
  • Fixed the Demoman shields not saving their upgrades upon round reset.

September 27, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed a bug where players could only buy 1 upgrade at a time from the upgrade station.

October 9, 2012 Patch

  • Balance changes:
    • Explosive Headshots
      • Damage is now 150 regardless of upgrade level.
      • Damage is done in one tick instead of the previous six.
      • Added a slowing effect based on upgrade level (50%-80% slow, 2-4 second duration).
      • Radius still scales with upgrade level (unchanged).
    • Marked For Death duration reduced to 7 seconds from 15 seconds when the target is a giant robot.
    • Reduced the "effect bar recharge rate increased" upgrade from 20% increments with an 80% cap to 15% increments with a 60% cap.

July 10, 2013 Patch

  • In MvM, when robots are killed by Sniper headshots or explosive headshot upgrade, they will drop 'red' money that will automatically be collected when it would otherwise dissolve.

August 27, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed a bug that prevented the Medi Gun's "Share Power Ups" upgrade from working correctly in Mann vs. Machine mode.

October 29, 2013 Patch

  • Inspecting a player in Mann vs. Machine (default key: F) now shows the upgrades of the player who is currently being inspected.

November 21, 2013 Patch (Two Cities Update)

  • Players can earn a "Refund Upgrades" credit by collecting money during waves
    • The amount required is listed in the scoreboard, and varies per-mission
    • Any money collected – whether winning or losing – will count toward earning a credit
    • To redeem, visit an Upgrades station and click the "Refund Upgrades" button
    • Any money spent on buy-backs and Canteen charges will not be refunded
  • Medic
    • Projectile Shield Upgrade
      • Build Energy by healing teammates, reviving and preventing damage via Invuln ÜberCharge.
      • Press ATTACK3 to activate when Energy meter is full (mouse3 by default)
      • While active:
        • Blocks all enemy projectiles
        • Damages enemies on touch
    • Mad Milk Syringes Upgrade
      • Syringe Gun needles apply Mad Milk (heal-on-hit for teammates) on contact
    • Healing Mastery Upgrade (previously two separate upgrades)
      • +25% heal rate per point
      • +25% revive rate per point
      • +25% self-regen rate per point
    • Overheal Expert Upgrade (previously two separate upgrades)
      • +25% more overheal per point
      • +50% duration per point
    • Canteen Specialist Upgrade
      • Shares canteen charge effects with heal target
      • +1 second charge duration per point
      • -10 canteen charge price per point
  • Soldier
    • Rocket Specialist Upgrade
      • +15% rocket speed per point
      • On direct hits
        • Stuns target (duration increases per point)
        • +15% increased blast radius per point
        • No range-based falloff damage
  • Heavy
    • Attack Projectiles Upgrade
      • Now has two levels
        • Level one is less effective than before
        • Level two is more effective than level one used to be
      • Price reduced from 600 to 400 per point
    • Rage Pushback upgrade activation moved to ATTACK3 (mouse3 by default)
  • Lowered the cost of the Bullet and Blast Resistance upgrades from 350 to 300
  • Added Demoman upgrade: -30% Push Force on wearer

November 22, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed a server crash related to damaging the tank with the new Medic shield.
  • Fixed the Health Regen MvM upgrade string mistakenly displaying %

December 6, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed players who join in the middle of a mission not receiving the Upgrade Refund credit if it has been earned by the team.
  • Fixed an exploit that allowed purchasing upgrades for weapons other than what they were intended for.

January 9, 2014 Patch

  • Fixed an exploit in Mann vs. Machine related to purchasing upgrades.

February 7, 2014 Patch

  • Fixed an exploit that allowed players to purchase/sell the Canteen Specialist upgrade to get more money than they originally spent.
  • Fixed a bug that caused players to not receive an Upgrade Refund Credit when they should have.
  • Fixed the UI not updating properly if an Upgrade Refund Credit is earned after the wave has ended.
  • Fixed the MvM upgrade menu closing when a Strange item has its counter increment.

February 19, 2014 Patch

  • Fixed a Mann vs. Machine bug related to upgrades after a retry/reconnect.

March 5, 2014 Patch

  • Fixed an exploit in Mann vs. Machine mode related to purchasing upgrades for free.

May 15, 2014 Patch

  • Fixed the Engineer being able to purchase the Disposable Sentry Gun upgrade in Mann vs. Machine, build a disposable Sentry Gun, and then refund the upgrade without the Sentry being destroyed.

June 20, 2014 Patch

  • Updated the B.A.S.E. Jumper to prevent buying unusable upgrades in Mann vs. Machine.

Unused content

  • There are many additional sound files for Projectile Shield upgrade; they are referred to in the game files as "prefix_burn_suffix". Those probably would be used when multiple projectiles have been protected by the Projectile Shield. There is also another unused sound that would be used if the user retracted the shield after switching weapons.
  • Inside the game files, there are 3 upgrades to be found that are not currently in the game; They include a radius of Sentry Gun upgrade, regeneration of a percent of a mercenary's max ammo every 5 seconds upgrade, and gaining more credits through an additively stacking percent multiplier upgrade.
  • There is an unused song in the game's files that would possibly be played while the player used an Upgrade Station.


  • Changing a weapon via loadout screen before walking up to the upgrade station, then buying a single upgrade, will prevent buying (most) upgrades that cannot normally be bought on the new weapon. For example, having the Air Strike equipped, switching to the Cow Mangler, buying a movement speed upgrade, and then buying ammo capacity in the Air Strike tab will not take credits away from your balance and will not apply the ammo upgrade to the Cow Mangler because you normally cannot buy that. If you purchase an upgrade in the original item, a damage upgrade on the Air Strike the money will be taken away and you will not get the damage upgrade on your Cow Mangler however any future upgrades in the Air Strike tab will apply to the Cow Mangler if they can normally be bought. The first upgrade you buy cannot be refunded if you are not on wave 1.
    • There are select weapons that have "ghost upgrades" that can be purchased using this bug. The most commonly abused and useful one of these is being able to buy a firing speed upgrade on the Soda Popper.
  • Occasionally, when on the Canteen charges page, clicking once on any upgrade's + sign will give the player two charges for the Canteen, at the same cost of purchasing one charge twice, though only one circle fills. The player will end up with those two charges upon clicking "accept", and the interface returns to the correct number of circles filled the next time the player goes to the station.
  • The upgrade screen will suddenly disappear if any strange weapon the player has equipped updates. The most common occurrences for this bug are Soldiers using a strange banner right before using the station and Engineers with a strange PDA having their teleporter taken while upgrading. Any upgrade the player was purchasing will be lost, but the money will be returned.
  • Any chat notifications and/or lobby update (Joining/leaving the match or player's party) will immediately exit the upgrade station menu.
  • The second firing speed upgrade for every Minigun (except Tomislav) has no effect; also due to the firing rate being tick based, the indicated percentage is wrong, the first/second upgrade increases firing speed by 14%, third by 29% and fourth by 43%. For the Tomislav, the first firing speed doesn't work, and the second tick increases the rate by 13%, 25% for the third upgrade, and 38% for the fourth upgrade.[1]
    • Sentry Guns do not benefit from the second or third upgrades of firing speed in a normal server, however if the server's simulation tick timing is slightly off then the first tick will not work and the second tick will be required to gain any benefit. Using hitsounds is the best way to judge if the first tick actually worked since it's impossible to know if the server tick is off. A crit canteen will always give you the fastest firing speed possible regardless of how many ticks are purchased or if it is wrangled.[2]
  • Half of the Rocket Specialist upgrade does not benefit from further upgrades after the first, only the blast radius on direct hits [3] and projectile speed will increase.
  • Inspecting another player, walking up to the upgrade station, and hitting cancel will result in showing you an upgrade screen for the other player. The only buttons you can press are cancel and refund which will refund your upgrades.


  • There are several items visible inside the Upgrade Station, the most notable being one of the many scrapped weapons used for the scrapped grenade slot, which are the Bear Trap and the Frag Grenade.
  • The texture for the Upgrade Station contains a hidden note in the top left corner, which cannot be seen in-game, which reads:



  1. Graph explaining Minigun firerates.
  2. Graph explaining Sentry Gun firing rate.
  3. Video showing Rocket Specialist upgrade.

See also

External links