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An orthographic example of deep water in Team Fortress 2.
Yahf fvaorarh!
The Pyro speaking when submerged

Water is an environmental feature that can be found in many maps as a terrain feature and gameplay element. There are two types of water: shallow and deep. Shallow water absorbs all impact from a fall, conduct electricity for the Neon Annihilator, and reveal the footsteps of Spies (which also become more audible). It is otherwise a cosmetic part of the game.

Deep water allows a character to fully submerge and swim around. Immersion in deep water instantly negates the effects of afterburn, Jarate, Mad Milk, and the Gas Passer, and prevents these debuffs from occurring until the player surfaces. Some maps feature submerged routes into the enemy base, which are often poorly defended in comparison to ground-level entrances. Like shallow water, deep water also negates fall damage.

Engineers can construct buildings underwater just like on land. Due to the low visibility of submerged objects, deep water is often a great spot to conceal a Teleporter or a Sentry Gun. However, Sentry Guns cannot see targets that are across the water's boundary no matter how close they are, making submerged Sentry Guns solely useful for underwater targets.

Remaining submerged in water for too long causes the player to drown. While drowning, a gagging, choking sound is heard and the player experiences a periodic loss of health and flinches (such as with bleeding and afterburn effects), and the screen flashes blue to warn the player. To negate this, the player must reach the surface, where the health lost due to drowning regenerates over time at a gradually increased rate. Upon surfacing from the water after drowning, a gurgling sound is heard by the player. Standing next to a Dispenser, picking up a Medkit, or being healed by a Medic restores the player's health faster than it is lost due to drowning.

Hitting enemies with the Neon Annihilator while they are standing in water, swimming, or who have recently surfaced from water deals critical hits.

Deep water has several impairments:

  • Submerging in water obscures the player's vision with bubbles for a few seconds.
  • Surfacing on the water can affect vision, making aiming difficult. To counter this, fully submerge, especially if battling a submerged opponent.
  • Swimming in deep water decreases the maneuverability of all classes by 20%, making them vulnerable targets for enemies who have the advantage of higher ground or more suitable weapons.
  • Players are considered to be in a constant state of falling while in water, and are not considered standing still even when resting on the bottom of the body of water. As a result:
    • Players cannot taunt while underwater, or consume any lunchbox items (such items can still be dropped if possible).
    • Players cannot enter Teleporters, although they can still emerge from teleporter exits per normal.
    • The Scout cannot double jump while underwater.
    • The Cloak and Dagger cannot recharge while cloaked underwater.
  • All in-game sound is muffled while the player is underwater, including voice chat. Setting the cvar dsp_water to 0 removes this effect.
  • Projectiles that must be thrown by hand (Sandman baseballs, Wrap Assassin baubles, Mad Milk, Jarate) cannot be used.
  • Firing any of the Pyro's flamethrowers underwater simply wastes ammo and ejects a stream of harmless bubbles instead of fire; Pyros are also unable to airblast at all. Additionally, flare-based secondary weapons cannot be fired. The Sharpened Volcano Fragment does not ignite enemies underwater.
  • The Demoman's projectiles travel slower and cover a shorter distance underwater due to the physical effects of the water on them.
  • The Engineer cannot fire his Short Circuit underwater.
  • Shots fired by the Medic's Crusader's Crossbow or the Sniper's Huntsman and Fortified Compound are deflected significantly when fired into water.
  • Any player surfacing from a body of water displays dripping water particles for a few seconds. This is detrimental to cloaked Spies, as this can reveal their presences to the enemy. Likewise, if a Spy attempts to cloak while underwater, the bubbles they make can still be seen, although they are still difficult to catch. Players who are dripping with water are considered "wet", and the Neon Annihilator does critical damage against them even if they are on dry land.

Maps with water

  • 2Fort: There is a large pool of deep water beneath the bridge in the center of the map. The Sewers at each team's base contain shallow water as well.
  • 2Fort Invasion: Large pool of deep water beneath the bridge in the center of the map. From the main map.
  • Asteroid: On each side, inside both bases, there is deep water under the B point.
  • Badlands (Arena) and Badlands (King of the Hill): On each side, there is a small pond of deep water beneath the small concrete bridge to the left of the spawn room.
  • Banana Bay: The entire map is surrounded by an ocean of deep water.
  • Bigrock: A large pool of water is seen near the robot spawn area, with a waterfall running into it. It is out of bounds, however.
  • Bloodwater: There is a shallow pool of blood-colored water between the second and third checkpoints.
  • Cashworks: A river runs underneath 2 bridges near the final checkpoint.
  • Coal Pit: There is a large puddle of water with floating chunks of ice around the base of control point C's tower. Another large puddle of water with chunks of ice is found in front of the small shack near control point B and it continues into the cave.
  • Crasher: There is a shallow pool of water under the bridge in the center of the map.
  • Cursed Cove: At the end of the cove is the sea, which can be partially entered. Additionally, when players enter Davy Jones' Locker, Jones has driven the water back from the shipwreck; but after a time Jones allows the swimable water to return, drowing players that do not leave it soon enough.
  • Distillery: There's a pool of water at the bottom of a gorge underneath a building.
  • Doomsday: There is a small pool of deep water at the broken crate area, underneath the pick-up location for the neutral Australium.
  • Double Cross: A pool of deep water is found beneath the drop hatches of the spawn rooms.
  • Doublefrost: A pool of deep water surrounded by ice is found beneath the drop hatches of the spawn rooms.
  • Eyeaduct: A large body of water containing Loot Island, separate from the main map. Falling in causes instant death.
  • Freight: Two large bodies of water connect from the exits of RED and BLU's buildings under the main buildings to a small pool on the other side of the midpoint, allowing for flanking and an easy way around the trains.
  • Frontier: The rightmost exit of BLU spawn leads to a small, barely noticeable area covered with shallow water.
  • Frostwatch: On the first stage there is a small lake behind a fence near the second control point. On the second stage there is a large lake down below, behind Blue's spawn. There is another down below, behind Red's spawn. There's also a small body of water behind a fence near control point B. On the third stage a river runs through the map right outside of Blue's spawn.
  • Ghost Fort: A large body of water containing Skull Island, separate from the main map. Falling in causes instant death.
  • Graveyard: Multiple small puddles surround the central building.
  • Hardwood: There's a lake out-of-bounds behind the blue team's initial spawn building.
  • Helltrain: One of the places the trains drive through has a bridge with a river underneath. Another has a lake at the bottom of a canyon. Another is entirely underwater (only cosmetic).
  • Hydro: There is shallow water in the Dam and Warehouse territories.
  • Lakeside: In the center building next to the control point there is a small pool of deep water.
  • Mannhattan: A large ocean exists that surrounds the outer areas of the robot carrier tank (out of bounds).
  • Megalo: Next to both spawn rooms behind a fence are small pools of water.
  • Moonshine Event: A lagoon surrounds the center control point areas.
  • Nightfall (stage 3 only): There is a very small pond of deep water in the center of the map, under the cart tracks.
  • Pelican Peak: There's an out-of-bounds lake behind the red team's flag capture zone. There's an out-of-bounds pool of water near the overpass in the centre of the map. There's a pool of water underneath the overpass in the middle of the map. There's two pools of water in the underground tunnels connecting to the vents.
  • Phoenix: There's a water wheel behind blue's first spawn building that leads into a small stream that enters the spawn. There's a shallow pool of water next to blue's first spawn building. There's a shallow pool of water near the final checkpoint.
  • Pier: A long canal of deep water runs through the center of the map underneath the first capture point. The indoor dockyard with the third capture point has deep water. The map is surrounded by ocean, but the island cannot be circumnavigated.
  • Pipeline (stage 3 only): The small canal beneath the cart tracks has deep water.
  • Polar: A small lake resides outside the map behind the final checkpoint. Another is in the clearing behind Blue Team's second spawn room.
  • Powerhouse: The center of the map has a channel of deep water.
  • Ravine: At the lower side of the map underneath the tall, large building, deep water can be found in the small alcove.
  • Reckoner: There are two lakes out-of-bounds next to roads. There's rushing water under pipes next to the final control points.
  • Rottenburg: At the left side of the spawn area, a large river of water can be found over a railing.
  • Rumford: A long river flows out of a dam and runs along one side of the map.
  • Sawmill (all variations): Bodies of deep water are found at the Lumbershack and Waterfall areas of the map. In the Capture the Flag version, shallow water also covers the Intelligence room's floor.
  • Selbyen: The map takes place on a harbour connected to the sea.
  • Sharkbay: The harbour area around the control point is full of instant-death shark-infested water. There are shark tanks in both spawn rooms.
  • Skirmish: There's a large lake out-of-bounds. There's a small pool of water connected to a waterfall in a cave. The water is alligator-infested and instantly kills mercenaries.
  • SnowVille: On both sides of the map connected to the central building is drop-down to a flooded passageway.
  • Snowycoast: Water surrounds the mothership at the final point. (Pitfall death.)
  • Standin: Shallow water surrounds the platform Point A is on.
  • Suijin: The river surrounds the center control point (shallow water), and waterfalls off the edge of the cliff.
  • Sulfur: There's a miniature pond behind blue's spawn room. There's a tub of steaming water inside blue's spawn room. There's a small pool of steaming water outside of blue's spawn leading to control point A. There's a river and multiple waterfalls next to and underneath control point A. There's a lake of steaming water underneath control point B. This lake connects to a large pool of boiling water surrounding and enveloping control point D.
  • Sunshine: Ocean outside the map.
  • Swiftwater: First BLU spawn leads to small river (shallow water).
  • Thunder Mountain (stage 2 only): Right outside the BLU spawn, there is a small stream which has deep water.
  • Timbertown : Small pools around the map.
  • Tiny_Rock: There's a lake of water far out-of-bounds at the end of a large gorge.
  • Venice: There's an ocean behind blue's initial spawn room. The map has canals of water running through it.
  • Watchtower: There are small ponds of deep water around the valley below the central tower.
  • Watergate: The center of the map has a canal of deep water.
  • Well (all variations): Deep water channels outside the teams' buildings consisting of underwater routes connecting each team's base building to the central train house building. The Capture the Flag version is similar to the Control Point version, except the route to the central building is removed with the building itself. The Arena version features a small pool adjacent to the central building which offers a quick route to the main point.

Related achievements

Achieved.png General achievements

Escape the Heat
Escape the Heat
Jump into a pool of refreshing water while on fire.

Leaderboard class scout.png Scout

The Cycle
The Cycle
In a single life, kill an enemy while you are on the ground, in the air, and in the water.

Leaderboard class pyro.png Pyro

Baptism by Fire
Baptism by Fire
Force 10 burning enemies to jump into water.
Plan B
Plan B
Kill 10 enemies while you're both underwater.

Leaderboard class heavy.png Heavy

Krazy Ivan
Krazy Ivan
Kill 50 enemies while both you and your victim are underwater.

The Power and the Glory.png Powerhouse achievements

Wet Work
Wet Work
Kill five enemies while they are in the water.

Update history

October 2, 2007 Patch

  • Fixed rare crash when players exited water.

April 29, 2008 Patch (Gold Rush Update)

  • Fixed drowning exploit that allowed players to regenerate health.

December 11, 2008 Patch

  • Added a particle effect for when a player enters the water.

July 14, 2009 Patch

  • Updated ripple effects for water drips to improve performance.

July 20, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed the DX8 water effect.


  • If colliding with a water surface or entering underwater while a player is doing a Response or a voice command, the sound cuts off when doing so.


See also