Team Fortress 2: The Free-to-Play Steam Game You Must Play

Danny Stieben 30-10-2013

When Steam was first made available for Linux, many people rushed to the platform to see how gaming was on the open source operating system. Of course, there’s nothing better than testing out gaming than with a free game, and Team Fortress 2 was exactly that. While the game has been out for quite a while, it still receives continuous improvements from Valve even today — its relatively recent port to Linux is proof of that. So is Team Fortress 2 just a quick game to test graphics and performance, or is it a game worth playing repeatedly?


About Team Fortress 2


Team Fortress 2 can easily be viewed as a first person shooter like any other. However, it takes a cartoonish turn with its various silly characters. You get soldiers, sentries, medics, engineers, and other roles which you can play while you’re in a battle. They behave in the same ways that you would expect.

The weapons included aren’t just your regular shotguns and sniper rifles either, but rather equivalent cartoonish weapons that shoot out energy blasts and the like. It’s important to understand how each weapon works, as some take a longer time to reload and then the travel rate of the projectile may be slower than you think. Whenever you have a chance, you should just play around with each weapon to get the best feel for each.

Like most shooters, Team Fortress 2 uses the mouse for aiming and WASD keys for movement. It also supports controllers, but this generally puts you at a disadvantage with mouse and keyboard players.

When you launch the game, you’ll have the ability to play multiplayer mode or practice mode. Multiplayer is the easiest to explain because the server admin chooses a map and game mode, and you play against other human opponents. Practice mode has two components: a tutorial-like mode, and a mode that feels like it should be called a single-player campaign. The tutorial mode will help you practice various techniques and weapons with great tutorial-like instructions. There’s plenty of things you can check off in practice mode, so stop by it in case you feel like you need to learn something new or scrub some rust off of an older skill. If you just want to dive straight in, the single-player mode is great as well.


Game Modes


The most important component of the game, however, is the game modes. There are a handful of game types, whereby the Payload mode is the most popular. In this mode, you have to move a cart across the map by standing next to it if you’re on offense, or prevent the other team from doing so if you’re on defense. If the offensive team can fight the defensive players away, they’ll have an easy time which is shown by their progress with the cart. If the defense is having success, then that is marked through reverting progress as the cart will start going backwards if it’s not pushed by an offensive player within a certain amount of time. Team Fortress 2 also offers more common game types such as team deathmatch and last man standing.


Thanks to its strong integration with the Steam community, you can earn plenty of cosmetic items over time. Many of them can be bought via game credits or game achievements, while others are special event items. For example, players can carry a little stuffed Tux around on their in-game characters if they were part of the Linux beta for the game. The list of items is constantly growing, and it is one of the major portions of updates that the game still receives.


As a Steam game, Team Fortress 2 can be easily installed via the Steam launcher. It’s the only way to get the game, but there are many reasons why Steam is awesome 8 Things You Didn't Know About Steam Steam started out as an annoying program that came with Half-Life 2, but it’s grown into the PC game store of choice for most PC gamers. Although some people aren’t fans and prefer alternative stores,... Read More . Just search for the game, click “Play Game”, and it’ll start downloading it. It should work on all computers, including Linux systems on the open-source graphics drivers, but for best performance it’s recommended to use the proprietary drivers on Linux. Once the game is done downloading, it should be ready to go!




Team Fortress 2 is an absolutely fun game with lots of comic mischief that is sure to entertain people of all ages. I absolutely love it and play it regularly with friends. It has good graphics, good to great performance, and continued support from Valve for the foreseeable future, even though the game was released October 9, 2007. The game is already very easy to get into, and should provide plenty of hours of fun.

For more great games, check out our Best Linux Games page!

What’s your favorite free-to-play Steam game? Did you ever play Team Fortress 2 before it came out for Linux? Let us know in the comments!


Related topics: First Person Shooter, Steam.

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  1. Brian H
    October 30, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    I a bit surprised that the Community Market or the Mann Co. Store wasn't mentioned in the article. Even though the game is free it is one of Valve's biggest money makers because of the ability to craft items and collect special items that are dropped. The game used to be fun to play until this was introduced into the game. Now it's hard to find a server where people actually play the game instead of trying to sell and trade with each other. Adding the economy factor to the game has ruined gameplay for a lot of serious players. Now the servers are populated by little kids and collectors/traders and the original vision for TF2 has been ruined. I wonder if the author actually played the game or just based his article off of what anyone could obtain from reading the game's page on Valve's site.