Team Fortress Semi-Technical FAQ

Version 2.0 (Last Update: Feb. 1, 1997)



This FAQ was written and is updated by Ares, a proud member of Clan Erinyes. Check out our clan page at:

You'll find me as Ares-CE in Quake. You'll find me in Quake World almost exclusively, so look for me there. The current version of this FAQ is 2.0, you'll find a revision log at the bottom of the FAQ.

I began writing this FAQ after being asked numerous times "How do you get grenades?" by various newbies. If you fall into that category (and I was once there too) then this is the file for you. The questions here are the ones that have been most asked to me while playing TF over the net. I was wandering around the TF home page and felt that I needed to expand the FAQ a tid. So, you'll find much more information on TF in general now. Also, with the advent of Quake World TF, a lot of the information in here is outdated (but still important).

A few notes before reading:

-Everything that is used in the console is italizised and are in light blue.

-All questions are underlined.

-Special notes are in yellow.

-Cautions are in white.


Table of Contents:

I. General TF Info

II. Grenades (Binding Information)

III. Other Weapons

IV. Optional Game Settings

V. Other Questions (Trouble-Shooter)

VI. TF Strategy

VII. Credits/Fine Print

VIII. Revisions Log 


I. General TF Info

Q. What is this TF thing?

A. TF stands for Team Fortress, a QuakeC patch designed to add strategy and diversity to the already great Quake engine. Basically, the TF patch provides players with the option of choosing between different "classes" of players. Each class has its own special weapons and abilities. For example, the medic can both heal people and infect them with a disease. Other great features of TF are the different goal entities (entities are like invisible objects in Quake that trigger events). Instead of just trying to capture a flag (which is included in TF), you might have to infiltrate an enemy stronghold, end a level, or blow up something to score points. Overall TF brings a lot of excitement and fun to Quake, bringing it to a whole new level.

Q. What are the player classes?

A. Here are the TF player clases as of version 2.03 (this info is also on the TF homepage. If you don't know how to use some of the special weapons, go here.

Scout- The fastest moving class. Can only wear a small amount of the lowest absorption armor. Limited to the 2 Shotguns and Nailgun. Low ammo levels. Carries a Scanner, 2 grenades, 3 concussion grenades.

Sniper- Medium speed. Wears only small amount of armor, upto medium absorption level. Limited to Nailgun and Sniper rifle. Medium ammo levels. Carries 2 grenades.

Soldier- Slow moving class. Wears large amount of armor, at all absorption levels. Limited to 2 shotguns and Rocket Launcher. High ammo levels. Carries 4 grenades, 4 nail grenades.

Demolition Man- Medium speed. Wears medium amount of armor, upto medium absorption level. Uses the Shotgun and Grenade/Pipebomb Launcher. Carries 1 DetPack, 6 grenades, 4 Mirv Grenades.

Combat Medic- Medium speed. Wears medium amount of armor, upto medium absorption level. Uses both Shotguns, Super Nailgun and the Bio Weapon. Carries Medikit, 3 grenades, 2 concussion grenades. Health regenerates slowly.

Heavy Weapons Guy- The slowest moving class of all. Lots of armor, high absorption levels. Uses both Shotguns, the Nailgun, and the Assault Cannon. Carries 4 grenades and 1 Mirv Grenade.

Pyro- Medium speed. Start with fire retardent armor. Armed with a shotgun, flamethrower and incendiary cannon. Carries 2 normal grenades and 4 Napalm Grenades.

Q. This all sounds fun and all, where do I get it?

A. Well, there are two ways of getting it. First, you can go to the TF homepage. Go to the downloads page and download the current version. The other way is to get onto QuakeWorld (don't know what that is? Go here) and log onto a TF server there. It will automaticaly begin to download the files you need. (Caution: Downloading the files this way could take a really, really long time.)

Q. Where can I play?

A. You can play on a regular Quake server, of which there were very few servers last time I checked. Or, you can play on QuakeWorld, where there are a few servers constantly running it:

QuakeWorld Master:

Jord's TF-
2.0 Beta-
Druglord TF-

Regular Quake:

Feel free to email me if you know of any other TF servers operating in either QuakeWorld or regular Quake.

Q. Where can I get more info on TF?

A. You can go on a far reaching quest to visit the holy Llama of TF, or you can check out these sites:

TF Homepage
Fanatic's TF Page
Immortal's TF Page
Ethereal Team Fortress
The Quake ToyBox
Gorgon's Team Fortress Page

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II. Grenades

Q. How do I get grenades?

A. Well, there are, to my knowledge, two ways of "getting" grenades. Both of these involve binding keys to aliases provided by TF. Here is the complex way:

1) Pick 3 keys that you can devote to grenades. I’ll call them A, B, and C for simplicity’s sake.

2) In the console type:

bind A primeone

And hit the enter key.

Then type in:

bind B primetwo

And hit enter.

Then type:

bind C throwgren

3) Now that you have binded the three keys, try pressing them while playing. You should (hopefully) notice messages like:

Concussion Grenade primed…3 seconds.

Or something to that effect. A and B are used to prime your 2 types of grenades. C throws the grenade that was primed.

*CAUTION* Once you have primed a grenade, you must press C. If you do not, the grenade will blow up in your hand. (But hey, kamikazes are nice :-]).

Here is the binding structure that I use for grenades:

1) Pick two keys that you want to use. A and B will be the examples.

2) In console type:

bind A "primeone ; wait ; throwgren"

Press enter and type:

bind B "primetwo ; wait ; throwgren"

Press enter.

3) Now you have binded one key to two commands: prime the grenade and throw the grenade. This great tip was given to me during an internet game by another helpful player (Sorry, I forgot your name, I was too busy blowing things up).

4) Try pressing A or B, and the grenade should prime, wait a second, and then pop out of your hot little hand.

*CAUTION* I have noticed that on laggy servers using the "double-bind" method is dangerous. It seems that many times the second half of the command never reaches the server, and I wait another two seconds and I blow up. The answer (I think) is to just press the key twice. So far it has worked for me.


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III. Special Weapons:

Q. How do you get "Sawed in half"?

A. Yes, I know some of you are smirking with your supreme intelligence, but some people have actually asked me this. I’ll go over all of the special weapons and how to get them.

Grappling Hook:

All classes are allowed to use the Grappling Hook. Press 1 to activate it. (the axe should appear). Point yourself at a wall, press fire and hold down fire. You should begin to shoot through the air towards the wall. If you want to be a sniper, while holding down fire, activate another weapon, and let go of fire. To ungrapple, press 1 again.

Note: On some maps, such as 2fort4, the grappling hook has been disabled. Each map will vary, so, if you can not select the grappling hook, then the map has it disabled.

Scout Weapons:

The scout has some pretty cool capabilities besides running fast. First off, he can diffuse detpacks by running over them. Also, he has a scanner used to find friends/enemies:

1) Pick the scout class (scout)

2) Hide in a dark corner (feels like home, doesn’t it?). Bring up console.

3) To scan for enemies type in:

scane (note: this is the default setting)

To scan for fellow-teammates type in:


4) Now type in:


This scan uses 10 cells. A message should have appeared telling you either:

"No enemies detected." -or-

"Enemy detected at…."

And it will give you something like:

12 o’clock high

That (I’m supposing) means that the enemy is in front of you and above you. It uses the system of identification you might hear in old WW2 movies. Think of the direction you're facing as 12 o'clock. Now think of a clock lieing horizontal to the ground, 3 would be to your right, 6 behind you, and 9 to your left. Make any sense? Hopefully.

5) If you have a ton of cells burning in your backpack and want a larger scan area type into console:

scan20 -or-


The first scan here uses 20 cells, and the second 250 cells.


Sniper Guns:

The sniper gun, in addition to being a single-shot, can be set to fully-auto. Press 2 again. And have some fun. For real newbies: when in sniper mode (single shot) hold down fire and watch as you zoom in on a red cross. That red cross is your sight. Line it up on target and release fire button. Look at a succesful gib. (note: if you have crosshair 1 set, ignore it. It is very off, and will only screw up your aiming. Use only the red laser sight for targeting)


Soldier Guns:

Nothing special. But I love the nail grenade. (grenade 2)


Demoman Guns:

This guy has a ton of stuff going on. Every read that "Fire in the hole!" message and then been blown to pieces? Wonder why? Well, if you’d read the readme, then you’d know all about Demopacks, but hey, I’ll tell you how to bind them anyways.

1) Pick the demoman class (demoman)

2) Once spawned, hide in a dark corner and then get into console.

3) Type in (Using A as an example key)

bind A det5

And press enter.

4) Get out of the console, press A (the key you used) and wait while you set up the detpack. Stick around for 5 seconds after you can move, and you’ll get a big surprise.

5) You can also use det20 and det250 in the bind command for a timer of 20 seconds and 250 seconds, respectively.

 The demoman has more than just detpacks, though. He also has the pipebombs. These are very handy to use:

1) Pick demoman class (demoman)

2) Again hide in a dark corner and bring up console.

3) Type in (using, again, A as an example key):

bind A detpipe

4) Get out of console, and select grenade launcher (key 6)

5) Press 6 once more to select the pipebomb launcher.

6) Fire some pipebombs out (use regular fire key).

7) Press A (or the key you used).

8) All of the pipebombs should have exploded. Happy with your new toy? Good.



Special Medic Weapons:

The Combat medic has a lot of modes that a lot of people don’t seem to know about. Countless times has my team’s medic come to "help" and only killed me with some tropical disease. So, pick the combat medic class (medic), and once spawned pick 1. This is your bio-weapon. This kills people, even your own team. Press 1 again. This is your healing weapon. Attack people with this, and they’ll get a nice gift of health, and relief from any diseases (again your own team also).


Special Heavy Weapons Guy Weapons:

To saw someone in half, you’ll need the Assault Cannon. To get the Assault Cannon, pick the Heavy Weapons class (hwguy in console). Once you spawn, press 7. Wow, it’s the SNG. But no, just fire it and have fun.


Special Pyro Weapons:

Pick the Pyro class, and then press 6 or 7. 6 is the flamethrower, and uses cells for ammo. 7 is the Napalm Rocket launcher, which uses rockets for ammo. (Note: I believe it uses 3 rockets for each blast). Both of these weapons are useful (hate that single-barrel shotgun).


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IV. Optional Game Settings

Q. How do you change levels?

A. Sorry guys, but some servers do not cycle the levels. That kinda sucks. If you server admins would just get with it.... No, I'm just joking, but, I will tell you how to change levels on any other server. Here's the steps:

1) Bring up the console.

2) Type in:


3) Press enter. You should see a message stating that the next level has been changed to another level.

4) While still in the console, press the up arrow. This gives you the last command you entered. Press enter.

5) Repeat the command until you get the desired level.

6) When the current level ends, the level you chose will load up.

Here's a couple of notes on level changing:

-You must be alive when you use the nextlevel command.

-The default next level when you start a level is the level itself.

Ex: If you just spawned on Storm1, then the next level will by default be Storm1.

-Every level is different in how you end the level. Storm1 and Siege are easy, once the outside team gets in, the level ends. Other levels, like 2fort23 or Havoc are more complicated. So....


Q. How do I end the level?

A. There are different ways of ending a level in Team Fortress. Like I said, in levels like storm, you have to accomplish a task for the level to end. In levels like 2fort23, it is more complicated (but not that hard).

Method A: Frag Limits

1) Open up console while you are alive.

2) -Type in:

fraglimit x

When x is the maximum number of frags you want a person to get before the level ends. (note: x can be a two or three digit number.)

3) Exit console. Your set.

Method B: Time Limits

1) Bring up the console while you are alive.

2) Type in:

timelimit x

Where x is the amount of minutes you want to pass before the level ends. (again, x can be two or three digits.)

3) The level should end after x amount of minutes.

Those are the two methods I know of, unless of course the level has its own method of ending.


Q. How do you turn on/off teamfrag?

A. Pretty straight forward on this one:

1) Open console.

2) Type in:


You should get a message saying "Teamfrags on" or "Teamfrags off".

3) Now the frags of the members of a team are linked or not depending on what it was set to before.

*Caution* All of these optional game settings can be used only on servers that allow it. If it is not set up that way, then you are stuck. Sorry.

 Q. What is no toggles?

A. Good question. It is really, to my knowledge, only for use by server administrators. Here are the steps:

1) Open up the console.

2) Type in:


3) Now no one on the server can change any toggles/options. To turn no toggles back off, just type it in again.

Q. How do I play Team Fortress with CTF?

A. With the newest versions of TF, you can play CTF (Capture the Flag) with all the enhancements that TF brings you. Here's how you do it:

1) Go to your quake/fortress directory (the subdirectory where you copied the TF files).
2) Rename the "pak0.pak" to "pak1.pak".
3) Copy the Threewave CTF pak0.pak into your quake/fortress directory. (You did download the CTF pack, right? If not go to:
4) Now you can connect to servers running TF with the CTF maps.

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III. Trouble-Shooter

This section has any other miscellaneous questions.

Q. How come when I log onto a TF server in Quake World, it begins to download sound files?

A. Okay, basically, you are not telling Quake World where to look for your files. It does not see them, and so therefore begins to download them. (This is assuming that you have already downloaded the TF files and put them into a /quake/fortress directory. If not, go here.) This problem is easily solved:

1) Go into Qspy while in Quake World mode.
2) Go into View|Options and click on the QW tab.
3) In the box that says "qwcl.exe", you should put in this:
qwcl.exe -game fortress
Where fortress is the directory where your TF files are.
4) Try to log into a Qworld TF server once again. You should now be able to play. (you might have to download some skins, though, but sound files are not good).
Note: If you are having trouble getting onto CTF servers, in the same way, do the exact same as above, except put in the place of "fortress" your CTF directory.


Q. How come my bindings don’t work, and I get an "Unknown command" error message?

A. Well, you said it best, your bindings aren’t working. There are several causes for this. Here are the ones I know about:

1) You tried to use a weapon or setting that your current class doesn’t have.

Ex: Trying to set a detpack when you’re not a demoman.

2) You typed in your binding command wrong. Go back and fix it.

3) Your not running the right Quake. Hello, forget that command line parameter (-game fortress)? Check below for help with this problem.

4) Your binding didn’t stick from last game. This is a more serious problem. Sometimes, much like the crosshair, the bindings won’t stick after you exit game. I don’t know why, but hey, I’m no programmer (just wish I was). Try this:

1) Look in the directory where your team fortress pak0.pak file is.

2) If there is no config.cfg file there, create one. If there is one, edit it.

3) Somewhere near the bottom (or wherever you please, it doesn’t matter) type in the binding commands you used in the console earlier:

Ex: bind A "primeone ; wait ; throwgren"

bind B "primetwo ; wait ; throwgren"

4) Do this for all of the keys that were not working. Save the config.cfg, answering yes to overwrite warnings, and run TF Quake once more. You should be happy.

*CAUTION* When editing the config.cfg file, be careful not to erase any lines that are already there. Do not edit any of the other lines unless you really know what you are doing (even I don’t know what some of that stuff is for). If you accidentally do, the best suggestion I have is to run Quake, and go to the Options menu. There press enter on restore defaults. That should work, if it doesn’t, try another method (like getting a friends config.cfg file) or as a last resort reinstalling Quake.



Q. When I try to connect to Team Fortress server, it gives me all sorts of errors. What’s wrong?

A. Okay, there are probably very technical problems that I have no knowledge of, but I do know that a member of my Quake clan (*sigh*, his name will go unspoken) had an easily solved problem like this. You see, he was using Qspy and forgot that he was running Q95.bat without the -game fortress command line parameter. So to fix this problem:

1) Go to your quake directory.

2) Edit q95.bat

3) Type in after quake.exe:

-game fortress

Ex. Here is my q95.bat file:

qlaunch quakeudp.dll quake.exe -game fortress -nojoy -winmem 10 -mpath %1 %2 %3 %4 %5 %6 %7 %8 %9

4) Save q95.bat, pressing okay to the overwrite prompt.

5) Try logging back onto a TF server and frag someone for me.

I know this is uncomplicated and seems foolish to some, but it happened to a semi-professional Quaker I know, and it could happen to you.


Q. Why are some Quakers just bad at solving problems?

A. Too many pork ribblets (whatever those are :-]).


Q. Once I’ve connected to a server, I can’t play. What do I do?

A. The answer to this question is straightforward in TF V.2.03, but I'll go over it anyway. If you have an older version go here.

1) Connect to a TF server.

2) Once in, close console, look at all the action (hopefully you found a good server), and if you want ask what team they want you to join (politeness is good).

3) Once you have picked a team, look at the menu in the center of your screen. What, did it disseapar? Well, sorry pal. He he, really, it will pop back up.

4) Search the list for the team you want and press the number of the menu item of the team.

5) Figure out what class you want, and press the appropriate number.

6) After you press the key of your class, you should spawn. If you're still having problems, there are help files in TF Quake for these problems:

1) Go to console

2) Type in:


3) This should bring up an index of all the help files. Use pageup / pagedown to view all of them and decide which one of the help files you need. Then type in the name of it.

(Ex: generalhelp)

9) Have some fun.

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TF Strategy

Q. How do I win in TF?
A. Well, the best way to win in TF is to be really good at Quake. If you can kick butt in Quake, then Team Fortress is there to conquer. For those of us not quite so great at Quake (like me :-), here's a few tips I've thought up:

- Become comfortable with all of the classes. The best way to do this is to play with the "randompc" class on, so that you get a feel for all of the classes' special abilities. The goal you should have right now is to be able to maintain very good scores with whatever class.

- As in regular Quake, know the maps well. Know where you can stage succesful ambushes, and where you might be ambushed. Know, especially, where the resupply back packs are. Also, know the goals of each individual map. For instance, in Siege, the goal of the outside team is to get in and hold the fort, while the defending team must stop the attackers from doing that for about 10 minutes.

- After you become familiar with the various classes and levels, try specializing with a certain class. I myself don't care much for any one of the classes, I think they are all fun. But, for a while, I only used the soldier class. I became really good with him, but then moved on. So now, you should be looking toward specializing in a few of the classes.

- If you get infected by a medic or lit on fire by a pyro, go run towards the nearest enemy. If you have a disease and touch another person, then they will contract the disease, and the same with fire. DO NOT TOUCH YOUR TEAMMATES! The most annoying thing in the world is for some newbie to get infected and run into his base in a panic, infecting everyone in there.

- Play as much as possible. The more you play, the better you'll be, just like everything else in life.

Here's some Team Play tips:
- If you're just playing over the net with semi-strangers, communicate with them. Make sure you are using messagemode2 (type: bind r "messagemode2" in the console and press r while playing) to only talk to your teammates. Tell them what you're doing, if you're on defense or offense, or what. Ask them, also, what they need you to do, or if no one else takes command, you tell them what you need them to do.

- Find choke points in your base in which to defend. If there is one hallway or passageway in which all enemies have to pass to get into your base, then guard that with at least one of your defenders, preferably two. Good classes for defense are: Soldier, Heavy Weapons Guy, Demolitions Man and to a lesser degree the Sniper and Pyro. The Medic and scout are really only for offense as they aren't powerful enough to defend against a concentrated attack.

- Speaking of concentrated attacks, don't let them happen. Try to break them up by picking off one or two of the enemies before they even get into your base. The sniper really comes into its element here. Like in 2fort23, have a sniper sit up on top of the battlements, harassing enemies trying to cross the bridge. Obviously, the more people in an attack on your base, the higher the chances of their success.

- Here's what I think would be good team makeups:

2 on 2: I wouldn't recommend playing like this, but: 1 soldier/demoman, 1 scout
4 on 4: 1 medic, 1 soldier/demoman, 1 scout, 1 sniper
6 on 6: 1 medic, 2 soldiers/demomen or 1 soldier/demoman and 1 heavy weapons guy, 1 scout, 2 snipers
8 on 8: 1 medic, 4 soldiers/demomen or 2 soldiers/demomen and 2 heavy weapons guys, 1 scout, 2 snipers

This is my reasoning: You need at least 1 medic at all times (except in 2 on 2 matches) to counteract other teams having medics. You always will need a scout to get flags. Snipers are one of the most potent defensive weapons, especially in 2fort23. And lastly, you will always have to have some good fire power for defense. The best class for that (I think) is the Soldier class, but the other two will work also.

- Before FIRING on a person, be sure to know what you are firing at. Too many times, newbies jumping in use some of the Old Quake Playing which is fighting as an individual and being paranoid as hell. Playing like that against your own teammates is counter productive (Since a good deal of the TF servers on QuakeWorld is team_frags on). Another thing, stay with the standard Color/skin assignments made by the server... Changing to your clan skins/color makes it confusing and tends to make you bait for team frags. (Given to me by an unknown player)

- That's it for now, if you have any suggestions please email them to me.

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Credits/Fine Print

Well, those are all of the questions I have gotten so far. I hope that this file has helped you in some way. Here’s my very own credits:

Special thanks to:

-id (of course!) for making a great game

-Team Fortress creators, these guys brought Quake to a whole new level

-All of the semi-professional Quakers who helped me learn how to do all of this. Now I know one in particular: Viper helped me out with level changing. If you see him around, give him a big thanks.

-I’d also like to thank that one quaker who helped me with the grenade binding. Sorry I forgot your name.

-And most especially John of TF himself, who has answered all of my suggestion emails with ease and politeness (I always have something to say.)

Fine Print:

This FAQ is free for use by any individual or group, and can be copied all you want as long as you as you include the complete FAQ file. Thanks.


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Revision Log:

Version 2.0-

-Basic editing.
-Added some notes for Quake World.
-Added Grappling Hook.

Version 1.5-

-Added the general section.
-Messed around with the special weapons section.

Version 1.4-

-I added the question about playing CTF.
-I also added the tips/strategy section because John requested it.
-As always, I'll update when I get more questions/info.

Version 1.3-

-Re-arranged stuff because of TF V.1.35:

-Mostly just the entering game stuff.

-Added t_notoggle toggle to Optional Game Settings

-Thinking about the other stuff I wanted to put in. Note: Just thinking. :)

Version 1.2-

Didn't get everything done that I'd like, but here's what I did:

-Added Optional Games Settings section

-Changing levels

-Ending levels


Version 1.1-

-Transfered version 1.0 to HTML format.

-Changed some spelling errors (detpac?) and added a better intro.

-Added a revision log, which should look more impressive as I keep updating the FAQ.

-Added some nifty fine print.

-Added some color coding, along with italisized console commands.


Version 1.0-

-First version in .txt format.

-3 sections:

-Binding Grenades> Single command binds; double command binds (right terminology? why not); assorted notes/cautions

-Special Weapons> finding and using: assault cannon, flamethrower, napalm rocket launcher, automatic sniper gun, detpacks, pipebombs, scout scanner, bioweapon, healing weapon

-Misc. Questions> running Team Fortress correctly, entering games correctly, fixing q95.bat, making permanent bindings using config.cfg

-Sent to John at TF, and he put it up at his page.

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