Customising TF2
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Author:  [SpA]Scatterbrain [ 17 Jun 2013, 16:50 ]
Post subject:  Customising TF2

I think that you'll all have heard of at least some of these things, but it's useful to go over all of the tweaks you can make to TF2 in case there's something in here that you haven't heard of. None of these are essential but I know from experience that some of them are really useful, and when it comes to playing competitive games everything helps.

Field of Vison (FoV)

Let's start with the most basic thing - you'll want your FoV set at the highest possible setting (90 degrees). There are a couple of guys out there who say that a lower FoV makes it easier to aim but if that's even true I think that not being able to see half of what everyone else is seeing is a huge disadvantage. I think that this can be changed in advanced settings or something, if not put 'fov_desired 90' into your console to change set it at 90 degrees.

Other basic settings

This is stuff that you can adjust through your in-game settings. There's stuff in there like automatic reload that I can't think of a good reason to *not* have turned on.* Most of them are self-explanatory so it's worth taking a look through them. People have mixed results with v-sync (under graphics settings), I think that the game feels smoother with it turned off but some people can't stand the screen tearing.

*edit: spy pistol taking up half the screen when it reloads is a good reason actually; see the bit on viewmodels below for that sort of thing


This is mostly personal prefence - I like the default crosshairs, but I have it a bright green colour to keep it distinct from the rest of the map (green usually isn't a prominent colour in TF2). I believe that it's possible to import custom crosshairs but I haven't tried it (and I'm not sure where to find them :ugly:), it's just something you might want to look into

You might want to take a look at disco crosshairs, a script that changes your crosshair colour depending on which direction you're strafing and whether or not you're firing - the theory is that having it constantly change colour helps you focus on it. Some people (particularly scouts) swear by it but I don't think it's that useful tbh.


You can change the position of your weapon model on your screen with the 'viewmodel_fov' console setting. The slider in the options bar only goes as high as 70 degrees because that's as high as the game can allow before the viewmodel starts to look a bit weird, but if you set it a bit higher (I use viewmodel_fov 90 myself) you can see a little more of the screen. Personally I think it makes aiming a bit easier too but that's probably just a psychological thing.

A lot of people like to play with viewmodels turned off so they can see what's going on the bottom right of the screen. Untick the 'draw viewmodels' box in advanced options to turn them off completely. However, there are scripts out there that allow you to use viewmodels for some weapons but not for others (e.g, turn off the viewmodel on your primary weapon whilst keeping it on for your melee). This is this first thing I found but there are probably loads of similar scripts out there that accomplish the same thing.

Custom HUD

Highly recommended! Have a browse through the ones on the ETF2L forums and see what you like the look of. At the moment I'm using rayshud but I've used several different ones before.

edit: take a look at huds.tf, it's a nice way to browse for new huds.

While most HUDs have an optional 9v9/12v12 size scoreboard some only have a scoreboard optimised for 6v6 play - I'd recommend avoiding these as it's a smaller scoreboard that only displays 6 players per team, which is no good for highlander.

There was a while just after the steampipe update that a lot of HUDs had outdated installation instructions. I imagine that most of them have been updated by now but it's something to look out for. Installing them is really easy anyway.

Most big TF2 updates break custom HUDs. Most authors update their HUDs pretty quickly after release so you can just re-download the new version (or a different HUD altogether after deleting the files for the old one), or if you want to go back to the standard TF2 HUD then just delete the folders you installed for the custom HUD and then TF2 should re-download the original HUD when you start it. (Or, to re-download it without starting TF2, open up your steam library > right click TF2 > properties > local files > verify integrity of game cache).

Changing the hitsound

Not something that will make a huge difference to your gameplay but you might like it anyway. You can change the standard 'Ding!' hitsound to whatever you want - a lot of people like to use the old Quake hitsound. I haven't done this before so go and google it if you want to find out more.

FPS configs

Believe me when I say that playing TF2 with a full 60fps all the time makes life *much* easier (put cl_showfps in console to check what your FPS is). If you're using an older PC or a laptop or something and can't get 60fps on the lowest graphic settings there are FPS configs that lower the graphical settings even further. The go-to in the past has been Chris's FPS configs but as he's no longer updating them I'm not sure if they still work or what the replacement might be. You should be able to find something on the ETF2L forums or somewhere anyway.

As an aside, even if you're having FPS problem I recommend keeping your resolution as high as possible. It won't affect your FoV, exactly, but it helps your vision anyway.

Mouse and sensitivity

There are about a zillion discussions out there about optimising your sensitivity and other related settings. This one and this one cover a lot of ground between them.

If those are tl;dr then there's a general consensus that the lower your sensitivity is the better (for deathmatching anyway, it's different for classes like medic who are more focussed on movement and looking around all the time) at least until you get to *really* low levels. The reason is that it makes it easier to follow your opponent's movement with crosshair, which is a more consistent method of aiming than just flicking from one shot to the next. Of course different things work for different people and there are very few people out there who can track their targets perfectly - Cookye's one of them and the yanks think he's a hacker :ugly: - but unless you're on a low sens already I recommend at least trying out a lower sens, I know that it made aiming much easier for me when I tried it.

I'm assuming that just about everyone has invested in a decent gaming mouse by now. If you haven't, get one, they're MILES better than a standard desktop mouse. If you want a recommendation I can vouch for the Logitech MX518 - much of choosing a mouse is personal preference but what I can say is that although the MX518 one of the cheapest gaming mouses out there, it's equal or better than many more expensive mouses. Plus it's pretty much bombproof: Razer's are notorious for breaking all the time but this thing is going to be around for longer than I am.

Network settings

I'm happy with vanilla settings but some people find that adjusting stuff like their polling rates makes the game feel more comfortable for them. Google is your friend for this one as I don't know much about this.

Other stuff?

There's probably loads of stuff that I've missed, particularly class-specifics configs and scripts (mostly cos I just don't use them). Places like the ETF2L forums, SPUF and the teamfortress wiki are good places to start looking for them.

Hope you guys get at least something out of this :5:

Author:  [SpA]JuncoPartner [ 17 Jun 2013, 17:32 ]
Post subject:  Re: Customising TF2

Nice post! I might try some these (some I have already) I have FoV set at 75 I think. I'm a bit of a sucker for the look the game.

Isn't there a setting for the directional keys? So they're better for strafing?

I'll edit my hitsound in once I upload it, it's the same quake sound but I cut the small delay at the beginning of the sound, works a lot better for me, I found the delay really off putting. I'm assuming the delay might work better for hitscan weapons, but my version works for me on all classes.

Here we go: https://www.dropbox.com/s/i6w2q3ncn48uebu/hitsound.wav

Author:  [GDC]mttriplem [ 18 Jun 2013, 14:30 ]
Post subject:  Re: Customising TF2

.. nice compilation, mate :5:
I know most if this things but havent tried out all of them yet..

maybe I´ll give lower sense a chance :mrgreen:
(but its always feeling weird when I change settings like that :ugly: haha)

Author:  [SpA]Scatterbrain [ 21 Sep 2014, 19:57 ]
Post subject:  Re: Customising TF2

This thread was originally in the SpA|com forum, but then it went inactive and it was lost - I've moved it back to the TF2 forum cos hopefully it's still useful :5:

Author:  [SpA]Scatterbrain [ 17 Apr 2015, 20:32 ]
Post subject:  Re: Customising TF2

Here are a couple of other things I've found out about recently.

Transparent viewmodels:

Does what it says on the tin - a really nice way to see more of what's going on without turning off viewmodels altogether.

Loadout hotkeys:

These have probably been in the game for years and I've just missed it :ugly: In the loadouts menu you can set up four different custom loadouts for each class: A/B/C/D. Turns out you can bind a shortcut to equip a given loadout while you're in the spawn. I'm using my numpad, e.g, Numpad 1 equips Loadout A, Numpad 2 equips loadout B etc. You can set up these binds in the 'keyboard' menu.

This has more uses than just changing your loadout quickly. Equipping a loadout instantly respawns you: therefore you can use this to 'spawn hop'. Let's say you've just begun a game of Badlands. You die during the mid fight, but when you respawn your team is about to cap the point. Capping the point changes where your team spawns: instead of running all the way to mid, you can just wait a few seconds for your team to cap and then equip a loadout (the one you're already using if you like). Because capping a point shifts your spawn to an area closer the fight, equipping a loadout respawns you in this new area and moves you closer to the fight.

Medics can also use the spawn-hop trick and retain any uber charge they've built by equipping a new, single weapon (other than their medigun) rather than changing their entire loadout. Another example from Badlands: let's say you're defending 2nd point (spire) and you have an ubercharge ready. At some point you have to run to resupply at your team's spawn room at 2nd point, and in the meantime the enemy cap your point on the spire. Rather than going back outside and dying to all the enemies between you and your last point, you can, say, equip a new melee weapon to 'respawn' at last point, keeping your ubercharge intact and ready to go. Congratulations, you saved the game. Go you! :-11

Another trick is equipping a loadout as soon as you're inside the spawn area rather than running all the way to the resupply cabinet. This instantly respawns you with full health and ammo (and metal if you're playing Engi). At best it just saves a couple of seconds, and in spawns where the supply cabinets are closer to the doors than the individual spawn locations this is actually slower. But if you're about to die to a pyro's afterburn, or if you need to get back outside to stop a cap or if you're using the metal from spawn to build a sentry then saving a few seconds could make a big difference :4

Author:  [SpA]JuncoPartner [ 17 Apr 2015, 21:56 ]
Post subject:  Re: Customising TF2

The loadout shortcut and respawn is deffinetly interesting, will have to use that.

Author:  [SpA]AwesomeFriends [ 18 Apr 2015, 00:57 ]
Post subject:  Re: Customising TF2

The transparent viewmodels would be worth checking out. I imagine there's a percentage you can set for how transparent you want it to make everything.

Author:  [SpA]Scatterbrain [ 18 Apr 2015, 02:13 ]
Post subject:  Re: Customising TF2

awesomefriends56 wrote:
The transparent viewmodels would be worth checking out. I imagine there's a percentage you can set for how transparent you want it to make everything.
You can, kind of -
Just a quick note: You can "toggle" these viewmodels between transparent and opaque by using your HUD's minmode.

In the "hudlayout" section of the original post, add a new line under "visible" that is called "visible_minmode" - and then change the 1 to a 0.

In game, if you type cl_hud_minmode 0 in console, your viewmodels should be back to normal.

This means that if you want transparent viewmodels for specific classes, simply put "cl_hud_minmode 1" in that class config, and 0 anywhere else.
Aside from that, maybe you could manually alter the texture files and stuff, I don't really know tbh.

I should mention that it looks like this only works if you have a custom HUD installed already. I'm using notohud at the moment and it's pretty sick. If you don't like custom huds, I've seen 'custom' huds that look just like the default hud but with a few extras so you could try one of those.

Author:  [SpA]JuncoPartner [ 18 Apr 2015, 04:12 ]
Post subject:  Re: Customising TF2

I might look into custom huds again. I know in the past that they were just notorious for breaking or actually breaking the game itself after major updates. Maybe that all changed with Steampipe. Helps to make sure the creator is keeping it up to date.

Author:  [SpA]Scatterbrain [ 03 May 2015, 11:21 ]
Post subject:  Re: Customising TF2

Mirelin, one of Europe's top medics for about 6 years now, is quitting the game and has dropped a ton of knowledge. It's geared specifically for playing Medic in 6v6 but there's some very useful stuff in there - http://etf2l.org/forum/tactics/topic-31 ... ost-533497

For what it's worth, having a crouch-jump bind is almost always better than standard for playing Medic but I don't know if that's the case for every class. Maybe I'm just bad but there are some soldier/demo hops that I do that don't involve crouch-jumping. Maybe I can do the same jump but take less damage if crouched? I dunno.

(Kinda related: I learned a few days ago that for sticky jumping you want to crouch THEN jump, as opposed to soldier who jumps > crouches in midair, which is what I'd always done for demo. It makes a big pretty big difference. It could be common knowledge but it's cool that there's still stuff to learn about this game after 1500 hours :ugly:)

Author:  [SpA]JuncoPartner [ 03 May 2015, 13:08 ]
Post subject:  Re: Customising TF2

Did you see where they binded crouch-jump to?

See stuff like the screen is a pretty sensible idea, but it's whether or not you would want to play like that, but interesting though.

I still need a good hud, think they're not as crash prone as they were a couple of years back. Don't really want to change the style of the menus though. Not sure if that's configurable?

Author:  [SpA]Scatterbrain [ 03 May 2015, 14:29 ]
Post subject:  Re: Customising TF2

[SpA]JuncoPartner wrote:
Did you see where they binded crouch-jump to?
Usually it's just a case of binding both jump and crouch to the spacebar. I know some soldiers have bound right-click to jump + crouch + shoot a rocket but I don't think that's a good idea in the long term, you need some versatility for certain jumps.
[SpA]JuncoPartner wrote:
See stuff like the screen is a pretty sensible idea, but it's whether or not you would want to play like that, but interesting though.
Yeah that's the thing. I'm gonna try it out but I dunno if I could get used to it after playing the game at fullscreen resolution for so long.
[SpA]JuncoPartner wrote:
I still need a good hud, think they're not as crash prone as they were a couple of years back. Don't really want to change the style of the menus though. Not sure if that's configurable?
Afaik you can change anything in a hud, no idea how you do it/where people learn about making custom HUDs though :-14

Author:  [SpA]Scatterbrain [ 28 May 2015, 17:54 ]
Post subject:  Re: Customising TF2


HUDz for dayz, the easiest way to find a hud you like.

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