Team Fortress 2 – Critical Hits Update

Team Fortress 2

The latest update to the critically acclaimed, Valve Multiplayer Team Fortress 2 shipped on Tuesday added a lot of new features, bugfixes and balancing tweaks. The method through which critical hits were determined was also changed. According to the blog post on Team Fortress 2 blog, the base critical hit chance was reduced from 5% to 2% and the bonus range also reduced by a third. Here’s a quick look at what has changed from the previous critical hits determination system:


First, a quick primer on how the critical hit system works. Each player’s chance of successfully rolling for a critical hit depends on two factors:

  • A base chance, which is fixed per weapon (2% for all non-melee weapons, 15% for melee)
  • An additional bonus, which is based on the amount of damage you’ve done to enemies in the last 20 seconds. This bonus linearly scales with damage up to a maximum of 10%.

There are two paradigms used for when to roll, and what happens on success:

  • Rapid-fire weapons roll for critical hits once per second, instead of every shot. If they roll a crit, the next 2 seconds worth of their fire are marked as critical hits.
  • Non-rapid fire weapons roll for critical hits each time you fire, and if they roll a crit, only that shot is marked as a critical hit.
  • The sniper rifle and spy knife only score critical hits on headshots and backstabs respectively. They never roll for critical hits.

We had a few things we wanted to change with the old system:

  • Reduce the overall number of critical hits occurring in the game.
  • Make critical hits more skill / performance based.

Here are the actual changes we made, taken from the release notes:

  • Base critical hit chance is now 2% (was 5%)
  • Bonus range based on damage done changed from 0%-15% to 0%-10
  • Damage range required for bonus changed from 0-1600 to 0-800
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