Exploits

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I have considered an appropriate punishment for the good-for-nothings responsible for this horrendous breach of conduct. Death, of course—but death is too good for disappointments such as these.
The Administrator

An exploit is a bug or unintended feature of gameplay that is deliberately and knowingly used by the player to gain an advantage. For example, if a bug enables a player to be immune to damage and a player knowingly uses it, it is an exploit. In contrast, bugs or problems which either do not affect gameplay or that are not intentionally triggered are classified as glitches.

General Exploits

File overriding

The game has a console variable sv_pure that controls which files clients are allowed to override. Except for a few critical files (mainly the game executables), anything goes unless the server owner denies it. This can be abused to use tampered materials that renders on top of walls and other trickery.

There are three modes for the variable:

Anything goes
Server provided white list
Official content only

By Class

Scout Exploits

  • The Soda Popper's hype and the Baby Face's Blaster's boost share the same item effect meter. This allows players to farm hype during set up times, switch weapons and have almost maximum speed right away.
  • With the Flying Guillotine, if the player runs towards a thin wall and throws the projectile, the projectile can go through the wall.

Soldier Exploits

  • After gaining a full rage meter for any banner item (Buff Banner, Battalion's Backup, or Concheror), equipping a different banner and blowing the horn while touching a resupply locker will transfer the rage to that banner.
  • Using the Cow Mangler 5000's alt-fire to set oneself on fire allows the player to activate the Market Gardener after he lands. The crit mechanic checks two things: that the player is airborne, and that the player is damaged by his Rocket Launcher. If the player jumps while on fire from their own Cow Mangler 5000's alt fire, they can inflict critical hits before they land.

Pyro Exploits

  • Using any of the Flamethrowers and firing in a downwards position will sometimes cause flame particles to go through thin walls, such as setup gates, and ignite players on the other side of the gate.

Engineer Exploits

Building Exploits
  • An Engineer can constantly use their Teleporter to farm points, as they are awarded one half-point for every time they take their own Teleporter. (Xbox 360 and PS3 versions only)
  • If an Engineer switches to the different Wrench while having a Gunslinger equipped, holding an undeployed Mini Sentry Gun toolbox inside of a spawn room, the player can still place down a Mini-Sentry Gun.
  • Building a Teleporter Exit on a staircase and then an Entrance above it will cause players to become trapped when they use the Teleporter.
    • This exploit can be used to launch the player a long distance. By building a Sentry Gun and shooting the player with the Wrangler in the direction that want to fly, then destroying the Teleporter Entrance, the player will be launched a long distance.

Medic Exploits

  • "Needle Boosting" involves a player standing over a Medic, who then proceeds to shoot their Syringe Gun upward as the player jumps. Due to a physics error, the Medic's Syringe Gun needles propel the target upward. (Xbox 360 and PS3 versions only)
  • When using a Strange Medi Gun in Mann Vs. Machine, you can use the pre-round ÜberCharge boost to rank up the weapon.

Spy Exploits

Map Specific Exploits

2Fort

  • Entering Enemy's Spawn In both bases, an Engineer can build a Teleporter using the hole which lets players leave the left spawn room. They must build a Sentry Gun under the hole and jump onto it, then crouch jump whilst repeatedly attempting to build a Teleporter Exit inside the spawn room, which enemy Spies can use to enter the base. This exploit works as there is no func_nobuild brush stopping Engineers from building from under the spawn. (Fixed in PC/Mac/Linux version.)
  • Entering Enemy's Spawn 2 A hole in the lower, right side of the No Enter symbol for BLU's base (the one next to the haystacks) can be used by RED players to get into the BLU spawn room. (Present in the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions.)
  • Holding Enemy Spawn Doors Open - Both teams can hold open the enemy's spawn door at the hay room by running into it while it is open. While this works well for the BLU team (as they can potentially spawn camp), it's not so easy for the RED team. Should a member of the RED team attempt this, there is a chance for the player to get stuck in the door, unable to move, and end up getting dragged up and down with the door as the BLU team enters and leaves the spawn area.
  • Pointless Room - There is a spot in each Intelligence room, where a player can get other players stuck. This is a dead-end, because players cannot escape, unless they suicide. By building a Dispenser on the left wall of the left corridor (the one facing the Intelligence) and then by using the "jump through roofs" exploits to build a Teleporter Exit, a player can trap other players on their team. There is no tactical advantage to getting in here (Sentry Guns don't work here either), you can't be shot or shoot anybody. It is mostly used by people who are griefing as they will set up a Teleporter Entrance somewhere in your base and an Exit in the roof. This then traps your teammates and forces them to commit suicide. (Fixed in PC/Mac version, broken in 360 and PS3 versions)
  • Roof Holes - A hole in the roof of the BLU team's 'upstairs' room (above and behind the balcony) allows arcing projectiles (grenades and needles) to be fired into the 'upstairs' room just outside the BLU team's main respawn room. It can be used for taking out Sentry Guns placed in the corner of the 'upstairs' room. This looks intentional; however the same cannot be used on the RED team's base as chicken wire covers the hole. (Fixed in PC/Mac/Linux version, broken in 360 and PS3 versions)

Badwater Basin

  • BLU 1st Spawn
    • The tall pillar of rock in the middle of the respawn wall has a small place to stand on near the top. Soldiers and Demomen can camp up here.
  • Final Checkpoint
    • Right before the ramp down to the final checkpoint by the map room is a small roof. Sentry Guns and Teleporters can be built on this roof.
    • Between the 2 upper spawn doors in the corner above the lower spawn and health pack room is a small ledge. Sentry Guns and Teleporters can be built there.

Gravel Pit

  • Spawn Building - RED Engineers can build inside their spawn area by crouching on the office chair and facing the computer panel to its right. Once the vertical position of the blueprint changes to match the visible height of the panel (which only occurs in a particular spot), the Engineer can place their construction at a specific mid-air point (this essentially means repeatedly jumping while spamming the keys bound to Crouch and Primary Fire). (Fixed in PC/Mac version)

Helltower

  • If a player makes it to the Witching Tower and does not enter the doorway but instead jumps off to the left side (when facing the tower) of the tower it is possible to land on a rock and survive.

Steel

  • It is possible for a Pyro using any flamethrower to attack any enemies that are sitting on point A from behind the sliding steel door.

Well

  • Glitched Area - Backroom (Final Control points in cp_well and Intelligence room in ctf_well) - Allows Soldiers, Demomen, and Engineers to get into the roof area and on the beams. It is unconfirmed if this is an exploit or not as both teams can use it, higher areas are blocked by invisible walls and this hasn't been fixed by Valve even though it's been around a while.

Asteroid

None at the moment.

Patched Exploits

Title Description Exists on PC Exists on 360 Exists on PS3
Infinite Sentry Health Whereby a Spy and an Engineer working together can infinitely increase the health of a Sentry Gun by using the Red-Tape Recorder No No No
Infinite Teleporter Health Whereby a an Engineer could infinitely increase the health of a Teleporter by moving and destroying the entrance. No No No
Backstab Not Breaking Disguise Whereby a Spy could backstab while retaining their disguise. No Yes Yes
Bunny Hopping A jumping technique that allowed players to move faster than they should by bypassing the velocity cap. No No Yes
Reference Pose Heavy Whereby a Heavy could go into a reference pose by spinning the Minigun in spawn and switching class to Heavy. This is still performable, but another method is required. No No  ?
Cloaked Backstab Whereby a Spy could backstab while remaining Cloaked. No No Yes
Critical Hit Storing Whereby players are able to store Critical hits in their weapon. No No Yes
Crouch Jump Whereby players are able to build Teleporters in places that they should not be able to, such as spawn rooms. No No No
Spectator Achievements Whereby players could complete achievements by spectating other players who earned them. No Never Existed Never Existed
Door Block Exploit Allowed Engineer players to block spawn doors with the help of Teleporters. No No Yes
Heavy Minigun Exploit Whereby a Heavy was able to run and simultaneously rev up or fire their Minigun. No No Yes
Intelligence Teleportation An exploit that allowed a player to teleport with the intelligence by dropping it next to the Teleporter, then picking it up as they were teleported. No Yes Yes
Melee Weapon Switching Exploits Whereby players could attack and then instantly switch to another weapon and back again, making the next attack with the melee weapon land instantly, and stack on the attack they were already making. No No Yes
Needle Boosting Whereby players could be boosted by the Medic's Syringe Gun needles. No Yes Yes
Occlusion Visualization Cheat (cvar) Allowed players to make use of the built-in Performance UI to enable visible occluders which would let you then see through walls. No No No
Permanent ÜberCharge Whereby a disconnected Medic could continue to ÜberCharge his target indefinitely. No  ? Yes
Permanent ÜberCharge #2 Whereby a Medic is able to give himself an ever-lasting ÜberCharge for the rest of the round. It requires a player to have unlocked the Kritzkrieg, and is done by switching to the Kritzkrieg whilst deploying the Über in the team respawn room. This can also be done the opposite way around - by switching to the Medi Gun, giving the player infinite Critical hits for the rest of the round. Standing near a Dispenser (or Payload while attacking), healing a teammate, or being healed by a teammate will however end the charge. No Never Existed Never Existed
Permanent Atomic Punch Where a Scout becomes permanently under the effect of Bonk! Atomic Punch by drinking the item while moving into a supply cabinet. No Never Existed Never Existed
Teleporter Exploit Whereby an Engineer could earn himself large amounts of points by using his own teleporter repeatedly. No Yes Yes
Wall Sap Whereby a Spy could attach a Sapper to enemy buildings through thin walls. No No Yes
Cart Upgrading Where BLU Engineers could "upgrade" the Dispenser on the cart by hitting where the blue stream comes out of the pipe on the cart, allowing it to dispense health faster than normal.[1] No Never Existed Never Existed
Level 3 Combat Mini-Sentry Exploit Whereby an Engineer could build a Combat Mini-Sentry that fires rockets by building a Level 3 Sentry Gun, switching to Gunslinger (either by respawning or using resupply lockers), then re-deploying the Sentry Gun. The resulted Sentry Gun would take only 2.5 seconds to build like a Combat Mini-Sentry, but fired rockets like a normal Sentry Gun. No Never Existed Never Existed
Multiple Buildings Exploit Several methods where the Engineer (or in some cases the Spy) could build multiple copies of all his buildings. No No No
Multiple Buildings Exploit #2 An Engineer could pick up a building with the "Automatically respawn after loadout changes in respawn zones" option and change their loadout hereby glitching them into having a building being "carried" and allowing the Engineer to build multiple buildings using the "build x" commands. No Never Existed Never Existed
Multiple Buildings Exploit #3 Whereby an Engineer can build an unlimited number of buildings by using the commands, "build 0 x", "build 1 x", and "build 2 x" (where x is the number of the building), and a Spy can build an unlimited number of Dispensers using "build 0 x" (where x is the number of the building). No Never Existed Never Existed
Invisible Buildings Exploit Any Engineer picking up a building and immediately taunting would be able to use the weapon they taunted with whilst holding this building. If placed back down with the "build x" commands, these buildings would be invisible, leaving only the sentry shadow, Dispenser screen or teleporter effect. No Never Existed Never Existed
Infinite Crit Exploit An Engineer that had revenge Crits on the Frontier Justice could abuse a loadout-related glitch to gain infinite Crits for all weapons, including ones that don't normally Crit (such as the Southern Hospitality). No Never Existed Never Existed
Powerjack Heal Exploit A Pyro could switch to the Powerjack before an ignited enemy died from afterburn and still get the +75 health. No Never Existed Never Existed
Permanent Regen Exploit By disconnecting from the server mid-taunt with the Amputator, the healing effect would stay on all in the healing radius (through death and class change), until they disconnected or the map changed. No Never Existed Never Existed
Surviving Kamikaze Exploit Performing the Kamikaze taunt with the Rocket Jumper equipped to the primary slot will allow the Soldier to survive the taunt with no blast damage. This was removed and later re-implemented as a feature. No Never Existed Never Existed
Spectator Halloween Gift Grab Briefly during the 2010 Halloween event, it was possible to pick up gifts whilst in spectator mode simply by running the free camera into them. No Never Existed Never Existed
Huntsman Reload Exploit By switching to a different weapon and quickly switching back, it was possible to reload the Huntsman faster than intended. No Never Existed Never Existed

Update history

October 5, 2007 Patch
  • Fixed teleporter/spawn doorway exploit.

October 25, 2007 Patch

  • Fixed a Spy backstab exploit where you could stab a player who was not facing away from you.

October 31, 2007 Patch

  • Added anti-bunny hopping code.
  • Fixed a weapon switching exploit that allowed Snipers to fire slightly faster than intended.

November 7, 2007 Patch

  • Fixed exploit that allowed players to teleport with the intelligence.
  • Fixed several melee weapon switching exploits.

November 15, 2007 Patch

  • Fixed exploit where spectators could spawn into the world without actually joining a team.
  • Fixed an exploit that would allow players to jump out of the map in Hydro.

November 20, 2007 Patch

  • Fixed jump/taunt exploit.

November 21, 2007 Patch

  • Took a more aggressive approach to solving the exploit that would allow players to get underneath terrain in Team Fortress 2.

December 20, 2007 Patch

  • Fixed exploit where the Medi Gun ÜberCharge wouldn't drain if you switched weapons.

December 31, 2007 Patch

  • Fixed Sniper quick-switch exploit allowing them to avoid zoom/unzoom times.
  • Fixed an exploit allowing players to spawn into the enemy territory at the start of a round.

February 19, 2008 Patch

  • Fixed Badlands exploits and missing textures.

March 20, 2008 Patch

  • Plugged an exploit where the server could send executable code to the client.

April 29, 2008 Patch (Gold Rush Update)

  • Fixed exploit where clients could start benchmark mode on servers.
  • Fixed drowning exploit that allowed players to regenerate health.
  • Fixed reload exploit that allowed plays to fire instantly after switching weapons.
  • Minor fix to stat gathering to prevent players using sv_cheats to easily garner achievements.
  • Fixed a clip brush exploit outside blue Sniper deck on 2Fort.

April 30, 2008 Patch

  • Fixed potential "nuke" exploit in rcon subsystem.

May 2, 2008 Patch

  • Fixed exploit where players could drop weapons onto the ground for other players to pickup.

February 18, 2009 Patch

  • Fixed loadout exploit.

July 14, 2009 Patch

  • Fixed setinfo exploit that allowed restricted convars to be set while connected to a server.
  • Fixed "jointeam unassigned" exploit.
  • Fixed being able to respawn during the chat time before a level change.
  • Prevented some exploits based on mat_dxlevel being changed in-game.

August 13, 2009 Patch

  • Fixed an exploit where the Huntsman could be reloaded faster than intended.

December 7, 2009 Patch

  • Fixed Spies being able to disguise while performing a taunt.

April 30, 2010 Patch

  • Fixed the Engineer being able to build more than one of each type of building.

July 9, 2010 Patch

  • Fixed a bug that allowed sapped buildings to be picked up by the Engineer.

July 19, 2010 Patch

  • Fixed a bug where Teleporters could be given more than their normal amount of health.

July 21, 2010 Patch

  • Fixed a speed exploit related to benchmarks.

October 18, 2010 Patch

  • Fixed a Sentry Gun exploit that let Engineers build multiple sentries.
  • Fixed Engineers being able to build level 3 mini-sentries using The Wrangler.

October 19, 2010 Patch

  • Fixed another Sentry Gun exploit that let Engineers build multiple sentries.
  • Fixed Engineers being able to build level 3 mini-sentries using The Wrangler for real this time.

December 2, 2010 Patch

  • Fixed Engineers being able to destroy sapped buildings by issuing the command directly in the console.

February 22, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed a server crash exploit caused by malformed network packets.

February 24, 2011 Patch (Community Map Pack Update)

  • Fixed another server crash exploit caused by malformed network packets.

March 10, 2011 Patch (Shogun Pack)

  • Fixed clients being able to use particle exploits on sv_pure servers.

May 6, 2011 Patch

  • Removed ConVars "r_portalscloseall" and "r_flashlight_version2" to fix a wallhack exploit.

June 23, 2011 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Fixed an exploit with the Chargin' Targe that allowed greater turning control than intended.

July 1, 2011 Patch #2

July 7, 2011 Patch

  • Various clipping and exploit fixes on Barnblitz.

August 23, 2011 Patch

September 2, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed a server crash exploit caused by invalid player viewangles.

September 15, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed several exploit areas on Upward.

October 13, 2011 Patch

  • An exploit with non-printable characters causing lag on Windows servers has been fixed.
  • Various geometry fixes on Frontier.

November 16, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed an exploit that allowed untradable items to be traded with Steam trading.
  • Fixed a teleporter griefing position near control point B on Upward.

December 16, 2011 Patch

December 23, 2011 Patch

February 2, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed Nobuild exploits on Foundry.

February 23, 2012 Patch

  • Adjusted Blue team's func_respawnroom in stage 1 to be flush against the door on Dustbowl.

April 17, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed being able to place buildings in nobuild zones.
  • Fixed Red team Pyros being able to grief teammates by attacking them with the flamethrower and then switching to team Spectator during the attack.

May 10, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed a bug that allowed buildings to be built in nobuild/respawn volumes.

June 28, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed exploit that allowed Beggar's Bazooka to indefinitely hold rockets in the chamber without misfiring.
  • Engineers can no longer build Teleporters behind the spawn on Doomsday.

July 2, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed exploit where the Scorch Shot could fire its short range kill pellet at the very beginning of the taunt.

August 10, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed a Medi Gun exploit that could leave players indefinitely invulnerable.

September 4, 2012 Patch

  • Added nobuild to stairs on center building where Engineers could build out of reach of Sentry Busters.
  • Fixed an exploit on Mannworks to prevent players from getting to normally unreachable areas.

November 16, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed an Mann vs. Machine exploit that allowed permanent ubercharge/critboost effects on non-Mann-Up servers.

December 20, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed an exploit that allowed players to be permanently invulnerable.

February 1, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed exploit where players could be pushed into enemy spawn rooms by the Payload cart.
  • Fixed a ConVar exploit that allowed malformed values to circumvent range checks.

July 2, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed a case where a Medic deploying Kritzkrieg on a Spy would sometimes result in permanent crit boost.

September 16, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed a noclip exploit related to dueling and coaching.

June 11, 2014 Patch

July 24, 2014 Patch

  • Fixed a case where move speeds could be exploited using player angles.
  • Fixed an exploit related to Bonk! Atomic Punch and Crit-a-Cola.
  • Fixed a bug related to cancelling the Eureka Effect taunt and teleporting immediately.

August 13, 2014 Patch

  • Fixed an exploit where Engineers could build level 3 mini-Sentry Guns.

See also

References

  1. LotusClanChannel YouTube - Building a dispenser on the payload cart (2008-12-12), retrieved 2010-10-22.