Critical hits

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Critical hits (often shortened to crits or full crits) are a damage mechanic that do extra damage under certain conditions, such as the Kritzkrieg's ÜberCharge or randomly with certain Melee weapons. When a critical hit is landed on a player, a special sound effect accompanies the hit as well as the text "CRITICAL HIT!!!" in green or "MINI-CRIT!" in yellow for critical hits and mini crits respectively is displayed above their head. Buildings are immune to both types, so don't bother using a Kritzkrieg to take out a Building.

Certain non-damaging items can be affected by critical hits as well. The Sandvich on critical "hit" triples the amount of healing of a non-critical Sandvich when eaten, allowing for overheal. Thrown critical Sandviches heal as much as a full health pack instead of a medium health pack.

Critical hits are easy to distinguish from their normal hit counterparts. Melee weapons get a different animation for critical hits, projectiles have a team-colored glow and sparkle effect, fire gains team-colored particles effects while bullets gain a team-colored trail. Alongside these visual effects there is an electrical crackling sound that accompanies these.

Critical hits increase a weapon's base damage by 3. For example, a normal pipe does 100 damage on direct hit. A critical pipe by contrast deals 300 damage on direct hit. Furthermore, critical hits ignore damage ramp-up and fall-off. A Soldier rocket deals diminished damage at range. With maximum fall-off, it only deals 48 damage. However, a critical rocket ignores this while tripling its damage, dealing a whopping 270 damage at any range. The only falloff crits follow are splash falloff, such as from Soldier rockets or Demoman grenades or stickies.

Random critical hits

Random critical hits, often shortened to random crits, is a mechanic present in Team Fortress 2 live where any weapon has a random chance to hit. This mechanic has been removed from Team Fortress 2 Classic, on every weapon except melee weapons.

A weapon's random crit chance depends on how much damage has already been done previously by the player, possibly reaching 60% random crit chance. Due to this, Snipers and Demomen have some of the highest random crit chance due to their high damage output, and Medics due to healing done contributing to the random crit chance.

Random crits for non-melee weapons are disabled on official Vault F4 servers and are disabled by default. Toggle it server-side using the console commands tf_weapon_criticals for non-melee weapons and tf_weapon_criticals_melee for melee weapons.

Mini crits

Mini crits can be thought of as less extreme critical hits. Instead of tripling a weapon's damage, they only increase it by 35%. They too like critical hits ignore damage fall-off, but unlike critical hits they factor damage ramp-up. Full critical hits override mini crits. For instance, if an enemy is Marked for Death but you manage to hit a critical hit, the mini-crit will be ignored and will instead factor the normal critical hit. It is because of this critical hits are sometimes referred to as full crits to distinguish them from mini-crits.

Crit boost

A crit boost is a state when a weapon will deal guaranteed critical hits for a certain duration of time. A crit boost is shown by the weapon glowing the team's respective color, with sparks of electricity surging from it, accompanied by an electric sound effect. The visual effects will still be present however.

There is also a mini-crit version also present. Unlike its counterpart, a mini-crit boosted weapon does not emit electrical particle effects or emit any sound effect. The weapon does change color slightly, yellow for RED and green blue for BLU.

A crit boost can be achieved via the following events:

  • Being ÜberCharged by the Kritzkrieg allows any weapon to gain critical hits for 8 seconds.
  • During Humiliation at the end of a round the weapons on the winning team are crit-boosted until the round ends.
  • The first kill in Arena grants First Blood critical hits to the killer.
  • The Harvester can gain a critical boost when the HEAT meter is filled. This lasts until it is used on an enemy player.
  • The Chekhov's Punch can gain a critical hit boost when hitting an enemy with a melee attack with the Chekhov's. This stores up to 3 critical hits which can be used on the Heavy's other weapons. The Chekhov's themselves can only crit when at full capacity.
  • The Civilian class can give a mini-crit boost to a player on the same team, granting them mini-crits for 8 seconds.

Special cases

There are some cases that allow a weapon to deal guaranteed crits or mini-crits.

List of Weapons that can deal situational critical hits:

Name Picture Class Notes
Flare Gun Backpack Flare Gun.png Pyro Flares only crit on burning targets.
Harvester Backpack Harvester.png Pyro Deals one guaranteed critical hit after building up the HEAT meter.
Chekhov's Punch Backpack Chekhov's Punch.png Heavy Each melee hit stores one critical hit, which can be used on Heavy's other weapons. When 3 critical hits are stored, Heavy will deal critical hits with his melee. However, the opposite is true, any melee will also deal critical damage against the Heavy.
Anti-Aircraft Cannon Backpack Anti-Aircraft Cannon.png Heavy The Anti-Aircraft Cannon deals mini-crits to airborne targets.
Sniper Rifle Backpack Sniper Rifle.png Sniper All Sniper primaries do critical damage on headshot.
Huntsman Backpack Huntsman.png Sniper All Sniper primaries do critical damage on headshot.
Hunting Revolver Backpack Hunting Revolver.png Sniper All Sniper primaries do critical damage on headshot.

List of Weapons that allow for other players or weapons to deal critical hits or mini-crits:

Name Picture Class Notes
Kritzkrieg Backpack Kritzkrieg.png Medic The Kritzkrieg as stated earlier can crit-boost any class for 8 seconds.
Tranquilizer Gun Backpack Tranquilizer Gun.png Spy When a player is hit with the Tranquilizer Gun, all melee attacks become critical hits.

Related Achievements

Achievement Description
Tf2c achievement tranq melee kill.png Deep Sleep As a Spy, kill 10 tranquilized players with your melee weapon.
Tf2c kill civilian disguiseboost.png Fraudulent Transaction As a Spy, kill the Civilian using the boost given by him.
Tf2c achievement killstreak while vip boosted.png Employee of the Month Kill 3 enemies while under the effect of your VIP's buff.
Tf2c achievement vip teammate killstreak damage boost.png World's Best Boss Have a teammate buffed by your Umbrella kill 3 enemies.
Tf2c achievement vip kill crit killstreak.png Hostile Takeover Kill 2 enemies with the crit boost provided by killing the enemy team's VIP.
Tf2c achievement flare crit teamwork.png Molten Steal Land a Flare Gun crit on an enemy that somebody else set on fire.
Tf2c achievement tranq melee kill as teammate.png Rude Awakening Using your melee weapon, help a friendly Spy finish off a tranquilized enemy.
Tf2c achievement headshot kill midflight.png Dead Air Kill an enemy with a headshot while they are airborne.
Tf2c achievement harvester collect decap.png Summary Execution Decapitate all 9 classes with the Harvester.
Tf2c achievement harvester decap single life.png Head Rush Decapitate 3 enemies with the Harvester in a single life.
Tf2c achievement chekhov crit kill.png Setup and Payoff Get a crit kill with Chekhov's Punch at maximum crit storage.
Tf2c achievement heavy shotgun crits.png Chekhov's What? As a Heavy, get 20 critical kills with the Shotgun.
Tf2c achievement chekhov shock.png It's Dead! Give an enemy Heavy who has the Chekhov's Punch equipped a heart attack!
Tf2c achievement aa vs airborne.png Duck Season Kill 9 airborne enemies with the A.A. Cannon's mini-crits.

Update history

  • Cloaked Spies now correctly take 20% less damage even from crits

Comparisons from Team Fortress 2

  • Team Fortress 2 Classic introduced two distinct glowing effects behind a kill icon: a yellow effect when the weapon used mini-crits on kill, and a purple effect when dealing melee kill on a tranquilized enemy.