Attack an enemy from behind to backstab them for a one-hit kill
"For the man who loves to watch things unfold."
The Knife is the default melee weapon for the Spy. It is a butterfly knife with solid wooden handles and black grips around them. After backstabbing an enemy, but not after killing them normally, the blade will be covered in blood until the user respawns or goes underwater. As expected, the blood is red regardless of which team the user is on, or which team the killed enemy is on.
Unlike other melee weapons, it only deals 40 damage per hit, and does not randomly crit. When slashing a sapped Sentry Gun, the Knife will only deal 67% of its base damage (26 or 27, down from 40). As an upside, it attacks instantly without the 0.2 second delay that other melee weapons have, even though it still attacks at 0.8 second intervals. Uniquely, hitting an enemy's back (defined as a 180° radius behind them) causes the player to backstab the enemy, causing an instantaneous kill by dealing six times their current health as critical damage. This will not kill invulnerable enemies, but will deal a large amount knockback to them. When an enemy is backstabbed, they will loudly scream while performing a unique death animation, alerting nearby enemies of the Spy's presence. Like the Revolver, swinging the knife will remove the Spy's current disguise, and cannot be used while cloaked.
Outside of backstabs, the Knife is the weakest melee weapon in the game, and attempting to "butterknife" a full-health enemy by stabbing them multiple times will rarely end well. As a consequence, stealth is paramount when wielding it, and going loud is best left to the Revolver. Due to the inherent unpredictability of Team Fortress 2 Classic's netcode, the backstab detection will often behave in strange ways, including failing to backstab when it appeared possible, or successfully backstabbing when it appeared impossible. The former is called a "failstab" and the latter is called a "facestab". Manipulating enemies to reveal their 180° backstab angle, even for an instant, is a core part of many Spy techniques, collectively called "trickstabs".
Taunting with the Knife will perform the "Fencing" kill taunt. When taunting, the Spy will swing the Knife two times in front of him, dealing 25 damage for each swing, and then deal a final thrust of 500 damage. Despite appearances, the range of each attack is the same. The attack cannot be aimed vertically, and will always occur in front of the Spy. Each attack can deal damage to multiple enemies, and enemy buildings, at once. The first two swings will not deal any knockback, but the final thrust will. The taunt cannot deal critical hits, but it can mini-crit.
|Ranged or Melee?||Melee|
|Attack interval||0.8 s|
|All values are approximate.|
Names in other languages
- Updated the Knife:
- Added blood upon backstabbing Enemies.
- Blood washes off in water.
- Implemented "backstab ready" animations for Knife.
- The Fencing kill taunt also suffers the damage penalty on sapped Sentry Guns, dealing 16 damage on the first slash, 17 damage on the second slash, then 330 damage on the final thrust.