Getting Started

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Competitive Team Fortress 2 can be an extremely rewarding and enriching experience, but if a player is starting from scratch, it can be also a bit difficult to grasp the amount of information you will come across. This page aims to help you being integrated into the competitive community and knowing the basics of the game.

Where to start

First of all, consider choosing a primary competitive format or class you want to start learning. While it is not obligatory to stick to one format or class, and there are numerous players that play different classes and formats, it is advised for a beginner to stick with one until you grasp the basics of the game.

The basics

It is recommended to be familiar with the metagame, how it works, what you should do and why you should do it, you can consult our Mechanics page which has a very comprehensive explanation of these. Our glossary page also has a very detailed compendium of expressions used commonly in the game.

Watching competitive

Competitive matches at the top level are often casted by organizations such as TeamFortressTV, RGL or eXtv

These casts provide a valuable resource for newbies eager to learn the game, so it is also recommended you watch VODs or casts of high level games.

Some popular channels that cover matches are:

  • Twitch icon.png Youtube icon.png TeamFortress.TV
  • Twitch icon.png Youtube icon.png eXtv
  • Twitch icon.png Youtube icon.png RGL
  • Twitch icon.png Youtube icon.png KritzKast
  • Twitch icon.png Youtube icon.png FiresideCasts

Leagues and Tournaments

Depending on your location, there are various different leagues, even for the different formats. Some areas even have as many as 2 or 3 leagues, with choices between free to play or pay to play leagues, as well as community run leagues (i.e.: ETF2L) or professional leagues (i.e.: ESEA). Some of these organizations also run periodic cups for these gamemodes or even for other gamemodes such as bball or ultiduo. Currently RGL has a newcomer division for both HL and 6v6 specifically targeted towards newer players. They also host prolander pugs within their discord.


  • ETF2L — Highlander / 6v6
  • UGC — Highlander / 6v6 / 4v4

North America

  • RGL — Highlander / 6v6 / 7v7
  • UGC — Highlander / 6v6 / 4v4

South America

  • UGC — Highlander / 6v6 / 4v4
  • LBTF2 — Highlander / 6v6



Game Customization / Optimization

Competitive players often customize their game to get the most out of it and to fit it to their playstyle — this includes Custom HUDs, Configs, and even other kinds of third-party tools.

If you want to adjust the game to your needs, you should take a look at those pages.

Other Guides

There are some existing guides made by other community members or organizations that also cover some of the basics of competitive TF2. They also contain very relevant information, so it would be wise to take a look at these: