Team Fortress 2 is an amazing game, and with the right mods, it can be even better!
This guide is a list of mods that I use and recommend to everyone. They’re all just that good.
Anyone tired of the default vanilla HUD, will be happy to hear there are hundreds of alternate HUDs to choose from in various places. One of the most popular choices is ahud.
Here’s an example of ahud on PC. The only customization I have used is my crosshair. The transparent viewmodels are not a part of ahud and will be later explained in the guide.
ahud is a minimalist HUD that gets rid of the clutter from the original HUD into a simple, visually pleasing package. In my opinion, it’s perfect for TF2 players that just want to set it and forget it.
Although ahud is not as customizable as ToonHUD, another wildly popular HUD, many aspects of the HUD can be customized using a notepad editor (I use Notepad++)
Overall, ahud is a simple hud for players that don’t want any clutter or fanciness on the same screen they play the game on. Easy as that.
You can download it here. Drag the ahud-master file into your Team Fortress 2/tf/custom folder.
Paysus’ Animation Overhauls
TF2’s default animations can be broken, choppy, or get boring quickly, especially if you main a class. Why not spice up a few thing with custom animation overhauls?
Animation overhauls can change the way you hold your weapon, fire it, and inspect it.
There are a lot of custom animations to choose from, but (in my opinion) the best of the best animation overhauls are made from Paysus, who has made incredibly smooth and nice looking alternatives to the vanilla animations.
Animation overhauls change the animation for holding, firing, and inspecting your weapons. They can be very aesthetically pleasing to the eye. They can also often times be a lot smoother and more lifelike than the default ones.
Although they’re great for maining classes, Paysus’ Steam Group has a link for an animation for every single class (except Pyro, which I couldn’t find :c).
You can find all of his overhauls here! Find the class you want to download, and check if the overhauls properly work by reading the status updates next to every link. The instructions to download are in the readme.txt found in each download.
Custom Explosions/Muzzle Flashes
Many people use mods for TF2 to try and make the game look more graphically appealing than the vanilla version is. A very good way to make your game look a lot better is to import your own custom muzzle flashes and explosions instead of using the default ones.
An example of a custom muzzle flash. Looks much better the stock one.
An example of a custom explosions. Also looks much more high quality than stock.
Custom muzzle flashes and explosions are a great way to make TF2 appear more lifelike or cartoony (whichever aesthetic you prefer), and sure do look a lot nice and smoother than the default muzzle flashes and explosions.
Custom muzzle flashes even add flashes for shotguns, pistols, and a lot more! The vanilla muzzle flash doesn’t even support shotguns and pistols, which means no muzzle flash for those. It sucks.
Hitsounds/Killsounds are pretty amazing, not only do they let you know when you’ve done damage or killed an opponent, you can customize it to whatever you want. A lot of people just use the default hitsound or the quake hitsound (can’t blame them for the latter, the quake hitsound is very reliable), but out of all the hitsounds I’ve used in my hours of playing TF2, none of them have even compared to Optivex’s hitsound.
Wanna hear what it sounds like? Watch the video for a few seconds and be amazed.
Quite frankly, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a hitsound that has sounds nearly as beautiful and glorious as this one. It even changes pitch according to how much damage you’ve done, which comes in pretty handy a lot of times, especially when you’re occupied in a fight and have no time to glance at your damage numbers. Overall, this is THE best hitsound I have ever used.
For killsounds, I just use a simple beep. That’s it. Probably because I need a sound that is different from the hitsound.
Download the hitsound(s) here! This folder is an amazing treasure trove, because it holds a bunch of hit/killsounds to choose from, not just the one I’m talking about!
For the killsound I use, just go here.]To install them, go to your tf/custom folder, and make a new folder called “HITSOUND”. Then inside that, make one called “sound”. Inside of that, make one named “ui”. Copy and paste the .wav files named “hitsound” and “killsound” into the “ui” folder.
This one is very self-explanatory. These kill icons are modified from the default ones so they are more detailed and more clear as to what killed a player.
An example of the consistent kill icons. Notice how much more detailed they are.
As such, this mod is great for telling the difference between a headshot from a sniper or spy in the kill feed, and give you much more nice looking kill feed icons.
Get it here. Simply just toss the .vpk files into your tf/custom folders.
Hawkshadow’s Lightwarp V2
A lightwarp modifies how your game handles lighting in maps. Normally, the default one is just fine, but lots of people use custom ones to give their game a certain look. Hawkshadow’s lightwarp doesn’t change much, but it adds better shading, shadows, and is easier on the eyes. Simple.
An example of Hawkshadow’s Lightwarp V2 in action.
As seen here, the lightwarp adds some nice shading to the viewmodels and map. It can help make opponents more visible in drastic lighting, and is even said to make FPS higher (although this is totally anecdotal and is not proven.) Nevertheless, Hawkshadow’s Lightwarp is perfect for those who just want a lightwarp that doesn’t change much, but helps make the game look nicer.
You can download it here. To install, just place the .vpk into your tf/custom folder.
We all know and joke about TF2’s pitiful singleplayer/training mode with their bots having the mental capacity of a pea plant. But what if there was a mod that actually made singleplayer against bots playable?
Well, great news!
TF2 singleplayer is actually fun now!
The TF2 Bot Overhaul not only replaces the default TF2 singleplayer bots with ones that are actual fun to play against, but introduces an absolute plethora of new gamemodes to play with, all of which can be played offline as well!
This means that Payload, and Control Points aren’t the only playable singleplayer gamemodes. You can now play CTF, all the Halloween Gamemodes, and even import your own, all against bots that actually know what they’re doing!
And of course, unlike Casual and Community servers, you can enable sv_cheats 1…
You can also spawn Merasmus and Monoculus as well, making it a complete hell-fest.
Honestly, this mod is amazing, and I seriously recommend it to any TF2 player, new or experienced, casual, or competitive.
Get this awesome mod here! The only downsides are the file size (but there is a lite version for Mac/Linux users and those low on storage space), and it takes a bit of work to install, not to mention it might not work on certain huds, but if your game can support it, it is worth it.
Stanley Parable Announcer Pack
We all know and love the Stanley Parable for its intuitive gameplay, niche humor, and of course, the witty commentary of the narrator of the game, the brilliant Kevan Brighting. This glorious mod takes the same announcer we all know and love from DOTA 2, and puts them in TF2, replacing the standard announcer’s voice with that of our lord and savior’s.
Sorry folks, no image this time. I don’t have the budget to put an audio sample in a photo.
Get the mod here! To install, simply put the .vpk folder with the option you want into your tf/custom folder.
Last but not least, we have Transparent Viewmodels. Transparent viewmodels are viewmodels that are not completely opaque, but are still there. The weapon and viewmodel can still be seen, but whatever is behind it is also visible.
An example of transparent viewmodels.
They are transparent, not invisible.
Transparent viewmodels are perfect for those who hate their weapons partially blocking their view, but love their fancy guns too much to turn viewmodels completely off. This way, these people can still see their weapons, but their view is not blocked anymore as they can see through their guns.
The downside to transparent viewmodels is the amount of time and effort required to install them. However, if you have ToonHUD, there is already an option to enable transparent viewmodels, so reading beyond this isn’t necessary.
This video contains all the links and instructions to install them.
This video (It’s just the same video above) provides all the links and instructions needed to install transparent viewmodels. It takes time to install, and isn’t just a mere “drop the .vpk into custom”, it requires script editing and making a lot of folders. A looot of folders. However, with enough perseverance, you will soon find that it is completely worth it.
Written by Fireman Dan
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