Valve Won’t Let Hackers Ruin Team Fortress 2’s Halloween

Valve Won’t Let Hackers Ruin Team Fortress 2’s Halloween
To sign up for our daily newsletter covering the latest news, features and reviews, head HERE. For a running feed of all our stories, follow us on Twitter HERE. Or you can bookmark the Kotaku Australia homepage to visit whenever you need a news fix.

Halloween makes people do strange things — for instance dress up in costumes and beg for candy from people who might be murderers. Sometimes, it also makes them create Team Fortress 2 cheat plugins that teleport players between Halloween items, which ruins the game. It’s a trick alright, but it’s definitely not a treat.

Team Fortress 2‘s Halloween updates traditionally include a gift drop component, which was originally meant to be a small bonus for players who joined in on the team-y, scream-y festivities. However, some players decided they really wanted those gifts. “The Halloween experience for many players now consists of sitting idle in a custom server while a plugin teleports them from gift spawn point to gift spawn point,” wrote Valve.

They elaborated on how that harms other players — not just those riding a broomstick made of hacker witch magic through a private server.

“Ordinarily we don’t mind if players do things that we don’t personally enjoy as long as their fun doesn’t harm the quality of experience for other players. In this particular case, however, because the overwhelming majority of gifts claimed went to a tiny handful of accounts, we feel comfortable characterising the current system as blatantly and transparently unfair: While some farming accounts claimed more than five hundred gifts just last year, the median numbers of gifts claimed was only five.”

This year, Valve’s enacting a couple of fixes. For one, everybody gets a randomised gift bundle just for logging in during the event. You can earn a second bundle by completing achievements. Apparently that will add up to more creepy, kooky, mysterious, and perhaps even spooky items than last year’s median of five.

It’s a pretty heavy handed approach, something I’m sure not everybody will be super pleased about. Valve’s hoping to offer more variety this year, though, so that’s something.

This year’s event, which TF2’s dev team describes as a “900-mile-an-hour hellride”, kicks off in mere days. Do you plan on die-iving in, or perhaps giving it a ghost? Doing so will provide you with an opportunity to shoot me for those horrible puns, so there’s that.


  • This will consume my weekend…… as always.
    And to elaborate,”some players” is the wrong term. The term you seek is “Item farmers”.

  • I think I might have to reinstall TF2 for this. I really enjoyed the last TF2 Halloween I played a few years ago.

  • That’s not quite accurate…

    The last few years, a gift would spawn for you every 45 minutes. You can’t change that part. Getting the gift could be a pain in the arse if the server is full of mini-sentry spawning kids though. These servers (and to clarify, I never used one) just eliminated that part. There was no hacking involved at all.

    This year, Valve’s changed the gift spawning to once every 3 hours to prevent farming. Fair enough, their call. The folks still had to run the game, so they weren’t really getting anything they couldn’t have gotten by playing.

    The main reason is probably because on the new maps, you’ll get new Halloween hats and if people idle for them all, Valve won’t be able to sell as many….

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!