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Here's the #1 reason you should pick community servers over Valve servers

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Team Fortress 2 is a fantastic game, no doubt about it, but the experience can be quite different depending on the server you chose. I would recommend choosing community servers through the "Quick Play" function instead of Valve servers.

Mystery Team Fortress 2 update incoming, initiate SUSPENSE

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Mystery Team Fortress 2 update incoming, initiate SUSPENSE

If there's one thing Valve are good at, and they are good at a great many things, it's big-ass countdown clocks. Giant-butt timers that wind down to a mysterious and unknowable finale. They've whacked a fresh clock up on the Team Fortress 2 website, one that at the time of discovery had less than 24 hours left on it, that suggests a new update to Valve's free-to-play shooter is incoming.

An ARG we were supposed to have picked up on a few weeks ago, perhaps? Did we miss a clue somewhere along the line? So mysterious, so imminent.

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[Get Ready] Super Smash Bros. Source isn't a thing, but this trailer will make you wish it was

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[Get Ready] Super Smash Bros. Source isn't a thing, but this trailer will make you wish it was

Look at this thing. Super Smash Bros. Source doesn't exist and will never exist and could never exist in a form any of us would be truly happy with, but some talented animator has gone ahead and recreated the intro to Nintendo's classic mash-up brawler using almost every Source engine star there is. It's a stupendous presentation, a dual homage to the finest fighting game ever made as well as PC gaming's celebrity roster. Watch it watch it watch it.

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Valve believe microtransactions used for evil will ultimately "lose in the marketplace"

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Valve believe microtransactions used for evil will ultimately "lose in the marketplace"

Microtransactions, like wrist-based web-sacs, are tools to be used responsibly. It’s no news that when they’re not, players can be left feeling cheated and unhappy, with an undesirable leather-to-coin wallet contents ratio. But on top of that, professional Half-Life-skirkers Valve reckon that a morally unsound approach to in-game economies isn’t financially sound either.

“All of these things lead to regret," said Valve’s Kyle Davis. “And regret leads to effectively training your customers to stop buying things from you."

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Team Fortress 2 update renders Quickplay more reliably quick and play-full

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Team Fortress 2 update renders Quickplay more reliably quick and play-full

Team Fortress 2, the competitive, multiplayer first-person shooter from Valve Software, has been updated - or ‘patched’. Users of Valve’s storefront and games house, Steam, will find that new files will seep unsolicited into their version of the game - changing it in scores of small and surprising ways.

Surprising, that is, unless you have the patch notes. Which we do.

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Dota 2 works on Steam controller but pro play is “not really the goal”

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Dota 2 works on Steam controller but pro play is “not really the goal”

Valve’s Steam controller is still in development but the team are hard at work finetuning it to their biggest game, Dota 2. The MOBA “is a really complex game that uses a good half of the keyboard," Valve's Jeff Bellinghausen told Polygon. "And it's a real challenge, but would also be really exciting. To be able to play Dota from the couch is a really neat opportunity."

Even when it’s up to scratch, though, Valve don’t expect it to be used by the pro players. “We're thinking we'll get 90 percent of the way there."

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Team Fortress 2 gets frosty, big plans are in the works for 2014

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Team Fortress 2 gets frosty, big plans are in the works for 2014

Team Fortress 2's holiday celebrations are already in full swing. With Smissmas comes a slew of festive weaponary, winter-themed community cosmetics, and a big holiday sale in the Mann Co. store. If you play during Smissmas, you'll find your stocking filled with special goodies, to boot. Free stuff is what the season is all about. 

Valve's also working on some big surprises for 2014, but of course they're keeping things close to their chest. Take a gander below for the full list of changes for the Smissmas update. 

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Necromedic: healing transcends death in Team Fortress 2's Mann vs Machine Two Cities update

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Necromedic: healing transcends death in Team Fortress 2's Mann vs Machine Two Cities update

The Heavy and Medic have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship for as long as anybody can remember - but as their opponents well know, once one half fails, the other is left sudden vulnerable.

Like all other threats to their marriage though, even death has now been overcome, for the purposes of Valve’s trying Mann vs Machine co-operative mode. The medic can now reassemble the pieces of his fallen teammates and bring them back to life, in the grandest of ancient Egyptian traditions. Observe.

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Cast your vote for the Saxxy Awards

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Cast your vote for the Saxxy Awards

It’s time for the biggest, glitziest, most glamorous awards ceremony of the year. The Third Annual Saxxy Awards only offers out hunky gold statues to the very best collection of moving images, as judged by a demanding panel of film critics and movie connoisseurs. Are you one of those? Then you’d best start voting.

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The Mannhattan Project: Team Fortress 2 Two Cities update relocates Mann vs Machine to New York

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The Mannhattan Project: Team Fortress 2 Two Cities update relocates Mann vs Machine to New York

Here’s your bi-annual update on where TF2’s Mann vs Machine mode’s at: it goes on. The menn cannot be reconciled with their better-bolted counterparts, and so one continues to shoot waves of the other until death comes, and all parties are sent back to the start.

So it will go on, but in different neighbourhoods. In the first half of Valve’s Two Cities update, the mercs will be shipped from the familiar brown gravel pits of the Badlands to Mannhattan, where they’ll defend the manufacturing arm of Saxton Hale's boutique Mhankö line.

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"We do not agree with the Attorney General’s account of the Bitcoin incident" - ESEA

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"We do not agree with the Attorney General’s account of the Bitcoin incident" - ESEA

The ESEA have spent the last decade hosting eSports tournaments and selling their server client - an anti-cheating measure used in games of Counter-Strike, StarCraft 2 and Team Fortress 2. But the state of New Jersey fined the company this week for launching an ill-advised, clandestine side business in commandeering their users’ graphics cards to farm bitcoins.

The ESEA, however, have been in contact to tell us that the press release issued by the state yesterday represented a “deep misunderstanding" of what went on in April.

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Valve concoct Collector's Items, several new chemistry sets for Team Fortress 2

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Valve concoct Collector's Items, several new chemistry sets for Team Fortress 2

After umpteen seasons of Breaking Bad and a couple of years of schooling you might erroneously think you know chemistry. But step back from the periodic table and you’ll realise it’s the shape of a dirty great red herring - a labyrinthine maze of colour-coded lies designed to ward off all but True Chemists. In their first A-Level chemistry lesson pupils are sworn to secrecy, before they're taught of the existence of special chemistry sets - simple paradigms for the creation of highly-powered or visually-striking objects.

It’s these formulae, more akin to magic than anything laypeople understand to be science, that freedom of information activists Valve attempt to smuggle into Team Fortress 2. They’ve secreted a new series of sets into the game this week, and enlightened the world at large as to the existence of what master chemists call ‘Collector’s items’.

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Don’t give up the ghost: Team Fortress 2 update enables Halloween all year round

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Don’t give up the ghost: Team Fortress 2 update enables Halloween all year round

‘Eternaween’ - that’s what Valve are calling it. The Eternaween server enchantment can force a server vote, and if all assembled agree, Halloween items will be switched on for a two-hour period of unseasonal festivity. Outside of that optional reprieve, however, nearly all Halloween event items have automatically expired - the last two, the Spooky Crate and the Pile of Curses, will be gone by the end of today.

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Scream Fortress is alive; “These updates will kill you - GUARANTEED!”

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Scream Fortress is alive; “These updates will kill you - GUARANTEED!”

I don’t know what to tell you. You came to this place looking for Team Fortress 2 news, but there ain’t no Team Fortress 2 here and there never was. I suppose the least I can do is point you in the direction of Scream Fortress 2, the multiplayer frightfully piercing screecher. It’s played up at yonder Helltower where, fleeing players have told, forbidden magic is flung freely, and payloads of terror are delivered directly to the faces of all.

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Valve tease Team Fortress 2 Halloween event with big comic, corpse wars and spookiness

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Valve tease Team Fortress 2 Halloween event with big comic, corpse wars and spookiness

Team Fortress 2 has begun gearing up for its annual Scream Fortress Halloween event, which could only ever be described as either a spooktacular ghoulfest, or maybe a scare-rrific frightbash. Either way, the thing is titled Grave Matters and the haunting update was revealed on the TF2 blog last night, promising to arrive shortly hereafter. Probably very soon, in fact. I don't know, are you aware of any particularly spooky holidays coming up in the next couple of days?

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Dress as your favourite empress-killer in Team Fortress 2

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Dress as your favourite empress-killer in Team Fortress 2

I’m afraid I’ve been a little presumptuous with the title there. If you’re wanting to don the garb of the sword-wearing Japanese agents who killed the Korean Empress Myeongseong in 1895, you're going to be disappointed. If you’re hoping to wield the sharpened needle file used by an Italian anarchist to stab Elisabeth of Austria three years later, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

If, however, you’re looking to bear a striking resemblance to fictional enemy of Dunwall and former protector of the crown Corvo Attano while you rocket jump - then I can help you.

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Valve bring Saxxy back for third year of TF2 video contest

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Valve bring Saxxy back for third year of TF2 video contest

We very rarely make the decision to back up the PCGamesN News Van - the beep it makes is embarrassing, and reminds us of that awful Kevin Bacon ad with the conga line (no degree of separation is far enough away from that man).

But last week we missed Valve announcing the return of the Saxxys, and that won’t do.

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Not cool: Bitcoin mining malware found in ESEA server client

Team Fortress 2

Not cool: Bitcoin mining malware found in ESEA server client

Team Fortress 2 VR edition revealed: six rounds on Badwater with the Oculus Rift

Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2 VR edition revealed: six rounds on Badwater with the Oculus Rift

Four stupid mistakes I made when installing Linux to get a free Team Fortress 2 penguin

Linux

Four stupid mistakes I made when installing Linux to get a free Team Fortress 2 penguin

If Linux is the future then the future is awful (or How To Install Linux Alongside Windows)

Team Fortress 2

If Linux is the future then the future is awful (or How To Install Linux Alongside Windows)