Update July 9, 2016: On top of a competitive mode update, Team Fortress 2 is now letting you decide whether Heavy or Pyro gets a full class overhaul in weaponised electoral battle.
The very wittily re-named Meat vs Match WAR! update to Meet Your Match’s competitive mode arrival will see you pick one of the two classes to represent. Once you’ve picked your side, permanently, any points you earn in casual or competitive thereafter will count as votes for our benevolent-ish dictators.
One of the best things about Team Fortress 2 is that it costs nothing, just like everything in our list of the best free PC games.
As usual, the update has been accompanied by a comic about why exactly Heavy and Pyro are running opposite each other in an electoral campaign. With the world so divided over so many political votes already this year, there’s some worry within PCGN that this could finally be the breaking point and plunge us into total anarchy.
Luckily most of TF2 already looks like complete anarchy and Valve are doubling down on that with the addition of four new taunts, including Scout doing the Carlton dance from a TV show almost none of TF2’s players will even remember from airing on TV rather than a 4chan meme.
There’s also astaggeringnumber of balance changes and bug fixes which you’re going to need to read through yourself to see which of your favourite classes are nerfed, buffed or neglected entirely.
Original story: It’s amazing that Team Fortress 2 is still going so strong. At the time of writing there are 60,000 people plugging away inside the class-based shooter. If that player count wants to stay afloat in the modern market, though, it has to stay relevant. That relevance is hopefully arriving in the Meet Your Match update that’s launching some time in the near future.
The update, which had a round of beta testing earlier this year, will add a ranked Competitive Mode, letting you rank up from rank 1, ‘Fresh Meat’, all the way to rank 18, ‘Death Merchant’.
Much like Overwatch’s Competitive Play, every win and loss will have a big impact, so team play is encouraged even more so than usual – as is screaming down your microphone at everyone else for being rubbish because you’re the best and yet you’re still losing.
Leaving a match early will count as a loss and you will face time penalties for joining another match, getting more severe as you keep quitting – you can face bans of up to a month long. It’s all very serious.
Though Team Fortress 2 itself is free, Competitive Mode won’t be. You can buy a Competitive Acess Pass for $9.99 or give Valve your phone number and buy a special in-game item.
As for Casual Mode, that’s getting tweaked too, with quickplay matchmaking ensuring you’re never thrown into an in-progress match again. You can also invite friends to your party and jump into games with them.And finally there’s a new levelling stat that levels you up the more you play.
There’s no date for the release of the Meet Your Match patch yet, but here’s a FAQ for Competitive Mode.