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New TF2 update boosts your frame rate and stops antivirus issues

Valve has finally updated Team Fortress 2 with a 64-bit executable, which improves performance on some systems, as well as other changes.

A Red TF2 Scout (left) hits a Blue TF2 Heavy (right) with a baseball bat

Almost 17 years on from its release, Valve is finally bringing Team Fortress 2 into the modern era of 64-bit computing following the most recent TF2 update. While the list of changes in this patch is slim, their effects should be seismic for some systems, and they will provide some welcome relief to the game’s ongoing bot problem, albeit briefly.

Valve hasn’t changed the system requirements for Team Fortress 2 in the wake of this update, as the 32-bit version of the game is still available within the game’s folders. However, given the widespread availability of 64-bit processors and operating systems now, most people shouldn’t need it, with all of today’s best gaming CPUs being 64-bit models, as well as plenty of processors from yesteryear.

Looking over the changelogs for the most recent TF2 updates, dated April 18, 2024, the most eye-catching one is undoubtedly the addition of 64-bit support for Windows and Linux (pour one out for Mac players). What makes this upgrade so tantalizing is that Valve has explicitly said it “should include performance improvements for most users.”

In our own testing, using a Ryzen 7 7800X3D and GeForce RTX 4090, we sadly observed no meaningful difference in frame rates between the 32-bit and 64-bit applications. Accounts from some players on the TF2 subreddit are decidedly different, though, so your mileage will vary depending on your system’s specs.

That said, according to the TF2 wiki, some undocumented changes by Valve should improve the feel of the game too. For those with high-end hardware, like our aforementioned test rig, the maximum frame rate has been upped to 400fps from 300fps. Everyone, though, will benefit from raw mouse input being enabled by default, for better responsiveness from your gaming mouse, although this may require a period of adjustment for some players.

Anyone playing Team Fortress 2 on Steam Deck, and Linux PCs, will also benefit from the shift away from OpenGL to the more modern Vulkan renderer.

Such a large backend change naturally creates room for bugs and errors but should also keep 32-bit TF2 bots at bay, at least for a short while. One of the most widely reported issues, which has thankfully been quickly addressed, is that some anti-virus software packages have incorrectly flagged Team Fortress 2 as malware. You can report TF2 bugs to Valve via the official Github page.

We’re still waiting for Valve to implement a proper TF2 Source 2 update, but the shift to a 64-bit version could imply that one is en route. This is a particularly welcome sign, especially after a previous TF2 fan remake was taken down via a DMCA notice.

While TF2 is undoubtedly one of the best free PC games you can play today, be sure to give our list a read for alternate picks. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a new display to make the most out of Team Fortress 2’s increased maximum frame rate, give our best gaming monitor guide a read.