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Team Fortress 2 update from Valve polishes up the new TF2 mode

A Team Fortress 2 update from Valve focuses on the new mode, TF2 Zombie Infection, with nerfs to Soldier’s instakill and a balance change for smaller lobbies.

Team Fortress 2 update from Valve - The Engineer, a wide-jawed man with a bright orange safety hat.

Another new Team Fortress 2 update from Valve has rolled out to improve the newest mode in its squad shooter. As Counter-Strike 2 lights up Steam, TF2 stays strong alongside it in part thanks to the introduction of a mode based on a classic Half-Life 2 mod to the official rotation. Previously only available as a custom game variant, TF2 Zombie Infection is part of the ongoing Scream Fortress 2 Halloween event, and Valve continues to update it with balance changes and bug fixes.

The latest Team Fortress 2 patch notes include fixes and tweaks for several modes, but the main focus is the Zombie Infection mode that has proven a popular spooky variant for one of the most beloved multiplayer FPS games on Steam. If you’re not caught up, the gist is that Red team are humans and build up defenses to keep themselves safe, while Blue team are zombies (each with unique skills based on the various TF2 classes) and can bring Red players over to their side by killing them.

Top of the list is a fix to the Zombie Soldier, who could instakill opponents using the stomp attack, something Valve says “was not intended.” It was certainly a lot of fun for a while, but it’s probably for the best that it’s been reverted. There’s also a tweak to the number of players assigned as zombies if you’re playing on smaller servers.

On the human side, the Engineer gets a buff to their Sentry Gun damage, which was dramatically reduced in the last patch notes but overshot its mark slightly. The Demoman’s Blast Charge ability has also been reworked in an attempt to make it “more reliable and less frustrating to use.” It’s now based on your velocity, and will explode when you drop below a certain speed or have your shield charge otherwise interrupted.

There’s also a wealth of bug fixes, including the removal of a rather pesky issue that was causing players to die when trying to change classes. Zombie Infection games should now also end automatically if no players are left on either team. The full list of balance changes can be seen below.

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Team Fortress 2 Zombie Infection patch notes – October 20, 2023

Below are the balance changes introduced in the TF2 patch notes for Friday October 20, courtesy of Valve – the full list of bug fixes and other tweaks can be found here.

  • Adjusted the number of Zombies selected at round start for low player counts.
  • Corrected unintended changes in the last update.
    • Changed the damage dealt by Zombie Soldier’s Stomp.
      • In the previous update, Soldier would instantly kill his stomp target. This was not intended.
      • The new damage calculation is (10 + fall damage x 3). This is the same as the Mantreads.
    • Changed the Sentry Gun to deal 40% damage to Zombies.
      • In the previous update, this was 35%. This was not intended.
    • Added a sound effect to Pyro’s explosion of flames on death.
    • Removed some debug print statements.
  • Reworked Demoman’s Blast Charge to fix several exploits and bugs.
    • These changes should also make Blast Charge more reliable and less frustrating to use.
    • Blast Charge is now triggered based on the player’s velocity.
      • When player’s speed drops below a threshold while charging, they explode.
      • Additionally, anything that would usually interrupt a shield charge will now trigger the explosion.

If Team Fortress 2 isn’t enough to keep you busy, we’ve picked out even more of the best free Steam games for your perusal. Alternatively, there’s plenty of competition to be found in the best multiplayer games, if you’re eager to put your skills to the test.