How To Get Cosmetics In Team Fortress 2?

All classes in Team Fortress 2 have default costumes, but what if you want to distinguish yourself from other players? Luckily, Valve released cosmetics since April 1, 2009, and cosmetics have only become more advanced and varied. Today, community-designed cosmetics have even been added to the game.

If you’re not sure how to get these cosmetics, you’ve come to the right place. You’ll learn all about Team Fortress 2 cosmetics and how to get them. We’ll also answer some questions related to the topic.

Before we get into the methods of obtaining cosmetics, we have some information for you to look over.

What Is a Cosmetic Item?

Originally, cosmetics in Team Fortress 2 were labeled as “Hats” and “Miscellaneous Items”, but since the types of cosmetics have been expanded, Valve reclassified the term. Cosmetics are items that can be equipped on any of the three cosmetic slots on the loadout screen. There are many types of cosmetics, and you’re not allowed to equip conflicting types.

There are now 1,608 cosmetic items in the game in total. Out of all of them, 109 are Vintage quality, 189 are Strange, 290 are Genuine, and 78 are Collector’s quality. In addition to these qualities, 1,056 of them can be painted in 29 colors with the use of Paint Cans.

These cosmetic items can be obtained via various means. Some of them can’t be traded, while others can be freely purchased on the market. The ways to obtain various cosmetics are:

  • Achievements
  • Item drops
  • Buying them from the Mann Co. Store
  • Crafting
  • Trading
  • Opening a Supply Crate

These cosmetic items normally don’t give players an edge during gameplay. However, a few of them can potentially give your location away because they make a sound. These include the Bootie Time and Elf Care Provider.

Another way cosmetics give you an advantage is by equipping the Horseless Headless Horsemann’s Head and the Saxton Hale Mask. Both make you immune to the Boo taunt from the Horseless Headless Horsemann.

Besides these niche and impractical effects, cosmetics generally just allow you to differentiate yourself from other players. They don’t grant you any practical advantages whatsoever.

There are a few cosmetic items that only work during a holiday or event. As such, they’re useless outside of these days and cannot be equipped.

List of Cosmetic Items

Listing all cosmetic items is beyond the scope of this article. However, we’ll list out some categories cosmetics are divided into. 

The various cosmetic types include:

  • Arms
  • Arm Tattoos
  • Back
  • Beard
  • Belt
  • Discontinued Floating Items
  • Ears
  • Face
  • Feet
  • Flair
  • Glasses
  • Grenades
  • Head Skin
  • Left Shoulder
  • Lenses
  • Medal
  • Necklace
  • Pants
  • Right Shoulder
  • Shirt
  • Sleeves
  • Whole Head

With so many choices, you have endless options to customize your look.

Now, let’s take a look at the few methods you can obtain cosmetics in Team Fortress 2.

Get Cosmetics by Crafting

One of the easiest ways of obtaining cosmetics without spending real-life money is to use the crafting system. 428 cosmetic items fall into the category of craftable items. To craft an item, you need to have a Premium account, which grants you access to all Blueprints.

Here’s how you craft cosmetics in Team Fortress 2:

  1. Launch Team Fortress 2.
  2. Select “Items” from the main menu.
  3. In the Loadout tab, select the “Crafting” option, represented by an anvil.
  1. Find the cosmetic blueprint you want to craft.
  2. Craft all the required prerequisite ingredients for your cosmetic item.
  3. When done, craft the cosmetic item itself.
  4. Equip your new cosmetic item in the Loadout screen.

Since there are many cosmetic item types, we’ve only given you a general guide. The game will inform you of what you need to make, so sit tight and follow the instructions.

How To Get Cosmetic Items by Trading

Just like crafting, you need to be a Premium Team Fortress 2 player to trade. If not, you can either purchase a membership or trade for it.

To trade for cosmetic items with other players, follow these steps:

  1. Add the person you want to trade with on Steam as a friend.
  2. Right-click their username in your Friends list or chat window.
  3. Select “Invite to Trade” or accept a trade request from the person.
  1. Add the items you want to trade to the “Your Offerings” boxes.
  2. Review the trade items on both sides.
  3. Select “Make Trade” when you agree on the trade conditions.
  4. The items will be in your inventory immediately.

Not all items are tradeable, and you might have to check if a certain item is in this category. You should also make sure you’re making a fair trade unless it’s just a friend gifting you items at a cheap price.

How To Get Cosmetic Items by Purchasing Them

There are a few places where you can purchase cosmetic items. The Mann Co. Store is the in-game option, but it isn’t the best place to trade. Instead, many players recommend third-party websites to purchase items are reasonable rates.

That said, there are a few cosmetics that can only be obtained in the Mann Co. Store. They are mostly promotions for other Steam games that can also be traded with other players. These special items can be purchased from the Mann Co. Store:

  • Total War: SHOGUN 2
  • Deus Ex. Human Revolution

You’ll need a valid form of payment such as PayPal or a credit card to buy your cosmetics. Check if the websites support your preferred payment method before buying.

It’s also prudent to check if the website not listed above is legitimate. Checking item prices across the different websites is also a great way to save money. There’s no commitment if you’re just browsing.

Open Supply Crates

Mann Co. Supply Crates are among the many random rewards that the item drop system can give you. For every 30 to 70 minutes you play, averaging at about 50 minutes, you can get a reward in the form of an item. The item might be a cosmetic item or a Supply Crate with a chance to yield other cosmetic items.

To qualify for the item drop, you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Play in a VAC secured server.
  • Respond to in-game notifications without using other software.
  • Only have one instance of Team Fortress 2 running.
  • Not be in textmode.

When you reach a weekly cap, you won’t get any more rewards to prevent excessive item drops. No matter what you do, you can only get the amount Valve has set.

If you do get a Mann Co. Supply Crate, you need to purchase a Key to open it. They can be bought from the Mann Co. Store or third-party websites. Each key can only be used once.


Certain cosmetic items can only be unlocked by completing achievements in the game. These aren’t tradeable and you’ll have to follow the instructions to the letter. Once you complete the achievement, you can immediately locate the cosmetic item in your inventory.

Additional FAQs

Can Hats Be Used in Free to Play?

If you manage to get a cosmetic item through unlocking achievements, such as a hat, then you can equip it. However, you won’t be able to trade for or acquire more cosmetic items from the item drop system without a premium account. Due to this restriction, you should consider getting a premium membership.

What Is the Most Expensive Cosmetic Item?

As of 2018, the most expensive cosmetic item is the Unusual Burning Team Captain. It’s valued at $6,695, and over the years it may have increased in price.

That’s a Cool Accessory!

There are many different ways to get Team Fortress 2 cosmetic items, and we recommend getting yourself a premium account. That way, you can trade and get random cosmetic drops to your heart’s content.

What was your best cosmetics trade? How much have you spent on cosmetic items? Let us know in the comments section below.

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