Team Fortress 2’s Summer 2023 Update and What to Expect In the Future

Team Fortress 2 is now popular than ever, can Valve keep up the pace and bring more quality content in the future?

By AtillaTuran, Posted 25 Jul 2023

Team Fortress 2 was updated a week ago by Valve to refreshen things in the community as well as the lore of Team Fortress 2 itself. Since 2017, the classic class-based shooter received only seasonal updates that brought cosmetic items and unfortunately nothing else. In the current flow of updates published for online games, they usually provide new and unique content for players. However, in Team Fortress 2’s own fashion, an update means mostly bug fixes, new hats, and war paints that get picked by Valve through their Workshop system. Of course, this usually leaves the player base in a drought for unique content.

Team Fortress 2, Valve, Summer Update 2023, FPS, Online, Steam, NoobFeed

Out of the blue, in May of 2023, Valve used Team Fortress 2’s blog to post about an update they are currently working on with a summer theme. This was unheard of before because Valve usually gathers the content throughout the year from players, and when the time comes, a team- or rather a person- starts filtering the chosen items to be released for the game. Major updates of Team Fortress 2 are divided into two categories and they are usually based around monthly themes. One update gets shipped on Halloween month, which is October, and the second update hits during Christmas, which is in December. Summer updates are nothing new for Team Fortress 2, but they are optional updates, as Valve can totally dismiss summer updates entirely if they chose to do so. For this year Valve decided to go for it once again, just like last year, and seems like they have done a good job.

We say it was a good job due to Valve’s incompetent choice of items causing trouble in previous years. To briefly talk about the quality control of Valve, it was an outcry in the community that the items released for the favorite online shooter were too specifically themed and only could be used during certain months of the year. For example, the hats or the war paints- also known as weapon skins universally- released during Halloween were themed after ghosts, candies, and mummies. As good as it sounds, these items were very odd to wear on your character during Christmas, spring months, or even summer. Therefore the item qualities would plummet immensely and sales of keys, along with cases, would determine if Valve did a good job of filtering the items or not. The Christmas of 2021 was the tipping point for the community and complaints filled Valve’s inbox.

Fortunately, things have started to turn around after 2021 with items that are suitable for all-year use being chosen instead. Not only the change of pace with hats and weapon skins but also the way Valve sees Team Fortress 2 was changed in a positive manner. Summer Update 2023 is solid evidence of people returning to the title they used to play a lot and remember being filled with everything they liked back in the day. In fact, Team Fortress 2 had its highest player number since it was released back in 2007 with almost 300.000 concurrent players. With that said, what is exactly in Summer Update in 2023, and what is waiting for this legendary online FPS in the future?

Team Fortress 2, Valve, Summer Update 2023, FPS, Online, Steam, NoobFeed

Usually, the summer updates only consist of one cosmetic case. Cosmetics are the way you dress up your character in the way you like and this time around, more than three different cosmetic sets got their way into the case. Sniper, Heavy, Pyro, Scout, and Engineer all got new hats with matching styles that are not themed with a season or an event. For example, Sniper got a two-piece set that turns him into a highly-ranked officer that got recently got out of a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive match, and Pyro’s set turns them into a Sherlock Holmes who is excessively interested in solving crimes by fire. Along with the cosmetic case, there was a war paint case too. The quantity of warpaints available in the case is very small, but the quality of war paints is extremely top tier and it is overwhelmingly considered to be one of the best war paint cases we got since 2017. With mostly black, silver, camo, and non-saturated tones, it is worthy of going for a spin on the cases if you are feeling lucky. Overall, the quality of optionally-paid content this summer was well worth the wait. The creators of the items and the player base are very happy with Valve and their take on the update so far.

One other important bit is the newly added Versus Saxton Hale mode. This community-created mode has been in the game since 2011 in community servers and almost ten years later, Valve added an official version, created by yet another community member, to its official servers. The game mode was made using a VScript tool and it was added by Valve a year prior to Summer 2023. What Vscript does is, it allows you to run your own custom files on your own dedicated server and allow source code to be translated to the mandatory language that Source Engine uses. So in short, Versus Saxton Hale was done using Team Fortress 2’s main engine, custom sprites, new voice lines, and the community’s own will to create an alternative game mode.

In Versus Saxton Hale, the CEO of Mann Co. is put in a fight against the other team. While Saxton Hale is only by himself, other team can have up to 30 players. The goal is to defeat Saxton Hale, which is played by a real person instead of a bot, or defeat the RED team as Saxton himself. The rounds are short and the meta is not settled, therefore it is a nice way to test your strategies and team compositions. Versus Saxton Hale mode can be played with four different maps and they are well-balanced for the mode itself. Talking about maps, there are 14 of them this time around and they are all visually stunning. These maps range from a dynamic King of the Hill map to a Payload map with a twisting delivery point. There is a huge chance of some maps staying even after the Summer Update 2023 as Valve gets feedback with each match played, they can decide to keep some of the maps in the rotation pool and make some players extremely happy.

Team Fortress 2, Valve, Summer Update 2023, FPS, Online, Steam, NoobFeed

What is in the future of Team Fortress 2 is a nice way to remind ourselves of the possibilities that can occur at any moment in the lifespan of TF2. It is a very old game after all, and getting updated still is a big achievement. Multi-day updates for Team Fortress 2 are a bit far-stretched topic nowadays, but still, there is a Heavy Update we have to look forward to, right? Overall, the shape of Valve and how they treat their main-line online game is getting better with time and we can expect a raise in quality even further if the community keeps giving positive feedback. On a side note, the main coordinator of Team Fortress 2 in Valve’s staff, Eric Smith, further proved the addition of community fixes, weapon balancing, and more security updates being implemented in the future, therefore Team Fortress 2 still has a lot of ground to cover.

Atilla Turan (@burningarrow)
Editor, NoobFeed 

comments powered by Disqus


General Information

Publisher(s): Valve
Developer(s): Robin Walker, John Cook
Genres: FPS
Themes: Shooter
Release Date: 2007-10-07

View All

Popular Articles