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All you wanted to know about TF2Center, but scared to ask


What is TF2Center?

TF2Center is a central location to organise competitive pickup games (PUG) for Team Fortress 2. TF2Center has a purpose built system to allow anybody to organise a pug game, without requiring extensive knowledge of server commands or operations.

What are the requirements to use TF2Center?

There are not many requirements to use TF2Center, but you will require:

  • Latest Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox,
  • A broadband internet connection,
  • Adblockers disabled (May interfere with site operations),
  • Screen resolution of 1280x1024 or higher,
  • Minimum Steam Level 3,
  • Minimum 500 hours of game time logged for Team Fortress 2,
  • Steam profile set to public (One time verification required).
  • Acceptance of site rules and regulations

I am being warned that I am using AdBlocker plugins. Why is that?

TF2Center requires constant communication between your web browser and our servers. Without this communication, you wouldn't be able to use our lobby system.

After extensive testing we have determined that in some cases, AdBlocker plugins have been known to cause the following:

  • Interferes with websockets which allow your web browser to update lobby status and player status in real time
  • Interferes with our new notification system which brings you important updates such as new updates, downtime notifications and more!
  • Prevents Join Mumble and Join Game buttons working correctly

We recommend you disable AdBlocker for our website only. This will ensure your experience is not degraded. If you choose not to disable AdBlocker you continue at your own risk. Any mumbility or other issues arising that are proven to be the cause of AdBlocker being enabled will not be reversed.

How do I get started?

First of all, you need to login using your Steam credentials. Don't worry, all authentication is handled through official Steam servers. TF2Center does not receive details of your Steam account password. Once you are logged in, you can now create lobbies, join games and chat with other TF2Center users.

What rules should I be aware of when using TF2Center?

TF2Center's rules and regulations can be found here.

What voice communication application do I require?

TF2Center utilises Mumble, which can be downloaded from here

Are there any restrictions on new players or alternative accounts?

Yes, there are certain restrictions placed on accounts with limited game hours accumulated. You require at least 500 hours logged game time in Team Fortress 2 to be eligible to use TF2Center. You will be notified if you don't meet this requirement.

Why is there a minimum hours requirement?

This was implemented to resolve two common issues:

  • Players using alternative accounts bypassing site and server bans to continue to grief or cheat.
  • Reduction in quality of lobbies due to new players not understanding competitive rules.

I wish to report a player for cheating or griefing. How do I do that?

If you wish to report a player, you can do so by logging onto the forums and submitting a ban request. Please ensure you include:

  • Player Name,
  • SteamID,
  • Demo recording (if possible),
  • Lobby ID,
  • Description of cheat,
  • Any known aliases,
  • League profile links (if known).

I have been banned. How do I request to be unbanned?

If you have been banned from TF2Center, you may request an unban on our forums. Please include as much information as can including:

  • Your Name,
  • SteamID,
  • Lobby ID (if known),
  • Explanation as to why you should be unbanned.

Your unban request will be evaluated by our admin team. If you aren't satisfied with the outcome to your request, you may escalate the request to the Community Admin and/or Developer Team. Their decision is final and no discussion will be entered into regarding the outcome.

I have been VAC banned, can I still use TF2Center?

VAC banned accounts will be unable to utilise TF2Center due to most server operators running Secure Mode. TF2Center has a no-cheat policy and will strictly enforce rules regarding cheating. TF2Center will not attempt to resolve issues joining servers if you are VAC banned.

I have an idea for a new feature or addition to TF2Center. Where I can leave my feedback?

Please visit our forums and create a new suggestion topic. Please read the guidelines prior to posting your suggestion.

I have found a bug or glitch with TF2Center. How do I report it?

You can report bugs and other issues on our forums. Please try to include the following:

  • Description of the bug/issue,
  • Steps to reproduce the problem,
  • Browser & version,
  • Antivirus/Firewall software in use,
  • Any other information relevant.

My question isn't answered here? Where can I get additional help?

If you cannot find your answer on the FAQ, you have several options:

  • Join our forums and ask your question to the community and admins.
  • Join the Steam group for up to date information.
  • Ask your question in Main Lobby chat. Our admins and experienced players are always lurking.

Creating Lobbies

How do I create a new lobby?

Click the large create button on the main lobby page and provide the necessary information including server IP and RCON password. Click the test server button to confirm TF2Center can use your indicated server.

What competitive modes are supported?

Currently, TF2Center supports the following competitive modes:

  • 6v6 (Standard Competitive)
  • 9v9 (Highlander)
  • 4v4
  • BBall
  • Ultiduo
  • 1v1 (Duel) *Experimental*

What configs are available for use?

Competitive Team Fortress 2 across the world uses different sets of rules and weapon restrictions. During lobby creation, you will be asked what config ruleset you would like to use. The following configs are available:

  • ETF2L (EU),
  • UGC (US),
  • ozfortress (AU).

How do I know if my server is compatible with TF2Center?

Almost any TF2 server is compatible for use with TF2Center. When you create a lobby, a verification process will occur to ensure your server is ready to host a lobby.

I am getting a warning message "The server is not empty"?

TF2Center requires an empty server to initialize a new lobby. If the server provided is not empty, you will be present a warning. You can tick the "Kick Players" checkbox if you wish during lobby creation for the server to kick all players.

I am certain my server is empty; however I am still receiving the error message?

This can occasionally happen. Generally restarting the server resolves this problem. You may have to ask the server operator to perform this restart for you.

I am getting a warning message "Lobby already exists"?

TF2Center has implemented checks when creating a lobby that verifies that your lobby is unique and there isn't an already active lobby with the same region, map and game mode selected. This is to prevent multiple duplicate lobbies and encourages lobby players to fill existing lobbies before starting a new lobby.

I want to only allow someone to play a particular class slot if they know a password, or have proven experience. Is this possible?

Yes! During lobby creation you can click on Advanced Settings. This will allow you to reserve class slots with a password. At this time, all reserved slots require entering the same unique password. You can also specify options limited slot access to players with certain amount of hours or played Lobbies count.

Joining Lobbies

How do I join a lobby?

Lobbies appear on the main lobby page. Placing your mouse cursor over a particular lobby will reveal a join button. Click this button to be taken to the lobby pre-game page. You will be automatically in the spectator section. From here you will be able to join an available class slot.

I can't join a particular class slot?

If you cannot join a class slot then the class might be a reserved class slot which requires you to enter a password. There might also be restrictions on the slot set by the lobby leader in regards to player experience and history.

How will I know when the lobby is ready to start?

You will be notified by a notification sound and a popup on the screen asking you to confirm your readiness. Do ensure you ready up within 45 seconds to not cause unnecessary delay.

What happens if I don't ready up in time?

If you don't ready up in time, you will be removed from your class slot and placed into spectators. Other players are now free to join your slot and you might miss out on playing in the lobby.

All players have indicated they are ready and the game has started. What do I do now?

TF2Center will automatically launch Mumble client for you and connect you to the appropriate channel for your team. You will be presented a popup with a button to join your lobby game server.

What happens if a player doesn't join the server after a period of time?

TF2Center keeps track of player connectivity status during lobbies. Players have up to three (3) minutes to join the lobby server. If they do not join in time, they will be automatically reported and a substitute player will be called for. At this point any player not currently participating in the lobby may join the game and take over that players class slot.

I am having trouble joining Mumble or the game server?

Please ensure you have Mumble installed correctly and your browser supports site handler requests. Please see our Common Technical Issues section of the FAQ for further information.

What is Mumbility?

Mumbility tracks players who do not join Mumble-required lobbies. We use different cool down levels to find players who ruin the experience for other users by not joining Mumble and contributing to the game by communicating.

What are Mumbility cooldowns?

Mumbility levels displayed on your profile page translates into bans if you repeatedly refuse to join Mumble-required lobbies. These are:

  • Level 0 - 30 minutes
  • Level 1 - 60 minutes
  • Level 2 - 4 hours
  • Level 3 - 12 hours
  • Level 4 - 2 days
  • Level 5+ - 7 days

This may be better explained with an example:

  • Player starts at Mumble punishment level 0
  • Player joins Mumble-required lobby but doesn't join Mumble
  • End of game, player is banned from Mumble-required lobbies for 30 minutes, and Mumble punishment level is increased by 1 (to 1)
  • 30 minutes passes
  • Player joins Mumble-required lobby but doesn't join Mumble
  • End of game, player is banned from Mumble-required lobbies for 1 hour and Mumble punishment level is increased by 1 (to 2)
  • 1 hour passes
  • Player plays 5 Mumble-required lobbies and joins Mumble in each
  • Player punishment level is reduced by 1 (to 1)

Administering Lobbies

What server commands should I be aware of?

TF2Center handles most of the server commands for you to start a lobby. League configs are automatically executed and applied when a lobby is started. TF2Center will also handle calling substitutes in for absent players and handling reported players. Please see the Glossary for useful rcon commands.

I am trying to use x command on my server however it keeps being reverted back to the default setting?

TF2Center monitors all lobby servers for malicious commands such as cheats, gravity, critical hits and many more. This is to prevent malicious players degrading the lobby experience for others.

There is a troublesome player in the server. How do I kick this person from the game?

Please see above section for information about server commands. A player can be kicked from the game by using the 'rcon kickid' command and TF2Center will automatically report the player. A player can be manually reported by using ingame chat command !report. If the player continues to be disruptive, you may report him to TF2Center on the forums.

The lobby server has crashed. What do I do?

If your lobby server crashes, you may attempt to reinitialize the server. You can find this button on the main lobby page, on the top right hand side. TF2Center will attempt to reinitialize the server. If successful you will be informed and players may click the reconnect button to rejoin the server.

Reinitializing the server has not worked. What should I do?

It is likely your server reservation has expired or has not come online correctly and TF2Center can't initiate the rcon connection to the server. The best course of action is to inform lobby players and close the lobby immediately to prevent unnecessary player reporting and substitute calling for a dead lobby.

Playing Lobbies

A player in the lobby is disrupting gameplay or not playing their intended class. How can I vote kick them?

You may use the !rep chat command to report the player. At least 4 (or in case of 2v2: 3) players need to report the same player for the report to remove the player from the game and request a substitute player.

I can no longer participate in the lobby and would like to call a substitute for myself?

You may call a substitute for yourself by reporting yourself using the !rep chat command. Reporting yourself does not require multiple players to report you and the report will take effect immediately. You will be removed from the game once a substitute has been found.

What TF2Center in game chat commands are available?

Please see our Glossary section of the FAQ for further information.

Common Technical Issues

Mumble is reporting an error "Wrong password for registered users, please try again"

This error commonly occurs when you are already in a Mumble server and TF2Center initiates a request through your web browser to run and join TF2Center Mumble server. To resolve this:

  1. Close down any instances of Mumble client running on your computer.
  2. Click the Join Mumble button in your lobby page.

My Mumble client is not being launched automatically or the Join Server button to connect to the game server is not functioning properly?

Please check to ensure you browser supports URI links. See below for browser specific information. WARNING: Advanced users only

My mumble overlay isn't visible after launching into a lobby server?

This is a common problem caused by Team Fortress 2 launching prior to Mumble. To resolve this problem:

  1. Exit out of Team Fortress 2 and the Mumble client.
  2. Click the Join Mumble button on the lobby page to rejoin the Mumble server.
  3. Click the Reconnect button on the lobby page to launch the game into the lobby server.

Your overlay should now be visible and functioning as normal.

My mumble overlay is showing white bars where player names should be or only partial information is displayed correctly?

Some players have this particular issue and it's unknown what causes this. The workaround for this problem is as followed:

  1. Exit out of Team Fortress 2 and the Mumble client.
  2. Open your main Steam client window.
  3. Click on the Library button on the top left of the Steam window.
  4. Locate Team Fortress 2 in your games list. Right click on Team Fortress 2 and click Properties menu item.
  5. On the "Team Fortress 2 - Properties" dialog box that appears, under the General tab click the "Set Launch Options" button.
  6. Add the parameter "-nod3d9ex" excluding quotations into the text box. If you have existing options, add to the end of the line. Eg: "-sw -w 1920 -h 1080 -console -noborder -novid -nod3d9ex"
  7. Click the OK button to save the Launch option parameters. Click the Close button on the Properties dialog.

Your mumble overlay should now appear correctly.

Lobbies do not refresh automatically and I don't get notifications regarding lobbies starting the game?

This can occur if you are behind a restrictive proxy server. If possible, disable your proxy server prior to logging into TF2Center.

I attempt to sign in using Steam and enter the correct information. However I am taken back to the main lobby page with the Steam Login button still visible and I haven't been logged into my account?

This can occur if your name contains common tags used to identify Admins. You will be notified if this is the case by a message popup. Please remove any text in your Steam name that refers yourself as an Admin.

Another cause of this issue can be a restrictive firewall or antivirus closing connections between yourself, TF2Center and Steam. Try adding an exception to allow Steam and TF2Center, or temporarily disabling your protection when using TF2Center.

If you continue having issues, please let us know by posting in this thread on our forums.

I attempt to sign into TF2Center and I receive a message stating I need to set my Steam profile to public, even though my profile already is set to public?

This can occur if you have recently changed your profile from private to public within the last 30 minutes. Please wait a few minutes and try logging in again.

Occasionally Steam may not pass your profile details onto TF2Center correctly. This is easily resolved by a TF2Center admin. Please post in this thread on the forums and an admin will look into the issue for you.

The lobby server I am playing in has lost connection to Steam and item loadouts are not available?

Occasionally, Steam servers do go down and loadouts become unavailable. This is not a TF2Center specific problem, more so the game server itself. The best course of action is to contact the lobby creator. Generally a game server restart resolves this issue but not always. Further contact with your server provider may be required.

Common Technical Issues

TF2Center Chat Command Syntax

!rep or !report

Usage: !rep our/their <class> [number]

Useful rcon commands

Below is a list of commands and explanations that server operators should be aware of. Please note that all server commands must start with the word 'rcon' to inform your game console that you are intending to send a remote command to a server. For clarity, all commands listed below will have 'rcon' in front of the actual command.

  • rcon_password <password> - This command sets the RCON password for your client in order for the server to pass RCON commands.
  • rcon mp_timelimit - Sets the match minute time limit on the server. Default is '30'
  • rcon mp_winlimit - Sets the match win limit score that a team must reach to win the game.
  • rcon status - Shows the status of all connected players, their SteamID's, their ingame ID. This output is required to perform actions such as kicking and banning. A screenshot of this output is also useful for submitting ban requests.
  • rcon kickid <id#> - Kicks a player with a specified ID. The ID can be found by using the status command.
  • rcon banid <id#> - Bans a player with a specified ID. The ID can be found by using the status command.

This is not a comprehensive list of commands available. More information about server commands can be found below from community websites. Do note these are not maintained by TF2Center.