TF2’s Sniper & Spy Get Milestone Achievements

He's all about compromise

Here’s a spot of news. Team Fortress 2 has received an update tonight that means the Sniper and Spy unlockables can now be received through gaining achievement milestones. This works alongside the controversial new random-o-drops that enable people to get new items out of the blue, blue sky. The change comes alongside a collection of fixes for bugs and exploits that were brought in with the new bits and bobs. So there we go. Is everyone happy now? Cheers to pezhore for alerting us.


  1. Legionary says:

    Excellent. Maybe now I’ll finally get that Huntsman which has made it a point of principle not to drop for me.

  2. Beastman says:

    Thank God.

    It really sucked when people were actually playing useful classes and having fun games instead of everyone flocking to the Sniper/Spy classes and having pointless stalemates.

  3. Freudian Trip says:

    Magically unlocked The Huntsman after achieving a Sniper milestone with the Pyro (little bugged out still me thinks)

  4. Blast Hardcheese says:

    I already got what I wanted, so I don’t need to bother with this.

  5. CMaster says:

    No RPS coverage of the unlockable hats yet?

  6. kobrad says:

    This is all very nice, getting our new weapons. But I have to wonder if the huntsman is made out of seven trillion polygons or what? This update made the game unplayable for me. Two updates back, I was flying.. The next big lesson for valve is optimizing the fricking code – this just killed the fun out of the new stuff.

  7. Stupoider says:

    I’m so happy. <3 No more idle servers!

  8. Dick Nickerson says:


    My thoughts exactly. Commence the Sniper/Spy spam.

  9. MeestaNob! says:

    @Freudian Trip
    No, that would be correct. You see, you would have had the requisite number of achievements completed to unlock the Huntsman however as the patch only now introduces the milestone/weapon unlock system for sniper/spy it is ‘catching up’ and awarding it to you retroactively. The class you were playing as when it realised what was happening is irrelevant to the server, it just doles out goodies when it’s told to!

  10. Wulf says:


    You said it.

    Hopefully the ‘Omgrindin’, Omgrindin’, Omgrindin’ fer ‘chievements! This game is lost and damned fer e’er, gtfo now plz kthx.‘ crew will be at a minimum.


    Ehh, who am I kidding?


    Oh well, at least the problem will be less pronounced than before.

  11. Stupid Fat Hobbit says:

    Yeah, all the Sniper milestones popped up when I joined a server earlier. Pity I have all the sniper unlocks already. Now if I could just get some hats…

    Anyway, this is only common sense. There’s no reason they shouldn’t have had both methods in since the update.


    Funny story. Remember how Valve designed their sniper update to bring the class closer to the middle of the fight? Check out any map with battlements, I dare ya.

    @Hobbit: The idea was that there would be fewer achievement servers (truly, grinding for items) and more balanced team from the onset of the patch. The lack of SPYSNIPER FORTRESS until this point suggests that the latter worked. Of course, achievement_idle laughs at Valve’s attempts.

    Oh, and +1 preferring only randoms.

  13. Jayteh says:

    I think the problem in the end was the duplicates. If the drop rate was lower, and there was no chance of duplicates, problem solved.


    Of course, if the drop rate were lower, more people would cry over not getting anything.

  15. abhishek says:

    The random unlock system (if implemented correctly) would have been head and shoulders above this achievement based system. All they had to do is a) remove any chance of getting a duplicate item until you had all the new (or unique) ones and b) implement an algorithm which guarantees an unlock after a certain amount of time (maybe 2-3 hours played or 10-15 rounds completed or something like that).
    I’m not a fan of unlocks in the first place, as I believe that there is nothing wrong in letting everyone have access to all the weapons as soon as they are made available. However, if unlocks must be implemented, taking care of the above points would be how I would do it.

  16. ChampionHyena says:

    As I’m sure you all know, Valve is planning to roll out item trading and a method to influence the system so we can work directly toward getting specific items. These did not arrive with the random drop-o-matic, so it’s been kind of a pain in the ass. I think if this all arrived at once, life would be MUCH simpler and people would be lauding the new random loot.

    As it stands? No one seems to like it. Hell, I don’t like it! Sitting idle in a server all night to get the freaking bow I should have had on merit anyway? I never thought I’d want achievement unlocks back, but… here we are.

    Stupid Fat Hobbit is right. Having both methods is simpler. People who have been playing TF2 since beta can get their unlocks the old fashioned way, and newbies with less-honed skills can still play with the new toys if they get lucky.

    Seems there’s got to be a better way than either, though.

  17. Blast Hardcheese says:

    @Heavy Weapons Guy: I’m riiiight behind you.
    But I disagree. The Huntsman HAS been getting Snipers to get a tad closer to the fray, so I don’t mind it. Plus, it’s dodgable if you know they guy is shooting for you. The Rifle just requires the Sniper to stay alive a few seconds while he takes your head off. There are multiple maps where the Sniper can be basically invisible while he waits for his shot. On a CTF map of course, this is irrelevant, but those usually have battlements anyways.

  18. autogunner says:

    achievment based forever in my opinion. these things only swing round twice a year so having to put up with class spamms for two months out of each year doesnt bother me, and teaches you new tricks both with the classes and against them, for example, engineers have got a hell of a lot better and foiling spies

    also if they were done well, like the pyro update, the achievements could be used to teach new skills

  19. Nimic says:

    I’ve played quite a few hours since the class update, and I’ve yet to receive a single “drop”. While my cousin, who I’ve played with on all those occasions, has gotten at least three.

    But I still think this is a bad change. It was refreshing how not everyone was flocking to the two classes. Sure, you might see a few more snipers and a few more spies in certain games, but usually people would just go on with their merry days.

  20. Mr Popov says:

    @Blast Hardcheese

    DOdgeable yes. But also able to hit someone who rounds a corner when you’ve got an arrow enroute ;)

  21. feffrey says:

    finally I can unlock something.
    I have played around 30 hours (not all at once ofc) of TF2 since the sniper and spy stuff got put in and I never got a single unlock, hat, or anything. I never got any that I already had!
    I even spectated on several different servers for hours on ends and never got a single unlock.
    hopefully now I can actually get something.

  22. Redford says:

    If anything this new update has motivated me to play scout a lot more then usual to counter the sniper and spy rushes.

    Also, by the by, does this mean if everyone complains about how snipers can instakill half the classes in the game with an uncharged headshot, they might actually make an attempt to balance the class on something other then raw skill?


  23. Vinraith says:

    I enjoyed the old unlock system, it encouraged me to play classes outside my comfort zone and game me something to work for. That said, with the random drops, it seems to me the best solution would simply be to eliminate the concept of unlocks entirely and simply give everyone all the weapons from the outset. Introducing that much luck into the system is just crappy.

  24. Messiah Complex says:


    I couldn’t agree more. Tonight, I played 2Fort as a Sniper, and got my Huntsman within 15 minutes. Finally! I spent the rest of the night running into the enemy base and missing 9 out of 10 things I aimed at. I enjoyed every minute.

  25. Cunningbeef says:

    I got the Jarate about 30 seconds after joining a server. It was kinda confusing.

  26. HellFire says:

    Well the achievement milestone’s are 5 ; 11 ; 17 …i have 29 achievements done with sniper and 27 with spy…. how or when will these 3 achievements unlock Oo ?

  27. Admiral Dread says:

    I actually prefer the drop system entirely, but I just hate grinding achievements for items. Before they put the milestones back it seems to be there was hardly an influx of spy/snipers at all, asides from a few extra basically playing with their new toys. I come on today and there was colored dots and arrows wizzing all over the freaking place.

    That all said, nothing is more annoying then getting five items you already own in a row.

  28. Shadowcat says:

    -1 for achievement-based upgrades.

    @ChampionHyena says:

    Seems there’s got to be a better way than either, though.

    There is, and it’s ridiculously simple: Don’t make the new features ‘special’.

    All this nonsense about achievement grinding or random drops is ignoring the obvious solution. Make them just like all the other weapons in the game (i.e. selectable by default), and suddenly, magically, you have a balanced game once more.

    (Or if you don’t have a balanced game, then Valve screwed up, and they need to fix it — but that is the case regardless of how the new features are attained.)

  29. Alex says:

    I hope that they have the time to fix some of the new animations. The first-person reload for the Ambassador is really sketchy.

    I hope they keep the third-arm-cloak-and-dagger bug, though. That’s just fun.

  30. Y3k-Bug says:

    Valve is so odd sometimes. Why didn’t they just do this initially?

    They create some of the most compelling games in the world, but man they do things sometimes that is just baffling.

    I honestly don’t get what people (or Valve for that matter) are looking for out of all this. They make an extremely good game, where one or 2 classes are updated at a time, and they want to stop people from grinding for the achievements? That’s impossible. It’s new stuff.

    The expectation that people WON’T want the new stuff is bizarre to me. The only way this can be avoided is if all 9 classes were released in one shot. Since that’s impossible for balance reasons, people are going to just flock to the updated class. It only lasts a few weeks anyway.

    Also, why do they feel the need to do this now? There are only 3 classes left anyway.

  31. The Fanciest of Pants says:

    Yeah, releasing this system without the aforementioned trade/influence stuff in place was a tad silly.

    It’s nice that I now(through milestones) have an ambassador finally to go with my 8 dead ringers and 2 cloak and daggers.

  32. Dave says:

    That would explain why I suddenly got a bunch of milestones and Jarate, then, plus another duplicate Spy watch. I think some of the achievements are a little broken anyway though.

    The Huntsman’s strength is at close-to-medium range I think. I love playing a Sniper now, whereas I would only occasionally enjoy it before when I was having a lucky streak (or maybe when the other team sucked.)

  33. Muffin Man says:

    Awesome! I already have 19 Spy achievements, so I should get one more item now, and another pretty soon. :)

  34. Jazmeister says:

    Why didn’t anyone do secret achievements yet? Like, it doesn’t even tell you how many there are, or how to get them? They’re all designed to reward good fun spy stuff. Are they supposed to be instructional?

    And why couldn’t they just stop duplicates? WHY?

  35. anonymous17 says:

    +1 for achievement unlocks.

    You don’t actually have to get them by grinding, quite often weapons can be unlocked while playing on a normal server by getting the achievements while playing a normal game. Previously it didn’t feel this system obfuscated the actual game. Random unlocks are just too random, achievement unlocks do cause unlock servers but at least then those that want wish to spend time there can do so away from crowds.

  36. Lobotomist says:

    I seen a guy (scout) run with a helmet , and another one (also scout) without hat…

    So i guess Hats are in

    Also i got ubersaw unlocked, but when i wanted to equip it – it wasnt there…


  37. Wedge says:

    I must have missed the whole people not stacking servers full of useless spies and snipers just because the achievements didn’t unlock them. Because y’know, it happened. People don’t stack the classes like that to get the achievements, they do it to use the new crap. And unless Valve makes it so only a few people can get the new stuff (which they sort of did this time, though it just rightfully pissed everyone off), that’s never going to change. Just get over it, everything will be relatively normal in another week or two.

  38. MrBejeebus says:

    Im perfectly happy with this, as i had EARNED all the achievements playing normally, and was given every item, theres still the hats tho…

    for people that dont have the time to play enough to get achievements, the item drop system works…

  39. anonymous17 says:

    If the outcome is still exactly the same as the original system, changing it back now ultimately has proved nothing. Everybody still chose to be a Sniper or Spy because they wanted the random unlock chance. The fact of restraining the introduction of new weapons to the characters didn’t have any impact on the character balance.

    Valve’s system of introducing unlock weapons this way is going to cause this problem of many-same-character – it is unavoidable, having the better system in place for the long time is a better solution – although trying a different idea is not bad – in this case it hasn’t worked out.

    If TF2 ends up in a situation where people with the unlocks are far superior to those without – the game will be broken.

  40. Rakysh says:

    I’m for just letting everyone have everything. I’m also for being a pyro for the next week or so, as most of my frequented servers have sniper limits, so there can be teams more than 50% spy. It’s awesome.

  41. derFeef says:

    Valve listens, but maybe they listens too much. The impatient community whined so much that they maybe destroyed the future plans of the new item system. The TF2 team may have a lot more work now and has to rethink some things.

  42. fishmitten says:

    I wondered why I couldn’t get into a proper game last night.

    Still, it’s better in principal than the random drops.

  43. Dood says:


    That reminds me of this Yahtzee quote: “Fans are clingy complaining dipshits who will never ever be grateful for any concession you make. The moment you shut out their shrill tremulous voices, the happier you’ll be for it.”

    God, I hate those whiners at the Steam Forums. It’s the same with Left4Dead. Let’s just hope Valve don’t listen to them too much.

  44. Psychopomp says:


    First thing I thought upon reading that patch note.

  45. Vandelay says:

    Partly glad, partly disappointed.

    First off, excellent that I don’t have to wait ungodly number of hours to get the new weapons (still only got the Jarate, plus a fair few duplicates.) If the milestones are as someone says above (5, 11, 17) then I already have half of the new weapons (2 sniper, 1 spy – and only 1 more achievement to get the next.)

    Having said that, the new improvement unlock system could have been a great replacement if altered slightly. If they had of just made a drop more likely the better you are playing (base it on round position, dominations, kills or whatever you like) that would still give all players a chance to play with the new toys and reward those that are good. They could also give a way of weighting the probability towards particular weapons, you could rank them in preference or something, which removes the frustration of getting duplicates constantly, but still keep the potential for getting them (I’m sure there is going to be reason for the duplicates, and probably more reason than the trading system they will be implementing.)

    I’m also just disappointed in Valve not sticking to their guns with their plans. Instead they cave into the whiners on Steam forums, who don’t have the patience to wait and see what Valve are planning to do when the system is fully put in place.

    edit: couple of other things. From my personal experience, the new system did seem to make far less snipers and spies on servers compared to the achievements. I expect the game will be barely playable for the coming weeks.

    Also, the main problem with the drops is the fact that the chance of getting duplicates is so high. I really can’t believe Valve when they say the majority of players don’t have the unlocks. How often do you not see a medic with the Ubersaw? Or a Heavy with the KGB? I expect their stats are probably skewed due to including people who don’t play the game, who have just bought it as part of the Orange Box or another package. If the system had of been implemented from the very start (or they could just remove everyone’s unlocks – imagine the reaction on the steam forums then) there would be none of this complaining and the system would probably be liked by most people.

  46. Lemming says:


    Hats are definitely in, you can see them all here:

    link to

    Unless u dont want to ruin the surprise…

  47. CakeAddict says:

    Now I can finally get some of those new unlocks, instead of more mountains of sandviches seriously Valve I’m on a diet!

  48. EBass says:

    I’d much prefer it if they kept the “random” unlock system but made it based on cool stuff.

    So get 5 headshots in a row. Unlock
    Or get two kills in midair. Unlock.

    Of course it wouldn’t be that simple, not like every time you did a specific pre-ordained thing you got an unlock. But if occasionally you did something really cool it might reward you with some random crap.

    Not easy to code, but I’m sure you could work in the algorithms.

  49. Andy says:

    I dunno if everyone else is knows this but I only just realised, arrows from the huntsman can be set on fire if they pass through the pyros flame, and then you have FLAMING ARROWS!!!!!!!!11111111111

  50. Freudian Trip says:

    My only problem with the huntsman is that not only does it make the sniper just as awesome from long range but he’s got an instakill from 5 yards. The amount of time I’ve scouted these arseholes to receive a huntsman through my little toe annoys me. It kind of destroys the point in the scout in that you need to try get as close as possible, but getting that close will just get you owned in the face, so I end up taking them out with the pistol from range instead.