Team Fortress 2's 'Love and War' update out now

After kneading the community into a yeasty mush of excitement, Valve have finally pulled their update out of the oven. Love and War is available now, bringing a selection of new taunts and weapons. In addition, they've slightly tweaked their long-standing secret recipe. By which I mean they've seriously altered the balance of the Demoman's Sticky Launcher.

The primary themes of Love and War are, in no particular order, guns, bread and dancing. The new taunts can work across the team divide, and as such, the game is currently filling with impromptu conga breaks .

The new weapons have somehow caused everyone in our office to reinstall the game, despite it already being packed with weapons. Chiefly, I suspect, it's because we want to try out the Soldier's new parachute. Although, I'm just as interested in the Scout's new back-critting shotgun. (I hold the unpopular opinion that Scout is the best stealth class. Other people would say Spy, but he can literally turn invisible. That's cheating.)

But here's a thing: a couple of balance changes will cause dramatic shifts to long-standing loadouts. For one thing, there's the Sticky Launcher—with this update, its bombs now have a damage ramp-up. It's a big nerf to air-sticky attacks, as it'll take two seconds from shooting for a bomb to do full damage. It's an attempt to shift the weapon to its original trap-setting purpose. It's just weird that it's taken this long to happen.

Also changed: the Pyro's Axtinguisher. That will now only do mini-crits on burning targets if attacked from the front. It makes me a sad Pyro.

See the full patch notes below.

Love & War Update

  • Added 5 new weapons, 15 new taunts, and 43 cosmetic items for the Love & War update

  • Partner Taunts can now be performed with the opposing team

  • Added a new Taunt Loadout with 8 slots so multiple taunts can be equipped at the same time

  • Taunts are no longer equipped in the Action Slot

  • Pressing the Taunt key in game now brings up the new Taunt Selection menu

  • Pressing the taunt key while the Taunt Selection menu is open performs a weapon taunt, or joins a partner taunt

Mann Co. Store

  • Added 15 new taunts and a taunt bundle

  • Added 5 new weapons and a weapon bundle

  • Added 44 new cosmetics and a cosmetic bundle

  • Added "Taunt" category into the store

  • Added Mann Co. Stockpile Crate Key

  • The "Hats" and "Misc" categories have been merged into "Cosmetics"


  • Added the Mann Co. Stockpile Crate to the droplist

  • Each Mann Co. Stockpile Crate can be repeatedly shuffled to contain a set of 4 possible items

  • Added the Mann Co. Audition Reel. Contains taunts and a rare chance at an unusual taunt

  • Updated Mann Co. Crates to display which Unusual Series they can potentially output

  • Added Bread Box Special Crafting Recipe. This recipe will no longer be available after July 9th, 2014. Items from the Bread box have a chance to be strange.

  • Added crafting recipes for newly added weapons

  • Added Killstreak Kits to MvM for newly added weapons

  • Added OzFortress Season 11 tournament medals

Weapon changes and updates

  • With The Hitman's Heatmaker, pressing 'reload' now activates focus when it is full

  • The Axtinguisher now does mini-crit damage from the front and full crit damage from behind to burning targets

  • The Bushwacka can no longer randomly crit

  • All mini-guns now have damage and accuracy ramp up after they start firing. Full accuracy and damage is reached 1 second after firing.

  • All Demoman stickybombs now have damage ramp up. Full damage is reached 2 seconds after firing.

  • Updated Loch-n-Load reload animation

  • Sentry bullets are now affected by damage falloff outside of sentry scan range

  • Sentry bullet damage has been changed so it calculates damage based on the sentry's position, not the Engineer's

Misc Changes

  • Updated the Halloween holiday to automatically be enabled when the server runs an _event map

  • Added a check to prevent achievement announcement spam

  • Converted several weapon models to use the c_models system

  • Updated the localization files

  • Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an exploit where charging Demoman could turn more than allowed

  • Fixed a bug where Halloween spellbooks were overriding PDAs and Disguise Kits

  • Fixed The Director's Vision taunt not playing both variations for the Pyro

  • Fixed the Pyro's spell audio not sounding like the rest of the Pyro's audio

  • Fixed a bug that would sometimes cause items to unequip themselves

  • Fixed a dedicated server crash related to using 'mp_forcecamera 0' with one player on the server

  • Fixed a regression with the trigger_gravity entity not correctly applying its settings

  • Fixed another exploit where Engineer buildings could build up a large amount of health

  • Fixed a server performance issue related to the item_teamflag entity

  • Fixed the itemtest command

    - Fixed cosmetics shared between multiple classes not rendering correctly

    - Updated the cosmetic item list to sort by name

Map Fixes

  • Updated cp_granary

    - Removed collision from lights and small props protruding from walls

    - Fixed collision on fences

    - Fixed the tire props near Blu's forward spawn so players may no longer jump up to the spawn door platform

    - Fixed players shooting through gaps around forward spawn doors

    - Fixed door protruding through roof on Red's forward spawn

    - Fixed a collision bug that gave players access to the roof above Red's spawn door

    - Prevented players from building inside spawn room doors

    - Adjusted area portals to improve rendering and performance

  • Updated koth_harvest_final

    - Added metal panel prop to Blu building, which now mirrors the jump up on the Red side

    - Small performance increase through prop fade adjustments

    - Players can no longer build inside spawn doors

  • Updated pl_upward

    - Fixed physics debris triggering the payload cart's finale explosion

Image credit: The Toastening , by ToastPlusScience.

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.