Team Fortress 2 is the premier first-person hat simulator with shooter elements, and its ever-growing cosmetic collection has given birth to an entire economy. So much so that certain cosmetics with specific effects can go for thousands of dollars. I knew a hat merchant years ago who was able to turn just a few pieces in his collection into direct infusions into his wallet and get others to pay him in games, as well. But do you need to have a hat if you’re newer to Team Fortress 2 (TF2)? The answer might surprise you.
Explaining Whether You Need a Hat to Play Team Fortress 2 (TF2)
In short, no, you do not need a hat in TF2. And what’s more, you’ll probably get a hat after a few hours of play, especially if you start opening crates. All nine of the classes in the game are perfectly usable — and I would say at their best — when they’re using their default kit or at least something very close to it. Team Fortress 2 was designed without any additional weapons in mind and certainly not with all the hats.
The only “disadvantage” of not having a hat in TF2 is you won’t have the same level of fashion as more veteran players, and you’ll be marked as a new player. That has its advantages, actually, as your teammates might be more forgiving of your mistakes and/or more willing to help you learn more about the game. The disadvantage is those same veterans on the enemy team will see you as easier prey and could single you out for what they consider easy points.
It shouldn’t take you long to start building a hat collection, however, as the crafting system in TF2 is very straightforward, and if you’re willing to spend just a few real-world dollars, you can all but guarantee at least one more class will be looking a bit more stylish. Personally, I prefer the minimalist look that maintains as much of the original art style as possible, but there are some genuinely outlandish cosmetics available these days — so you’re free to go as wild as you please.
Next up, check out some of the best maps for beginners in TF2.