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The Differences Between "Premium" and "Free" players.

#1electroflamePosted 6/26/2011 3:27:59 PMmessage detail(edited)
I figured I'd cross-post the official information regarding free users and premium users and answer some of the more frequently posted questions in the process.

Q. Who has a free account?
Anyone who has downloaded the game for free and has not made a purchase in the in-game Mann Co. store has a free account.

Q. Who has a premium account?
If you've ever spent money on TF2, you have a premium account. This includes purchasing the game before it was Free-to-Play, activating a retail version of the game, or making a purchase in the Mann Co. in-game store.

Q. How is a free account different than a premium account?
Premium accounts have a few extra features, including access to rare and cosmetic items through random item drops, the ability to store more items in your backpack, and more powerful trading and crafting abilities. Otherwise, the gameplay experience will be identical for both accounts.

Account comparison:
-------------------Free----------------------------------Premium
Backpack:---50 slots-------------------------------300 slots (expandable up to 1000)
Items:--------Standard------------------------------Standard, Rare and Cosmetic
Crafting:-----Limited blueprints------------------All blueprints
Trading:-----Receive items only-----------------Full trading
Gifting:------Can receive gifts---------------------Can give and receive gifts

Q. How much of the game can I play without paying anything?
The entire game can be played without making a purchase. All game modes, classes, and maps are available. Nearly every weapon is available through achievements, drops, or crafting.

Q. How do I play?
Install Steam. Download TF2 and play! If you've never played before, going through some training is highly recommended.

You can install Steam here: http://store.steampowered.com/about/

Q. Is there a way to practice before I play online?
Yes. We offer helpful training campaigns that will teach you the basic gameplay mechanics of various mercenaries. We also have a mode that allows you to practice on an assortment of maps with CPU bots with a variety of skill levels.

Q. How do I convert my free account to a premium account?
Make any purchase of any amount in the in-game Mann Co. store.

Q. Will I need a credit card to play?
No. However, to make purchases from the in-game Mann Co. Store you will need to use one of our accepted payment methods.

Q. What is the Mann Co. Store?
The finest virtual item store in the world, easily accessible from within the TF2 game client.

Q. What are the system requirements?
Check the Team Fortress 2 game page for Mac and PC requirements.

No need to check Steam; here they are, for your reading pleasure:

PC Requirements
Minimum: 1.7 GHz Processor, 512MB RAM, DirectX® 8.1 level Graphics Card (Requires support for SSE), Windows® 7 (32/64-bit)/Vista/XP, Mouse, Keyboard, Internet Connection

Recommended: Pentium 4 processor (3.0GHz, or better), 1GB RAM, DirectX® 9 level Graphics Card, Windows® 7 (32/64-bit)/Vista/XP, Mouse, Keyboard, Internet Connection

Mac Requirements
Minimum: OS X version Leopard 10.5.8, Snow Leopard 10.6.3, 1GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8 or higher, ATI X1600 or higher, or Intel HD 3000 or higher Mouse, Keyboard, Internet Connection

Q. What happens if I buy a retail copy of TF2?
You will automatically be upgraded to have a premium account and will be given a special Proof of Purchase hat to wear on any character in-game.
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Could be worse, they could have been American givers and you would have been smothered in small pox. -fakenamefignuts on Indian-Giving.
Steam ID: electroflame
#2electroflame(Topic Creator)Posted 6/26/2011 3:43:35 PMmessage detail(edited)
Q. How does Free-to-Play affect existing users?
It doesn’t. You can keep enjoying TF2 as you have before, with all the features and content you’ve come to expect from TF2.

Q. What do I get if I paid for the game?
To thank you for your years of support, we will be giving players who have purchased TF2 a special Proof of Purchase hat to wear on any character in-game.

Q. Won’t going Free to Play mean more griefers and cheaters?
We’re increasing our focus on making sure that hostile players can’t ruin your fun. Specifically, we’ll be keeping a close eye on players exploiting the ability to make infinite free accounts to bypass bans. We’ve built systems that’ll allow us to measure and track what these players are doing, and respond quickly.

Q. How does the Coaching feature work?
If a new player on a Free account upgrades to a premium account and indicates that you were their most helpful friend, you will receive a wearable item. Helping new users via the Coaching feature is a great way to meet new players and help them out!

For some non-official info:

Q. How cheap is it to upgrade to premium?
Short answer? Very.
Longer answer? The cheapest thing in the store as of right now is either the Sticky Jumper or Rocket Jumper; each being $0.50. However, the minimum you can put into your steam wallet is $5.00, so you can either spend that all in the Mann Co. Store, or save the $4.50 towards the purchase of your next Steam game. The bare minimum amount you can get premium for is $0.50.

You can add funds to your Steam Wallet here: http://store.steampowered.com/steamaccount/addfunds

Q. If I'm a free player, won't everyone notice and gang-up on me?
Short answer? Probably not.
Longer answer? There is no easy way to tell on first glance whether a player is a freebie or premium. If they wear the Proof of Purchase, then they are obviously a premium player, but otherwise, you should be safe as a freebie. However, if you somehow join a premium extremist server as a freebie, all bets are off.

Q. Is this game still fun?
Your viewpoint on fun and my viewpoint on fun are probably different, but on the whole, yes. This game is still fun.

Q. Is it too late to join in?
No, not really. You should still have fun, and you'll pick up skills rather quickly.

Q. What's this 'trading' thing, and why is it important?
Trading is where players can trade items, metal and hats amongst themselves. Remember, if you're a free player, you can only receive items. You cannot give them. If you are a premium, you can both give and receive.

Regarding the second half of the question: It's important because it's how players get rid of things they don't want, and get things they do want in return. It's a useful tool, but beware of scams!

Q. That sounds great! How do I set up trades?
You can go to special trade servers dedicated to trading, and shop around in those. Use your server browser to find a server running a map with the word "trade" in the name.

Alternatively, you can post a trade request topic here, on GameFAQs/Gamespot. Just go here:
http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/2000444-team-fortress-2-trading

Hopefully this helps out all of the new players, or new players-to-be.

Some other helpful things:
The Official Free-To-Play Info:
http://www.teamfortress.com/freetoplay/faq.php
The Official TF2 Blog:
http://www.teamfortress.com
The Official TF2 Wiki:
http://wiki.teamfortress.com/wiki/Main_Page
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Could be worse, they could have been American givers and you would have been smothered in small pox. -fakenamefignuts on Indian-Giving.
Steam ID: electroflame
#3XIII_foolmoPosted 6/26/2011 3:03:10 PMmessage detail
this helps so much
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_foolmo_
'Oh please, if foolmo made that analogy you'd think it was picture perfect' - Biolizard28
#4Crazyclock222Posted 6/26/2011 3:03:34 PMmessage detail
Thank you. Now we can redirect all questions about this here.
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Sorry, busy being awesome.
360 gamertag: Crazyclock222 PSN name: Crazyclock
#5electroflame(Topic Creator)Posted 6/26/2011 3:04:20 PMmessage detail
No problem. Just doing my part to de-clutter the board.
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Could be worse, they could have been American givers and you would have been smothered in small pox. -fakenamefignuts on Indian-Giving.
Steam ID: electroflame
#6XanderKagePosted 6/26/2011 3:05:20 PMmessage detail
Q. How does Free-to-Play affect existing users?
It doesn’t


Oh, Valve, you so troll.
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#7woody71Posted 6/26/2011 3:11:27 PMmessage detail(edited)
why not just make a link to tne TF2 site you copy pasted this off -_- also if you do copy pasta it's nice to put "source;<site>" at the bottom instead of pretending you did alot of work

edit;sorry if I came off as a jerk I realize your trying to help
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If you want to teach me how to spell, mail me. Just don't clutter my topic.
#8electroflame(Topic Creator)Posted 6/26/2011 3:19:26 PMmessage detail(edited)
woody71 posted...
why not just make a link to tne TF2 site you copy pasted this off -_- also if you do copy pasta it's nice to put "source;<site>" at the bottom instead of pretending you did alot of work

First, I formatted it so it looked nice and read easily. Secondly, I answered questions not addressed by the official info at the bottom. Third, some people don't go to the TF2 Blog, so I figured that having all the text in one place would be nice. Finally, if it was so easy, I don't know why nobody else did it before me. But, sure, I'll add a source link to the bottom.

Edit: I appreciate the apology. I appended the source link and some other helpful links to the bottom post.
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Could be worse, they could have been American givers and you would have been smothered in small pox. -fakenamefignuts on Indian-Giving.
Steam ID: electroflame
#9Emporer_KazbarPosted 6/26/2011 3:16:47 PMmessage detail
Sticky requested
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Yes, I know I'm never getting rid of this signature
#10Alpha218Posted 6/26/2011 3:18:00 PMmessage detail
Requested a sticky.
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