You won't find 100 players in a Team Fortress 2 server, but that's a good thing

Engineer and Sniper
(Image credit: Valve)

Trapped in spawn with my back against the wall and a gaggle of pyros waiting at the exit, I can't help but think to myself that more players in Team Fortress 2 servers may not be a good thing.

There's been a ton of great updates for Team Fortress 2 over the year ever since Valve announced its 'Big Summer Update'. The update came complete with 14 new maps and 25 cosmetics; a veritable wedge of new and great content available to players. The latest of those updates brought a chance for server player caps to be set to 100, far higher than the original 32. Valve are key to stress that while they're pushing the update, they didn't make it and it is "unsupported and not recommended". 

While this new capacity sounds intriguing, you'll be hard-pressed to find a server which actually tests the limits of everything we know Team Fortress 2 is capable of. Unfortunately, if you log onto the 16-year-old game, it doesn't seem as if anyone is playing in these gigantic areas. Instead, many are still opting for the good old 32 players. 

Despite missing out on getting to see just how chaotic these 100-player servers are, the TRG team did have the perfect excuse to dive back into TF2 and what the state of this iconic title was like. 

The last time I ran around with a Scattergun was a few years ago when my group of friends had played through every multiplayer game known to man and had run out of ideas. At first, it was pleasantly fun, but soon we were plagued by hordes of bots, all pointing their sniper rifle to the sky and downing us with one shot as soon as we peeked out of spawn. 

Thankfully this time around, there was nothing of the sort. I was happily surprised not to play cat and mouse, running away from bots from one server to the next. Instead, we played through entire games with only the occasional (alleged) cheater rearing their head.

 After the initial joy wore off, we got to play a proper game of Team Fortress 2 for the first time in years, and it went exactly as you'd expect. While it's definitely true that it plays better than expected, as I was only phased into the backrooms once, it took a few games for the team matchmaking to balance out.  

Spy sneaking up behind a sniper

(Image credit: Valve)

Playing medic in the first few rounds meant that I spent most of my time trapped in spawn in a futile effort to give the heavy enough healing to make a dent in the enemy team's defense or at least kill one of the many turrets watching our exit doorrs. Sadly, none of this worked out quite the way we wanted it to, as most of our games ended brutally. 

Luckily, by the end, we managed to find a match with balanced matchmaking. This was enough to remind me why I used to spend hours and hours playing Team Fortress 2 with my friends as I sped around the map as Scout and had the thrilling fights that I had long forgotten. 

Despite our experience in Team Fortress 2 being a mixed bag, it's great to see such a well-loved game getting some attention after all these years. It can often be hard to freshen up a title like this, so even if 100-player servers may be hard to comprehend and even harder to find, it's at least a sign that this multiplayer FPS is still alive and kicking. 

If you're in the mood for a shooter that is slightly more current, then check out our best FPS games list for all the must-haves. 

Elie Gould
Features Writer

Elie is a Features Writer for TechRadar Gaming, here to write about anything new or slightly weird. Before writing for TRG, Elie studied for a Masters at Cardiff University JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their free time filming short docs or editing the gaming section for their student publications. 

Elie’s first step into gaming was through Pokémon but they've taken the natural next step in the horror genre. Any and every game that would keep you up at night is on their list to play - despite the fact that one of Elie’s biggest fears is being chased.