Valve makes Team Fortress 2 free-to-play

Days after publishing free-to-play games from other developers on its Steam service, Valve has made free one of its most popular games, Team Fortress 2.

Team Fortress 2 has been one of Valve Software's most enduring hits. The game pits players against one another in online combat using different cartoonish characters, and it's available for both Mac and PC through Valve's popular Steam game service. Now it's available for free.

"There’s no catch! Play as much as you want, as long as you like," says Valve.

Team Fortress 2 pits two teams of players against each other in online, militaristic combat. Players choose from nine classes like Scout, Soldier, Heavy, Engineer and more. Team Fortress 2 has been perennial popular since its 2007 release in part because of its over-the-top humor and constantly evolving and improving gameplay.

If you've already paid for Team Fortress 2, don't feel like you've been ripped off - you now have a "premium account." The premium account has access to extra features, such as rare and cosmetic items that you get through random item drops. You can also store more items in your backpack (300 slots, compared to 50 slots in the free game) and have better trading and crafting abilities.

The move comes only days after Valve began offering free-to-play titles from other developers, and after it confirmed plans to do its own free-to-play title.

Speculation ran rampant as to what title Valve planned to do as free-to-play, though gamers quickly zeroed in on Team Fortress 2, which has developed a "microtransactional" economy of its own ever since an update which added a store - the Mann Co. - which enables players to buy, trade and customize inventory items in TF2 using a "Steam Wallet."

The move also happens concurrently with Valve's "Uber Update" for Team Fortress 2, which adds a ton of new maps, items and weapons to the game.

To play Team Fortress 2, all you need is to download the Steam client and run it on a PC or Mac that supports TF2. Check Steam for details.

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