Valve cracks down: No more idling for cards and items in Team Fortress 2

Outraged Spy from Team Fortress 2 TF2

By on July 19, 2013 at 11:53 am

Valve have announced the release of a patch that will prevent players from simply sitting idle in Team Fortress 2 servers to get time-based item and card drops.

The solution, deployed last week, means that players are now only eligible for drops if they are actively playing the game on a VAC-secured server, and not just sitting in textmode.

“You will not be banned for just idling,” clarifies Valve. However you “may be banned if you use external programs to circumvent idle detection.”

With the introduction of the Steam marketplace and people paying real money for imaginary headwear, idling to generate item drops has become even more lucrative and silly then ever. Hopefully this new patch can put a stop this server-clogging practice.

Source: Team Fortress 2

7 comments (Leave your own)

While idling has always been a choice for people and we here at GON have even made servers available for players to use so they can idle if they choose, I really wonder if Valve is more concerned about the fact drops from idling could possibly skew the costs of items on the market place affecting what people may receive from selling their items or are they actually more concerned about how idling will effect the 15% tax they have added on to each transaction that goes to them.

There is a 5% market tax and a 10% TF2 tax.

That said (wishing I had more money to spend at this time) it’s the best time to stock up on keys or paint (if you are that way inclined) or basically anything they sell in the TF2 store at the moment as there is a huge surplus of keys (the old currency of trading) and other items being sold in the marketplace at prices much lower then you can buy them in the store.

The other thing I noticed about the marketplace though is that any money you may make from selling your items though can’t be exchanged for real world cash (you can only spend that money within steam), whereas if you look at the trading forums on the steampowered forums people where selling items for real world $$$.

Again, are Valve more concerned at protecting people from others or more concerned about not getting their share of that booty?


Actually, the changes are just for TF2 items, not trading cards. You can sit in the main menu and earn trading cards if you want, just as you can with any other game.

Valve doesn’t particularly care about people who idle for cards because there is a set limit on how many you can get from running the game anyway (which usually only takes a couple of hours to reach).


I never had a problem with people idling on specific idle servers. Certainly GON never seemed to have a problem with their regular servers.


quote from hlds email… ” ? It
looks like the only change is they don’t want you using TextMode, the
rest of the stipulations aren’t new and were brought forth when Tony
Paloma’s idler was nuked. If I’m reading it correctly, you can still
idle, just make sure you’re using your GPU.”

Nasty Wet Smear

… I’m not sure why a person would idle for the cards in the middle of a match when they could load the solo mode and idle there. Seems like they are just making life hard for everyone.


Would be better if they had to actually play rather than idle, but I guess that would mean them downloading a bot program.

Would be nice if more people were actually playing the game. Wanted to play yesterday at Pax free play but the only populated servers were idle and 2fort :-(


Would be better if they had to actually play rather than idle,

You ever jumped into an idle server? There are lots of people playing on them all the time… admittedly they are not playing a normal game but a lot are jumping around shooting the other team – who sometimes are shooting back, while their idle brothers and sisters are standing around waiting to die.

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