Underappreciated Cosmetic Items with Surprising Synergy

Is gud deel.
Is gud deel.

Ever since the dawn of Mann, men have been wearing hats. In fact, it’s because the social norm to be wearing hats. Trust me, brother, you don’t want to be a man without a hat. Would you believe me if I told you that there were over 1,000 cosmetic options for your character to wear (even if most of them are competitive badges)? That is a lot of items. Would you also believe me if I told you that more than half of these items won’t look good with any other item that you wear? Fact of the matter is, committing your character to a specific loadout theme can be tough because A) There aren’t a whole lot of cosmetic items designed to look good with other cosmetic items and B) You want to look unique! You want your mercenary to stand out amongst his peers, but you don’t want to shell out money for an unusal.

Before we get started talking about how to make your character fly, Like A G6, let’s face a very real truth. You will have to spend money on this game to look cool. I’m sorry, but that’s the truth. I hear some people say that TF2 is a  “Pay To Win” game, and this isn’t the case. TF2 is certainly a “Pay to look Cool” game, though. In a perfect world, you could find every hat and misc and paint can that you want in a timed drop, if you don’t mind waiting a few years. But this world is not perfect. Fact of the matter is, if you want to get the items you want, try my patented “Three B’s of Trading”™: Buy, Barter, Borrow. Buy it from the store, Barter with your fellow players, or Borrow it from your richer friends.

Aaaanyway. Enough jibber jabber. Before we get into this, I’d like to clarify that this list isn’t going to be things like the Item Sets of old, and the sets valve has more recently tried to incorporate by adding one or two relevantly themed items (for example, the Cool Breeze was given the Black Watch and the Gaelic Garb to turn it into an awesome looking Scots Guard looking thing). Instead, we’ll look at individual items that you may not have thought to consider with ones you might have.

The Fortune Hunter and any Winter Item

Ever said to yourself “Gee, I sure wish that I could make my TF2 characters look like mountain climbers…” Well, now you can! This exceptionally cheap (1.22 refined at the time this article was written) misc looks great with your Kringle Collection, Sub Zero Suit, Antarctic Parka, heck, even the Cozy Camper (a weapon), when worn with a wintery hat like the Cold Killer, can give you that awesome mountain-climber look. The synergy with a Soldier’s ability to rocket jump up tall heights is obvious. With the addition of the Demoman’s  hiking boots and plaid Tyrollean, the Fortune Hunter is all you need for an awesome Alpine Mountain Climbing adventure.

The Mutton Mann and the Tuxxy

When the night, has cooooome~
When the night, has cooooome~

“Hello… Hi there… How are you doing? Look at this haaaaaaaaaaaaat!” is what you’ll be singing as you and three friends roll up on Dustbowl dressed like the members of a Barbershop Quartet. And how convenient! It’s wearable by four different classes! Imagine that? Engie, Demo, and Medic (much less so Sniper) are classes that coordinated friends should definitely consider playing anyway, so you can be even more like a barbershop quartet when you taunt in perfect, four-part harmony. Combine with the Sniper’s Sydney Strawboat, the Engineer’s Dome Shine, the Medic’s fedoras and trilbies, and the Demoman’s Top Hat for added hilarity.

The Soldier’s Banners, The Sniper’s Backpacks, and the Demoman’s Shields

“Hey! Those aren’t cosmetic items! Those are weapons!”, you say. Well, you, they are! You see, unlike most weapons in most other shooter games (like the Halo and Call of Duty series, for example), weapons that aren’t equipped in TF2 don’t have a presence in the world. That is to say that they disappear into another dimension and don’t rest on your character’s back like in those other games I mentioned. However, the Buff Banner, Battalion’s Backup, Concheror, Chargin’ Targe, Splendid Screen, Darwin’s Danger Shield, Cozy Camper, and Razorback do, even if you’re not actively using them. Thus, they’re cosmetic items! The Buff Banner and Battalion’s Backup are fairly easy to pair with most Soldier miscs, for a World War II radio operator theme. The Concheror, too, is easy to pair with the Killer’s Kabuto or Furious Fukaamigasa. With the addition of a Festive Buff Banner, it becomes an awesome winter-time 3rd Misc (that actually does something!). The obvious setup with The Crocodile Smile, Ol’ Snaggletooth, Lil’ Snaggletooth, and the Darwin’s Danger Shield is nice, but the Razorback coupled with Halloween exclusive Hallowed Headcase can turn the mild-mannered Australian Sniper into a creepy tribal in an instant. 

 Letch’s LED and The Pyrovision Goggles

Screen shot 2014-01-10 at 8.02.08 PM
I’d apologize for the poor quality, but that’s what you’ve all come to expect of me.

If you’ve ever spoken to me about cosmetic items before, you’ll probably know that I was very underwhelmed by the Robotic Boogaloo Update. If you’ve ever played Team Fortress 2 before, you’ll probably know that the Pyrovision Goggles suck ass. However, the amount of Pyrovision elements you can remove in the Options menu is enough to make the trip into Pyroland a lot more bearable. So, have you ever wanted your Sniper to look like a Terminator with nightvision goggles? Now you can, by equipping these two items together. Letch’s LED is also paintable, allowing you to change the color of your eye pieces, which can lead to some awesomely intimidating looks.

The Soviet Gentleman (And Some Others)

Facial hair. The very words sound so manly and testosterone-y. Hats like the Soviet Gentleman, Belgian Detective, Front Runner, Macho Mann, Hound Dog, and Liquidator’s Lid that add additional things that you’d normally need a second equip slot for, like a moustache or sunglasses, are awesome. The Summer Shades, Gray Banns, and Professor’s Speks all look great, but if you could combine an awesome hairdo and sunglasses in one, you can put even more things on your loadout! Amazing! The Macho Mann is one of my favorite items that they’ve ever added, boasting a kickass moustache, reminiscent of Super Troopers, and a mirrored aviators, it fits right at home with TF2’s 60’s art style. The picture below demonstrates what amazing references you can craft with the Macho Mann and the Sergeant’s Drill Hat.  The Belgian Detective gives the Spy that amazingly stereotypically curly moustache that turns him into a villain from a 1930’s moving picture, tying innocent damsels to the railroad tracks. If you can grab a hat or misc with two simultaneous cosmetic changes, you’re doing all right, kid.



With 3 item slots and over 1,000 different cosmetics to choose from, and all those paints,  it’s very rare that you’re going to find two players who dress exactly alike. However, we’ve all come to expect a Scout with the Troublemaker’s Tossle Cap, Faster Learner, and Essential Accessories (all painted black, of course), or a Medic with a Quadwrangler and Team Captain. Hopefully, this list has inspired some other, more interesting class set-ups!

2 thoughts on “Underappreciated Cosmetic Items with Surprising Synergy

  • January 25, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    I find the Saxton Hale mask works surprisingly well with beard-type items. It doesn’t clip with the All-Father or the Camera Beard, certainly, and it doesn’t look that bad with Lord Cockswain’s Pipe (the Chops are barely visible).

    The Sandvich Safe and any Sandvich variant (Strange Safe and Strange Festive for me!) are another obvious pairing. So are Toss-Proof Towel and the Brotherhood of Arms.

    Scout looks AMAZING with the Tuxxy and Greased Lightning. I would add the Duilinger’s Duffle as a third misc.

  • January 25, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Good suggestions! I never do see many players sporting Tuxxy’s it’s truly a great item.


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