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Team Fortress 2 : A Guide to Unusual Hats and the Unusual People Who Collect Them

by: Gabriel Rose ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Ever wondered what the fuss over unusual hats in TF2 is all about? Well wonder no more, because this primer will fill you in on all the details of unsual hats and unusual hat trading! Finally you can understand what your TF2-obsessed friends are talking about!

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    The Advanced Hat Salesman and His Unusuals

    Team Fortress 2 Logo 

    In TF2, Unusual hats are some of the most cherished and valued items to exist. They can only be found through Mann Co. Crates, and often trade for some of the most expensive items in the game, if not other unusual hats. Finding these hats is as simple as using a Crate Key on as many Mann Co. Crates you can get your hands on. There are certain crates that will make your search for unusuals easier.

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    Well, What Is an Unusual Hat?

    TF2 Unusual Hat: Peace Sign 

    Yes, unusual hats are incredibly valuable, but what exactly are they? An unusual hat is just like any other hat, except it emits particles. Quite simply, that's all it is. What kind of particle it emits is determined when it is found. There are a fair amount of different unusual types, and some are more valuable than others. The right hat/unusual effect combo is actually worth quite a bit of real money.

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    What Kind of Unusual Effects Can I Get?

    The current effects that can appear on any given unusual hat as of the Replay Update are as follows:

    Green Confetti - Green confetti falls around your hat.

    Purple Confetti - Purple confetti falls around your hat.

    Green Energy - Green colored flames in the shape of teardrops are emitted from your head.

    Purple Energy- Purple colored flames in the shape of teardrops are emitted from your head.

    Burning Flames - An orange fire burns on your hat.

    Scorching Fire - Green fire burns on your hat.

    Searing Plasma - Green and purple plasma flows from your hat.

    Vivid Plasma - Yellow plasma flows from your hat.

    Sunbeams - Rays of light emit from your hat.

    Haunted Ghosts - Mute colored ghosts fly around your head. They are similar to those that float when you are scared by Saxton Hale.

    Circling Peace Sign - A large peace sign floats around your head.

    Circling TF2 Logo - A large TF2 logo floats around your head.

    Circling Heart - A large pinkish heart floats around your head.

    Massed Flies - Flies fly around your hat.

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    The Chances of Finding an Unusual Hat

    TF2 Unusual Hat: Sniper Sunbeams 

    In TF2, unusual hats have around a 1% chance of dropping when a crate is opened. Therfore, it's a good idea to only open crates that are going to give you some sort of return on your investment. Generally, Series 9 Crates are considered the safest crates to open. Series 9 crates only hold paints and unusual hats. Paints in general are worth 1 Reclaimed Metal each, with black and white being worth 2 Reclaimed Metal to 1 Refined Metal.

    Because of the incredibly small chance of actually unboxing an unusual hat, it's often in your best interest to sell your keys for Refined Metal, and instead increase your collection of Vintage and Non-Vintage hats, and use those to trade for an unusual hat. Keys are always worth more than what you will get in a crate (besides an unusual, of course), and if you have a fair amount of them, you can find yourself with enough metal to possibly even purchase your own from someone.

    You can find a listing of most of the unusual hats, and who owns what, at the Team Fortress 2 Tading Portal. It also serves as a great hub for trading all your items for metal and other hats, so jump on it and start trading away!

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    And Now It Has Hold Over You

    TF2 Unusual Hat: Pyro 

    Once you've begun to deal in unusual hat's, it's all over. You've become a bonafide Team Fortress 2 Hat Trader(tm). You probably own some buds and Bill's Hats at this point, and you've mastered your art. But is it time for you to move on and find a new challenge to master? Well, that's up to you. The important thing to know is that in TF2, unusual hats are hard to get, and getting one is deserving of a pat on the back, or a dejected sigh from the person nearest you who understands your plight.