So here's just a couple of things you can do if you want a better framerate in the game.. The first two things on this list will not affect your graphics quality in any way, only give you better performance. The rest are about sacrificing various degrees of graphical quality for better performance. The first two things will no affect your graphics quality. They are not guaranteed to work but if they do they will not make your game look or play any worse. Setting an Antivirus Exception Basically there's a file in your Steam folder (Steam\appcache\stats\UserGameStats_####_####) that tracks stats and gets updated all the time when you're playing TF2. Some antiviruses will monitor these kinds of changes and keep scanning this file over and over so all you need to do is set an exception. Instructions here. This should be perfectly safe. Performance Boost for Dualcores and Quadcores Add "-threads 4" to your launch options (or up to 8 for quadcores) and make sure multicore rendering is turned on in your options. Additionally play around with mat_queue_mode and try values 1 and 2, mine is set to 2 because I get maximum performance from it. Original thread here. The two items will lower your graphics settings in an attempt to improve performance to various degrees. Direct X 8 Team Fortress 2 still supports Direct X 8 and even if you have a DX9 or higher compatible card you can get a boost by having the game render in DX8 instead. This will obviously reduce your graphics quality and make things less shiney. Just ad "-dxlevel 81" to your launch options. To get to your launch options open Steam and right click on Team Fortress 2, go to properties and then click the button that says set launch options. When you launch the game the next time your resolution will probably have been set way down. This is normal. Just set your resolution back to normal in the options menu and remove "-dxlevel 81" from your launch options again (otherwise the resolution will keep resetting). FPS Configs Go here for Chris' FPS Configs. He as configs that both increase performance and increase graphics (not both unfortunately). Instructions included. They should always work regardless of updates or what server you're on. Note if you're using these they will interfere with the dualcore fix above. At the bottom of the maxframes config for example there is this: Code: // Threading cl_threaded_bone_setup "0" cl_threaded_client_leaf_system "0" mat_queue_mode "-1" r_threaded_client_shadow_manager "1" r_threaded_particles "1" r_threaded_renderables "1" r_queued_decals "0" r_queued_post_processing "0" r_queued_ropes "1" I was recommended to use mat_queue_mode 1 or 2, r_queued_post_processing 0 and set all the other things on that list to 1 and it seems to have given a really good performance boost. The last few items will mod your game files. This isn't ideal: Every item needs to be modified individually and so when a new item comes out they won't be covered by this. Secondly any server that runs the "sv_pure" setting (which all official Valve servers run) will stop these from working. Hat Removal Are you poor and Irish? (I certainly am) Are you afraid hats with no LODs are affecting your performance? Think of your poor graphics card rendering thousands of polygons even when the hats are so far away you can't even make out what they are. Here is a zip file (thanks to Tricky X) that contains "skins" for hats that just tell the game not to draw it. I'm not exactly sure how up to date this is but I don't think it'll block any hats that have been released in the last two months. Maybe I'll do those myself. I'll see how much time it takes. Anyway unlike old methods of removing hats updates should not break this. The downside is that it doesn't work on servers running the sv_pure command (which includes official Valve servers). There is also this plugin but it only works on non-VAC servers. Remove Phong I think this is mainly intended for people who just don't like phong but it does give some performance boost. I've never used it so I can't vouch for how well it works or how up-to-date everything is. Link to no-phong models here. Low-Poly Models I do not recommend this but you use it if you're really desperate. This skin-pack will reduce your characters to low-polygon versions. The reason I don't recommend it is that they're out of date. The Gunslinger doesn't show up properly and the Chargin' Targe doesn't attach to the Demoman properly to name two things. Also not all of the unlockable weapons are changed so if you're playing Sniper you have the choice between a low-detail rifle or the 6,000 polygon Sydney Sleeper which is pretty jarring. Again this won't work on sv_pure servers.