In addition to their often quirky personalities, special abilities are some of the most defining attributes of TF2 Freaks that set them apart from average mercenaries. This guide aims to concisely describe the most common types of such powers in order to explain their possible applications, advantages and disadvantages. For ease of reference, only special abilities displayed by recognised TF2 Freaks are mentioned.
- Attempts to create TF2 Freaks more powerful than popular and widely accepted champions such as Painis Cupcake and the Vagineer are likely to receive strong negative reception from the community. This is partly because more often than not, they involve Mary Sue-type characters who display bland personality and excessive power.
- It is entirely possible, and strongly recommended, to design unique and interesting characters who are average or strong, but not extremely so, in terms of combat power.
- The ability or abilities of a TF2 Freak should be thematically consistent with the character's identity and one another. Unlikely and conflicting combinations of special abilities and traits are detrimental to a Freak's reception.
- Generally, it is prudent to find unique, or at least uncommon, abilities for one's Freak. Alternatively, one may try to depict the Freak using a fairly common special ability in a creative or more specialised manner than pre-existing characters. This way they are less likely to become overtly similar to an established Freak.
- Nevertheless, steer clear off abilities that may be perceived as overly complex or abstract. Consider ones that are likely to be interesting, amusing or simply effective instead of perplexing.
- Keep in mind the limitations of available tools and editing software to depict the powers in action.
- Describe the Freak's special abilities, especially their effectiveness or magnitude, in general terms. Refrain from explicitly comparing them to similar or associated abilities of other Freaks to avoid controversy and disapproval.
- In addition, use reasonable qualifiers to determine the power and effectiveness of special abilities. Abilities which work on the premise of absolute/limitless effectiveness, such as impenetrable barriers or unblockable strikes, are highly unfit for a competitive setting with a well-determined, sensible limit of power.
- The sign of a well-designed and balanced TF2 Freak is the fact that apart from powers and abilities they have a set of meaningful weaknesses as well. These may range from inherent limitations of their special abilities and fighting style to vulnerability to specific forms of attack.
Special abilities which are related to purely physical attributes of the characters: strength, durability/toughness, endurance/stamina, speed and agility. Each ability may come in one of three general tiers. Freaks may possess only a single or some traits of a tier or differing tiers. In case the Freak in questions boasts all five abilities which qualify for a tier they may be referred to collectively using one of the following categories.
Peak human fitness
A degree of physical ability which can be expected of a well-trained soldier or a veteran warrior, remarkable yet still within the reach of a normal human to achieve through arduous training. Often exhibited by Freaks who boast a special ability unrelated to their physical fitness yet want to stay in excellent condition.
- Peak human strength: the Freak can lift objects several times their own weight, bend metal bars with their bare hands or punch a hole in a brick wall.
- Peak human durability: the Freak is more difficult to wound with the use of blunt trauma compared to a normal human, though still susceptible to most other means of dealing damage.
- Peak human endurance: the Freak can willingly exert oneself to the limit of a human's capacity and continue fighting with little to no signs of fatigue for a fairly long period of time.
- Peak human speed: the Freak can maintain a running speed of 35 km/h and has excellent reflexes.
- Peak human agility: the Freak can perform some acrobatic manoeuvres and dodge fairly fast attacks.
A degree of physical ability significantly beyond the capacity of a normal human. Quite common among mid-rank and stronger TF2 Freaks. Frequently, it serves to complement their signature special abilities and may or may not be their primary means of combat.
- Enhanced strength: the Freak can lift objects many times their own weight, such as a car, punch holes in armour, break bones with simple strikes or launch somebody across a room with a single hit.
- Enhanced durability: the Freak is rather difficult to wound using conventional means and may be able to resist explosives and small arms fire. This increased toughness usually protects them somewhat from the more extraordinary attacks as well.
- Enhanced endurance: the Freak can continue to combat for a long period of time without tiring out.
- Enhanced speed: the Freak can maintain a running speed of 60 km/h and reacts significantly faster than any normal human.
- Enhanced agility: the Freak can perform remarkable acrobatic manoeuvres and dodge projectiles, possibly even gunfire.
A degree of physical ability far beyond the capacity of a normal human. Displayed by some of the more powerful TF2 Freaks and often integral to their fighting style, though not necessarily their only special ability.
- Superhuman strength: the Freak can lift extremely heavy objects, such as a tank, demolish most obstacles with simple punches and kill a normal human with a single strike.
- Superhuman durability: the Freak can withstand an impressive amount of punishment, such as sizeable explosions or heavy gunfire. Most conventional means of dealing damage barely affect them and often an extended period of time is required to actually wound the Freak.
- Superhuman endurance: the Freak can continue fighting for a time so long that wearing them down is usually not a viable tactic.
- Superhuman speed: the Freak may keep up with a fast-moving vehicle and dodge bullets.
- Superhuman agility: the Freak can swiftly manoeuvre about the battlefield and dodge point-blank attacks.
Special abilities which are related to a Freak's mind. Generally associated with characters who tend to rely on intellect rather than brute force in combat.
Also known as Psychokinesis, this is an umbrella term for a variety of special abilities which depend on supernatural uses of one's mind. Some Freaks have only one or two of such abilities whilst others may boast the full package.
- Telekinesis: the Freak can remotely move objects and potentially other individuals with the use of one's mind. This may be used to toss heavy objects at an opponent or smash the opponent oneself, as well as repel or deflect incoming attacks.
- Telepathy: the Freak may communicate with others remotely with the use of thoughts. How great the distance can be and how clear this mode of communication is depends on the Freak.
- Mind control: the Freak may be able to dominate the will of another one and command them to do one's bidding.
- Extrasensory perception: the Freak can perceive objects, beings and events without the use of mundane senses and/or in cases where mundane senses wouldn't work.
- Illusion: the Freak can project false images in order to trick or confuse the enemies.
Special abilities related to conceptual elements that may be wielded by Freaks for use in combat.
- Fire Manipulation: the ability to generate fireballs, torrents of flame, firestorms or a fiery aura to envelop one's body. Effective against enemies who wield ice-type powers, frequently deals significant damage-over-time, though may be resisted with armour or fireproof materials.
- Ice Manipulation: the ability to generate icicles, ice spikes, large chunks of hard ice, ice barriers, or to freeze one's opponents. Quite versatile, though may have limited effect in a warm environment.
- Lightning Manipulation: the ability to produce various forms of lightning current and similar discharges of electricity. May allow for high-speed movement. Useful against mechanical entities though possible to resist with appropriate means of defence.
- Earth Manipulation: the ability to generate large blocks of rock, spikes, or harden one's body. Balanced between offensive and defensive uses but may succumb to high firepower.
- Sound Manipulation: the ability to generate soundwaves in order to deal concussive damage and/or stun enemies. May involve the ability to move at high speeds. Frequently deals limited damage, however.
- Metal Manipulation: the ability to produce various metal objects or even simple devices and to protect one's body with a layer of steel. Kind of a jack-of-all-trades with no distinct weaknesses, though may be vulnerable to electricity.
Special abilities which may be considered spiritual or demonic.
- Fear Inducement: some Freaks may be able to cause strong, irrational fear in their potential victims which far exceeds a normal reaction to one's presence. Individuals with strong will are likely able to resist these effect, though.
- Spiritual Sense: the ability to perceive other individuals, ordinary or spiritual themselves, frequently with little regard for distance or their visibility or lack thereof to mundane senses. Often allows to determine the true nature of said individuals.
- Soul Absorption: the Freak is capable of feeding of the souls of others to increase one's power. Usually requires the Freak to defeat one's would-be victim first.
Special abilities which do not fit into any of the aforementioned categories.
The ability to generate and control raw energy for a variety of purposes. Includes a number of more specialised sub-powers thar are more likely to occur than the general ability.
- Barrier: the ability to project a shield or spherical barrier in order to defend from an incoming attack. May be durable, but frequently limits the user's mobility when active.
- Energy Drain: the ability to sap energy of the opponent to often increase one's own. Tends to involve direct contact or other means of transfer that frequently render the ability somewhat difficult to use successfully.
- Energy Projection: the ability to cast blasts and beams of raw energy as a form of attack. Often powerful and effective against many types of defensive measures, though dangerous to use at short-range and likely to involve significant physical strain to the user.
- Explosion Inducement: the ability to transfer varying amounts of energy into objects or individuals in order to detonate them. May be dangerous and strenuous to wield, though.
- Kinetic Energy Manipulation: the ability to control energy unleashed on impact. May be employed to cause powerful knock-back and concussive damage, though its effectiveness might be limited against particularly sturdy targets.
- Australium Manipulation: the ability to harness Australium, a versatile resource that may augment the wielder's combat power. Usually improves physical fitness, although may be employed to perform feats reminiscent of telekinesis. However, the resource is required to power such abilities, and it often comes in limited supply.
- Flight: the ability to move freely through the air, whether with the use of wings, a propulsion system or less mundane means.
- Healing Factor: the ability to quickly recover from physical injuries, such as blunt trauma or incisions, without aid. May be a result of genetic mutation or cybernetic augmentation.
- Intangibility: the ability to pass through matter and completely avoid most types of attacks. However, usually renders the user harmless in the process.
- Invisibility: the ability to avoid being spotted. Nevertheless, certain special abilities or advanced equipment may still allow to detect the Freak.
- Limb Regeneration: the ability to regrow lost appendages in a matter of moments. Usually stems from genetic mutation.
- Rage Mode: the ability to increase a Freak's power due to an emotional upheaval that involves fury. Whilst the boost in power is frequently substantial Rage Mode requires the aforementioned trigger to occur and may be difficult or impossible to control properly.
- Super Mode: the ability to increase a Freak's power voluntarily for a limited amount of time. Frequently entails a considerable increase to one's combat power, though likely to be temporary and exhausting.