Team Fortress 2 - Idling The Easy Way

How to make idling in TF2 convenient and quick.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Team Fortress 2 Idling Made Convenient

Read after the installation instructions to know more about this technique and why you won't ever get caught using it.


View this thread for the lastest download link.
  1. Download the .rar file containing all the files needed for the automated setup.  [link above]
  2. Extract the idle folder in your steam folder [or anywhere should work actually]
  3. Run "RunOnce.bat" and follow the simple instructions
  4. Run idle.bat to idle, play.bat to play!!!
Go to the bottom of this guide to find out how to add idle.bat and play.bat to your Steam "My Games" List
Also at the bottom of this guide are advices and a little section to create custom made icons to use in "My Games" list.

Help thread for this guide is located here

Only contact me through that forum [username DispenserGUM]
I will be only checking this blog for when I update it. Announcements that the blog is updated will be made on the forum thread.

Since Valve has banned the used of Drunkenf00l's Idle program, it has become an annoyance to have to resort to idling in TF2 the legitimate way. The legitimate way is to open up TF2, find an achievement_idle server, connect to it and leave TF2 minimized.

TF2 requires a lot of resources, yet you could run TF2 in low graphics settings with low resolution. Switching between low graphics mode to idle and high graphics mode to play is quite tiresome.

This guide aims at creating two simple shortcuts to start TF2 as an idler, and start TF2 as a game [to play normally].

Result of this guide

Want to Idle? Click on Idler
Want to Play? Click on Team Fortress 2
Got disconnected while sleeping? Don't worry, the script is taking care of it!

Nothing more to it. No other work to do in between.
*To see how I made the icons, see the bottom of this guide

Why use this technique?

  • You will never get disconnected for a stupid thing while you're gone all day. The script will constantly try to reconnect you to the same server. [Just be sure not to pick servers that go down for hours]
  • You'll be able to instantly launch TF2 in low-graphics mode [640x480,windowed,DirectX8, low quality for everything]
  • You'll be able to instantly launch TF2 in your NORMAL play mode [What your settings were before IDLING]
  • TF2 IDLE mode will have an independent Favorite Servers list. So you can add ALL the idle servers on your favorites list, and they will not appear when you launch TF2 normal mode.
  • Once you've suffered through the setup process. You'll have a permanent and convenient solution for IDLING.

Add idle.bat and play.bat to your Steam My Games list

  1. Click on "Games" in Steam and select "Add a non-steam game to My Games"
  2. Check 2 random programs in the list [anything, doesnt matter]
  3. Click on "Add Selected Programs"
  4. The 2 random programs will appear in your "installed" list.
  5. Right-Click on 1 program and select "Properties"
  6. Delete all the information in properties and enter your own.
IDLE Shortcut
Target: "D:\Steam\idle\idle.bat"
Start In: "D:\Steam\idle\"

PLAY Shortcut
Target: "D:\Steam\idle\play.bat"
Start In: "D:\Steam\idle\"

Be sure to write in your OWN steam folder location


  • The CMD window will remain open for the time that TF2 is running. That is because the batch script is constantly checking if you lost the connection to the server. Leave the CMD window open!!!
  • Wait until CMD window automatically closed before launching TF2 in a different mode. [only a few seconds] It needs to backup your server list.
  • To build your achievement_idle server list,simply remove every search filter [no VAC, no ping limit, no region] and only add the map name as filter.
  • Highlight all the server results, and add them to your favorites [only in IDLE mode do you do this].
  • When in IDLE mode, you can remove your PLAY servers from the favorites list. They will be restored every time you launch TF2 in PLAY mode.
  • When connecting to IDLE servers, you don't need to close the "Welcome to Team Fortress 2" message. You'll get just as many drops, but you'll need to die a few times in order for them to appear.
  • I suggest you die a couple of times in the idle server to clear your item drop list before going to play TF2 normally. I've had people calling me names when I joined a normal TF2 server and received my 10 drops from idling.

EXTRA - Making the icons

Steam can only take icons from existing Executables [*.exe]
1. Download "Resource Hacker" from here
2. Extract content in ~\steam\idle\icon [or whatever, really, not important]
3. Copy/paste ResHacker.exe twice and name them : icon1.exe icon2.exe
4. Open ResHacker.exe [You might get "Out of System Resources" error, click okay and just ignore it]
5. File / Open icon1.exe
6. Select "Icon Group" / "MAINICON" / "3081"
7. Right-click "3081"
8. Select "Replace Resource"
9. Select "Open file with new icon..."
10. Navigate to ~\Steam\steamapps\[username]\team fortress 2\tf\resource\
11. Select "game.ico"
12. Click "Replace"
13. File \ Save
14. Exit ResHacker.exe
15. In Steam "My Games", go in your new "Team Fortress 2" shortcut properties
16. select "Icon" and browse to icon1.exe

17. Repeat for icon2.exe for your IDLER icon. Chose another icon [I picked a clock icon I found in my windows\system32 folder]