Team Fortress 2 has similar gameplay as previous releases in the series due to its focus around two opposing teams competing for a combat-based objective. In the game's fiction, the teams are composed of mercenaries hired by two feuding brothers to protect the company assets belonging to one brother while trying to destroy those of the other; the teams are thus represented by the names of these companies: Reliable Excavation & Demolition (RED) and Builders League United (BLU).
Players can choose to play as one of nine character classes in these teams, each with his own unique strengths, weaknesses, and weapons. In order to accomplish objectives efficiently, a balance of these classes is required due to how these strengths and weaknesses interact with each other in a team based environment. Although the abilities of a number of classes have changed from earlier Team Fortress incarnations, the basic elements of each class have remained, that being one primary weapon, one secondary weapon, and one melee weapon.
The game was released with six official maps, although over 40 maps have since been included in subsequent updates, including competitive remakes of older maps