Arms Race 3 - Team Fortress 2 Community Weapon Design Contest

Do you love new weaponry as much as we do? Get ready to grease your elbows and mouse wheels. Sharpen your tablet pens and dig out the welding torches. We are looking for the finest weapons craftsmanship out there. Let's see what new, creative, killing gadgets you can come up with.
This time it's not about hats but everything that shoots, explodes and deals damage to the enemy team or supports your team to be victorious. Since there are so many different types of weapons
and to ensure fair judgement, your work will be placed under one of the following contracts...
Primary weapons, such as rocket launchers, flame throwers, miniguns, grenade launchers, sniper rifles and sticky bomb launchers
Secondary weapons, such as shotguns, revolvers, pistols and other handguns, needle guns and submachine guns
Melee weapons, bats, wrenches,
shields, knifes and throwables
Sappers, watches, backpacks, boots, PDAs, lunch items, drinks, health and ammo items
Medi guns, sentries, buildings, payload carts
Submitted items can be found in the workshop collection.
Voting and prizes Voting will be made available to the community on this site after the contest deadline has passed.
The winners for each contract will be determined by cumulative community votes.
Winners and participants will receive an Arms Race Medal in genuine quality. Each contributor will be rewarded with a maximum of one medal (no matter how many submissions, unless you win in multiple contracts) within a week after the winners have been published.
Thanks to our generous donators, the winners will also be able to choose from a pool of games and Steam Wallet codes. Donations will be accepted until the contest due date (see FAQ).
Submissions must stylistically fit within the
TF2 universe and the game's art style.

Concept art created before the contest start date may be used.

Every submitted model must be properly compiled and working in game.

You may enter as many submissions as you like but we encourage you to create quality over quantity.

Remakes of previously created weapons may be submitted but will not be eligible for winning prizes. You will however receive a participant badge if significant improvement on the original work is seen.

Submission guidelines must be followed (see further below).

Models created before May the 28th may not be submitted.

Copyright infringement or submitting other people's work as your own
will not be tolerated and results in disqualification of your submission.

No more than 4 contributors are allowed per submission.
Have you heard the saying "Know the rules before you break them"?
Well, if you break these your submission will be disqualified.
Submitting your work Your work must be submitted to the Steam Workshop and provided as a download link to the contest host before July 31st 8:00pm UTC. For the latter we have prepared an example submission package for you.

For the workshop...
  • A thumbnail template is provided as 512x512 PNG overlay and has to be applied to your submission.
  • As usual provide screenshots and renders to present your work in the best possible way to the workshop audience.
  • We encourage you to also provide a mod download for everybody to have a look at your work in game but it's not a requirement to participate.
For the contest host...
  • A download link must be provided to a ZIP or RAR archive containing your submission files. The naming convention is "" (only containing lowercase letters a-z and an underscore separating the item name from the uploader's name). Send the link to Gadget via Steam or private message on or Facepunch.
  • Your item should be compiled as "models/armsrace/youritemname/youritemname.mdl". The same structure applies to the textures "materials/models/armsrace/youritemname/youritemname.vmt" (example QC). The compiled models and textures must be packed into a VPK file and included with the name "youritemname_yoursteamname.vpk". (VPK tutorial). You must only submit the files needed to make the item work in game. Do not submit your uncompiled source files. Have a look at the example submission package that we have prepared for you.
  • If your item requires replacement of existing files in the game in order to make it work then include a second VPK file that contains all these files. Use "youritemname_yoursteamname_whatitreplaces.vpk" as the name for this mod.
  • A 512x512 image of your item has to be included (without any borders or overlays) and at least one screenshot or render image (preferably in 1920x1080 resolution) along with the link to the workshop entry for that submission. These will be used for voting and showcasing on this site later on.
  • You must include a list of all contributors to each submission including their Steam profile IDs in SteamID64 notation (e.g. 71234567891234567) since these are required for distributing the medals. Use to convert your IDs if you don't know them yet.
What else? We are discussing concepts and submissions over at Facepunch and our Steam group.
Join us there to share your ideas, progress and feedback.

Also make sure to check out the many great submissions from the previous contests:
Arms Race 1 Arms Race 2
Frequently asked questions
How do I get started making TF2 items?
Have a look at the official workshop instructions page which lists tools and tutorials and will answer some of your questions. There's also a guide that can teach you the basics for custom weapons.
What is the TF2 art style and how do I match it?
While there is not a precise answer to this, there are some guidelines on the workshop instructions page that will head you in the right direction. In general you want to go for exaggerated proportions, don't get too detailed or realistic and follow the TF2 color palette. For texturing you can find a short guide on the Polycount forums. Having a look at items already in the game also helps immensely. If you're not quite sure about the art style join us on Facepunch and share your progress to get feedback on your design.
Is this official? Who's behind the contest?
The Arms Race is a community-created weapon design contest now running for the third time. It's not affiliated with Valve in any way. The first two contests were hosted by VernoGuy in 2014 and 2015 on Facepunch. This time Gadget took over the project with support from
Why do I have to provide a download link to the contest host?
We are looking to verify that your submission is valid by loading it up in the model viewer and the game itself. We also need it to showcase your work on this site for the voting process and for publishing the winners.
Why are the compiling instructions so specific? Do I really have to follow them?
In order to keep track of all submitted files you are saving us lots of time by following the submission guidelines. Several people are going to make mods that replace the same files in game and it's going to be a real hassle to constantly swap files back and forth. So, please follow the instructions and naming conventions.
May I update my submission after sending the download link to the contest host?
Yes, you are allowed to replace any previously submitted files up until the contest deadline has passed. Only the latest submitted package will be used for voting and showcasing.
How do I donate to the prize pool?
Contact Gadget via Steam or private message on or Facepunch and let him know what you'd like to donate. Donations must be tradable through Steam and will be transferred to his account. Do not send any games directly as a gift since it is no longer possible to store those in the inventory so we are unable to trade them to the winners. Your name and donation will then be added to the list of generous donators. Once the winners have been published they will then choose from the list of donations and claim their prizes. Donations will not be refundable unless contest voting is being cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. In-game items cannot be donated at this time but may be accepted at a later date.
How are medals and prizes distributed?
The Arms Race medals will be distributed in genuine quality to winners and participants within a week after the winners have been published. The prize pool will be assessed once the contest deadline has passed and will be split among the contracts. Winners get to choose first and will be contacted by the contest host through Steam (make sure to allow friend invites or add Gadget beforehand). After claiming their prizes the second and third winners get to choose respectively. The order of which contract winner may choose first among all winners will be decided by total vote count from all contracts. Prizes will be traded through Steam to the winners' accounts. Should a winner decide not to claim a prize it will be raffled off among the other, non-winning participants of the competition. Winning teams of multiple contributors have to decide among themselves how they want to split their prizes. Due to regional restrictions not all games from the prize pool might be available to your account.
Honorable ladies and gentlemen We would like to thank the prize donators and supporters of this contest.