All items in TF2 originate somewhere, and are given an attribute called
<origin> that shows where the item came from. There are currently 22 possible origins, but some are not used or have been discontinued.
|0||Timed Drop||2007-10-18 05:02:18||Discontinued 2017-01-08 06:11:40|
|1||Achievement||2009-10-30 01:00:00||Discontinued 2017-01-07 09:37:13|
|2||Purchased||2010-09-30 09:08:24||Discontinued 2017-01-08 06:16:49|
|3||Traded||2007-10-18 05:04:06||Discontinued 2012-06-28 01:56:33|
|4||Crafted||2010-10-06 10:03:54||Discontinued 2017-01-08 05:36:15|
|5||Store Promotion||2010-09-30 09:08:24||Discontinued 2017-01-07 08:12:09|
|6||Gifted||2010-09-30 10:02:31||Discontinued 2017-01-08 03:48:38|
|7||Support Granted||2010-10-07 11:28:49||Discontinued 2016-12-13 11:52:49|
|8||Found in Crate||2010-10-06 10:16:47||Discontinued 2017-01-08 02:39:21|
|9||Earned||2010-10-06 10:46:31||Discontinued 2017-01-07 10:20:35|
|10||Third-Party Promotion||2010-11-06 02:41:52||Discontinued 2016-12-26 02:24:51|
|11||Wrapped Gift||2010-10-29 11:17:08||Discontinued 2017-01-06 09:35:05|
|12||Halloween Drop||2010-10-28 12:49:43||Discontinued 2014-11-12 08:06:47|
|13||Steam Purchase||2007-12-31 08:58:10||Discontinued 2017-01-07 10:05:56|
|15||CD Key||2011-07-19 11:29:56||Discontinued 2017-01-05 12:41:07|
|17||Preview Item||2011-10-13 10:38:59||Discontinued 2017-01-08 02:23:30|
|18||Steam Workshop Contribution||2011-11-01 11:58:39||Discontinued 2016-12-24 06:08:06|
|19||Periodic score reward||2012-04-17 11:59:49||Discontinued 2016-09-15 11:59:39|
|20||MvM Badge completion reward||2012-08-16 06:30:20||Discontinued 2017-01-08 06:40:15|
|21||MvM Squad surplus reward||2012-08-16 06:30:20||Discontinued 2017-01-08 12:38:54|
|22||Recipe output||2013-08-28 04:34:44||Discontinued 2017-01-08 03:18:58|
|23||Quest Drop||2015-07-02 09:46:46||Discontinued 2016-11-17 07:55:47|
|24||Quest Loaner Item||2015-08-27 11:00:57||Discontinued 2016-04-05 04:40:24|
|25||Trade-Up||2015-10-28 11:54:32||Discontinued 2017-01-08 12:54:13|
|26||Viral Competitive Beta Pass Spread||Unused|
|27||CYOA Blood Money Purchase||Unused|
|29||Untradable Free Contract Reward||Unused|
While most items can be obtained via several means (e.g. Drop/Craft/Purchase) there are others that have but a single origin. I'll try to summarise some of those items in this article.
These rare (but most common 'Normal' quality) weapons came to be due to an exploit or glitch. The most significant feature of these items are that they are the 'default' or 'fallback' item. Origin is '0', quality is '0', level is '0'.
Granted to people who didn't 'cheat' the drop system, all were received as timed drops. Other 'Unique' items received only as timed drops include Grizzled Veteran, Soldier of Fortune, Mercenary, Primeval Warrior, Spellbook Magazine, Party Hat, Halloween Gift Cauldron, Gift-Stuffed Stocking, and some Crates.
These Strange 'Gifts Given' counters are only available as 'Timed Drops' during Smissmas festivities.
Valve quality items are either timed drops or Support Granted, the other 2 items that are 'Valve' quality are the Chargin' Targe and the Rocket Launcher.
Some items are only available via 'Achievement'. These are: Ghastlier Gibus, Ghastly Gibus, MONOCULUS!, Skull Island Topper, Ghostly Gibus, Fancy Spellbook, Necro Smasher, 'Fish', Moustachium Bar, Spacemetal Scrap, Halloween Gift Cauldron, Unfilled Fancy Spellbook, Frontline Field Recorder, Taunt: The Director's Vision, Full Head Of Steam, Spellbook Page (Tumidum), Samson Skewer, Dapper Disguise, Necronomicrown, Bloodhound, and Long Fall Loafers.
Some items can only be 'Purchased'. These items include keys, unlocked crates and strange filters. As for cosmetics, Unique quality of the following must be 'Purchased': Benefactor's Kanmuri, Humanitarian's Hachimaki, Robot Chicken Hat, Shred Alert (Taunt), and Something Special For Someone Special.
A minor glitch made some MvM bot parts craftable; after fixing the glitch, all the crafted parts were converted into 'Glitched Circuit Boards'. Other items that were craftable (but no longer are) are the Pile Of Ash and Bread Box. Pile Of Curses are only available via crafting too, but can still be crafted during the Scream Fortress events.
Spine-Cooling/Tingling/Twisting Skulls can still be crafted (and are only available via crafting) if you have an Unusual Haunted Metal Scrap and some refined metal. If you want a tradable skull though, you'll need to track down an extremely rare tradable Haunted Metal Scrap.
Unique quality variants of the following items are only available via crafting: Fortune Hunter, Steel Songbird, Merc Medal, Pounding Father, Heroic Companion Badge, Scrap Pack, Mister Bubbles, Cockfighter, Doublecross-Comm, Der Maschinensoldaten-Helm, Blind Justice, Person in the Iron Mask, Bolgan Family Crest, Atomic Accolade, Heavy Artillery Officer's Cap, Doe-Boy, First American, Lone Star, Awesomenauts Badge, Professor's Pineapple, Buck Turner All-Stars, Big Daddy, Apoco-Fists, Cross-Comm Crash Helmet, Area 451, Bushman's Boonie, Russian Rocketeer, Warsworn Helmet, Sydney Straw Boat, Point and Shoot, Cold War Luchador, Vox Diabolus, Tomb Wrapper, Sharp Dresser, War Head, Mark of the Saint, Quadwrangler, Bolgan, Croft's Crest, Dashin' Hashshashin, Vigilant Pin, Battle Bob, Faerie Solitaire Pin, AWPer Hand, Combat Medic's Crusher Cap, Die Regime-Panzerung, Cross-Comm Express, Crosslinker's Coil, Crafty Hair.
The promotional hat for the Mann Co. Online Store is exclusively 'Store Promotion'.
Genuine variants of the Robo-Sandvich, Friends Forever Companion Square Badge, and Ap-Sap all come from promotional gift boxes, and are therefore exclusively 'Gifted'.
Using 'Claim Checks' is the only way to obtain Summer 2013 Coolers. Along similar lines, the Seal Mask comes from the Antique Halloween Goodie Cauldron; the Scorched Crate comes from Pile of Curses. Also, the Delivered Giftapult Package is always 'Gifted'.
Strange Bread Box items are exclusive to Bread Boxes (uncraftable Store Purchase origins exist for Unique variants).
Haunted items from Unlocked Creepy Crates are always 'Gifted'. Furthermore, Haunted Voodoo-Cursed Souls are always 'Gifted' from Piles of Curses.
A lot of items are exclusive to crates (to encourage you to buy keys!), including some that are no longer available like Strange variants of Festive Weapons, Rainblower, Lollichop, and Strange/Unique variants of Limited Late Summer Crate cosmetics.
Haunted cosmetics from Scream Fortress 2012-2013 were only obtainable from Spooky/Eerie Crates.
Chemistry Sets for Collector's Festive weapons were only obtainable from crates, as are some Strangifier Kits (Strange Bacon Grease, Big Cheif, Private Eye, Apparition's Aspect, Pomson 6000, etc.) and Killstreak Kits (Stock weapons, Necro Smasher, HHHH).
Strange Parts always come from crates, as does the Mann Co. Painting Set.
Most 'Earned' origin items come from Duelling rewards and are always items that are part of the drop system. A few items are exclusively 'Earned' origin, including the Professor Speks, Saxxy Clapper Badge, Operation Oil Spill Badge, Operation Steel Trap Badge, Operation Gear Grinder Badge, Operation Mecha Engine Badge, and Operation Two Cities Badge.
'Third-Party Promotion' exclusive items include the H.O.U.W.A.R, Treasure Hat, Bounty Hat, Conspiracy Cap/Public Accessor (Genuine), War on Smissmas Battle Socks, War on Smissmas Battle Hood, Sack Fulla Smissmas, Portable Smissmas Spirit Dispenser, Smissmas Caribou, Randolph the Blood-Nosed Caribou, Summer Adventure Pack, Summer Starter Kit, and a plethora of Tournament Medals.
Transmogrifiers and Spellbook Pages (except Tumidum) are only found as Halloween Drops (from the halloween gifts on Helltower).
A few Unique items like the Summer Shades and Proof of Purchase are always 'Steam Purchase' origin.
This box as well as a variant of the Mann Co. Store Package (defindex: 839) are only available via 'CD Key'.
Interestingly the Sleeping Dogs promos have 2 different entries in the schema, Genuine variants of one of the entries are only available via 'CD Key.
Also only available via MvM Badge completion are Fabricators (Specialized and Professional), and Robot Parts.