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I think I read somewhere that with a premium account you could get hats in drops as well as weapons.
I have now 50 hours of premium gameplay, and I never received one.

Was I mistaken? Or are the odds really low?

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3  
I've owned the game for 2 1/2 years and still haven't dropped a hat, count yourself lucky! –  Ronan Forman Aug 13 '11 at 21:44
    
I'm in the same boat as @Ronan ! (Though I have seen misc. items drop, in the great camera beard bug of '09.) –  Raven Dreamer Aug 13 '11 at 22:42
    
@Raven Dreamer: Never forget! –  The Annoying Pyro Aug 13 '11 at 23:39
    
I have received hats as random drops. They're very rare, though. Maybe two hats in the same space of time as one inventory page of crates and four inventory pages of other stuff, in several hundred hours of play. –  Jonathan Drain Aug 14 '11 at 6:39
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7 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Free accounts can't get hat drops. As I recall, you upgraded to a Premium account (and gave @badp the Professor Speks... jealous), though.

There are 3 drop timers:

  1. Items. Standard is 6-8 a week, assuming you play at least 6 hours a week. Note: To my knowledge, paints and tags are part of this timer, but they have a lower chance of dropping. Immediately following an update, Valve tends to raise the drop rate for those items. Right now, you're guaranteed to get 1 Uber-update weapon a week minimum.
  2. Crates. Standard is around one a week (sometimes two), assuming you play at least 6 hours a week.
  3. Hats/Misc. Standard is one every 1-6 months, assuming you play at least 6 hours a week.

The length of time that counts towards your next drop is limited to (iirc) 6 hours per week, but if you don't play for a week, the next week will be limited to 12 hours.

Hat drop rates vary wildly. I've had an 8 month stretch with no hat drops before, but more recently, I've been getting a hat every 1-2 months.

Side Note: The hat drop rate is bugged during the rare Double Drop rate week. While the first hat drops at the normal rate, the second uses a much, much shorter timer (the crate timer?). So, it's not unusual to get two hat drops during a double drop rate week.

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Where is this hat drop rat? And how does it work? I want one :) –  jaminja Aug 15 '11 at 11:17
    
@jaminja: As amusing as a hat drop rat would be, it's a hat drop rate. I've fixed it now. –  user2974 Aug 15 '11 at 12:31
    
4 hours = 3 hat drops for me –  Dunhamzzz Aug 19 '11 at 14:37
    
Is it possible to get unusual hats from random drops? –  BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Dec 10 '12 at 22:32
    
@BlueRaja-DannyPflughoeft: No, all drops will be vintage. You can only get unusual from crates. –  Ullallulloo Dec 30 '12 at 19:49
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It's totally random, but very, very rare (for many people). I get one hat in every couple of months.

(I did receive an Ol' Geezer the other day, but the last time I got a random hat drop was five months ago...)

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Roughly, how many hours do you play in a month? –  jaminja Aug 13 '11 at 22:08
    
@jaminja: At least a hundred :S –  The Annoying Pyro Aug 13 '11 at 23:39
    
@jaminja: OK, I probably exaggerated a little. More like at most a hundred, but pretty close anyway. –  The Annoying Pyro Aug 13 '11 at 23:45
    
I just thought it might give a bit more context to your answer, since your acquisition of hats seems slightly more frequent than the other comments/answers here. –  jaminja Aug 14 '11 at 16:44
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Yes, hats are dropped similarly to weapons. However, little is known about the drop rate for hats.

For weapons, there is a rate of roughly 8-10 items per week, if you play an average amount of time.

However, hats (and paint, tags etc) are on a completely different kind of timer, where once you find one it can take months before you find a new one.

In my years of owning the game (so suffice since drops were implemented), I've only found two items on the hat-timer.

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These posts seem out of date after a whole year, I have been playing TF2 for well over 600hrs and have had 1 hat drop for me, at least that's what I thought but it ended up being a achievement reward.

So, no, I haven't found anything in drops except weapons and crates, no hats nor any unusual items.

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I only have ~270 hours on it and I got 2 hats dropped total. Just keep playing and don't try your luck in any casinos. –  hammythepig Aug 15 '12 at 13:52
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I've been premium for less than a week, and I've gotten 2 hat drops.

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Do you own other steam games? Often you'll get hats as promotional items when to buy other games on steam. Check if they're "Genuine". –  mouseas Apr 18 at 17:24
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The chances are really low, but it's like the drop system; I didn't play for months, and after I started again, on my first drop I got a Brown Bomber.

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Hat drops are extremely rare. You can get roughly 1 item every 3-6 hours of gameplay, up to ~10 items per week. Probability of item being a hat is less than 1%.

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This is wrong. There is no probability of an item being a hat, because hats and weapons are on completely different timers. –  user56 Aug 14 '11 at 11:42
    
@Arda Xi According to wiki there is NO distingushing by slot tf2wiki.net/wiki/Item_drop_system#Current_Item_Drop_System tf2wiki.net/wiki/Hat –  Genda1ph Aug 15 '11 at 10:04
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Not by slot, but there is distinguishing by whether it's a hat or an item. You linked to the wrong wiki by the way, and the official one is down. I'll look it up as soon as it gets back up. –  user56 Aug 15 '11 at 11:11
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protected by agent86 Dec 22 '12 at 18:35

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