Some of my friends have told me that TF2, or Team Fortress 2, is a fun game. I figured that I would get it in Steam since it was free. However, I have no idea where to start and would like some help. For example, where do I start, what is the point of the game, etc.
The point of the game is to work together as a team to defeat the enemy team. There are now two primary modes:
Keep in mind TF2 is a "class based" shooter, which has nine roles, which each play very differently.
Your choice of starting class will likely depend on your experience in other games. Soldier, Heavy, and Sniper will probably be the most familiar to players of FPS. If you haven't played a lot of FPS I'd suggest Pyro, since it's a little less particular about aim, and doesn't require the strategy of Medic or Engineer. The game does feature training which I would suggest using before jumping in, it'll get you familiar with the classes and controls. After that find a multiplayer game and jump in.
You may also want to check out the Official TF2 Wiki.
It's largely a standard, team-based FPS multiplayer game, but only with the "strategic" game modes left in. If you've played King of the Hill/Capture the Flag most game modes are like that. There's always certain objectives instead of straight-up deathmatch, though Arena is close to Deathmatch, it's more like Counterstrike where you don't respawn, you just win when the other team is eliminated.
A good way to start is to pick a familiar game mode (hard to mess up Capture the Point or Capture the Flag) and pick an easy to use class. An attack class like Soldier or Pyro is easy to play in almost any mode as they require relatively little strategic planning, knowledge of the map or even accuracy (depending on your weapon). If you follow your team mates and shoot at bad guys with rockets you can be a bit of a help to your teammates and observe how other players and classes work.
Watch other players to pick up the game (or, if you have a headset, talk to them). You'll quickly pick up on where Snipers stand watch, where Engineers build their buildings, the routes Scouts take to grab the intelligence (flag), etc. As long as you play a class that can hold their own in the fray (pyro, soldier, heavy) you can pick up the game largely at your own pace without dragging your team down too much.
This isn't to saw Soldier and Pyro don't require any thought at all, but a brainless Soldier or Pyro is much more likely to be able to actually kill someone than a brainless Spy or Medic. These classes also let you follow around your squad as they attack/defend and you don't really need to do much aside from shoot at anyone who has a different uniform color than you. Also spies can cloak as members from your team, and since there's no team-damage, you might just want to shoot people from your OWN team if they're suspicious. Or if you're pyro just shoot everyone forever.
To learn more about any specific class or map, be sure to check out the TF2 Wiki. I'd recommend just jumping in the game with a simple
Whilst the other answers deal with specific classes to choose and strategies to take, I'll start with a few in-game options and things that I believe bring new players quick benefits in game.
Disclaimer: I started with Pyro and Medic, but find that I use Engineer and Spy more often these days.
Options that should be turned on:
The next points have positives and drawbacks, I'd say try both sides out and pick based on your preference.
These are just some of the options you can enable/disable, but they're the ones I've found most useful. I hope this helps.