Sometimes when I look directly at a certain class such as a demoman, and press "X-2" the command to say "[class] is a spy!" my character will say the wrong class.


  • Looking at Demoman
  • Press "X-2" (Spy Callout)"
  • My character yells "Engineer is spy" (which is the wrong class)

Why does the game do this? is it a bug, or something else?

  • 12
    Entirely possible an Engineer walked past your field of view. Especially if you're all crowded together in spawn. Are you able to replicate this consistently?
    – Zibbobz
    Feb 13, 2014 at 14:56
  • @Zibbobz Usually the Spy Callout will work fine. However sometimes it calls out the wrong class. At the time this happened I was playing 2fort (ya good ol' 2fort) I was in the sewers, and there was nobody else around except I (a heavy) and a Demoman. I know he wasn't a spy, but I just don't see how the game could have gotten the callout incorrect. Feb 13, 2014 at 22:43
  • Wild guess here, but it could be an Engy above the sewers in the base? It's possible the spy callout could work through walls. Feb 17, 2014 at 22:00

2 Answers 2


I have since done some tests on the Spy callout, and it seems that it's only based on hitboxes in your line of sight: In other words, if you look at someone, even if that person is under full cloak, then you can call them out as a Spy.

The callout also works at range: you could be looking at a Sniper on the other side of the map and still be able to call him a Spy.

Contrary to @scarothjagaroth's and my earlier comments, It is not possible to call someone a Spy through:

  • Opaque Walls
  • Transparent Walls
  • Other Players

Here's a video I made testing the callouts, hitboxes and the different scenarios listed above:

Now onto the specific example situation you give. In the heat of battle you might have thought you were looking at the Demoman you've ran past, but the server may have either

  1. Calculated hitting an Engineer that was far away (as your view swings past his hitbox)
  2. Called out a Spy under cloak (that was disguised as an Engineer)

In conclusion, the 'Spy' call is probably working as intended. Most good players will be extra aware of all 'friendly' classes around them anyway if people are shouting 'Spy!', not just the class or player you specifically called out. So long as you made your team aware of a Spy in the vicinity, it shouldn't matter too much who you've accused.

  • HOWEVER, it is possible to callout the (disguise) class of a cloaked Spy if their hitbox is in front of you.
    – Powerlord
    Mar 20, 2016 at 21:20
  • @Powerlord - tested and confirmed, added to the answer, thanks for the info :)
    – Robotnik
    May 23, 2016 at 6:25

I have no evidence beyond personal experience, but I'm pretty sure this is just a bug as I remember it being much more reliable some time ago: “[class] is a spy!” if looking at a player, or “Spy!” if not.

These days it seems to frequently call out my class.

Of course, I'm usually using it in a hurry so my observations aren't that careful.

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