Game modes

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The world of Team Fortress 2.
For a full list of all maps, see List of maps.

This is a list of game modes in Team Fortress 2. Initially, the game shipped with only three game modes: Capture the Flag, Control Point, and Territorial Control. Numerous updates have added seven new game modes (Payload, Arena, King of the Hill, Payload Race, Medieval Mode, Special Delivery, and Mann vs. Machine) making ten official game modes, along with two training maps. These game modes are spread across 53 official maps and offer a great variety of play styles and games in Team Fortress 2.



Main article: Arena
See also: Arena tips
I say this to you with the unvarnished factualism of plain talk: I love Arena Mode.
Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, 1865

Arena maps are designed to keep the class diversity of Team Fortress 2 while focusing goals around combat between two teams. Whereas other game modes lean towards a broad, overall strategy for the team, Arena concentrates on the specific tactical choices the teams make in a single fight. Arena maps carry the arena_ prefix.

Arena Mode features smaller maps to ensure shorter matches, because you don't respawn after death. When you die in Arena Mode, you will enter spectate mode until the round is finished. The maps usually feature a control point in the middle of the map and tend to be just normal King Of The Hill maps with no-respawn.

Sometimes If the teams are unbalanced a message will appear to two people saying "CAREFUL if you lose this round you may have to sit out" and if their team loses that round the player will be in spectator until the upcoming round.

Sometimes, there may be a Melee only round where players are forced to use their melee weapon for the whole round. Also, loadouts changed during the countdown before the match will not do so in-game unless the player commits suicide using explosions or the kill or explode console commands.

The First Blood buff is unique to Arena Mode, if a player gets the first kill they are awarded with full critical hits to deal large numbers of damage.

Arena maps:

Capture the Flag

Gamemode ctf.png
Main article: Capture the Flag
Wave goodbye to ya secret crap, dumbass!
The Scout

Capture the Flag features both RED and BLU bases, each containing its own Intelligence briefcase (also known as "The flag" or "The Intelligence"). The goal for both teams is to capture the enemy's Intelligence until they have reached the game's capture limit (default limit is 3 captures) while preventing their enemy from achieving the same.

Both team's Intelligence are typically located deep within their territory, usually in a symmetrical location from each other, in an area known as the "Intelligence Room". To pick up the Intelligence the player must touch the enemy's briefcase. While holding the enemy's Intelligence, the player must bring it to the location of their Intelligence where they must enter their 'capture zone' (indicated by the yellow and black lines) in order to successfully capture it. After each successful capture, your team will be rewarded with ten seconds of crit boost.

If the Intelligence carrier is killed or the Intelligence is intentionally dropped, the Administrator informs the teams over the loudspeaker and the Briefcase will remain stationary for 60 seconds, with a timer shown above the Intelligence indicating how much time is left before it is returned to the Intelligence room. During that time the Intelligence can be picked up as normal. Each time the Intelligence is dropped, the timer is reset. The enemy cannot move or reset the Intelligence themselves. The Intelligence cannot be carried by players with an invulnerability buff (i.e. ÜberCharged players and Scouts under the effects of Bonk! Atomic Punch) and Intelligence carriers cannot receive an invulnerability buff. The Intelligence also may not be picked up by a Soldier wielding the Rocket Jumper or a Demoman using the Sticky Jumper. Cloaked Spies cannot pick up Intelligence until their Cloak has been turned off. However, if a Spy does acquire the Intelligence then they will lose their disguise and no longer be able to change their disguise or Cloak. An exception to this is the Dead Ringer, which will force the Spy to drop the Intelligence, and Cloak as normal.

If the Intelligence carrier dies in a normally inaccessible part of the map, i.e. falling into a pit or off a cliff, the Intelligence is immediately returned to its starting location in the Intelligence room. If no team completes the capture limit before time runs out, the match will enter Sudden Death mode.

Unlike variants of Capture the Flag in other games, you can make a capture without actually having your Intelligence at your base.

However fun Capture the Flag is recommended for advanced players (so best to get a hang of easier game modes before tackling).

Capture the Flag maps:

Control Point

Gamemode cp.png
Main article: Control Point (game mode)
See also: Control point (objective)
This point ain't gonna cap itself! Get over here!
The Engineer

Control Point maps have two main types of game modes.

Control points are circular platforms with a team-colored light and hologram in the center (neutral points will have a white light and hologram). To capture a point owned by the enemy team, the player simply stands on the point until the capture meter fills with his or her team color. The more players on a point, the faster it will capture, though only to a limited extent. Scouts, as well as Soldiers/Demomen with the Pain Train equipped, count as 2 players when capturing control points. Capture progress will not be made when players of both teams are on the control point. If all the capturing players are killed or driven off before the capture is completed, the capture progress will not reset immediately, but instead will slowly fade away.

There are three states for a capture point:

There are four main types of Control Point maps – Standard Control Point, Domination Control Point, Attack/Defend, and Medieval Attack/Defend.

Standard Control Point

Standard Control Point, or Linear Control Point, maps play symmetrically. Both teams start with two controlled points, and a central point starts out neutral. The team that captures all control points wins. Traditional Control Point maps will go into Sudden Death (or Stalemate) if no team captures all the control points before times runs out. Control points closer to a team's spawn point are captured more quickly by the enemy team.

Standard Control Point maps:

Domination Control Point

Domination Control Point, maps play symmetrically. Both teams start with no controlled points, and all points start out neutral. The team that captures all control points wins. Traditional Control Point maps will go into Sudden Death (or Stalemate) if no team captures all the control points before times runs out. Unlike Standard Control Point, once a team has all three points they win regardless of how much capture progress the other team has.

Domination Control Point maps:


Next time you'll bloody ask before you stand on my point.
The Demoman

Attack/Defend maps play asymmetrically. RED begins with all the points in their control. BLU wins if it captures all of RED's points. Points may only be captured in a set order (though some maps, such as Gravel Pit and Steel, may make exceptions). RED wins if it prevents BLU from capturing all points before the timer expires. Points captured by BLU are typically locked and cannot be captured again by RED.

Attack/Defend maps can come in various styles. Some maps, such as Dustbowl and Egypt, require the BLU team to capture three stages of two control points each to win the game. If the attacking team fails to win any stage, teams will switch and the defenders will then take turn to be the attackers, beginning with stage 1. Other maps such as Gravel Pit and Junction allow the attacker to capture two points in any order (points A or B) before attacking the final point (point C). Steel is a unique Attack/Defend map in that capturing each minor capture point (points A,B,C and D) will allow better accessibility to the main point (point E), such as allowing more routes into point E or extending bridges to the point so that classes without special jumps can capture it. Thus means that one unnoticed Scout can capture and win games without the team even realising.

Attack/Defend maps:

Medieval Attack/Defend

Gette It Onne!
How did the manly men of Team Fortress 2 appear at a tenth century battlement? Simple. The Soldier angered a magician.

Medieval Attack/Defend is a part of Medieval Mode, added during the Australian Christmas update. It plays like regular Attack/Defend, but with one major twist: all guns are removed, and only Olde weapons can be used and also causes dead players to drop small health kits instead of their weapon. Text chat is filtered (to Olde English) to resemble the language of the era (though with considerable inaccuracy) and the map is Medieval-themed.

Medieval Attack/Defend maps:

King of the Hill

Main article: King of the Hill
Since their discovery in 1895, hills have fascinated kings.
The Classless Update

King of the Hill is similar to Arena. King of the Hill focuses on a single control point at the center of the map, which is neutral and locked at the beginning of the round. Teams must make their way to the control point and capture it when it becomes available. Once the point is captured by a team, their team clock will start a three minute countdown. If the enemy team manages to capture the point back, their clock will start counting down while the other team’s clock freezes at the time the point was recaptured. A team wins once they own the point and their three minutes is expired.

King of the Hill maps:

Mann vs. Machine

Main article: Mann vs. Machine (game mode)
More rubble, less trouble!
The Heavy

Mann vs. Machine is a Game Mode that was released in the update of the same name. In this game mode, a team of three to six players must fend off a horde of robots attempting to carry a bomb to one of Mann Co.'s strongholds. Upgrades and Canteen power-ups can be purchased at the spawn point using cash picked up by the players upon destroying a robot (not every robot drops cash). A bonus amount of cash will be awarded to the team if all the cash from a wave is picked up.

All classes and most weapons have different upgrade abilities such as movement speed, charge duration and amount of ammo the player can hold for the weapon. Surviving all the waves will complete the mission. Upon the completion of a player's first mission, they will receive a Canteen.

There are currently 5 operations and 29 missions (some missions aren't part of any operation) in Mann vs. Machine.

Mann vs. Machine maps:


Gamemode payload.png
Main article: Payload
Onward, great bomb-cart!
The Heavy

In Payload maps, BLU team must escort a cart full of explosives through a series of checkpoints and into RED's base within a certain amount of time. BLU team members move or 'push' the cart by standing next to it - the more people next to the cart, the faster it moves (up to a maximum capture rate of three). Any RED team member standing near the cart will stop it from venturing further regardless of the number of BLU team members on the cart. If no BLU players push the cart for 30 seconds, the cart will start moving backwards slowly until it reaches a checkpoint, BLU spawn, an uphill slope (in certain maps) or is pushed by BLU team members again, which will also reset the timer. The cart functions as a level 1 Dispenser for BLU team (and disguised enemy Spies) to restore health and ammunition to those pushing it. Ammunition is not restored to players standing at the front of the cart.

Some maps have flanking routes that open when a specific point is taken.

There are two distinct types of Payload missions, the type depends on the map. Some maps, namely Gold Rush, Hoodoo, and Thunder Mountain play similarly to Dustbowl by splitting the mission into three sections, each with two checkpoints, with the exception of the final stage on Gold Rush and Thunder Mountain, where there are two checkpoints and the final cap, resulting in BLU Blowing up RED's base. Time is added whenever BLU captures a non-stage winning point. The other type of Payload mission (on Badwater Basin, Barnblitz, Frontier, and Upward) is similar to Mountain Lab by having all checkpoints within one large stage, with larger time bonuses for BLU upon successful cap. There are also fewer total checkpoints, resulting in three checkpoints and a final point, where BLU can win the game and blow up RED's base.

Payload is recommended for all skill levels and is certainly a great game mode to begin with. Payload maps:

Payload Race

Gamemode payloadrace.png
Main article: Payload Race
Two teams. Two carts. Two tracks. Hilarity ensues.
In-game Summary

Unlike standard Payload maps, Payload Race maps feature both RED and BLU teams issued with a cart; Neither team is restricted to an attacking or defending role, with both teams assuming characteristics of both roles. To win, each team must simultaneously push their cart through enemy territory to reach the final point while preventing the enemy team from doing the same. As with Payload mode, team members push the cart by standing next to it, with more members increasing the speed of the cart and opposing team members halting it.

Unlike Payload mode, the cart will not move backwards after any duration of time and there is no time limit; the map will only end when one team successfully pushes their cart to the finishing point. Each cart works as a level 1 Dispenser for their team (and disguised enemy Spies), restoring health and ammunition to those pushing the cart. Parts of the track may feature slopes on which the cart will quickly roll back down to the bottom unless it is being constantly pushed.

Payload Race maps may or may not be split into multiple rounds.

Payload Race maps:

Special Delivery

Gamemode sd.png
Main article: Special Delivery (Game Mode)

Special Delivery is a Game Mode released as part of the Pyromania Update. In this game mode, an initially neutral briefcase of Australium must be transported to Poopy Joe's rocket before the opposing team can do the same.

If a player picks up the Australium and is killed while holding it, only players from the same team as the recently-deceased Australium carrier can pick it up again. If the team fails to do so within 45 seconds, the Australium is sent back to its original position and reverts back to neutral.

The player who has a hold of the Australium must stand on the platform, which will be raised to the compartment located at the nose cone of the rocket. The player has to remain on the platform until the compartment hatch fully opens and is ready to receive the Australium. Once the Australium is deposited into the compartment, the rocket launches off and the team wins the round.

Special Delivery maps:

Territorial Control

Main article: Territorial Control
We have you surrounded, at least from this side!
The Soldier

In Territorial Control, the goal is to take over the entire map by capturing "territories". Each game is randomly selected from the six available layouts in a 'point against point' game where both teams must capture the opposite point while defending their own. After a team successfully captures the opposite point, the next round takes place in a different area of the map which is also randomly selected. After a team captures all four territories, that team must capture the enemy team's base. If the base point is captured (in Hydro, the Radar Dish for RED, the Power Plant for BLU), the attacking team wins the game. When the next round begins, territories are reset and a new random layout is selected. The Territorial Control game mode is not very popular amongst players.

In any game in TC (except in RED/BLU base games), if a control point is not captured within the eight minute time clock, the game then will go into Sudden Death mode.

Territorial control maps :

Training Mode

Training basic.png
Training offlinepractice.png
Main article: Training mode
I make it look easy.
The Sniper

Training maps are intended to teach the basics of gameplay and advanced techniques on wooden targets and bots. Training Mode shipped with the Mac Update, which introduced two official training maps. The Offline Practice allows for new and unfamiliar players to train on specific game modes, along with the capability to adjust the difficulty scale of bots to suit the player.

Training maps

Brandon Reinhart indirectly announced on the Official TF2 Blog on July 28, 2010 that Corey Peters is currently working on another official training map,[1] though details are as of yet unknown for which class or what gameplay mechanics it is focusing on.

Current training classes are:

Other modes


Highlander tournament prize
There can be only one!
The Demoman

Highlander mode restricts the number of players of each team to 9 players and only allows one player per class on each team. It is applicable to any game mode and can be activated by entering mp_highlander 1 into the console.

The idea behind Highlander mode existed previous to its official inclusion in the game, and had been implemented in server mods. Highlander mode was officially added in the February 3, 2010 Patch.

The game mode's name is a reference to the Highlander film series, where the phrase "There can be only one" was often repeated; this references the limitation of one player per class.

Dueling Mini-Game

Dueling Mini-game
Main article: Dueling Mini-Game
Let's settle this like gentlemen!
The Spy

A mini-game released in the Mann-Conomy Update, the Dueling Mini-Game is an Action Item that can be purchased in the Mann Co. Store, received via trading, or found via the drop system. When loaded into the action slot, the item can be triggered to pit the user against one person on the opposing team, provided they accept the challenge. Until the end of the round, points are gained by killing, or assisting in killing. Kills of the two players dueling are tracked, and the player with the most points wins the "duel" when the round ends. If one of the players disconnects or leaves the match, a short duel ban will be issued to that player. The item itself has a maximum of 5 uses, and is usable on all official maps. After participating in your first duel, a Bronze Dueling Badge will be granted which will level up to Silver, Gold, and finally Platinum as you gain more wins. For every 10 wins, an extra Dueling Minigame is granted.

Tournament Mode

Tournament Mode header
Main article: Tournament Mode
Dominated, hippie! Get a job!
The Soldier

Tournament Mode is used mostly on competitive servers. It allows for the creation of custom teams, and the ability to track the success of a particular team over multiple games. A user interface is present for naming teams, and once team members have been organized, teams must say they are ready to start the game. In tournament mode there is no limit to team player limits and no autobalancing.

Community mods

TF2Ware, a community mod by Mecha the Slag
Main article: Custom Mods
Never bring a bat to a battlefield, war is not a game.
The Soldier

Community game mode mods are custom, unofficial game modes, produced by talented community members. They vary from remakes of Team Fortress Classic game modes to completely original modes, and may change anything about the way a class works from their core mechanics to the weapons they carry. Some modes even add new enemies for the RED and BLU teams to fight, or put the player in the shoes of someone or something they couldn't play in an official mode. Some game mode mods have been honorably mentioned by Valve on the TF2 Official Blog.

Unused content

  • There was a planned Courier gamemode in development which for unknown reasons was scrapped. There is still an existing Announcer voiceline in the files which was going to be used in this gamemode.

See also



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