TFC Maps Archive

Game Types

Each map is assigned a type/category based on how it's played. These types are by no means official, but instead represent what I consider a logical grouping of similar-playing maps. I define these types below.

Capture the flag

This is by far the most iconic and popular type of map in TFC. In capture the flag (CTF), there are usually two teams, each of which possesses a flag. The objective is to steal the opposing team's flag and bring it back to your base, where it can be "captured" at a specific location, granting your team points. There are many variants that fall under the CTF category, including those that feature three or more teams; use a different object than a flag; position flags in a neutral middle ground on the map instead of in the team bases; require your flag to be at its home in order to capture the opponent's flag; and so on. Still, for the most part, maps categorized as CTF involve teams trying to steal an object from their opponent and bring it back to their own base.

The most widely known CTF map is 2fort, the prototypical Team Fortress map. There were countless clones, imitations, and remixes of 2fort. Still, some map makers managed to put an interesting spin on this well-worn idea.

Favorites: 2morfort, congestus, hwguyz2, nml, nuclear, shutdown2, and totalwar.

Reverse CTF

Reverse CTF is distinguished from traditional CTF by the fact that each team must take their own flag from their own base or a neutral middle ground, and capture it in the opposing team's base. Like with traditional CTF, there is usually just one flag per team. There may also be variants that change a few of the parameters.

Valve's official epicenter map was a popular example of reverse CTF. Reverse CTF maps were much less common than traditional CTF maps.

Favorites: redemption2 and Torch2.

Push CTF

Push CTF takes its name from the official push map. There is typically a single object, often represented as a ball, placed in the middle ground between each team's side/base. Each team makes their way to this object, and whoever picks it up pushes toward the opposing team's side. The carrier typically scores by reaching the end of the opposing team's side, which is often thought of as a "goal" given the obvious parallels to soccer/football. Push CTF is similar to reverse CTF, but almost always involves a single "flag" that starts in neutral ground.

The most popular push CTF map was obviously push, but this game type was even less common than reverse CTF. Custom push CTF maps often made the parallels to real-world sports even more apparent by incorporating basketball, hockey, and American football themes. In any case, push CTF maps tended to be much more frantic than other forms of CTF, as they were smaller maps with tightly packed players.

Favorites: basketball and ukfootie.

Flag run

Flag run, appropriately named after the official flagrun map, is a game type centered around capturing more flags than there are teams. In most cases, there are four flags for two teams. Those flags may be "owned" by each team, they may be neutral (not just in terms of placement, but of logo/color), or a mix of both. In some maps, points are scored per capture. Others are based on rounds, where capturing all flags on the map wins that round for the capturing team.

Flag run tended to have a more frenetic nature than traditional CTF since it encouraged more players to go for flags.

Favorites: core and samurai.

Attack and defend

Attack and defend maps, as the name implies, usually feature two teams: one the attacker, one the defender. The nature of what is being attacked and what is being defended varies from map to map. Some, like dustbowl, require the attackers to move a flag to multiple control points, with the defenders trying to stop them. Others see the attackers trying to breach the defenders' base and reach some game-ending trigger. Also, some attack and defend maps have each team swap roles at the end of a round, whereas some always position one team as the attackers and the other as the defenders.

The prototypical attack and defend map was dustbowl, whose popularity endured into Team Fortress 2, where it eclipsed even 2fort. There were many takes on attack and defend from the custom-mapping community.

Favorites: cj2, cornfield, ksour, osaka_r, and palermo.

Territorial control

Territorial control maps feature teams that try to capture designated control points on the map for their team. To "capture" a point, a player either needs to simply walk over it, or in some maps, bring a flag to it. The opposing team can take back control of a point by doing likewise, though there may be a cooldown period before this is possible. Points are either awarded for each capture, or, in round-based maps, the team that has all points captured at the same time wins that round.

The original territorial control map is cz2 (Canalzone), which is the flag-carrying variety. Another official map, warpath, requires walking over a point to capture it.

Favorites: magic_n and TIGER.

King of the hill

King of the hill (KoTH) maps usually involve a single control point that each team is vying for. Once a team captures the point, they are awarded points every n seconds until another team retakes the point. Whichever team has the most points at the end of the round wins.

There's no official KoTH map in TFC. However, there are some custom KoTH maps, including the wonderfully creative (but hopelessly janky) mooncheese.

Favorites: mooncheese, tfc_stargate, and thirdworld_beta01.

Kill the carrier

Kill the carrier is essentially KoTH, if the "hill" were a player that can move around. Whichever player picks up the flag or other object becomes "it," and the opposing teams try to hunt down and kill this carrier. The carrier generates team points every n seconds they stay alive while carrying the object. The carrier's teammates are encouraged to protect the carrier at all costs. When the carrier dies, the object either falls to the ground on the spot of death, or it returns to its home.

Kill the carrier is not featured in any official maps. It's perhaps most prominently featured in the custom map murderball. Most maps like this enabled the full four-team roster—not just to make the hunt more chaotic, but to add an interesting dynamic in which the three non-carrying teams form temporary alliances in their quest to kill the carrier.

Favorites: axlfly9b and mrdrball2c.

Hunted

Hunted, also called escort, escape, or assassination, is a game type in which one or more VIPs must make their way from one end of the map to the other. The VIPs are being hunted by one or more teams whose only goal is to kill the VIPs. In most hunted maps, there is a single VIP who takes on the class 0 (Civilian) role as the only member of their team (usually Blue). The Civilian is slow and has only a melee weapon, putting them at a great disadvantage in combat. However, one team (usually Red) is allied with the VIP team and acts as the VIP's bodyguards. The bodyguard team is usually much better equipped. The team that hunts the VIP (usually Yellow) has a limited combat role, typically just Snipers, but can still kill either the VIP or the bodyguards. A round is won when the VIP makes it to the goal, or when the VIP is killed.

The original hunted map is, of course, Valve's hunted. Custom hunted maps occassionally put an interesting spin on things, like the incorporation of team Green in Betrayed, a lone Demoman who helps the assassins find and kill the VIP.

Favorites: Betrayed, drugbaron, Extraction, renegade, and TheRetreat.

Team deathmatch

The rules of team deathmatch are simple: kill as many of the opposing teams' players as you can. Whichever team has the most kills by the end of the round wins. More specifically, maps qualify as "team deathmatch" if they have no other specific win conditions and just involve two or more teams killing each other.

There are no official TFC-specific team deathmatch maps. (In fact, none of the game types listed below have official versions.) However, plenty of custom maps qualify as team deathmatch, including "gimmick" maps like rats and turkeyburgers.

Favorites: mecklenburg_b4v6, rats, and turkeyburgers.

Arena

Arena maps, often just called "deathmatch" maps, are distinguished from team deathmatch in that they include rooms specifically designated for combatants to fight in. The map might have one or multiple such rooms (i.e., arenas). The fight could be a duel between two combatants, or it might be a battle between two or more groups of combatants. In either case, the arena is meant to be a pre-arranged test of might, not a general-purpose map where teams kill each other indiscriminately.

The mulch_dm map is the most well-known arena map, and was often used by players looking to duel each other on equitable terms. A dueling culture of unwritten rules developed around this map, like jumping twice to signify that you were ready, or not using your shotgun until you first hit your opponent with a rocket.

Favorites: ahhhish and mulch_dm.

Sniper war

Sniper wars are team deathmatch or arena maps that—you guessed it—feature only snipers.

Sniper wars were so popular, and there were so many of these types of maps, that they deserve their own game type. No other class-specific map really reached that same level of popularity.

Favorites: None whatsoever.

Destruction

Destruction maps feature one or more teams attempting to "destroy" an object like a computer, or even an entire base. That object might be on neutral ground, or each team might have a copy of that object that the other team is gunning for. How an object is "destroyed" depends on the map, as there are no real destruction physics in the GoldSrc engine. Most of the time, a Demoman will place a detonation pack (detpack) near the object, which, when it goes off, will mark the object as being destroyed. In some cases, the map might simulate destruction by adjusting the object's geometry brush, like changing a brush from a closed wall to an opening.

Destruction maps are pretty rare, and there may be some overlap with the attack and defend type, as a map might have one attacking team attempting to destroy something of the defenders'. But it's still distinct from the other types listed.

Favorites: invect3 and starcraft.

Skill

Skill maps, also called trick maps, are specifically designed to test or hone one or more of the player's skills. This most commonly takes the form of concussion jump (conc jump) maps, in which Scouts and Medics use their concussion grenades to launch themselves great distances; or rocket jump maps, in which Soldiers launch themselves in the air by shooting rockets at their feet. Most skill maps are a collection of individual courses. Each course is a jump, where you must make it to the end of the course without touching the ground. As you progress, each jump gets harder. There is usually no combat in these maps; the only competition is seeing who can get to the end of the map first.

Skill maps became extremely common as a way for seasoned players to expand their abilities that were essential for league play, particularly conc jumping. Some of the more advanced skill maps have jumps that would seem impossible to most casual players. Beginner skill maps also helped new players get into jumping, and some players just used skill maps as a way to challenge themselves.

Favorites: axlconc8b, concmap_r, pyrojump, quad_rocket, and rjumpTFC.

Climb

Climb maps are somewhat of an offshoot of skill maps, but they are not meant to hone any particularly useful skill. Instead, players must jump from platform to platform until they get to the end of the map. The "end" of a climb map is usually the very topmost point on the map. If you fall, you have to start again from wherever you landed. Combat is usually not allowed in a climb map, though climbers might attempt to block each other or otherwise sabotage other players.

Climb maps had niche appeal, and would often frustrate players who were forced to start all over again after a fall. Still, some maps had interesting themes and a variety of different jumps.

Favorites: kz_climbers_b01, The-Climb, and theonlywayisup_r.

Social/cooperative

Maps in this category usually encourage players to socialize with other members of their TFC community, taking a laid-back approach to the gameplay (if there is any). The map might feature a location like a house, hotel, suburban street, etc., that players can explore without the threat of an opposing team. Also included in this category are maps that have an element of cooperation, like maps in which players solve puzzles in order to progress. Some maps in this category feature combat, but usually in the context of a game-within-a-game, like hide and seek maps and golf maps.

Most social maps were designed by members of a specific server/community as a way to have a rest period between all of the carnage in a normal map. Even maps that featured combat had a social element to them, or at least some quality that went beyond the typical TFC competition.

Favorites: artifact, K_TheGame, lee_axlapp_b1, minigolf3, and sc5x_bonus_beta2.

Racing

Racing has some elements of a social map, but focuses specifically on teams or players racing against each other. This can include a foot race, or even racing on crudely fashioned "vehicles" that players must drive toward the finish line. A racing map may or may not feature combat.

Racing maps tended to be buggy, as the GoldSrc engine was not particularly designed with racing vehicles in mind.

Favorites: shortbus3 and skate2.

Vote

Vote maps enable players to vote for which map they actually want to play. They typically involve one or more players breaking down some obstacle to a trigger that loads a specific map. The more players who help to break down the obstacle to a specific map, the more "votes" that map gets. Vote maps also offer a rest period between maps for players to socialize.

Although server plugins enabled text-based voting systems, vote maps were created to make the voting process more interesting and encourage community participation. Vote maps like axlvote_b2 were popularized by Axl's TFC server, later known as Impulse Gaming.

Favorites: axlvote_b2 and vote.

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