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Quake II Capture The Flag (Q2CTF) is a multiplayer addon for Quake2 that features a simple set of rules for team based play. It features five unique maps and special powerups to enhance and make the gameplay more exciting.

Q2CTF requires the full retail version of Quake II installed in order to play. Once installed, you simple need to connect to a Quake2 game server that is running the Q2CTF addon.

Rules of the Game

Capture the Flag is a multiplayer addon for Quake2 that features a simple set of rules for team based play.

The basic rules are:

  • When connecting to the server, you join one of two teams: the Red team and the Blue team
  • Each team has a base with a flag positioned in it.
  • The object of the game is to infiltrate the enemy base, take their flag and bring it back to your base.
  • In order to successfully complete a capture, you must be carrying the enemy flag and touch your flag while carrying it at your base.

When playing Q2CTF, there are several different indicators on your Heads Up Display (HUD) that show the status of the game. Learning to interpret the information on this display is important in learning how to play Q2CTF.

Joining a game

When you connect to a Q2CTF server, you may be presented with the option as to which team you join. You'll be present with a menu.

Q2CTF Join Menu This menu offers you the ability to join either the Red and Blue teams, select a chase camera (watch other players as they play), see the credits for the Q2CTF addon or Request that the server switch to Match Mode.

Navigating the menu assumes that you haven't change the default keys in Quake2. The following keys are used when navigating the menu:

  • <]> is used to move to the next menu selection
  • <[> is used to move to the previous menu selection
  • <ENTER> is used to make a menu selection
  • <ESC> will remove the menu (in this case, you'll be left in an "observer" mode and can freely move around the map, but you can not interact with the game)
  • <TAB> will recall the menu if you've cleared it.

Note that if you have change any of the key binds for those keys, the menu may not work properly. The default bindings for these keys are (from Quake2's default.cfg):

bind TAB inven
bind ENTER invuse
bind [ invprev
bind ] invnext
bind ESCAPE togglemenu

If you have changed those keys, you will have to duplicate those bindings for other keys. For example, if you wanted the up and down arrows to navigate the menu, you could bind it like so:

bind UPARROW invprev
bind DOWNARROW invnext

Join Red Team
This joins you to the Red team and places you into the game starting at the Red base. You are immediately ready to go and start playing.
Join Blue Team
This joins you to the Blue team and places you into the game starting at the Blue base. You are immediately ready to go and start playing.
Chase Camera
This activates a chase camera and lets you watch players as they play. The camera will automatically be placed behind someone as they are playing. If you wish to change the camera to follow someone else, use the <[> and <]> keys to change the player you are trailing (same keys as the menu selection). To get out of Chase Camera mode, hit <TAB> to bring up the menu again and select "Leave Chase Camera."
This shows a simple screen showing the development credits for the Q2CTF Addon.
Request Match
If the server has match capability, this will begin an election that players may vote on in order to switch the server to match (competition mode).

Using the grapple

One of the exciting features of the Q2CTF is a new weapon/tool called the Grapple. The grapple lets you get to parts of the level that were previously inaccessible and can be used as a great tool to increase your mobility. It can also be used as a weapon, but it only does the same damage as the blaster, so it's not very effective.

The grapple is a fun addition to Q2CTF and learning how to use is required for effective CTF play.

To use the grapple, you must bind a key or mouse action to it. For example, to bind it to you right mouse button, you would use:

bind MOUSE2 "use grapple"

This would cause the grapple to be selected whenever the right mouse button was hit.

You can use the grapple in a few ways:

  • Select the grapple, point it where you want to go and press and HOLD the fire button down. The grapple will launch and connect to the spot you fired and once contact is made, you will be pulled to the spot the grapple connected. Once at your destination, let go of the fire button to release the grapple.
  • You can also hang from the ceiling or wall with the grapple. You would go there by performing a normal grapple maneuver, but once you get to your destination, do not release the fire button. Instead, while holding down the fire button, change to a different weapon in midair. Once the change is completed, let go of the fire button and you'll be left hanging from the ceiling. When you want to drop off the ceiling, switch back to the grapple and make sure your fire button is not held down. You'll be released and will fall from your position.

Special Powerups

There are four special TECH powerups in Q2CTF.

Disruptor Shield

This TECH Powerup causes the holder to have a protective shield and reduces the damage from all attackers to half. Its an effective tool when attacking enemy installations.


Power Amplifier

This TECH Powerup causes the holder to power up all his attacks to double the damage normally delivered. This an excellent tool for defending your base installation.


Time Accelerator

This TECH Powerup accelerates weapon time for the holder. All his weapons will operate double speed in reload time, switching, etc. This is also an excellent tool for defense, since the holder can deliver twice as much damage in the same amount of time.


This TECH Powerup automatically heals and increases a players health and armor (up to a maximum of 150 for each). The player will slow regain health and armor over time. This is an excellent tool for people carrying the enemy flag since the player will constantly regain health and armor, making him much tougher to kill and get the flag back from.


Communicating With Your Team

A very important part of any multiplayer team based game is communication. Letting your teammates know where you are and what you are doing is an essential part of teamwork.

Q2CTF has a basic team communication called "say_team" or "messagemode2". It is like the regular communication of Quake2, but you need to bind a key in order to use it. I use the <R> key myself, since its right beside the normal <T> key used for communication. To bind it, use the following:

bind r "messagemode2"

When you want to say a message to your team, just hit <R> and type it in. This image shows me telling what I'm doing to my team:

(Zoid): At base, defending

Note the parenthesis around my name. This indicates it is a team message and only people on your team saw it.

Now, normally I don't type a lot of my team messages, I have several standard messages I use to communicate with my teammates. They are bound to several keys like so:

bind z "say_team Base secure"
bind x "say_team Base overrun! Recover"
bind c "say_team Incoming!"
bind v "say_team I'm going offensive"
bind g "say_team Going to base"
bind b "say_team At base, defending"

So when I want to say "At base, defending" to my teammates, I just hit my <B> key to do so. This is much faster than typing it out all the time.

Q2CTF also features some advanced options for communicating to your teammates. This feature is called "auto macros". It lets you configure generic messages that will automatically be filled in as necessary. Here's an example.

bind f "say_team I'm %L, %H and %A, and have %T."

That looks kind of cryptic, but here's what happens when I hit the F key I bound that say_team to:

What this means is each of the % macros in the say_team are automatically changed into something specific to the situation. In this case, the %L changes to a description of my current location, %H changes to how much health I have, %A changes to indicate how much armor I have and %T changes to indicate what TECH Powerup I'm carrying.

Here is a table of all the different % automacros and what they do.

Team Message Auto Macros
%L This will be substituted with your current location in the map. Some common examples are:
"near the Red Flag"
"above the Red Armor"
"near the Blue Railgun"
%A This will be substituted with what ever armor you are current carrying. Some common examples are:
"Power Shield with 100 cells"
"50 units of Yellow Armor"
"Power Shield with 154 cells and 108 units of Red Armor"
"no armor"
%H This will be substituted with how much health you current have. Some common examples are:
"106 health"
%T This will be substituted with the name of the TECH powerup you are holding. Some common examples are:
"the Disruptor Shield"
"the Power Amplifier"
"no powerup"
%W This is substituted with the current weapon you are using. Some common examples are:
"Rocket Launcher"
%N This will be replaced with a list of names of the people who are currently in your visual range, or area. Some common examples are:
"Zoid, Disruptor and Hellrot"
">BC>Casey and >BC>Mutha"
"no one"


Q2CTF features many different score bonus based on actions that result in a flag capture, defense of the flag and your flag carrier and other bonuses.

Q2CTF Scoring
Fragging enemy player   One point
Fragging emery player within your base   Two points.
One Point for the frag, one point for the base defense.
Fragging enemy player within sight of your flag carrier   Two points.
One point for the frag, one point for defending your flag carrier.
Fragging enemy player who has hurt your flag carrier   Three points.
One point for the frag, two points for defending your flag carrier against an aggressive enemy.
Fragging enemy flag carrier   Three points.
One point for the frag, two points for fragging the enemy flag carrier.
Returning your flag (after enemy player has lost it)   One point.
Getting an assist for returning the flag (occurs if your flag carrier captures within a few seconds of you returning your flag).   One point.
Getting an assist for fragging the enemy flag carrier (occurs if you flag carrier captures within a few seconds of you fragging the enemy flag carrier)   One point.
Capturing the enemy flag (you are the flag carrier)   15 points.
Everyone else on your team gets 10 points.


Elections are part of the new competition mode for Q2CTF. They also can be used for other features by users to change maps and other options. Elections can occur during the following situations.

Switching from normal to match mode
A user may make a selection from the menu to request that the server switch to match mode. If this selection is chosen, an election will begin and run for twenty seconds. If the election is won, the server will reset into match mode; all players will be cleared and placed at the join menu.
Changing map (warp)
If a user makes a map change request (by using the "warp <map name>" command) an election is started. If the election is won, the game will enter the intermission and then automatically change to the new map.
Requesting to become an admin
A user can request to become an administrator by typing 'admin' at the console. An election will begin and if successful, the user will gain access to the admin menu. From here, the new admin can change game settings, switch to match mode and warp to different levels.

To vote on an election, simply type "yes" in the console. Votes are anonymous. If enough people have voted (its server configurable, the needed amount of votes is displayed), the election will be won and the action requested will happen.

Competition mode

Q2CTF features a tournament/competition mode that allows organized setup of matches between two teams. The competition mode (once it has been activated by an admin or by an election) works in three stages:

  1. When competition mode is activated, the game enters the setup phase. This where the players pick their teams, discuss strategies and prepare for the match. Players can move around the level, but can't pick up any items or damage any enemy players. If the server isn't dedicated to match play, there is a timer in this phase that determines how long players have to set up their game. If they don't set it up in the needed period of time, the server will reset back to normal play. When the players have established their teams, each player must enter 'ready' to commit to the game. Once everyone has committed, the game enters phase two.
  2. In this phase, everyone has committed and the game is about to begin. There is usually a twenty second countdown before the match actually starts. During this time, any player may enter 'notready' at the console to abort the countdown. After the countdown completes, phase three begins.
  3. At the point the match is begin. Everyone is respawned (sometimes with a small two or three second delay to even out the spawns in the bases, if everyone respawned, telefrags and overflows could occur) in their base and the match begins. Players are also assigned their ghost codes which can be used to re-enter the game in case of a undesired disconnection.

Phase three continues until the match is completed (the default is a twenty minute match), after which the final scores are displayed and the server resets back to phase one.

Ghost Codes

Ghost codes is a special code given to every player in the game when the match starts. This code is used to track the players statistics and other information and is also used to allow a player to enter a game in case he lost connection.

As you can see in the image above, just after the match started I was assigned a ghost code. If I lost connection during the match, I could reconnect to the server while the match was in progress and type "ghost 22632" in the console and I would be automatically put back into the game with the same team, score and statistics I had just before I lost my connection.


The CTF match code also keeps statistics of the game in progress and keeps them around after the match has completed. The statistics may be accessed by typing "stats" into the console. The look like the image below:

The statistics kept for each player are:

  • Score
    How many points this player has accumulated.
  • Kills
    How many frags this player has made.
  • Death (Deaths)
    How many times this player has died.
  • BasDf (Base Defenses)
    How many times this player got bonus points for defending the base
  • CarDf (Carrier Defense)
    How many times this player got bonus points for defending his flag carrier
  • Effcy (Efficiency)
    How efficient this player is when fighting other players. It's calculated as (kills * 100) / (kills + deaths)

New Console Commands

The following console commands have been added for Q2CTF.

Q2CTF Console Commands
Console Command and syntax   Description
team { red | blue }   Switches to the team the player indicates
id   Enables HUD identification of the player you are looking at.
yes   Vote yes on an election.
no   Vote no on an election (you must just abstain). A no vote counts against the election percentage.
ready   Commit to the match in match setup
notready   Cease commitment (will abort match countdown)
ghost ghost-code   Re-enter the game after losing connection in a match (requires ghost code that was provided)
admin [ password ]   Request to become an admin by election, or with password become admin automatically if the password matches. Once one obtains admin status, the admin command by itself will bring up the admin menu.
stats   Show the statistics of any matches recently completed or in progress.
warp level   Warp to a new level. It must be one of the levels listed in the warp_list cvar (see Server Operator section).
boot player-number   Kick a player off the server. The number of the player can be determined with the playerlist command.
playerlist   List out the player on a server, their connect time, player number and status (ready/notready, or admin).
  Leave the current game and become and observer (this resets your score to zero).

User admin functions

An admin has several function he may perform. A user can become an admin by entering "admin" at the console and starting an election or by typing the admin password at the console with "admin <password>" if a password is set. The server operator can set an admin password using the admin_password cvar.

An admin can change settings, warp to different maps and boot players from the server. Once you become an admin, type "admin" again at the console to access the admin menu.

The admin menu (show left) has just a couple options. Settings allows you to change game settings (shown below) . The second option changes depending on what state the server is in:
  • Switch to match mode
    This will switch the server from regular play to match/competition mode.
  • Force start match
    If the server is in match mode and players are in the phase where they are setting up their teams, the admin can force the match to start regardless of the ready status of the players.
  • Cancel match
    This will cancel the match that's currently in progress.

The Settings menu has several options to allow the admin to configure the server on the fly (some of these settings are also applicable to normal play mode).

The menu pictured on the left shows the different options that an admin can change. They are:
  • Match Len
    This controls the length of the match. The default is a twenty minute match time. This can be changed while a match is in progress. For example, if a match started that was twenty minutes long and two minutes had already passed (so there was eighteen minutes remaining) and the admin changed the match length to ten minutes, the remaining time would automatically be changed to eight minutes. If the admin sets a match time less than the amount of time already passed, the match will immediately end.
  • Match Setup Len
    This is the length of time that players get to setup a match before the server will reset back into normal play. This setting can be changed on the fly like Match Len (if a setup is in progress).
  • Match Start Len
    This is the length of time before the match actually begins after everyone had committed by typing "ready" at the console. It should be pretty short.
  • Instant Items
    This is the dmflag that controls whether powerups such as the Quad and Invulnerability are instantly used or may be carried and activated as desired.
  • Quad Drop
    This is the dmflag that controls whether the quad is dropped when a player is fragged while carrying it.
  • Instant Weapons
    This is a new option that allowed weapons to be switched without put away and activation animations. The weapons switch instantly.
  • Match Lock
    If enabled (the default) players can not enter a match in progress (unless the have a ghost code). If disabled, anyone can enter a match while it's in progress.

When you have made your changes, simply select Apply to activate them. Whatever you changed will be broadcast to everyone in the game.

Server Operator Information

A few notes for the server operators.

  • You can change maps on a server with two commands, "map" and "gamemap". Both take a map as a parameter. They differ in CTF in that when a "map" command is used, all player teams are reset (and players must either select or be assigned to new teams), where as the "gamemap" command will retain the same teams after the map change.

The following table lists the various Cvars that can be configured by a server operator. You can place them in a script file with commands like "set competition 3" and then EXEC that config file on server startup.

Q2CTF Specific CVar variables
Variable Default Value Description
ctf 1 Enables CTF play. Normally this should be enabled, but may be disabled to allow deathmatch play with the Grapple and TECH Powerups
ctf_forcejoin none This may be set to "blue" or "red" to force all people joining a server to a specific team. This may be handy when a player who has rcon access wants to set up teams in a specific way.
competition 0 This variable controls whether or not the server can be enabled for match play. There are four legal values:
0 This value indicates that match play is not available on the server and can not be enabled by players (even with voting).
1 When this value is set, the server defaults to normal play (pick up CTF games) but can be changed to match play mode by an admin or by an election.
2 This value is set by the CTF game itself and should not be set directly. It indicates that a server has been voted into match play and will revert if the match setup times out.
3 This indicates that a server is in dedicated match play. The server stays in match mode at all times and does not time out and return to normal play.
matchlock 1 This value controls whether or not players can join a match in progress (without a ghost code). Its default value of one indicates that players can not join a match in progress.
This variable may be changed by and admin with the admin settings menu.
electpercentage 66 This controls how many people out of the players on a server have to vote in order for an election to be one. The default is 66% which means that two thirds of the players must vote in order for the election to succeed.
matchtime 20 Specifies the length of time, in minutes, that the match will be played for. Twenty minutes is the default standard match time.
This variable may be changed by and admin with the admin settings menu.
matchsetuptime 10 Specifics the length of time, in minutes, that the setup phase before a match must be started (by all players committing by entering "ready" at the console). If this time expires, the server will reset back into normal play.
This variable may be changed by and admin with the admin settings menu.
matchstarttime 20 This specifies, in seconds, the amount of time after a match has been committed (by all players entering "ready" in their consoles) and the actual start of the match.
This variable may be changed by and admin with the admin settings menu.
admin_password none This variable may be set to a password that allows someone to grain admin access without having to be elected. The admin would just type "admin <password>" to gain direct access to the admin menu, assuming the password was correct.
For example, "set admin_password bob" in a start up config file for the server would set the password to "bob" and any player could become an admin by typing "admin bob" at the console.
warp_list "q2ctf1 q2ctf2 q2ctf3 q2ctf4 q2ctf5" This variable is a space separated list of maps that may be warped to on the server using the warp command. Any base map name (bsp file name) can be specified. Admins and players who start elections for warp requests must specific a map in this list.