Quake Live CTF Beginner Tutorial

quake-live-ctf-beginner-tutorialWelcome to the Holysh1t.net CTF Beginner Tutorial, the first in a three-part series. This is meant for those of you who are new to the game, and want to get a quick overview of what you need to know in order to play Quake Live CTF.

It’s recommended that you read each section in order, but for those of you who know the basics and are ready for more advanced topics, feel free to skip ahead to the Advanced Tutorial. (Not online yet. Subscribe to stay updated and receive a notice when part two and three are ready!).

What is CTF?

CTF, or Capture the Flag as it’s known, is one of the most popular game types available in Quake Live, and in the entire First-Person Shooter genre itself.

Based on the old school-yard game, two teams compete to steal or ‘capture’ the opponent’s flag, while protecting their own. If a flag has been stolen, the Enemy Flag Carrier, or EFC, needs to be fragged before he/she reaches his/her own flag. Once the flag is on the floor, a player only has to touch it in order to return it to their base.

The game is usually played on maps that consist of two large, symmetrical bases facing each other, with a bridge or courtyard (called the mid-field) connecting them.


After connecting to a game

So, you just joined a CTF server. The first thing you should do is examine the scoreboard. At this point, you need to ask yourself a couple of questions.

Are the teams even?

If your answer is yes, don’t join yet. It is very difficult to get an even-teamed game going on a public server, and if you jump in prematurely, you may have just interfered with a very good match. Instead, wait for another spectator to connect, and then join the match together.

Who’s winning? Is it by a large amount?

If one team has a drastic lead over the other, you may want to consider joining the loosing team in order to make up for the skill difference (even if they have more players). Before you do this, be sure to ask the players if they’d be okay with that.

If neither of the above situations applies, simply hit the “auto-join” button, and get in there!

What should I be doing?

Now that you’re in the game, it’s time to choose a position. Before doing so, run around a bit to see what your team-mates are doing. If you happen to notice that your team is lacking defense, go on defense. If there’s only one person trying to get the flag, go on offense, etc. Always keep in mind that this is a team game, and you should always put the priorities of the team ahead of yours. Let’s take a quick look at two of the positions you can take: (There is a third, mid-fielder, which will be covered in the Advanced Tutorial.)


The most common position players take upon joining a server. The job of an offense-man, or attacker, is to capture the enemy flag. They usually come in pairs of two, and each must watch the other’s back, especially after one is able to steal the enemy flag. It’s important to note that the attacker should get armor and power-ups from either the mid-field or the opponent’s base. All items found within the base itself should be left for the defenders.



This position is not quite as common on public servers. The job of a defender is to guard his/her team’s flag. They also come in pairs of two. Opposed to an attacker however, they are not out to watch each other’s back. They must split up, one taking up position in the flag room, while the other stays toward the entrance of the base. These players must build up their resources from the items found within their own base. Anything outside of it should be reserved for attackers.


CTF Exclusive Items

Throughout the map you’re going to find unique items (called Runes) that cannot be found in any other game- type. These pick-ups completely alter the style of game-play, so it’s very important that you fully understand how they work.


Upon pickup, the doubler will increase the power of all your weapons. This is a permanent power-up – you’ll have it until you die/get fragged. This item is useful for defense.


Upon pickup, the guard will cut all damage you receive by half. This is a permanent power-up – you’ll have it until you die/get fragged. This item is useful for offense.

Armor – Regen

ammo_regenUpon pickup, the armor-regen will continually regenerate you armor to maximum value of 100. (You can still pick up other armor though, which will add on top of that.) This is a permanent power-up – you’ll have it until you die/get fragged. This item is useful for both offense and defense.


scoutUpon pickup, the scout will increase your maximum run speed and fire rate dramatically. In addition, it also removes any footstep sounds you make, and protects you from being hurt by your own weapons. This is a permanent power-up – you’ll have it until you die/get fragged. This item is extremely useful for offense.

Basic Team Communication

You’ve picked the appropriate team to join, and you’re in position, ready to win. There’s just one more thing you need to know: how to communicate with your team-mates in a quick and orderly fashion. The following are quick phrases you can type to your team-mates.

(Note: In order to speak with your team-mates, you must use team chat, which is by default bound to the ‘Y’ key on your keyboard. Do not make the mistake of pressing ‘T’, which is global chat. You may accidently warn your opponents about your strategy!)


“Getting the flag”

By saying this you can let team-mates know that you’re going on offense.

“On D”

If you’re going to take defense, all you need to say is “on D” to let your team-mates know.


If an enemy managed to steal your flag, you can say this phrase to let your team-mates know you’re going to attempt to get it back.

That covers all the basics you would need to know in order to play the game properly. This isn’t everything though. Capture the Flag, like the rest of Quake Live, is a game that is easy to learn, but difficult to master. Read our Advanced Tutorial when you’re ready to take the game to the next level! (Not online yet. Subscribe to stay updated and receive a notice when part two and three are ready!).