Quake Live CTF guide

Originally written by Wolfclaw’s Thormam, edited later by zhakal and even later by xephyr, and even latererer by InFerNo.

This guide is meant for people who are new at CTF, to help the #ctfpickup games to become more like real Clan wars for better practice.

We will discuss every position in this guide.

Often 2 defenders will be used to defend the flag. These 2 need to agree on who will be flag defender and who will be 2nd defender.

“I’m a flag def, what do I do?”
A flag def is simple to play although hard to master. You need to be able to time your buffs around your base such as Armor and Megahealth. Timing these is very important as the enemy attackers will go after these items to make sure you are lower on health than they are when facing you or to use when they get your flag and run home.

When they get the flag and you either died or can’t reach/kill the EFC (Enemy Flag Carrier) before they are out of the base, you will have to let them go and shout out to your team where they are heading. The reason for you to let them go is because your job will now be to secure your home base. Although it can be tempting to continue after him, it will leave your base empty. This will most likely mean that if you come back or another player returns the flag, there will be an enemy attacker waiting in your base for that to happen and now you will not be able to tell your team where he is and what way he is going. Besides that, he will also steal YOUR armor, health, weapons, etc on his way out.

When you die or predict you will get in big trouble and you see your 2nd def is not around or dead as well, shout out “BASE LOST” as either the 2nd def will be running back to help out or your team attackers will help if they spawn back home. When there is cross-cap the flag def’s job is to be a bodyguard for your FC (Flag Carrier) every second, simply follow him around as he picks up the armor and health in the base. Letting the FC be alone for just a few seconds, can mean your FC dies and they will return their flag and get a capture. If you can overlook more than this, you could help your team by timing powerups as well. You might not have that much to do around powerups anyway as the enemy attackers would want a powerup to help them on their attack.

“I’m a 2nd def, what do I do?”
– Although the concept of a 2nd def is familiar to the flag def, your style of play is somewhat more offensive minded. You will first have to get your flag def buffed up before you yourself start taking armor. Always makes sure he is well armored before you pickup anything, because he will be alone defending when you have to help in the middle etc. When the middle powerup is about to spawn, your job is first to make sure that your flag def is ok and then head out for the middle to help your attackers securing the powerup. The enemy attackers will likely be there as well anyway to get it, so an extra hand will be good.

You will often be away from your own flag but not to far away as your flag def will often need help from you. A good idea is to move back and forth between the base and the beginning of the midfield section to see where the enemy enters and give them a minor damage to lower their health. If you see one enemy entering on your side of the map simply shout to your flag defender for example “incoming LOW“. If you see more than one enter your base you should just automatically return to defend your flag.

When your team got the flag, move out to the middle to assist him on the way across. A good idea is to just either stand far away and rail the enemy around him, or jumping down close to your FC so you can pick up the flag if it is dropped or take a hit that was meant for him. I want to point out that you are a defender, not an attacker. Your main focus will always be to help your flag defender. Don’t get temped to attack as its outcome can be fatal for your team’s defense.

– This position is meant for gaining control of the midfield and literally irritate the shit out of the enemy attackers trying to cross the midfield.

“I’m a midfielder, what do I do?”
– This position is often meant as a replacement for the 2nd def, if the flag room is too small to fit 2 defenders or you have a highly skilled flag defender who can take care of business on his own.

The midfielder kills or at the least gives the enemy attacker a hard time crossing the midfield (Hurting him badly). He also helps securing the powerup but he shouldn’t try to take it as he hardly never has any armor for it. Of course he will take it if no other of his team gets to it in time, and should therefore shout something like “switching to attack” before attacking to indicate that mid is no longer being cleared/guarded.

He also attacks alongside his teams attackers if powerup is secured, to support an attack with powerup. He also helps the basedef/flagdef if the enemy got the powerup or if he has a hard time clearing his base. Hard to tell anything else about this position besides the person who takes on this role should have a good accuracy as he will probably face a lot of combat. Sometimes it will even feel like instagib for the midfielder. Also flexibility is required of the player as he will help a lot on both sides of the map.

– This position is where Hollywood celebrities are born. Although a soccer team consists of 11 players, the striker who scored the goals will be the man of the match.

“I’m an attacker, what do I do?”
– This position is not all about scoring the goals. Besides capping the flag you need to have a keen eye to strategy and the positioning of your fellow attackers (This to make sure not everybody is attacking from the same spot). A good idea is to play it a little cool instead of running brainless into the flag and run out again hoping you won’t get killed.

This method will fail against a good defender 99 out of 100 times. So it works if you are lucky the defender is sleeping or very low on health. Instead hook up with your fellow attackers if possible, of course this is not possible every time so you might have to try on your own sometimes. First thing is to look at the team overlay to see where the other attackers are, if they are close to entering you should wait if they are round mid/home base you should go alone.

When you are ready to enter enemy base you could shout something like “attacker ready” so your team-mates know you are ready to enter enemy base. The other should then try do the same and then shout “attacker ready” as well. If all 3 of you have shouted that, one will shout “attack started” and all will enter at almost the same time which will lower the chance for the enemy defense. If 2 attackers are ready and the 3rd attacker shouts something like “attacker NOT ready“, the two of you will have to do. Don’t wait too long in quake live ctf, the reason for this is it contains a lot of spawn places near home base which will give you a hard time attacking.

They will lower your health all the time and in worst case kill you. Also when you do enter the base and it’s time to grab the flag, take a look at overlay to check your fellow team mate’s status. The one with the highest amount of health & armor should ALWAYS take the flag. Remember that everyone you meet on your way home wants to hit the FC. Don’t be selfish about this as it’s the biggest problem pickup games have. “I’m much better than him so I take it” although the idiot has 50/0 and the other 100/100. Now you had only 100/0 and your fellow team mate had 100/100 so he took the flag and will now try running home. Do NOT stay and let him run on his own all the way home. He needs your help and with you escorting him all the way home to safety, will highly raise his chance of making it. Which will give you and your team more caps instead of a lot of dead flagruns. It’s not flagtime that counts here, only caps.

If the FC meet a teammate with higher health on his way home and is hunted he should kill himself, to make the other teammate run back home instead and make you spawn near mid/home base to also help him on his way back. Another good idea is to steal the enemies armors, health & megahealth even though it is placed a bit away from the base, which gives the defense a tough choice to make if you let him know you are there first (Blind shot into base etc).

He will probably stay at the flag waiting for you there which gives you the opportunity to take his armor, health and buff yourself for the attack. A good attacker even times enemy armor so they will use a lot of hard work getting every armor, leaving them with less health/armor all the time. When entering the enemy base and you have a friend right beside you, notice how buffed he is. If he has more armor etc. than you, you should enter first so you will be killed first (This is cause he then has a much higher chance of taking the flag and actually get away with it).

One last thing. If you died while the 3 of you entered the enemy base, but the remaining 2 or 1 got the flag. You should head out for the middle to secure it, giving your FC a better chance of crossing. When you see him, move towards him so he will drop it to you if he dies. Also time the powerups on the map, it is very important for your team to get these as you don’t want the enemy to get it to attack with and if you have quad, a single shot will kill a defender (with a rail anyway). The concept of timing the powerups is quite easy, as it spawns every 2 min (after pickup). If you die 30 secs before it spawns, don’t think it’s smarter to try another attempt of attacking, instead head out for the powerup to secure it.

If you already are in attack and waiting for the others, either run back or just enter the base trying lower the enemy flag defender a bit in health so you can spawn again to go to the middle. Again when your teammate has the powerup, enter the base before him as you don’t want him to take all “first shots” especially if it’s regen.

Now for the defending part of being an attacker.

Although you are the most offensive minded player on your team, there is another important role you will be playing. When the enemy got the flag and your defenders have given directions where he went, they will count on you and your fellow 2 attackers to help them return it. This means that you will have to forget the enemy flag and concentrate on securing the middle so he won’t get past the middle.

If you are far inside enemy base, find a position there where you think the EFC will pass to cap and hide there and wait for him and hear what your teammates shouts. This is important as well as you will be the last chance of returning it for your team if he gets passed the middle. If your teammates shout “EFC past middle” and you don’t see him, you might have to move closer to the flag hoping to catch him before capping or even making a “holy shit” on him. If you don’t know where he is and you see a chance of taking the enemy flag, do so and hide as it will get your teammates a change to hunt him down. If you decide to run home with the flag you will need to NOT run into the EFC as he might have escorts.

As the last thing I would like to point out. When you spawn at your own base, which you will do alot, don’t just stand there and kill the enemy attackers who get in. If 3 of them is coming at the same time you will of course help killing them. But if you see your defense can handle it without your help, let them do it. Don’t just stand there getting frags, it’s simply not your job to do. Your job is in the other end of the map. Also LEAVE the armor, megahealth and ALL dropped weapons for the defenders on your way out. It’s what keeps them superior to the enemy attackers. If you see one shout “Armor available” do not take it as it’s not for you unless you have the enemy flag.

If you meet an enemy attacker on you way toward enemy base, don’t go running after him to kill him, I’ve even seen people tailing me all the way home to their own base to kill me. It’s mindless, irritating and again NOT YOUR JOB.

Source: zhakal’s website


  • <cite>zscan</cite>

    Indeed a very good guide, but probably a bit too complicated for real beginners. So a shorter, basic guide with only the most important ground rules wouldn’t hurt in my opinion. Stuff like “it’s a team game, not about the frags”, the usual respawn-times of items, explanation of the TA runes etc.. Or maybe a round-up of some easy to remember “golden rules”. Like:
    “Escort the flag-carrier”.
    “Power ups are important”.
    “If your flag is gone, it’s easier to get it back than to cross-steal the enemies flag”.
    “In a cross-steal situation armor and megahealth belong to the flagcarrier.”
    “Leave new-spawned team-mates a weapon if you already got one”.
    “Don’t steal armor from your defenders.”
    “Learn to keep an eye on the team-overlay.”
    “Learn to time the power-ups.”

    Also some suggestions for future guides:
    -CTF netiquette
    -How to improve your game
    -Video walk-throughs of maps with audio commentary (rj demonstrations; best spots to intercept flag-carriers; defense positions; ..)

  • <cite>InFerNo</cite>

    The tutorial says, if you encounter someone with more health and you have the flag, kill yourself and give it to him….

    There is a drop_flag command you know, and you’re better off dropping it and staying to defend than to kill yourself with a rocket or plasma and spawn somewhere far way (possibly)..

    • <cite>zscan</cite>

      Well, the tutorial was written for the old Q3. There is a bind for selfkill and it wasn’t possible to drop the flag in Q3. Anyway, this is probably the only part in this tutorial where I would disagree. It doesn’t make much sense to kill yourself midway. If you are under attack, chances are high, that an enemy will return the flag before you teammate even realises that you dropped it. If you are not under attack you just go for the capture and pick up some health/armor on the way back. Even when using audio communication I wouldn’t recommend this switch midway while beeing under attack. The attacker is always focused on the flag, while you teammate should be focused on the attacker. Plus the audio-stream is usually behind 1-2 seconds.
      There are two situations when it’s makes sense to drop the flag or kill yourself. First, when you are still in the enemy’s base, second, when you are already in your home base. Preferably while not beeing under attack. In the enemy’s base it’s better to drop the flag, in your home base it’s better to kill yourself. Make always sure that your teammates see what you are doing or if you are alone drop the flag somewhere “hidden” and get it back yourself. This of course only in your home base.

  • <cite>zhakal</cite>

    First off, ever heard of asking before copy/pasting a guide written by somebody else?? I thank for the source linking but still, ask before doing stuff.

    Second off this was written for Quake 4 by Quake 4 players (me and thormam), not Q3 and especially not QL due to how spawns, overall gameflow and buildup is. The overall guide is made for the two channels #spontan.games and #quake4all to make them come closer to PCW’s instead of mindless games you often find in other games and gametypes where newcommers often are.

    The guide might work in a slight way in both Q3 and QL but gives an overall false heads up on how to play and how to do it properly. Much is missing from these two games to even get things going properly if you follow what is said here.

    For most of these things to even get close to working as intended you need to remake how the spawns work and are faced, change the weapon ballance, change the way maps are made and weapons/powerups/items are placed, change the number of total players to max 10 and play on 1-30 in ping.

    • <cite>Malice</cite>

      Even though we will remove this guide and replace it with one of our own any day now,… I do want to let you know that you did indeed give use your permission, but probably just forgot.

      [19:15] <@Whorechild_BiG> (18:28:28) (@zhakal) oki
      [19:15] <@Whorechild_BiG> (18:28:34) (@zhakal) works for me

      Unless whorechild was lying to us and asked you something else. 😮

      • <cite>zhakal</cite>

        No worries, bad day 🙂 As said earlier to both of you, post can be removed and guide kept.

        The guide have been posted too many places without asking, so i mixed sites with each other. So I appologize for what said above and support your overall work and effort.

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