Half-Life 2: Capture The Flag is a multiplayer capture the flag mod for the computer game Half-Life 2. Players are divided into two teams, Combine and Rebels, and try to steal the other team's flag from their base, and return it to their own for points.


Players are divided into two teams: Combine and Rebels, and must fight each other over the flag(s) (depending on what mode you are playing). The mod uses the standard Half-Life 2: Deathmatch weapons along with a few new weapons and ability enhancing runes.

Modes of PlayEdit

There are three modes of play for Half-Life 2: Capture The Flag, Capture The Flag (ctf), Domination (dom), and Reverse Capture The Flag (rctf). [1]

Capture The Flag (ctf)Edit

Standard and most popular mode, where the two teams must attack the other's base, steal their flag and get the opposing team's flag back to their own to score points. One may only capture the other team's flag if his/her team's flag is back at their base. Players steal flags by running over them, and score by running over their own flag in its base while carrying the other team's flag. The team with the most points at the end of the time limit, or the team that reaches the score cap first wins the match. If it is a tie, there will be an sudden death overtime round where the team to score first will win the match, or if no one scores in the alloted time, the match will end in a tie game. Maps that use this mode are prefixed with ctf_.

Domination (dom)Edit

In Domination mode, the two teams must battle over a single flag and hold it as long as possible, and the team that holds it the longest for a certain amount of time wins. Otherwise, this mode is very similar to Capture The Flag mode. Maps that use this mode are prefixed with dom_.

Reverse Capture The Flag (rctf)Edit

A very similar mode to Capture The Flag, only with a slight twist. Your base contains the opposing team's flag, and vice versa, and you must run your flag through the opposing team to get to their base (which contains your flag) and score. Like Capture The Flag mode, to score, one's flag must be at their base in order to score, and if a tie game it will go into overtime.

Football (fb)Edit

A game type which is very similar to regular ctf mode, instead of two flags and each team trying to steal it from each other's base and return it to their own base, there is one flag, usually in the middle of the map with both teams trying to steal it and trying to capture it at a capture point inside the enemy base. When a person has capture the flag, they are usually teleported out of the enemies base and back into the spawn point of their own base.

Differences Between Capture the Flag and DeathmatchEdit

Capture the Flag is largely based on the Deathmatch game that comes with Half-Life 2, but there are several key differences. Some of these differences occur throughout the game, while some only appear in the special "Pro" mode. These two modes are set up by servers and effect gameplay such as recoil, running speed, weapon damage and accuracy and the HUD; Pro mode and standard Half-Life 2: Deathmatch mode, with Pro mode being the most popular. The following chart demonstrates the differences between the two modes:[2]

Differences Between Pro and HL2:DM Server Modes
Pro HL2:DM
SMG recoil spread
SMG damage 6 5
Shotgun spread 15° 10°
Shotgun clip 8 6
Shotgun damage 10 9
AR2 damage 12 11
RPG damage 100 150
Combine ball suicide Yes No
Gravity gun rapid fire No Yes
Stunstick & crowbar balanced Yes No
Bullet impact force ½ Normal
Run speed 235 UPS 190 UPS
Bunny hopping Yes No
Wall jumping Yes No
Rocket jumping Yes No
Fall damage 10 Realistic
Drop items Yes No
New weapons Yes Yes
New items (turrets, powerups) Yes Yes
Health and suit chargers Fast Normal
Default spawn weapon Pistol SMG
Spawn selection Farthest Random
Heads-Up Display (HUD) New features Colorized


Another unique feature about Half-Life 2: Capture the Flag is the ability for players to pick up ability enhancing runes which gives them an advantage in combat. A player can only carry one rune at a time, and when a player has a rune, it is visible on the back of the player model of that player.[2]

Double Damage
Characterized by its Red color, this rune will give the ability to do twice as much damage then normal.
Characterized by its Yellow color, this rune will absorb a portion of all damage done to you, effectively making your HP about 35% higher.
Characterized by its Green color, this rune will heal whoever has it 6 hp every second, to a max of 100 HP.
Characterized by its Purple color, with this rune, every time you do damage to someone, you get healed about 25% of the damage you dealt. Your HP and Armor both get healed with this rune, up to 100 HP and 150 Armor.
Characterized by its Orange color, this rune will make you completely invisible if you stand perfectly still (and not using a weapon that has lights/lasers like the RPG), and if you are moving you will still be semi invisible, but people will be able to see a slight distortion where you are.(think of The Hidden mod)
Characterized by its Blue color, this rune will make it so that you can stay in water indefinitely without taking any damage, even if your oxygen runs out.


There are several special techniques and tricks that players use to aid them in capturing the flag or killing players more easily:[2]

Grenade Jumping
When a player lobs a grenade (right click) and then quickly switches to the Gravity Gun and picks it up, and then holds the grenade under him, and right before the grenade goes off, the player jumps and the resulting explosion sends the player flying great distances very quickly. The explosion does not kill the player but will damage him severely.
Grenade Shooting
When a player lobs a grenade (right click) and then quickly picks it up with the gravity gun, and then holds it there for a period of time (depending on how far they want to shoot it) and then shoots it so the grenade goes flying at high speed, and if timed right, will explode in the general vicinity of an enemy player, killing him.
Wall Jumping
A technique used to jump over some walls, it is accomplished by strafe jumping into a wall, and quickly jumping again.

New WeaponsEdit

Half-Life 2: Capture The Flag features 3 new weapons, the Alyx Pistol, the Combine Sniper Rifle and the OICW.[2]

Alyx Pistol
The pistol that Alyx Vance uses during Half-Life 2, Episode One and Episode Two. This pistol has a 25 bullet clip, and has two firing modes: Semi and Automatic. The Alyx Pistol does 12 damage for a body shot and 36 for a headshot. Like the standard pistol, the Alyx Pistol will work underwater.
Combine Sniper Rifle
The Sniper Rifle was present in early betas of Half-Life 2, but was eventually taken out of the final release. The Sniper Rifle deals 100 damage like the Crossbow, but unlike the Crossbow it accounts for headshot damage as well. It has two level zoom and is hitscan. Its bullet can also penetrate through several doors, physics props, and other players, but the bullet leaves a blurred trail which reveals the shooter's location. It also has a slower reload time than the Crossbow, and lacks an aiming reticle when unzoomed, unlike the Crossbow.
The OICW was originally planned for Half-Life 2, but was taken out from the final release. This is a machine gun that can use secondary airburst explosive rounds and can zoom. The Primary fire does 12 damage for a body shot and 36 for a headshot, while the secondary airburst rounds do anywhere from 75 to 80 damage. The OICW's spread is near 0, however it recoil means it is only effective in short bursts.

Behind the Scenes ReloadingEdit

Most guns in Half-Life 2: Capture The Flag will reload behind the scenes if you switch out the weapon while its clip is partially or fully empty, wait the full time for the reload animation to play while using another weapon, and when you switch back to that weapon, the weapon will be fully reloaded. If you switch back too soon, you will have to watch the reload animation again. Every single weapon in the mod except for the SMG and the AR2 will reload behind the scenes.[2]

Official Valve MatchesEdit

During the course of Half-Life 2: Capture the Flag's development, two public matches have been organized with the development team of HL2:CTF competing against Valve, the matches being viewable by owners of Half-Life 2 through Valve's Half-Life TV. The competition was announced through Valve's Steam service. The original telecast match ended with a draw for both teams [3] which prompted the Valve team to ask for a rematch to be played at a later date.

The second Valve match was organized by E-mail and announced over the Steam service.[4]. Several Valve developers, including Robin Walker of Valve's Team Fortress 2 Development team attended to compete. The Valve team stated taht they wished to host the match on their own servers and examine the CTF mod code to ensure a fair match. After examining the code and setting up a server a half hour before match time, members of the Valve team showed up to greet the HL2:CTF team and establish the rules for the match.

When the match commenced, the HL2:CTF development team quickly took a large lead over Valve, ostensibly assuring their victory in the rematch. During the halfway point however, the audience and the HL2:CTF developers found the perspective of the match shifted to the center playing field where the Valve team had gathered. Each member of the Valve team changed his name to an alias and spray painted a virtual tag bearing a picture of his persona and a nickname in the central area. Due to Valve being given the mod code, and hosting the match on their own server, they were given the ability to inject their own code into the server-side mod version, giving each Valve member invulnerability and unique powers that are not part of the normal HL2:CTF code.

One Valve programmer adopted the persona of Gordon Freeman, the protagonist of the Half-Life 2 series of games, and gained the abilities of an instantly deadly crowbar and the blue organic gravity gun from the end of Half-Life 2, enabling him to grab other players at will and toss them across the room. Another team member formed into a plasma ball, vaporizing any member of the enemy team he touched, while another member gained a powerful shotgun and the ability to create deadly shock waves. The score of the Valve team began to climb whether they were actually scoring points or not and the HL2:CTF team members were unable to stop the now invulnerable and enhanced Valve team. After the timer for the match counted to 0, and the Valve team was declared the winner of the competition, the server spontaneously shut down before any questions could be answered by either team. Video of the match was later distributed to the HL2:CTF community for those who were unable to attend.


Half-Life 2: Capture The Flag Homepage

Half-Life 2: Capture The Flag Official Forums

References Edit

  1. "Players Guide". Half-Life 2: Capture The Flag Players Guide. Retrieved January 5 2007. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "Book of Revelations". Half-Life 2: Capture The Flag Book of Revelations. Retrieved January 5 2007. 
  3. PC Gamer, July 2005 issue
  4. "Steam Update Service". Steam Updates announcement Jan 27, 2006. Retrieved January 22 2008. 

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