Capture the flag is an objective-based gametype, where teams compete to bring a flag, often taken from the opposing teams base, to a predetermined area, often your team's flag or base.
Many variants of this game type exist, including One Flag CTF, where teams fight for control of one flag, usually centered in the middle of the map from both teams bases, and attempt to move the flag to one base or the other. More variants can be created, using either game's gametype creation system.
Halo: Combat Evolved Variants
The following variants are featured within Halo: Combat Evolved:
- Iron CTF
- CTF Pro
- Single assault
Halo 2 Variants
The variants included with Multi Flag CTF are:
Note: Certain game types from Halo, like Invasion that used Capture the Flag rules now have their own rules sub-set in Halo 2 via the Assault rules.
Halo 3 Variants
The Variants built into Halo 3 are:
Halo: Reach Variants
The Variants built into Halo: Reach are:
- Multi Flag CTF
- One Flag CTF
- Tank Flag
- Neutral Flag
- MLG Multi Flag
Halo 2: Anniversary Variants
When playing with a Team of at least 4 people, a bit more strategy is required to play the game effectively.
First off, one player should be the Flag Carrier. This is the player who will capture the flag and return it to your team's base, and another would be the color guard (the person who guards the flag).
Now in CTF Classic, it is easy. Have every other teammate except for a few people defending your flag provide cover fire for the Flag Carrier. One person should (if it is available) grab a Sniper Rifle and provide cover from a distance. Every one else should have decent medium-range weapons, such as the Battle Rifle or Plasma Rifle. Also if there is a vehicle such as a Warthog, cram your team into it so that the Flag Carrier can make a speedy getaway. But to make sure the enemy doesn't come speeding after you in their own vehicle, it is advisable to destroy all of their vehicles.
In Multi-Flag CTF, the strategy is a little different. Place one defender in your base with the shotgun, and try to have the defender equipped with a rocket launcher as well. Your sniper should play from either backfield or midfield, and should have a defensive focus most of the time. A good team will be sufficiently defended using the single inside defender and the covering sniper. Remember respawning teammates can at times remain on defense to support. The key to winning any big team CTF game is communication. As long as every enemy on the board is accounted for and the inside defender is aware of enemies entering the base, any standard attack will be easily defeated. On average, roughly 50% of the attacking players will make it all the way to your base, and those that do should be easily killed by the shotgun/rocket defender. This defender must always crouch so as to avoid detection. Cover the entrances, not the flag. Other players must also listen to warnings from the sniper or defender, stating that they may soon be overwhelmed by the enemy attackers.
Offense will require careful coordination to succeed in higher levels of gameplay. Again, assuming that a good enemy will kill on average 50% of your attackers, you will need to strike with enough manpower to fight a battle inside the enemy base with half of your team. One strong way to sneak attack your opponents is to skirmish attack your enemy base knowing you will lose the fight. Keep one or two of your teammates inside the enemy base hiding and waiting to attack in unison with the next wave of attack. The enemy will underestimate your attack strength. You should use the hiding players to attack the defense seconds before your teammates arrive in the second wave. This will allow them to enter the enemy base more easily. Without more than half of the team on offense, it is unlikely that you will ever score against a strong enemy. Offensive players must also be able to survive the trip downfield to the enemy base. To do this try to (I) sneak, (II) fight (III) speed your way past the enemy. Sneaking is straight forward; travel undetected. Fighting will require strong coordination of firepower. Battle rifles are great for offensive walks downfield. Make sure that each teammate shoots together at the same enemy, killing him before moving on to the next. Think about it: three shooting enemies half dead are more dangerous than two shooting enemies and one dead enemy. The idea is to minimize the firepower your enemy is using, if you all shoot at one enemy and kill them right away, you will eliminate 1/3 of their firepower (1 out of 3 battle rifles). Speeding will require the Warthog or Mongoose, and will require you to be prepared to fight an enemy that knows you are coming.
In 1-Flag CTF all bets are off. Since you can guarantee that both forces are going to rush in full force to take the flag, you have to grab the best weapons you can manage and just go for it. It might be wise to have some units avoid the main fray and sneak around the enemy base to ambush them.
It is advised not to attempt flag running (dropping the flag while jumping) as it gives away your position for a barely noticeable speed boost. It also frequently annoys other players because the announcer will continue to say "Flag Dropped, Flag Taken." It also spams the info window.
Many Capture the Flag variants are made by MLG.
If you decide to leave one player behind to guard the flag, find out if there is any available vehicles and park them over the flag. Using this strategy, you can blow away anyone attempting to grab the flag, because they will try to grab it and instead hop into a vehicle.
An organized strategy will always win against even the most skilled opponents who do not work together.
Most of the time, players do not use tactics but just use whatever they have, but sometimes organized Warthog crews assault the enemy base and are decimated or succeed, or their Hog is blown and the crew is scattered. Warthogs are commonly used in CTF games as transportation and to harass the enemy team while a player takes the flag.
- Vehicles are often used in this gametype. Usually, players use Warthogs, Mongooses, and sometimes Prowlers, because these vehicles are fast and well suited for transport. On Halo 3's Avalanche, the Hornet is almost instantly taken by a player with a passenger, who then try to steal the opponent's flag. The hornet is one of the best vehicles one can use on a large map during a CTF game.
- The Flag's melee animation is similar to the Gravity Hammer's melee animation.
- When you hit someone with the flag they will die instantly, however, this can be tweaked via the game setting on all Halo games.
- In Red vs Blue, there is a group of religious fanatics who worship the flag.
- On Bungie.net, under kill variations made during Matchmaking, if you scroll over kills made by flags the caption will read "It's next to the headlight fluid" this is a reference to Red vs Blue.
- There is a glitch in CTF in all of the Halo games, when you exchange a flag for a weapon, then exchange the weapon for the flag, then drop the flag, you will have 3 weapons.
- John-117 played Capture the Flag with Tango company in Halo: First Strike.
- In Halo: Combat Evolved, the flag was not an instant kill. In Halo 2 and 3, you can adjust the flag carrier's traits, so that he or she may kill instantly, or do much less damage.
- On the top of the flag there is a human skull. This skull could be, in fact, the same skull from the Oddball multiplayer game.
- In Halo: Combat Evolved it is possible to respawn with the flag in the player's possession. To do this, the player has to be killed right when flag is being taken. However, this is very difficult in a multiplayer game.
- In Halo 4, players are able to assassinate with the flag. They are also given a pistol with unlimited ammo.
- The "Flagnum" in Halo 4 is stronger than the normal magnum by one shot.