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Capture the Flag

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The Capture the Flag icon.

Capture the Flag (CTF) is a multiplayer gametype where teams compete to capture a flag from an enemy base and return it to their own. Many variants of this game-type exist, with the most common variation being the number of teams and flags. More variants can be created by altering individual settings. Capture the flag has appeared in every Halo multiplayer game.

Overview[edit]

A blue team player protecting the flag.

In Capture the Flag, teams compete to capture and return the opposing team's flag to their own base.

Flag offense and defense[edit]

Flags are located at their spawn points, usually held in the teams' respective bases. Players need to defend their flags from the enemy team while trying to take the enemy's flag from their base. While carrying a flag, a player (becoming the "flag carrier") cannot fire their weapons, but they can melee using the flag. When a flag is dropped, either at the carrier's own volition or because they are killed, the flag enters a countdown. At the end of the countdown, the flag returns to the base, and the process could be accelerated by friendly players standing around it. The countdown can be reset by enemy players holding the flag again, even if briefly. Respawn timers are typically longer in CTF than in Slayer, giving more time for players in the offense to capture the flag.

In games other than Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo Infinite, the flag melee can kill a fully-shielded enemy player with one hit, though the setting can be tweaked in custom game settings.

In Halo 4, rather than being wielded with both hands, players now carry the flag with their left hand and wield an M6H magnum in their right, regardless of whichever weapons they are carrying. Players pick up the flag automatically by walking into it, but can no longer drop it; once a player has taken the flag, they are stuck with it until they score it or are killed.

Scoring[edit]

Upon returning the enemy team's flag to their own base (or the "flag return point"), a player scores a point for the team. The enemy team's flag automatically returns to the enemy base, and can be taken again. In certain variants of CTF, players cannot score if their own flag has been removed its spawn point.

Victory condition[edit]

By default, the team that first reaches the score limit (3 points by default) wins the game. If neither has reach the score limit at the end of the time limit, the team with the most points at the end wins. If there is a tie, the game may enter overtime, and the team that first scores the next point wins the game. Alternatively, if a team is holding the enemy team's flag at the end, the game may enter sudden death. During sudden death, the flag must be taken to its return point or its spawn point, the result of which decides the victor of the match.

Variants[edit]

Multi Flag CTF[edit]

Multi Flag CTF is the standard variant, where two teams compete for each other's flags.

Assault[edit]

In Assault, which is a variant exclusive to Halo: Combat Evolved, teams alternate offense and defense every two minutes. One team needs to carry the enemy flag into the enemy base. The game variant has been replaced by Assault since Halo 2. In Invasion CTF, players only have five lives each.

Arena CTF[edit]

Arena CTF (or CTF Pro) is the game variant in which the friendly flag must be at home for players to score.

1 Flag CTF[edit]

1 Flag CTF is a variant where two teams alternate offense and defense of the flag.

Neutral Flag[edit]

A variant in which teams fight over a neutral flag to bring back to their respective base.

Tips[edit]

The flag-wielder can choose to melee the opposition with the flag.
  • Designate one player as 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).
  • 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. Everyone else should have decent medium-range weapons, such as the battle rifle or plasma rifle.
  • Use vehicles like the Warthog, so that the flag carrier can make a speedy getaway. Deny the enemy team from pursuing in their own vehicles and destroy all of their vehicles.
  • In Multi-Flag CTF, the strategy is a little different. Designate one defender in the base with the shotgun or a rocket launcher. The 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. 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. Any attacking players that enter the base 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.
Cooperation between players is the key for winning.
  • Offense will require careful coordination to succeed in higher levels of gameplay. 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, the attack forces are going to rush in full force to take the flag, you have to grab the best weapons you can manage and cover the entrances. 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.
  • 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.

Unlocks and rewards[edit]

Halo 2[edit]

Medals[edit]

The following medals can be unlocked in the Capture the Flag gamemode.

Icon Name Requirement
Awarded after you grab the opponent's flag in a Capture the Flag gametype. Flag Taken Taken the opponent's flag.
Flag Returned Medal.svg Flag Returned Return your flag to your base.

Achievements[edit]

Main article: Achievements (Halo 2)

The following achievement can be unlocked in the Capture the Flag gamemode when playing Halo 2 on Windows Vista.

Halo 2 (Windows Vista) Title Unlock requirement Games
H2V Achievement Rainman.png
Rainman
Play every available game variant, with at least 3 other players, to the end of each game.
Halo 2 on Windows Vista

Halo 3[edit]

Medals[edit]

Main article: List of Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST medals

The following medals can be unlocked in the Capture the Flag gamemode.

Icon Name Requirement
Flag Kill.gif Flag Kill Get a melee kill with the flag.
Medal earned for scoring in a capture the flag game. Flag Score Capture the opposing team's flag.
Awarded when you kill the flag carrier. Killed Flag Carrier Kill the opposing flag carrier.

Achievements[edit]

Main article: Achievements (Halo 3)

The following achievements can be unlocked in the Capture the Flag gamemode.

Halo 3 (Xbox) Title Unlock requirement Games
H3 Achievement Flag Dropped.png
Flag Dropped
On a Legendary map, get 2 Flag Carrier kills during any ranked or social match.
Halo 3 (Legendary Map Pack)
H3 Achievement Defend This.png
Defend This
On a Legendary map, get a Flag Melee kill during any ranked or social match.
Halo 3 (Legendary Map Pack)

Halo: Reach[edit]

Commendations[edit]

Main article: List of Halo: Reach commendations

There are no commendations related to the Capture the Flag gamemode.

Medals[edit]

Main article: List of Halo: Reach medals

The following medals can be unlocked in the Capture the Flag gamemode.

Icon Name Requirement
Flag Kill!.png Flag Kill Kill an opponent with a melee attack using a flag.
Flag Score!.png Flag Score Complete a scoring flag capture in a Capture the Flag game.
The Killed Flag Carrier Medal in Halo: Reach. Killed Flag Carrier Killed the opponent flag carrier in a Capture the Flag game.

Achievements[edit]

Main article: Achievements (Halo: Reach)

The following achievements can be unlocked in the Capture the Flag gamemode.

Halo: Reach (Xbox) Title Unlock requirement Games
HR Achievement Return to Sender.png
Return to Sender
Successfully return two flags in a matchmade CTF game.
Halo: Reach (Defiant Map Pack)
HR Achievement Don't Touch That.png
Don't Touch That!
Prevent the attacking team from touching the flag in a matchmaking 1-Flag CTF game.
Halo: Reach (Defiant Map Pack)
HR Achievement Stick it to the Man.png
Stick it to the Man!
Stick and kill the flag carrier with a plasma grenade in a matchmade game.
Halo: Reach (Anniversary Map Pack)

Halo 4[edit]

Commendations[edit]

Main article: List of Halo 4 commendations
Flag Victory

Win a match in any Capture the Flag gametype in matchmaking. Completing this commendation will unlock the Vanguard "Converge" (CNVG) armor set

Tier Required # Rewarded XP
Novice 5 250
Proficient 10 500
Adept 25 750
Expert 50 1000
Master 150 2000
Deadly Flag

Kill enemy Spartans while carrying the flag in any Capture the Flag gametype in matchmaking

Tier Required # Rewarded XP
Novice 3 250
Proficient 5 500
Adept 7 750
Expert 15 1000
Master 30 2000
Carrier Takedown

Kill an enemy flag carrier in any Capture the Flag gametype in matchmaking

Tier Required # Rewarded XP
Novice 10 250
Proficient 25 500
Adept 50 750
Expert 75 1000
Master 100 2000
Defender of the Flag

Earn any of these 2 medals: Flag Defense, Flag Assist

Tier Required # Rewarded XP
Novice 10 250
Proficient 25 500
Adept 50 750
Expert 100 1000
Master 250 2000
Capture the Flag Mastery

Complete all of the following commendations: Flag Victory, Deadly Flag, Carrier Takedown, Defender of the Flag. Completing this commendation will unlock the "Flag" emblem

Medals[edit]

Main article: List of Halo 4 medals

The following medals can be unlocked in the Capture the Flag gamemode.

Icon Name Requirement
H4 - Flag Capture.png Flag Capture Deliver the opponent's flag to your base.
H4 - Flag Runner.png Flag Runner Capture 2 flags in one game.
H4 - Flag Champion.png Flag Champion Capture 3 flags in one game.
H4 - Flag Assist.png Flag Assist Help a teammate capture a flag.
H4 - Flag Carrier Kill.png Flag Carrier Kill Kill an opponent who is carrying a flag.
H4 - Flag Defense.png Flag Defense Kill an opponent who is close to your flag.
H4 - Flag Kill.png Flag Kill Kill an opponent while holding a flag.
H4 - Flagsassination.png Flagsassination Perform an assassination while holding a flag.
H4 - Flag Joust.png Flag Joust Kill a flag carrier while holding a flag.
H4 - Flag Driver.png Flag Driver Drive a flag carrier close to your capture point.

Achievements[edit]

Main article: Achievements (Halo 4)

There are no achievements related to the Capture the Flag gamemode.

Halo 5: Guardians[edit]

Commendations[edit]

Main article: List of Halo 5: Guardians commendations
Flag Mastery

Flag Mastery.pngMaster all Capture the Flag commendations.
Reward: 2500 XP + 1 Requisition Pack

Carrier Takedown

Carrier Takedown commendation.pngKill an enemy flag carrier in any Capture the Flag gametype in matchmaking

Tier Required # Reward
1 10 100 XP
2 30 200 XP
3 60 300 XP + Commendation Reward Pack
4 110 500 XP
5 210 1000 XP + Carrier Takedown Pack
Mine!

Mine! commendation.pngReturn your team's flag in any Capture the Flag gametype in matchmaking

Tier Required # Reward
1 10 100 XP
2 30 200 XP
3 60 300 XP + Commendation Reward Pack
4 110 500 XP
5 210 1000 XP + Mine! Pack
Defender of the Flag

Defender of the Flag.pngProtect your team's flag in any Capture the Flag gametype in matchmaking

Tier Required # Reward
1 10 100 XP
2 30 200 XP
3 60 300 XP + Commendation Reward Pack
4 110 500 XP
5 210 1000 XP + Defender of the Flag Pack
Capture the Flag Mastery

Flag Victory commendation.pngWin a match in any Capture the Flag gametype in matchmaking

Tier Required # Reward
1 5 100 XP
2 15 200 XP
3 30 300 XP + Commendation Reward Pack
4 55 500 XP
5 105 1000 XP + Flag Victory Pack
Patriot

H5G-SpartanCompanyGameModeCommendation-Patriot.pngCapture a flag, assist in capturing a flag or kill with a flag.

Tier Required # Reward
1 500 100 XP
2 1000 200 XP
3 1500 300 XP and 1 Requisition Pack
4 2400 500 XP
5 4900 1000 XP and 1 Requisition Pack
Flag 'Em Down

H5G-SpartanCompanyGameModeCommendation-Flag'EmDown.pngEarn one of the following medals: Stopped Short, Flag Joust, Carrier Kill, Flag return, Flag defense

Tier Required # Reward
1 1000 100 XP
2 2000 200 XP
3 3000 300 XP and 1 Requisition Pack
4 4800 500 XP
5 9700 1000 XP and 1 Requisition Pack

Medals[edit]

Main article: List of Halo 5: Guardians medals

The following medals can be unlocked in the Capture the Flag gamemode.

Help.png This section needs expansion. You can help Halopedia by expanding it.

Achievements[edit]

Main article: Achievements (Halo 5: Guardians)

The following achievement can be unlocked in the Capture the Flag gamemode.

Halo 5: Guardians (Xbox) Title Unlock requirement Games
Flag Monger Complete 5 matchmade games in Capture the Flag.
Halo 5: Guardians

Halo Infinite[edit]

Medals[edit]

Main article: List of Halo Infinite medals

The following medals can be unlocked in the Capture the Flag gamemode.

Icon Name Requirement
Halo Infinite Flag Joust Medal Flag Joust Kill an enemy flag carrier while holding a flag.
Halo Infinite Stopped Short Medal Stopped Short Kill an enemy flag carrier who is about to score.
Halo Infinite Goal Line Stand Medal Goal Line Stand Return a flag near the enemy flag stand.

Achievements[edit]

Main article: Achievements (Halo Infinite)

The following achievements can be unlocked in the Capture the Flag gamemode.

Xbox Steam Title Unlock requirement
Halo Infinite Achievement Running Laps achievement art Halo Infinite Steam Achievement icon for numerous multiplayer-related achievements Running Laps Capture the flag twice in a matchmade Capture the Flag game.

Trivia[edit]

  • John-117 and his squad of SPARTAN-IIs played Capture the flag with Tango company on Reach.[1]
  • The CTF weapons glitch can be done in CTF games. When the player exchanges a flag for a weapon, then exchanges the weapon for the flag, then drops the flag, leaving the player with three weapons.

Gallery[edit]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Halo: First Strike, page 157-160