This is a list of game modes in Team Fortress 2. Initially, the game shipped with only three game modes: Capture the Flag, Control Point, and Territorial Control. Numerous updates have added eight new game modes (Payload, Arena, King of the Hill, Payload Race, Medieval Mode, Special Delivery, Mann vs. Machine and Robot Destruction) making eleven official game modes, along with two training maps. These game modes are spread across 53 official maps and offer a great variety of play styles and games in Team Fortress 2.

Arena Edit

Arena maps are designed to keep the class diversity of Team Fortress 2 while focusing goals around combat between two teams. Whereas other game modes lean towards a broad, overall strategy for the team, Arena concentrates on the specific tactical choices the teams make in a single fight. Arena maps carry the arena_ prefix.

Arena Mode features smaller maps to ensure shorter matches, because you don't respawn after death. When you die in Arena Mode, you will enter spectate mode until the round is finished. The maps usually feature a control point in the middle of the map and tend to be just normal King of the Hill maps with no-respawn.

Sometimes if the teams are unbalanced a message will appear to two people saying "CAREFUL if you lose this round you may have to sit out" and if their team loses that round the player will be in spectator until the upcoming round.

Loadouts changed during the countdown before the match will not do so in-game unless the player commits suicide using explosions or the kill or explode console commands. Changing classes and back will also work.

The First Blood buff is unique to Arena Mode, if a player gets the first kill they are awarded with full critical hits to deal large numbers of damage.

Capture the Flag Edit

Capture the Flag features both RED and BLU bases, each containing its own Intelligence briefcase (also known as "The flag" and "The Intelligence"). The goal for both teams is to capture the enemy's Intelligence until they have reached the game's capture limit (default limit is 3 captures) while preventing their enemy from achieving the same.

Both team's Intelligence are typically located deep within their territory, usually in a symmetrical location from each other, in an area known as the "Intelligence Room". To pick up the Intelligence the player must touch the enemy's briefcase. While holding the enemy's Intelligence, the player must bring it to the location of their Intelligence where they must enter their 'capture zone' (indicated by the yellow and black lines) in order to successfully capture it. After each successful capture, your team will be rewarded with ten seconds of crit boost.

If the Intelligence carrier is killed or the Intelligence is intentionally dropped, the Administrator informs the teams over the loudspeaker and the Briefcase will remain stationary for 60 seconds, with a timer shown above the Intelligence indicating how much time is left before it is returned to the Intelligence room. During that time the Intelligence can be picked up as normal. Each time the Intelligence is dropped, the timer is reset. The enemy cannot move or reset the Intelligence themselves. The Intelligence cannot be carried by players with an invulnerability buff (i.e. ÜberCharged players and Scouts under the effects of Bonk! Atomic Punch) and Intelligence carriers cannot receive an invulnerability buff. The Intelligence also may not be picked up by a Soldier wielding the Rocket Jumper or a Demoman using the Sticky Jumper. Cloaked Spies cannot pick up Intelligence until their Cloak has been turned off. However, if a Spy does acquire the Intelligence then they will lose their disguise and no longer be able to change their disguise or Cloak. An exception to this is the Dead Ringer, which will force the Spy to drop the Intelligence, and Cloak as normal.

If the Intelligence carrier dies in a normally inaccessible part of the map, i.e. falling into a pit or off a cliff, the Intelligence is immediately returned to its starting location in the Intelligence room. If no team completes the capture limit before time runs out, the match will enter Sudden Death mode.

Unlike variants of Capture the Flag in other games, you can make a capture without actually having your Intelligence at your base.

Control Point Edit

Control Point maps have two main types of game modes.

Control points are circular platforms with a team-colored light and hologram in the center (neutral points will have a white light and hologram). To capture a point owned by the enemy team, the player simply stands on the point until the capture meter fills with his or her team color. The more players on a point, the faster it will capture, though only to a limited extent. Scouts, as well as Soldiers/Demomen with the Pain Train equipped, count as 2 players when capturing control points. Capture progress will not be made when players of both teams are on the control point. If all the capturing players are killed or driven off before the capture is completed, the capture progress will not reset immediately, but instead will slowly fade away.

King of the Hill Edit

King of the Hill is similar to Arena. King of the Hill focuses on a single control point at the center of the map, which is neutral and locked at the beginning of the round. Teams must make their way to the control point and capture it when it becomes available. Once the point is captured by a team, their team clock will start a three minute countdown. If the enemy team manages to capture the point back, their clock will start counting down while the other team’s clock freezes at the time the point was recaptured. A team wins once they own the point and their three minutes is expired.

Mann vs. Machine Edit

Mann vs. Machine is a Game Mode that was released in the update of the same name. In this game mode, a team of three to six players must fend off a horde of robots attempting to carry a bomb to one of Mann Co.'s strongholds. Upgrades and Canteen power-ups can be purchased at the spawn point using cash picked up by the players upon destroying a robot (not every robot drops cash). A bonus amount of cash will be awarded to the team if all the cash from a wave is picked up.

All classes and most weapons have different upgrade abilities such as movement speed, charge duration and amount of ammo the player can hold for the weapon. Surviving all the waves will complete the mission. Upon the completion of a player's first mission, they will receive a Canteen.

There are currently 5 operations and 29 missions (some missions aren't part of any operation) in Mann vs. Machine.

Payload Edit

In Payload maps, BLU team must escort a cart full of explosives through a series of checkpoints and into RED's base within a certain amount of time. BLU team members move or 'push' the cart by standing next to it - the more people next to the cart, the faster it moves (up to a maximum capture rate of three). Any RED team member standing near the cart will stop it from venturing further regardless of the number of BLU team members on the cart. If no BLU players push the cart for 30 seconds, the cart will start moving backwards slowly until it reaches a checkpoint, BLU spawn, an uphill slope (in certain maps) or is pushed by BLU team members again, which will also reset the timer. The cart functions as a level 1 Dispenser for BLU team (and disguised enemy Spies) to restore health and ammunition to those pushing it. Ammunition is not restored to players standing at the front of the cart.

Some maps have flanking routes that open when a specific point is taken.

There are two distinct types of Payload missions; the type depends on the map. Some maps, namely Gold Rush, Hoodoo, and Thunder Mountain play similarly to Dustbowl by splitting the mission into three sections, each with two checkpoints, with the exception of the final stage on Gold Rush and Thunder Mountain, where there are two checkpoints and the final cap, resulting in BLU Blowing up RED's base. Time is added whenever BLU captures a non-stage winning point. The other type of Payload mission (on Badwater Basin, Barnblitz, Frontier, and Upward) is similar to Mountain Lab by having all checkpoints within one large stage, with larger time bonuses for BLU upon successful cap. There are also fewer total checkpoints, resulting in three checkpoints and a final point, where BLU can win the game and blow up RED's base, often with a spectacular explosion wiping out everyone around the bomb cart.