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Overview

Capture the Flag (often abbreviated to CTF) is a gametype commonly included in First-Person Shooter games, and is one of the first 'Team Based' gametypes included in multiplayer gaming. Whereas FPS games usually revolved around simply scoring more kills than the opposing side, Capture the Flag introduced another objective which took precedence over killing the other team. A Capture the Flag game typically involves two teams, each with a flag in his or her respective 'Base'. Bases may simply be allocated areas on opposing sections of the game map, or more extensively constructed fortress-like areas, depending on the game. In order for a team to score, they must pick up the flag from the enemy base, and subsequently return it to their own base. Some games require a team's own flag to be at its default location in order to capture an enemy flag, while others do not.

In games where the flag has to be at home to score, the flag becomes a very important asset for a player to have in any given game. Having possession of an enemy flag allows your team to score, but also stops the enemy team from being able to score. As a result, a tactic often seen in Capture the Flag games is players taking the enemy flag and 'hiding' in a corner of the map whilst the rest of the team attempts to locate their own flag so that the team is able to score.

While most games don't bother explaining why a wartorn battlefield would have a game of CTF happening in it, some games attempt to justify the game as part of their overall setting. Unreal Tournament III, for example, claims that "FLaG" is an acronym for Field Lattice Generator, and that the FLaGs power up devices that allow dead fighters to respawn and keep the battle going.
 
Some games feature game modes that are more or less identical to Capture the Flag, but task the player with capturing an item that is not a flag, such as BioShock 2, where players must capture Little Sisters. These games are listed on the Capture the... What? concept page.

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