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Overview

Movement Waypoint  

This is the most basic type of waypoint. Units / characters that are assigned waypoints will move towards them in sequential order, until they reach the final given waypoint.  
 

Rally Point  

Rallying points  are a type of waypoint set by the player in strategy games. It tells newly created units created at a specific building where to go on being recruited.  
 

Attacking Waypoint

In many games, players can assign an attack order as a waypoint.  The unit given this order usually won't move to the next waypoint until the attacked enemy is destroyed, or leaves the attack radius of the ordered unit. This may depend on the unit's 'stance.' 
 

Uses of Waypoints

Exploring 

Waypoints are often given to scouting units to travel around the map, heading in a specific path. This lets the player send out scouts that he does not need to micro-manage after giving the movement commands through waypoints. 
 

Flanking

One of the common uses of waypoints is to help set up  flanking  maneuvers in strategy or squad-based games. In strategy games like in the Total War series, waypoints can help send troops around the enemy to attack from the side or behind while letting the player focus on the main battle with his/her larger body of troops. In the case of squad-based games, waypoints are often used to set-up two or three-point entries into rooms where hostiles are expected to be in.  
 

Issuing Orders

In cases such as Mass Effect, waypoints are assigned to squad members to give them specific orders. These waypoints are usually context sensitive, especially in the case of the newer Rainbow Six games. 
 

Avoiding Obstacles

Though pathfinding AI often does a good job in avoiding obstacles [at least these days], often times, the path picked by the AI may not be the desired path. In cases like these, the player can set specific waypoints around obstacles, forcing the ordered unit to go through a designated, desired path.
 
 

The Green Diamond

Many recent games such as Enslaved, Borderlands, and especially Ghost Recon have used a green diamond as their waypoint or checkpoint symbol, perhaps creating a standardization along the lines of the universally recognized power-on/standby symbol.

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