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Advanced CTF Tips Request

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    Advanced CTF Tips Request

    I've been enjoying UT4 (with the usual frustrations), and I feel like I'm a good player... but I cannot shake that I win so few games! For the last month, I'm at a 0.45 win ratio from 30 games (mainly CTF with the occasional DM/TDM), so I feel like I must be doing something wrong!

    I do switch to the losing side to try to balance the teams on public servers and I'm sure that it affects the my "stats", but I was stuck on a bronze 8 or 9 for about 2 months despite fragging 30-50 per game with returns, caps, assists, etc.

    I've tried going all out attack and it feels that as soon as I die the opponent scores.
    I've tried covering and I've had 14 or 15 covering frags and still lost
    I've tried defending to keep it low scoring and arguably this is the most effective, but not really how I want to play every game!

    Currently, on public servers, I now try to defend initially to get a feel for what is most needed... cover when I can and attack when we're in trouble. If I want to play more offensive from the start... the chance of losing increases dramatically

    I watch other players who are really good at what they do, e.g. Bandit or Joris in attack or xAz in defence and try to pick up tips, but you only see what you see.

    What I would appreciate is tips/micro-tips on some games. What little tweak can I do that can improve my game - what would you be doing at certain minutes of the game, for example.

    I think think that people will watch how I play and immediately think that they would be doing something slightly different at each stage and it may bring a spark to my brain that helps me win more/improve. Overall, I'm hoping for a learning experience that benefits me and anyone else watching/reading.

    Here are two videos of me playing in a PUG in the midfield role. The teams are quite even and all good players, but I thought to begin with we were slight favorites to win. I feel like I play well in both games, but more obviously in the second so maybe it's worth focusing on the first map for tips:



    I hope nobody mind me sharing that PUG, but any tips/micro-tips will be appreciated!
    Current Main Issues: Tri-Rox (Remove), Scoreboards lack player stats,Team Balance.

    My Pre-Alpha Highlights 2016 to early 2017 |

    bandit in attack DDDDDDDDDDDDD i died at this


      Ok, I watched most of Azcanize and found a couple of things you can work on that will help you improve.

      The good:
      -You are a good fragger, so nothing really to critique there.
      -Your positioning when covering your flag carrier is good. You are keeping correct distances with correct weapons and doing the job a support / mid should do.

      To work on:
      -You said you played mid here, but power up control for the mid player is crucial. I only saw you get 2ish amps, and no belts. The video didn't have voice coms, so I'm not sure if you were telling your teammates timing on the belts / amp, but controlling these can turn a loss to a win and vice versa. If you cannot personally get to the power ups because you are covering, have the flag, trying to get your flag back, ect, tell your teammates that they are coming up and make sure someone is there to contest for it. (Though if the enemy has your flag in their base, that is priority number one, just tell your team mates again that it is coming up so people crossing mid can grab it)
      -When you are chasing a flag carrier leaving your base, do not try to kill him from behind, meaning try to cut off the flag carrier instead of chasing the flag carrier. Let your defenders chase and let you know where the enemy FC is going so you can position yourself for a cut off. You want to be between the enemy flag carrier and the FC's base at all times possible. You want to try to impede their progress to reaching their base. If you are engaging him from behind, it is easy for his cover to block you and the FC can just stroll into his base. If you are behind the FC, call out his location to your teammates, and then translocate past him and try to cut off. Don't just translocate to his actual position, or his cover will most likely kill you before you get a chance to kill him, go past him and then stop and try to frag. Most cover and Flag carriers pay attention to what is behind them more than they do what is in front of them. If you are there to cut off, most of the time you will surprise them and can get an easy kill, or at least keep them from entering the base easy.
      -If you cannot get ahead of the enemy FC and feel they are going to capture the flag, DO NOT try to kill them, but instead try to grab the enemy flag as fast as possible (don't just walk to it like you did at one point in the video, translocate to it, or use translocator tricks like throwing the disc but dodging to the flag. Anything you have to do to get that flag off the stand successfully), and try to stay alive until your teammates can get your flag back. The grab gives you extra time and can turn an obvious cap into a sweet denied. More times than not though, if you go for just the frag, they are going to cap.
      -I noticed in the video when you translocate, you are doing many fast, short throws. A faster way to get past the flag carrier or grabbing the enemy flag when translocating is to do a longer throw and dodge before you translocate. Your momentum will make you fly in the air faster, requiring a lot less throws of the disc and will reach past the FC very quickly. There is an art to it and it takes practice, but once mastered, you can get anywhere very fast. (You did do this a couple of times in the video, but not enough and not in crucial situations when you needed to really catch up.)

      I personally believe the mid position is the hardest in CTF because you have to know when to be where. You have to know when power ups are spawning. You have to know when an enemy flag carrier has left your base and be there to cut him off. You have to know when your own FC has left the enemy base and be there to cover. You have to know when both are happening simultaneously and which position is more needed, cover or cut off, and you have to let your team mates know all of this is happening and where. Your awareness level has to be a lot higher than any other position in the game.

      From what I saw though, you are a good player, so keep it up. UT like any game requires hours and hours and hours to try to master (though you will learn that you never actually master it. You can always improve no matter how good you are). Hell I probably have 10,000+ hours between UT99 and UT4 and there are still things I can improve on (timing is my kriptonite), so keep at it. Also watching demos of other players will help see what they are doing in certain situations. Lastly, just talk to your team mates after a PUG and see if they have any advice to where you could have done better too. As for Public CTF matches, I have no comments on it because that is the wild west of CTF. Hard to give advice on how to succeed in those things. Good luck.
      Last edited by Ðarth; 07-03-2016, 03:38 PM.

      Come play CTF and Elimination Pick Up Games (PUGS) with us at: . You can also go to Hope to see you all there!


        Since you said you were playing as a Midfielder, that's how I'll be judging your playstyle from the video. It seems to me like you were trying to be very focused on one position. As a midfielder, your top priorities should be powerup control, supporting flagrunners, and killing EFCs who get out of the base. You were never really just staying around mid so you could position yourself to do either one successfully. You chose one over the other, and would either drop back as a 3rd defender, or push up and get in the middle of a fight like an offensive player. As a mid player, you should be waiting for people to get out of either base, whether it be an EFC or one of your flagrunners. If you're caught in deciding between who to help (offense or defense), it really just depends on the situation. I generally decide to help the defense out just to play it safe and get the flag returned. Although, if we were losing and desperately needed to score, I'd obviously help out the offense more. Also examine how likely each person is to make it to their base (between your flagrunner and the EFC). Generally if it's looking like your flagrunner will be able to make it across midfield without a problem, try to get your flag back. If it looks like your flagrunner needs more help, then help them (usually, unless you were winning in which case you would want to stop the enemy from scoring). It also appears that you were forgetting about timing the powerups a lot. Remember, belt is every 60 seconds, amp is every 30 seconds. Powerup control is crucial on a smaller map like Azcanize.

        Also, just a few minor things to point out from the video:

        -Around 7:32, you decided to try shooting the enemy with the Shock primary. It would have probably been much more effective to try using Shock combos in that situation, since you were in a good position to.

        -At 7:42, you just kind of rushed to flag as fast as you could without looking around for the EFC. Since there were so many enemies in the room, there was no way they would let you touch their flag, so it might as well be better to try killing the EFC before he can score to delay the time further.

        -At 11:15 you weren't paying attention to where the EFC was. I don't know if your team wasn't communicating and telling you where he was going (though I'm assuming they probably did), but you were more focused on belt. Instead you should've tried to kill him to make sure the flag was returned, then focused on getting the belt. But, he ended up making it across midfield easily and scored the flag.

        -Lastly, at 16:35 you just kind of ignored amp, even though grabbing it wouldn't have made you any slower to get to the enemy base. Just try to remember the powerups, and any time you're passing through mid grab them if they're available.

        So, just some key things to remember:

        Try to stay in mid as much as possible. Rarely push up or fall back all the way into either base when both flags are taken. Don't forget about powerups, and try to time them as much as possible. Hopefully these tips can at least help improve your game somewhat. GL
        Last edited by inceptoS-; 07-03-2016, 03:16 PM.
        Unreal Tournament CTFer.




          I posted this in another thread. It's how I play defense. A lot of it would also apply to mid.

          Also. I played Mid on Azcanize and I either didn't see you much or when I did I killed you/damaged you often as you crossed the map. We got almost all of the belts uncontested. You have to be on top of the mid powerups for your team. When you play Mid you need to actually be in mid. You push up when someone is coming out of the enemy base (or you grab with them if they can't get out). You also are the last cutoff when the EFC is leaving the base. The more you damage incoming attackers the more you can push up and help yours because the flag is off the stand less.

          •   Main Goal: Keep the flag on the stick
          •   Always be doing something, never be idle.
          •   Health, weapons, in-base armor/power-ups, actively attending to base entrances.
          •   You will be doing most of the talking along with your 1 teammate or possibly 1 mid player.
          •   On some maps there may be a “flag D” and a “forward D” (E.G.: Titan Pass).
          •   Life is cheap and you are faster than a flag carrier. 
                 o   Do not worry too much about dying, especially if the flag is in or close to home. I have won a lot of matches with both defenders having negative kill/death ratios. The only penalty for death is time.
          Flag is at home
          •   Monitor entrances. Only leave the vicinity of your flag to pick up close power-ups when the base is clear.
          •   If no one is coming in try to collect vials, armor, and weapons in base. Just be alert to grab attempts. You can time the armor easily (30 sec) so you don't have to waste time waiting on it. If you pay attention to the belt time you can generally assume the enemy O will be waiting on it.
          •   Call out incoming attackers. (“1 in high”)
          •   You know the attackers’ goal is the flag. Use this to your advantage.
                 o   Use ranged weapons as they come in.
                 o   Spam the flag when they get close. Combos, rockets, flak at the flag stand.
          •   If you are overwhelmed by number or power-ups (E.G.: shield + amp) ask for additional help.
          Flag is taken
          •   Always cut off if possible. High ground is better.
          •   If you are dead or do not see EFC leave.
                 o   Listen for the callout on EFC direction. Cut them off. Do not chase unless absolutely required. Your translocator is faster than any flag carrier. Use it.
                 o   Do not waste time. Do not run to the opposite side of your base for your preferred gun. Do not wait for a power-up. B-Line for the flag carrier and pickup whatever is along the way.
          •   If you are alive/see EFC leave.
                 o   Immediately call out EFC direction. Chase if required, cut off if possible. Your dead teammate or the offense may also cut off. Use this to sandwich them.
          •   If the enemy team has made it to their base and you cannot catch up, call out to your teammates and tell them to grab. 
          •   Upon returning
                 o   If flag was far, suicide
                 o   If flag is close, reset in base
          •   Tips
                 o   It’s generally best to ambush flag carriers up close. 
                       	   This avoids confrontation with the cover. The game’s current slow weapon switch to translocator does not reward distance EFC kills. Get in their face and rush them.
                       	   If a teammate is already attempting this, it may be better to snipe/combo from a distance. 
                 o   The EFC’s cover is an obstacle, not a goal in itself. You do not have to treat them like one.
                 o   As previously stated: Do not worry too much about dying. On most maps, against most teams, you will have ~3 attempts for the return: immediately after grabbing, before they get to mid, as they are entering their base. If you  waste time you could only have 1 or 2.
                 o   It's almost always faster to pull out a translocator after killing an EFC for a quick return. It's also a lot of fun to trans return in front of the covers face while they waddle for the pickup. Just be careful no one is spamming the dropped flag.
          Standoff DO NOT WASTE TIME
          •   Go directly to the last known location of EFC.
          •   Call out this location or better yet, the current one for your other defender friend.
          •   If you have difficulty returning you may need to briefly wait for your teammate and attempt a coordinated return together. 
          •   If the enemy team returns before you, all bets are off. Grab their returned flag and GTFO as fast as you can. Everyone else will soon be swarming their base.
          •   When you return, SUICIDE IMMEDIATELY
                 o   Running or translocating back to base is a now more of a time waste than death. Do not do it. Do not pad your KDR, no one cares. Just suicide. If they grab while you are gone you just went from 2-3 return attempts to 1.
                 o   The only optional exception is after an immediate capture for your team. Here you must verbally designate 1 offense member to take your place on defense while you grab the newly reset, enemy flag.
          •   Your team has the enemy flag in base
                 o   Seal the entrances with spam.
                 o   If there is a last second grab the offense continues to cover. Your job is still to return and do it quickly.
                 o   If your base is overrun, you may “time” the return by waiting until your flag carrier is passing over the flag stick/podium. This prevents last second grabs. You: “I’m timing it”. Flag Carrier: “OK… Return now!”
          •   If your team has just scored be prepared to kill not only attackers but also returners. Ask for help to clear out the base if needed.
          •   If your team has difficulty getting the flag across mid you may be able to push forward and help.
                 o   Only do this if your base is clear and returns have been easy.
                 o   If the flag is grabbed and not returned while you are away, immediately attempt a return. Do not continue to cover.
          Last edited by pb.; 07-03-2016, 05:58 PM.
          Come join us for pickup games


            when playing mid on pub servers (no voice comms), something that really helps, is when your flag is taken (and it's on a map where you have no visibility), you can follow your teammates silhouettes to see which path the flag carrier is taking. they are generally going to be chasing the EFC, so you will be more easily able to cut them off.

            as someone mentioned, playing mid is quite hard. but the more you play, the more you can almost 'time' your spam. you almost instinctively know where the EFC will be at any given moment, if they have taken X path, and are aren't doubling back. this just takes lots and lots of practice.

            also, most important thing is to always stay between their flag, and the EFC. even if you die, and are chasing, you need to ensure you can pick a couple of weapons up, whilst still translocating, and get back in front of the EFC.

            worst case scenario, you can't find them, and their flag is on the base, then grab it and try and wait for support. or on a map like blank, you can grab it and drop it down into the water, to give you some breathing space.


              I didn't watch the whole video but at 1:02 I feel like you should've dropped the flag there.
              You had 16 health, while your other teamplayer had 100 + nobody was around at the time.
              Either it is you that tries to get flag accross the map or your teamplayer. He has better chances of surviving so why not let him take it. You can still provide some cover even though you are on low health, all the focus is on the FC anyways.


                This is some great information - thanks very much!

                Power-up timing has always been a weakness of mine that I'm slowly trying to improve and it definitely makes a big difference as players like TonyJack seem to grab them all and with his great aim it can really turn the game. This has reiterated the point and I'll be putting a bigger focus on it.

                In terms of the mid position, I have wondered about where my "default" position should be and it does make sense that you should be in the middle of the map to help react forward and back (I'll try Darth's translocator tip) but it always feels a bit strange to me based on one of pb's suggestions:

                Always be doing something, never be idle.
                In the first 30 seconds, I don't feel like I have anything to do... there are no power-ups spawning, there aren't many enemies about and in the end I go back for the pads which are already taken by the defender. This seeming downtime happens when I've tried to stay in the middle in other games and nobody is picking up the flag I feel like I should be doing something.

                It makes me think whether I should firstly just accept that downtime and also whether I should be pushing up for the enemy armor on maps like these?

                Obviously in midfield you can DM a bit until something happens or act as a filter as pb said - damaging the opponent. I sometimes do wonder if it's best to just hit them or to kill them off - because when they die they can't take their flag, but it also makes it more difficult for our team to take the flag as they will be back in base. If you damage them, they have to go and find some health. Am I just over thinking that and should always go for the kill?

                Anyway, point 2 was clear - stay in the mid. I will try that more

                Also a nice tip from Bacon - I do use the silhouette/name to help with attacking, but haven't so much done it for defence. I'll keep an eye on that.

                And Cookie is probably right there at 16 health, I'd just tried to get the health rather than drop the flag. I'm always nervous of those switches that the opponent doesn't fall on the flag, but it would have been worth the gamble in this case.
                Current Main Issues: Tri-Rox (Remove), Scoreboards lack player stats,Team Balance.

                My Pre-Alpha Highlights 2016 to early 2017 |


                  Mid is kind of a weird position. There's a lot more room for personal preference. I generally initially try to kill/damage people and call out poweups; let your offense get them if possible. While you do this you can get a good feel for which two players need more help. I only push into the enemy base if my team has trouble getting out. I almost never am in my own team's base.

                  If my team is about to get out of the enemy base I'll push up to cover. If the enemy is about to get out of mine I'll hang back and watch the exit they call. All things equal I try to put most of my focus on helping the defense. A stalemate is more comfortable than being down a cap. Obviously you can adjust depending on the score as well. If there's three minutes left and you're down a cap you need to be covering or pushing in with the offense. If your flag carrier gets through mid you're pretty much dedicated cover at that point. Let your two defenders worry about your flag.

                  Damaging them is probably better. I usually just try to kill them though, I'm kind of sadistic when I play sometimes and it's fun to play mid and just kill people as they cross.

                  Edit: Watching my own replay I noticed something else. If you're playing a pug you should assume your teammates don't always know what they're doing. If you see your flag carrier doesn't have any cover for some reason you should probably take that over. I don't know what some offense players do, but a lot of them seem to have trouble sticking to the carrier.

                  In all, you just need to try to be where the action is and fill in the gaps.
                  Last edited by pb.; 07-04-2016, 05:49 AM.
                  Come join us for pickup games


                    I watched the second half time on azca. It is good. You cover well.

                    The very big problem is that you don't time items at all. It is important not only to have the items but also to be in the tempo of the game.
                    When belt is coming, 3/4 players will battle in the mid.
                    Then the team who has belt will try a more aggressive attack.

                    If you time, you get these information's and adapt your positioning to be where the hot action is.
                    Cunni, 37 years old, 16 years of UT, 90% CTF, 10% Duel
                    Discord PUG Community


                      Originally posted by Smurgl View Post
                      In the first 30 seconds, I don't feel like I have anything to do... there are no power-ups spawning, there aren't many enemies about and in the end I go back for the pads which are already taken by the defender. This seeming downtime happens when I've tried to stay in the middle in other games and nobody is picking up the flag I feel like I should be doing something.

                      It makes me think whether I should firstly just accept that downtime and also whether I should be pushing up for the enemy armor on maps like these?
                      pick up vials. yours first, then theirs. scavenge around their base. pick up their armour (or damage the guy who picks it up)
                      if they pick up, then head back toward your flag to intercept. keep belt/amp/kegs in mind


                        Here's a vid for newbies;

                        MSI Z170A GAMING M5 | i7-6700k 4GHz | 4x4GB DDR4 - 2666MHz | MSI GTX 970 4GB | ASUS IPS 120Hz 1440P | Audioengine D1 + Sennheiser HD650 | WIN 10 x64


                          Originally posted by Grommie View Post
                          Interesting, thanks. DarkSideCookie seems really talkative .

                          All this thread's content is worth gold. This one should be sticky.


                            Originally posted by Grommie View Post

                            nice. realy good job


                              Originally posted by Grommie View Post
                              Thank you for the effort making this video Grommie.
                              Very nice tips, tricks and advices

                              And of course thanks to all other experienced players/veterans contributing in this thread.

                              Have to try some of that stuff out ASAP
                              WIP - Maps (UT - Build