Basketball, or Bball, is a gameplay modification for Team Fortress 2 played on maps that have been purposely created or altered for the game mode. The mod focuses on allowing individuals to practice their rocket jumping and air shooting skills.
Jumping & Movement
In Basketball, everyone plays as the Soldier; although depending on the region, the Demoman may be allowed. The map looks like a standard basketball court with two baskets on either end and fencing surrounding the court. The game is played like a typical Capture the Flag game, however, there is only one neutral Intelligence briefcase and the capture points are the basketball hoops. Since you cannot jump into the hoops, players must rocket jump in order to score. The team with the most captures wins the game.
The teams are limited to a size of 3, but standard Basketball play is 2 on 2. As for weapons, players have some choice in loadout. For primary weapons, players can use the Rocket Launcher. For secondary weapons, players can use either the Shotgun or Gunboats. For melee weapons, usually only the Shovel and Escape Plan are used. Most unlocks fundamentally ruin/alter gameplay so much that they are not used, or their use is at least frowned upon.
One important aspect of Basketball is the use of server mods. Both Sourcemod and Metamod are essential as the game features instant respawn and lacks a Deathcam. Servers often run a specific Basketball configuration in order to limit the teams to playing as just the Soldier, as well as setting time limits and using other features like Tournament Mode.
The design of Basketball maps can differ greatly in theme, but they are all generally the same. The biggest difference from map to map is the surrounding area in which the basketball court is located. Accepted Basketball maps include ctf_bball and ctf_ballin, although others exist.
- When attempting to capture the Intelligence, airstrafe to dodge the enemy rockets.
- Don't always try to score with just one jump. Use multiple jumps to confuse the enemy.
- The fence makes for a great surface to rocket jump off of, and allows for more interesting and creative ways to score.
- If you are the player not holding the Intelligence, rocket jump and dive bomb the enemy soldiers. Use the Shotgun to finish them off.
- Instead of trying to capture the Intelligence with low health, pass it off to your teammate or drop it next to your spawn point.
- Use your rockets to land air shots on players in order to prevent them from rocket jumping into your basket.
- The Shotgun is a powerful weapon that can stop enemies in their place or finish them off if they are hurt.
- Body-blocking is a very effective tactic which can be used to stop enemies in the air. Body-blocking is when you see an enemy Soldier rocket jump into the air and you rocket jump into them blocking them.
Notable TF2 Basketball tournaments
There has only been one notable Basketball tournament. It was sponsored by Novint using Frag Fest Servers and offered the Novint Falcon as the grand prize. 69 players signed up to play in the tournament which was eventually won by the team called "Beauty and the Beast" consisting of team members Wonderland and Beef.