Map name prefixes

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This article is a list of map name prefixes. All maps and nearly all user created maps in Team Fortress 2 have a indicative prefix in their filename. This prefix separates maps that have a fundamental difference in the way they are played or constructed. They are useful to quickly identify what kind of game play you are going to encounter on the map, e.g. ctf_well indicates a Capture the Flag Mode.

Official map prefixes

Main article: List of maps
Mode Prefix
Arena arena_
Capture the Flag ctf_
Control Point cp_
King of the Hill koth_
Mann vs. Machine mvm_
PASS Time pass_
Player Destruction pd_
Payload pl_
Payload Race plr_
Special Delivery sd_
Robot Destruction rd_
Territorial Control tc_
Training tr_

User created map prefixes

Using the Hammer Editor map creator, many new prefixes have been created, mostly based on the official modes. There are several other currently used map prefixes that are not listed here, including: dz, fy, gf, sd, pz, and rj.

Achievement(s) / ("ach_" or "achievement_")
Maps using the prefix "achievement(s)" or sometimes also "ach" are achievement maps. Achievement maps are maps providing a special design which is intended to help and generally accelerate the process of getting achievements and unlock weapons in Team Fortress 2.
Cyclic Capture Point ("ccp_")
These are Cyclic Capture Point maps. Cyclic Capture Point maps are a Control Point map where capture points are laid out in a circular arrangement, with each point needing the previous point owned to capture. Example: ccp_circle_jerk. More information is on the Valve Developer Community: Cyclic capture points.
Dodgeball ("db_" or "dbs_")
Dodgeball maps pit two teams of all Pyros against each other. Homing rockets are launched from a central area of the map and the Pyros must use their Airblast to to reflect the projectiles at the opposing team. Example: "dbs_spacedust_b3"
Dual Capture Progress ("dcp_")
The prefix "dcp" stands for Dual Capture Progress, for maps with only one control point. The different teams will not reverse the capture progress of the other team by standing on the capture area - essentially functioning as two different control points (and will appear as two different control points in the HUD).
Death Match or Duel ("dm_" or "duel_")
These (usually) have no "victory condition". They often are very simple, consisting only of resupply areas and a large room to fight in. Examples: "Duel_duel", "Duel_Arena", "DM_Hans". "Duel_" and "DM_" seem interchangeable for maps of this type. The Actual name for this map type should be Team Death Match (TDM_). In most games other than TF2, Death Match means that there are no teams and you have to kill everyone you see, although since Team Death Match has become extremely popular regular Death Match is sometimes called Free For All or FFA.
Escort ("es_")
Maps beginning with the es prefix are known as Escort maps. They consist of a stage with a long cart track leading through it. There are usually several paths the cart can take, but they all end up in RED's base. The objective of this map is for BLU to move the cart into Red's base within a time limit. This is accomplished by the BLU team standing next to the cart. The more BLU team members standing by the cart, the faster in moves down the track. Example: es_cave5. Most Escort maps were created before the tools for creating Payload maps were fully available. Escort maps are meant to simulate Payload maps, and today several Escort maps have been converted into Payload maps.
FortWars ("fw_")
A mode in which the player build destructible props to keep out the enemy team from infiltrating their base to steal their Intelligence or capture their control point. The maps usually very basic but large in size with no actual textures or props in-place; they range from Capture the Flag to Control Point maps. Each vary in design but usually have a basic structure with very little flow into them, making it so that forts build are never the same. Example: fw_forts_a01
Gas_Kaboom (or simply, "Gas_")
This is a modified version of a CTF map where, upon capturing the Intelligence, the enemy base doors close and everyone inside is killed (by poison gas). Example: "gas_kaboom"
Jump ("jump_")
"Jump" maps place players at the bottom of a series of widely placed platforms, and are made primarily for the Demoman and Soldier classes to Sticky jump or Rocket jump their way to the top. Some maps which cater for Scout jumps and Sentry jumping. These maps have used the "CP_" or "CTF_" tags in the past, but the "Jump_" tag is also used. Examples: "CP_Skyscraper", "Jump_Darkness", "Jump_Cellshaded".
Prop Hunt ("ph_")
Maps where RED consists of nothing but Scouts disguised as random props (such as a Control Point, frog, or train) that usually cannot attack. BLU is usually all Pyros, and their objective is to hunt all the props down before the match ends. BLU loses health by attacking, although standing on the Control Point heals them. Typically played on PropHunt maps, with randomly placed props to help hide the Scouts, or on Arena maps. Examples: "ph_farm"
Reverse Capture the Flag ("pu_")
Maps of this type feature one common Intelligence briefcase for both teams. The objective of the game is to bring the intelligence into the other teams base where a capture area is located. Example: pu_jinxed_b2.
Random Capture ("rc_")
Similar to a regular Capture Point ("cp_") map, however when the map loads, the capture points are randomly assigned to either team (or no team). Examples: "rc_overwatch"
VS. Saxton Hale ("vsh_")
Maps specifically made for the unofficial game mode VS Saxton Hale. In it, the BLU team, which consists of one person from the server picked at random, will be Saxton Hale and the RED team, everyone else, will try to kill the BLU team. RED team is only allowed so many of each class, to prevent stacked teams. Saxton Hale fights with his fists and a taunt filled up by rage that stuns all within a certain radius around him.
Sniper ("sniper_" or "sn_" also "hs_")
Maps where every class except Snipers are either disallowed through the map's scripting, or the level is created in such a way that playing as other classes would be hard or impossible. These maps usually have two battlements facing each other with a large, open space between them, or some form of impassible object or trench. They are specifically for Snipers to duel against other Snipers. Examples: "Sniper_brawl", "sniper_2fort", "Sniperwars".
Soccer ("soccer_")
Maps where the map itself is very simplistic, and that only melee weapons are allowed. There are two goal posts and one soccer ball. You can kill each other with melee hits, but the point to win is to score a goal. 3 goals (by default) win the match.
Surf ("surf_")
Surf maps consist of slanted ramps that you surf on by strafing onto the side of the ramp. Surfing is accomplished by manipulating the source physics engine. The maps usually consist of the surf ramps, an ending area, and a jail. The jail is the location players are teleported to when they fall off the ramps. Surf maps can contain many ramps, secret areas and can be quite large. Example: surf_legends_lite.
Toy or Rats ("toy_" or "rats_")
These maps are designed to make the player seem toy sized in a relatively giant room. Examples: "CP_Rats", "CP_Toy_fort". The TF2 mod, "Toy Soldiers" is also being made with this concept in mind.
Trade ("trade_")
These maps are dedicated to the trade-servers.
Zombie Fortress ("zf_")
Zombie Fortress maps gives the RED team the role of "Survivors" and the BLU team the role of "Zombies". The BLU team can only be Spies, Scouts, or Heavies and are limited to only using their melee weapons (with the exception of lunchbox items like the Sandvich and the Spy's invis watches). The RED team is allowed to be any class apart from the Scout, Spy, and Heavy. The goal of the BLU team is to kill all of the RED team before time runs out. When a member of the RED team dies, he becomes a Zombie and is respawned as a BLU Spy, Scout, or Heavy (this can be changed). If at least one member of the RED team is alive when time runs out, everyone who is still alive on the RED team wins. If the BLU team kills all of the RED team before time runs out, everyone on the BLU team wins (including those who were originally on the RED team). Normally, this means that everyone except the final person to die wins the game.