Badwater Basin

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Badwater Basin
Basic Information
Map type: Payload
File name: pl_badwater
Released: August 19, 2008 Patch
(Heavy Update)
Variants: Bloodwater
Developer(s): Valve
Map Info
Environment: Desert
Setting: Daylight, sunny
Pyrovision Support: Yes
Bot support: Yes
Map Items
Healthico.png Health Kits: Smallhealth.png ×12  •  Mediumhealth.png ×6  •  
Largehealth.png ×1
Ammoico.png Ammo Boxes: Smallammo.png ×4   •   Mediumammo.png ×5   •  
Largeammo.png ×10
Map Photos
Loading screen photos.
Map Overview
Badwater Basin overview.png

Badwater Basin (or Badwater) is a single-stage Payload map with four checkpoints for BLU team to capture. It is a large basin that enters into an open corridor of buildings. It was the first Payload map added to the game to feature only a single stage and the second Payload map added to the game. It was revealed on the third day of the Heavy Update. The setup timer is 1 minute and 5 seconds.

Introduction video


Note: If you are having trouble with finding the locations listed here, see the Helpful overview section to see their exact position marked on the map.

Checkpoint A

Time added if captured: 4 minutes and 30 seconds

  • BLU Spawn: BLU's first spawn has four exits. A side exit on the left faces the left fork of the middle exit. The middle exit splits left and right, with the left fork facing the Side Path and the right fork leading to the Payload. The right exit is the main exit and the largest exit, leading directly to the Payload. This exit is very vulnerable to enemy fire due to the larger entrance.
  • Hill: An uphill path to the right of BLU's spawn, in front of the Payload's starting position. Aside from a small rock formation at the bottom, it is largely open, making it a popular sightline for Snipers on both teams to watch.
  • Side Path: A small pathway that leads from BLU Spawn's left exit to the Cliffs.
  • Cliffs: (also called Ridge, Above) This high ground spans from BLU's spawn to the first checkpoint. There are some rock formations for cover, but otherwise, this location is open to attack. A popular location to launch kritzes from, particularly for Soldiers and Demomen.
  • Tunnel: The Payload track runs through a long tunnel that cuts underneath the cliffs. The tunnel bends slightly twice, and the exit can be seen from the entrance and vice versa. Unless hidden behind the cart, players in the tunnel are very vulnerable to being sniped.
  • Rocks: A U-shaped rock formation that provides cover for Snipers while allowing them to look directly at BLU's spawn. Engineers sometimes build here. There is a medium health pack and a large ammo pack. Some of the rocks can be climbed partially through crouch-jumping, but this makes players very vulnerable to attack.
  • Bunker: (also Garage or The Alcove) A small concrete building sunk into the ground that opens directly onto the checkpoint. RED Engineers commonly build both on top of this building and inside it.

Checkpoint B

Time added if captured: 4 minutes

  • Lobby: Underneath the roof is a complex of several rooms. BLU frequently prepares for assaults up the stairs to the roof here.
  • Roof: The top of the building overlooks B. Similarly to the ridge on A, whoever controls this controls the checkpoint, so Engineers on RED attempt to secure this area.
  • Front Steps and The Back Steps: The two stairways to The Roof. The front steps approach from the first checkpoint, while the back steps approach from the second checkpoint and the back yard.
  • Back Roof: This large expanse of area features excellent cover and several health kits. It is an ideal place for BLU to launch volleys of spam onto the roof.
  • Back Yard: (also The Courtyard) This is the large area behind the roof.
  • Alcove: This is the open room opposite the checkpoint from the roof.
  • BLU Forward Spawn: When BLU captures C, their spawn moves right outside B. The spawn has a single exit that leads down a small staircase to B.

Checkpoint C

Time added if captured: 5 minutes

  • Bridge: This enclosed bridge cuts across the low checkpoint of the map, forcing BLU to go underneath and face volleys of fire.
  • Bridge Room: The room inside the Bridge is a common site of Engineer nests, owing to its defensibility.
  • Side Room: This room provides a path from B onto the bridge. It lets out onto a deck that is popular with BLU Snipers.
  • Attic: (also The Loft or The Balcony) A two-story building that BLU cannot easily access without capturing C. The heart of RED's defense while on C. The loft generally refers to the back area of the attic, while the balcony generally refers to the front areas of the attic.

Final Checkpoint

  • Alley: The last chokepoint before the final checkpoint. Both BLU and RED use this area as a base, and the corners are the focus of the fighting during the assault on the final checkpoint.
  • Pit: The entire lower level is often called this. This is where most of the action takes place.
  • Sniper Hut: (also Sniper Tower) Up a short flight of stairs, with an open window overlooking part of the Pit, this is the final Sniper deck for BLU. Demomen and Soldiers often come here as well. Engineers also occasionally forward-base here.
  • Map Room: (also called the Window Room) These two rooms branch off the alley and lead to open windows that overlook the final checkpoint. The windows are frequently utilized by BLU to avoid the second corner of the alley. The room has a big map on its wall, lending it the name "Map Room." The room between the map room and the third checkpoint is commonly called "The Outer Map Room."
  • Overhangs: (also Garages) Underneath the map room and underneath decking across from the map room are two sheltered areas that face the checkpoint. Almost always the site of Engineer nests.
  • Spiral: (also Spiral Staircase) A spiral staircase rising from the lower level of the checkpoint to a deck off to the side of the Sniper Hut. RED can flank into and through the Back Yard and Chicken Wire Room this way when BLU holds the Alley. The deck is elevated enough to limit the classes on BLU that can access this flank.
  • Back Yard: This is the area between the Sniper Hut and the Spiral. Small skirmishes often occur here.
  • Chicken Wire Room: This is the room located between the third checkpoint and the Sniper Hut. RED often tries to flank through this room.
  • Platform: The platform is a small pathway that curves around the Pit, stretching from the front of RED's upper spawn to the back yard.
  • RED Spawn #1: RED team has two separate spawns for this map. The first is located on the top floor, with two exits. One exit leads to a one-way door shortcut to B and the staircase to C, and the other exit to D. The shortcut door locks when B is captured by BLU.
  • RED Spawn #2: A small, single room spawn located on the floor below the first spawn, with a single exit up a slope behind D. RED players do not spawn here until B has been captured by BLU.

Helpful overview

Badwater's locations
1.Side path
5.Front Steps
9.Back Steps
11.Side Room
14.Map Room
16.Chicken Wire Room
17.Sniper Hut
18.Back Yard


Main article: Community Badwater Basin strategy

Update history

August 19, 2008 Patch (Heavy Update)
  • Added Badwater Basin to the game.

July 18, 2011 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Added a "Grocket" to this map.

December 15, 2011 Patch (Australian Christmas 2011)

  • [Undocumented] Removed the crashed rocket from this map.

August 10, 2012 Patch

July 10, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed player clip brush exploits and missing player clip brushes on roofs and rock walls
  • Fixed player clip smoothing
  • Fixed fence collisions
  • Fixed floating rocks in skybox
  • Fixed lighting on props
  • Fixed lighting on canyon vista
  • Handrails no longer collide with bullets and projectiles
  • Performance increase through poly reduction, model collision reduction and model fade distances
  • Players can no longer build inside Blu spawn room
  • Players can no longer be trapped with Teleporters under the sign by the first capture point
  • Players can no longer enter the room overlooking the final cap through the windows before point 3 is captured
  • Players will now be crushed by closing doors upon the capture of point 2

July 15, 2015 Patch

  • Fixed an exploit related to the final control point and dropped weapons on Badwater Basin, Barnblitz, Borneo, and Gold Rush.

September 10, 2015 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Added saucers and posters to Badwater Basin.

November 25, 2015 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Removed Saucers and Posters from all maps.

October 21, 2016 Patch (Scream Fortress 2016)

  • Added pl_badwater to the Competitive maps list.

October 30, 2017 Patch

  • Updated pl_badwater to improve hit detection around some of the staircases.

March 28, 2018 Patch #1

  • Fixed a few cases where Pyros could shoot through spawn doors.

April 17, 2019 Patch

  • Fixed being able to build outside the map on Badwater Basin.


  • Teleporter exits built very close to the white pipe near the first checkpoint clip players into the wall.
  • Players can get stuck in the signs that pop up on capture of C.
    • It is also possible to get stuck between the two vents that exchange position after the second point is captured.
  • Bots may get stuck in a corner in BLU's forward spawn after the third point is captured, which is shown here.
  • In BLU spawn, it is possible to get stuck in between the hand truck and the wall pipes, resulting in a falling glitch. The player builds up velocity and takes increased fall damage when they exit the glitch.




Official screenshots

Beta screenshots

See also


External links