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 ability to rocket jump and air shot enemy players. A Bball map is featured in MGE Mod.
In Basketball, participants usually play as the Soldier; although depending on the region, the Demoman may be allowed. The map resembles a standard basketball court with two baskets on either end. High fencing walls off the four sides of the rectangular court, preventing players from going out of bounds.
Each game starts after all players have joined the arena, being assigned to RED or BLU (typically two players per team). When the game begins, a neutral intelligence briefcase appears in the center of the arena (borrowed from Capture the Flag), with players spawning on their team's end of the arena, next to their teammate. The objective of the game is to pick up the briefcase or "ball" and score it. To score, a single player must land on the opposing team's hoop while carrying the ball. Since Soldiers/Demomen cannot reach a hoop by just walking or jumping, players must rocket/sticky jump in order to score. Each successful capture rewards 1 point. The first team to reach 10 points (or specified win limit) wins the game. Upon being killed, either by the enemy or through self-damage, the player respawns on their side of the map instantly. If carrying the intelligence when killed, the briefcase drops on the floor where the player died.
Teams can be as large as 3 players, but standard Basketball play is 2 on 2. As for weapons, Soldiers have some choice in their loadout. For primary weapons, players typically use the default Rocket Launcher or Original. For secondary weapons, players can use either the Shotgun or Gunboats. For melees, usually only the Shovel and Escape Plan are used. Use of most unlocks is prohibited or discouraged since they can drastically alter gameplay.
One important aspect of Basketball is the use of server mods. Both Sourcemod and Metamod are essential as the game features instant respawn and removes the Deathcam. Servers often run a specific Basketball configuration that only permits Soldier, as well as setting time limits and using features like Tournament Mode.
The design of BBall maps can differ greatly in theme, but are generally similar in layout. The biggest difference from map to map is the surrounding area in which the basketball court is located. Popular Basketball maps include ctf_bball and ctf_ballin, among others.
- When attempting to capture the Intelligence, air strafe to dodge enemy rockets.
- Do not 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 not holding the intelligence, rocket jump and dive bomb the enemy. Use a 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 enemies 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 off low health players.
- Body-blocking is an effective tactic which can be used to stop enemies in the air. When seeing an enemy Soldier rocket jump into the air, you can rocket jump into them to block their advance.
- Stand on top of your own hoop to prevent the enemy from scoring. Enemies will land on top of you instead of the hoop, forcing them to kill you first before they can score.
Notable TF2 Basketball tournaments
There has been one BBall tournament of note. It was sponsored by Novint using Frag Fest Servers and offered the Novint Falcon, an innovate game controller, as the grand prize. 69 players signed up to play in the tournament. The winning team was called "Beauty and the Beast", consisting of team members Wonderland and Beef.