Gold Rush

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This article is about the Payload map. For the major update, see Gold Rush Update.
Gold Rush
Goldrush 1.jpg
Basic Information
Map type: Payload
File name: pl_goldrush
Released: April 29, 2008 Patch
(Gold Rush Update)
Developer(s): Valve
Map Info
No. of Stages: 3
Environment: Desert
Setting: Daylight, sunny
Pyrovision Support: Yes
Bot support: Yes
Map Items
Healthico.png Health Kits: Smallhealth.png ×9  •  Mediumhealth.png ×14  •  
Largehealth.png ×4
Ammoico.png Ammo Boxes: Smallammo.png ×4   •   Mediumammo.png ×12   •  
Largeammo.png ×14
Map Photos
Loading screen photos.
Gold Rush is a map that specifically focuses on pacing so that the player feels like they are part of an overall campaign by the team. Each member of the team needs to focus on both the overall goal of either stopping or advancing the payload and also deal with local threats. As the payload moves through the map both teams need to be able to adjust their strategy depending on what approach the other is taking. Gold Rush has been designed taking all nine classes and their abilities in Team Fortress 2 into account, which means there is a spot for everyone and their favorite class to be useful.
The cart's concept art.
The cart's final product.

Gold Rush (or Goldrush) is a Payload map and the first Payload map introduced to the game. The map is split into three connected stages, with intermediate checkpoints in each stage.

The remaining time carries over to the following sections of the maps up to a maximum of 9 minutes until teams are switched. Each stage starts with a 1:05 setup time.

Introduction video


Stage 1

Stage 1

Checkpoint A

Time added if captured: 5 minutes and 30 seconds

There is a long, relatively open area between the BLU Spawn and the first checkpoint. The cart starts outside the BLU Spawn and runs forward towards The Hut and through a "gap" in The Cliff. It then takes a left to bring it closer to The Raised Track and another right, heading for The Tunnel.

  • BLU Spawn: The BLU Spawn has a resupply area and a corridor with 3 exits. There is a double gate right behind the cart which can be seen from almost the whole area. The door on the right has stacked boxes just in front of it, which RED defenders can hide behind before the round starts. This is effective with a Pyro or an ÜberCharge which can be saved and used when the attackers have used up theirs. Attackers can also stand behind these boxes and be generally unnoticed when the action is intense. The door on the left faces to the right and thus is sheltered from any enemies on The Raised Track. It is also sheltered from the Hut by some rocks on The Cliff.
  • Raised Track: This is a track that runs along the left of the map from BLU's perspective and runs all the way back to the tunnel and the checkpoint. RED defenders, especially Demomen and Soldiers, can run along this track raining down explosives from above. BLU attackers can Crouch jump onto this track from the top of The Cliff. Due to several close large ammo crates, aggressive RED Engineers can also quickly place a level 2 or 3 Sentry Gun near to the end of the track, close to BLU's spawn.
  • Cliff: It's not really a cliff but from BLU's perspective the ground ramps up and then drops off to its original level so that it looks like a small cliff when viewed from the other side. There is a "gap" in The Cliff where the cart runs through. RED defenders can use The Cliff to hide behind with Pyro's, Sentry Guns or ÜberCharges. There is also a large Health pack just behind the Cliff to the left. It is possible to crouch jump onto the Raised Track from the highest part of the cliff and Demomen can sticky jump all the way to the Tunnel from this position (and right onto the health pack that is just before the checkpoint, with some practice).
  • Hut: The Hut is at the back to the right as BLU's leave their spawn. It is two-storied and has a veranda facing the BLU Spawn. The lower level has a door facing the spawn with a large Ammo pack outside of it and a door facing the track to the left of the map. The Hut is a favorite place for Snipers to sit in and pick off BLU players as they push the cart or come out of the front exit of their spawn. Engineers also like to build their Sentry Guns on the top level as they can shoot out to the track on the left and are protected from direct fire from BLU's Spawn. With some practice, Demomen can sticky jump from the BLU Spawn right on the balcony on the upper level.
  • Tunnel: The Tunnel is a tunnel to the left that the cart runs through. Until the first checkpoint has been reached, it is the only passage linking the first open area to the second. This is a common chokepoint for this stage.

Checkpoint B

Time added if captured: 4 minutes

The cart runs into The Tunnel as described above, takes a sharp right then left to come into the open, and runs alongside The Ditch, past the bridge and around to the right to the checkpoint which is located on the back of the RED Spawn. The locations will be described from RED's perspective.

  • RED Spawn: The RED Spawn has resupply closets and opens to face the back of the map. As RED exits their spawn, they can either turn left to find a tunnel that leads forward or they can turn right to find the more open passage to the attackers and a set of stairs that leads to the Second Level. RED must come out of their spawn and turn 180 degrees so that they are facing "forward" - facing towards the oncoming attackers. The checkpoint sits against the spawn room to the attacker's side.
  • RED Deck: To the left of the RED Spawn (when looking towards the attackers) there is a Second Level which sits against the left of the map. There is ammo and health towards the front of this platform and a Sentry Gun can effectively be built here to cover the cart as it emerges from the tunnel. There is a bridge that leads left to the top of RED's Spawn which is a favorite place for Snipers to sit and pick off any enemies that are pushing the cart or coming out of The Tunnel.
  • Ditch: In the open space between the RED Spawn and the buildings that BLU emerge from, there is a (small) canyon-like ditch that runs across the map. On the right, the ground slopes between the level of the ditch and the ground and there is a ladder to the far left to allow people to get out and onto the cart's track. There is also a bridge across The Ditch that allows movement directly from the spawn room to the buildings opposite. The cart goes alongside the ditch and around it to the right.
  • Attic: Around the chokepoint from the first cap, there is a two-story building that goes all the way from the right to the left. This is more commonly known as the Attic. On the ground floor, there is an opening to the left where the cart's track emerges. Above this is a window into the upstairs and to the right of it is a sort of boardwalk that links this upstairs room to another on the left. This left room has a door to a raised platform which is quite close to the checkpoint. Going into the lower tunnel, RED can head left to follow the track back to the first checkpoint or they can head right and follow a corridor, past a large health pack, and up some stairs into the building on the right. This is a good passage for attackers as they can get close to the checkpoint while staying mostly behind cover.
  • Imperial Building: When the first point is capped a gate leading to a small tunnel on the left will open up allowing the BLU team members who have capped the point to go through the tunnel. The tunnel leads to a small room with a medium health pack, the room also contains a set of stairs leading up to the imperial building. The imperial building is a sort of a balcony which overhangs over the ditch. It's a great vantage point for BLU Snipers as they can see everything around the ditch and in the ditch.
  • Mine Shaft: Running parallel to the RED spawn on the right side of the map is the Mine Shaft, a small narrow tunnel with tracks running through it. The Mine Shaft directly connects the Red exit with the final checkpoint offering Reds a faster route if they wanted to reach the Attic.

RED can set up on this platform during the pre-game wait. A RED Engineer can place a Teleporter at spawn, refills his metal, and then place a Dispenser at the edge of the platform. Once the Dispenser is 60% complete, the RED Engineer can jump on the Dispenser and then place a Teleporter exit on the platform. Note the RED Engineer cannot physically jump up, only be holding the Teleporter PDA as he jumps. Once the Teleporter exit is up and running, RED can set up Sentry Guns and Dispensers in an attempt to deny BLU access and to flank BLU.

The other connecting passage is to BLU's far right and leads to two open levels right next to The Ditch. From these levels, you look across to the right of the level (RED's perspective) and you can only see a small part of the second level of RED's Spawn. This lets you rain down fire on anyone taking the bridge over the ditch or anyone in the open space. Be careful because even though The Ditch prevents anyone from walking back into this area, Soldiers and Demomen can rocket jump/sticky jump up, while Scouts can double jump up to surprise you.

A detailed look at stage 1
1.Elevated tracks   
4.Imperial Building
6.Red Deck
8.Mine Shaft

Stage 2

Stage 2

Checkpoint A

Time added if captured: 4 minutes and 30 seconds

The cart starts out in front of a trench which separates BLU's spawn area and the battlefield. The cart runs between the Watchtower and House and then over the Bridge where the checkpoint is then located.

  • BLU Spawn: There are two exits, one tunnel exit on the left and one double gate on the right. The right one is usually used for ÜberCharges while the left one is used to flank RED. From the left exit, it is easy for a Spy to sneak behind the lines. Be careful, though, as sometimes at the start of the match, an ÜberCharged Pyro enters the left exit, usually killing everything in the tunnel.
  • House Tunnel: In the tunnel on the left side of house from BLU's view, a large Ammo Pack and a small health kit can be found. From the tunnel on the left, there are stairs leading to the Sniper Ledge.
  • The Sniper Ledge: On the right where RED enters the first checkpoint area, there is a small set of stairs leading to the Sniper Ledge. As its name indicates, it is often used by Snipers. Some boxes and the small hut, which also has a medium health kit, provide cover.
  • Watchtower: On the right from the BLU Spawn, the Watchtower can be seen after going through the gates. Most of the RED defenders are here, since they have a height advantage, and there is a large ammo pack and a medium health kit. From its watchtower, Snipers can overlook both exits. Sentry Guns are often located here.
  • The Bridge: Just before the final stretch of track to the first checkpoint is a bridge which connects over the ditch.
  • The House: The House is located to the left from the perspective of BLU. It has one exit and two windows which RED can shoot through. Sometimes, Sentry Guns are placed on the windows or Demomen guard it.

Checkpoint B

Time added if captured: 4 minutes

After the first checkpoint the cart winds through a building which separates the next battlefield. It exits out to a chokepoint area and then runs under a bridge separating the Main Building and then finally onto the next checkpoint.

  • The Choke: The Choke area is an open area positioned in between the Main buildings and the Battlements
  • The Final Area: The Final Area is an area positioned in between the main buildings and the Red spawn.
  • Battlements: The battlements are located at the far end of the area from RED's spawn. It connects from the house above Checkpoint 1's building. There are two drop-downs which can be used by attackers as another entry or as an entry way for RED Soldiers or Demomen.
  • Main Building: The Main Building is situated in the center of the area, cutting Checkpoint 2's battlefield in half. The Main Building has two houses which are connected by a bridge, both of which can be accessed by stairs on either side. It can be said that the Main Building is positioned in between the Choke Area and the Final Area.
  • Sentry Ledge: Near the Checkpoint is a small ledge on the wall of the main building, this is an extremely common spot for sentry nests.
  • Alcove: Underneath a ledge on the Main Building is a small alcove which is indented into the wall of the building. This is also a very common spot for Sentry Guns.
  • RED spawn: The RED spawn is on the opposite side of Checkpoint 2. The RED team can either go left or right to reach nearby Checkpoint 2 (As well as Sentry Ledge on Right pathway, and Alcove on the left pathway). The spawn room itself is slightly different from the first RED spawn, as it only has one resupply cabinet. As usual, there is one central exit in front of the players, making this type of spawn vulnerable to spawn camping. Players need to turn 180 degrees so they face forward towards the incoming enemy.
A detailed look at Stage 2
4.Snipers Deck
5.Battlements (Above the tunnel)
6.Main Buildings
7.Sentry Decks

Stage 3

Stage 3(Large file)

Checkpoint A

Time added if captured: 3 minutes and 30 seconds

From the BLU spawn exits the cart starts out on a track which must run straight, up through a basin where then the checkpoint is located under an open gateway.

  • Tunnel: The tunnel is one of the BLU spawn entrances. It winds out from the BLU spawn and exits out under the Truck House.
  • Basin: The Basin is the area which runs through and below the platform and Truck House.
  • Truck House: The Truck House is the area located across from the platform. It is a small shack with a deck overlooking the track. Next to it is an underpass which houses a large truck.
  • Platform: Across from the Truck House is a platform which overlooks the track. It has a small inaccessible shack on it which is useful for cover.

Checkpoint B

Time added if captured: 4 minutes and 30 seconds

From the checkpoint, the track runs straight through an alleyway surrounded by buildings on both sides.

  • Dropdown: The drop-down is a small opening in the wall right next to the checkpoint. It serves as an entryway for RED before BLU has captured the checkpoint.
  • Hallway: The hallway is located in one of the two buildings. It is a long narrow hallway with an entrance on both far sides. At the very far end is a drop down next to the track.
  • Main Deck: Across from the Hallway building is another building with a deck along the wall. This can be accessed through a set of stairs in front of it and connects to another small deck which overlooks the second checkpoint.
  • Sentry Decks: On both sides of the second checkpoint are two large decks which are both common spots for Sentry Guns.

Checkpoint C

From checkpoint 2 the cart runs through more buildings until it reaches the checkpoint in RED's final yard.

  • Chokepoint: The chokepoint is the very small entry way into RED's final yard. It is an infamous chokepoint for being extremely cramped when the cart is residing inside it and heavy spam makes entry very difficult.
  • Chute: The chute is a dropdown by the chokepoint which exits out into the tunnels.
  • House: The House is located next to the chokepoint. It is connected by a ledge along a wall and has a dropdown which exits out behind the truck in RED's final yard. BLU Engineers sometimes build forward bases in here.
  • The Tunnels: The tunnels are located at the bottom of the chute and exit out into the valley. It is comprised of two tunnels, one of which goes up a ledge and exits out a small ledge next to the other tunnel's exit.
  • Valley: The valley is the area next to and below RED's yard. It is accessed by a long set of stairs and gives access to the tunnels and Sniper Deck.
  • Sniper's Deck: The Sniper's Deck is located above the valley and overlooks RED's yard. There are two windows used as vantage points and a drop down with a ledge that weaves around to the final checkpoint.
  • Battlements: The battlements are located above the checkpoint area and overlook the entire area. One entry way is from the winding staircases in RED's spawn and another is from jumping from the boxes and small roof across from the House's drop down area.
  • RED Spawn #1: The RED team has two separate spawn regions for Stage 3. The first spawn room is located to the left of C, with two exits, one being a shortcut to checkpoint A, and the other a small door to C. The shortcut to A locks when A is capped by BLU.
  • RED Spawn #2: The second RED spawn is located behind and to the right of point C. It is a long vertical shaft, with players spawning at the bottom of the shaft. The main exit to the left leads to a slope behind C, but players can access battlements by using the winding staircase up the shaft.
A detailed look at Stage 3
3.Truck House
5.Main Deck
6.Sentry Deck
10.Sniper's Deck

Gold Rush images

See also: Category:Gold Rush images


Main article: Community Gold Rush strategy

Update history

April 29, 2008 Patch (Gold Rush Update)
  • Added Gold Rush to the game.

May 21, 2008 Patch

  • Fixed map exploits in Gold Rush.

December 11, 2008 Patch

  • Some changes to the second part of the first stage of Gold Rush to give the attackers more of an advantage.

September 15, 2011 Patch

  • Stage 1
    • Fixed overlapping train track models.
    • Fixed terrain seam by RED spawn exit.
    • Fixed RED spawn room door going through ceiling.
    • Light fixture on roof structure of RED's first spawn building switched to non-solid.
  • Stage 2
    • Added func_nobuild under bridge that would get teleported players stuck.
  • Stage 3
    • Added invisible func_brushes above roofs to block blind demo grenade spam.
    • Fixed wood structure by main gate entrance so it doesn't destroy teleport buildables.
    • Added clip brush to top of main gate entrance.
    • Extended RED's respawn room brushes to enclose entire interior.
    • Added respawn visualizer material to back face of blocker that prevents RED from entering BLU's respawn area from the top route.

July 10, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed collision on props and clip exploits.
  • Fixed buildings being prohibited from construction in the garage near the end of stage 3.
  • Players can no longer block the cart through the wall in stage.
  • Players can no longer build in spawn exits.
  • Players can no longer build on the shack roof near the end of stage 3.
  • Players and buildings can no longer be killed through the floor in stage 1 in the upper room by the cap.
  • Players can no longer build on the perch in stage 1.
  • Handrails no longer collide with bullets and projectiles.

July 11, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed an areaportal improperly rendering in pl_goldrush.

March 5, 2014 Patch

  • Added nobuild area under the train tracks to prevent teleport trap near BLU spawn in stage 1.

July 15, 2015 Patch

September 10, 2015 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Added saucers and posters to Gold Rush.

November 25, 2015 Patch

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


  • Players can camp RED's spawn on Stage 2 by firing pipes into the windows on the tower of the spawn.
  • There is a spot near the main deck before Stage 3, Checkpoint B where Engineers can build a teleporter trap. As with any teleporter trap, the only escape is destroying the teleporter or dying/killing oneself.
  • RED Engineers can build a teleporter in their final spawn on Stage 3, due to the func_respawnroom entity not filling up the entire room.
  • On Stage 3, players can get stuck on the wooden frame exiting from the BLU tunnel to Basin. This is because part of the tunnel displacement extends into the wooden frame. The only way to escape is by dying.
  • On Stage 3, If a RED player is in the spawn doorway of the tunnel that leads to Checkpoint A right as BLU caps, the player becomes stuck in the door. The player can switch classes to escape.


  • Gold Rush's layout is very similar to that of Dustbowl. This is addressed in the Gold Rush Update page.
    • This is also due to the fact that Gold Rush started out as a remake of Dustbowl, which was named Dustbowl 2.

External links