Setup time

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The HUD panel that appears, displaying setup time, before changing to display the current round time.
Mission begins in thirty seconds.
The Administrator

Setup time is the interval before a round begins. It typically consists of a period of 60 seconds where players prepare for the round. During Setup time, gates restrict players from moving into the main map area and damaging enemy players before the round begins. In addition, there is no ÜberCharge build rate penalty for healing a target over 142.5% health.

Players on the offensive team (BLU) will use Setup time to prepare ÜberCharges and coordinate their attack plan with their team, while the defensive side (RED) will do the same, as well as construct Sentry Guns and other buildings and lay stickybomb traps. The game also allows for a 30 second period once when the server first loads the map (called "waiting for players" mode), allowing players to finish joining the server before the round fully begins.

Setup time is commonly used on maps where the offensive team would gain a significant advantage by starting the match immediately. For example, in Payload, BLU's spawn room is often right next to the cart, allowing them to push it even as far as the first cap point before the RED team would arrive to defend. The standard time period is also not restricted to simply 60 seconds. Some maps, such as pl_thundermountain, use an extended period of time, while cp_well uses a mere 15 second period of Setup time.

Arena and King of the Hill game modes also use a similar time interval. The central control point is unavailable for capture for a short amount of time; however, players are not restricted from moving freely or killing each other.

Maps that use Setup time

For a full list of all official maps, see List of maps.

Related achievements

Leaderboard class scout.png Scout

Quick Hook
Quick Hook
Kill a player in Well before the round starts.


Leaderboard class medic.png Medic

Surgical Prep
Surgical Prep
Have an ÜberCharge ready before the Setup phase ends.


Update history

December 20, 2007 Patch

  • The Medic's Medi Gun now charges at an increased rate during Setup time, to remove the need for self-damage grinding

October 20, 2017 Patch

  • Doubled the amount of metal applied (per Wrench hit) when upgrading buildings during the "Setup" period.