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.
- All Payload and Payload Race maps
- Control Point maps
- The Medic's Medi Gun now charges at an increased rate during Setup time, to remove the need for self-damage grinding
- Doubled the amount of metal applied (per Wrench hit) when upgrading buildings during the "Setup" period.