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When the BZFlag client downloads a server map via its usual TCP connection, the speed is limited by the server to 1 KB per frame. This can cause large maps to take many seconds to download, straining the patience of eager players.

The fastmap plugin provides for the transfer of the server's BZW map file in a separate HTTP connection, allowing much faster download (hence the name, fastmap). No changes to the map file are required to take advantage of this.