Getting Started

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This article covers the basics of getting started with BZFlag. It is intended for new players who have just found the game and require assistance. More detailed help can be found on our Getting Help page.

Getting Started

These simple steps have been designed to allow new users to begin playing the game as quickly as possible.

Downloading and installing the game

The main thing users need to play is the game software. Users can Download the software for a number of different systems.


The most common operating system for players is Microsoft Windows. A simple installer can be found at, . Simply Double click the downloaded file Help us provide free content to the world by donating today!No Doubt From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search For other uses, see No Doubt (disambiguation). No Doubt

Left to right: Tom Dumont (guitar), Stephen Bradley (trumpet & keyboard), Adrian Young (drums), Gwen Stefani (vocals), Tony Kanal (bass), and Gabrial McNair (trombone & keyboard) Background information Origin Anaheim, California, United States Genre(s) Ska punk, alternative rock, New Wave, punk rock, pop rock Years active 1986–2004 (hiatus) 2008–present Label(s) Interscope, Trauma, Universal Music Group Associated acts Invincible Overlord, Bow Wow Wow, Starpool Website Members Gwen Stefani Tony Kanal Adrian Young Tom Dumont

Former members see members section No Doubt is an American rock band from Anaheim, California, founded in 1986. The ska-pop sound of their first album, No Doubt, failed to make waves due to the popularity of the grunge movement at the time. The band's diamond-certified album Tragic Kingdom helped to launch the ska revival of the 1990s, and "Don't Speak", the third single from the album, set a record when it spent sixteen weeks at the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart.

The group released its next album, Return of Saturn, four years later, but despite positive reviews, the album was considered a commercial failure. Fifteen months later, the band reappeared with Rock Steady, which incorporated reggae and dancehall music into their work. The album was primarily recorded in Jamaica and featured collaborations with Jamaican artists Bounty Killer, Sly and Robbie, and Lady Saw. The album produced two Grammy-winning singles, "Hey Baby" and "Underneath It All".

No Doubt released the compilation The Singles 1992–2003 and box set Boom Box in 2003, both of which contained a cover version of the Talk Talk synthpop song "It's My Life". Frontwoman Gwen Stefani launched her solo career the next year with several collaborations, including bandmate Tony Kanal as well as Neptune and Pharrell Williams, while guitarist Tom Dumont began his side project, Invincible Overlord. During its career, the band has won two Grammy Awards and sold 27 million records worldwide to date.[1] The band is embarking on a national tour throughout the summer of 2009.

Contents [hide] 1 History 1.1 Beginnings (1986–1995) 1.2 Mainstream success (1995–2000) 1.3 Later albums (2000-2004) 1.4 Hiatus (2004–2008) 1.5 Return to music (2008–present) 2 Members 2.1 Current 2.2 Former 3 Discography 4 Awards and nominations 4.1 Grammy Awards 4.2 MTV Video Music Awards 5 References 6 External links

[edit] History

[edit] Beginnings (1986–1995) Eric Stefani, and Eric's sister Gwen formed a band called Apple Core in 1986,[2] having worked together at a local Dairy Queen.[3] Eric, who had taught himself to play accordion played for the band with Gwen singing back up.

About a year later Eric met Spence at a Dairy Queen and had talked about getting a group together to play music. Eric got a keyboard and gathered some players together to practice. The practice included Eric Stefani (keyboards), Gwen Stefani (vocals), John Spence (Vocals), Jerry McMahon (Guitar), Chris Leol (Bass) and Gabe Gonzalas (Trumpet), Alan and Tony Meade. They practiced in Eric's parents garage. They planned to play live at Fenders but Chris and Gabe didn't show up to practice.

Tony Kanal went to one of these early shows and soon joined the band as its bassist. After initially rejecting her advances, he began dating Gwen, but they kept their relationship secret for a year, feeling that it was an unspoken rule that nobody date her.[4]

In December 1987, Spence committed suicide several days before the band was to play a gig at The Roxy Theatre for record industry employees.[4] No Doubt disbanded but decided to regroup after several weeks[4] with Alan Meade taking over vocals.[3] When Meade left the band, Gwen replaced him as lead singer,[3] while No Doubt continued to develop a live following in California.[4] In early 1988, Tom Dumont left Rising, a heavy metal band of which he was a member with his sister,[5] stating that local metal bands "were into drinking, wearing Spandex" but that he wanted to focus on music.[6] He joined No Doubt and replaced Jerry McMahon as the band's guitarist, adding a distinct metal influence to its sound. Adrian Young replaced Chris Webb as the drummer the following year.[4]

"Trapped in a Box" (1992) 

The only single from the band's ska-pop debut album.

Problems listening to this file? See media help. Impressed by the presence of rabid, stage diving fans at No Doubt's concerts and Gwen's mesmerizing on-stage presence, Tony Ferguson signed the band to a multi-album deal with the newly created Interscope Records in 1990.[4] No Doubt's self-titled debut album was finally released in 1992, but it featured no radio singles, although a video was made for "Trapped in a Box". The album's distinctly upbeat ska/pop/cartoon sound sharply contrasted with the then-dominant grunge movement. Because the music world's focus was redirected squarely at Seattle, No Doubt's album was not supported by the record label and considered a commercial failure for selling only 30,000 copies.[3] The band embarked on a national tour in support of the album, though Interscope refused to support the tour.[7] The band failed to bring the audiences that it had attracted in Southern California, and often found that No Doubt was not even available in the cities where it was playing.[4] Eric Stefani began to withdraw from the group, vacillating between being in and out of the band.[8]

The band began work on its next album the next year, but Interscope rejected much of its material, and the band was paired with producer Matthew Wilder. Eric did not like to relinquish creative control to someone outside the band and eventually stopped recording and rehearsing. He left No Doubt in 1994 to resume an animation career with the cartoon TV series The Simpsons.[4] Kanal then ended his seven-year relationship with Gwen, saying that he needed "space".[9] Unsure of what to do with the band, Interscope sublicensed the project to Trauma Records in 1995.[10] No Doubt released The Beacon Street Collection, consisting of outtakes from its previous recording sessions, that year on its own label, Sea Creature Records.[11] Mixing 1980s punk rock and some grunge influences into the band's sound, the album contains a rawer sound than No Doubt,[11] and it sold more than three times as many copies as its predecessor.[5] Later that year, the label released Tragic Kingdom, much of which dealt with the relationship between Tony Kanal and Gwen Stefani.[12]

[edit] Mainstream success (1995–2000) Before the release of the video "Just a Girl" on MTV and other outlets the band performed shows in Disneyland for Grad Night in 1995 were they put on a remarkable showing. Gwen would wear the same outfit as in the Tragic Kingdom cd cover, red dress. The release of 1995's Tragic Kingdom and the single "Just a Girl" allowed the group to achieve mainstream commercial success. No Doubt began touring in support of the album late that year, and it grew into a 27-month international tour.[13] In 1996, the second single, "Spiderwebs", was successful, and "Don't Speak", a ballad written about Stefani and Kanal's break-up,[citation needed] was released as the third single and broke the previous record when it topped the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay for sixteen weeks. No Doubt was nominated for two Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Rock Album at the 1997 Grammy Awards. By the end of the year, half of the songs on Tragic Kingdom had been released as singles, and the album was certified eight times platinum. Later, they were nominated for two more Grammys for Song of the Year and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, both for "Don't Speak".[11] The Recording Industry Association of America certified the album diamond in February 1999,[14] and with worldwide sales of sixteen million, it is one of the best-selling albums in history.[15] The band's self-titled debut album began selling copies again off of the success of Tragic Kingdom and reached total sales of over a quarter of a million copies.[5]

"Don't Speak" (1996) 

The band's most famous song.

"New" (1999)

The lead single from Return of Saturn, produced with Talking Heads member Jerry Harrison.

Problems listening to these files? See media help. The album's release fueled a dispute between Trauma and Interscope Records over No Doubt's recording contract. Trauma sued for US$100 million for breach of contract, fraud, and extortion and sought to have its joint venture agreement ended, claiming that Interscope had reneged on its contract after the band had become more successful than expected.[10] No Doubt had previously stated that it had switched to Trauma Records and that the transition was "really great...because now we have the attention and the focus of a small indie label."[16] The case was settled out of court with a $3 million payment.[17]

The band finished its tour in December 1997 and had several releases during the two-year writing process to make its follow-up to Tragic Kingdom.[4] Live in the Tragic Kingdom, a live long-form video of the band's performance at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, was released and The Beacon Street Collection was re-released while the band was on tour that year. The band recorded "I Throw My Toys Around" with Elvis Costello for The Rugrats Movie, and it contributed to The Clash's tribute album Burning London: The Clash Tribute. Stefani began to make recordings without the band, contributing vocals to tracks for The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Prince, Fishbone & Familyhood Nextperience, and her boyfriend Gavin Rossdale's band Bush. After some time in-between albums, No Doubt included its song "New" on the soundtrack to the movie Go in 1999. "New", inspired by Gwen's budding relationship with Rossdale, was one of the first songs written after the release of Tragic Kingdom.

[edit] Later albums (2000-2004) In 2000, the band released Return of Saturn, its follow-up to Tragic Kingdom. The album featured a darker tone and was more lyrically advanced than No Doubt's previous work.[18] The main lyrical focus of the new record had shifted from Gwen Stefani's relationship with bassist Tony Kanal to her new relationship with Gavin Rossdale.[13] Return of Saturn was critically acclaimed, but was not as commercially successful as their previous album, and the lead single, "Ex-Girlfriend", failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. Also released as singles from the album were the tracks "Simple Kind of Life" and "Bathwater".

Gwen Stefani, Stephen Bradley, and Tony Kanal performing in March 2002.After Return of Saturn, the band returned to recording in January 2001. During this time, it contributed a cover version of Donna Summer's "Love to Love You Baby" for the Zoolander soundtrack and recorded a song with Kelis for her album Wanderland. Stefani made high-profile appearances on Moby's "South Side" and Eve's "Let Me Blow Ya Mind". These appearances lent No Doubt credibility and an opportunity to explore new genres.[19] Highly influenced by Jamaican dancehall music and recorded primarily in Jamaica, the band's 2001 studio album, Rock Steady, produced two hit Grammy-winning singles, "Hey Baby", which featured Bounty Killer, and "Underneath It All", which featured the first lady of dancehall, Lady Saw. Both singles managed to reach the top five on the Billboard Hot 100. The album also released "Hella Good" and "Running" as singles. In addition, pop-star Prince co-wrote, produced, and performed on "Waiting Room" from Rock Steady. Stefani had previously provided vocals for a song on Prince's Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic album, "So Far, So Pleased". In November 2002, No Doubt made an appearance in the Dawson's Creek episode "Spiderwebs".[20]

"Underneath It All" (2002) 

The band's second highest charting U.S. single, produced with Sly & Robbie in Jamaica and featuring Lady Saw.

"It's My Life" (2003)

The band produced a cover of the Talk Talk song for its compilation album.

Problems listening to these files? See media help. 2003 was a big year of releases for No Doubt. The album The Singles 1992–2003, a compilation of the band's commercially-released singles, was released on November 25, 2003. It included a cover of the song "It's My Life", which had originally been a hit for synthpop group Talk Talk in 1984, and earned No Doubt a Grammy nomination for Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal.[21] Additionally, a special 2-CD 2-DVD box set titled Boom Box was made available, which included the CDs The Singles 1992–2003 and Everything in Time and the DVDs The Videos 1992–2003 and Live in the Tragic Kingdom. Separately, Rock Steady Live, a DVD of the band performing in Long Beach from their Rock Steady tour was released in 2003 as well. The next year, the band was featured in a re-recording of the Toots & the Maytals classic ska song "Monkey Man". The band also toured with blink-182 in mid-2004, before embarking on a hiatus.

Stefani performing on the Harajuku Lovers Tour 2005. [edit] Hiatus (2004–2008) Lead singer Gwen Stefani began work on her 1980s-inspired New Wave and dance-pop side project in 2003, which eventually evolved into the full-fledged solo album, Love. Angel. Music. Baby., released on November 23, 2004. The album reached multi-platinum status in several countries, including a quintuple platinum certification in Canada[22] and triple platinum in the U.S.[23] Stefani launched her first solo arena tour in October 2005, which coincided with the news of her pregnancy (her son, Kingston James McGregor Rossdale, was born on May 26, 2006). She released her second solo dance-pop album, The Sweet Escape in December 2006.

In early 2005, Tom Dumont released his own solo music project, Invincible Overlord, with friend and collaborator Ted Matson, and backed up Matt Costa on his 2005 tour.[24] Adrian Young, the band's drummer, did the drums for Bow Wow Wow's 2004 tour and many of the tracks on Unwritten Law's 2005 release, Here's to the Mourning,[25] as well as featuring on several shows in 2006 for TheStart.[26] Young will also be playing on Rockstar: Supernova runner-up Dilana's upcoming album.[27]

[edit] Return to music (2008–present) With Stefani promoting her second solo album, No Doubt began initial work on a new album without her[28] and planned to complete it after Stefani's tour was finished.[29] In March 2008, the band started making posts concerning the progression of the album on their official fan forum. Stefani made a post on March 28, 2008 stating that songwriting had commenced but was slow on her end because she was, at the time, pregnant with her second child.[30]

Manager Jim Guerinot said the yet-untitled album is being produced by Mark "Spike" Stent, who helped produce and mix Rock Steady. Between Stefani's pregnancy and recording, No Doubt did not tour in 2008, but Guerinot promised, they plan to hit the road hard in 2009 for their first full-fledged band tour in nearly five years.[31]

No Doubt announced on their official website that they will tour in the summer of 2009 with Paramore, The Sounds, Janelle Monáe, Bedouin Soundclash, Katy Perry, Panic! at the Disco, and Matt Costa. while finishing their upcoming album, which is set for release in 2010.[32][33] Tickets for the tour went on sale March 7, 2009.[34] As a special promotion for the tour, the band is giving away their entire music catalog free as a digital download with purchase of top tier seating.[35]

In 2009, No Doubt made an appearance on the television series Gossip Girl, playing a fictional band called "Snowed Out" in the episode "Valley Girls".[36] They performed their cover version of the Adam and the Ants song "Stand and Deliver".[37]

[edit] Members

[edit] Current Gwen Stefani – vocals Tom Dumont – guitar, keyboards Tony Kanal – bass guitar Adrian Young – drums, percussion Touring band:

Stephen Bradley – keyboards, trumpet, back-up vocals Gabrial McNair – keyboards, trombone, back-up vocals

[edit] Former Eric Carpenter – saxophone (1988–1994) Paul Caseley – trombone (1987–1990) Gabriel Gonzalez – trumpet (1986–1989) Don Hammerstedt – trumpet (1990–1992) Alex Henderson – trombone (1991–1993) Phil Jordan - trumpet (1992-1995) Chris Leal – bass guitar (1986–1987) Kevin Wells - Trombone (1986-1987) Jerry McMahon – guitar (1986–1988) Alan Meade – trumpet, co-lead vocals (1986–1988) Tony Meade – saxophone (1986–1988) Chris Webb – drums (1986–1989) John Spence – original lead vocals (1986–1987) Eric Stefani – keyboards, guitar (1986–1995)

[edit] Discography Main article: No Doubt discography No Doubt (1992) The Beacon Street Collection (1995) Tragic Kingdom (1995) Return of Saturn (2000) Rock Steady (2001) TBA (2010)[38][39]

[edit] Awards and nominations

[edit] Grammy Awards The Grammy Awards are awarded annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.[40][41][42]

Year Nominated work Award Result 1997 No Doubt Best New Artist Nominated Tragic Kingdom Best Rock Album Nominated 1998 "Don't Speak" Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal Nominated Song of the Year Nominated 2001 Return of Saturn Best Rock Album Nominated 2003 "Hey Baby" Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal Won "Hella Good" Best Dance Recording Nominated Rock Steady Best Pop Vocal Album Nominated 2004 "Underneath It All" Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group Won 2005 "It's My Life" Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal Nominated

[edit] MTV Video Music Awards The MTV Video Music Awards were established in 1984 by MTV to celebrate the top music videos of the year.[43][44][45]

Year Nominated work Award Result 1997 "Don't Speak" Video of the Year Nominated Best Group Video Won 2002 "Hey Baby" Best Group Video Won Best Pop Video Won 2003 "Underneath It All" Best Pop Video Nominated Best Cinematography Nominated 2004 "It's My Life" Best Group Video Won Best Pop Video Won Best Direction Nominated Best Art Direction Nominated Best Cinematography Won

[edit] References ^ MacDonald, Patrick. "Gwen Stefani: She sings! She designs! She dances ... uh, um, no". The Seattle Times. November 18, 2005. Retrieved April 14, 2007. ^ Krohn, Katherine E. Gwen Stefani: pg. 22. Twenty-First Century Books. 2007. ISBN 0822571579. ^ a b c d Vineyard, Jennifer. "Tunes and 'Toons". OC Weekly. February 26, 1998. Retrieved August 24, 2007. ^ a b c d e f g h i "No Doubt". Behind the Music. VH1. April 9, 2000. ^ a b c "Timeline". Retrieved August 24, 2007. ^ Kam, Nadine. "No doubt about it". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. April 30, 1998. Retrieved September 13, 2007. ^ Bush, John. "Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved December 23, 2006. ^ Heath, Chris. "Snap! Crackle! Pop!". Rolling Stone, issue 759. May 1, 1997. ^ Born to Be. MuchMusic programming. Original airdate: March 2006. Retrieved November 13, 2006. ^ a b Sandler, Adam. "Interscope facing Trauma in $100 million lawsuit". Variety. May 28, 1997. Retrieved December 30, 2006. ^ a b c "No Doubt". Rock on the Net. Retrieved August 24, 2007. ^ No Doubt's "Tragic Kingdom". MTV News. April 8, 1996. Retrieved December 23, 2006. ^ a b Willman, Chris. "Future Tense?". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 30, 2006. ^ "Diamond Awards". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved August 24, 2007. ^ Van Meter, Jonathan. "The First Lady of Rock". Vogue (April 2004). Retrieved from October 28, 2007. ^ "No Doubt In Middle Of Legal Battle". MTV News. May 28, 1997. Retrieved August 24, 2007. ^ Thigpen, David E. "A Sound Reborn". Time. November 10, 1997. Retrieved December 30, 2006. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Review". Allmusic. May 12, 2000. Retrieved December 30, 2006. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Rock Steady > Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved August 31, 2007. ^ "Spiderwebs". Yahoo! TV. Retrieved December 30, 2006. ^ "Grammy Awards 2005: Key winners". BBC News. February 14, 2005. Retrieved January 6, 2007. ^ "Gold & Platinum Certification". CRIA. 2006. Retrieved January 3, 2006. ^ "The Future of Music Achieves Major Landmark as Gwen Stefani Makes Digital History with One Millionth Commercial Download of 'Hollaback Girl'". Universal Music Group. October 3, 2005. Retrieved January 3, 2006. ^ Kaufman, Gil and Dotiwala, Jasmine. "No Doubt's Tony Kanal Spends Band's Hiatus Producing Reggae LP, Remixing Gwen". MTV News. May 16, 2005. Retrieved December 30, 2006. ^ "For The Record: Quick News On Britney Spears, Green Day, Avril Lavigne, Jennifer Lopez, A Perfect Circle & More". MTV News. June 30, 2004. Retrieved January 3, 2007. ^ "Help us welcome back Adrian!". theSTART official website. September 5, 2006. Retrieved January 23, 2007. ^ "For The Record: Quick News On Mariah, Kid Rock, 'Fantastic Four,' Ne-Yo, Chris Brown, Will.I.Am & More". MTV News. December 22, 2006. Retrieved January 3, 2007. ^ Vineyard, Jennifer and Richard, Yasmine. "No Doubt — Minus Gwen — In Early Stages Of New Album". MTV News. May 12, 2006. Retrieved December 19, 2006. ^ Cohen, Jonathan."Stefani: No Timetable For No Doubt Reunion". Billboard. December 12, 2006. Retrieved December 31, 2006. ^ "new album". 2008. Retrieved March 30, 2008. ^ "Gwen Stefani Says No Doubt Are In The Studio 'Every Day,' Working On Album Expected In 2009". 2008. Retrieved April 1, 2008. ^ "2009 Tour". 2008. Retrieved November 22, 2008. ^ ^ ^ ^ [1]. ^ ^ ^ ^ "43rd Grammy Awards". CNN. 2001-02-21. Retrieved 2008-07-22. ^ "45th Annual Grammy Awards - 2003". Rock on the Net. Retrieved 2008-07-22. ^ "List of Grammy winners". CNN. 2004-02-08. Retrieved 2008-07-22. ^ "Eminem scoops MTV video awards". BBC. 2002-08-30. Retrieved 2008-07-22. ^ "2003 MTV Video Music Awards". Rock on the Net. Retrieved 2008-07-22. ^ "MTV Awards 2004: The winners". BBC. 2004-08-03. Retrieved 2008-07-22.

[edit] External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: No Doubt  

Official site Official YouTube Channel Live Pictures of No Doubt in Edmonton (2009) [show]v • d • eNo Doubt

Tom Dumont · Tony Kanal · Gwen Stefani · Adrian Young John Spence · Eric Stefani Touring band: Stephen Bradley · Gabrial McNair

Albums No Doubt · The Beacon Street Collection · Tragic Kingdom · Return of Saturn · Rock Steady

Singles "Trapped In a Box" · "Squeal" · "Doghouse" · "Just a Girl" · "Spiderwebs" · "Don't Speak" · "Excuse Me Mr." · "Happy Now?" · "Sunday Morning" · "Hey You" · "New" · "Ex-Girlfriend" · "Simple Kind of Life" · "Bathwater" · "Hey Baby" · "Hella Good" · "Underneath It All" · "Running" · "It's My Life"

Compilations The Singles 1992–2003 · Boom Box · Everything in Time

DVDs Live in the Tragic Kingdom · Rock Steady Live · The Videos 1992–2003

Tour Summer Tour 2009

Related articles Discography · Awards

[show]v • d • eGwen Stefani

Albums Love. Angel. Music. Baby. · The Sweet Escape

Singles "What You Waiting For?" · "Rich Girl" · "Hollaback Girl" · "Cool" · "Luxurious" · "Crash"• "Wind It Up" · "Yummy" · "The Sweet Escape" · "4 in the Morning" · "Now That You Got It" · "Early Winter"

Guest appearances "South Side" · "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" · "Can I Have It like That"

Related articles Discography · Awards and nominations · No Doubt · L.A.M.B. · Harajuku Lovers · Harajuku Girls · Gavin Rossdale

Tours "Harajuku Lovers Tour 2005" · "The Sweet Escape Tour"

Retrieved from "" Categories: American alternative rock groups | Grammy Award winners | Interscope Records artists | Musical groups established in 1986 | No Doubt | Orange County musical groups | Musical quartets | Third-wave ska groups | 1990s music groups | 2000s music groups | American ska musical groups Hidden categories: All articles with unsourced statements | Articles with unsourced statements from December 2008ViewsArticle Discussion Edit this page History Personal toolsTry Beta Log in / create account Navigation Main page Contents Featured content Current events Random article Search


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This page was last modified on 3 September 2009 at 20:54. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. See Terms of Use for details. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization. Privacy policy About Wikipedia Disclaimers It is not mandatory to register a callsign ( the name a player uses in-game), but it is highly recommended.

A few of the benefits of registering are:

  • The callsign is reserved, and can not be used by any other player.
  • Registered users post on the BZFlag forums
  • Registered users can join global groups, and leagues.
  • Many servers require registration to play.

Users that wish to register can simply do so on the BZFlag forums at

Running the game

Once the game is installed, it must be run to play.


Windows users that have installed the game with the provided installer will find a shortcut to the game in the start menu, under program files. Users simply have to click this shortcut to start the game.

Mac OS X

Macintosh users simply have to double click the BZFlag icon that they dragged to their Applications folder to start the game.


Linux, and other unix based platforms can start the game by typing the command bzflag in a terminal.

Joining a game

When the game is first started it will show the main menu screen. Users navigate the menu by using the Up and Down arrow keys to highlight a menu item, and using the enter key to select and activate the highlighted item.

Main Menu

The main menu includes a number of menu items that lead to sub menus. The most important menu for new players is the Join Game item.

The Main Menu

Join Game Menu

Users wishing to join an internet game in progress should choose the Join Game item from the main menu.

On the first run of the game software all the fields in the Join Menu will be empty. Players need to use the arrow keys to highlight the Callsign item and input a player name. This name will be how other players see the user. Registered users should use the same callsign that they registered when playing. Registered users should also enter in their password into the item marked password. This password is only used for to verify your identity and is NEVER sent to the game server.

The e-mail string is optional and usually left blank by many users.

Once this information has been entered, the user must choose a server to play on. Servers are games of BZFlag that are hosted on the internet. There are over 200 servers to choose from. A listing of all the servers can be found by highlighting the Find Server menu item to bring up the server list.


Server List

The server list menu shows a listing of all publicly available internet games. The list is sorted by the number of players on each server at any time, and will dynamically change over time. The servers with the highest player counts will always be at the top of the list.

The various servers can be highlighted using the arrow keys, and additional information about the highlighted game will be shown at the top of the screen. Once the user has chosen a server to join they must hit the enter key to select the server and return to the Join Game Menu.

The Serverlist

Entering a Game

When a server is choosen from the Server List, it's information will be automatically entered into the appropriate fields in the Join Game menu. The user may then choose a team color, or leave the setting on automatic if they wish the server to assign them to a team.

When all the information is entered, the user simply has to choose connect menu item, and they will join the game. If additional textures or resources are needed to join the game, they will be downloaded automatically.

Playing BZFlag

Once the user has joined the game they will be able to enjoy the gameplay that has made BZFlag one of the most popular open source games in history.


The basic controls for the game are rather simple.

By default the mouse is used for movement. Moving the mouse up and down will move the tank forwards and backwards, while moving the mouse left and right will cause the tank to turn in that direction. Returning the mouse to the center of the screen will cause the tank to stop moving.

The left mouse button is used to fire the tank's weapon.

Optionally the keyboard can be used. The arrow keys control movement in the same way as the mouse, and the space bar is used to drop the flag you are carrying. The 'enter' key is used to fire the tanks weapon

Some servers offer a feature that allows tanks to jump. The tab key is used to start a small jump into the air. When jumping a tank normally can not change its speed or direction until it lands. Depending on the map, it may be possible for tanks to jump and land on various world objects and continue to fight.


BZFlag is a team game, and has various objectives depending on the game type.

The default game type is Free For All, commonly abbreviated as FFA. This mode is similar to a team death match in other first person shooting type games. The objective is to destroy as many tanks as possible on other teams, while minimizing your own losses. Tanks are destroyed by being shot, in most cases one shot is all it takes to kill an enemy tank.

Capture the Flag is another common game type. Its objective is to pick up the flag from an opposing team and return it to your base. Tanks are destroyed the same way as in FFA games.

The least common type of game is Rabbit Hunt. In this game mode, one user is a white-colored rabbit tank, and everyone else is a orange-colored hunter tank. The hunter tank(s) must chase and kill the rabbit tank. The hunter tank which kills the rabbit tank then becomes the rabbit tank.

Non-Standard Teams

Usually, you may not shoot members of your own team. But, there is one exception to this rule, called the rogue team. Rogue tanks are black in the view window, and yellow on the radar. They may shoot their "teammates", and gain points for it. This is because rogue tanks are each on a one-man team of their own. Rogue tanks are usually found on Free For All maps, but are occasionally found on CTF maps.


There are four different kinds of flags on an average server:

  • Team flags are colored to correspond with the teams on the map. The idea is to grab the other team's flag and bring it back to your base.
  • Superflags are "power ups" for your tank. Some examples of superflags can be Guided Missile (Allows your tank to lock onto and shoot others), laser (Allows your tank to shoot an infinitely fast and long laser beam), and Stealth (Your tank does not appear on radar).
  • Bad Flags restrict the movement or actions of your tank. Some bad flags are 'No Jumping, Obesity, Trigger Happy, and Left turn only.
  • Antidote flags are flags that appear only when you have a bad flag. Driving over an antidote flag removes the bad flag from your tank.
Customizing Controls

You can alter most of the controls in the menu (or, if you prefer, by editing the BZFlag config file.) In the menu it is located at Options > Input settings > Key mapping

To assign a keystroke, mouse button or joystick button to a particular command select the command with Up or Down arrows, press Enter and press the keystroke or button you wish to associate with that command. You can assign two different keystrokes/buttons to a given command, by repeating the assignment process.

Note: you can assign a keystroke or button already in use for a different command, but if you do remember that the old command will be unmapped..

To delete an assignment select the command with Up or Down arrows and press Delete. If the command has two assignments, the first (leftmost) assignment is deleted, and the second (rightmost) assignment takes its place.

Interface Elements

Most of the interface elements can be changed in the GUI settings, or by editing the config file.


Once a player has joined a server, they should notice a number of things, including the scoreboard.

Internet games commonly feature between 5 and 20 players. The names of these players will be listed in the scoreboard on the left hand side of the screen. The scoreboard can be hidden and shown by using the S key. The scoreboard is usually set up to show a players name, score, teamkills, email string, flag, kills/deaths, and the amount of kills/deaths you have scored against that player. For example, in this scoreboard, player "Andrey" has a score of 2, 0 teamkills, and email string of "Andrey@andreypc", has the SW (shock wave) flag, has 8 kills, 6 deaths, and has been killed by player "me1" 0 times, and has killed player "me1" once. Flags whose names are in white are powerful flags. Team flags are always the color of that team on the scoreboard. Other flags are just the same color as the player using them.

The Scoreboard
Team Scoreboard

There is also a scoreboard for team scores. In FFA this shows the kills, deaths, and overall score. In CTF this shows the amount of flags that team has captured, and the amount of times their flag was captured, and the score. Also, to the right is the amount of players on that team. The rogue team is never included on the team scoreboard.

The Team Scoreboard

The Radar (In the bottom left), shows a bird's eye, 2d view of the map. This is useful for dodging bullets, and seeing where other players are in relation to the users' tank. The user's tank is displayed in the center of the radar, in white. Two lines from the user's "blip" on the radar represent the user's FOV (Field of view). The user's bullets are also displayed in white. Other teams are shown on the radar in their respective color, red shown in red, green shown in green, etc. The rogue team is shown in yellow. Flags are shown as little x's, and team flags as colored x's. A square is also around each radar "blip." This represents height. The larger the square, the higher something is. If a "blip" has an X through it, that tank has a flag.

The Radar


When playing BZFlag, it is important to keep a few simple rules in mind:

  • Players should never shoot tanks on their own team (except for the rogue players).
  • Players should be civil to other players in all respects.
A Screenshot of a standard 2.0.9 client playing on Missile War 2