Getting Started

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Revision as of 23:57, 18 February 2008 by (Talk)

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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.

Step 1 - Downloading and installing the game

To start playing, you obviously need to download the game, you can do so right here. Click on the link for your Operating System.

After BZFlag has completed downloading, you you can install the game.

  • On Windows, it should appear in the start menu, under "BZFlag2.0.10", assuming you downloaded and installed 2.0.10.
  • On OS X, you can click on the .dmg, and then drag the "BZFlag 2.0.10" icon into the applications folder
  • On Linux, you can either build from the source, or your you can install a package. (On Debian based OSes, "apt-get install bzflag" installs version 2.0.8)

Step 2 - Registering your callsign (Optional)

It is not mandatory to register your callsign, but it is recommended. Here are a few benefits to registering:

  • Your callsign is reserved, no one can take it.
  • Registering gives you an identity, so you can have "proof" of who you are
  • Registering allows you to post on the forums
  • You can join groups, and leagues.

If you are still interested in registering (it is highly recommended), then follow this link.

Step 3 - Entering your callsign, and joining the game

The Main Menu

When you start up BZFlag, you will probably see a screen similar to this one. The main menu is used to get to all of the games options:

  • The Join game screen, which is covered below
  • The Options (settings), these are used to control key mapping, display options, effects settings, etc..
  • Save Settings is used to save your current options to your configuration file
  • Help is used to access the in-game help and information
The Main Menu

The Join Game Menu

For now, we will be concentrating on the "Join Game" Screen.

This screen allows you do quite a few things, such as:

  • Find and select a server
  • Enter your Username (and password, if you registered.)
  • Select a team (Red, Green, Blue, Purple, Rogue, and Observer)
  • Enter an email string. (Note: Most users do not enter their email here, instead, they usually have a catch phrase, team, etc..)
The Join Game screen. Here we see the user "Winny" is going to connect to the server as an observer.

The Server List

If you want to see a list of current servers, move to the "Find Server" option. A second or two after you select this, a series of servers will appear on the list, with the most popular servers being first. Select one that sounds good, and you will be returned to the "Join Game" screen. Then select "Connect", and you will join the server. Once the join is complete, you will see a list of users, a server message, and any other info (such as chat), in the chat box.

The Serverlist

Playing BZFlag

Once you've joined a server, you are going to be playing with anywhere from 5-35 other people. Their names are listed on an in-game screen, which can be enabled or disabled by pressing "s". This list shows a few things:

  • Current players
  • Player score (Kills, deaths, teamkills, etc..)
  • Current teams (Each color represents a team)
  • CTF Score (If the map is a CTF (Capture The Flag), then the current CTF score is in the top-right)


The Radar (In the bottom left), shows a top, 2d view of the map. This is useful for dodging bullets, and making sure no one sneaks up behind you.

Mouse Box

The "mousebox" is used for a few things:

  • Helps you aim. The tiny rectangle in the middle shows where your bullets are going to go
  • Your altitude. The sides of the mousebox have markings, showing how high off the ground you are.
  • Reload time. To the left of the mousebox, there are small rectangles, each of which show how long until a shot is reloaded. The number of boxes depend on the number of shots on the server.


When playing BZFlag, keep a few simple rules in mind:

  • Don't shoot at people on your own team.
  • Make sure to not accidentally carry your team flag everywhere. (This is called flag running)
  • If you're nice to others, they will be nice to you. (Keep the language clean, be polite, etc..)
A typical server. This client has modified textures, so it will not look identical to yours.