World units

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A world unit is the basic unit of measure when dealing with BZFlag. World units have no real-world counterpart, as they are a purely virtual concept, but they can be though of to be equivalent to about 1 meter in length if you assume a roughly real world sized tank.

All coordinates in the map file are specified in World Units. Many Server Variables are specified in terms of world units or world units per second as well.


The origin for the World coordinate system is the center of the map.


World Units are oriented in a normal right hand rule coordinate system with positive Z being the "UP" direction.


"north" on the in game radar is the positive Y direction in map coordinates.

Figure 1

This image shows a typical map, with the origin and axis directions clearly marked out. MapCoordinateSystem.png

Some useful measures at default settings

Jump height limit (next to impossible) See below 18.42
Common jump height See below 17.0
Tank length _tankLength 6.0
Tank width _tankWidth 2.8
Tank height _tankHeight 2.05
Barrel height _muzzleHeight 1.57
Drivable bump height _bumpHeight 0.33

Calculating jump height

Jump height is determined by the gravity and jump velocity settings on the server (see Server Variables for details). Note that the jump velocity and gravity may be altered by flags including Low Gravity and Wings.

Max jump height = -(_jumpVelocity)2 / (2 * (_gravity))

A typical BZFlag player can reliably jump a bit more than 90% of the maximum jump height.