UT 2004 Guide

MadHookUp’s UT 2004 Guide

Updated 5/14/2004

For those of you who might have read my original UT Tips I have decided to create an updated version for UT 2004. This guide is intended for any player that just wants to improve their own abilities, or their clans. Regardless of your skill level, I am sure that you will find several things that will help you. Personally I am a CTF player, so I lean that way in this guide. Regardless of that, you will find useful information no matter what mod you play.

I have divided this guide into several sections. I start off with Tweak, Binds, and INI section. This seems to be the most popular part of my original UT Tips. You will basically find different ways you can tweak your ini and create binds. The next section of the guide goes into the different in-game settings you might want to play with. I then move on to some things that you will want to practice. I go into detail on what your clan can do to improve as a team, like how to setup and run strategies, practices, scrims, and matches. In effort to further help out your clan, I included some CTF Tips, and how to get on IRC and become part of the UT community. At the end of the manual I talk about different types of hardware and customization that is available. Like how to customize the Logitech MX500, 510, and 700 mouse in more detail. I also talk about what type of keyboard you arrow people should be using. And I recently purchased the Nostromo Speed Pad, so I will let you know more about that.

I would specifically like to give special thanks to Iron Monkey and Bigglesworth for their insight and advice back in the original UT days, and now UT 2004. Since I haven’t play UT2K3 and I am pretty new to UT2004, there is still more for me to learn about this game. Therefore I plan on updating this guide as often as possible. I would love to hear from anyone who has read this! You can send me questions, other tips, or any feedback as to what you thought of the guide.

AIM: TheMadHookUp

Updates 5/14/2004
My customized version of IRC that’s already set up to join both of UT’s main IRC servers, and instructions to set it up for yourself
Updated the Hammer Jump Information
Trans Wall Dodges
Hardware section and details on customizing your MX Series mouse
Made my user.ini and ut2004.ini files available for download
Hardware recommendations for those stubborn people out there still using the arrow keys.

Tweaks, Binds, INI

All the things I list in here can be edited in you user.ini file, located it the UT2004/System directory. There might be some changes that need to be done to the ut2004.ini file. I will let you know specifically when you will be editing the ut2004.ini, otherwise plan to be editing the user.ini. You can use notepad as your editor.

Update: Due to popular demand I have decided to make my User.ini and UT2004.ini available for download. Some of the configuration might not make a whole lot of sense, now that I use the Nostromo Pad

Note: When you go to edit your user.ini file. The Alias section will be torwards the top of the file. And all your keybindings will around the middle. So when you go to bind something to a key, scroll down a little and you should see every key on your keyboard with an “=” after it. Just place the bind there.

I would like to start off by showing you a picture of my mouse and how I have my buttons laid out. This mouse seems to be the most popular gaming mouse that is out right now due to its dpi and 8 buttons. The cordless version is the Logitech mx700 and the corded version is the MX510. Even if you don’t use this mouse, or have any plans to use it, read on. I will show you how I have key binds set for certain buttons.

On the left hand side of the mouse I have two buttons. I binded the big button for Translocator/Use. Since I like to play CTF and ONS, I made one key function as the translocator in CTF, and it will function as “Use” in ONS. USE is the button you press to enter a vehicle. So you look under your user.ini file and add the following….

key=SwitchWeapon 10 | Use

Now the other thumb button I use is for a shield jump. Basically it’s an automated key bind that allows you to jump higher than you normally would. To do a shield jump, you pull out your shield, press and hold the primary fire weapon, point the shield at the ground, jump, and just as you jump, release the shield. You will slam the ground with your shield and it will make you jump higher. But you will lose some energy for this. The longer you have the shield gun charged, the more energy you will lose, but the higher you will jump. But this key bind is designed so that you only need to press 1 key or button. You don’t have to worry about jumping and firing the shield gun at the right time. You can also do a double jump when doing the shield jump. So make sure you jump again for some extra hight.

If you want to use this bind, open your user.ini, find aliases, and add this…

Aliases[36]=(Command=”SwitchWeapon 1 | Button bFire | OnRelease Jump | onrelease switchtolastweapon”,Alias=”Hammer”) 

Then whatever key you want to use for the hammer jump, type in hammer next to the key.


Another nice feature about this key bind is that it will pull out the last weapon you were using before you did the hammer jump. If you don’t want to pull your last weapon out, change “onrelease switchtolastweapon” to “Fire.”

Take a look at my mouse wheel. You will see there is a button directly above it, and two below it. These buttons require me to take my trigger finger off my primary fire button. So I need to make sure that whatever I bind to these buttons, are functions that dont require me to fire a weapon.

The button directly above my mouse wheel will select my best weapon. I use that to pull out the redeemer.

The mouse wheel gets a little complicated. If you use your mouse wheel to scroll through your entire weapon selection, there is a problem. The best setup you can possibly have is to bind 1 weapon to every key. You will be able to pull out any weapon you want very quickly. This takes some practice, but one alternative that makes life easier is the Pipedswitch function.

Lets first look at the number of each weapon when it comes to the user.ini file.


Now when I scroll my mouse wheel up, it will be going in a different order than usual. Mouse scroll up will roll through my best long range weapons. The first thing it does is search for my shock rifle. If I don’t have the shock rifle, it will search for the lightning gun. Then it will go to sniper, and finally assault. Lets pretend that you have all 4 weapons. And you keep scrolling up. It will switch between your top 2 weapons… Shock and Lightning(LG). Now if you have Shock and Sniper, but no LG. It will switch between those two. So it switches between the the highest valued weapons in the chain that you have set. Now when I scroll down, I have it set to scroll through my close range weapons. I have it going in order by Flak, Mini, Rockets, Link, Bio. Now my middlemouse button will switch between Link and Rockets. They are the two weapons that aren’t in my top 2 that I use on a regular basis.

MouseWheelUp=PipedSwitchWeapon 4 | PipedSwitchWeapon 9 | PipedSwitchWeapon 0 | PipedSwitchWeapon 2

MouseWheelDown=PipedSwitchWeapon 6 | PipedSwitchWeapon 7 | PipedSwitchWeapon 8 | PipedSwitchWeapon 5 | PipedSwitchWeapon 3

MiddleMouse= PipedSwitchWeapon 8 | PipedSwitchWeapon 5 

Now you can take my binds and put weapons in the order that you want to use them in. Its all based on your preference. But with pipedswitch you can pull out the weapon of choice much faster than scrolling through them.

The button below my mouse wheel is used for throwing my weapon.

The 2nd button directly under my mouse wheel is another key bind for the shield gun. Instead of loading a charge, I have this bind enable my shield. This is useful when you are low on energy or falling from long distance. You can use the shield to lower the damage. And when you release the button, it will put the shield away and select your last weapon.

key=switchweapon 1 | altfire | onrelease switchtolastweapon

This bind will display your health, shield, weapon, and location to your team members. And it will also play the sound, “I’m on it” Personally I dont think anyone really cares what weapon I am holding, so I removed that part from my personal bind.

Aliases[ # ]=(Command=”Teamsay Status{%h}{%s}{%w}{%L} | speech ACK 2″,Alias=MyStatus)

You can set specific mouse sensitivity for each weapon. Weapons like the shock rifle and and lightning gun would be better off with a low mouse sensitivity, while weapons like rockets and flak would be better off with higher sensitivity. So you can use this bind to set a specific mouse sensitivity for each weapon.

key=set Engine.PlayerInput MouseSensitivity 1 | switchweapon 9
key=set Engine.PlayerInput MouseSensitivity 2 | switchweapon 7

Now depending on the server you are playing on, you can set a different Field of View(FOV) for each weapon you use. I go into detail later in the guide as to what Field of View actually does, but certain weapons work better with a low FOV, and others work better with a high FOV. Now the reason I say it depends on what server you are on, is because some servers block the ability to change your FOV in mid game. Some even kick you off the server. Its not cheating, but just be aware of it.

key=switchweapon 1 | fov 80

You can also make an alias to create a zoom feature with FOV. Good for Lightning/Shock/Sniper. When you press and hold the key, it will use a low FOV. On release, it will go back to the FOV that you specify. Change the FOV value to suit your needs.

Aliases[37]=(Command=”fov 80 | onrelease fov 110″,Alias=”zoom”)

Aliases are pretty cool because you can bind several aliases into one key. This should make your user.ini a little cleaner and easier to update. The one I list below is like the zoom above, but it also changes the mouse sensitivity. A lower mouse sensitivity and fov will help with the longe range weapons.

Aliases[37]=(Command=”fov 110 | set Engine.PlayerInput MouseSensitivity 2.0″,Alias=”normfov”)
Aliases[37]=(Command=”fov 80 | set Engine.PlayerInput MouseSensitivity 1.25″,Alias=”zoomfov”)
key=set input Alt zoomfov | onrelease set input Alt normfov
key=switchweapon 4 | set input Alt zoomfov

The following keybind will show the score menu, then when you let go of the button, the menu will disappear. This is useful to find out the location of your Flag Carrier and other teammates.

key=ShowScores | onrelease ShowScores

Now for one of the best ini tweaks that I have seen out there! You can legally make all the skins in the game much brighter. You can also force all people in the game to use the same skin, so it makes people easier to see by forcing a large player skin on them. One of the biggest complaints since the release of the game is that it’s very difficult to see people. I think this is caused by the new characters in UT 2004. They seem to have more of their own colors, instead of the teams colors. In the original UT, each skin had a brightly colored suit on them. Some people have had some trouble getting this to work. Start off with the user ini file. Open it in notepad, and do a search for[XGame.xPawn] and then check for the lines below it. If you see the line below it, change the value next to the “=” to match it. If you dont see the line, add it. Now if you do a search in the ut2004.ini and you dont have[UnrealGame.DeathMatch] in there, add it. Things are added to your ini as you play the game. That field only gets added if you played instant action death match. If you want to be a little more precise, you can do a search line by line of the code I listed below, just make sure you dont search after the “=”. Search “PlacedCharacterName=” not “PlacedCharacterName=Gorge

Note: This is forcing all your opponents to use the Gorge skin on YOUR screen. So if you do not like the Gorge skin, you can choose any of the following: Tamika, Ophelia, Sapphire, Rylisa, Jakob, Gorge, Malcolm, Rapier, Roc, Mokara, Brutalis





Bright Skins before and after

Props to the person who created this picture, not sure who it was.

If you would like to turn off the noise your footsteps make, so you can only hear other people’s footsteps, you need to open your user.ini file. Find the following sections…


Under each section, add or edit the following line 


Weapon Show -Many of the best players have their weapon hidden. You want to be able to see as much as possible on your screen. At first I was a little reluctant to do this. I was like, “How much more can you actually see.” After playing this way, I dont think I will ever go back. When you take weapon show off, you will learn to hear what weapon you pull out and you will still have the bar at the bottom. Now if you follow my tips, you will always know what weapon you have anyway through key binds.

This is mostly preference. Iron told me that he uses a pink dot. Pink because no maps use that color, it stands out compared to the other colors. Back in UT1, other people said that doing a moving shock combo is much easier with a bigger crosshair. I find that to be true. But in UT2004, shock combos are pretty easy anyway.

Autotaunts off 
They are stupid and distracting. And the advantage of having them off is being able to know when someone really is talking smack on you, instead of it being at auto taunt. I am sure to try a little harder next time I face that person, and toss some smack back.

Autoswitch Weapons Off – I am actually a bit upset at myself that when I started playing the game, I had this feature on. If you use it, make sure to turn it off. You dont want to back over a weapon and have it switch during a fight. Lets say you are playing CTF, and you are using your trans to catch up to the enemy flag carrier. You will need to pick up some weapons on the way. With this setting on, it will be very difficult to catch up since you will be constantly switching back to your translocator. .

Music – Turn this all the way off. You want to hear the sounds of your enemies and fire more than you want to hear pretty music.

Map Loads – If you feel as if maps are taking too long to load, you change the following setting to speed it up. Under settings…games… uncheck the “Preload all player skins” box.

Dynamic Lighting – Make sure this is turned on. The flag gives off a bright glow that can only be seen with this setting on. This option will help you find an enemy flag carrier who is hiding somewhere much easier.

Coronas – Turn these things off! In the original UT coronas were very distracting. No so much in UT2004, but still a pain. They make lights on maps glow annoyingly bright, creating a glare-like affect. You won’t be missing anything with these turned off.

FOV – Field of View
Ok, FOV will change your game. FOV stands for field of view. To change your FOV, you open the UT console by hitting the “~” key. The key to the left of “1” and type “fov 110 ” or whatever value you want to try. Don’t add the quotes. Now my friend Iron Monkey uses a FOV of 120. Many people find that to be insane. Let me try and explain what FOV does before describing the advantages and disadvantages. A weird way of thinking of it, is like this: When you change your FOV, you change where your eyes are located on your head. FOV 90-100 is close to human. Going over 100 takes some time getting used to. So lets say you choose a 130 FOV, how does this differ from 90? Basically you are taking your eyeballs, and moving them out more towards the side of your head, like a fish. Pro’s and Con’s. The advantages are this. You can see more on either side of you. But most people, including me, will tell you that they don’t use a high FOV just to see more. Changing your FOV makes the game play seem SOOOO much faster. It feels like someone increased the game speed, making it much more fun to play. When I try FOV 90, it feels like I am playing in mud. There is a downside though. By increasing the vision on the sides of your head, you are shrinking your vision straight in front of you. Looking down long maps can be difficult. It also makes people harder to hit with weapons such as Primary shock, or Lightning because your target is a little smaller. Those of you reading this that have never tried a different view may go and try changing it now. The night I changed my FOV I was playing with my clan just for fun on our server. I was on the phone with Iron at the time. He told me over and over that I was going to hate it at first, but not to quit. So I did. As we played that night I was getting owned nonstop. I had a lot of trouble getting use to a FOV of 130. But he kept telling me to stick with it. If it weren’t for Iron on the phone with me, I would have just ignored him and played with 90. So I conttinued to get owned. Shock combos were really hard to pull off because I couldn’t judge distance, and everything seemed warped. But seriously, try it. From my learning experience with FOV, this is the easiest way to get used to it. Turn your FOV to 150. NOW THAT IS WEIRD! Make the FOV 150 and play for one hour. Then change the FOV to 140 and play for another hour. Then change the FOV to 130 and play for another hour. Then, go back to FOV 90. Wanna bet money you will go straight back to 130? I know I did. Going back to 90 feels like you are playing in slow motion. It’s awful. I really ask you to give it an honest try. Many people who actually gave 130 an honest effort either love it, or decided on something like 110-120. I have to say though, 100 is a minimum for me! I think rockets and flak lost a lot of their power from UT to UT2k4, making hit scan weapons a little more powerful. I know some people that use FOV 85 just so they can dominate with shock and Lightning Gun. But its really up to you. I just suggest you give it a try. Personally I am using 110 now and I might go back up to 120. I included screenshots of FOV 90, 110, and 130.

Note: Some people had some questions regarding the FOV. UT2004 lets you edit your FOV inside the normal game settings, but only allows you to change it up to 100. If you want to go higher, you need to open the console. So if you open the console, type “fov 110”, then exit the game. When you go back into the game, your FOV will still be 110. Even if your UT menus still value your FOV at 100 or whatever, that does not matter. It will save the last FOV that you typed in the console.


FOV 110

FOV 130

How to Improve

Dodging – One of the most important qualities of a good UT player is his movement, especially if you want to play as a Flag carrier. An experienced player will tell you that most of your fragging skills come from your ability to predict the other player’s movements. And if you are able to move well, may it be dodging, dodge jumping, or wall dodges, your enemy will have a much harder time killing you. So make sure you are never standing still and that you are never walking in straight lines. If you aren’t dodging 90% of the time, even when walking from place to place, you are doing something wrong.

Wall Dodging – If you didn’t know already, you can dodge off of walls. Its a tricky move that is not done as often as it should be. You can gain access to certain items that you normally couldn’t reach with a regular dodge or dodge jump.

Trans Wall Dodging – Throw your translocator up near the side of a high wall. Translocate there, then dodge off the wall. Its not really hard to do, but its difficult for your opponent to shoot you since they cannot shoot at your feet with splash damage, and you are moving fairly fast for hitscan.

Dodging Combos – Someone recently asked me what the limitations are when doing combinations of jumping and dodging. The most you can do is 2 jumps and a single dodge. So you could jump against a wall, dodge off, and then do a quick jump. Or, you could double jump against a wall and then do a dodge. But you cannot dodge and do a double jump. Nor can you dodge to a wall and then dodge off of it.

Dodging Left – You would be surprised how some people struggle with dodging left, especially dodge-jumping left. Practice this a lot, and keep it in mind when fighting an opponent. If you notice that they never do it, they become a much easier kill.

Hammer Jump – I included the bind above on how to do this. You basically charge up your shield, point it torwards the ground. Jump, and release the shield. You will lose some health, but you will be able to jump higher, and reach places you normally couldn’t. The longer you charge the shield, the higher you will jump, and the more enery you will lose. Keep in mind that after doing a hammer jump, you can also finish with a double jump for more hight.

Lift/Elevator Jump – In any map that has a lift, or a platform that rises once you step on it, you can use this lift to gain extra height on a jump. Just as the lift begins to go up, perform a jump. This will cause you to jump much higher than normal. This is very useful to reach platforms you normally cannot. Many lifts are placed in spots to be utilized in this fashion, as lift jumps.

Predicting – Try to learn the patterns that your opponents move in. Many players move a certain way, and many players move that way ALL THE TIME. Predicting a players movements also has many factors. Like their weapon/health/path. If you see your opponent running down a certain hallway, instead of chasing them, learn the map and know the most likely spot they are going to come out of. If your opponent has a weak weapons or low health, they might be going for one. Make sure you slam them as they are getting close to reaching it.

Demos – I also suggest that you take demo’s of yourself playing. Then watch your demo’s afterwards. While watching yourself play, you might see some of the things you do that are predictable. When facing another opponent, I can often tell what mistakes they are making. You can do the same for yourself by watching your play. When playing the demo you can switch your view in the console by typing either “behindview 0” or “behindview 1” You can also hit F4.

Bio Goo Jump – You can use the bio rifle to dodge or jump to further locations. Drop about 3 drops of primary goo in one spot. Take out your shield and activate it, jump on the goo, and you will jump higher than normal. You can also place goo against a wall, and dodge off of it to a further spot.

Servers – Try to play on servers with just ladder maps. No custom map servers. It’s better to play exlusively on maps that you will be playing in matches. An added bonus is that servers that only play ladder maps commonly attract the best players/competition..

Spectating – When eating dinner, or if you are just bored, hop on a server as a spectator and just watch the guys with the highest scores; you can learn a lot from these people. If you want to get a first person view, open the console and type, “behindview 0 ” or hit F4. Instead of seeing the players character, you will see the game as if you were playing.

Throw Weapon – Little note. Some people don’t use the “throw weapon” key. Throwing your weapon is crucial when playing CTF. Especially since a shock combo costs 5 ammo. If you have 3 rounds left on your shock rifle; drop it, and then pick up a new shock rifle with 20 rounds.

Weapons – Practice all weapons! Dedicate an entire day to playing with just 1 weapon! When you learn to play well with all the weapons, it will make a huge difference!

Understanding Weapon Damage – Below is a chart of all the weapons in UT, and the average damage that each of them do. Its important to know this chart for a couple reasons. Many people get stuck using the same weapon during a fight with another player. Depending on the distance and health of your opponent, you might need to switch weapons in mid battle. If you land a shock combo near your opponent, and they do not die. You will probably be better off switching to mini or secondary link to finish them off. So knowing the damage each weapon does, will give you a good idea as to how much health your opponent has and what weapon you should be using to fight that person. If you feel as if your opponent is down to 7 health, the assault rifle would actually be a pretty good weapon choice. If you are fighting an opponent from long range, you can use the Lightning Gun on them. At that point you know they are at 30 health(Unless they have shields). If your opponent is still a long distance from you, switch to Shock. You have a higher rate of fire, meaning you can get more rounds off than the LG, and you only need to take 30 dmg off. Shock does 45. If they are close range, you can use mini or pulse.

Weapon Damage Table – Special thanks for spineblaZe

Weapon Damage
Shield Gun – Tapped Primary 40
Shield Gun – Fully Charged Primary 150
Assault Rifle – Primary 7
Assault Rifle – Grenade 63-69
Bio Rifle – Primary 35
Bio Rifle – Full Charge Secondary Took away 150 shield and 69 health
Shock Rifle – Primary 45
Shock Rifle – Secondary 36-40
Shock Rifle – Combo Varies – 191 was the max damage attained
Link Gun – 1 Energy Burst, primary fire 30
Link Gun – Steady stream 9
Mini Gun – Primary 6-8
Mini Gun – Secondary 14-16
Flak Cannon – Primary fire close range 117
Flak Cannon – Secondary 90-120
Rocket Launcher – 1 Rocket 80-95
Lightning Gun – Body Shot 70
Lightning Gun – Head Shot 140
Sniper Rifle – Body Shot 60
Sniper Rifle – Head Shot 120

Defensive Movements – A good player will change his defensive movements and distance based on the weapon you are fighting against him with. When someone is trying to kill you with the shock rifle, you want to get in close to them, so they cannot perform a shock combo. If someone is using Link secondary on you, you want to force them to spin around by dodging all around them. If someone is using flak primary, you want to gain more distance. If they are using flak secondary, you want to let them fire before you begin your dodge. If your enemy gets your dodging pattern down, they will lob a secondary shell on you perfectly.

Weapon Switching – Try switching between a long range and short range weapon during a battle. This will throw your enemy off because you can shoot a lightning shot at your opponent, then quickly fire a splash damage weapon like rockets or flak at them. Lightning gun is better for long ranges. So firing this weapon might draw your opponent in close to you, and you will surprise him with a quick close range attack.

Shock vs. Lightning – When a player is in mid-range, you are better off using the shock rifle. If the distance between you and your enemy grows to be to long to perform a successful shock combo, break out the Lightning gun. One time you should use Shock primary over Lightning primary is when you are trying to push your enemy. The primary fire of the shock rifle will actually push players. So if an enemy is running down a narrow bridge or pathway, you can knock them off with primary shock. Another reason to use shock is if your opponent has low health.

Grounding Affect – Those of you who played UT should remember that the minigun has a grounding affect. It basically means that when you are getting fired upon by this weapon, it makes your movement very slow. It will affect dodging distance and, in a way, it paralyzes you. Mini no longer has this affect in UT 2004, but the Link gun does. So when trying to hinder your opponents movements, use the link secondary.

Shields – This is the way it was explained to me. If you have shields between 100 and 150, they will take 100% of the damage. If your shields are between 51-99 it will take 75% of the damage. And if its between 1-50, it will take 50% of the damage. Your health is also a factor. If your health is over 75, your total health will be your Hit Points + Shield. If your health is below 50, and you have 50 armor, you double your health points.

Adrenaline Moves 
Speed : forward, forward, forward, forward
Health Regen : back, back, back, back
Invisibility : Right, Right, Left, Left
Berserk (Fire Faster): forward, forward, back, back

You need 100 Adrenaline to perform these moves.

Steps to Success: Organization, Map Strategies, Practice, Scrimmages, then Matches

The first step in organizing your clan is deciding on what ladders you are going to be playing on. Two of the most popular ladders for UT 2004 are Proving Grounds and Team Warfare League . The next decision that needs to be made is which map you want your clan to choose as its primary map. There are several things that should go into consideration as to which map you choose.

There are several things that I personally do when trying to decide the clan’s map.

•  The first thing that I do is make a list of all the maps for each ladder my clan will be playing on.
•  If you are on more than one ladder, make a list of maps that aren’t on both. You can either avoid these maps as your main map because both ladders don’t share them; or you can try to use this to your advantage and choose a map from each ladder since other clans might be avoiding them for the same reason. That is up to you.
•  The next thing I do is check the match history of every single clan on the ladder, and put a tally next to each map that was played.
•  After I tally all the maps, I see which maps seem to be the most popular among the ladders. I take the top 3 maps and make them my priority practice maps.
•  None of these 3 maps will be considered the clan’s main map due to their popularity
•  Another thing you can do is check out the map choices of the clans that you plan on playing regularly. This might be a little hard to determine at first. But when you get a feel for where your clan will be positioned on a ladder, you should try and avoid sharing the main map of a rival clan. The purpose of the clan’s main map is to give you an advantage over your opponent. So selecting a popular map among your competition might be hurting you in the long run.
•  The next thing you need to look at is the strengths of your clan. If your clan is more talented with close range weapons such as mini, flak, and rockets, an enclosed map with lots of hallways such as Chrome might be better suited for you. If your team is strong with hit scan weapons like the Lightning Gun or Shock Rifle, a wide-open map, for example Citadel, might be a better choice for you.
•  Finally, the most important part of map decision will be your strategy. Whatever map you feel you can create a great strategy for, should be your main map.

Now exactly what purpose does a map strategy serve? A successful map strategy will have all the players in their proper positions. Every player will know their role, and the roles of their teammates. No matter what is occurring during the match, you will know what is expected of you at all times. But the most important part of your strategy is to throw the other team off theirs.

I have created a simplified way of creating map strategies. We first make a list from 1-5, and each number will be given a list of AT LEAST 4 possible scenarios, maybe more.

Scenario #1 – What is your job function when both flags are at the base?
Scenario #2 – What is your job function when both flags are taken?
Scenario #3 – What is your job function when your flag is taken and the enemy flag is still secure?
Scenario #4 – What is your job function when you have the enemy’s flag and your flag is still secure?

Other possible scenarios…

Scenario #5 – What do you do with a 3 cap lead?
Scenario #6 – What do you do when you are down by 3 caps?

So you take your map, and then you need to decide where everyone’s placement is going to be. There are several things that need to be taken into consideration.

#1 Power Up locations
#2 Weapon placements
#3 Spawn points
#4 Choke points
#5 Health Locations

There are other things to consider, but these are just some that come to mind.

Choke Points 
Now, many maps have choke points. Basically a choke point is an area that people need to get through, but where there is a limited amount of space. A wide open map, such as Maul, lacks a choke point–unless you consider the holes in the wall! But Chrome, on the other hand, is a perfect example of a choke point map. The hallways are perfect choke points because you cannot enter the enemy base without going through them.

Spawn Points 
Enter a map in practice mode and keep suiciding. You will learn where all the spawn locations are. These are important to know for several reasons. Your Flag Carrier should know these positions incase they kill any enemies while exiting; they will know where the enemy might respawn and can alter their path accordingly. The flag carrier should also know what weapons are close to these spawn areas, and prepare to fight people with those weapons. If you read the section on things to practice, you will learn why this is important. But knowing spawn points isn’t just useful for the flag carrier, its also useful for the defense. When you are playing a map like Chrome, and the enemy kills you on his way to the middle of the map, if you spawn back at your base then you are at an extreme disadvantage. You most likely will not catch up with the flag carrier in time. But if you bind a key to suicide, then you can keep killing yourself until you spawn in the middle of the map.

Powerups and Weapon placement 
The team that controls the powerups on a map has huge advantage over their opponents. Not only do you have the extra shields, but your enemy doesn’t. It’s a dual advantage. So taking a 100 shield is more like taking a 200 shield. Not to mention that killing a flag carrier with nothing but 100 health is rather easy. So controlling powerups should be heavily considered when creating a map strategy.

Now that we have an idea what needs to be done, we need to give out some generic roles. Each number will have a more descriptive task when the strategy is personalized for each map.

#1 Flag carrier – First objective is to collect as many weapons and ammo as possible for the flag run. They should also try and acquire as many health vials off the bat because they are usually overlooked. At the 19:33 point of the map, the 100 and 50 shields will spawn. You will meet up with #2 and #3, who are guarding the 100 Shield spawn for you. Once everyone is in their marked positions, #1 will announce, “Beginning Flag Run.” At this point 1, 2, and 3 will begin the run. Once an exit is decided by #1, he will announce his escape route. In the event that #1,2, and 3 are preparing for a flag run, and your flag has gotten past your defense, you will hold off on your attack until the return of your flag. The only time you will try and take the other team’s flag in the event that your flag is gone, is when the enemy is close to capping, and you need to buy some time for the return.

#2-3 Flag Cover – Your job is to gather as many weapons as possible that will assist in covering the flag carrier. You will meet with your partner at the 100 shied spawn at 19:40 to protect the shield for your flag carrier.

#4-5 Defense/Middle – This is heavily dependant on the map. It all depends on choke points, etc. One idea is to have 1 defender cover with a spam weapon, while another defender uses shock. The spam can distract while the shock finishes. Another thing you can do is place your translocator near an exit where the enemy flag carrier would run. So if you lose the flag carrier, you can surprise them by being a step ahead of them. But when assigning a job to #4 and #5, you should give them a main weapon and location.

Now the above map strategy is a bit simplistic, but it will get more complicated when you design it for a specific map. Normally you would go into detail as to where the Flag carrier’s hiding/hold off spots would be so #2-3 can easily find them after dying. Another thing some clans do during hold off’s is to do a switch with 2-3 and 4-5. Let the defenseman cover the FC, and let the FC cover go for the return. Some players are religious defenseman and are stronger at killing people in the defensive zone rather the offensive zone. Picture an elevated flag room like Chrome. The defense naturally is familiar with attacking people from an elevated position. If you have to hunt down the FC, chances are that he has that position, and that you will need to attack from the bottom. Something that the FC cover is normally use to. It’s hard to pull something like this off when things are a bit hectic. But lets say you are #2 and you see that #4-5 are covering the flag carrier now, you know that you can go on Flag retrieval. Also do not feel the need to conform to a 3 offense, 2 defense system. Every map requires different positions. Maybe you just want 1 defenseman, or 1 FC with no cover. Maybe you want to play a 1-3-1. 1 FC, 3 middle players, and 1 defensive player. Your mid will cover your FC if and only if, he is able to make it back to the middle. Many clans run a 2 offense and 3 d. It’s completely up to you.

Ok, now the benefits of my system….

1) Doing this can allow you to get away with less clan practices. That doesn’t mean you should, but the purpose of practicing is knowing where your teammates are, and what they are going to do. Reading this map strategy before going into a match will allow that.
2) If people get permanently assigned numbers in your clan, they can practice those numbers in pubs. Its almost as good as practicing with your team. You hop on a server, and do the role of #2. Forget what everyone else is doing, and practice your role.
3) When deciding on who plays for each map, you see what numbers showed up. If everyone in the clan has a number, you see how many 1’s showed up, how many 2-3’s showed up. You will create a better lineup.
4) People aren’t limited to just 1 number. Some people play offense on one map, and D on a another. Basically you can create certain numbers for every map. Detailing each #’s job. Then give a listing of all the people in the clan, and what number they will be practicing on the public servers.
5) You will know your role at all times, and the role of your teammates. You know what to do when your flag is gone, you know what to do when their flag is gone. You know what to do when both flags are gone.
6) You will be far more organized, and practicing will be much easier.


Other Map Strategy Tips
•  Decide on a main escape route for the FC. Pick this route based on your knowledge of the map. Know what is the fastest route, the route with the least enemy resistance, and the route with the most health/shield pickups. Ask your defenseman when the enemy takes your flag, which route is the one you least want them to take? You defenseman usually have a good idea which way is the easiest to kill a FC.
•  Same thing applies to the defense. Position your defense to force the FC to take the route that you want. Take Grendelkeep as an example. Pretend you are standing on the flag and facing the middle of the map. If I had my choice, I would like to see the flag carrier take the lower left hand side. There is a long ramp there, so dodging will be slowed. Its very easy to get behind them by running over to the minigun area. You can position your defense to block desirable exits like the shock ground and top, forcing the FC to take the more undesirable route.
•  I noted it earlier, but when playing defense or even offense, try using a combination of weapons. An opponents movement and dodging is affected by his oppositions weapon. If your partner is blasting the enemy flag carrier with secondary link, you should easily be able to throw a deadly shock combo on them.
•  Translocator placement. When playing defense, hide your translocator in another part of the flag room. You can get a couple shots off and quickly translocate to your enemies other side and kill him while he has no clue where you are.
•  Use the translocator camera. This is great for Flag Carriers. Throw your trans inside a flag room and turn the camera on. See how many defenders there are, where they are located, and what weapons they are using. Get that extra edge before starting your run.

You will not find many successful clans that do not hold practices. And when I say practices, I do not mean scrimmages. You should not jump into scrimmaging without holding several practices first. If you do not use voice when playing with your clan, there is a problem. If you go into a match or scrimmage and simply say, “You 2 play defense, you 3 play offense,” there is a problem. Practices should be used for developing better communication with your teammates, and practicing the strategies that you made for each map. Your primary goal at this point is to master the map that your clan has chosen to play. Once your clan has mastered that map, you want to start practicing the more common maps that you expect to play against other clans. When you get challenged on the ladder, and you need to decide the tiebreaker, you can choose a map that the other team doesn’t have much experience with in their match history.

One misconception that many people have when trying to hold practices is that you need a large group of players. Honestly you should have no problem holding a normal practice with just 4-5 guys. You can actually hold a valuable practice with just 2-3 players, I will explain later.

If your clan does not have a server at their exposal, you can ask to borrow a server from another clan. Most clans are very friendly and willing to share their servers with other people. When holding a practice, make sure everyone is on voice. Ventrillo and Team Speak are popular voicecom programs you can use to speak with the other members of your clan. Now lets say you have 4-5 members of your clan available for a practice. Create two separate rooms in ventrillo to speak in. One room will be for the defense, the other room will be for the offense. This is a great way to practice voice communication. With just 2-3 people in the channel, there is less people talking, and less confusion. Another added benefit is some people are too quiet when on voice, and creating smaller groups will force them to talk more.

Defense – If you are playing defense, go over the game plan before the practice starts, what weapons you plan on using, and where you will be hiding your translocator incase the enemy grabs the flag and slips through. You will also want to communicate the exit the FC is taking.

Offense – Stick with the strategy. If its 2 or 3 offensive players, make sure you are collecting the weapons you need to make the run, and your cover is guarding the 100 shield spawn for you. Before you enter the base you meet up with your cover, and enter the base as a group.

Rules of the Practice – The defense’s job is to return the flag and keep it in the base. The offenses job is to stick together, and only attack as a group. The defense will never try to grab the opposing team’s flag. There should be no caps during the practice. If the offense is able to take the flag, they should make their way back to their base, and see how long they can hold on the flag for. The defense’s job is to get the flag back. Since there will be no capping in the practice, everyone should take their time, and make sure they are grouping up with a teammate. If the offense makes it back to their home side, the defense should try to group together in their pursuit. Now lets say the flag is returned and the offense is entering in for their attack. The offense consists of 3 players. If 2 of the 3 players die before grabbing the flag, the 3rd player must return to group with his 2 teammates. If you are running a 2 offense, the same rule applies. If the FC or the FC cover dies, you must head back to your meeting point, and group together again. Do not take the flag without any cover. A match might be different, but this is a practice. Another thing…. if you are the offense, you may not hide in the enemy base. Bring the flag back to your base, and keep close to your own flag.

What do you do if you have more than 5 players? Well if you have 6 players you can run 3v3. But make sure it doesn’t turn into a scrimmage. Practice communication and grouping. It will be much easier if you aren’t being rushed by worrying about caps. The 6th player can play mid. Make the offense work for the 100% shield, and help the defense if the offense makes it out of the base. The first couple practices might be a little hard to get off the ground. Just try to avoid goofing off and scrimming each other. The point is to practice communication and sticking with a teammate, I cannot stress that enough.

Now if you want to practice with just 2 or 3 people, you can hop on a public server to practice there. Practice moving together as partners. Worry less about the score of the match, and pay more attention to developing your teamwork and communication.

Scrimming – Many clans skip over the strategies and practice and hop on ladders as soon as they have enough members to man a roster. This usually results in people scrambling, groups falling apart, and communications breaking down. This is why you hold scrimmages. Your ultimate goal during a scrimmage is to test your strategy, and see if there are any holes, or things you can do to improve it. So a scrimmage should be nothing more than a faster pace version of your practice. You should not be going into a scrimmage with the intention of winning the match. Your intention should be improving your teamwork. Even at the cost of losing. If your flag is gone, your goal should be meeting up with a teammate, not returning it. Sooner or later this will become natural instinct for you and your clan, but you will only develop this by practicing the correct way. Come away from a scrimmage knowing that you improved. If you won the scrim, that is just a little extra bonus.

Powerup Timing – When scrimming or playing a match, it is a good idea to use powerup timers. FragSystem was kind enough to host a powerup timer for people to use.


Basically you have a 6th player from your clan who is not playing in the match visit this site. He sits on voice and listens to his teammates when they announce a powerup being taken. Once its taken, the 6th player resets the timer, and lets his team know when it will be popping up again. You can also use a personal timer when a team timer is not available. When you pick up an item, you can press a key that will start a timer that you are running in the background. The timer will announce when the item is about to appear, and you can go take it. You can download this free one: here

Incase you are wondering the spawn time for items, here they are…

Weapons, Vials, Health Packs, 50 Armor
27 seconds

100 Armor, Big Keg-o-health

55 seconds

Double Damage
82 seconds

122 seconds

Calculating 100 Armor and Keg-o-Health – Subtract a minute, and add 5 seconds. Its the easiest way to get the next spawn time. So if the time is 9 minutes and you pick up the armor. Subtract 1 minute to get 8. Add five seconds. And the next spawn time is 8:05. Easiest way to remember.

Conclusion – I cannot stress enough the value of grouping and communication. I have seen countless clans filled with mediocre players that become a great team when they play together. You would be surprised how good some of these players really are when they don’t have 1 or 2 guys helping them. I have had my ass kicked in too many matches and thought to myself, “Wow! These guys are awesome!” Then, later I play against these guys on a public server without the rest of their team, and wipe the floor with them. Please don’t underestimate teamwork.

CTF Tips

  • Flag Drops – If the other team is close to capping on you, and you are out numbered, grab the flag and drop it somewhere else to buy some time. Citadel is a good example. Grab the flag, port up to the lightning gun, and drop it off the side. The flag will return in about 23 seconds.
  • Trick Flag Drop – If you are the Flag Carrier during a hold off where both you and the opposing team possess each other’s flag. Drop the flag when you have no pressure by using your translocator disk. Sometimes the enemy flag carrier will think the flag is about to be returned, and will leave his hiding spot, or run to the flag area to cap. I cant tell you how many times I have seen this get another flag carrier killed.
  • Hold Off Cap – Lets say that you and another team have a hold off. You are currently working on getting the flag back, and you kill the flag carrier. Don’t return the flag so quickly! While on voice say, “Tell me when to return it.” At this point your FC will let you know when he is about to reach the flag pole to cap. Then when you return it, you wont have to worry about the enemy grabbing it again. Another benefit of this, is that it will have the enemies scrambling for the Flag pole, making them easier to kill
  • Trans Cam – Use the camera in your Translocator. You can throw the trans inside the flag room to find out the enemies position and weapons. Lets say you are playing Flag defense (meaning that instead of defending choke points, both of you are defending the flag), have 1 defender watch the room, while the other defender leave his trans in a spot to catch incoming enemies. If people make it in the room, the other defender can tell him to turn the cam off.
  • Trans Distraction – You would be surprised how dead set some people are at killing a translocator. When entering a base, throw your translocator behind the enemy, and when they turn around to kill it, pop him in the back.

IRC and Xfire

IRC stands for internet relay chat. Its basically a network of chat rooms that clans can create and interact with other clans. To be a true part of the UT community and clan scene, you and your clan should have an IRC room. Its a great place to find scrimmages, organize the clan, recruit, and prepare for matches. I suggest you create a public and private chat room for your clan. The UT community seems to be split between 2 different IRC networks. irc.gamesurge.com and irc.enterthegame.com. Personally I log on both so I can easily chat with both. I am including several useful links that will help you get up and running. When you finally to get up and running, you can find me on #MSR for gamesurge, and #hardclan for ETG.

http://help.enterthegame.com -Homepage for ETG
http://help.enterthegame.com/help.htm – Help section to get yourself up and running
http://www.team-nexgen.com/scripts.shtml – Nice script for IRC. Makes using IRC much nicer and easier
http://www.mirc.com/cmds.html – IRC commands
http://www.gamesurge.net/newuser/#authserv – How to authenticate yourself when on the gamesurge server

I created a copy of my IRC to make it easier. If you download my copy of IRC, it will automatically connect you to both of the above servers, and all you need to do is enter your name and decide what channels to join. Once you open IRC, simply hit Alt-R. It will open the script, and you just enter in the channels/rooms you want to join. Maddy’s IRC Client

Xfire is an instant message program like AIM or ICQ. But one of the nice features about Xfire is that it will show you what games people on your buddy list are playing, what server they are on, and who is on the server. Then you can quickly just click the “Join” button and it will launch the game and place you in that server. Its compatible with like 100 games as well. I highly suggest that you use it with you friends and clan mates. My xfire name is MadHookUp.


MX Mice – When I first released this guide, the most common question I got was from Logitech MX500, 510, 700 users that were having trouble configuring their mouse so all their mouse buttons worked in UT2k4. There might be other ways of doing this, but me personally, I bind a key on the keyboard to a mouse button. Download and install the latest drivers from Logitech. Open the mouse utility and click on the buttons tab. In that tab you can assign a keystroke to a mouse button. Pick a button you want to change, select “keystroke”, then hit the key you want to assign to it. Then in your user.ini file, bind something to that key. So you could bind the ‘Enter’ key to a thumb button, then bind the Shock Rifle to the ‘Enter’ key, the thumb button will then pull out the shock rifle.

Keyboards – I have had a number of people tell me that the quality of your keyboard does have an impact on your game, and recommended purchasing a good one. Me personally, I have always used generic keyboards, but I have always been limitted to the type of keyboard that I can purchase. And the reason being is that I am a closet arrow user! That’s right people! I don’t use ‘wasd.’ I know several arrow people out there, and I highly recommend a certain keyboard type. I included pictures of my keyboard layout and the normal keyboard layout.

Normal Layout

My Layout

Now if you look at my keyboard, you will notice a couple different things. There is no gap between the top arrow key, and the Delete, End, Page Down key. So this puts 3 keys in direct reach. Also you may notice that the backslash key is not located above the enter key, its actual below it. So your pinky can easily access the Ctrl and Backlash. So for those people out there that really don’t want to give up the arrows, try to find a keyboard like mine to at least give you another 4 local keys.

Belkin Nostromo SpeedPad n52

By recommendation of c3 from Frag System, I have decided to purchase the Nostromo Speed Pad n52. This is actually a remake of their original model, the n50. I would like to start off by saying that I remember when the orginal was released years ago, and all I could think was, “uber gay!” I was always interested in finding out if a competitive UT player actually used one of these things, and found out c3 did. Thankfully he talked me into getting one.

First let me tell you what I think of the product in general. The Nostromo’s keys are kinda tight when you get them. So the keypad will need to be broken in a little bit. So its not a huge issue, just a pain in the butt. The orange button located where your thumb goes is completely worthless. The D-pad, or the little arrow pad also located near your thumb is actually pretty cool. Not only can it be used for movement, but its actually an 8 button pad. You have Up, Down, Left, and Right. But you all have the 4 corners, like Top Left, and Botton Right. So you could practically bind every UT weapon just to this thumb pad. The scroll wheel is pretty useless for UT, but I am sure other games take advantage of it. The button that seems to be sticking out below the thumb bad acts like your spacebar for jumping. Some people have trouble reaching this, I use my pinky for jumping, so its not much of an issue. The black pad that you lay your wrist on can be adjusted depending on the size of your hand. Another cool feature is that you can lay out the nostromo pad for multiple games/mods. Like you can have a layout for ONS and CTF. You can have a whole different layout for another game. The keypad also has a “shift” function. Meaning that you can press a key, and all the other keys can be binded when that shift key is applied.

Now how does this exactly affect UT? I gotta say that I have had the thing for 1 day and I plan on using it 24/7. The power of this thing is borderline cheating though. But if its legal on the ladders, it goes in my guide. You can actually create macro’s with this device. Meaning, that you can have the Nostromo perform a number of commands chained in a row by pressing just one button. Then you can customize the command by the millisecond. For testing reasons I tried to create a bind so that when you are walking alongside a wall, you press 1 key and you will jump, dodge off of the wall, and jump again for a jumping wall dodge jump. I realized at first that I was taking a little too long to perform the wall dodge, so I took .2 milliseconds off, and I was dodging off the wall at the top of my jump. Though, I think this is kinda cool/cheap I wouldn’t suggest people to do it. You are much better off learning how to do it yourself, it should only take a couple hours of practice to get good at wall dodging. Another thing about wall dodges is that you often need to hesitate on the time you dodge off the wall, the macro would be consistant. But I have to say the macro feature is pretty cool, and would be awesome for many games out there. You can also set something up that will run a macro over and over again, with just 1 button press. The power you have is pretty amazing.

I was sitting there trying to think of some other useful things you could do with this pad, and realized that you could use it to time powerups. I agree its cheap, but you know other people are doing it. I created a bind that will let you know 10 seconds before a pop up appears. So lets say I walk over the 100% shield, and then I press a button on my Nostromo pad. I created a macro that will say in 45 seconds, “Teamsay The 100% Shield will pop in 10 seconds.” It takes 55 seconds for the shield to pop, so 45 seconds after I grabbed the shield it announces to my team they have 10 seconds till it pops again.

Conclusion – I have had this thing for 1 day and already seen several really cool features for it. I expect to add more as I learn them. But I highly recommend all players to pick this thing up. There will be a learning curve, so it will take some time to get use to everything. But that should only require a couple hours of play with a hint of patience. You will also need to break the sucker in since the keys seem to be a little tight.


ProUnreal Forums
ES Reality UT 2004 Forum
Proving Grounds – Ladders
TeamWarfare – Ladders
UT 2004 Tweak Guide – Tweak UT2004 for better performance
UT Community
UT Binder – Utility to edit your ini files
UT Skills
Unreal Admin Page – For Server Admins
Ventrillo – Voice Com
Team Speak – Voice Com

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