- Players: 12
- Victory: Capture 3 flags
- Victory: Team with more captures when time expires
Each team has 6 players and there is no hero restriction. The time limit for a Capture the Flag game is 5 minutes. There are 2 objectives: capturing the enemy team's flag then bringing it back to home base; and defend the allied team's flag.
Each team's home base is also the flag pedestal where the team's flag is situated.
Using any following abilities will cause the flagbearer to drop the flag.
- Ashe: Coach Gun
- Brigitte: Shield Bash, Rally
- D.Va: Boosters, Self-Destruct, Eject, Call Mech
- Doomfist: Seismic Slam, Rising Uppercut, Rocket Puncher, Meteor Strike
- Genji: Swift Strike
- Hanzo: Lunge
- Junkrat: Concussive Mine (Self)
- Lucio: Wall Riding, Amp-it-up (Speed, Self)
- Mei: Cryofreeze
- Mercy: Guardian Angel, Valkyrie
- Moira: Fade, Coalescence
- Pharah: Jump Jets, Concussive Blast (Self)
- Reaper: Wraith, Shadow Step
- Reinhardt: Charge
- Soldier 76: Sprint
- Sombra: Stealth, Translocator (Upon activation)
- Symmetra: Teleporter
- Torbjorn: Overload
- Tracer: Blink, Recall
- Widowmaker: Grappling Hook
- Winston: Jump Pack, Primal Rage
- Wrecking Ball: Roll, Piledriver, Grapling Claw
- Zenyatta: Transcendence
- To capture the flag of the opposing team, a team member must stay on the enemy flag pedestal for 2.5 seconds without being interrupted. Receiving any damage will be considered as an interruption and will reset the counter.
- Contrary to popular rules, player may capture the flag regardless of whether their own flag is at their home base or not.
- After one team member captures the flag, they will be the flag bearer. The flag bearer is lit up with a flag hovering above their head and will be visible through walls for both allied and enemy players. Bringing the flag back to the home base will score one point for the team.
- When the flag is captured, its pedestal will not spawn a new flag until 3 seconds after the flag arrives at the enemy flag pedestal.
- The head-up display's status bar will show the status of both of the flags, the distance of it between the two pedestals when it is in the possession of a flag bearer.
- If the flag bearer is killed on the way back, the flag will be dropped on the ground, and any player of both teams can claim it by standing over it for 2.5 seconds (THIS IS NOT TRUE. It is INSTANTLY captured!. The dropped flag is also lit up and visible through walls.
- If the dropped flag is captured by its team, it will automatically transported back to its pedestal. If it is captured by the other team instead, the capturing player will be the flag bearer.
- If the flag bearer gets an environmental death (example: get pushed over a cliff), the flag will go back to its pedestal right at once.
- If there is at least one player who is the flag bearer or in the middle of capturing a flag (even a dropped flag) when the match runs out of time, Overtime will start. Overtime will be stopped when there is no more interaction with the flag.
Following an update to Capture the Flag, the win conditions were changed to rule out draw conditions. If both teams have the same amount of points, the match will go into a unique "Sudden Death" round:
- The flags will be moved closer to the map's center, making capture and scoring easier.
- The timer is disabled to prevent a stalemate outcome.
- The first team to capture one flag is declared winner.
Capture the Rooster
Capture the Rooster was the precursor to Capture the Flag. First seen in arcade for Year of the Rooster, the game works in the same fundamental ways to standard Capture the Flag. Due to Capture the Flag both entering the arcade and replacing it as a successor, Capture the Rooster is only event-based gamemode to become available outside the event, and the only event to technically not return the following year.
While renamed to Capture the Flag for the Year of the Dog event, Lunar New Year's CTF mode is unique in that it only takes place on seasonally released maps; while standard Capture the Flag takes place on a variety of maps, the seasonal mode only takes place on a New Year reskin of Lijiang Tower and on Ayutthaya.
Competitive CTF is a version of Capture the Flag first seen for the Lunar New Year 2018 seasonal event. Like Competitive Play, the mode requires ten placement matches to determine skill ranking, and players receive a capped Competitive Point reward for victories and at the end of the event. Like Copa Lucioball, players receive 4 for each match won.
Comptetitive CTF has only taken place following the implimentation of Sudden Death to flag modes. As a result, there are no draw outcomes in Competitive CTF, and therefore no Competitive Point rewards other than for victory.
The maps for this brawl are chosen among 13 maps, 12 of which are modified sub-maps of the 4 Control maps: Ilios, Lijiang Tower, Nepal, and Oasis. In the maps of Ilios, Lijiang Tower, and Nepal, instead of using the normal spawn rooms (the MV-261 Orca ship), a redesigned spawn room is used. It has a huge room in the middle and two exits on the left and the right. Other differences that need to be mentioned are that some health packs' locations are changed or removed, and there are two automatic lifts installed in the Lijiang Night Market map. The other map is Ayutthaya, and it was made specifically made for Capture the Flag, and was introduced in the 2018 Lunar New Year event.
Flag pedestal locations
- In Ilios Lighthouse, the flag pedestals are placed in small squares; one is between the Kọfị Aromo and a souvenir shop, and the other is between the fishing gear store and another souvenir shop.
- In Ilios Well, the flag pedestals are placed at an open area (used to have small tables and chairs) next to the big staircases.
- In Ilios Ruins, the flag pedestals are placed in the middle of two small partly-destructed temples.
- In Lijiang Night Market map, the flag pedestals are placed in the middle of the food stall squares, behind the octopus-sign and pig-sign food stalls.
- In Lijiang Garden map, the flag pedestals are placed behind the two Moon Gates.
- In Lijiang Control Center map, the flag pedestals are placed in front of the reception desks, where the escape pod and the robotic rover are displayed.
- In Nepal Village, the flag pedestals are placed near the cliff side, at the end of the slope lead straight to the village gate.
- In Nepal Shrine, the flag pedestals are placed in the big yard in front of the spawn room, situated near the mountain side.
- In Nepal Sanctum, the flag pedestals are placed in the middle of the yards with 4 omnic statues.
- In Oasis City Center, the flag pedestals are placed in a small roundabout, in front of the great gates of Founder Assembly.
- In Oasis Gardens, the flag pedestals are placed behind the stone fountain, which is in front of the spawn room
- In Oasis University, the flag pedestals are placed in front of the guide plate, in the halls with several bookshelves.
- In Ayutthaya, both flags are located in the open area right outside each team's spawn room. This area is an ancient temple for one team and a hotel for the other.
- Prior to the removal of draws, Capture the Flag had alternative win conditions. If neither team captured 3 flags and were tied on points, the game would simply end in a draw.
- As noted previously, Capture the Flag is unique in that it's the only event to become available out of event time (either through custom matches or arcade circulation). Capture the Rooster is also unique itself in that it's the only event not to return, instead being replaced by a seasonal version of Capture the Flag for Year of the Dog.