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Highlander, a form of 9v9, is the largest competitive Team Fortress format. Its similarities to average public servers makes it an ideal starting point for new players, and its requirement that each team has one of every class means no matter what you like to play, there's a spot on the team for you.

Highlander Competitive Format

Highlander is a competitive format with nine players on a team, each representing a different class. The name of the format comes from the quote "There can only be one [of each class]" from Highlander, a movie released in 1986.

Game Modes

The staple map of Highlander, Badwater

Control Points

Main Article: 5CP

For Example: cp_process, cp_gullywash, cp_snakewater_final1

Stopwatch / Attack and Defend

Main Article: Stopwatch / Attack and Defend

For Example: pl_badwater, pl_upward, cp_steel

Stopwatch maps are won by finishing in a faster time than your opponent. You alternate defense / offense after each round. Time is measured by how long it took you to cap points. For example, if you cap all 5 points on a map in 8:37, the opponent must cap all the points in under 8:37 to win. If you cap 3 points in 5:11, the opponent must either cap 3 points in under 5:11, or cap at least 4 points.

King of the Hill

Main Article: KOTH

For Example: koth_lakeside, koth_pro_viaduct, koth_ashville_rc1

In a King of The Hill map, there is one central point on the map. Each team must try to capture that point. When one team does capture the point, their 3:00 timer will begin to time down. When the other team captures the point, the other team's timer stops and their timer starts to tick down. The first team whose clock reaches 0 wins the round. It is important to note that if the point has capture time on it when one team's timer reaches 0, the game will go into overtime, where the defending team must reverse the capture fully or the attacking team must capture the point to continue ticking down their timer.

Note: The team that does NOT control the point will have faster re-spawn times.

Highlander Leagues


North American

  • No NA-only leagues



Highlander Pugs

  • TF2 Center (A web-based pickup for 6v6 / 9v9 / 4v4 / Ultiduo and BBall)
  • TF2Pickup.net (a web-based pickup for 6v6 / 9v9 / Ultiduo and BBall)

Highlander Coverage


Over the time the community has wrote a handful of guides on how to play this popular format, some of them can be seen below:

See Also