bzflag(6)                           BZFlag                           bzflag(6)

       BZFlag - a tank battle game

       bzflag [-3dfx] [-no3dfx] [-anonymous] [-config filename] [-configdir
       directoryname] [-d | -debug] [-dir | -directory directory] [-echo]
       [-echoAnsi] [-geometry widthxheight[{+|-}x{+|-}y]] [-latitude latitude]
       [-list list-server-url] [-locale locale] [-longitude longitude]
       [-multisample] [-mute] [-nolist] [-solo number-of-robots] [-team
       {automatic | red | green | blue | purple | rogue}] [-version] [-view
       {normal | stereo | stacked | three | anaglyph}] [-window] [-zbuffer {on
       | off}] [[callsign[:password]@]server[:port]]

       BZFlag is a 3D multi-player tank battle game that allows users to play
       against each other in a networked environment.  There are five teams:
       red, green, blue, purple and rogue (rogue tanks are black).  Destroying
       a player on another team scores a win, while being destroyed or
       destroying a teammate scores a loss.  Rogues have no teammates (not
       even other rogues), so they cannot shoot teammates and they do not have
       a team score.

       There are three main styles of play:  capture-the-flag, free-for-all,
       and rabbit-hunt.  In capture-the-flag, each team (except rogues) has a
       team base and each team with at least one player has a team flag.  The
       object is to capture an enemy team's flag by bringing it to your team's
       base.  This destroys every player on the captured team, subtracts one
       from that team's score, and adds one to your team's score.  In
       free-for-all, there are no team flags or team bases.  The object is
       simply to get as high a score as possible.  In rabbit-hunt, the lead
       player is chosen as the target for all other players. When the rabbit
       (target) is destroyed, the live player with the next highest score
       becomes the rabbit. The object is to remain the rabbit for as long as
       possible. The rabbit is marked as a white tank.

   Joining a Game
       To get quickly started, select the "Join Game" menu in the BZFlag
       client using the arrow keys on your keyboard.  Choose the "Select a
       Server" link and pick one of the servers near the top of the menu.
       This should take you back to the "Join Game" menu where you should then
       provide a callsign.  Select the "Connect".  Within a few seconds you
       should be on that server ready to play.

       BZFlag includes a global registration system that allows players to
       register a callsign that defines them uniquely on the BZFlag network.
       Some servers require registration for all users, some require it to
       obtain administrative abilities.  If you attempt to use a callsign that
       is already registered, you may be denied access to a server.  See
       http://my.B for details regarding callsign registration
       and to check on available names.  Once registered, you will be able to
       provide your password in the "Join Game" menu and have it used for
       authentication.  You are encouraged to register your callsign.

       There are generally public BZFlag servers running around the clock all
       around the world, available over the Internet.  Similarly, private
       servers can be set up for running local network games.  See the bzfs
       manual page (bzfs.6) for details on starting a new server, public or

       -3dfx          For Mesa users with a pass-through 3Dfx card, e.g. a
                      Voodoo or Voodoo 2 based card.  This sets the
                      MESA_GLX_FX environment variable to use fullscreen
                      pass-through mode.  Use -geometry to use a resolution
                      other than 640x480 on the pass-through card.  You should
                      not use this option with -window.

       -no3dfx        For Mesa users with a pass-through 3Dfx card, such as
                      Voodoo or Voodoo 2 based cards.  This unsets the
                      MESA_GLX_FX environment variable so that the
                      pass-through card isn't used.  Use this option if
                      MESA_GLX_FX is normally set in your environment and you
                      don't want bzflag to use the pass-through card.  This
                      option is only a convenience;  you can achieve the same
                      effect by unsetting MESA_GLX_FX in your environment.

       -anonymous     Uses the email address anonymous instead of

       -d or -debug   Adds some diagnostic output. Can be specified multiple
                      times to increase verbosity.

       -dir or -directory directory
                      Looks for data files in directory first.  This defaults
                      to a directory named data in the current directory.  If
                      not found there, the game looks for data files in the
                      current directory, then in the default installation
                      location /usr/share/bzflag.

       -config        Specify the configuration file to load. The name is
                      relative to the default configuration directory. This is
                      usually only used by developers.

       -configdir     Specify the configuration directory to use. This will be
                      the default config directory used by this instance of
                      the game. This is realy only needed if you can not use
                      the default directory.

       -echo          Copies all message window output to the shell on *nux
                      and OSX, to stdout.txt on windows

       -echoAnsi      Copies all message window output like -echo preserving
                      the ANSI color coding on *nix, same as -echo on windows.

       -geometry widthxheight[{+|-}x{+|-}y]
                      This specifies the size and, optionally, the position of
                      the window. It can be used with or without the -window
                      option. It may be necessary to use this on some systems
                      when bzflag cannot correctly determine the display size.

       -latitude latitude
                      Uses latitude when computing celestial object positions.

       -list url      Look for list servers using url.  A built-in url is used
                      by default (the same url is the default for bzfs).  If
                      url is default then the url is reset to the built-in url
                      (the url is remembered across invocations of bzflag).
                      list servers keep a list of bzfs servers accessible from
                      the internet and are queried when using the Find Server

       -locale locale Set the locale used to display messages, menus, hud
                      alerts, etc.

       -longitude longitude
                      Uses longitude when computing celestial object

       -multisample   Uses a multisample buffer for rendering.  If
                      multisampling isn't available then the application will

       -mute          Disables sound.

       -nolist        Disables list server querying.  See -list.

       -solo number-of-robots
                      When you join a game, you'll also cause number-of-robots
                      robots to join too.  This is an experimental option and
                      the robots are extremely stupid players.  Robots are
                      added to teams at random.

       -team team-name
                      Chooses the player's team.  If there are no team
                      positions available and the team-name is set to be
                      automatic, the player will try to join as an observer.

       -version       Prints the version number of the executable.

       -view {normal | stereo | stacked | three | anaglyph}
                      Chooses one of the possible display options.  Normal
                      will render a single view to the entire screen.  Stereo
                      will try to allocate a stereo (in-a-window) capable
                      buffer and then draw a single view in stereo.  Your
                      system must support stereo-in-a-window buffers.  Three
                      will render the front view to the upper right quadrant
                      of the display, a left view to the lower left quadrant,
                      and a right view to the lower right quadrant.  This is
                      intended for systems capable of driving multiple
                      monitors from various areas of the display surface,
                      yielding a wrap around view. stacked will render the two
                      right eye view on the upper half of the display and the
                      left eye on the lower half. anaglyph supports red-cyan
                      stereo viewing glasses. Note that setting an unsupported
                      view option will often lead to BZFlag not running
                      successfully. To correct this, run with -view normal.

       -window        Runs the application in a window instead of full screen.

       -zbuffer {on | off}
                      When off is chosen the game will not attempt to allocate
                      a depth (z) buffer and will use a different rendering
                      technique for hidden surface removal.  Some systems may
                      be capable of using a higher screen resolution if a
                      depth buffer isn't allocated.

                      Specifies the callsign you want, and the host running
                      the bzfs server. Multiple independent games can be run
                      on a single network, or even on different ports on a
                      single computer. Which server and port you choose
                      decides which game you enter.  The callsign and the port
                      are optional. If you don't specify a port the standard
                      server port will be used, and if you don't specify a
                      callsign the callsign used for the previous game is
                      used.  If that cannot be found then the callsign is the
                      value of the BZFLAGID environment variable.  If BZFLAGID
                      is empty or undefined then bzflag will prompt for a
                      callsign when joining a game.

       Tanks are controlled by moving the mouse within the large yellow box in
       the main view.  When the mouse is inside the small yellow box, the tank
       is motionless.  The large box is the limit of the tank's speed.

       Shots are fired by pressing the R left mouse button .  The type of shot
       fired depends on what flag the tank has.  Normal shots last about 3.5
       seconds.  Reloading also takes 3.5 seconds for normal shots.

       Pressing the R middle mouse button drops a flag.  Nothing will happen
       if the tank has no flag or is not allowed to drop the flag for some
       reason (e.g. it's a bad flag).  Flags are picked up by driving over
       them.  A dropped flag gets tossed straight up;  it falls to the ground
       in about 3 seconds.

       Pressing the R right mouse button identifies the closest player
       centered in the view.  If your tank has the guided missile super-flag,
       this will also lock the missile on target.  However, the target must be
       carefully centered for the missile to lock.

       When the server allows jumping or if the tank has the jumping flag, the
       R Tab key jumps.  Tanks can jump onto buildings, however there is no
       way to shoot downward (or upward) with a regular shot.  The guided
       missile and the shock wave are two ways of destroying a tank on or from
       a building.

       The current radar range can be changed by pressing the R 1, R 2, or R 3
       keys above the alphabetic keys for low, medium, and long range,
       respectively.  The R f key toggles the flag help display, which
       describes the flag in the tank's possession.  Displaying help does not
       pause the game.

       The R Pause key pauses and resumes play.  When paused, the tank cannot
       be destroyed nor can its shots destroy other players.  The reload
       countdown is suspended and the radar and view are blanked when paused.
       A paused tank has a transparent black sphere surrounding it.  Since a
       paused tank is invulnerable a player could cheat by pausing just before
       being destroyed, so there's a brief delay before the pause takes
       effect.  This delay is long enough to make pausing effectively useless
       for cheating.  Pressing R Pause before the pause takes effect cancels
       the pause request.

       The R Delete key initiates a self destruct sequence. You will see a
       countdown that can be stopped by pressing R Delete once more.
       Otherwise, you tank will self destruct. This can be useful if your tank
       gets stuck and there is no other tank around to shoot you.

       The list of players and scores is displayed when your tank is paused or
       dead.  Pressing the R s key toggles the score display when alive and
       not paused.

       The R b key toggles binoculars, which gives a close up view of distant
       objects.  The R 9 key toggles Otto, the automatic pilot, on and off.  R
       t key toggles the frame rate display and the R y key toggle the frame
       time display. The time of day can be changed with the R plus and R
       minus keys, which advance and reverse the time by 5 minutes,
       respectively.  The time of day in the game is initialized to the
       system's clock.  In addition, the latitude and longitude are used to
       calculate the positions of celestial objects.

       The R Esc key shows the game menu.  Use the R Enter and arrow keys to
       navigate the menu and the R Esc key to return to the previous menu or
       hide the main menu.  The menus allow you to start a new server, join a
       game, leave a game and enter another, change the rendering options,
       change the display resolution, change the sound volume, remap the
       meanings of keys, browse online help, and quit the game.

       The display resolution is not always available for changing.  If it is,
       use the R t key to test a selected resolution;  it will be loaded for a
       few seconds and then the previous resolution restored.  Press the R
       Enter key to permanently select a new resolution. When you quit the
       game, the resolution is restored to what it was before the game

       Options are recorded between game sessions in the
       .bzf/<version>/config.cfg file (or config.cfg.${HOST} if the HOST
       environment variable is defined) in the user's home directory.  This
       file has a simple name/value pair format.  This file is completely
       rewritten by the game after each session.

       You can send typed messages to other players by pressing the R m or R n
       keys.  The R m key will send a message to your teammates only.  Rogue
       players cannot send these messages.  The R n key will send a message to
       all the other players.  After pressing the key, just type your message
       and press enter or Control-D.  To cancel a message, you can enter a
       blank message or press Delete, Escape, or Control-C.  Be careful with
       the Escape key;  pressing Escape once will cancel the message, pressing
       it again will show the main menu.  Backspace will delete the most
       recently typed character.  The Tab key doesn't add a tab to the message
       but instead causes the tank to jump (as usual).  You can also send a
       direct message to a single player by pressing the R , or R .  keys. The
       R , key will send your message to your 'nemesis', i.e. the last player
       who killed you or was killed by you. The R .  key will send a private
       message to another player. You can choose the recipient by using the
       left and right arrow keys.  R o toggles the quick-admin interface. Use
       the arrow keys to select a command, and then fill in the necessary

       An individual's score is the difference between that player's wins and
       losses.  A win is scored for each enemy tank destroyed.  A loss is
       scored for each teammate destroyed and for each time the player is
       destroyed.  The score sheet displays each player's score and the number
       of wins and losses.

       A team's score is calculated differently depending on the game style.
       In the capture-the-flag style, the team score is the number of enemy
       flags captured minus the number of times the team's flag was captured.
       Capturing your own flag (by taking it onto an enemy base) counts as a
       loss.  In the free-for-all style, the team score is sum of the wins of
       all the players on the team minus the sum of the losses of all the
       players on the team. In the rabbit-hunt style, scoring is similar to

       The score sheet also lists the number times you have destroyed or been
       destroyed by each other player under the Kills heading.  This lets you
       compare your one-on-one performance against other players.

       The server can be configured to place teleporters in the game.  A
       teleporter is a tall black transparent object that instantaneously
       moves any object (tanks and shots) passing through it to some other
       teleporter.  The teleporter connections are fixed for the entire game.
       In the capture-the-flag style the connections are always the same.  In
       the free-for-all style the connections are random and reversible (going
       back through where you come out puts you back where you started).

       Each side of a teleporter teleports independently of the other side.
       However, it's possible for each side to go to the other.  This is a
       thru-teleporter and it's almost as if it weren't there.  It's also
       possible for a side to teleport to itself.  This is a
       reverse-teleporter.  Shooting at a reverse teleporter is likely to be
       self-destructive.  Shooting a laser at a reverse teleporter is
       invariably fatal.

       The radar is displayed on the left side of the control panel.  It
       provides a satellite view of the game.  Buildings and the outer wall
       are light blue.  Team bases are outlined squares in the team colors.
       Teleporters are short yellow lines.  Tanks are dots the in the tank's
       team color, except for rogues which are yellow.  The size of a tank's
       dot is a rough indication of the tank's altitude: higher tanks have
       larger dots.  Flags are small crosses.  Team flags have the team color
       while super-flags are white.  Shots are small white dots (except laser
       beams which are line segments and shock waves which are circles).

       The tank always appears in the center of the radar and the radar
       display rotates with the tank so that forward is always up.  There's a
       small tick mark indicating forward.  The left and right extremes of the
       current view are represented by a yellow V whose tip is at the center
       of the radar.  North is indicated by the letter N.

   Heads Up Display
       The heads-up-display, or HUD, has several displays.  First, there are
       two boxes in the center of the view.  As explained above, these delimit
       the ranges for the mouse.  These boxes are yellow when you have no
       flag.  Otherwise they take the color of the flag you're holding (white
       for superflags).

       Above the larger box is a heading tape showing your current heading.
       North is 0, east is 90, etc.  If jumping is allowed, an altitude tape
       appears to the right of the larger box.

       Small colored diamonds or arrows may appear on the heading tape.  An
       arrow pointing left means that a particular flag is to your left, an
       arrow pointing right means that the flag is to your right, and a
       diamond indicates the heading to the flag by its position on the
       heading tape.  In capture-the-flag mode a marker in your team's color
       is always present, showing you the direction to your team's flag.  A
       yellow marker shows the way to the antidote flag (when you have a bad
       flag and antidote flags are enabled).

       At the top of the HUD are several text readouts.  At the very top on
       the left is your callsign and score, in your team's color.  At the very
       top on the right is the name of the flag you're holding (or nothing if
       you have no flag).  In the center at the top is your current status:
       ready, dead, sealed, zoned, or reloading. If you have a bad flag and
       shaking time is enabled and your status is ready, the status displays
       how much time is left before the bad flag is shaken.  When reloading,
       the time until you're reloaded is displayed.  A tank is sealed when it
       has the oscillation overthruster flag and any part of the tank is
       inside a building. A tank is zoned when it has the phantom zone flag
       and has passed through a teleporter.  When there's a time limit on the
       game, the time left in the game is displayed to the left of the status.

       Team flags are supplied by the server in the capture-the-flag style
       game.  While at least one player is on a team, that team's flag is in
       the game.  When captured, the flag is returned to the team's base.  If
       the flag is dropped in a Bad Place, it is moved to a safety position.
       Bad Places are:  on top of a building or on an enemy team base.  The
       flag can be dropped on a team base only by a player from a third team;
       for example, when a blue player drops the red flag on the green base.

       A team flag is captured when a tank takes an enemy flag onto its base
       or when a tank takes its flag onto an enemy base (even if there's no
       one playing on that team).  You must be on the ground to capture a

       The server can be configured to supply a fixed or random set of
       super-flags.  These flags are white and come in many flavors.  However,
       you cannot tell what a super-flag is until it's picked up.  There are
       two broad categories of super-flags:  good and bad.  Good super-flags
       may be dropped and will remain for up to 4 possessions.  Bad
       super-flags are sticky -- in general, they cannot be dropped.  The
       server may provide a yellow antidote flag.  Driving over it will
       release the bad flag.  The server may also allow a timeout and/or a
       number of wins to shake the flag.  Scoring the required number of wins,
       surviving the required amount of time or being destroyed will
       automatically drop the flag.  Bad flags disappear after the first

       Here is a brief description of each good superflag with the flag's code
       in parentheses:

       High Speed (V) Boosts top speed by 50%.

       Quick Turn (QT)
                      Boosts turn rate by 50%.

       Agility (A)    Improves a tank's dodging capabilities.

       Oscillation Overthruster (OO)
                      Let's the tank go through buildings.  You cannot back up
                      in or into a building, nor can you shoot while inside.

       Rapid Fire (F) Increases shot speed and decreases range and reload

       Machine Gun (MG)
                      Increases shot speed and dramatically decreases range
                      and reload delay.

       Guided Missile (GM)
                      Shots guide themselves when locked on.  The missile can
                      be retargeted at any time during its flight (with the
                      right mouse button).  This allows the player some
                      control over the missile's steering.

       Laser (L)      Shoots a laser, with effectively infinite speed and
                      range.  Just point and shoot.  The binoculars are handy
                      for lining up distant targets.  The downside (you knew
                      it was coming) is that the reload time is doubled.

       Ricochet (R)   Shots reflect off walls.  It is exceptionally easy to
                      kill yourself with this flag.

       Super Bullet (SB)
                      Shots can go through buildings (possibly destroying a
                      tank with the oscillation overthruster flag) and can
                      also destroy (phantom) zoned tanks.

       Stealth (ST)   Tank becomes invisible on radar but is still visible

       Cloaking (CL)  Tank becomes invisible out-the-window but is still
                      visible on radar.

       Invisible Bullet (IB)
                      Shots are invisible on radar (except your own).  They
                      are visible out-the-window.  Sort of stealth for shots.

       Tiny (T)       Tank becomes much smaller and harder to hit.

       Narrow (N)     Tank becomes paper thin.  It's very hard (but not
                      impossible) to hit a narrow tank from the front or back.
                      However, the tank is as long as usual so hitting it from
                      the side has normal difficulty.

       Shield (SH)    Getting shot while in possession of this flag simply
                      drops the flag (instead of destroying the tank).  Since
                      the flag may not disappear you may want to wait around
                      for it to fall to the ground so you can grab it again,
                      but, be warned, the shield flag flies for an extra long
                      time (longer than the normal reload time).

       Steamroller (SR)
                      Tank can destroy other tanks by driving over them (but
                      you must get quite close).

       Shock Wave (SW)
                      Tank doesn't fire shells.  Instead it sends out a shock
                      wave in all directions.  Any tank caught in the wave is
                      destroyed (including tanks on or in buildings).

       Phantom Zone (PZ)
                      Driving through a teleporter phantom zones the tank.  A
                      zoned tank cannot shoot, but can drive through buildings
                      and cannot be destroyed except by a Super Bullet or a
                      Shock Wave (or if the team's flag is captured).

       Genocide (G)   Destroying any tank on a team destroys every player on
                      that team.

       Jumping (JP)   Allows the tank to jump.  You cannot steer while in the

       Identify (ID)  Displays the identity of the closest flag in the

       Masquerade (MQ)
                      You tank looks like a teammate when viewed out of the
                      window.  Bullets, radar and targeting reveal your true

       Burrow {BU}    You tank burrows into the ground up to your muzzle,
                      making you impervious to normal shots, as they sail
                      above you. However your tank controls are sluggish, and
                      anyone, no matter what flag they have, can crush you

       Seer (SE)      See Stealthed, Cloaked and Masqueraded tanks as normal,
                      as well as Invisible Bullets.

       Thief (TH)     Tank is small and fast, when you shoot an opponent, he
                      is not killed, but instead, you steal his flag.

       Useless (US)   It's useless!

       Wings (WG)     Tank can drive around in the air, and may be able to
                      jump multiple times.  This can be useful when jumping or

       A brief description of each bad superflag with the flag's code in

       Colorblindness (CB)
                      Prevents tank from seeing any team information about
                      other tanks.  You have to be careful to avoid shooting

       Obesity (O)    The tank becomes very large and easy to hit.  It's so
                      big that it can't fit through teleporters.

       Left Turn Only (<-)
                      Prevents the tank from turning right.

       Right Turn Only (->)
                      Prevents the tank from turning left.

       Forward Only (FO)
                      Prevents the tank from going backwards.

       Reverse Only (RO)
                      Prevents the tank from going forward.

       Momentum (M)   Gives the tank a lot of inertia.

       Blindness (B)  Blanks the out-the-window view.  The radar still works.
                      It is effectively impossible to detect any tank with
                      Stealth;  shooting a Stealth with Blindness is the stuff
                      legends are made of.

       Jamming (JM)   Disables the radar but you can still see.

       Wide Angle (WA)
                      Gives the tank a fish eye lens that's rather

       No Jumping (NJ)
                      Tank is not allowed to jump.

       Trigger Happy (TR)
                      Tank can't stop shooting.  Watch out for that richochet.

       Reverse Controls (RC)
                      Tank driving controls are reversed from their usual

       If a server is full or if you just want to watch a battle without
       interfering in it, you can use the observer mode. To join a server as
       an observer, select R Observer as your tank's team. The maximum number
       of observers can be restricted by the server admin, so you might still
       not be able to join a full server.

       When in observer mode, you can freely roam the world. Using the arrow
       keys you can rotate the camera in every direction. Holding shift and
       using the arrow keys moves the camera left, right, forward or back.
       Pressing the up or down arrow while holding the R ALT key will change
       the camera's altitude. The R F9 and R F10 keys change the camera's
       focal lengths, giving a zoom effect. The R F11 key will reset the zoom.
       Pressing R l lets you toggle the display of tank labels.

       Repeatedly pressing R F8 cycles through different roaming modes: free,
       tracking, following, first person (driving with) and tracking team
       flag.  In tracking mode, the camera will automatically look at a tank.
       You can cycle through available tanks with the R F6 and R F7 keys. In
       follow mode, the camera is positioned right behind the targeted tank,
       whereas you actually look from within the tank when using first person
       mode. The last mode, track team flag is only available in
       capture-the-flag games and will track the team flags. Again, use R F6
       and R F7 to choose which flag to track. One special option that can be
       used with follow, tracking, and first person modes is that you can
       choose to do it with the winning tank.  This is selected by cycling
       through the tanks until you see the winner option. In this mode, you
       will always be engaged with whoever has the best score (and is alive).
       The default is drive with winner mode.

User Commands
       The following commands can be executed by sending a message to all and
       using these strings as the message

       SILENCE playerName
                      Does not display any message coming from player with
                      playerName name

       UNSILENCE playerName
                      Reshow messages coming from player with playerName name

       SAVEWORLD filename
                      Save the current world to filename.

                      Stores options between game sessions.  Used when HOST is
                      not defined.

                      Stores options between game sessions.  Used when HOST is

       bzadmin(6), bzfs(6), bzw(5)

bzflag-2.0.16                     2010-04-09                         bzflag(6)