I get frustrated when playing Quake-Live on some maps such as rebound or vortex portal, when some users seem to only use rail and doubler and nothing else.

This is frustrating when an enemy does this as it seems there is little chance to get into the enemy base to capture the flag. It's equally frustrating when a teammate does it as they are not helping to capture the flag.

Is this a valid strategy? Does it make sense to do this in a capture the flag match? I seems like it is useful for racking up kills, not securing captures.

What can I do to combat the use of this strategy?

  • What do you mean "valid"? Are you seeking a ban for people doing so? The map designers decided to make the rail especially useful for defense for that map. It's... pretty much all there is to it; simply don't play that map if you don't like it. Personally I'm no fan of the rail spamming either in vortex portal, but enjoy the movement possibilities the map does offer plus the metagame of holding middle to prevent restocking of rail guns from the enemy.
    – badp
    Feb 3, 2012 at 5:29
  • @Badp I suppose I mean effective rather than valid.
    – m3tron0me
    Feb 4, 2012 at 23:18

2 Answers 2


You can counter the railgun spam on Vortex Portal by taking control of middle, the only place (IIRC) where the railgun weapon and ammo spawns. This area is also important to control for the megahealth below and for being generally the fastest way to cap.

It's unsurprising that keeping a hold on this area is not an easy task, but if you can do it your team will gain quite the edge over the enemy team. "Railwhores" will need to confront you on your terms, but don't assume that just because they spend ungodly amount of times camping portals with the railgun it doesn't mean they're not proficient with the rocket launcher. (IIRC, it's trivial to enter middle with 25 rockets, while keeping your weapons stocked up while camping middle is trickier indeed.)

As for Rebound... I don't recall the railgun being as "overpowered" on this map. If you know the enemy is camping your flag pole (something fairly safe to assume), you might want to forego the quicker but more dangerous lower routes by taking the main route, or better yet the not-as-frequented lateral ones.

If you have to take the lower route, consider trickier ways to climb on the top like climbing your way on the vertical pillars with rocket jumps or plasma climbing. It won't work eight times, but it might just be the move that changes the game. Plus, you get obvious bragging rights for pulling this off in a real game, with people like shooting at you and stuff.

If you get knocked off the map, try your luck and drop the flag (you have bound that command, haven't you?). If you're lucky enough it'll fall downstairs for a teammate to grab. It's going to reset if you don't anyway.

  • I've tried controlling the middle but it seems impossible. A proficient railwhore with doubler will annihilate me every time I come thorough. I consider myself a decent player but I have no idea how to get past people using such a strategy.
    – m3tron0me
    Feb 4, 2012 at 23:20
  • @m3tron0me Counter double with guard. If they go for the rail kill, try to keep moving and juggle/splash them with rockets. Use the mega if you need that edge.
    – badp
    Feb 4, 2012 at 23:38
  • thanks. What does guard do exactly?
    – m3tron0me
    Feb 5, 2012 at 0:20
  • @m3tron0me That's a good question I'm not sure I have the answer to. Why don't we give it its own page? :)
    – badp
    Feb 5, 2012 at 0:25

The thing about the Railgun is, its an excellent medium to long range weapon. Not a close range attack weapon.

Not many are efficient at using it for short range as the reload time is slow, its not viable to take a player head on with it.

There are so many tactics to combat railgun players, the best of which is to get into the "short" distance range and attack with your favourite/best weapon. This throws a railgun "whore" off balance and they will usually try to retract to gain distance from you.

Having said all that, Railgunning (is that the right word ha!) is an effective defensive strategy for defence in CTF games as usually the attackers will be at distance upon arriving in your base to which defenders can snipe at them with rails.

Also if you are no good at sniping back with rails, may I suggest playing peekaboo with the plasma gun. Its effective at long ranges against railers (if they aren't very good) as some railers usually stand still while they aim, you can pop out chuck a few plasma bullets at em.

Lastly, try to get good at the railgun yourself, its an extremely effective weapon and will help you fight back against teams who use this as a strategy to defend.

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