From DDraceNetwork

zCatch is a Teeworlds modification where players need to catch all the other players to win. It is based on the rules of Zombieball. The current implementation is developed by jxsl13, while the original one is developed and released by erd on 6 January 2010.


zCatch is based on a German ball game played in schools during physical education called "Zombieball"[1]. In zCatch, players are fighting with the goal to catch all the other players. You catch other players by hitting them with your weapon. When a player gets caught, they have to spectate the catcher while he's alive. If the catcher gets caught by someone else all their caught tees get released and respawn. The game stops when one player has caught all other players.

You can release caught players by pressing your kill key, bound to k by default. It will release the last player caught, and will send you a message.

For every vanilla Teeworlds weapon there is a zCatch variant:

  • zCatch Laser with a laser rifle
  • zCatch Grenade with a grenade launcher. Different to Vanilla, the grenades do not inflict self damage allowing players to constantly build up speed.
  • zCatch Everything with all Vanilla weapons.
  • zCatch Hammer with the hammer as primary weapon.
  • zCatch Gun with a gun as primary weapon.
  • zCatch Shotgun with a shotgun as primary weapon.
  • zCatch Ninja with the ninja weapon as primary weapon.

Only zCatch Laser and zCatch Grenade were played seriously. Other variants were mostly unbalanced and played for fun than for the competitive aspect of it.


  • 2010-01-06: zCatch for 0.5 released by erd based on the rules of Zombieball[1]
  • 2011-06-05: zCatch based on 0.6 gets released by Teetime a.k.a TT <3[2]
  • 2014-03-26 to 2016-05-12: zCatch/TeeVi was developed by Teelevision[3]
  • 2014-09-21 to 2019-04-11: Savander developed DDNet's zCatch [4]
  • 2019-02-03 to 2019-02-05: TeeSlayer developed the first zCatch version for Teeworlds 0.7 [5]
  • 2019-06-28 to 2022-04-26: jxsl13 developed the most recent zCatch for Teeworlds 0.7 [6]

Common Terminology

  • nades: Grenades.
  • boost nades: Grenades that you use in order to gain speed and move faster.
  • spam: Shooting an excessive amount of grenades, often without properly aiming.
  • spray (a.k.a. random nade): Shooting one or more grenades without seeing a player's position or predicting his position, often random shooting in order to hit someone that might luckily pass by. It is appropriate to release the randomly caught player. Forward facing boost fades are considered as spraying, if they hit a target without hitting the speeding player at the same time. Backwards facing boost nades are not considered as spraying.
  • lucky shot: Hitting a player, while aiming and shooting at another player is not considered as spraying, but it is still appropriate to release the caught player.
  • rls (a.k.a. release): The player is asking you to release him.
  • rls? or rls game?: The catcher asks if he has to release the caught players.


The first implementation of zCatch which was created by erd (nowadays occasionally seen under the nickname erdbaer) was, at least remotely, inspired by the first fng mod which was closed source and whose servers were called "Blumentopf FNG" which erd attempted to clone but seemingly arrived at zCatch.

Since Teeworlds 0.5 and at least half of the Teeworlds 0.6 era were focused on the instagib laser rifle variant of zCatch, where your primary weapon is a laser rifle which instantly kills, hence catches, your opponents.

After a long period of people playing the 0.6 zCatch of TT <3 (Teetime), and no real continuation of the mod's development, especially the grenade version of it, Teelevision forked Teetime's GitHub source tree and continued development.

zCatch transitioned from primarily being laser focused to primarily being grenade focused around that time, when Teelevision took over.

Since the dawn of zCatch, the minimal number of needed players in order to be able to win a round was 5. At some point in the grenade launcher era, Savander forked Teelevision's zCatch and introduced a basic ranking system while also increasing the number of people required to win a round to 10 and reversing the color transitions to be from red to blue (0 players caught to 15 players caught). This shifted popularity towards the DDNet zCatch servers. Afterwards Teelevision also introduced a ranking system while keeping the number of required players to win a round at 5.

DDNet and Teelevision continued to host zCatch servers of both variants (laser and grenade) until the official end of Teeworlds 0.6. During that time most players were playing on DDNet's zCatch.

Towards the end of Teeworlds 0.6 the number of players on zCatch dwindled, leading to the number of those previously introduced 10 required players to end a round to be met less and less while the normal zCatch mechanics, where you catch players and those players join the spectators until the player who caught them dies, still persisted. In terms of gameplay, while not being able to end a round, it was usually pointless to catch and keep players caught, thus the term "release game" was born. It is basically gDM without the possibility to win the game where caught players are manually released by the player who caught them. It was a fair form of a warm up where everyone could continue playing the game until enough players joined the server to actually play and win a round of zCatch. Usually after 10 players joined, the game transitioned to the normal zCatch mechanics where everyone stopped releasing everyone else they caught and started playing the game. Players were still released in case of (unwanted) random kills (term: spray) or spawning players in order to improve fair play. At some point, primarily new players introduced to the mod, started to demand "release game" (short: rls game) to be played even after the required 10 players were on the server to play a proper round of zCatch, basically undermining the whole principle of the mod.

After the release of 0.7 a lot of people still continued to play zCatch on Teeworlds 0.6. That changed when TeeSlayer released a port for Teeworlds 0.7 with most basic mechanics needed for zCatch, no ranking, just the raw gameplay mechanics. Players then slowly transitioned, tho not completely, to Teeworlds 0.7.

That is when jxsl13 started to implement zCatch from scratch for 0.7 trying to tackle a lot of the shortcomings of the Teeworlds 0.6 versions and adding all of the missing features that TeeSlayer's version was missing. The resulting zCatch version is the one that is played to this day.

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