Gameplay is simple in theory: The objective is to place a large ball into the opponent's goal area. In practice, the combination of skills, tactics and techniques used to accomplish this objective bring a great deal of depth to the game. To make accomplishing your objective more interesting, all CarBall vehicles are capable of various acrobatics and of using various power-ups that enhance your car's abilities, all described below.
At the beginning of a CarBall match two teams, the red team and the blue team, spawn, already in vehicles. A large ball also spawns, typically above the centre of the playing field. The two teams then attempt to knock the ball into the goal area owned by the opposing team.
Semi-organized chaos now ensues as the two teams run into each other and their teammates and the ball seemingly bounces in every direction except the one you were hoping it would.
As your first game progresses, you will see the other players jumping into the air and performing all kinds of amazing feats knocking the ball in every way, making the game very "three-dimensional".
All CarBall vehicles can perform various acrobatics. Your car can jump, do wheelies, and air control. Combining these abilities can achieve amazing, high-flying, results. Please see the Vehicle Acrobatics section for more information.
Your vehicle can add to its abilities by driving over special items lying around the playing field. These items are called "power-ups". Your car can hold up to a maximum of three Power-Ups at any one time. Please see the Power-Ups Section below for more information.
Learning to combine vehicle acrobatics and power-ups form a large part of the CarBall experience. Good driving skills and the ability to perform vehicle stunts will help you score goals and block your opponents from scoring. The various acrobatics and power-ups available in the game are described in great detail below. You may also wish to read the Tricks, Tips and Techniques Guide to learn more.
Slamming into walls, ramming into other cars, falling from great heights, etc will inflict damage upon your vehicle. This damage is normally slight, so it is a worthwhile tactic to ram the opposing team and more often than not one should not worry about running into the wall or falling onto the ground as long as it helps further your goals. However, the damage can add up so you should be mindful of your car's health.
Your vehicle starts with certain amount of "health" points and when it reaches 0 your car explodes. You will then respawn in a new vehicle with full health points and no power-ups in your inventory. The health of your car is displayed near the bottom left of your screen. (See the HUD section for more specific information.) You cannot exit the vehicle in CarBall.
Be mindful of the UT3 severs friendly fire setting. If set to "off" or 0%, this means that the weapons of teammates will not do any damage to your vehicle, although you can still hurt yourself. For example, if you drop a goo pile then accidentally drive over it you may explode. No matter what the friendly fire setting is, if another car, regardless of team, hits your car, you will be affected and you may be knocked over a ledge, into a dangerous environment, into another vehicle, etc.
Most power-ups can damage vehicles and affect the ball. For example, a direct hit from a Rocket will destroy your car while an indirect hit may only take off some of your health. A direct hit by a Rocket on the ball will cause the ball to roll forward with great speed. An indirect hit on the ball by a Rocket will cause the ball to fly into the air.
The ball cannot be damaged or destroyed. If a power-up is said to affect the ball, it simply means that the power-up will apply force to the ball, sending it rolling off or flying into the air with extra speed.
For the most part, the physics of the game are fairly intuitive. For example, the faster your vehicle hits something, the more damage your car will take. Vehicle explosions will damage nearby cars and apply force to the ball. The faster you hit the ball, the faster the ball will roll, the further it may fly into the air, etc. Please note that the ball sometimes spins as it flies through the air. This spinning may cause the ball to bounce in unexpected directions when it hits the ground.
If you place the ball into the goal area of the other team, your team will score a point. The team with the most number of team points at the end of the match wins the match. Individuals will get points for scoring goals, killing other players, etc, however individual points do not affect which team wins the game. If you place the ball into your own goal area without an opposing team member touching it, you will score what is called an "owngoal" and the opposing team will receive one goal. Individuals can loose individual points for scoring own goals, dying from the environment (e.g., driving your car into lava), or killing themselves.
Once a goal has been scored, the game will advise everyone of the event and then the ball and players will respawn after a short delay.
Good map designers incorporate elements to show which goal belongs to which team. This may include making the blue goal glow blue and the red goal glow red or having appropriately colored lights or banners, etc draping the goal. There is no mechanism to guarantee that this will be done, but it is a standard practice for mappers to include some visual elements to show what team owns a goal area.
If a game has a time limit and that limit is reached with the team scores being equal, the game will enter over time. After a short count down, the players and ball will respawn. The first team to score a goal after this respawn will win the match. This is similar to what is called "sudden death overtime" in many real world sports.
Should a ball not experience any movement for a certain period of time, it will respawn. This prevents the game from stopping altogether because of the ball getting trapped in an inaccessible spot.
Please note that CarBall does not provide support for bots, so there is no single player mode for CarBall. (UT3 has an AI system that understands carrying objects, but not the complexities of pushing/passing a ball at the right time.)
It is important to note that map makers can create maps that incorporate elements that are different than the norm. For example, a map can have more than one goal per team and sometimes scoring on certain goals will give your team more points than scoring on other goals. The ball will have a different appearance in different maps. Sometimes the ball will drop down from the sky when it respawns, sometimes it will hover in the air until a player touches it. It is possible you will spawn facing your own goal if the map maker so chooses. The creativity of map makers is such that you should be prepared to sometimes see game elements and behaviors different than expected and not necessarily described here.
After reading the above you should be able to learn more about the specifics of the game through playing, however to make it easier and faster for you, all the specific vehicle acrobatics and power-ups are described in great detail below. Our Quickstart Guide describes these game elements with shorter, more basic descriptions.
Hold down your Charged Jump button (Duck button, default C) down and then release it to make your car jump straight up. The longer you hold the Charged Jump button before releasing it, the higher you will jump (There is a limit to how high your car will jump).
If you hold down and release either the Strafe Left button or the Strafe Right button (defaults A and D, respectively) while holding down the Charged Jump button (Duck button) your car will spin to the left or right (corresponding to which direction button your pressed) during the jump. The long you hold the button down, the further you will spin in the corresponding direction. This is especially useful for changing direction, as opposed to driving in a circle.
You can tip the front of your car while you are in the air by holding down the Duck (default C) button. The longer you hold down the Duck button the further the nose of your car will point down.
You can tip the front of your car up while you are in the air by holding down the Jump button (default SpaceBar). The longer you hold down the Jump button the further the nose of your car will point up.
You can pivot your car while you are in the air by holding down the Strafe Left (default A) button or Strafe Right (default D). The longer you hold down the button the further you will spin.
You can perform a barrel roll while you are in the air by holding down the Input Modifier button (Translocator, default Q) and then pressing Strafe Left (default A) button or Strafe Right (default D). The longer you hold down the button the further you will roll.
A wheelie is the term used to refer to lifting the front wheels of your car into the air while the back wheels are still touching the ground. To perform a wheelie press the Wheelie button (Feign Death, default F). A wheelie is primarily used to stop the ball from moving altogether when it is sent towards you.
If you car is knocked onto its side or upside down you will be unable to drive. You can upright your car and continue driving by pressing the Upright Vehicle button (Use, default E). This is the same button you use to enter or exit vehicles in Warfare or VCTF games.
Your vehicle can add to its abilities by driving over special items lying around the playing field. These items are called "power-ups". Your car can hold up to a maximum of three power-ups at any one time. When your car touches a power-up it will be displayed in the inventory section of your Heads Up Display (HUD) in the bottom right area of your screen. If a yellow square surrounds one of the power-ups displayed on your HUD that particular power-up is active. You can use the active power-up by pressing the Fire button (default Left Mouse button).You can cycle through which power-up is active by using the mouse scroll, or hitting the numeric keys specifying a specific inventory slot. (Please see the Controls and Configuration Guide for information on how to do this.) Once a Power-Up has been picked up, an colored emitter will appear so you can identity what kind of Power-Up will respawn. See the Charts and List section of the manual to see which colors identify the pickup bases for which Power-Ups.
The various CarBall Power-Ups are described below. Please note that not all CarBall maps will contain all Power-Ups available in the game.
When activated this Power-Up will send your car forward at tremendous speed. This is a temporary effect. You have less control over your car while this Power-Up is being used. If you make a sharp turn or stop your car altogether the speed increase will stop.
Activate this power-up and a rocket will fire from the front of your vehicle. This rocket explodes causing area damage when it hits something. A direct hit can destroy another vehicle. A Rocket fired from a still vehicle will be launched at a slight downward angle. The faster a vehicle is traveling, the higher the angle of launch for the Rocket. At top speed, a vehicle will fire the Rocket at a slight upward angle. The Rocket can affect the ball.
The Goo Pile Power-Up can drop a pile of globs behind your car. These globs do damage to vehicles that they come in contact with. Each glob does a small amount of damage. The amount of damage of all the globs together is enough to destroy a vehicle. The globs disappear after a few moments. Damage from the globs is inflicted as they disappear. Goo Piles can affect the ball.
The Invisibility Power-Up will cause your car to become very difficult to see by opposing players. A car using the invisibility Power-Up will appear to be highly translucent and to be causing a large amount of light refraction. That is to say that the car will have the "Predator Effect" that has been a nearly universal standard for video game invisibility for many years. This Power-Up has a time limit, shown by a count down that appears on your screen upon activation. This ability only works for a limited amount of time.
Currently, the only available vehicle is the Spectre. Future versions of CarBall will allow you to select different vehicles, and certain customization options.
Available CarBall Vehicles:
During the game your screen will show information about activities related to the game, such as the current score. The system that controls the display of this information is called the Heads-Up-Display, or HUD. The CarBall HUD is different than the normal UT3 HUD and is described in detail below.
If a time limit has been set by the game server admin, the clock shows a count down of how much time remains until the match end.
The current score for both teams is shown in the score area. The red team's score is displayed next to a red icon on the left, and the blue team's score is shown next to a blue icon on the right. The team your are on has its icon slightly bigger than the opposing team.
The radar show the positions of important items. The white triangle on your team's symbol points towards your goal, while the white triangle of the opposing team points towards their goal. The other triangle on your teams symbol will point towards the primary ball in play. The color of the triangle indicates the ball's position in relation to you. If it is red, the ball is below you. If it is green the ball is above you, and if it is gold, the ball is level with you horizontally.
The inventory boxes will show which power-ups you currently posses. A graphic image of the power-up(s) you have will appear in the boxes. If a box is empty, there is no power-up in that slot. The highlighted box indicates which power-up is selected and can be activated with the fire button.
If you perform a jump, a bar will be shown in this area of the HUD. The longer you hold down the Jump button, the longer the bar becomes, up to a limit. This gives you a visual indication of how powerful your jump will be. Similarly, if you do a spinning jump, a second bar will appear next to the first bar, giving you a visual cue of how far the spin will be.
This is where the health of your vehicle is shown as a point value. When it reaches 0, your car will explode, and you will respawn.