I run a custom map server for our community (not tf2maps, different community just to be clear) and I'm interested in some suggestions from experienced custom map players. We play about once a week on the server, no limits to the number of maps in the cycle so long as they are liked. I find the following types work best: KOTH 3 cp push 5 cp push (but not large ones) payload race unique styles (if reasonably well done) Not as good: ctf (can easily stalemate, encourages defense too much) payload cp attack/defend Smaller focused maps tend to work better. Common complaints from players are "I'm lost" "I don't know where to go" etc. With custom maps you need a very quick learning curve or people lose interest fast. Dark maps tend to get complaints. They always look good before you play them but ultimately the darkness tends to create game play issues for people, ie, "i cant see." Gimmick styles of play can go over well so long as they aren't over played. I'm talking about your wacky races, balloon races, skating rink, pipeball, billards, etc. If it can have a cute gimmick and be well balanced for real play even better, for example lolcano has been very popular. Players always complain if the map isn't finished too, I've seen some good up and coming maps but can't use them till they get the textures on the wall. No maps with huge open line of sites that heavily favor snipers. People HATE that. It's okay if it's one area or one part but not if it's the whole map or the majority of it or that one part is essential to achieving the goal. Small file sizes are better but not demanded if the map is of sufficient quality to warrant the wait. We do have a fast download server but still people don't like waiting. This is probably the single most important reason as to why custom map servers don't populate in the first place. Unique or otherwise interesting settings are popular. A well done theme can push a map from good to great. Okay that got longer than I intended, sorry about that, looking forward to suggestions though and trying out some new maps.