[TIP] Spawn Design Tips

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a survivor with too much paint
Feb 7, 2008
This thread is a list of various things I've learned about respawn room design. Hopefully they help you too!

It is generally best for the player if they spawn in the same position every time. Having multiple respawn rooms that players will randomly pick between creates unpredictability and potential frustration. If the player has a specific thing they want to do when they respawn, and they randomly get spawned in the room they didn't want, they have to rapidly respawn themselves until they get into the correct room. Many players do not even know this technique, and more players do not have a bind to make this not an annoying task.

When a player leaves spawn, they should be able to easily find their team's teleporter. This typically means that you want to have a "primary" exit that most players will use, with the other exits being secondary options that players will choose if they want to take a specific path rather than just get to the battle as quickly as possible. Less attentive players may leave spawn and take a teleporter when presented with one, but not hunt for a teleporter when there isn't one. As such, having multiple exits of equal importance may result in that team arriving to the battle slower depending on how much that team's players want to hunt for teleporters.

This is also part of why split respawn rooms are annoying. If a player is just trying to get to the battle, they need to spawn at the "correct" room to take the teleporter.

Predictable teleporter placement is also potentially important for classes like spy and scout who may be sneaking behind enemy lines to destroy the teleporter at spawn. In most cases this is not much of an issue because the spawn doors are not that far apart, but it can be a problem in cases where spawn exits lead to completely different areas.

Gorge's blue forward spawn is on a high ground that cannot be easily accessed once players leave the spawn. This creates some issues. One is that blue players cannot easily re-access the spawn, which may be annoying for players who need healing. In addition, spies and scouts who are behind enemy lines to destroy teleporters will not be able to reach their destination. Putting a blue forward spawn on a high ground is often a good idea since it provides blue with a strong positional advantage to push out of spawn, but it is generally good to provide a way up to that high ground as well.

When building spawns for defending an objective, spawn exits should not be able to see too far out into the area being defended. If a spawn exits directly into a large open area, this can easily create issues where players can stand inside the spawn and still participate in the battle, e.g. snipers sitting in spawn and picking off enemies while being immune to spies. This issue can also exist in reverse, with attacking players being able to spam into the defender spawn too easily. Providing room between the red spawn and the objective fixes this issue, and also provides blue spies some room to work.

There are some exceptions to this guideline. 5CP maps tend to have more exposed spawn exits at final, but the objective still will not be within direct eyesight of the spawn, and the capture time is quite low. Also, blue spawns on asymmetrical maps can benefit from doing the exact opposite - let players stand in spawn and snipe/spam out to give them a better chance of pushing forward.

On a similar note:

It is generally a good idea to try and prevent sightlines directly between spawn exits and the spawn points so that players are generally safe from spam until they start moving. This isn't super important on many maps, but is most commonly important when dealing with the first blue spawnroom of an asymmetrical map, where the spawn exits are setup gates that stay permanently open instead of being shutter doors.

Sightline control can also be important when considering how players rotate through the spawn between different spawn exits. In general, for initial blue spawns on asymmetrical maps, players should be able to access any spawn exit without crossing through sightlines of any other spawn exit. This is not a hard and fast rule, and depends on how significant the sightlines are with specific spawn exits, but players will appreciate feeling safer within their spawn.

For similar reasons, it is also a good idea to carefully consider where red can see into spawn and make sure they cannot see in too deep. Blue players should be able to have strong control over whether or not they are visible to red. Generally, this means that a setup gate should not have a long hallway leading up to it without there being a corner somewhere to prevent the sightline from getting too deep.

Also, do not use shutter doors in place of setup gates! This is a lazy way of blocking sightlines into spawn and creates more issues than it solves. For example, if a shutter door is used because the exit can see too far into the spawn, those sightlines still exist when a player opens the door, meaning red snipers can see much further into the spawn than is predictable or fair. In addition, blue players must get into a vulnerable position in order to open the door, meaning they cannot easily spam (or even see) out of the spawn exit without getting mulched by red team.

That's all for now; might add images or more tips later.


L6: Sharp Member
Sep 10, 2016
Good to finally have a miniguide for this.

Here's a setup I found recently for BLU first spawns that controls sightlines space-efficiently:

Since the two doors in each antechamber are set on the same wall, it's impossible for BLU to be shot through one door without first passing through the other.
Since the design is very simple and you get spawn wallhacks, it's not too hard to find the teleporter.
Although I do agree with the "primary spawn exit" philosophy.

Showerthought - the idea of a primary spawn exit is actually also more fun for the players who enjoy spawncamping others, since they know where enemies are most likely to be but they know they can't rely on them always using that spawn exit.
Think Badwater's upper RED spawn before B is capped.