Choke Points

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Areas in game worlds which can be used to block access to other areas.

This pattern is a still a stub.


Choke Points are used in maps for many multiplayer First-Person Shooters as they concentrate gameplay activity.

For Team Fortress 2, examples include the tunnel in the Gold Rush map and the blue team's initial exit points in the Dustbowl map.

Using the pattern

Choke Points can be create through designing narrow sections in Game Worlds or Levels that solely or together with just a few other Choke Points provide access between other parts of the Game Worlds or Levels. Alternatively, Inaccessible Areas, Obstacles or Environmental Effects can be used and Environmental Effects can make the use of Choke Points a Tradeoff rather than a requirement. Of course, if several Choke Points exist between the same areas - which makes them into Flanking Routes - then players also have a choice whether to use a particular Choke Point or not. The existence of Flanking Routes may however make locations stop functioning as Choke Points if they always offer easier access to other parts of the Game Worlds.


Choke Points are Strategic Locations that affect how Movement can be done in Game Worlds and Levels, primarily by creating Inaccessible Areas. By doing so they are often the targets of Area Control goals regardless of if it is players or their Enemies controlling the Choke Points; this quite naturally leads to to Eliminate goals. The resulting Combat against Enemies is typically easier or harder than "normal" Combat depending on who controls the Choke Points. This can lead to Repeated Domination but can also likely shift the balance of which weapons are most efficient (powerful but short ranged weapons, such as the flamethrower of the Pyro in Team Fortress 2, is most efficient in Choke Points). Besides creating Elminate goals, Choke Points can create Guard goals and make Stealth goals more difficult.

Providing several Choke Points for players to try and get access through is an explicit way of creating a Selectable Set of Goals (even if games with Teams can try several at once).

The existence of Choke Points can make areas connected by the Choke Points into Strongholds.


Can Instantiate

Area Control Repeated Domination, Selectable Set of Goals, Strategic Locations, Strongholds, Tradeoffs

with Enemies

Eliminate, Inaccessible Areas

Can Modulate

Combat, Enemies, Game Worlds, Guard, Levels, Movement, Stealth

Can Be Instantiated By

Inaccessible Areas, Environmental Effects, Obstacles

Can Be Modulated By

Flanking Routes

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With

Flanking Routes


New pattern created in this wiki. However, it was first introduced using another template by Hullett and Whitehead[1], and a more detailed description in this template is available[2].


  1. Hullett, K. & Whitehead, J. (2010). Design Patterns in FPS Levels, paper presentation at Foundations of Digital Games 2010, June 19-21, Monterey, CA, USA.
  2. Choke Point pattern by Kenneth Hullett.


Kennart Hullett, Jim Whitehead