Codex Gamicus

Instagib is a mod for the game Unreal Tournament which removes all the normal weapons and all the power-ups of the map (excluding Boots), and just enables one single weapon: the Enhanced Shock Rifle, which is available as soon as you spawn.

The Enhanced Shock Rifle kills with a single shot, and is an instantaneous weapon with unlimited ammo, meaning that if you aimed at someone correctly, no matter how far away on the map they are, it will kill them.

This mod is one of the most popular mods for Unreal Tournament, and features these changes to core gameplay:

  • It removes all of the weapon and armor spawns of any map where Instagib is used. The removal of armor and weapon spawns interferes with timing. Timing is the ability of a player (or team of players) to predict when weapon or armor drops will spawn after they have been taken. In a normal game, timing is a crucial factor for victory, and the teams who manage to control the map are those who can control the power-ups, and the team that wins almost always takes them, and uses them to their advantage. By removing this part of the game, the main focus is shifted to faster-paced action, since you never wait for power-ups. The only exception to this are the boots, since it's the only item that spawns in Instagib games.
  • There is no need to search for ammo drops or health power-ups. Health is useless, since you die with a single shot no matter what, and ammo is unneeded since the Enhanced Shock Rifle has an unlimited amount of ammo. This also contributes to a faster-paced game, and removes some of the "luck factor" that could influence the outcome of a standard game.

Those points are, in the eyes of most Instagib players, a step toward "fair games". In fact, you always have the chance to kill an opponent, even if you have just re-spawned after being killed, which is not the case in a standard game.

The only problem with Instagib and "fairness" is the fact that players with a lower ping have an advantage. In Unreal Tournament, shots are calculated on the server; therefore if you aim someone, with 100ms ping delay, you'll have to adjust your aim to kill the opponent. The lower the ping you have, the less of an adjustment you need. There is also a mod called Zeroping which removes this problem by calculating the shot "client-side", meaning that you exactly have to aim to the opponent in order to claim the kill, which some agree is more logical and natural.

Instagib, finally, is a very high skill mod; successful players have high reflexes, good communication skills, and good overall situation analysis. Movements must be as unpredictable as possible, and the focus on a game must be kept from beginning to end, making it a pretty hard game for nerves.


The most popular game type for Instagib is Capture The Flag. Capture the Flag is usually played 5 vs. 5, and the main purpose of this game type is to capture the enemy's flag. In order to achieve this, you must go in the flag room of the enemy base, run over the flag (your character then holds the flag automatically), and run back to your own flag post, which results in a capture (cap). Instagib combined with Capture the Flag is called Instagib Capture the Flag, or iCTF for short.

The fact that Instagib removes a lot of the burdens from the player's shoulders, makes it an interesting team game since team play is required in order to win an iCTF game against a skilled clan.

Teamplay in iCTF includes the following factors :

  • Cover your flag carrier : When one of your teammates has the flag, you must protect him at all cost. Since Instagib is an instant death mode, it's really rare that a flag carrier manages to run back to his base without being killed. When he's killed, the flag lies on the ground, and another teammate can take it in turn, and continue the initial run. Covering is the most important matter in iCTF.
  • Defend the base : Usually some players are assigned the task to hold the base clean from the enemy attacks. Defender's role, is often judged less important than the attacker's one, but they are no less important. If defense is weak, enemies will often break through, and pressure would be too important to stop them all the time.
  • Counter enemy flag runs : Attackers task is not only to go and get the enemy flag, but also an important part of their role is at times, to be able to come back and give a hand to defenders when they are in a troublesome situation. The ability of attackers to follow the game, and be at the right place, at the right moment, doing important kills that allow the team to return the flag is a very important factor in a victory in Capture The Flag.
  • Take over midfield to strengthen cover : Defenders task is also not only focused in base, defending the flag. They must at times be able to go up, and help in midfield, to do those important shoots, or eventually grab a dropped flag and finish the attackers run.
  • Communication and announcement : Another skill an iCTF player must have, is good communication skills. He must be able to give important informations at all times, say incoming announcements ( which help defenders hold the base ) and provide backup information to their attackers teammates. For communication, often tools like Discord, TeamSpeak or Ventrilo are used, to be able to talk between a team.

Famous iCTF maps are Gauntlet, Dreary and Eternalcave. Lot of maps makers have provided very interesting maps, like CommandCE, Sprinta, Duku, BrokenLimits, etc.. The number of playable maps for Instagib is pretty high and there is room for making interesting and captivating games, often followed by a lot of spectators.

Competitions are held where teams face each other, the most famous website for iCTF games in Europe was Clanbase. Clanbase however, as of December 21, 2013, has now closed down. Unreal Tournament 4 will implement Instagib. The new website will be the #1 source for all Instagib news, tournaments and updates.