There are two main types of Capture the Flags (CTFs) challenges:
- Jeopardy-style CTFs consisting of completing different challenges from a broad range of categories in order to earn points
- Attack-defence CTFs consisting of two teams, one team who defends a network or server, and another who attack it.
Jeopardy-style competitions usually involve multiple categories of problems, each of which contains a variety of questions of different point values and difficulties. Teams attempt to earn the most points, but do not directly attack each other. Rather than a race, this style of game play encourages taking time to approach challenges and prioritizes quantity of correct submissions over the timing.
In an attack-defense style competition, each team is given a task to defend a network or server and the other will attack it. Depending on the nature of the particular CTF game, teams may either be attempting to take an opponent’s flag from their machine or teams may be attempting to plant their own flag on their opponent’s machine.