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✓ At a glance
  • There are currently five game modes in XDefiant, played on arena and linear maps – Domination, Occupy, HotShot, Escort, and Zone Control.
  • Most game modes will look familiar to seasoned FPS players, with the twist coming in the form of XDefiant Faction system.

XDefiant is a free-to-play FPS from Ubisoft poised to mix up the team shooter genre. Like most games in the genre, there is a plethora of maps and game modes to play around with. Unlike some others, however, the maps and game modes in XDefiant are split between Arena and Linear modes, differentiating how the teams approach each one. This can result in adapting your choice of weaponry and Faction to accommodate your strategy around the objective. It remains to be seen how will the current maps synergize with the game’s announced ranked mode, meant for more competitive players.

Game ModeDescription
DominationScore points by controlling up to three zones on the map.
OccupyScore points by controlling one zone that shifts around the map.
HotShotScore points by collecting tags from dead players.
EscortAttackers push the objective to the endpoint on the map, while defenders try to prevent them.
Zone ControlAttackers capture linear zones along the route, while defenders try to push them back.
Capture the FlagCapture the enemy flag and take it back to your base, while defending your own from the enemies.

XDefiant arena game modes

The maps in arena game modes are designed around large areas to allow for intense firefights. These maps also have elevations and flanking positions that funnel towards the main area, reminiscent of old arena shooters. Goals vary between each mode, which currently includes Domination, Occupy, HotShot, and newly added Capture the Flag. All arena modes will play on one of these 12 maps:

  • Arena
  • Attica Heights
  • Dumbo
  • Echelon HQ
  • Emporium
  • Liberty
  • Mayday
  • Nudleplex
  • Pueblito
  • Showtime
  • Clubhouse
  • Rockefeller (to be released)


First-person shooter game screenshot from XDefiant showing players in a bright orange and blue room, with “Domination” game mode and “3” second countdown displayed on screen. Two players are visible in front.
Domination match is about to begin. Captured by VideoGamer

The goal in Domination game mode is to be the team that reaches 750 points to win the match. To do this, teams will have to capture and hold one or more zones on the map. There are three static zones on the map, and the team holding the zone gets a ticking point. You can hold multiple or even all three zones, in which case your team will get faster ticking points, while the enemy team gets none. 


valorant to xdefiant sensitivity - a gun is pointed into a room
Sniper ready to occupy the zone. Captured by VideoGamer

The winner of the Occupy game mode is the team that accumulates 250 points by the end of the match. To do that, your team needs to occupy and hold a single marked zone for a while. The zone will change positions on a timer during the round, meaning that the teams will have to scramble to reoccupy the new position. The team that occupies the zone will generate points, while the other team needs to supplant them to be able to get points for themselves.


The XDefiant game menu features an unranked playlist called "Hot Shot" with game modes like Domination, Hot Shot, Occupy, Escort, and Zone Control. On the right, a character in a gas mask raises their hand.
Let’s see who can get the most tags by the end. Captured by VideoGamer

In Hot Shot, fallen players drop tags when they die – both enemies and allies. You can collect those tags to earn points for your team. Enemy tags will award a point to your team, but picking up ally tags will deny that point to the enemy. If a player collects three enemy tags and lives, they are declared HotShot. They get movement and reload speed buffs, but their position is also constantly marked on the map for everyone to see. Each new bounty they collect is worth three points. However, when HotShot is defeated, they drop three tags themselves. The winner is the team that first reaches 125 points or has the highest score at the end of the round when the timer runs out.

Capture the flag

This game mode will be very familiar to all arena shooter veterans. It’s a dynamic mode in which both teams strive to capture the flag from the enemy base and bring it back to their own. Simultaneously, you have to fight to keep your team’s flag from being captured. Each time your team captures the flag will increase your score by one. It is yet unknown how many points you’ll need to win, so we’ll keep an eye on that when the season starts. Capture the Flag is played in 6v6 format.

XDefiant linear game modes

The maps for linear game modes are structured differently from arena maps. Instead of large open areas, these maps are more, well, linear. They are longer and provide a distinct beginning and end. That is because they follow a more structured pattern, with modes that facilitate teamwork to fulfil objectives. There are currently only two linear game modes, Escort and Zone Control, each with their distinct objectives. They will be played across one of the following five maps:

  • Meltdown
  • Midway
  • Times Square
  • Zoo
  • Daytona (to be released)


The video game screen showcases an unranked playlist featuring various XDefiant game modes, including Escort, Domination, Hot Shot, Occupy, and Zone Control. In the background is a character in a mask.
Package delivery, coming right up. Captured by VideoGamer

Escort is the recognizable “push the objective” gameplay style that you may recognise from other games. One team is designated as attackers pushing the package, while the other is defenders who have to stop them. This game mode is time-limited, and the maps have two checkpoints along the route that can extend the timer. The goal is to push the package as far as you can and to set a good time score if you push it till the end. Then, the two teams swap sides, and the other team has to beat your progress or time score.

Zone Control

Video game menu screen for "Zone Control" mode in an unranked XDefiant playlist. Options include Domination, Hot Shot, Occupy, and Escort.
Can you prevent the attackers from capturing a single zone? Captured by VideoGamer

In Zone Control, the map’s route is dotted with five successive target zones. Once again, there will be an attacking team and a defending team. The attackers have to capture each zone in order, which then unlocks further zones they can capture. Meanwhile, the defenders have to push back the attackers, reclaiming the zones. If a zone is reclaimed, the attackers have to occupy it all over again. The winner is the team with the most zones held at the end of the round.

About the Author

Miljan Truc

Miljan has been into gaming since the days of Sega Mega Drive and Amiga. During his gaming career, he has raided at a high level, coached other players, and written about games since 2016.


  • Release Date: May 21 2024
  • Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X
  • Genre(s): First-Person Shooter, Multiplayer, Shooter