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Getting Started in CloudCTF


This article details how to register for a CTF and choose your team setup. If your CTF is offered through a Cyber Range course, view Private CTF Environment instructions. If your CTF offers public registration (for example, if you were provided a direct URL to the CTF), follow Public CTF Environment instructions.

Private CTF Environment

In order to begin in a private CTF environment, students must join their respective course within the U.S. Cyber Range. More information on joining a course can be found in the article titled How to Join a Course.

  1. Once in the course, select CloudCTF from the list of exercise environments.

  2. Select Join for the CloudCTF environment. This will open another browser tab for the CTF.

    Once inside your course, underneath the details section, select the join button to open up CloudCTF in another tab of your browser.

  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete CTF sign-up.

Public CTF Environment


Public registration is not supported in every CTF. Please contact the CTF admin if you believe there is an issue with your CTF's registration. A CTF admin should refer to the article titled Player Can't Login to a Public CTF for further information.

  1. Using a link for public CTF registration, you will be directed to the following page:

    Here, underneath the dates of your CloudCTF, in the middle of the screen, you can click the start button to join a team and begin the competition.

  2. Select Start and you will sign in to one of the given account providers. Once authenticated, you are given the following play options:

    After clicking the start button, ordered in a descending list, you can click on 1. play solo, 2. join a team, or 3. create a team.

    Decide which option you would like to compete in:

    • Play Solo - Play by yourself
    • Join a Team - Join an existing team with Captain's permission
    • Create a Team - Start a new team that other's can join to compete together


    If the Allow players to change teams option is not activated by the CTF Admin, the player will only see the Play solo option. Please see the section titled Allow/Disallow Players to Change Team Name for more information.

  3. Choosing solo will direct you to the CTF homepage, ready for competition. It is important to note that choosing solo prevents you from having teammates for the duration of the CTF.

  4. If choosing to join a team, you will be given a drop-down menu of team options to choose from:

    To join a team, please select a team name from the dropdown menu, which is above the cancel and join buttons.

  5. Select the team you would like to join. Once you have selected, the leader of the team will have to accept you before you begin competition.

    To create a team, please type in your team name and click on the create button, which is to the right of the cancel button.

  6. If you choose to create a team, this page will allow you to make a team name. Type your team name and enter.

  7. Once you have chosen your team configuration, you will be directed to the CTF homepage:

    Here, at the top of the screen, you can access and find various challenges, and categories. Underneath that, to the left, you can find your current ranking, then CTF activity, and then the CTF timer.

For information on beginning competition and solving challenges, please see the article titled How to Solve a Challenge in CloudCTF.

Have a Question? Contact Support

If you experience any issues starting or viewing CloudCTF in your web browser, please see the article titled Can't Launch CloudCTF for helpful tips on resolving the matter.

If you still have questions after reviewing the information above, please reach out to your CTF Admin or Instructor who can submit a ticket to our Support team on your behalf.