AHL features several modes of play. Each one has unique features that you should be familiar with before you play them. There are six modes: Deathmatch, Teamplay with or without rounds, three variations of Last Man Standing and finally 'Goal' based maps. Goal based maps are discussed at the bottom of this page.

This is your basic 'shoot anything that moves' mode. You start with only a pistol and a knife, though you can opt to start with 10 knives instead of a pistol. The objective here is to kill as many people as possible as fast as possible. You get extra credit for staying alive, too. If you get four kills in a row without dying, you get 2 frags per kill after that. If you get to six kills, you get 3 frags per kill, and so on, up to a whopping 16 frags per kill! Staying alive that long is hard though, as there are no health packs of any kind. Once you take damage, you keep it until you respawn. You will be able to pick up more ammunition for your weapons, however. You will find various ammo items lying around the map.

Conventional AHL Teamplay is based on rounds. When you join a server running in Teamplay, you will first be asked to join a team and sub-team. Each sub-team has a different model, so there can be many player models per team. After that, you will be able to choose your weapons and item (see 'Choosing Weapons'). You can choose to change your team, sub-team, or equipment at any time by pressing Backspace. In Teamplay, the objective is to eradicate the enemy team, by killing them all. The last team standing wins. It is possible for a tie to occur if both teams die within a few seconds of each other. Every time a team wins a round, a point is added to the team's score. At the end of the map, the team with the most points wins. Individual scores are not displayed until the end of the map, and the scoreboard is not sorted by players' scores. This is to promote playing as a team, for the team, not for your own score.

Do not shoot your teammates. If you kill three teammates on a given map, you will be punished. Depending on the server settings, you will either be kicked and temporarily banned from the server, or you will be put in TK-Punishment mode for a few rounds. While you are in TK-Punishment mode, you cannot use any weapons or items, and you cannot punch or kick. You are basically a sitting duck waiting to be shot. If you kill a teammate who is currently being TK-Punished, it will NOT be counted as killing a teammate. This allows the Victims of Team-Killing to take revenge on their backstabbing teammates.

If a teammate accidentially kills you, you can forgive him by hitting the key bound to "tkok" (Defaults to "F").

Teamplay Without Rounds
Teamplay Without Rounds is just like conventional Teamplay, only there are no rounds. This makes it sort of like a Team Deathmatch. The same TK rules apply, so don't shoot your teammates. You also still get to choose your weapons and item.

Last Man Standing
Last Man Standing has three separate modes, which will be discussed individually. However, the basics for all three are the same. LMS is based on rounds like Teamplay, but basically, everyone is on his own team. This means that everyone spawns once, and the last one left alive wins. In LMS, your score is your frags. You get the same bonuses for killing lots of people without dying (as in Deathmatch), and you also get a five-frag bonus every time you win a round. This means that you want to kill as many people as possible during a round, but you also want to survive to the end. Unlike Unreal Tournament, AHL LMS gives you only one life, so use it wisely.

LMS Without Equipment
In LMS Without Equipment, you can only start with a pistol or knives, just like in Deathmatch. The other weapons and items will be available in various places around the map. Also, there will be extra ammo available around the map. This mode is essentially Deathmatch with rounds and LMS scoring. When you join a game, you will be asked to choose your equipment, and you can re-select it at any time by pressing Backspace.

LMS With Equipment
In LMS With Equipment, you choose all your equipment at the beginning, just like Teamplay. This mode is essentially Teamplay with everyone on their own team by themselves. When you join a game, you will be asked to choose your equipment, and you can re-select it at any time by pressing Backspace.

LMS With Random Equipment
In LMS With Random Equipment, you have no control over what you start with. A randomized set of equipment will be given to you at the start of each round. If you don't like what you got, kill someone and take his or her stuff. There is some intelligence to the randomizing algorithm, so it is unlikely that you will get a Hand Cannon, Magnum, and a Silencer, but it can still happen. This mode is where well rounded players shine. To be a true master of AHL, and especially Random LMS, you must be proficient with all of the weapons and items. This is also a good mode to learn with, since you will be exposed to various combos that you may not have thought were effective, but turn out to be useful.

Some maps have built in 'Goal' based game modes. These may be active on servers which have their 'mp_goalsoff 0' flag set. These may be of the form of planting bombs, assassinations, capture the flag/briefcase, etc. See map Readme files or on screen prompts during the game as to how to play the Goal based map. WikkedKorp-dc for example is a goal based map whereby each team must assassinate the other teams 'CEO' as well as protect their own.