A scenario is a specific set of rules and conditions by which rounds may be played. Scenarios are characterized by their objectives, objective items, allocation of points, and, occasionally, special rules (such as respawn rate and location). These distinctions generally set the pace and style of gameplay in rounds, and effective strategies often vary widely between scenarios.
In general, scenarios can be divided into two categories, competitive and cooperative. In competitive scenarios, players are pitted against each other and fight to score the greatest number of points. In ranked competitive matches, each player's eventual change in rank is determined (in part) by how well they place. By contrast, in cooperative scenarios all players are allied against a common foe. In ranked cooperative games, players' eventual change in rank is based on the combined performance of all players' individual scores are irrelevant for this purpose (though they can affect scrip payout; see Forest Guardians).
At present, only one cooperative scenario exists (Forest Guardians).
Each scenario is native to exactly one town, and every town has its own unique collection of scenarios. Every round played within a given town exhibits one of the scenarios from that town or a previous town (for example, a round played in the Indian Trading Post may be played as a scenario from Indian Trading Post or Frontier Town, but a round played in Frontier Town can only be played as a scenario from Frontier Town). The scenario for a given round is randomly selected from all scenarios available; available scenarios can be chosen individually in unranked back parlors, but scenarios in ranked games can only be limited by their town of origin and whether they are competitive or cooperative.
All existing scenarios, by their town of origin, are as follows:
Indian Trading Post:
Outside of matches
Outside of matches, scenarios are also employed in many elements of gameplay. Practice-type tutorials always consist of a one round game of a particular scenario. Most bounty missions also feature a particular scenario (though usually with certain additional rules imposed). The only element of gameplay never to employ any scenario is the practice mode at the ranch.
In general, each scenario has five badges related to it. Such badges can only be earned by completing certain special criterion in one or more ranked rounds of the associated scenario. In some cases, multiple scenarios share a set of badges (as with Gold Rush and Claim Jumping), all of which can be earned by playing either scenario.