King of the Hill Beta

Be the first to hack into a machine, and then retain your presence by patching vulnerabilities to stop your foes from taking your position!

Attack then defend!


King of the Hill (KoTH) is a competitive hacking game, where you play against 10 other hackers to compromise a machine and then patch its vulnerabilities to stop other players from also gaining access. The longer you maintain your access, the more points you get.

How to play

  1. Join a lobby with up to 10 players
  2. When everyone is ready, you'll get a machines IP address
  3. Enumerate and hack into the machine
  4. Add your TryHackMe username to /root/king.txt
  5. Patch the machines vulnerabilities to maintain your access
  6. The longer you're king, the more points you get
  7. Hunt for flags around the system for extra points
  8. After 60 minutes, the game ends
Machine Pool
Name OS


Create private game

Create your own private lobby and invite your friends.

Join a public game

Battle other players and become the king of the hill.

Most Recent Games

View or spectate on-going and previous games

Status Date Users Machine King Changes Winner
Your Games

Games you've joined

Status Date Type Users King Changes Winner



To prevent cheating and ensure this game is realistic, everyone must the follow the rules:

  1. The machine should not be made unavailable (shutdown/reboot, firewall/iptables rules to stop all communication, all services terminated, machine botching etc).
  2. Only stop a service if it can't be patched any other way. Services should remain available for “genuine users of the box” if at all possible. Changing ports of services is allowed. (Try to keep the machines in as original state as possible.)
  3. No modifying/removing flags or their permissions (if any flag is everyone readable, it should be left like that).
  4. Do not attack, modify or stop the service(king/KoTH service) on 9999 (this includes a 'KoTH' binary placed by default in /root and things like changing service locations.)
  5. Any sort of DoS against the machine.
  6. No attacking other users (you have no reason to attempt any recon on any IP other than the one given to you on the game page).
  7. Scripts that automatically hack(autopwns) and/or harden the machine are forbidden.
  8. Do NOT delete system binaries (except chattr) or change executable permissions on them (or their directory).
  9. Using alt/dummy accounts to control resets is not allowed.
  10. Resets should only be used if the target has been broken or otherwise rendered unusable; resets shouldn't be used to prevent users from gaining access.
  11. If one vulnerability is patch then don't spam resets, there are 4-5 methods to gain foothold in every machine.

Games are moderated, and failure to abide by the rules will result in a game and/or site ban.


There are two ways to get points.

  1. Be King The longer you have your username in the /root/king.txt file, the more points you get. Every minute you're in there, you obtain 10 points.
  2. Submit Flags There are multiple different ways to compromise the machine, some will have hidden flags. Each flag is worth a different point amount, depending on the achievement difficulty.

Points do not go towards your TryHackMe account score.

Game Machines

There is a pool of KoTH machines are themed and configured differently. There needs to be more than 1 player in a KoTH lobby for it to start.

Every month new machines will be added to the pool, this will help reduce the chances of playing the same machine repetitively.

Who can play?

Anyone can play that has an experience level of intermediate or advanced (an option you can update on your profile).

Joining Public Games
Joining a public game will attempt to place you into an available public (scheduled) game. If no game exists, it will create one for you, ready for others to join!
Running Privately
Set up and play this game exclusively with your friends! Simply click "Create lobby", and share the invite link. A private game stops anyone joining without a link.
Inviting your friends
You can invite your friends to your games. Under the settings menu (top right when in-game) there is an invitiation link. Share this link and hack against your friends!
Streaming and Writeups
You can stream and post writeups on KoTH machines.
1v1s and Friendless Players

Why not challenge a friend and 1v1 them; decide who the better hacker is! To do this, create your own private game and send them an invitation.

No friends? No worries! You can join a public game and hack against others.

Tips and Tricks

There are many ways you can play KoTH. Here are a few:

  • Once you've hacked your way to King (root), defend your position by patching services (perhaps start by fixing the method to how you became root).
  • Hunt for flags - Often you can win by finding all flags, whilst others are struggling to become King, you could be hunting.
  • King.txt file locked? - A user might have used the chattr binary to stop even a root user editing the file.
Feedback and Reporting

King of the Hill is in Beta - any problems, suggestions or ideas please let us know on our feedback page!

If you suspect a player of cheating or rule-breaking, email [email protected] with the game id (shown in url) and players username if possible. We can investigate..