|No. of Stages||3|
- "Gold Rush is a map that specifically focuses on pacing so that the player feels like they are part of an overall campaign by the team. Each member of the team needs to focus on both the overall goal of either stopping or advancing the payload and also deal with local threats. As the payload moves through the map both teams need to be able to adjust their strategy depending on what approach the other is taking. Gold Rush has been designed taking all nine classes and their abilities in Team Fortress 2 into account, which means there is a spot for everyone and their favorite class to be useful."
- ―Gold Rush publicity blurb
Gold Rush was the first map to feature the game mode called Payload. The level is split into three separate areas with intermediate capture zones inside of each major area. The teams are split between offense (BLU) and defense (RED), similar to Dustbowl. Each team's respective goal is:
- BLU: BLU's primary goal in all Payload maps is to push the blue-colored cart on the tracks throughout the map. By continuing to push the cart forward and breaking through RED's defenses, the cart will eventually reach RED's base and detonate, destroying the base. Failure to push the cart for 20 seconds will cause it to start moving backwards until it's pushed again. BLU pushes the cart through the level by standing near it, with the cart moving faster when more people are close by. The cart also acts like a Dispenser to heal and resupply the BLU team as they escort it.
- RED: RED's goal is the opposite of BLU's: stall the cart and not let it reach their base until time runs out. The best strategy for RED is to sit in front of the cart, halting its movement entirely.
Each checkpoint the cart passes over adds 5 minutes to the timer. The remaining time carries over to the following sections of the maps until teams are switched.
Teams get a 1:05 setup time where RED can run around the map and build up defenses and BLU is locked behind the cart to charge up ÜberCharges. However, invulnerable players (including Scouts using Bonk! Atomic Punch) will not make the cart move.If the cart is not moving backwards when time runs out, Overtime will occur, which gives the attacking team five seconds to keep the Payload moving instead of 20. The timer resets each time the cart is touched.