This page is for the original Quake. For Valve's GoldSrc multi-player remake, see Deathmatch Classic.
A technology test released on February 24, 1996, a few months before the full release. Meant to showcase the multiplayer and level themes of the full game. Includes 3 maps and many elements of the game that were either cut or changed for the final release.
The tech test can be downloaded from PCGamingWiki.
Further details can be found on Quake Wiki.
The original DOS version. Can only be run in MS-DOS (or DOSBox for newer systems). Fullscreen only.
This version is the official demo for the game (besides Qtest). Only the first episode ("Dimension of the Doomed") is available to play. All other features and episodes are locked until the full version is bought.
The shareware can be downloaded from PCGamingWiki.
Also, the shareware PAK file can be downloaded separately from the main release (to be used with source ports).
This version is optimized to run under Windows 95/98 as an independent exe file. Allows the game to appear in a window and screen resolutions can be selected in-game.
The source port can be downloaded from PCGamingWiki.
A special version that was designed to run with 3D accelerators (now known as graphics cards), unlike Quake and WinQuake (all graphics rendering and game logic calculations were done by the CPU only). Rendered with OpenGL, it improves the overall look of Quake greatly (smoothed textures, transparent water, etc.) and allows widescreen resolutions. Screen resolutions need to be entered in via console commands before launch.
A multiplayer only version of Quake specifically designed to play over the Internet. A version rendered using OpenGL is also available (GLQuakeWorld). See Quake or QuakeWorld? for specifics.
The first hardware accelerated version of Quake, released shortly before GLQuake. VQuake is optimized to run with graphics cards using the Vérité chipset. Beyond being able to run better on a very specific set of graphics cards, it presents nothing special. It is impossible to play it on modern machines today. Avoid it.
This video guide explains the basics you will need in order to get Quake working with a modern engine. Later sections on this page go into deeper detail on each subject.
Quake Setup Guide on YouTube
For starting out, go with whatever your engine of choice supports and then explore the other as you wish. This can be simplified by using DarkPlaces which will connect to either.
Mods are accessed via an amendment system, where you tell the engine where to look first for game data, and then it falls back to the default subfolder (id1) for the base game. The subfolder root for the mod will either have a progs.dat file, or a .pak or .pk3 file.
-game <folder containing the mod>
+map <name of the BSP file (excluding the extension)>
-map <name of the BSP file (excluding the extension)>
The Steam version lacks the original soundtrack. The Ultimate Quake Patch will restore music to the Steam version and add the features of the DarkPlaces engine mentioned above. This fixes compatibility problems found on modern versions of Windows and restores the soundtrack.
If you prefer to use the original engine you can download the soundtrack from the Steam forums. Either burn a new CD from the image file or use a CD emulator like WinCDEmu to mount the image.
The GOG.com version does include the soundtrack, but by default it is only set up for use with the DOS version under DOSBox.
Quake Injector is a Java-based client for the Quaddicted single player map and mod database that runs on Windows, OS X and Linux. It provides the ability to install and uninstall maps and mods (with their requirements/dependencies) from the site directly on Quake with a single click and includes information about each mod, such as release data, rating (from the Quaddicted editor), title, authors, a brief description (from the editor) and screenshot. Also it can (with varying levels of success) figure out if there are known maps already installed.
Quake Injector does not provide access to every map released for Quake (it has no support for multiplayer maps, for example, unless they come as part of a singleplayer map pack or they are singleplayer maps in addition to multiplayer), but it is very close to that and provides an easy method to try new maps and mods.
Please note that under Linux (and maybe OS X, depending on the file system) many older maps will need manual editing of their filenames because the original files contained mixed case or upper case letters.
MiniQL is a small Quake launcher that provides an easy front-end to running any user map or original map by scanning Quake and mod archive files (PAK files) and displaying all maps to select from. It can also be used to supply default variables (such as fov) and screen resolution when starting the game.
MiniQL can be downloaded from here.
By default Quake doesn't have any widescreen support and while it can use some widescreen resolutions, it will not adjust the FOV for them. The default is 90° horizontal FOV for 4:3, so for a 16:9 or 16:10 aspect ratio this must be increased to 106 or 100. Of course since many players like to play with an increased FOV even in 4:3, you may set it to 110, 115, etc. Some engines will provide automatic adjustment of the FOV so when you set the FOV to 90 (for example), the engine will adjust it to 106 (for 16:9).
Changing the FOV is as simple as opening the console and typing fov n where n is the new FOV. Keep in mind that extreme FOV values may have negative side effects on the game's display.
Some engines will not save your screen settings, so you may want to modify the executable shortcut or launcher settings (see below) to specify the resolution you want. All Quake engines accept the -bpp and -width parameters for specifying the bits per pixel and horizontal resolution. Most engines also support the -height parameter for vertical resolution. If you want to set a console variable (such as fov), you can put a + in front of it.
An example for the QuakeSpasm engine would be:
quakespasm.exe -width 1920 -height 1080 -bpp 32 +fov 106
quakespasm.exe -width 1920 -height 1080 -bpp 32 +fov 106
Using existing joystick support, it is possible to add support for XInput-based controllers.
A list of configurations for the devices can be found in the Files section.
Note: it will not add triggers support for Xinput-based controllers as Quake treats them as axes and won't allow to map them. As a workaround Xinput-to-directinput wrapper can be used. Such as Xinput Plus (actual tool is in English)
Although this is not recommended, some people might wish to play using the original OpenGL version of Quake. On some machines this still works out of the box, but on some (Nvidia only) it simply won't due to the GPU extensions overflowing the engine's buffer when trying to print them into the console. If it doesn't run there are a few ways this can be achieved, though:
The last step is optional, some cards would display all textures blank without it, though.
This fix can also be applied to other games running using the GLQuake engine, as well as the pre-alpha version of John Romero's Daikatana which was released in 2004.
A tutorial on how to fix these issues with Nvidia cards permanently and without recompiling the source code can be found here.
This is a known issue on some Windows Vista and 7 machines
Quake is primarily played with modified engines which make use of modern technology and operating systems. Installing them is as simple as extracting them into the same folder you can find WinQuake.exe and running the modified engine's exe. For multiplayer all you need is to pull down the console (~) and type connect <server address or ip>.
connect <server address or ip>
Many modern engines have a setting for mouse looking in their options menu, but if it doesn't exist you can enable it from the console by entering +mlook. The plus sign in front of the mlook' is a modifier that means "enable". You can disable it later with -mlook.
From the options menu, you may also want to set Always Run to On and set Lookstrafe and Lookspring to Off.
When Quake initially launched its netcode was not optimized for the dial-up connections of the time, and so consequently QuakeWorld was created, a separate exe for the game which was multiplayer only with adjusted physics and severely revamped netcode. As personal internet connections improved, the original Quake protocol became more relevant. The original, non-QuakeWorld version, is now often revered to as NetQuake and there is a divide as to which to play. Serious competitive players are very sensitive to the differences between them, however for the starting out player the differences will be barely noticeable, and the experienced but more casual players play whichever, simply going for servers where a fun time can be had.
See SUPERHOT for details.