Quake III Arena

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Quake III Arena
Quake III Arena Coverart.jpg
Release dates
December 2, 1999
December 27, 1999
Mac OS
Quake III Arena at SteamDB
 Quake III Arena at Wikipedia
Quake 1996
Quake II 1997
Quake III Arena 1999
Quake 4 2005
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars 2007
Quake Live 2010

Key points

Advantage Engine is open source with modern multi-platform ports available; see Source ports.

General information

More information Quake Wiki - A detailed wiki for every Quake game made.
More information Steam Community Discussions
More information Steam Users' Forums for game series
More information Planet Quake - Very old hub for all Quake games. Has mods, guides, and news on the Quake communities.
More information Func_Msgboard - The mapper hub, new map releases, technique improvements.
More information bit7.org/quake - Community site with extensive mirrors section, reviews and details on editions of the game.


Source DRM Notes Keys
Retail Disc checkCD/DVD key (no activation)
Amazon.com Availability Table Icons - Steam.svg
Direct2Drive Availability Table Icons - Steam.svg
GamersGate Availability Table Icons - Steam.svg Quake III: Gold
Steam Availability Table Icons - Steam.svg Quake III: Gold
Information Quake III: Gold includes the base game along with the Quake III: Team Arena expansion

Downloadable content (DLC) and expansions

Name Notes
Quake III: Team Arena Included with Quake III: Gold Windows



The original, closed-source versions of the game still work for online multiplayer and are the ones distributed via the Steam platform. Many users may prefer to use more recent, improved engines based on the source code release.

Quake Live[edit]

id Software launched a free-to-play browser-based port of Quake III titled Quake Live. Most players have migrated to this service to continue playing, as it adds new features and game modes, and improves compatibility with newer systems.

Essential information[edit]

Source ports[edit]

While the original Quake III Arena point releases still work on modern systems, the release of the engine's source code has enabled the creation of additional variants that improve upon the game but are backwards compatible for multiplayer play. These versions do not support PunkBuster anti-cheat and thus cannot connect to servers using it, though very few still exist.


ioquake3 is a port of the engine to SDL to assist in multi-platform development of stand-alone mods for the Quake III engine. For improvements this port provides, see the Improvements section.

Game data[edit]

In-game general settings.

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

Windows <path-to-game>\baseq3
Mac OS

Save game data location[edit]

Mac OS

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud Native support
GameSave Manager Native support

Video settings[edit]

In-game graphics settings.
Graphics option Option WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution Hackable WSGF WS Silver.svg See Widescreen resolution.
Multi-monitor Hackable WSGF MM Silver.svg A source port is required. See Source ports.
Ultra-widescreen Hackable WSGF Incomplete.svg See Widescreen resolution.
4K Ultra HD Hackable WSGF Incomplete.svg See Widescreen resolution.
Field of view (FOV) Hackable Set to 90 by default. From the in game terminal or in a cfg file, adjust the cg_fov value (terminal example: seta cg_fov "90")
Windowed Native support
Borderless fullscreen windowed Hackable
Anisotropic filtering (AF) Hackable A source port is required. See Source ports.
Anti-aliasing (AA) Hackable A source port is required. See Source ports.
Vertical sync (Vsync) Native support Vsync is the "sync every frame" setting.
60 FPS Native support
120+ FPS Hackable 90FPS by default; can be changed by typing /com_maxfps in the console with the number of frames wish. Certain numbers can adversely affect player physics, use at your own risk.

Widescreen resolution[edit]

The game does not automatically adjust the aspect ratio to match widescreen resolutions. Certain cvars may be set to fix this:

  • r_mode -1 sets the display mode to the custom resolution specified by the following cvars.
  • r_customwidth, r_customheight set the custom display mode.
  • r_customaspect sets the aspect ratio for the 3D scene (not the HUD or menus!). Set this to the horizontal screen ratio (i.e. for 16:10, set this to 1.6)

Input settings[edit]

In-game input settings.
Keyboard and mouse Native Notes
Remapping Native support
Mouse acceleration Native support
Mouse input in menus Native support
Mouse Y-axis inversion Native support
Controller support Native support Limited modern controller support.
Full controller support No native support Cannot navigate Team Arena menus.
Controller remapping Native support
Controller Y-axis inversion Native support Needs to be manually mapped to the specific direction.

Audio settings[edit]

In-game audio settings.
Audio options Native Notes
Separate volume controls Native support
Surround sound Native support
Subtitles No native support
Closed captions No native support
Mute on focus lost Native support
EAX support Native support A3D 2.0 [1] only[2]

Broken since one of the first patches[3] (possibly 1.17)[4] 1.25 point release beta is the last version with A3D support.


Language UI Audio CC Notes
English Native support Native support Not applicable


Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
LAN play Native support 16
Online play Native support 16
Information All official maps are designed for at most 16 players. However, dedicated servers can be set to have no max player limit.

Connection types

Type Native Notes
Matchmaking No native support
Peer-to-peer No native support
Dedicated Native support
Self-hosting Native support
Direct IP Native support


Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
TCP (outbound) 27950, 27952, 27960, 27965
UDP (outbound) 27950, 27952, 27960, 27965

Issues fixed[edit]

Video glitches on the main menu[edit]

Fix Main Menu Graphics Glitches[5]

  1. Disable the Steam Overlay (right-click the game in your Steam library -> Properties, untick "Enable Steam Community In-Game").
  2. Launch Quake III Arena.
  3. Go to Setup -> System -> disable GL Extensions.

Game crashes on exit[edit]

Fix Game Crashes Upon Exit

  1. Right-click the game in your Steam library.
  2. Click Properties.
  3. Uncheck "Enable Steam Community In-Game".

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
OpenGL 1.1
64-bit executable Native support A source port is required. See Source ports.

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 95, NT 4.0 98, ME, 2000, XP
Processor (CPU)
Intel Pentium 233 MHz or Pentium II 300 MHz or AMD K6-2 350 MHz or Athlon.
System memory (RAM)
64 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 25 MB 500 MB
Video card (GPU)
8 MB of VRAM
DirectX 7 compatible
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS)
any distribution (ports of the engine available in most distros' package repositories)
Processor (CPU)
Intel Pentium 233 MHz / Pentium II 300 MHz or AMD K6-2 350 MHz / Athlon. Also suitable are CPUs exceeding 400MHz of any ISA.
System memory (RAM)
64 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 25 MB 500 MB
Video card (GPU)
8 MB of VRAM


  1. Games help: Quake III Arena - Vortex of Sound (retrieved)
  2. EAX in Quake3? Nope. - Shacknews
  3. Acoustic Edge and win2k drivers - Neoseeker Forums
  4. [quake3] Re: A3D - icculus.org
  5. Quake III Arena graphics problem - Steam Users' Forums