Quake II

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Quake II
Quake II cover
Developers
id Software
The Reckoning Xatrix Entertainment
Ground Zero Rogue Entertainment
Mac OS (Classic) Logicware
Publishers
Activision
Engines
id Tech 2
Release dates
Windows December 9, 1997
Mac OS (Classic) 1997
Linux May 20, 1999
DOS May 30, 2015
Quake II guide at StrategyWiki
Quake II at Wikipedia
Quake
Quake 1996
Quake II 1997
Quake III Arena 1999
Quake 4 2005
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars 2007
Quake Live 2010
Quake Champions 2018

Key points

Engine is open source with modern multi-platform ports available; see Source ports
Modding community
The Steam version lacks the soundtrack, but this can be fixed.

General information

Quake Wiki - A detailed wiki for every Quake game made.
Func_Msgboard - The mapper hub, new map releases, technique improvements.
FAQ on Steam forums - A starting point for new Quake II players.
GOG.com Community Discussions for game series
GOG.com Support Page
Steam Community Discussions

Availability[edit]

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Retail
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
CD check removed by official patches. Soundtrack is still embedded in the CD.
Windows
Mac OS
Linux
DOS
Amazon.com
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Windows
Bethesda.net
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Windows
GamersGate
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Windows
GOG.com
DRM-free
Quake II: Quad Damage. Not available for purchase in Germany.[1]
Windows
DOS
Humble Store
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Windows
DOS
Steam
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Does not come with the game soundtrack; see No music playback.
Windows
DOS
The native Linux version has been ported by both iD Software and Macmillan Digital Publishing. The Ryan C. Gordon "Icculus" version can be downloaded from this page, which includes both binary and the source code to compile the software with specific settings.
Quake II: Quad Damage includes the base game along with all expansions, a soundtrack, and a launcher created by GOG.com.
This game can also be played on OS X and Linux using a source port.
GOG.com's launcher for Quake II is fully customizeable by editing Q2Launcher.ini allowing you to add more mods or even modify the exe files the launcher should use.
DOS compatibility is only achieved via the unofficial Q2DOS source port.

Downloadable content (DLC) and expansions

Name Notes
Mission Pack: Ground Zero
Windows
DOS
Mission Pack: The Reckoning
Windows
DOS
Netpack I: Extremities Not available for the Steam version.
Windows

Essential improvements[edit]

Official patch[edit]

  • 3.20 - Latest official patch.

Improvements for the original release[edit]

Complete list of console commands:[2] FAQ with some technical info:[3]

Texture quality[edit]

The game uses non-power of two textures for models, which were supported by the software renderer, but not by the OpenGL renderer. Therefore, textures in OpenGL have to be resized to a power of two; this is controlled through the console command gl_round_down. By default this is set to 1, which downsamples textures to the nearest power of two, reducing quality noticeably in the process. This was used due to limitations of contemporary 3D hardware.

Setting gl_round_down 0 (and doing a vid_restart, or putting it into an autoexec.cfg) improves texture quality noticeably.

Quake II Facelift mod[edit]

The ingame method uses a simple linear filter; an alternative exists in the form of the mod "Quake II Facelift", released in 2007, which supports Lanczos upsampling for even further improved texture quality. It also includes several other changes, like an implementation of the water screen distortion effect from the software renderer, an option to toggle texture filtering off (via setting the "8-bit texture" option to "on"), and desktop resolution support (via selecting sub-640x480 resolutions).

This mod also has a few shortcomings; widescreen support is essentially broken as objects disappear at the left and right edges of the screen, so keeping to 4:3 resolutions is recommended. Also, load times between levels are increased, text and HUD elements are forcibly upscaled and look rather ugly, and the brightness setting now affects the skybox.

Source ports[edit]

Since the release of the source code various engine overhauls and source ports have been created to enhance or modify the game in different ways. Which one to use is a matter of taste.

Name Description
Fruitz of Dojo Quake II A Cocoa port of the engine, it allows Quake II to be played on modern Macs.
macOS (OS X)
KMQuake II Enhanced client, allows for customization of textures, game interface etc.
Windows
QuakeIIxp Enhanced port with improved graphics using an updated rendering engine.
Windows
Linux
LWJake2 A LWJGL based source port focusing on compatibility and bug fixes.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Q2DOS A port that features DLL loading through DJGPP, Online play with a packet driver, Intel HD audio support, HTTP downloading with libCURL, Yamagi Quake II's game dll code enhancements and all of the v3.24 unofficial patch.
DOS
Q2PRO Multiplayer focused source port, available with r1ch.net anticheat module. It is also used for speedrunning.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Quake II Starter Free and standalone installer that uses the Quake II demo and patch, along with Q2PRO, to create a fully functional and multiplayer enabled version of the game.
Windows
R1Q2 Multiplayer focused source port, available with r1ch.net anticheat module.
Windows
Linux
Ultimate Quake II Patch Designed for the Steam version but is also compatible with retail versions. It includes KMQuake 2 (Albeit outdated) along with the soundtrack.
Windows
Unofficial v3.24 Patch This is a simple patch that fixes bugs and adds certain things to the engine such as widescreen-support. Easy to install and use.
Windows
Yamagi Quake II Enhanced client focusing mainly on bug-fixes and code improvements.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux

r1ch.net anticheat module[edit]

Some multiplayer servers require clients to use the r1ch.net anticheat module, supported source ports are listed on its website.

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\baseq2\*.cfg
Mac OS (Classic)
Linux
Linux (Proton) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/2320/pfx/[Note 1]
It's unknown whether this game follows the XDG Base Directory Specification on Linux. Please fill in this information.

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\baseq2\save\
Mac OS (Classic)
Linux
Linux (Proton) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/2320/pfx/[Note 1]

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Added on update 1.2
Steam Cloud

Video settings[edit]

In-game general settings.
In-game general settings.
In-game graphics settings.
In-game graphics settings.
Graphics option Option WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
A source port is required. See Source ports.
Multi-monitor
A source port is required. See Source ports.
Ultra-widescreen
A source port is required. See Source ports.
4K Ultra HD
A source port is required. See Source ports.
Field of view (FOV)
See Field of view (FOV).
Windowed
Can also be toggled with Alt+ Enter.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Use Borderless Gaming.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
A source port is required. See Source ports.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
A source port is required. See Source ports.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
A source port is required. See Source ports.
60 FPS
120+ FPS
Frame rate is capped at 83 FPS. See Frame rate (FPS).

Widescreen resolution[edit]

Custom resolution (Yamagi port)[citation needed]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\baseq2\.
  2. Open autoexec.cfg or create one if it doesn't exist.
  3. Add gl_customwidth "X" where X is the horizontal resolution.
  4. Add gl_customheight "Y" where Y is the vertical resolution.
  5. Add gl_mode "-1" to enable custom resolutions.

Field of view (FOV)[edit]

Edit config file[citation needed]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\baseq2\.
  2. Create and open autoexec.cfg.
  3. Add fov X where X is the desired FOV.

Notes

Values above 90° may hide the gun model; see Issues fixed.
Console command[citation needed]
  1. Open console with ~.
  2. Type fov X where X is the desired field of view.

Frame rate (FPS)[edit]

Edit config file[citation needed]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\baseq2\.
  2. Create and open autoexec.cfg.
  3. Add cl_maxfps X where X is the desired FPS cap.
  4. Add r_maxfps X instead if you're using KMQuake II.
Console command[citation needed]
  1. Open console with ~.
  2. Type gl_maxfps X where X is the desired FPS cap.

Input settings[edit]

Mouse acceleration[edit]

Disable mouse acceleration (source port)[citation needed]
  1. A source port is required (e.g. KMQuake II). See Source ports.
  2. Go to <path-to-game>\baseq2\.
  3. Create and open autoexec.cfg.
  4. Add the line m_noaccel 1.
Disable mouse acceleration (original release)[citation needed]

Use the MarkC Windows 10 + 8.1 + 8 + 7 Mouse Acceleration Fix.

Audio settings[edit]

Audio options Native Notes
Separate volume controls
Only for sound effects, not for CD music.
Surround sound
Subtitles
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
EAX support
A3D, EAX (via IAS patch[4])

Localizations

Language UI Audio Sub Notes
English

Network[edit]

Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
Local play
4 See the Steam Community guide.
LAN play
16
Online play
16
All official maps are designed for at most 16 players. However, dedicated servers can be set to have the max player limit at 256

Connection types

Ports

Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
UDP 27910
Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) support status is unknown.

VR support[edit]

Headsets Native Notes
HTC Vive
Use the Quake2VR mod with the Revive Compatibility Layer.
Oculus Rift
Use the Quake2VR mod.
OSVR
Windows Mixed Reality
This game might be playable with the Revive Compatibility Layer (compatibility list).
Devices Native Notes
Tracked motion controllers
See Input settings for details.
Traditional controller Partial support See Input settings for details.
Keyboard/Mouse
Play area Native Notes
Seated

Issues fixed[edit]

Saves not working in The Reckoning and Ground Zero[edit]

If you are getting "function pointers have moved" error in console after trying to load game, install fan-patch 3.24. Issue noted in GOG.com release.

No music playback[edit]

The music plays directly from the game-CD so the Steam version unfortunately lacks it. Try applying the Ultimate Quake II patch mentioned above.

If you prefer to use the original engine you can download the soundtrack from the Steam discussions. Either burn a new CD from the image file or use a CD emulator like WinCDEmu to mount the image.

GOG.com version does not require this method, as the whole soundtrack is in OGG format, which the game was modified to use it instead.

Play the expansions with KMQuake II[edit]

Use launch parameters[5]
Use the following command line arguments with kmquake2.exe
  • For The Reckoning, use +set game xatrix
  • For Ground Zero, use +set game rogue
Other method[citation needed]
Create a quake2.bat file with the following content. Make sure you have the support files for the expansions ready. Available here.
@echo off
echo Quake II + expansions
echo 1: Quake II
echo 2: Mission Pack 1: The Reckoning
echo 3: Mission Pack 2: Ground Zero
set /p userinp=choose a number (1-3):
goto %userinp%
:1
goto end
:2
set game%=xatrix
goto end
:3
set game%=rogue
goto end
:end
kmquake2.exe +set game %game%

See gun with wide FOV[edit]

Install Patch 3.24 or KMQuake II[citation needed]
Apply hex edit[6]
  1. Open quake2.exe with a hex editor such as HxD.
  2. Go to the address 47B00
  3. Change the values 00 00 B4 42 to 00 00 33 43

"No Input arguments" when running the launcher (GOG.com)[edit]

This problem occurs only if you try to run the main EXE file. It must be ran from the Launch Quake 2 shortcut to make it work. This is due to the fact that it contains a code in the Launch options.

Other information[edit]

API[edit]

Technical specs Supported Notes
OpenGL 1.1 3DFX and PowerVR MiniGL included.
Software renderer
Broken by default on Win7 x64 (Rainbow color problems in older games). Tested as working with Win95 compatibility mode on Win7 x64.
64-bit executable
A source port is required. See Source ports.

Middleware[edit]

Middleware Notes
Audio DirectSound, OSS, ALSA1 OSS is used in official native Linux version. 1 ALSA support can be added by compiling the source code from Icculus version.

System requirements[edit]

Windows
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 95, NT 4.0 98, ME, 2000, XP
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 90 MHz Intel Pentium 133 MHz
System memory (RAM) 16 MB 24 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 25 MB 400 MB
Other 3D accelerator card recommended.
Mac OS
Minimum
Operating system (OS) 7.5.3
Processor (CPU) PowerPC 603e
System memory (RAM) 48 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD)
Other 4X CD-ROM drive
Linux
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) Linux kernel v2.0.24
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 90 MHz Intel Pentium 133 MHz
System memory (RAM) 16 MB 24 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 25 MB 400 MB

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 File/folder structure within this directory reflects the path(s) listed for Windows and/or Steam game data (use Wine regedit to access Windows registry paths). Games with Steam Cloud support may store data in ~/.steam/steam/userdata/<user-id>/2320/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (2320) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.

References