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Quake III Arena

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
(Redirected from Quake 3)
Quake III Arena
Quake III Arena cover
id Software
macOS (OS X) The Omni Group
Linux Loki Software
id Tech 3
Release dates
Windows December 2, 1999
Linux December 27, 1999
Mac OS (Classic) December 28, 1999
macOS (OS X) January 4, 2002
Monetization One-time game purchase, Expansion pack, Subscription gaming service
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person
Controls Direct control
Genres Action, FPS, Shooter
Art styles Realistic
Themes Sci-fi
Series Quake
Quake III Arena on HowLongToBeat
Quake III Arena on IGDB
Quake III Arena guide on StrategyWiki
Quake III Arena on MobyGames
Quake III Arena on Wikipedia
Quake 1996
Quake II 1997
Quake III Arena 1999
Quake 4 2005
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars 2007
Quake Live 2010
Quake II RTX 2019
Quake Enhanced 2021
Quake Champions 2022
Quake II Enhanced 2023

Quake III Arena is a singleplayer and multiplayer first-person action, FPS and shooter game in the Quake series.

On August 19, 2005, id Software released the source code.[1]

General information

Source code
GTkRadiant (tools) source code
ESReality - Community hub for competitive Quake.
Func_Msgboard - Mapper hub, new map releases, technique improvements.
Worldspawn Archive - Map repository. Community Discussions for game series Support Page
Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
CD key
Mac OS
Gamesplanet logo.svg
Icon overlay.png
Quake III Gold. Unlike other digital stores, this can be bought in Germany.
CD key
Quake III Gold.[2] Serial key shown in the game library entry.
Humble Store
Icon overlay.png
Microsoft Store
DRM-free after installation through Microsoft Store client (notes may include more details)
DRM-free after being copied to any other folder.
Included with Xbox Game Pass for PC. Unlike other digital stores, this can be bought in Germany.
Icon overlay.png
CD key
Quake III Gold.
Windows (unavailable)
Icon overlay.png
Windows (unavailable)
DRM-free after installation through Launcher (notes may include more details)
GamersGate (unavailable)
Icon overlay.png
A faithful higher quality icon can be found from IconArchive.
Only Gamesplanet and Microsoft Store versions are available in Germany.

Version differences

Quake III: Gold includes the base game along with the Team Arena expansion.
id Software launched a free-to-play browser-based port of Quake III titled Quake Live, that has since migrated to Steam and is no longer free-to-play. Most players have migrated to this service to continue playing, as it adds new features and game modes, and improves compatibility with newer systems.


A demo is available. Can also be installed via Steam (allow Steam popup).


Type Notes
Expansion pack The expansion pack includes new game modes, skins, maps and weapons.
One-time game purchase The game requires an upfront purchase to access.
Subscription gaming service Available via Xbox Game Pass for PC.

DLC and expansion packs

Name Notes
Team Arena

Essential improvements

Official patch

Digital distribution platforms such as GOG and Steam are already have the latest version.
The latest official patch is 1.32c, it can be downloaded from Quake 3 World.

The Unofficial Patch

The unofficial update for Quake 3: Arena and Team Arena expansion, which fixes a lot of menu, texture, sound and script errors left by original developers.
Supports source ports and it's recommended to use those to play on this patch.

Source ports

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 recommended for authenticity to the original; Quake3e and Spearmint is recommended for graphical enhancements and quality-of-life features.
Name Description
ioquake3 A port of the engine to SDL to assist in multi-platform development of stand-alone mods for the Quake III engine. Includes an auto updater which automatically updates the software with a new version.
macOS (OS X)
Quake3e Fork of ioquake3. Adds bug fixes, security and performance improvements as well as some quality of life features for competitive play.
macOS (OS X)
Spearmint Fork of ioquake3. Update in-game menu with modern graphics settings like MSAA or anisotropic filtering, and supports XInput controllers and split screen multiplayer up to 4 players.
Does not support vanilla Quake III Arena servers, mods or demos.
Stopped development as of October 2018 [1], with the latest update from July 2020.[2]
macOS (OS X)
Quake 3: Arena NT Designed specifically around the features of Windows 8's app packer. Adds ARM support, widescreen, XInput controllers, and DirectX 11.
vkQuake3 Enhanced client using the Vulkan renderer, adding improvements like AVI video capture of demos, improved console autocompletion, HTTP/FTP download redirection and many bug fixes.
macOS (OS X)
Quake III Arena: Kenny Edition Built around being as close as possible to the original version, at the same time clearing the game code from functions related to the ancient hardware.
macOS (OS X)

Game data

In-game general settings.
In-game general settings.

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\baseq3\q3config.cfg[Note 1]
Mac OS (Classic)
Linux $HOME/.q3a/baseq3/q3config.cfg
Steam Play (Linux) <SteamLibrary-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/2200/pfx/[Note 2]
This game does not follow the XDG Base Directory Specification on Linux.

Save game data location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\baseq3\q3config.cfg[Note 1]
Mac OS (Classic)
Linux $HOME/.q3a/baseq3/q3config.cfg
Steam Play (Linux) <SteamLibrary-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/2200/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Steam Cloud
Xbox Cloud


In-game video settings.
In-game video settings.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
See Widescreen resolution.
A source port is required. See Source ports.
See Widescreen resolution. Image is Vert- and FOV will need to be increased to compensate. See Field of view (FOV).
4K Ultra HD
See Widescreen resolution. Chat text does not scale.
Field of view (FOV)
See Field of view (FOV).
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Can be forced through the Nvidia Control Panel/AMD Control Center, or by using a source port. See Source ports.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
In source ports like ioquake3, open the console and enter /r_ext_multisample N where N is the number of MSAA samples. Use /vid_restart to apply changes.
High-fidelity upscaling
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
Vsync is the "Sync Every Frame" setting.
60 FPS
120+ FPS
Frame rate is capped at 90 FPS. Override with /com_maxfps XX in the console. Certain numbers can adversely affect player physics.
High dynamic range display (HDR)
See the glossary page for potential alternatives.

Widescreen resolution

Instructions[citation needed]
  1. Launch the game at least once then close it.
  2. Open <path-to-game>\baseq3\q3config.cfg with a text editor.
  3. Change the following lines to set the resolution.
    • seta r_customwidth "XXXX"
    • seta r_customheight "XXXX"
  4. Change the following line to this value.
    • seta r_mode "-1"


FMVs may be blank and character models in the model viewer may be distorted.

Field of view (FOV)

Edit the configuration file[citation needed]
  1. Launch the game at least once then close it.
  2. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  3. Open q3config.cfg with a text editor.
  4. Change the following line to the desired value.
    • seta cg_fov "XX"


Changing FOV affects the weapon viewmodel.


In-game control settings.
In-game control settings.

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
Limited modern controller support in vanilla. A source port is required for full XInput controllers support. See Source ports
Full controller support
A source port is required for menu navigation support. See Source ports. Cannot navigate Team Arena menus.
Controller remapping
Controller sensitivity
Controller Y-axis inversion
Needs to be manually mapped to the specific direction.
Controller types
XInput-compatible controllers
PlayStation controllers
Generic/other controllers
Button prompts
Additional information
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback
Digital movement supported
Simultaneous controller+KB/M


In-game audio settings.
In-game audio settings.

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
ioquake3 supports up to 7.0 output through OpenAL.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
EAX support
A3D 2.0.[3] only.[4]
Possibly broken since one of the first patches,[5] and removed for good in either version 1.25[6] or 1.27g.[7]
Royalty free audio
ioquake3 supports OpenAL Soft for binaural HRTF mixing.[8] Unlike A3D 2.0, it does not support elevation HRTF effects.


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Fan translation - #1
Fan translation.


Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
Local play
4 A source port is required. See Source ports.
LAN play
Online play
All official maps are designed for at most 16 players. However, dedicated servers can be set to have no max player limit.

Connection types


Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
TCP 27950, 27952, 27960, 27965
UDP 27950, 27952, 27960, 27965
Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) support status is unknown.

VR support

3D modes State Notes
G3D, DirectVR
Officially supported game, see official vorpx game list.

Issues fixed

Game crashes on exit

Game Crashes Upon Exit[citation needed]
  1. Right-click the game in the Steam library.
  2. Click Properties.
  3. Uncheck "Enable Steam Community In-Game".

Random FPS drops

Edit a line in config: r_finish 0[9]
Use a Source port[9]

Invalid CD key

Write the CD key in lowercase[citation needed]

Brightness issues

By default, Quake III Arena has brightness issues and may appear very dark, with the in-game brightness settings having no effect.
Edit the configuration file[10]
  1. Open <path-to-game>\baseq3\q3config.cfg with a text editor.
  2. Find the line r_overBrightBits 2.
  3. Set the value to 0:
seta r_overBrightBits "0"


To change the gamma level, just find the line r_gamma 1 and increase it to brighten the screen or lower it to darken.
r_intensity can also be set to a value above 1 to multiply texture intensity, making them appear brighter.
Quake3e: Enable Offscreen Rendering (Vulkan Render Only)[citation needed]
  1. Launch Quake 3 with either quake3e-vulkan.x64 or quake3e-vulkan.
  2. Open the developer console (default key: tilde `).
  3. Type r_fbo 1, and press Enter.
  4. Then either type vid_restart and press Enter again, or close and restart Quake3e Vulkan to apply changes.


This also restricts Quake 3 applying it's gamma globally to the monitor it's assigned to; additionally fixing overly dark/bright external screenshots and video recordings.
Enabling r_fbo is also required for other Vulkan-specific features for this port as well.

View bob

By default, the game has view bob that may cause motion sickness.
Edit the configuration file[citation needed]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\baseq3
  2. Open q3config.cfg with a text editor.
  3. Find these three lines: cg_bobup 0.005, cg_bobpitch 0.002 and cg_bobroll 0.002.
  4. Set their values to 0:
seta cg_bobup "0.000"
seta cg_bobpitch "0.000"
seta cg_bobroll "0.000"

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
OpenGL 1.1
Use Quake3e or Quake III Arena Kenny Edition.
ExecutablePPC16-bit 32-bit 64-bitARM Notes
A source port is required for native 64-bit and ARM. See Source ports.
macOS (OS X)
The original version of the game on OS X only supported PowerPC.
A source port is required for Intel 64-bit support and M1 support to work on OS X 10.7 and later. See Source ports.
A source port is required for native 64-bit. See Source ports.
An alternate source port supports PowerPC.
Mac OS (Classic)


Middleware Notes
Audio DirectSound
Cutscenes RoQ Video Only for Intro, Tier Intros and Ending.
Anti-cheat PunkBuster [citation needed]

Graphical improvements

Increase LOD (reduce pop-in)

  • After starting the game, open the console, write /r_subdivisions -1; r_lodbias -1 then press Enter. The first command increases world geometry detail, whereas the second command uses high-quality models regardless of the viewing distance.

Quake 3 Remastered (Runo Edition)

This mod contains High Resolution Textures, HD Models, Effects, 2D Elements, High Quality Sounds.

High resolution menus and HUD

A source port is required.
An additional mod is required for Team Arena support.
Widescreen support is integrated. Enter the following into the console for 1920x1080 (example): /exec res1920x1080.
The highest possible graphic settings are available with /exec hq.
New assets are faithful to original HUD and menus.

Neural upscaled textures

All in-game textures, upscaled with Waifu2x and SFTGAN.
Upscaled textures are faithful to the original textures.


Quake 3 servers often use modifications in order to enhance the game in some way.

Challenge Promode Arena

Challenge Promode Arena (CPMA) is a modification which supports two gameplay styles (vanilla and promode) and many different game modes. It is often used for competitive play.


Defrag (q3df) is a modification that removes the deathmatch from Quake 3 (de-fragging it), replacing it with obstacle courses for bunnyhopping, trickjumping, and surfing, to name a few.
Secondary resource here.

Q3A Reloaded

Q3AReloaded (Q3AR) is a graphical overhaul HD modification. Including high resolution textures, UI, models and effects. Running with Q3A 1.11 and 1.32 + mods.
Q3AR-MODDB visit.

System requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 95, NT 4.0
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium MMX 233 MHz
Intel Pentium II 300 MHz
AMD K6-2 350 MHz
AMD Athlon 500 MHz
System memory (RAM) 64 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 25 MB
Video card (GPU) 8 MB of VRAM
OpenGL 1.1 compatible
DirectX 7 compatible
Mac OS
Operating system (OS) 8.6
Processor (CPU) PowerPC G3
System memory (RAM) 64 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD)
Video card (GPU) 6 MB of VRAM
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 400 MHz of any ISA
System memory (RAM) 64 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 25 MB
Video card (GPU) 8 MB of VRAM


  1. 1.0 1.1 When running this game without elevated privileges (Run as administrator option), write operations against a location below %PROGRAMFILES%, %PROGRAMDATA%, or %WINDIR% might be redirected to %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore on Windows Vista and later (more details).
  2. 2.0 2.1 Notes regarding Steam Play (Linux) data: