Quake 4

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Quake 4
Quake 4 cover
Raven Software
id Software
Retail Activision
OS X Aspyr Media
Digital Bethesda Softworks
id Tech 4
Release dates
Windows October 18, 2005
Linux October 20, 2005
macOS (OS X) March 24, 2006
Metacritic 81
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person
Controls Direct control
Genres FPS
Vehicles Robot
Themes Sci-fi
Series Quake
Quake 4 on HowLongToBeat
Quake 4 on IGDB
Quake 4 guide on StrategyWiki
Quake 4 on MobyGames
Quake 4 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 (2021) 2021
Quake Champions EA


The macOS (OS X) version of this game does not work on macOS Catalina (version 10.15) or later due to the removal of support for 32-bit-only apps.

Key points

The game does not properly recognize the available VRAM on modern graphics cards, and as such forces the game to use lower image quality settings. See Issues fixed to resolve.

General information

Quake Wiki - A detailed wiki for every Quake game made.
Planet Quake
GOG.com Community Discussions for game series
GOG.com Support Page
Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
CD key
SafeDisc v4.60 DRM was removed in Patch 1.4.2. 4 CDs Or 1 DVD.
macOS (OS X)
Requires online activation
macOS (OS X)
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Gamesplanet logo.svg
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The only digital version that is available in Germany.
No online play (LAN only).[1]
Green Man Gaming
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Humble Store
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DRM-free after installation through Steam client (notes may include more details)
Can be run without the Steam client.
Amazon.com (unavailable)
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Mac App Store (unavailable)
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macOS (OS X)
A free client provided by id allows Quake 4 to be played natively on Linux machines. It requires either a full retail copy or the demo to use it. Details can be found on the GamingOnLinux article.
A faithful higher quality icon can be found from IconArchive.
Game is not available in Germany, except for Gamesplanet version.


Demo is available here.

Essential improvements[edit]


Patch 1.4.2 (2007) is the latest version. GOG.com and Steam versions are already patched.
Patch 1.3.0 (2006)
Patch 1.2.0 (2006)
Patch 1.1.0 (2006. Bugged widescreen feature. Add support for multi core CPUs)

Quake 4 Tweaker[edit]

Allows you to change the FPS limit to above 62, fix texture issues on modern hardware, adjust the despawn time of corpses, change the FOV, skip intro videos and force custom display resolutions.
Only works on 64-bit computers.

Quake 4 4X AI Textures[edit]

Upscales the original texture's resolution 4x by using a neural network.
Large download at over 6.5 GB, including patches. Around 27 GB once extracted.

Skip intro videos[edit]

Use Quake 4 Tweaker[2]
Use the +disconnect command line argument[2]

Game data[edit]

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

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\q4base\[Note 1]
macOS (OS X) ~/Library/Containers/com.aspyr.quake4appstore/Data/Library/Application Support/Quake 4/q4base
Linux ~/.quake4/q4base
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/2210/pfx/[Note 2]
This game does not follow the XDG Base Directory Specification on Linux.

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\q4base\savegames\[Note 1]
macOS (OS X) ~/Library/Containers/com.aspyr.quake4appstore/Data/Library/Application Support/Quake 4/q4base/savegames
Linux ~/.quake4/q4base/savegames
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/2210/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Steam Cloud


In-game general video/audio settings.
In-game general video/audio settings.
In-game advanced video settings.
In-game advanced video settings.

Widescreen resolution[edit]

Use Quake 4 Tweaker to force custom display resolutions[2]
Set custom resolution in configuration file[citation needed]
  1. Open <path-to-game>\q4base\Quake4Config.cfg.
  2. Search the line seta r_customHeight, replace with seta r_customHeight "768"
  3. Search the line seta r_customWidth, replace with seta r_customWidth "1366"
  4. Search the line seta r_mode, replace with seta r_mode "-1"
  5. Search the line seta r_aspectRatio, replace with seta r_aspectRatio "1".


Use seta r_aspectRatio "0" for 4:3, "1" for 16:9, and "2" for 16:10.

Anisotropic filtering (AF)[edit]

Set custom anisotropic filtering[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Create and open autoexec.cfg.
  3. Add seta image_anisotropy 16 for the highest quality.


In-game key map settings.
In-game key map settings.

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Mouse acceleration
Disabled by default. Use m_accel 1 in the console to enable.
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support


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

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Only a single volume slider.
Surround sound
First enable surround speakers setup in the Windows control panel.[3]
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
EAX support
EAX 4.0, EAX 5.0 (via OpenAL)[4]
Hidden EAX 4.0 mode is available by using Creative ALchemy and selecting Generic Hardware driver in sound options.[5] Currently broken in DSOAL v1.31a.


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Retail release only.
Retail release only. Download.
Retail release only.
Fan translation.
Retail release only. Download.
Retail release only. download.
Brazilian Portuguese
Fan translation; download.
Retail release only. Download.
Retail release only. Download.
Fan translation.


Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
LAN play
16 Versus
Online play
16 Versus

Connection types


Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
TCP 27650
UDP 27650
Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) support status is unknown.

VR support[edit]

3D modes Native Notes
G3D, DirectVR
Officially supported game, see official vorpx game list.
Devices Native Notes
3RD Space Gaming Vest
Official Game Mod (version 1.4.2) - Single Player & Multiplayer
Novint Falcon

Issues fixed[edit]

Poor image quality on modern systems[edit]

The game does not properly recognize the available VRAM on modern graphics cards, and as such forces the game to use lower image quality settings.
Use Quake 4 Tweaker[2]
Force high image quality[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Create and open autoexec.cfg.
  3. Add the following and save.
seta com_machineSpec "3"
seta com_videoRam "1024"
seta r_shadows "1"
seta r_skipSky "0"
seta r_skipBump "0"
seta r_skipSpecular "0"
seta r_skipNewAmbient "0"
seta r_multiSamples "4"
seta image_ignoreHighQuality "0"
seta image_downSize "0"
seta image_downSizeBump "0"
seta image_downSizeSpecular "0"
seta image_useCache "0"
seta image_useCompression "0"
seta image_useNormalCompression "0"
seta image_usePrecompressedTextures "0"
seta image_lodbias "-1"
seta image_anisotropy "16"
seta image_filter "GL_LINEAR_MIPMAP_LINEAR"
seta g_brassTime "2"

Steam Overlay doesn't work[edit]

Run the Steam client as administrator[6]
Add registry key[7]
  1. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers.
  2. Right-click → New → String Value.
  3. Put the full path to Quake4.exe in the name, e.g. C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Quake 4\Quake4.exe.
  4. Open your newly created string and type in RUNASINVOKER and confirm it.


For GOG version. string value is already created. The only thing to do is Right Click on Quake4.exe and Modify the value data with the RUNASINVOKER to confirm it.

Sluggish mouse view[edit]

Use raw input[8]
  1. Open <path-to-game>\q4base\autoexec.cfg.
  2. Add the line in_mouse 2
  3. Save the changes.

ReShade overlay inaccessible to mouse[edit]

Bypass the game's mouse bind[9]
  1. Open <path-to-game>\q4base\Quake4Config.cfg.
  2. Search the line seta com_allowConsole and set the value to "1".
  3. Start the game.
  4. Press Alt+Tab to switch into windowed mode
  5. Press ~ to open the console
  6. Access the ReShade GUI


  1. Open <path-to-game>\q4base\autoexec.cfg.
  2. Add the following lines.
seta r_swapInterval "1"
seta com_fixedTic "1"


This solution may cause speech lipsync to go out of sync, but gameplay should be unaffected. r_swapinterval controls VSync.

Fix font scaling[edit]

Configuration Files[citation needed]

Add the lines to autoexec.cfg or change it in Quake4Config.cfg:

seta gui_mediumFontLimit "0"
seta gui_smallFontLimit "0"

Issues unresolved[edit]

Poor performance/"slow-motion" effect on Nvidia cards[edit]

Quake 4 and other id Tech 4 games seem to suffer from some sort of driver-related issue on modern Nvidia GPU's that causes the game to go into what appears to be a "slow-motion" phrase during some intensive scenes, where the framerate technically remains the same but game logic is slowed down and negatively effects performance, and it persists even when using the microstutters fix and Quake 4 Tweaker. This issue's not known to affect all hardware configurations but a definitive fix is not currently available.

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
OpenGL 2.0
ExecutablePPC 32-bit 64-bit Notes
macOS (OS X)
32-bit only.[11]


Middleware Notes
Audio OpenAL
Anti-cheat PunkBuster



Sikkmod is a mod that was ported from Doom 3, which adds such effects as bloom, color grading, HDR and FXAA, and is easily configurable via the in-game menu.
The game's multi-core rendering may cause problems with this mod, disable that setting if there are graphical glitches.

False Dawn[edit]

False Dawn is a non-linear, multiple-goal mission with up-to-date graphics (powered by Sikkmod).

Advanced tweaks[edit]

TweakGuides has created a comprehensive guide for tweaking the game.

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 2000
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 4 2.0 GHz
AMD Athlon XP 2000+
System memory (RAM) 256 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 3.2 GB
Video card (GPU) ATI Radeon 9700
Nvidia GeForce3 Ti
64 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0c compatible
Windows 98 has been tested to work with Quake 4, but this is not officially supported.
macOS (OS X)
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 10.3.9
Processor (CPU) 1.67 GHz
System memory (RAM) 512 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 3 GB
Video card (GPU) ATI Radeon 9600
Nvidia GeForce 6600
64 MB of VRAM
Operating system (OS) Kernel 2.4.x, Kernel 2.6.x
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 4 2.0 GHz
AMD Athlon XP 2000+
System memory (RAM) 512 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD)
Supported ATI chipsets: Radeon 9700 series, Radeon 9800 series, Radeon X300 series, Radeon X550 series, Radeon X600 series, Radeon X700 series, Radeon X800 series, Radeon X850 series
Supported Nvidia chipsets: GeForce 3/Ti series, GeForce 4/Ti series, GeForce FX series, GeForce 6 series, GeForce 7 series


  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 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>/2210/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (2210) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.