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Quake 4

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
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
Monetization One-time game purchase, Subscription gaming service
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person
Controls Direct control
Genres Action, FPS, Shooter
Vehicles Robot
Art styles Realistic
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 Enhanced 2021
Quake Champions 2022
Quake II Enhanced 2023


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.

Quake 4 is a singleplayer and multiplayer first-person action, FPS and shooter game in the Quake series.

General information

Quake Wiki - A detailed wiki for every Quake game made.
Planet Quake Community Discussions for game series 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)
GamersGate (unavailable)
Icon overlay.png
Gamesplanet logo.svg
Icon overlay.png
The only digital version that is available in Germany.
CD key
Serial keys for multiplayer supplied as of May 9, 2023.[1]
Green Man Gaming
Icon overlay.png
Humble Store
Icon overlay.png
Microsoft Store
DRM-free after installation through Microsoft Store client (notes may include more details)
Xbox Game Pass for PC
DRM-free after installation through Steam client (notes may include more details)
CD key
Can be run without the Steam client.
Windows (unavailable)
Icon overlay.png
Mac App Store (unavailable)
Icon overlay.png
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.
The Special DVD Edition for Windows features Quake II and additional bonus content.


Demo is available here.


Type Notes
One-time game purchase The game requires an upfront purchase to access.
Subscription gaming service Available via Xbox Game Pass for PC.

Source ports

Adapted from the released source code for the id Tech 4 based Doom 3

Name Description
Quake4Doom Playable with occasional issues
macOS (OS X)
gbQuake4 Fork of Quake4Doom
macOS (OS X)
Not compatible with the retail version.

Essential improvements


Patch 1.4.2 (2007) is the latest version. 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

Able to change the FPS limit to above 62, fix graphical 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.
Only 4:3, 16:9, and 16:10 resolutions are supported. Other resolutions will be stretched.

Skip intro videos

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


For the GOG digital release, the command will not work when applied to the 'launcher' shortcut that GOG Galaxy creates. In that case, create a shortcut pointing directly to Quake4.exe, and apply the command to that.

Game data

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

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\q4base\Quake4Config.cfg[Note 1]
Microsoft Store
macOS (OS X) $HOME/Library/Containers/com.aspyr.quake4appstore/Data/Library/Application Support/Quake 4/q4base
Linux $HOME/.quake4/q4base
Steam Play (Linux) <SteamLibrary-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/2210/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>\q4base\savegames\[Note 1]
Microsoft Store
macOS (OS X) $HOME/Library/Containers/com.aspyr.quake4appstore/Data/Library/Application Support/Quake 4/q4base/savegames
Linux $HOME/.quake4/q4base/savegames
Steam Play (Linux) <SteamLibrary-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/2210/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Steam Cloud
Xbox Cloud


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

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
See Widescreen resolution for custom/unlisted resolutions. HUD is only 4:3 and will stretch to the proportion of resolution, unlike Xbox 360 version that have a proper Widescreen HUD.
See Widescreen resolution.
See Widescreen resolution.
4K Ultra HD
See Widescreen resolution.
Field of view (FOV)
Default is 90°. Use Quake 4 Tweaker.
Can also be toggled with Alt+ Enter.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
See Anisotropic filtering (AF).
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Up to 16x MSAA.
High-fidelity upscaling
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
60 FPS
120+ FPS
Capped at 62 FPS. Use Quake 4 Tweaker.
High dynamic range display (HDR)
Sikkmod's HDR feature only adds HDR Rendering.

Widescreen resolution

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)

Set AF manually in Console window[3]
  1. Open the developer console with ~.
  2. Type image_anisotropy <value>, where <value> can be 1, 2, 4 & 8; 8 being the highest quality.
  3. To apply new settings, type vid_restart to restart the renderer.
Set AF manually in Configuration file[4]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open autoexec.cfg (Create if not present).
  3. Search and edit the line seta r_multiSamples "value" (If not present, Add at the end of file).


"value" can take values as "1", "2", "4" & "8"; "8" being 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
Controller types


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.[5]
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
EAX support
EAX 4.0, EAX 5.0 (via OpenAL).[6]
Royalty free audio
Hidden EAX 4.0 mode is available by using Creative ALchemy and selecting Generic Hardware driver in sound options.[7] Currently broken in DSOAL v1.31a.


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Retail only. link #1.
Retail only.
Fan translation, download.
Retail only. Patch for digital release here.
Brazilian Portuguese
Fan translation, download.
Retail only. Patch for digital release here.
Retail and only. Patch for digital release here.
Fan translation, download.


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

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

Issues fixed

Poor image quality on modern systems

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 settings via autoexec.cfg[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Create and open autoexec.cfg.
  3. Add the following and save.
seta r_renderer "best"
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 "1"        //causes problem with Lighting & Shadows if set to "0"
seta r_forceAmbient "0"
seta r_multiSamples "16"
seta image_anisotropy "8"
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 "-2"
seta image_filter "GL_LINEAR_MIPMAP_LINEAR"
seta g_brassTime "2"

Commands not taking effect even after including them in 'autoexec.cfg/DoomConfig.cfg'

Make sure your config file has *.cfg extension and NOT *.cfg.txt
Sometimes, when users share their set of settings/console commands over internet or when downloading a separate mod, the block of lines that are imported/copied have multiple instances of the same command, causing repetition of the same lines or lines with different values. This causes cvars to have their values wrongly configured, leading to undesired effects.
Make sure that every command starts with seta and not seta_ or set, as the engine will ignore those lines
Make sure that every command has only One instance in the entire file
Make sure that every command has only One instance in the entire file (i.e. it occurs only one time in the file), because multiple instances can override the value in the previous occurrence of the same command. The command line that occurs last takes precedence over every previous occurrence.
  1. For e.g., in the following set of lines, the Final Value of cvar r_shadows will be "0" as per the Last entry (3rd Occurrence):
seta r_renderer "best"
seta com_videoRam "1024"
seta com_machineSpec "3"
seta r_shadows "1"      // 1st Occurrence
seta r_skipBump "0"
seta r_skipBump "0"
seta r_skipSpecular "0"
seta r_skipNewAmbient "0"
seta r_shadows "-1"      // 2nd Occurrence
seta image_preload "1"
seta image_roundDown "0"
seta image_useAllFormats "1"
seta image_useCompression "0"
seta image_useNormalCompression "0"
seta r_shadows "0"      // 3rd Occurrence


Easier way to do this is using 'Find' feature in Notepad/Notepad++ (Ctrl+F) and then 'Find Next' option, making sure there is only one instance of a particular command.

Stretched UI on 16:9 widescreens

Install Quake 4 widescreen fix by Wizzard[8]
  1. Download the Widescreen Fix.
  2. Copy and paste the content into <path-to-game>.

Low resolution font scaling

By default, some of the game's text fonts render at a lower resolution due to a font scaling limiter.
Remove the font scaling limit
  1. Add the lines to autoexec.cfg or change it manually in DoomConfig.cfg:
  2. seta gui_mediumFontLimit "0"
    seta gui_smallFontLimit "0"
  3. Save the file. The game should now render the text in higher quality regardless of resolution.


This may cause some menus to have their text cut off in multiplayer.

Micro stuttering

This issue is caused when playing the game on a 60 Hz display, while the game's internal tickrate is tied to a 62.5 FPS cap.
Users playing on high refresh rate displays (90 Hz, 120 Hz, etc.) don't experience this issue.
'Unlock the FPS' in-game and then 'Limit the FPS' via the graphics driver control panel
  1. Open autoexec.cfg and add the lines seta com_FixedTic "1" and seta r_swapInterval "0".
  2. Force V-Sync(Normal V-Sync) via 'Nvidia Control Panel' or 'AMD Catalyst'.
  3. Limit FPS being generated by CPU to 60 (exact) via 'Nvidia Control Panel' or 'AMD Catalyst'.

Poor performance/"slow-motion" effect on Nvidia cards

Quake 4 and other id Tech 4 games suffer from a potential driver-related issue on modern Nvidia GPUs that causes the game to go into what appears to a "slow-motion" phase during some intensive scenes, where the framerate technically remains the same but game logic is slowed down and negatively effects performance, and it persists when using the microstutter fix and Quake4 Tweaker. This issue can potentially be fixed through using an autoexec.cfg file containing the necessary CVar tweaks.
This happens due to V-Sync being ON while com_preciseTic and com_FixedTic are set to anything other than value 0.
Add the lines seta com_FixedTic "0", seta com_preciseTic "0" & seta r_swapInterval "0" in autoexec.cfg

Steam Overlay doesn't work

Run the Steam client as administrator[9]
Add registry key[10]
  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.
  4. Open the newly created string and type in RUNASINVOKER and confirm it.


For the GOG version, the 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

Use raw input[11]
  1. Open <path-to-game>\q4base\autoexec.cfg.
  2. Add the line in_mouse 2.
  3. Save the changes.

ReShade overlay inaccessible to mouse

Bypass the game's mouse bind[12]
  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.

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
OpenGL 2.0
ExecutablePPC 32-bit 64-bit Notes
macOS (OS X)
32-bit only.[13]


Middleware Notes
Audio OpenAL
Anti-cheat PunkBuster


Quake 4 4X AI Textures

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


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.
Using the Retail version can cause the game to crash.

False Dawn

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

Next & Better Shaders

Next & Better Shaders is a more up-to-date collection of shaders for Quake 4, with some ported from Doom 3. They add effects like parallax textures, dynamic lighting, HDR, and more. The author has adjusted the shaders to keep Quake 4's original look and reduce the plastic effect.
Move the desired shader folder to the Quake 4 base install directory and select it from the in-game Mods list, or use the provided .bat file to launch the game.

Advanced tweaks

TweakGuides has created a comprehensive guide for tweaking the game.

System requirements

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 Notes regarding Steam Play (Linux) data: