Anonymous edits have been disabled on the wiki. If you want to contribute please login or create an account.


Warning for game developers: PCGamingWiki staff members will only ever reach out to you using the official press@pcgamingwiki.com mail address.
Be aware of scammers claiming to be representatives or affiliates of PCGamingWiki who promise a PCGW page for a game key.

Quake II

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games

This page is for the original Quake II. For the ray-tracing capable version, see Quake II RTX. For 2023's Nightdive remaster, see Quake II Enhanced.

Quake II
Quake II cover
Developers
id Software
The Reckoning Xatrix Entertainment
Ground Zero Rogue Entertainment
Mac OS (Classic) Logicware
Publishers
Retail Activision
Digital Bethesda Softworks
Engines
id Tech 2
Release dates
Windows December 9, 1997
Linux January 6, 1998
Mac OS (Classic) July 1, 1999
Taxonomy
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 II on HowLongToBeat
Quake II on IGDB
Quake II guide on StrategyWiki
Quake II on MobyGames
Quake II on Wikipedia
Quake
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 II is a singleplayer and multiplayer first-person action, FPS and shooter game in the Quake series.

Like the original Quake. Along with active modding community. The engine is also open source with modern multi-platform ports available; it is recommended to use one of the numerous Source ports on modern system. Additionally The Microsoft Store and Steam versions lack the Red Book Audio CD soundtrack, but this can be fixed.

General information

Source code
Tools source code
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

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Retail
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
DRM-free
CD check removed by official patches. Soundtrack is still embedded in the CD.
To install on 64-bit systems, go in the install folder and run setup.exe.
Windows
Mac OS
Linux
Gamesplanet logo.svg
Icon overlay.png
Windows
GOG.com
DRM-free
Quake II: Quad Damage[1], included with Quake II Enhanced. Includes the soundtrack, but may fail to play on modern operating systems. See No CD music in GOG version.
Windows
Humble Store
Icon overlay.png
Windows
Steam
Icon overlay.png
Includes The Reckoning and Ground Zero expansions, included with Quake II Enhanced. Does not come with the game soundtrack; see No CD music in Microsoft Store and Steam version.
Windows
Amazon.com (unavailable)
Icon overlay.png
Windows
Bethesda.net (unavailable)
DRM-free after installation through Bethesda.net Launcher (notes may include more details)
DRM-free when launched directly from executable (quake2.exe)
Windows
GamersGate (unavailable)
Icon overlay.png
Windows
A faithful higher quality icon can be found on Archive.org.
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.
This game can also be played on OS X and DOS using a source port.
GOG.com's launcher for Quake II is fully customizable by editing Q2Launcher.ini allowing you to add more mods or even modify the exe files the launcher should use.

Version differences

Quake II: Quad Damage includes the base game along with all expansions. The GOG.com version comes with the soundtrack and a special launcher.
Quake II: Colossus is the retail Linux package that includes the base game with only the first two expansions.

Demo

A demo is available. Can also be installed via Steam: steam://install/9130.

Monetization

Type Notes
Expansion pack The expansions include new missions and maps.
One-time game purchase The game requires an upfront purchase to access.

DLC and expansion packs

Name Notes
Mission Pack: Ground Zero
Windows
Mission Pack: The Reckoning
Windows
Netpack I: Extremities Included in the GOG version only.
Windows
Similarly to the 2021 update of Quake, an update for this game on Steam since August 10 2022 already includes the Mission Packs and removed the separated versions from sale, so it is recommended to uninstall Quake II along with it's individual Mission Packs and then reinstall Quake II but don't install the individual Mission Packs if you bought them before August 10 2022.

Essential improvements

Official patch

  • 3.20 - Latest official patch.

Unofficial patch

  • 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.
  • Unofficial v3.24 Patch - A simple patch that fixes bugs and adds certain things to the engine such as widescreen-support. Easy to install and use.

Source ports

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.

Yamagi Quake II is recommended for authenticity to the original; KMQuake II is also recommended for quality-of-life features to the original; Q2PRO or Quake II Starter is recommended for a multiplayer-oriented experience.[2]
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
Q2VKPT Tech demo source port focused on adding full path tracing using Nvidia RTX ray tracing in Vulkan.
Windows
Quake II RTX Fork of Q2VKPT officially licensed by Nvidia. Has its own page.
Windows
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
Yamagi Quake II Enhanced client focusing mainly on bug-fixes, compatibility with modern systems and code improvements.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
vkQuake2 Enhanced client using the Vulkan renderer.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux

r1ch.net anticheat module

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

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\baseq2\*.cfg[Note 1]
Mac OS (Classic)
Linux
Steam Play (Linux) <SteamLibrary-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/2320/pfx/[Note 2]
It's unknown whether this game follows the XDG Base Directory Specification on Linux. Please fill in this information.
Yamagi Quake II moves this to %USERPROFILE%\Documents\YamagiQ2\baseq2\*.cfg unless launched with -portable.

Save game data location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\baseq2\save\[Note 1]
Mac OS (Classic)
Linux
Steam Play (Linux) <SteamLibrary-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/2320/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Added on update 1.2
Steam Cloud
Xbox Cloud

Video

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

Graphics feature State 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
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
A source port is required. See Source ports.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
A source port is required. See Source ports.
High-fidelity upscaling
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
Labeled sync every frame.
60 FPS
120+ FPS
Frame rate is capped at 83 FPS. See Frame rate (FPS).
High dynamic range display (HDR)
See the glossary page for potential alternatives.
Ray tracing (RT)
A source port is required. See Source ports.

Widescreen resolution

Custom resolution (Yamagi port)[citation needed]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\baseq2.
  2. Open autoexec.cfg or create it if not found.
  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 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.
If using Yamagi Quake II, the weapon's FOV can be set separately through r_gunfov; it defaults to 80. A value of 75 should look identical to 90° in Vanilla Quake 2.[3]
Console command[citation needed]
  1. Open console with ~.
  2. Type fov X where X is the desired field of view.

Frame rate (FPS)

Use a source port to avoid physics issues at high frame rates.
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.
    Add vid_maxfps X instead if you're using Yamagi Quake II.
Console command[citation needed]
  1. Open console with ~.
  2. Type cl_maxfps X where X is the desired FPS cap.
  3. Type r_maxfps X instead if you're using KMQuake II.
    Type vid_maxfps X instead if you're using Yamagi Quake II.

Texture quality

Use gl_texturemode gl_nearest_mipmap_linear to disable texture smoothing while avoiding distant texture aliasing. Can be combined with anisotropic filtering.
The 8-bit textures option, when disabled, uses 16-bit textures. This is independent of the texture filtering options.
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 at the time of game's release. Setting gl_round_down 0 (and doing a vid_restart, or putting it into an autoexec.cfg) improves texture quality noticeably.

Input

Mouse acceleration

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.

Mouse wheel for switching weapons

Use the console to create custom keybinds[4]
  1. Press the tilde key (~) to activate the console.
  2. Type bind MWHEELUP "weapnext" and hit enter.
  3. Type bind MWHEELDOWN "weapprev" and hit enter.
The values of the two binds (weapnext and weapprev) can be swapped if desired.

Audio

Audio feature State 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[5]).
Use a source port such as Yamagi Quake II or Q2Pro for OpenAL Soft HRTF.
Royalty free audio
Red Book CD audio
On Windows, CD music might not play correctly; see the troubleshooting guide for solutions.

Localizations

Language UI Audio Sub Notes
English
Spanish
Fan translation, download (From Clan Dlan archives).

Network

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

3D modes State Notes
vorpX
G3D
Officially supported game, see official vorpx game list.
Headsets
SteamVR
Use the Quake2VR mod with the Revive Compatibility Layer.
Oculus VR (LibOVR)
Use the Quake2VR mod.
Windows Mixed Reality
This game might be playable with the Revive Compatibility Layer, or Windows Mixed Reality for SteamVR.
Forte VFX1
Native Windows version only. Requires a driver.[6] Unknown if any source ports support the headset.
Devices
Tracked motion controllers
Use the Quake2VR mod (Oculus Touch only).
See Input for details.
Traditional controller
See Input for details.
Keyboard/Mouse
Play area
Seated
Standing
Room-scale

Issues fixed

Saves won't load with "function pointers have moved" error with 'The Reckoning' and 'Ground Zero' expansion (GOG.com version)

install the 3.24 fan-patch

No CD music in Microsoft Store and Steam version

Quake II, like the original Quake use mixed-mode CD. The Steam and Microsoft Store versions lacks the soundtracks out-of-the-box.
The Microsoft Store version requires enabling mods.
Apply Ultimate Quake II patch
If prefer to play the game on original engine, 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.

No CD music in GOG version

On Windows 11 and recent versions of Windows 10, the GOG patch allowing for OGG music playback in Quake II fails to work. To resolve this, use a source port. Unlike with the Steam and Microsoft Store versions, you do not need to download the soundtrack separately, as it is included in the game files of the GOG version.

Apply Unofficial v3.24 Patch and turn on "ogg vorbis music".

Windows Vista and 7 colours issue (Software mode)

Windows Vista and 7 can have issues with displaying true colours in Software mode
This issue does not occur on Windows 8 and later.
See DirectDraw troubleshooting for further details.
DirectDrawCompat[citation needed]

Use DDrawCompat.

Window border visible in fullscreen mode (Software mode)

DirectDrawCompat[citation needed]

Use DDrawCompat.

Frame rate issue in software renderer

The software renderer does not enforce frame rate limit. This can cause issues on modern hardware, as the game can run infinitely faster that it meant to.
Use 3.20 patch.[citation needed]

Game does not launch (Intel HD Graphics)

Use a source port[7]
[citation needed]
  1. Install Nglide
  2. Select in game 3DFX OpenGl Driver

"No Input arguments" when running the launcher (GOG.com version)

Use the created shortcut.[citation needed]
This problem occurs only if you try to run the main executable file. It must be run 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.

Stuttering (yquake2)

Might occur when using fractional display refresh rates.
Set vid_displayrefreshrate[8]
  1. Install Yamagi Quake II.
  2. Open the console.
  3. Set vid_displayrefreshrate to 60.

Aim is Offset

Bullets hit slightly below and to the right of the crosshair.
Use Yamagi's aimfix command to make bullets hit precisely at the center of the crosshair
  1. Install Yamagi Quake II.
  2. Open the console.
  3. Type aimfix 1.

Play the expansions with KMQuake II

Use launch parameters[9]

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

Install Patch 3.24, Yamagi Quake II, or KMQuake II[citation needed]
Apply hex edit[10]
  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

Mission Pack: The Reckoning "GLimp_EndFrame() - SwapBuffers() failed!" Error

Replace Config.cfg

Copy the Config.cfg file from the Baseq2 folder and paste in the xatrix folder.

Deleting Config.cfg from the xatrix folder may also solve this issue.

Add quick saving hotkey

Use the console to add custom keybinds to enable quicksaving[11]
  1. Open the console and enter bind F5 "echo Quick Saving...; wait; save quick" and bind F7 "echo Quick Loading...; wait; load quick".
Change the keys to whatever keys you would like.
If this doesn't work, try bind F5 save quick and bind F9 load quick.

Other information

API

Technical specs Supported Notes
DirectDraw
Software mode also uses DirectDraw acceleration if available.
OpenGL 1.1, 1.4, 3.2 3DFX and PowerVR MiniGL included.
Yamagi Quake II updates the 1.1 renderer to 1.4 and adds a 3.2 renderer.
Glide
3dfx MiniGL
Software renderer
Broken by default on Win7 x64 (DirectDraw troubleshooting).
Yamagi's' software renderer can render the whole game without artifacts.
Vulkan
A source port is required. See Source ports.
ExecutablePPC16-bit 32-bit 64-bitARM Notes
Windows
A source port is required for native 64-bit. See Source ports. ARM source ports must be built from source code, with one fanbuilt binary known to exist.[12]
macOS (OS X)
A source port is required for OS X. See Source ports.
Linux
A source port is required for native non-32-bit. See Source ports.
Mac OS (Classic)

Middleware

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.

Technical information

Quake II Facelift mod

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 at the left and right side of the screen are culled out, 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.

System requirements

Windows
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 95, NT 4.0
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 90 MHz
System memory (RAM) 16 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 25 MB
Other
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
System memory (RAM) 16 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 25 MB


Notes

  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:

References