Quake II

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games

This page is for the original 1997 game. For the ray-tracing capable version, see Quake II RTX.

Quake II
Quake II cover
id Software
The Reckoning Xatrix Entertainment
Ground Zero Rogue Entertainment
Mac OS (Classic) Logicware
Retail Activision
Digital Bethesda Softworks
id Tech 2
Release dates
Windows December 9, 1997
Linux January 6, 1998
Mac OS (Classic) July 1, 1999
Monetization Expansion pack
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person
Controls Direct control
Genres Action, Shooter
Themes Fantasy, 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 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

Key points

Engine is open source with modern multi-platform ports available; see Source ports
Active modding community.
The Microsoft Store and Steam versions lack the soundtrack, but this can be fixed.
Vanilla Quake II sometimes has trouble running on modern machines. It is recommended to use one of the numerous Source ports.

General information

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


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
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.
Mac OS
DRM-free after installation through Bethesda.net Launcher (notes may include more details)
DRM-free when launched directly from executable (quake2.exe)
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Gamesplanet logo.svg
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Quake II: Quad Damage.[1]
Microsoft Store
DRM-free after installation through Microsoft Store client (notes may include more details)
DRM-free after being copied to any other folder.
Does not come with the game soundtrack; see No music playback.
Included with Xbox Game Pass for PC.
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Does not come with the game soundtrack; see No music playback.
Amazon.com (unavailable)
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Humble Store (unavailable)
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A demo is available. Can also be installed via Steam: steam://install/9130.
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 customizeable by editing Q2Launcher.ini allowing you to add more mods or even modify the exe files the launcher should use.

DLC and expansion packs

Name Notes
Mission Pack: Ground Zero
Mission Pack: The Reckoning
Netpack I: Extremities Included in the GOG version only.

Version differences[edit]

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.

Essential improvements[edit]

Official patch[edit]

  • 3.20 - Latest official patch.

Unofficial patch[edit]

  • 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[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.

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.
QuakeIIxp Enhanced port with improved graphics using an updated rendering engine.
LWJake2 A LWJGL based source port focusing on compatibility and bug fixes.
macOS (OS X)
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.
Q2PRO Multiplayer focused source port, available with r1ch.net anticheat module. It is also used for speedrunning.
macOS (OS X)
Q2VKPT Tech demo source port focused on adding full path tracing using Nvidia RTX ray tracing in Vulkan.
Quake II RTX Fork of Q2VKPT officially licensed by Nvidia. Has its own page.
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.
R1Q2 Multiplayer focused source port, available with r1ch.net anticheat module.
Yamagi Quake II Enhanced client focusing mainly on bug-fixes, compatibility with modern systems and code improvements.
macOS (OS X)
vkQuake2 Enhanced client using the Vulkan renderer.
macOS (OS X)

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[Note 1]
Mac OS (Classic)
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-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[edit]

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

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

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


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.
A source port is required. See Source ports.
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).
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.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
Labeled sync every frame.
60 FPS
Frame rate is capped at 83 FPS.
120+ 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.


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)[edit]

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[edit]

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


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.

Mouse wheel for switching weapons[edit]

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 feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Only for sound effects, not for CD music.
Surround sound
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.
Red Book CD audio
On Windows, CD music might not play correctly; see the troubleshooting guide for solutions.


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Fan translation, download.


Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
Local play
4 See the Steam Community guide.
LAN play
Online play
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


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

VR support[edit]

3D modes Native Notes
Officially supported game, see official vorpx game list.
Headsets Native Notes
HTC Vive
Use the Quake2VR mod with the Revive Compatibility Layer.
Oculus Rift
Use the Quake2VR mod.
Windows Mixed Reality
This game might be playable with the Revive Compatibility Layer (compatibility list).
Devices Native Notes
Tracked motion controllers
Use the Quake2VR mod (Oculus Touch only).
See Input for details.
Traditional controller
See Input for details.
Play area Native Notes

Issues fixed[edit]

Saves not working in 'The Reckoning' and 'Ground Zero' (GOG.com version)[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 CD so the Steam and Microsoft Store versions unfortunately lack 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.

Microsoft Store version requires enabling mods.
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.

Installer doesn't work (hangs) (Retail version)[edit]

Analyze wait chain
  1. Open Task Manager.
  2. Find Spalsh.exe on the list and expand it.
  3. Find 32-bit Setup Launcher (32-bit)right-click on every child object that belongs to the process and click on "Go to details".
  4. In the Details tab, right-click on the highlighted element and click on "Analyse Wait Chain".
  5. If there are elements on the list, select them and kill the process.


Most common programs causing issues are logitechg_discord.exe (Discord applet for Logitech Gaming Software) and nvcontainer.exe (part of Nvidia Experience).

Windows Vista and 7 colours issue (Software mode)[edit]

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 rainbow color problems in older games for further details.
DirectDrawCompat[citation needed]

Use DDrawCompat.

Window border visible in fullscreen mode (Software mode)[edit]

DirectDrawCompat[citation needed]

Use DDrawCompat.

Game is uncapped in software mode[edit]

Unpatched game in software mode comes with no fps limit which causes it to run at high fps and causes physical problems official patch 3.20 fixed this problem by adding 83fps limit to software mode.
Use 3.20 patch.[citation needed]

Game does not launch (Intel HD Graphics)[edit]

Use a source port[6]
[citation needed]
  1. Install Nglide
  2. Select in game 3DFX OpenGl Driver

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

Stuttering frame rate (yquake2)[edit]

Might occur when using fractional display refresh rates.
Set vid_displayrefreshrate[7]
  1. Install Yamagi Quake II.
  2. Open the console.
  3. Set vid_displayrefreshrate to 60.

Play the expansions with KMQuake II[edit]

Use launch parameters[8]

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%
goto end
set game%=xatrix
goto end
set game%=rogue
goto end
kmquake2.exe +set game %game%

See gun with wide FOV[edit]

Install Patch 3.24, Yamagi Quake II, or KMQuake II[citation needed]
Apply hex edit[9]
  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

Add quick saving hotkey[edit]

Use the console to add custom keybinds to enable quicksaving[10]
  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[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
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.
Software renderer
Broken by default on Win7 x64 (Rainbow color problems in older games).
Yamagi's' software renderer can render the whole game without artifacts.
A source port is required. See Source ports.
ExecutablePPC 32-bit 64-bitARM Notes
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.[11]
macOS (OS X)
A source port is required for OS X. See Source ports.
A source port is required for native non-32-bit. See Source ports.


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[edit]

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 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[edit]

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
Mac OS
Operating system (OS) 7.5.3
Processor (CPU) PowerPC 603e
System memory (RAM) 48 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD)
Other 4X CD-ROM drive
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


  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>/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.