The original, closed-source versions of the game still work for online multiplayer. Many users may prefer to use more recent, improved engines based on the source code release.
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.
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.
/r_subdivisions 1; r_lodbias -1
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.
Quake 3 servers often use modifications in order to enhance the game in some way.
seta r_customwidth "XXXX"
seta r_customheight "XXXX"
seta r_mode "-1"
seta cg_fov "XX"
seta r_overBrightBits "0"
seta cg_bobup "0.000"
seta cg_bobpitch "0.000"
seta cg_bobroll "0.000"