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How I play Quake in the Current Year (2023 update: Use Ironwail or Quakespasm-Spiked instead of Quakespasm)
By Slipgate Tourist
Quick Current Year Update:

For single-player, I now recommend using Ironwail instead of the good old Quakespasm. Ironwail is a fork of the Quakespasm engine, incorporating enhancements from Quakespasm-Spiked and vkQuake.

Ironwail is very user-friendly and it looks and runs great. It's highly customizable and you can easily play Quake, the official expansions, and custom maps and mods with it.

For co-op, my preference is Quakespasm-Spiked.

I will leave the old guide online as is for posterity's sake.

Here's a quick Ironwail install guide:

1. Locate glquake.exe in your main Quake folder and rename or delete the file. I renamed it to glquakebackup.exe

2. Download Ironwail[github.com]

3. Place contents of archive in your main Quake folder

4. Rename ironwail.exe to glquake.exe

5. To enable music playback: copy the music folder from the rerelease folder to your main Id1 folder
example of rerelease folder location: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Quake\rerelease\id1\music
example of main Id1 folder location: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Quake\Id1)

The same principle applies for the expansions, just look for the Hypnotic and Rogue folders

6. Launch Quake from your Steam library and select "Play Quake (Original)" to launch Ironwail
The original expansions can be launched from the launcher or via the Mods menu in the main menu
You can still launch Kex Quake by selecting the first option

7. Enjoy

If you want to play a custom campaign like Arcane Dimensions:

1. Download Arcane Dimensions here[www.quaddicted.com]
2. Create a folder called ad in your main Quake folder
3. Place contents of downloaded archive in this folder
4. Launch Ironwail from your Steam Library as described above
5. Select Mods in the Main Menu and choose AD
6. Enjoy

Check out mister dumptruck_ds's excellent video for more info on Ironwail:

Hello and welcome to my Quake guide. I've been hooked on this great game since I first got my hands on the Shareware version back in 1996. I've used many Source Ports over the years but these days I prefer to use Quakespasm. Why Quakespasm? Because it runs and looks great and because it's ideal to play custom content, 99.9% of the modern and not so modern custom maps and episodes work great with Quakespasm. Sadly, Quakespasm's MP is a bit hit and miss at the moment.

In case you need more convincing:


This hopefully easy to follow guide will show you how to:

Install and configure Quakespasm.
Play Quake's official and unoffical episodes.
Play great custom maps and where to find them.
Play co-op games with friends using Evolve or similar VLAN.
Play Deathmatch games with friends and/ or bots using Evolve or similar VLAN.
Install Quakespasm

1. Install Quake and download Quakespasm[sourceforge.net]
2. Extract all Quakespasm files to your main Steam Quake directory (overwrite license.txt)
3. Delete or backup the original winquake.exe and rename quakespasm.exe to winquake.exe
4. You can now launch Quake(spasm) from your Steam Library


1. Create folders x:\quakespasm and x:\quakespasm\Id1
2. Download Quakespasm [sourceforge.net]
3. Unrar the Quakespasm files to the main Quakespasm folder
4. Copy/ paste the original Quake PAK0.PAK and PAK1.PAK files to x:\quakespasm\id1 (you don't need any other original files)
Configure Quakespasm and add the missing soundtrack
If you like how my Quake looks you can download my config.cfg and autoexec.cfg files[drive.google.com]. Place both files in your Id1 folder and you're good to go. You may have to change your resolution and controls, this can be done from Quakespasm's in-game options menu.

If you want to know more and/ or want to fine-tune some settings yourself:


Start and Exit Quakespasm at least once, doing so will allow QS to generate a config.cfg file for us in Quake/Id1

If you're like me and want QS to look like software rendered Quake[www.quaddicted.com] you'll want to use: gl_texturemode "GL_NEAREST_MIPMAP_LINEAR"

Framerate: look for host_maxfps and set your desired max framerate, by default the framerate is locked at 72 fps. I use host_maxfps "144". Note that changing this can cause some minor physics problems on some maps.

Transparent water, lava and waste: make sure r_novis is set to 1, you can then tweak the level of transparency by altering the value of r_wateralpha, I like to use "0.8".

Shadows: r_shadow 1 enables shadows


Add the line sv_aim 1 to the autoexec.cfg file to disable vertical auto-aim. The autoexec.cfg file is also located in Quake\Id1, create this file yourself if it's not there.

You can change the field of view via the in-game console (press Tilde [cdn.computerhope.com]key to lower the console) with the fov command, If you want to change the FOV on a more permanent basis just add the line fov <your desired fov here> to Quake's autoexec.cfg. I use fov 100.

Add r_particles 2 for beautiful Square Particles

If you want to change the Default Difficulty Setting you can add the line skill <x> to the autoexec file: skill 0 = Easy, skill 1 = Medium, skill 2 = Hard, skill 3 = Nightmare

Add the missing NIN soundtrack:

For some reason the Steam version of this game doesn’t come with the soundtrack. Fortunately it's easy to remedy this:

1.Download[drive.google.com] the missing OST

2.Place the music files in your Quake\Id1\music folder, create this folder yourself if need be

Optional: Add colored lighting to Quake's vanilla episodes and DM maps:

Download this [www.quaketastic.com] zip file, open the LITs folder and copy all .lit files to Quake\Id1\Maps

Play Expansion Packs and Custom Maps
Expansion Packs


1. Install Quake Mission Pack 1: Scourge of Armagon (Hipnotic Software) and/or
Quake Mission Pack 2: Dissolution of Eternity (Rogue Entertainment)

2. These Expansion Packs come with their own config.cfg, you can delete these cfg files and use our Quake config.cfg instead.

Location of MP1's cfg file: steamapps\common\Quake\hipnotic
Location of MP2's cfg file: steamapps\common\Quake\rogue

3. The Steam version of these expansion packs doesn't come with the soundtracks...
Let's fix this:
- Download Mission Pack 1 OST [www.quaddicted.com]
-Create a new subfolder called music in your hipnotic folder, extract the mp3 files to this location

- Download Mission Pack 2 OST[www.quaddicted.com]
-Create a new subfolder called music your rogue folder, extract the mp3 files to this location

4a. Start the mission packs directly from your steam Library

4b. or right-click Quake in your Steam Library and select Set Launch Options in the General tab add -hipnotic or -rogue depending on which Expansion Pack you want to play, now simply start Quake from your Steam Library

4c. Or you could launch Quake, lower the console and type game hipnotic or game rogue,
game id will bring you back to Quake's main menu


1. Create an extra folder in your main Quakespasm folder and copy and paste the correct Pak files in there, for Scourge of Armagon this would be: x:\quakespasm\hipnotic , you don't need other files from the CD.

2a. Create a new shortcut to quakespasm.exe and add -hipnotic to the Target Line

e.g. Quakespasm\quakespasm.exe -hipnotic

2b. Or you could launch Quake(spasm) and type game hipnotic in the console, game id will bring you back to Quake's main menu

3. These Expansion Packs come with their own config.cfg, you can delete this and use Quake's config.cfg instead. This is the location of MP1's cfg file: Quake\hipnotic

Custom Maps

Visit Quaddicted [www.quaddicted.com] to discover amazing custom maps for Quake. Most modern custom maps want to have their own subfolder in your main Quake folder, others go into Quake/Id1/maps.

Always check the Readme file that comes with these maps because you'll often have to edit the Command Line (Steam's Set Launch Options or Target Line in non-steam shortcut)

Two examples:

1. A Past and Future Secret[www.quaddicted.com] this is a map that needs to be installed in Quake\Id1\maps.
-extract the contents of the zip file to your \Quake\Id1\maps folder
-start Quake
-lower the console and type map bbelief2008

2. Quake Map Jam 6[www.https] this is an example of a release that requires its own subfolder. So:
-create a folder called jam6 in your main main Quake folder
-extract the contents of the zip file to that folder.
-now you have to edit the command line (Steam's Set Launch Options), in this case you have to add:
-heapsize 65536 -game jam6
-start Quake from your Steam Library and enjoy this great Map Jam
Play against Bots
1. Download this [s3.amazonaws.com] file, it contains the Frikbot AI and hundreds of Frikbot-ready maps. Be sure to check out Johnny Law's excellent guide if you want to know all there is to know about Quake Bots!

2. Place the Frikbot folder in your main Quake folder (e.g. C:\Steam\steamapps\common\Quake\Frikbot)

3. Launch Quakespasm with "quakespasm-bots-ffa-cycle" or if you want to use Steam's Set Launch Options feature:
-listen 16 -game frikbot -zone 2048 -heapsize 192000 +exec quickstart.cfg

4. Once you're in-game you can add and remove bots by pressing B and N

Check out the maps folder and the quickstart.cfg file in the Frikbot folder, you can edit this file with your text editor of choice. Use Deathmatch "1" if you want to disable Weapons Stay.

Some handy DM console commands:

fraglimit e.g. fraglimit 25

timelimit e.g. timelimit 15

map, to change maps, for example map aerowalk or map exdm2


Play Deathmatch and co-op games with Friends using Evolve or similar VLAN clients
Warning: Quakespasm is currently not the best Source Port for multiplayer and as such you may run into weird connection problems, hopefully future version of QS will have better netcode. If you manage to get connected the game works great, we've completed many episodes in co-op without anyone dropping out, but getting connected is not always possible and I have no idea why that is. It would be great if someone could shed some light on this. This is the error clients get to see from time to time: server to client keepalive.

If you want to play online and Quakespasm gives you too much gief you may want to check out a more multiplayer-focussed Source Port. FTEQW [fte.triptohell.info] works fine and can be configured to look pretty close to vanilla Quake.


0. Optional but recommended: Install Frikbots and the ton of maps that come with it (see above)

1. Install Evolve [www.evolvehq.com]or a similar VLAN client, create a Private Network (called Party in Evolve) and invite all players to it, take note of your virtual IP address.

Example of Evolve Party room:

2. The host has to add the following Launch Options:

-listen 16 -ip <host's (virtual) ip here> -game frikbot -zone 2048 -heapsize 192000 +exec quickstart.cfg

The client has to add the following Launch Options:

-listen 16 -ip <client's (virtual) ip here> -game frikbot -zone 2048 -heapsize 192000 +exec quickstart.cfg

3. The host can now start a DM game by launching Quake from his Steam Library

4. Client(s) can join by using the "connect <host's (virtual) ip here>" console command

e.g. connect


1. Connect to your VLAN Private Network (see above)

2. Host needs to add the following Launch Options
-listen 8 -ip <host's (virtual) ip here> +coop 1 +teamplay 1

3. Client needs to add the following Launch Options:
-ip <client's (virtual) ip here>

4. Host starts multiplayer campaign from Quake's in-game Multiplayer menu

5. Client joins with connect ip command

Make sure all players wear the same color of pants if you want to play without friendly fire.

Some screenshots:

Enjoy Quake
< >
phinn Dec 13, 2023 @ 2:33pm 
vkQuake is another great option, uses the Vulkan renderer and incredibly fast. Works great with Arcane Dimensions.
The Real Derric Young Oct 31, 2023 @ 2:53am 
what about the enchanced version?
Mel The Hal Jun 26, 2023 @ 3:57am 
After looking it up i got it working! god this runs FAR better than the remaster
Mel The Hal Jun 26, 2023 @ 3:47am 
my guess is that it doesnt support the version of opengl being used
Mel The Hal Jun 26, 2023 @ 3:44am 
This is probably just my terrible computer not supporting things but when i try to launch glquake (even before i installed the source port) it would just crash after it enters fullscreen for a few seconds. is this just an issue with my pc?
Kinrpg [LINUX] #L2G Aug 19, 2021 @ 7:53pm 
Tnx for help :steamthumbsup:
Bumbo Aug 19, 2021 @ 12:11pm 
Well fuck
Karel Buchta Aug 13, 2021 @ 4:04am 
me too

Shahriyar 28. Juni um 3:53 Uhr
I got the game running, but I can't seem to get the music to play.
GardenOfStone Jun 28, 2021 @ 1:54am 
How do i get music in nonsteam versions of the mission packs to work? i downloaded them from gamesnostalgia.com but as far as i know the files dont include the music. I followed the directions from the steam version to get the music working but its still not working. Im guessing i did something wrong or i need to do something else entirely.
Shahriyar Jun 27, 2021 @ 6:53pm 
I got the game running, but I can't seem to get the music to play.