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Difference between revisions of "Getting Started"

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1This is a quick-start guide to getting, installing, and actually running the game.
This is a quick-start guide to getting, installing, and actually running the game.

Revision as of 04:28, 22 April 2019


This is a quick-start guide to getting, installing, and actually running the game.


Quake consists of three parts:

  • A platform-specific Quake engine, which is the program you run to actually play Quake.
  • The platform-independent game data archives pak0.pak (required) and pak1.pak (usually optional).
  • The soundtrack, which normally exists as audio tracks on the original Quake CD-ROM, which you can leave in your drive while you play. The soundtrack and CD-ROM are optional.

Therefore, a minimal installation of Quake consists of just pak0.pak and a single Quake engine.

There are many engines to choose from, each with different features and platform (hardware + operating system) requirements. The engines article discusses the options in more detail.

Getting Quake

You have several options for getting Quake.

The only legal way to get the required file pak0.pak is to get one of the official distributions. This will also give you at least one basic engine, and maybe also the soundtrack, and maybe also pak1.pak. To get an official distribution, you can either buy a CD-ROM or commercial downloadable edition, or you can freely download the shareware edition. Either way, you can freely download and use alternative engines if you don't like or can't use whatever engines you get with the official distribution.

Buy Quake on CD-ROM

One way to get an official distribution of Quake is to buy it on CD-ROM, which will include at least one basic but well-tested engine, the soundtrack, and pak0.pak (and pak1.pak, as long as you don't get a shareware CD).

Apart from rummaging your favourite market of used goods (flea market, friends, random online communities) you can get Quake CDs from these vendors:

Be careful that you don't accidentally buy a shareware disc. The shareware edition is useful, but there's no need to pay for it; it's free to download. However, the soundtrack is on the shareware disc and isn't available elsewhere (legally), so if you did happen to get the wrong disc, at least you'd have gotten something for your money.

Buy the Steam edition of Quake

Since August 2007, an official release of the full/registered Quake has been available on Steam ( Steam is a vendor which allows you to pay to download a Win2K/XP/Vista edition of Quake which includes four official engines: WinQuake, QuakeWorld, GLQuake, and GLQuakeWorld. This edition does not include the soundtrack.

Download the shareware edition of Quake

Another way to get an official release of Quake is to download the shareware edition. The only restriction in this edition, besides no soundtrack, is you won't have access to the Episodes 2-4 portions of the original single-player game. Those require pak1.pak, which you only get with the 'registered'/commercial edition.

  • - Quake 1.06 shareware edition; contains resource.1, which is an lh5 LZH-encoded archive (LHA) containing the actual game files, including ID1\pak0.pak. The zip contains an installer program (deice.exe) for DOS/Win32 which unpacks the entire archive, and a script (install.bat) which runs the installer and then tries to launch the DOS Quake engine. If you can't/don't want to run these, use an lh5-compatible LHA extractor like LHmelting to extract what you need from resource.1. Some multi-format archivers/extractors may also work.

Installing Quake

All Quake and QuakeWorld installations work on the same principles. You just need to have a folder hierarchy like this:

  • Quake root folder (e.g. C:\quake)
    • ID1 subfolder (e.g. C:\quake\ID1).

In the Quake root folder is where the engines live. It doesn't matter the folder's name is or where it exists on your file system. Engines can generally coexist in it.

In the ID1 subfolder of the Quake root folder, you must have the file pak0.pak from the official Quake distribution (shareware or commercial, doesn't matter). Some engines (notably, the official GLQuake) may require the presence of pak1.pak from the non-shareware Quake distribution as well, but generally this file is optional. Case usually doesn't matter on Windows or DOS folder names, but on non-Windows systems, some engines expect the id1 to be lowercase.

So, to summarize, installing Quake boils down to just getting an engine executable into a folder, and pak0.pak into an ID1 subfolder. That's it.


Unspecified user added a To-Do; move this to a separate article..

Original Quake CD-ROMs and the shareware version only come with a DOS/Win95/98/Me-only game engine which has no hardware-accelerated graphics rendering. Unless you have extremely old hardware (like from 1996 or earlier) requiring this engine, ignore it and start with Fitzquake, which is a basic but widely compatible NetQuake engine with fast, high-quality OpenGL graphics.

You can install Quake wherever you want on your hard drive. C:\QUAKE_SW is the default suggested by the official installer (install.bat and deice.exe), but in examples here we'll use C:\quake.

All you need to play single-player is fitzquake.exe and ID1\pak0.pak:

  1. Install C:\quake\ID1\pak0.pak (and the non-shareware edition's pak1.pak, if you have it). See info above if you want to get pak0.pak from the shareware. If you just run the official installer, it will install this file along with several others you don't really need.
  2. Unzip the Fitzquake distribution into C:\quake.
  3. Run C:\quake\fitzquake.exe.

If this runs OK, you will probably want to continue using it for single-player games, although you can try experimenting with other engines, which have different feature sets.

If you want to play multiplayer games, you'll want ezQuake, a state-of-the-art QuakeWorld engine.



Mac OS X


Mac OS Classic



On Archlinux, several Quake engines are available in the AUR. At the time of writing this included DarkPlaces, ezQuake, Fitzquake, FuhQuake, QuakeSpasm and TyrQuake.

Misc links