Getting Started

From Quake Wiki

Revision as of 07:46, 9 July 2009 by Sissy (talk | contribs) (Installing Quake: +general instructions)

This should be a one-page quick-start guide to getting, installing, and actually running the game, with links to other pages with further information.

Getting Quake

Buy Quake on CD-ROM

One way to get Quake is to buy it on CD-ROM.

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

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.

Download the shareware edition of Quake

Another way to get Quake is to download the shareware edition. The only file you really need from it is ID1\pak0.pak. Supplement this with one of the unofficial engines which runs on your operating system & hardware, and you'll be able to play Quake, with the only restriction being no access to the Episodes 2-4 portions of the original single-player game. Those require ID1\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 MS-DOS/Win95 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 the root folder, and pak0.pak into the ID1 subfolder. That's it.


Quake comes with a DOS & Win95/98/Me-only game engine with 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 Quake engine with fast, high-quality 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




Misc links

Patching Quake

Running Quake

  • basic batch file/shortcut with some standard command line stuff
  • system requirements/video card weirdness