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Gameplay tips

From Quake Wiki

Weapons and Combat[edit]

  • Learning the number of shots it takes to down a monster is important for all weapons. This is something you'll get a feel for over time, but is good for saving ammo and knowing when you can switch targets while fighting.
  • Damage you deal to yourself with explosive projectiles only does half damage. This can be used to grenade/rocket jump places if you find yourself healthy with good armor. Red armor will absorb almost all of it making it incredibly powerful for doing this.
  • Shamblers have 50% damage reduction to explosions, so it's best to avoid using the grenade and rocket launchers against them.
  • Zombies can only be gibbed in order to kill them. While the grenade and rocket launchers can always do this, you'll need Quad Damage with every other weapon. Only the nailgun is incapable of killing them outright.
  • Standing on top of a monster as it teleports in will cause it to gib. This can be useful for blocking monster spawns in fights if you know where they'll be. Monsters will also gib each other when teleporting in, but the one teleporting in takes priority in those cases.
  • The axe should largely be avoided as it has extremely low damage and range. Instead, it can be used as a tool for exploration. Some secrets only open when damaging them, so the axe can be used to scout these out potentially and save ammo. It's also very fun to swing.
  • The starter shotgun is weak but has good range. Given its relatively tight spread, the fact that it's hitscan, and the abundance of shotgun ammo, it's good for picking off monsters at longer ranges during the early game or for saving less common ammo like nails. Against Knights you can fire a single shotgun shot followed by a super shotgun shot to combo them.
  • The super shotgun will be your main work horse weapon throughout the game given the abundance of shotgun ammo and how early you pick it up. Its spread is significantly wider but it also deals over twice as much damage as the starter shotgun. Hitboxes are larger than they might seem so barrel stuffing isn't as necessary on big monsters like Ogres, but try and stick within close range while attacking. Learning how to properly kite melee monsters will help significantly. For hard to reach monsters like the Scrag the nailgun or shotgun is preferred since they'll be much more reliable.
  • The nailgun is weak but reliable at medium ranges. Some monsters like the Ogre have low pain thresholds and are easy to keep locked down with it thanks to its fire rate. For beefy enemies like the Death Knight or Fiend, using the super shotgun or a launcher is usually preferred. However, this weapon is good if you find yourself with a lot of nails and low tier enemies to pick off.
  • The super nailgun is significantly better than its younger sibling and is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal. Boasting an insane DPS, this thing can kill anything quickly and reliably out to medium ranges. It uses twice the ammo, however, so your nails will go fast. Try and save this for large monsters like the Shambler or packs of monsters like Ogres and Fiends. You can use the regular nailgun to save ammo against weaker monsters.
  • The grenade launcher lacks range but makes it up for it with its fire rate. The grenade hitbox is much smaller than its fellow weapon projectiles, however, so you need to be more precise. Bouncing it off walls and ceilings is a great way to pick off monsters in hard to fight places. Avoid shooting ramps with it as this can sometimes cause your grenade to stop dead in its tracks (specifically if you're trying to shoot down a ramp). The grenade has a brief timer after it stops, so make sure to stay away from it if it hasn't detonated yet. The grenade launcher works amazingly with the Pentagram of Protection as you can barrel stuff monsters with no danger, allowing for incredible DPS.
  • The rocket launcher is your best utility weapon. It has good range, great damage, and usually an abundance of ammo, though has a slower fire rate than the grenade launcher. If you find yourself with excess rockets, be sure to use this to help fight against beefier monsters. A bug exists with Shamblers that can sometimes cause projectiles to go through them, so it's best to avoid using this weapon against them on top of their explosive resistance.
  • The thunderbolt is your BFG. It boasts the highest DPS in the game albeit with very limited ammo and a short-ish range. Use this for the biggest monsters on the field like the Shambler and Vore. It's also a great back up weapon if you find yourself getting overwhelmed and need to quickly reset the state of the fight. Just make sure not to use it while you're underwater if you don't have a Pentagram.

For tips on dealing with each of the monsters and bosses in Quake, see the Monsters page.


  • For health pick ups, how much health they give can be seen from what they look like. Small health pick ups have a rotted look to them while standard pick ups appear "healthier". These pick ups won't heal over 100 health, so avoid grabbing them if you're only missing a few points. Megahealth pick ups are the largest and give 100 health, up to a cap of 250. Once your health is above 100, however, it'll begin to drain down. Since this health will be lost regardless, you can play more aggressively to get more use out of it. A bug exists where the drain from a Megahealth will stack the more you pick up, so consider this before grabbing a bunch of them.
  • The amount of damage reduction armor gives is based on its color. You can see what kind of armor you currently have by looking in the HUD to check the color (green, yellow, or red). Unlike Doom, Quake has some preventative measures in place to make sure you don't accidentally replace something like your red armor with yellow armor just because you were at 149 points. This means you don't have to dance as carefully around it if you're trying to manage your damage reduction.
  • Backpacks that monsters and players drop can always be picked up, even if your ammo is full. Make sure to preserve them until you need them. Also be warned that they'll despawn after a few minutes.
  • How much ammo a pick up gives is based on its size. Smaller boxes give less ammo than big boxes. It's best to learn which is small and which is big so you don't accidentally waste lots of ammo when picking it up.
  • For powerups, it's best to assess the situation before immediately grabbing them. It can be tempting to pick up that secret Quad Damage now, but consider if you'll get any use out of it by doing so. If nothing is nearby, it might be best to save it for a later fight when you'll need it.
  • Pentagrams of Protection are a good time to go all out, but your armor will still take damage when it's active. Make sure you avoid walking over any armor pick ups until after it wears off.
  • Most things will die in only a few shots if you have a Quad Damage. Try to keep your forward momentum going as much as possible while it's active. You want to kill as many monsters as you can. Come back after it's worn off to explore.
  • The Biosuit gives complete resistance to slime and significantly reduces the damage of lava. It also allows you to breathe underwater. If one is nearby, get the most use out of it by exploring underneath water and slime.
  • The Ring of Shadows offers little utility, but does allow you to be completely undetectable against idle monsters, even if brushing up against them. Avoid shooting while this is active to get the most use out of it. Just remember that once monsters wake up, they'll be able to track you.


Quake has both a focus on combat and exploring the many worlds you'll come across. Within these worlds are plenty of secrets to find with rewards like armor, powerups, and high tier weapons. Secrets, like combat, usually have difficulties to them, with some being more obvious than others. Below are some tips to help with secret hunting:

  • Check for out-of-place objects or textures. These are usually a good indicator of a secret. This includes things like a random flickering light, random demon faces on walls, a section of wall with no floor trim next to walls that have it, random noticeable seams that look like doors, etc.
  • Sometimes the switch to open a secret is hidden to blend in with the map. If you notice something like a random brick or rock sticking out, that might actually be a button. These are often activated by walking up to them.
  • Some secrets only open up by attacking them. If you notice something out-of-place and there doesn't seem to be a button nearby, try hitting it with your axe or shooting it with your shotgun if it's far away.
  • For secrets that can't be opened by attacking, check in the room and nearby ones for any buttons. Usually they'll be close by.
  • Be sure to look up every once in a while. It's common for buttons to be hidden in high up places that you need to shoot, especially behind structural pillars. Sometimes buttons can be hidden beneath the floor as well through small gaps.
  • If you come across any steep drops, look down and check for any suspicious platforms or areas. These can usually be a sign of a secret. Fall damage only does 5 damage, so don't worry about the drop being too high up.
  • Ramps can sometimes be used to your advantage for getting height. If you run up one and jump just before reaching the top, you'll go extra high. This can be used to hit certain buttons out of reach or make jumps to other platforms that wouldn't be possible without rocket/grenade jumping.
  • Some high up places require a teleporter to get to. These secrets are often harder to find since they tend to be more scattered, but checking nearby first is the quickest way to determine that.
  • If you notice a high up ledge with armor and health underneath it or a Pentagram of Protection, that may be a sign you need to rocket/grenade jump. Don't be afraid to do this if a secret doesn't seem to have a standard entrance. With Quad Damage you can reach insane speeds, but make sure you have plenty of armor and health before doing it without a Pentagram.
  • Some secrets are just out of jump range. In this case, you may need to either strafe jump or rocket/grenade jump to get enough distance. Strafe jumping will let you save on HP so it's the preferred option.
  • If you notice the map seems to form a series of platforms or stairs you can jump between, that could be a jumping puzzle that leads to a secret. Testing out your parkour skills is always a good time.
  • The player can wiggle themselves up surprisingly steep slopes. Sometimes a secret can be hidden at the top with the appearance of the slope being the main deterrence.
  • Underneath elevators and behind traps is usually a common place for secrets to be. Double checking these is a good idea.
  • Sometimes secrets are hidden underwater. Even in shallow water there can be deep pockets that hide entrances. Feel free to take a swim, especially if there's a Biosuit nearby. Just make sure to be careful around lava, where secrets are rare (though a nearby Pentagram could be a sign of one).
  • Sometimes a map is sneaky and will hide multiple secrets in the same area. Even if you find one, it could be a good idea to keep looking around. Sometimes secrets are even hidden within secrets.

Trick Jumps[edit]

Main article: Trick Jumps

Trick Jumps are maneuvers that allow you to achieve a speed, height, or distance beyond what is usually possible with the physics of Quake. In general these 'features' were not intended by the designers at id Software, though there is some evidence that at least some of them were known to the designers during development. They are almost never necessary to progress through a level (with the exception of a few rare user-made levels), but can often be used to take a shortcut to another part of a level.

See Also[edit]