From Quake Wiki
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Deathmatch is a term supposedly coined by John Romero to describe the visceral experience of being in a "match" where two live players, each on their own computer, link up a game for the purpose of fighting the match to the death. Deathmatch differs from other "online/multiplayer" games or game modes in that there are no actual rules, except for maybe a time limit or fragcount limit - it's kill or be killed and at the end of it all whoever has killed the most wins.
There are different types of Deathmatch, here are common rules:
- Deathmatch mode 1: Weapons disappear when picked up and respawn 30 seconds after pickup. Ammo respawns 30 seconds after pickup. (default)
- Deathmatch mode 2: Weapons do not disappear, but player's already possessing the weapon will not receive additional ammo upon touch (weapon stay). Ammo, Health, Armor and Mega-Health do not respawn after pickup. (this mode is rarely used)
- Deathmatch mode 3: Weapon stay as in mode 2. Ammo returns 15 seconds after pickup. (popular)
- Deathmatch mode 4: Starts with 250 Red Armor and 200 Health, all weapons except Grenade Launcher, unlimited Ammo and a Pentagram of Protection that is burning out.
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