QUAKE MINI FAQ - 15 April 96
by Tom Wheeley (tomw@tsys.demon.co.uk)

Table of Contents.


The purpose of this document is to inform people about the game QUAKE and to reduce the amount of frequently asked questions to the relevant Usenet newsgroups.

Behold that this FAQ will probably raise more questions than it answers. id Software, the makers of QUAKE, have been a bit quiet about updates on QUAKE's status. Nevertheless, the interest in QUAKE is enormous, as QUAKE is expected to be a quantum leap in computer gaming.

This FAQ may be distributed freely, provided it remains unaltered, and the original author is mentioned. It is forbidden to redistribute this FAQ commercially in the form of magazines, books, CDs or other pay services without prior permission of the author, Tom Wheeley (tomw@tsys.demon.co.uk).

I would appreciate not being flooded with QUAKE questions at this point. Should further information on QUAKE be available, they will be added to future versions of this mini FAQ, quaketalk, or possibly full featured QUAKE FAQ (see section 4.1).

This mini FAQ will be reposted weekly to relevant gaming usenet news groups and it's latest version can be retrieved from


Thank you to Joost Schuur (jschuur@globalnews.com), who originally wrote this mini FAQ.

1 - What is QUAKE?

1.1 Overview of QUAKE

QUAKE is a 3D 'point of view' action orientated game with certain role playing elements from id Software. It is the successor to DOOM and features an engine with many enhancements, such as:

A plot for the game has not been conceived yet. It will possibly center around a fantasy/medival theme, but people will be able to create their own scenarios.

All the sounds for Quake are being done by Trent Reznor, of Nine Inch Nails fame. It is also rumoured that he will contribute one or more music tracks to a CD version of Quake.

The specification for QUAKE has changed many times and this has drawn criticism to id for 'lying'. Remember it is often very difficult to implement all the great ideas that you may have for a game. To quote:

"We're often wrong about what we think is going to happen". ddt on IRC

1.2 Playability issues

Most of this information has been gathered from the test release of QUAKE. There are large differences in the gameplay as compared to DOOM.

1.3 What platforms will QUAKE run on?

There has been great debate on which platform QUAKE will arrive first. There is no concrete information on this, but consider that the development of QUAKE has been on NeXTStep and Linux systems.

Beta testers have reported that the Quake Alpha will be for DOS.

The primary platform for QUAKE is likely to be DOS. There should also be a native Windows '95 version as well as MacQuake and OS/2 versions. id will also port QUAKE to several Unix platforms, most probably starting with Linux.

A native Windows 95 version of Quake should be released either simultaneously with the DOS release, or soon afterwards.

id will release the source code for the low level parts of the game, so that 3rd parties may write their own device drivers. (This enables hardware manufacturers to enable QUAKE support for their devices).

1.4 Hardware Requirements

This is probably the question that's going through everyone's minds the most. 'How will QUAKE perform on my system?' and 'Will I need a pentium system?'.

Based on the information from the Quake test and from Dave Taylor, the minimum system for QUAKE is really a 60MHz Pentium. QUAKE will not be a Pentium only game, but comparisons of Quake on a 486 have been made to Doom on a 386. A P-75 will yield approximately 15 fps, and a P-100 was stated as a good system to play QUAKE on.

id hopes to optimise the Quake test version for 486 systems by a further 25%.

Remember that these statements are based on the performance of alpha versions of QUAKE, and there could be further speed optimisations in the full release. I have heard reports that they have dramatically increased the frame rate, but this is unconfirmed.

If you have just won the lottery, a Pentium Pro system will run QUAKE fast enough that the 72Hz refresh rate of the monitor becomes a limiting factor. (i.e. it will run *very* smoothly =)

As far as RAM is concerned, indications are that 8 megs will probably be the minimum specification for QUAKE. 12 or more megs will certainly help make playing QUAKE *much* more enjoyable. Quake is very memory hungry, and you may get a reduced game if playing with 8Mb.

QUAKE support the new 3D accelerator cards, but no concrete information is available at the moment regarding which ones. id have said that it will be easy for manufacturers of any product to write drivers for QUAKE.

Hints have been made that a 3D accelerator card will greatly affect the performance of QUAKE. An accelerator card would be needed for 486 owners to get good performance.

1.5 Is QUAKE 'DOOM 3'?

No. There will not be a product called 'DOOM 3'. QUAKE is id Software's next own project after DOOM 2. A special port of DOOM to Nintendo's new U64 console system is being done, which will feature some enhancements to the PC version, but this is also not 'DOOM 3'.

For more info on this, check:


1.6 How well do network games run

For some weeks now, people have been envisioning huge interconnected worlds with 'Bands of roving QUAKE Gods' in them. Unfortunately, real life has to intervene somewhere.

QUAKE will be able to support unlimited numbers of players in theory, but bandwidth considerations are paramount here. id have said that games with 50 players in are not very feasible.

Over modems, id say that they are aiming for 3 players over a 14,400bps connection, and 5 players over a 28,800bps connection.

QUAKE is no longer expected to have the live voice system into the world, even over ethernet.

2 - Previews of QUAKE

2.1 Screenshots

As of August 4th, 1995, id released a first series of screenshots, revealing some of the level building capabilities of QUAKE and one of the monsters, a red dragon. These pictures are in the file `quakepix.zip'. Since then, id have made more detailed pictures of the monsters in the game available in `qpix.zip'.


or at a mirror such as


A picture of id's QUAKE editor called ftp://ftp.cdrom.com/pub/idgames/idstuff/quake/qe_dev.gif can be found there too. Additionally, further screenshots depicting two of the monsters in QUAKE with more detail (the ogre and the knight) in ftp://ftp.cdrom.com/pub/idgames/idstuff/quake/qpix.zip are also available.

A list of mirrors can be found in the 'QUAKE: FTP and WWW Sites' article periodically posted to rec.games.computer.quake.announce.

The screenshots can also be viewed via World Wide Web at id's web site described in section 6 of this minifaq.

2.2 Playable QUAKE Preview

id have released a deathmatch only TEST release of QUAKE. This consists of a tiny subset of the full games levels, textures, monsters and features, however it is still QUAKE :)

The playable test consists of 3 levels, and allows 8 players in DeathMatch. There are no monsters, although there are several utilities to add them, as well as separate maps with them in.

Please note that the monsters *were* put in accidentally, and that id are in fact quite embarrassed by the current quality of the monsters. Since releasing the test, much work has gone into the monsters, and these include (at least):

The monster AI is said to be a significant improvement on Doom's.

id say that one of the main reasons for distributing the test is to test compatibility issues. The version is for DOS systems or for Linux with X Windows (especially if you have DGA). The DOS version will run under Windows 95, just not as well as under plain DOS, and you need 16Mb.

Please note that the Quake test will not run without a math co-processor. This includes many NexGen chips and 486sx chips. It _is_ possible to run Quake with an emulator (such as Q87 or the WMEMU387 in DJGPP), but it will run very slowly.

The TEST versions filename is `qtest1.zip' and is available from the following sites. Please choose the one closest to you. It is 4.3Mb.

Make sure your read the documentation before playing.

"You are invited to send general bug-related information regarding the gameplay to the Usenet newsgroup REC.GAMES.COMPUTER.QUAKE.MISC only, please don't send us gameplay suggestions directly." - id

3 - When is QUAKE due out?

id has been very persistant in insisting QUAKE will come out 'when it's ready'. For quite a while it looked like they were aiming for christmas '95. Well, this did not happen and it is considered likely that it will take another few months. An exact release date cannot be made yet, since the game is still in a developmental phase. It is always hard to predict when a piece of software will be ready for a release.

The TEST release of QUAKE was released on 24th February 1996. (See Section 2.2)

The full version will be a few months yet.

4 - Further Information on QUAKE.

4.1 Documents with QUAKE information

For the past year now, Joost Schuur has published Quaketalk, a newsletter on QUAKE. He has attempted to gather any QUAKE related bits of information from the net and elsewhere. The current version is 400 and is available at


In the future, the filename may change to reflect the new version number. An HTML version of quaketalk can be viewed from Josh Micheal's web site at


4.2 Newsgroups and IRC

A new rec.games.computer.quake newsgroup hierarchy consisting of three groups (rgcq.announce, rcgq.editing, rgcq.misc) successfully passed the Usenet Call for Votes procedure on 16th November 1995. These newsgroups were finally created on January 8th 1996, despite uncertainty regarding the final name of Quake.

Should your newsserver not carry these groups, ask your newsadmin to add them. Until then, QUAKE can also be discussed on the groups comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action, and rec.games.computers.doom.misc.

Please note that alt.games.quake (a.g.q) is now obsolete, and all QUAKE discussion should be within the rec.games.computer.quake hierarchy. For some of the more general discussion typical of a.g.q, a new newsgroup, alt.games.upcoming-3d has been created.

For more information on why alt.games.quake is obsolete, read:


The main groups for Quake discussion are now the 'rec groups':

There is also an RFD for two new groups (rgcq.playing and rgcq.servers), The Call for Votes (CFV) should be posted soon.

On IRC (the Internet Relay Chat), quake enthusiasts already meet on the #quake channel.

4.3 A full QUAKE FAQ

Hank Leukart and joost schuur and possibly myself plan on bringing out a real, full length FAQ to QUAKE as soon as they've gathered enough information and have ensured id's co-operation on this. For now this mini FAQ should cover the most common questions on QUAKE. As soon a full FAQ is available, it will be announced in the appropriate Usenet newsgroups mentioned in Section 4.2.

4.4 Running a QUAKE server

There is not much information regarding QUAKE Servers at the moment, but id will be releasing the source code for the QUAKE Server. This should mean that you will be able to compile it for many platforms, as well as adjust it to suit your means.

Please note that the quake-servers mailing list has been discontinued, and discussion regarding QUAKE servers should take place in the group rec.games.computer.quake.misc. There are plans to create a dedicated r.g.c.q.servers group soon.

5 - Popular Quake Internet sites.

FTP sites

There are two main FTP sites with all the latest utilites and maps.

A fast site with many mirrors around the world.

Mirrors ftp.cdrom.com, and also has some files of its own. The better files here are also accessible via http://www.stomped.com

You can upload your utility of quake map to either or both of these sites, at:


WWW sites

This list has been changed to concentrate on the larger sites. At these there are rapidly updated links to the numerous other sites available. Please tell me if I have inadvertantly cut off a major site. Especially if the site is a specialised one. New large sites are always welcome.

- id Software's site:
If you have problems accessing this site, then try

- The QUAKE MiniFAQ on the Web

- joost schuur's QUAKE server database

- The Unofficial Official Unofficial Quake Page. Screenshots, Maps, Utilities, Benchmarks, Hacks, Monsters, Console cmds

- The Quake Development support pages. (For people *writing* Quake utils)

Please send suggestions regarding this FAQ to the maintainer, tomw@tsys.demon.co.uk
Mail regarding the HTML-izing of the FAQ should go to the respective author