If you are currently following the Quake setup guide, now it is time to choose a modern engine.

Why not simply use the original executables glquake.exe, quake.exe or winquake.exe? Well, you are lucky if they even run on your system. And if they do, they are still a bad choice. They are buggy, id's official GLQuake looks awful compared to the original software renderer and who knows, you might actually like some of the new features some custom engines added. You will end up with faithful looks, faithful features and faithful everything after following this guide.

The Quake engine was open-sourced in 1999, enabling everyone to modify and hack on the code. Over the following years close to 100 different engines were released. Some focus on bug fixing, others on new features, some on looks, others on stability or portability. Most of them are irrelevant today. If you are interested in the whole shebang check out our engine archive.

Quakespasm and DirectQ (inactive link: see below) are recommended engines. They both strive for faithful looks, useful features and support for modern maps and mods. Try both to see which one is the best Quake engine for you. Quakespasm runs on Windows, Linux and Mac, DirectQ is Windows only. Both use 3D acceleration. DirectQ runs very well on modern integrated graphics adapters like for example the Intel xxxx, it uses DirectX (instead of OpenGL) so it is a good choice for AMD/Ati users as well. Both support using files for the soundtrack (as opposed to having your CD in the disc drive all the time). Quakespasm has more features and a well-tested code base. DirectQ puts a lot of focus on ease of use and user-friendliness. They are both actively developed and fantastic choices to play Quake with.

The Quake Configuration guide expects you to use one of these two engines. You will have a much harder time with Quake if you chose to use another engine.

Installing them is easy:

Quakespasm (Windows, Linux, Mac)

Go to http://quakespasm.sourceforge.net/download.htm and pick the file for your system. If you are on Windows and not sure where to click, choose "Windows (32 bit)". Unpack the archive and you will see a new directory. Move all files inside that directory to your Quake directory. You can now launch the executable. Hit the Escape key to enter the menu.

DirectQ (Windows)

http://directq.codeplex.com/ and click on the happy purple "Download" button. Agree to the license (it does not sell your soul but it just the free and open-source license the Quake engine was released under). Unzip the archive and put the DirectQ.exe into your Quake directory. Double-click it to play. Got an error about d3dx9_33.dll? Install DirectX 9 (yes, 9, it is independent from 10 or 11).

Note: The above links to DirectQ are not active; it can be downloaded from the Quaddicted archive: https://www.quaddicted.com/files/engines/directq/


If you feel adventurous you can go play Quake now but at least for Quakespasm some configuration steps should be done right away to save you from some headaches: Quake Configuration