Railguns replaced with Lightning guns

Most control about items placement in each arena is stuff for map creators, however server admins (and players playing locally) can decide to disable (preventing from spawning) or to replace (making different items spawn in their place) specific items in the game. These settings affect all items of the specified kind.

This should be made with some caution, but can be very interesting. Example: railgun is often considered to be overpowered in some maps with large areas, thus a server admin may want to remove it, or to replace it with a different weapon. You can find more examples in Possible uses section below.

Disabling items is supported since the original Quake III Arena game (thus, it should work with most mods, too), while replacing items feature has been added by OpenArena 0.8.8 (thus, it does not work with any mod based upon previous gamecode).

Note: this page is about preventing certain items from spawning in the map or substituting them in "standard" gamemodes. If you wish to change the weapons available for Elimination/CTF Elimination/Last Man Standing modes (or in other modes when g_elimination feature is active), you have to use specific Elimination variables instead: see Elimination#CVARs.

Note 2: Also, one thing is to replace/disable an item class to try a different gameplay, and another thing is to do so because it represents an important issue with the map. If you believe that there is something bad with Official OpenArena maps (see Maps page), including items placement, feel free to use the forum to tell your suggestions. OpenArena Team may update the map with your suggestions (or another solution), with a later OpenArena release/patch.

First, let's examine how to remove items.

Disabling items[]

Preventing items from spawning in the map is a sort of "hidden feature" since Quake III Arena, hence it should be supported by most mods.

To remove a specific item from the game, you have to create an "user-defined variable" (using /set or /seta command; see set variables), composed by "disable_" + the name of the item to remove, setting it to "1". That would affect ALL items of that kind. Example: /set disable_weapon_rocketlauncher "1" would prevent ALL rocket launchers from spawning in the arena (to type a couple of characters less, you may also use /set disable_weapon_rocketlauncher 1, without quotes).
Very important: due to these variables counting as "user-defined" variables, they do not autocomplete and they do not appear as existing, before you create them. Hence, you have to write them carefully, to avoid typos.
After you set one of such variables, you have to perform a /map_restart, or a /map <mapname>, to make the change effective.
If you disable a weapon, it's recommendable to also disable its corresponding ammo box.

When you want an item appearing again, you can either set the value of the variable to "0" or to "" (if you created it a few minutes ago, now you should be able to change its value also without specifying "set" command), or you can delete the user-defined variable (/unset <variable>). Then perform a /map_restart.

Don't forget to read Important tips at the bottom of this page!

Disable_ variables list[]

"Disable_" variables list (for safety, here we set them to 0... to be effective, you have to set them to 1):

// Base weapons and ammo (see below for Missionpack weapons and ammo)
set disable_weapon_gauntlet "0" // Usually you don't find this around the map, hence disabling it is usually pointless
set disable_weapon_shotgun "0" 
set disable_weapon_machinegun "0" // Usually you don't find this around the map, hence disabling it is usually pointless
set disable_weapon_grenadelauncher "0"
set disable_weapon_rocketlauncher "0"
set disable_weapon_lightning "0"
set disable_weapon_railgun "0"
set disable_weapon_plasmagun "0"
set disable_weapon_bfg "0"
set disable_weapon_grapplinghook "0" // Offhand grapple
set disable_ammo_shells "0" // Ammo for shotgun
set disable_ammo_bullets "0" // Ammo for machinegun
set disable_ammo_grenades "0" // Ammo for grenade auncher
set disable_ammo_cells "0" // Ammo for plasma gun
set disable_ammo_lightning "0" // Ammo for lightning gun
set disable_ammo_rockets "0" // Ammo for rocket launcher
set disable_ammo_slugs "0" // Ammo for railgun
set disable_ammo_bfg "0" // Ammo for BFG

// Armor and health
set disable_item_armor_shard "0" // +5 armor
set disable_item_armor_combat "0" // +50 armor
set disable_item_armor_body "0" // +100 armor
set disable_item_health_small "0" // +5 health
set disable_item_health "0" // +25 health
set disable_item_health_large "0" // +50 health
set disable_item_health_mega "0" // +100 health

// Base holdables, powerups, etc.
set disable_holdable_teleporter "0" // Personal teleporter
set disable_holdable_medkit "0" // Portable medkit
set disable_item_quad "0" // Quad damage powerup
set disable_item_enviro "0" // Battle suit powerup
set disable_item_haste "0" // Speed powerup
set disable_item_invis "0" // Invisibility powerup
set disable_item_regen "0" // Regeneration powerup
set disable_item_flight "0" // Flight powerup 
set disable_team_CTF_redflag "0" // Red flag (disable with care!)
set disable_team_CTF_blueflag "0" // Blue flag (disable with care!)

// Missionpack weapons and ammo
set disable_weapon_nailgun "0"
set disable_weapon_prox_launcher "0"
set disable_weapon_chaingun "0"
set disable_ammo_nails "0" // Ammo for nailgun
set disable_ammo_mines "0" // Ammo from proximity mines launcher
set disable_ammo_belt "0" // Ammo for chaingun

// Missionpack runes (Since OA 0.8.5, G_RUNES <0 or 1> variable allows to disable or enable all of them at once. It is 0 by default.)
set disable_item_scout "0"
set disable_item_guard "0"
set disable_item_doubler "0"
set disable_item_ammoregen "0"

// Missionpack other stuff
set disable_holdable_kamikaze "0"
set disable_holdable_portal "0" // Unfinished Team Arena "portal" device (not officially supported item)
set disable_holdable_invulnerability "0"
set disable_team_CTF_neutralflag "0" // White flag (disable with care!)
set disable_item_redcube "0" // Harvester mode red skull (you should not need to disable this!)
set disable_item_bluecube "0" // Harvester mode blue skull (you should not need to disable this!)

Replacing items[]

Now that you know how to disable items and weapons, we can see how to replace them. The ability for server admins to replace items has been added by OpenArena 0.8.8, hence it does NOT work with any mod based upon older gamecode (e.g. mods designed for Q3A).

Replacing items works in a similar way to disabling them: again, you have to create user-defined variables, using set or seta command. This time, the first part is "replace_" (you have to follow it with the name of the original item), and the "value" has to be the name of the new item.


  • /set replace_weapon_railgun weapon_lightning
Would change all railguns in the map with lightning guns (may be nice in oa_ctf4ish map, maybe?).
  • /set replace_weapon_nailgun holdable_medkit
Would replace all nailguns with portable medkits.

Again, a /map_restart or /map <mapname> is required to apply changes, and again removing/replacing ammo boxes for a weapon that is not in the game anymore is advisable. However, you may use these variables to swap (invert) locations of two kinds of weapons (e.g. making rocket launchers spawn in the place of railguns and vice versa, to give a new twist to a "classic" map), leaving their ammo in their usual places.

To restore standard behavior, you can either set the variable to "" (e.g. /set replace_weapon_railgun "") or delete it (e.g. /unset replace_weapon_railgun), then perform a /map_restart. This time, setting the variable to "0" would NOT restore original behavior, but would just prevent the original item from spawning: setting any "value" (new item) that does not exactly correspond to an item supported by the game would just disable the original item (be careful while typing).

You can use the list of "disable_" variables above to find out names of items to use, hence the "replace_" variables you need to type, and which "values" to give them.

In case the original item has been placed very close to walls, some "replacing combinations" may bring to the new item partially showing inside the wall, in case it requires more space around it than the original item to be correctly shown. New items may touch each other if original items were smaller and placed very close each other. However these should usually not be real problems, and probably do not happen often.

Don't forget to read Important tips section below.

Important tips[]

  • If you disable/replace a weapon, it's advisable to also disable/replace its corresponding ammo boxes (there is no reason for players to find BFG ammo in a map that does not contain a BFG weapon).
    • When you restore the weapon, don't forget to restore its ammo, too.
  • Using these commands with gametype-related items (e.g. white flag) may make those gametypes unplayable!
  • Don't forget you are messing with what people know about the maps, your players may get a bit confused.
  • You may wish to create custom configuration files where you would store such variables, to do not require you to type them each time (e.g. with /exec remove_armor.cfg, you may run a configuration file by your own, that may contain "set disable_" commands that would remove all armor bonuses from spawning; another configuration file may "unset" all those variables, restoring standard behavior).
  • If you use disabling/replacing items in a map rotation script, set and unset the cvars carefully inside the script, to do not mess up items in other maps... Unless giving a new twist to every map is exacty what you wish. You may also consider to disable voting for maps and gametypes to avoid players from messing up things.
  • Usually, players enter the game already owning gauntlet and machinegun, hence they are usually not found around the map and thus their "disable_" and "replace_" variables would show no effect (of course, you may disable or replace machinegun ammo boxes if you wish, e.g. /set disable_ammo_bullets 1).
  • While disabling and replacing items have no effect on the "stock" gauntlet and machinegun players spawn with, they actually affect potential items the map may give to players through "target_give" entity, such as additional weapons given to players at spawning in a few maps.
  • These commands affect ALL items of a certain kind.
  • These count as "user-generated" variables. They would not autocomplete or seem existing before you create them (using /set or /seta command). And the "default" value shown is simply the first one you gave them!
    • Once they are created, autocompletion works on them, so you can later use it to more quickly change their values or unset them. E.g. typing /disable_ [TAB], /replace_ [TAB], /unset disable_ [TAB], /unset replace_ [TAB] will help you selecting the variables already created. However, autocompletion is for variable names, not for their values: in case of replace, you will have to manually type the name of the new item anyway.
    • User-defined variables created with /set command are usually lost when exiting the game. You can do tests without fear of long-term damage. :-)
  • Names of items you need to type are not exactly those shown in your HUD when you pick them up: they are names internally used by the game instead. You can refer to the list above to figure them out.
  • To disable/enable all runes at once, you may just use g_runes <0 or 1> CVAR, which is set to 0 (no runes) by default.
  • If you use both "disable" and "replace" for the same item, "replace" wins.

Possible uses[]

Some suggestions about possible uses of disabling and replacing items, of course you are not limited to these examples:

  • Remove weapons from places where they may be abused (such as the Railgun from camping-friendly spots, or from maps with wide open areas).
  • Remove Missionpack/Team Arena weapons (chaingun, prox mines, nailgun) as someone considers them "superweapons" like the BFG.
  • Remove all Missionpack/Team Arena stuff, to get closer to a "Vanilla Q3" (baseq3) experience.
  • Remove the grapple to prevent players from having this advantage agasint the bots, which don't use it.
  • Have the chance to play with some items and powerups which are not often found in maps, such as BFG, grappling hook, flight or invisibility...
  • In Configuration examples/No powerups and holdable items, you can find some examples about how to use these features to remove powerups, holdable items or specific runes, if you wish to try if the game would be more "fair" without them.

See also[]