See also: Command console

Here are shown a (incomplete) list with some of the most useful commands and cvars. For a more complete listing look the External Help section.


To execute a command ingame press Shift+Esc to open the console and then write it preceded by a "/" or "\" symbol. Warning: if the command is not preceded by a / or \, the text you type will NOT be considered as a command, but as a chat text (like with the /say <text> command) and sent to all players (except the case you are using "oa_ded" dedicated server binaries, where the initial slash is not required).

Command names usually are case-insensitive (e.g.: both \map_restart and \MAP_RESTART will work), but some of them may be case sensitive.

Also you can add commands you want to execute every time you start. To do it, you can write them in the baseoa\autoexec.cfg file in the game folder.

Command usage Effect
bind <key> "<command>" Assign <key> to do <command> when pressed
exec <filename> Execute <filename> script or config file. In Linux, the file can be placed in ~/.openarena/baseoa/.
record <filename> Starts recording a demo with <filename> as output.
weapon <integer> Select the weapon numbered as <integer>. (1.Gauntlet 2.Machinegun 3.Shotgun 4.GrenadeLauncher 5.RocketLauncher 6.Lightninggun 7.Railgun 8.Plasmagun 9.BFG10K)


There are three ways to set a variable through the console:

/<cvar name> <value> works only if the cvar already exists

/set <cvar name> <value> if the cvar does not exist

/seta <cvar name> <value> if you want to archive (remember) the cvar. Will not work for all cvars.

Or start the game from the commandline with the parameter: +set <cvar name> <value>

Also, if you want to see the current value for a variable you can execute <cvar name> (without parameters) from the console to see it, along with its default value.

Cvar Type Effect
bot_nochat integer 1 >= Disables the random bot chat, 2 >= Hide bot teamchat (bots can still hear each other). Hiding teamchat was not possible until 0.8.5
com_blood boolean Enables all the blood and gibs
sv_allowdownload boolean Enables (if hosting a server) the ability for clients to download files from the server.
con_notifytime integer controls how long messages at the top of the screen are displayed before they scroll up off the screen (with negative value the messages won't show up).
cg_draw2d boolean Enables the graphics of the HUD.
sv_hostname "Server Name" string Set server name

ioquake3 specific[]

Ioquake3 engine features a much improved TAB-completion. This means that you can type the beginning of a variable or command and press TAB to either complete the command or see a list of possible commands. This also works, for example, for completing map filenames.

Also, this engine has some additional commands and variables.


Command usage Effect
video <filename> Start (if playing a demo) a video capture with <filename> as output.
stopvideo Stop the video capture.


Cvar name Type Effect
s_useOpenAL boolean Use the OpenAl sound backend (if disabled it will use SDL library)
s_alSources integer Sets the amount of memory to allocate as source for OpenAl
cl_aviFrameRate integer Sets the framerate for captured videos

See also[]

External Help[]