OpenArena main focus is the Multiplayer mode (playing online against human players is the best), but also playing offline, against the bots can be fun. It is a very good training before entering the arena against other humans, and allows you to try gametypes, special game options and mods even if there are not internet servers currently running them.

To play in singleplayer mode, select "Single player" from the main menu. Then you will have two choices:

  • Play in "Single Player Deathmatch": a series of pre-defined challenges, with pre-defined fraglimits (total score needed to win) and opponents.
  • Create a "Skirmish" match: you will create a customized match, using the gametype you wish, the fraglimit you wish, the bots you wish.

Single Player Deathmatch[]

See also: Single Player Deathmatch

"Single Player Deathmatch" is a series of pre-defined challenges, with pre-defined fraglimits (total score needed to win) and opponents. You are free to select the difficulty level you wish. You will have to win all the four matches of a specific "tier" to unlock the next tier (the next four challenges).

From the main menu, simply enter the "Single player" menu, click on a map in the "choose level" screen, click "Fight", select the difficulty level ("I can win" is very easy, "Nightmare!" is very hard) and click "Fight".

The description of the mode, inside the game, is simply "Single player" (we say "Single Player Deathmatch" to distinguish it from the "Skirmish" mode, that is "the other" singleplayer mode).
It corresponds to "g_gametype 2", and it it not designed to be played in multiplayer mode.

Some medals (simple awards) obtained when playing in this mode will be stored, and will be shown every time you will enter the "Single player" menu.

Note: the "Reset" button in the Single Player menu discards all the Medals you earned, and locks again the tiers that you previosly unlocked.


"Skirmish" mode is similar to the creation of a multiplayer server (not "dedicated"), but is intended to be played locally.

Skirmish is what allows you to easily create custom matches: from the main menu, select "Single player", then the "Skirmish" button in the lower part of the screen. Select the gametype you wish, then the map you wish, and click "Next". Customize the bot list and the options like the fraglimit and the timelimit (when the match will end), then click "Fight" to begin the match.

Skirmish is meant to launch matches in any gametype, except for the single player deathmatch (g_gametype 2). You can use it to start your custom "Free For All" (aka Deathmatch), "Capture the Flag", "Elimination" matches, etc.

Unlike the multiplayer mode, usually the Skirmish match creation interface will automatically propose you some bots to be added to the match. You can anyway change them, add more or remove some of them, even after the match start.

You are not limited in the maps already unlocked in single player deathmatch mode: in skirmish mode you can play in any map you wish, even third-party maps that you will add to the game later (notice: some maps may not be correctly shown in the menu cause of missing scripts: in that case you may need to use the command console to launch them).

Medals obtained while playing in Skirmish mode are not stored.