OpenArena is NOT associated with id Software, Bethesda Softworks, Zenimax Media or the Quake trademark.
Although many OA players may have an history as Quake 3 players, it is not necessary to have played Quake series in order to enjoy OpenArena.
Quake III Arena (or Quake III: Arena), often referred as Quake 3, Q3A or simply Q3, is a first-person shooter published by id Software in 1999.
Its engine, known as id Tech 3, supports OpenGL graphics (and specific support for the "3dfx Voodoo" cards, popular at the time).
Quake 3 and another game released that year (Unreal Tournament) were different from previous FPS because of they didn't have single player "story" game. Previous games had a "deatchmatch" multiplayer game mode, but these two games focused themselves on this game mode. They were a success.
In Quake 3 you can fight against human players over LAN or Internet, or you can play offline against computer-controlled players called "bots".
The game supports additional maps and character models... and entire "mods" that can change various aspects of the game. Many of them have been created by fans. id Software itself created a commercial mod called Team Arena.
id Software released some patches for the game, called PointReleases. Latest version is 1.32c (one has to install the game, then 1.32 PointRelease, and then the 1.32c patch).
It does exist a port for the Sony PlayStation 2 console, which is named Quake III Revolution (Q3R in short), and incorporates stuff from both Q3A and Team Arena, with some other twists.
Games derived from Quake 3
Until 2005, various commercial games used licensed (and modified) versions of its engine (for example, Star Trek: Elite Force, or Star Wars: Jedi Knight 2).
On August 19, 2005, id Software released the source code of the game under the GNU General Public License, allowing programmers to use it for free.
So, ioquake3 was born. ioquake3 uses a modified version of the id Tech 3 engine, resolves some bugs and adds various features, like support for IPv6. ioquake3 source code is under GPL, and you can download the installer for free... but to install it, it needs the textures, maps and 3d models from the original Quake 3, and they are still under copyright of id Software (only source code is free). This means that you must buy Quake 3 to be able to install and use ioquake3, and you can't share freely the whole thing.
Since ioquake3 source code is free, it has been used to create OpenArena. OpenArena is totally stand-alone (you don't need the original Q3A) and free: all copyrighted material has been removed, everything has a free license. So, you can play a game very similar to the famous Q3A and use the improvements introduced by ioquake3, at no cost.
id Software itself created a new version of Quake 3, called Quake Live (QL for short... a working title was "Quake Zero"), even more Online-focused than the original game. Changes introduced during the years brought some details of its gameplay to noticeably differ from Q3. It used to be "freemium", while nowadays it has changed to one-time buying game.
Quake Champions (QC in short) game followed in 2017. While it can be seen as a Q3/Quake Live successor, it has got major differences. While it aims to keep some classic Q3 feeling, it's however another game, with a more modern engine, with some different weapons and game mechanics (it uses "champions" as "classes" of characters with different stats and abilites). It has got a free-to-play business model.
Compatibility for additional stuff designed for Quake 3 with OpenArena
You can use additional characters, maps and mods designed for the original Quake 3 Arena inside OpenArena. But some of them could have some problems, for example caused by missing textures, missing maps or missing bots. Please refer to ModCompat page for additional info. In general, mods designed for Q3A v1.27 or later should work. Also, you can refer to MapCompat for a long list of Q3 maps tested (or still to be tested) with OA.
Additional player models should be complete models (usually, those in pk3 files larger than 1 MB), not simply additional skins (different textures) for existing Quake 3 characters.
Q3A Master Server problem workaround
It happened in the past that players were not able to find Q3A servers due to a problem with id software internet domains. Here we explained a workaround that was useful back then.
- Official site
- Quake 3 DEMO version - Free download for Windows, Linux and Mac.
- Latest Pointreleases (patches) - Install 1.32 first, then 1.32c:
- Quake III Arena on Steam (can be bought from there)
- Quake III Arena on Wikipedia
- Quake 3 Wiki on Wikia
- Quake 3 page on Quake Wiki on Wikia
- LvL - Q3A Custom Maps - A big archive of maps created for Quake 3 and Team Arena.
- Quake3 Changelog & Version History on ioquake3 community.
- Quake 3 Changelog & Version History on archived ioquake3 forums.
- Quake 3 GPL source code on Github (based upon 1.32b)
- Quake 3 1.32b Source code as Zip on Doomworld.com
- Quake 3 Source Code Review: Architecture on fabiensanglard.net
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