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.

ioquake3 (or ioq3 for short) is a fork of the Id Tech 3 engine (that is the base of Quake III Arena), and is released under the free GPLv2 license.

After the source code of Quake III Arena has been released by id Software, programmers have been able to improve it and use it for their own games. The ioq3 team corrected many bugs and security issues and also adds features to the original engine while maintaining compatibility.

ioquake3 allows two major things:

  • It can be used in place of the original Quake 3 engine executable. You still need a copy of Quake 3, because models and maps are still under the copyright of id Software. ioquake3 only consists of the engine, not game assets.
    "Data installer download" from their site runs a "wizard" that will ask for your Quake3 (and optionally Team Arena) CD (to get pak0.pk3 file) and already contains the additional pk3 files from Q3 1.32 PointRelease.
  • It can be used to create "standalone" versions from games that were formerly requiring a copy of Quake 3 (i.e. running as a mod under Quake 3). This allowed the creation of OpenArena and other games that use ioq3. Standalone games that do not require compatibility with id Tech 3 can also benefit from further improvements in the ioquake3 engine.

Official OpenArena engine is a fork of ioquake3. It's no longer synchronized with it. Using ioquake3 engine with OpenArena may cause unwanted results. OpenArena Team advices to prefer official binaries.

However, if you really, really wish to try ioquake3 binaries with OA, you may need to start ioquake3 from command line/shortcut adding these parameters:
+set com_homepath OpenArena +set com_basegame baseoa +set com_legacyprotocol 71 +set com_protocol 71 +set sv_master1 +set cl_motd 0[1]
+set com_hunkMegs 256 +set com_zoneMegs 64 +com_soundMegs 32 +set fs_basepath <path-to-oa-pk3s> +set com_homepath OpenArena +set com_basegame baseoa +set com_legacyprotocol 71 +set com_protocol 72 +set sv_master1 +set cl_motd 0

Or you might try openarena-ioq3, a third party ioquake3 fork aimed to use it with OpenArena. Probably needs you to compile it yourself.

For Quake3e fork instead, you may try reading this. Furthermore, someone placed an Quake3e-based OpenArena version on the Flathub platform (for Linux).

Derived games[]

Some projects which use the ioquake3 engine:

External links[]


  1. Cl_motd 0 should avoid trying to contact id software servers to get their "message of the day".

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