Free Quake III multiplayer in your browser

Posted on 5th Mar 2009 at 11:01 by Mark Mackay with 15 comments

Mark Mackay
My first ever online gaming experience was round my cousin’s house in Scotland playing Quake II on this 3DFX Voodoo 2-based rig. I was utterly besotted by the immense feeling of satisfaction felt when killing another player that was in a totally different part of the world. I loved the thought of another geek from a different country sitting in front of his CRT monitor shouting ‘OMG WTF HAX?!!’.

Whenever I used to visit my cousin’s house we'd pretend to go to bed - so as to avoid getting a hard time from my Aunt or Uncle - and then silently creep our way towards the PC, fire it up and play Quake II multiplayer till the small hours of the morning with nothing but Iron Bru and adrenaline to keep us going. How he managed to maintain his masterfully Jedi-like aim with a Railgun even when pumped full of caffeine, I’ll never know.

A few weeks ago a conversation about Quake multiplayer stirred up feelings of nostalgia so I downloaded it on my Steam account. I was mightily disappointed to find that there were no games going on and so I sulkily fired up Left 4 Dead to get my FPS kicks instead.

Free Quake III multiplayer in your browser

Imagine how happy I was to find just a few weeks later that you can now play Quake for free in your browser!! Okay so it’s Quake III and not Quake II but it’s still got that feeling of awesome old-school FPS goodness.

Even though the service is still in beta I’ve not had any hiccups with it thus far. After signing up and downloading the plug-in you are pitted against a bot in a ten minute match to determine your skill level. This data is then used to ensure that when you jump into a game on Quake Live it’s against players with a comparable skill level to yourself.

Free Quake III multiplayer in your browser

You can play deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the flag, or duels and you can play against bots or with other players online. There are around 35 maps and over 50 character models to choose from. Because it’s an old game it’s super easy to run. My work PC is a shuttle with an ATI X1800 Pro and 3GHz Pentium D CPU and the framerates are always silky smooth. You can play in a window in your browser or in full screen. I hope some of you enjoy as much as I have.


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Bauul 5th March 2009, 11:39 Quote
Does it include Team Arena too? IMO one of the most underatted expansion packs ever released.
steveo_mcg 5th March 2009, 11:40 Quote
I tried to play it on last week in the middle of the afternoon and still i had a >1k queue and i cba to wait at the time will get round to it. Are these queues likely to continue after the game is released?
Sifter3000 5th March 2009, 11:45 Quote
Originally Posted by steveo_mcg
I tried to play it on last week in the middle of the afternoon and still i had a >1k queue and i cba to wait at the time will get round to it. Are these queues likely to continue after the game is released?

The queues do go down pretty quickly - I was something like 1,200 away and was on in 40 minutes or so...
Cutter McJ1b 5th March 2009, 11:50 Quote
Yes, the queue is just to get registered and download the plug-in. Just leave it running in your browser while you do other stuff then jump back on when its done. If you have a PC at work you can do it during your lunch break or something when its a lot less busy.

This is just a one off so once this process is finished its insta-play from then on in. No more queues.
Narishma 5th March 2009, 11:51 Quote
The queue was disabled a couple of days ago. You don't have to wait anymore.
GFC 5th March 2009, 11:56 Quote
Tried.. didn't like it, for some reason i'd better play COD4 or any other game that actually doesn't leave me pressing for servers in a browser for half an hour, just to get the 'the list is not available atm' sign..
Cutter McJ1b 5th March 2009, 12:00 Quote
Sorry to hear that GFC. I've never had any issues getting a game.

I might be tempted to play CoD4 too if it was free and in my browser.
digitaldave 5th March 2009, 12:35 Quote
once you have downloaded the bit you have to que up for you dont have to que again till you need another download.

it also downloads the rest of the game whilst you are playing.

doesn't work on mac though but is good fun and quite difficult
yodasarmpit 5th March 2009, 12:46 Quote
The queue was still there after downloading the content, and due to the level of interest I was having to wait 30 minutes for a game.
It's still a Beta after all, and when I did get into a game it pretty good - reminded me of how bad I was at Quake 3 all those years ago.

It needs some instagib only maps though :d
MajorTom 5th March 2009, 12:51 Quote
As mentioned above, the Queues are gone as of a couple of days ago. This was the only thing causing trouble for me. I can now jump into a game as soon as I get to the front page and I must say it brings back so many fond death match memories.

Pings are good and the matching system seems to work well (although you are not restricted and can join any game you wish).

Quake III is still considered by many, who can ignore graphics, as the finest free for all death match game ever made. I'd be one of them. It's still a lightning fast, rocket dodging reaction fest with some fantastically balanced maps.

@Bauul: There seems to be some content from Team Arena in there. I haven't seem all the maps yet but the ones I have seen include the extra weapons such as the mines layer and Mini-gun.

For a free game, it's hard to pass up.

Oh and it has wide screen support for every resolution under the sun! Something the original Quake III never had.
MajorTom 5th March 2009, 12:53 Quote
@ yodasarmpit: It does have instagib matches. And they are still ace!
ozstrike 5th March 2009, 12:53 Quote
Can't get this working, it'll either not recognise my mouse at all, or have ridiculous sensitivity so I can't control it at all.
MajorTom 6th March 2009, 07:13 Quote
Stat tracking and achievements are now up and running.

@ ozstrike: pretty sure you can adjust mouse sensitivity either in the properties or old style in the console.
Cutter McJ1b 6th March 2009, 21:13 Quote
Originally Posted by MajorTom
Stat tracking and achievements are now up and running.

It just got that much more awesome. Free gaming has never been better.
Xir 11th March 2009, 13:22 Quote
it’s against players with a comparable skill level to yourself.

Wow...thats needed. This got me off playing multiplayers in the first place, g
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