ioQuake3 – Quake 3 Arena the modern way

You might have read my tutorial on how to play “Return to Castle Wolfenstein” using iortcw in a enhanced way. Quake 3 Arena is another classic shooter I like. As the source code of the engine is available as open source, there is also a enhanced version available for Quake 3: ioQuake 3.

What kind of features does ioQuake3 offer? Here are some features:

  • SDL 2 backend
  • OpenAL sound API support (multiple speaker support and better sound quality)
  • Full x86_64 support on Linux
  • VoIP support, both in-game and external support through Mumble.
  • MinGW compilation support on Windows and cross compilation support on Linux
  • AVI video capture of demos
  • Much improved console autocompletion
  • Persistent console history
  • Colorized terminal output
  • Optional Ogg Vorbis support
  • Much improved QVM tools
  • Support for various esoteric operating systems
  • cl_guid support
  • HTTP/FTP download redirection (using cURL)
  • Multiuser support on Windows systems (user specific game data is stored in “%APPDATA%\Quake3”)
  • PNG support
  • Many, many bug fixes

Yes, this is similar as iortcw of course, as the engine is based on it. Just in case you were wondering.

What do I need to install and play ioQuake 3?

  • An installation of the original game with patch (point release) 1.32c. I used the GOG version, which included all the patches already.
  • The latest test release for your platform (Windows for this tutorial). Grab it here.

In case you don’t own a legal copy of Quake 3 Arena yet, purchase a copy here and support the site. Thank you.

Apply the ioQuake3 engine

  • Open the test release file “” for Windows
  • Go to your Quake 3 installation folder, e.g. c:\GOG Games\ Quake III Arena
  • Extract all of the files in your installation folder and overwrite if prompted
  • That’s it. Enjoy Quake 3 Arena in the enhanced version by starting “ioquake3.x86_64.exe”

High-resolution textures installation

The project offers also higher resolution textures, which are definitely worth installing.

  • Go back to the project site to Extras
  • Go to “High-resolution textures
  • and download the file “
  • Open the archive and extract the file “xcsv_bq3hi-res.pk3” to your “baseq3” folder in your installation directory.
  • Start the ioQuake3 executable “ioquake3.x86_64.exe” to play.


  • If you like to keep all your shortcuts, rename the file “ioquake3.x86_64.exe” to “quake3.exe”. Done.

Any question or feedback is always welcome.

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