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Quake 4 Tweak Guide

[Page 4] Patches Maps & Mods

Official Patch

Although Quake 4 is quite polished and not in dire need of a patch, several patches have already been released for the game. The latest is the 1.4.2 Patch, weighing in at 267MB in full form, containing a range of singleplayer and multiplayer fixes, with the focus on multiplayer. The patch also incorporates all previous patch changes/fixes (including the beta patches), including Dual Core/HyperThreading optimizations and a wide range of bug fixes, new multiplayer maps, new game modes, and new features. All in all the patch is a must-install for all players of the game.

To make sure that you're running the latest version of Quake 4 at any time, make sure you have an active Internet connection and click on the Updates item at the bottom of the game's main menu screen on a regular basis. If an update is found, you will be told and you can install it to keep your game up to date. Alternatively, you can download patches from the Quake 4 sections of FileShack or FilePlanet among the other usual places for patch and file downloads.

Note: To enable dual core/HT optimizations available in the latest patch for a performance boost, once the patch is installed, go to the in-game settings, and under System>Advanced Options, set the 'Multiple CPU/Core' setting to Yes. Alternatively, you can use the r_useSMP 1 setting in the console - see pages 6 and 8 of this guide for more details on this option.

Note 2: Patch 1.3 adds a new r_forceambient variable which can force ambient lighting throughout each level to make things less dark. As of the 1.4.2 patch it can now also be changed in the game's main settings, so see the 'Force Ambient Light' option in the In-Game Settings section.

Note 3: Patch 1.4.2 adds several new commands including: si_fps, s_earSeperationAlgo, s_mp_minVolume, s_mp_maxWindow, g_weaponFovEffect, g_playerLean, g_nailTrail, g_grenadeTrail, g_rocketTrail, g_railTrail, g_napalmTrail, pm_slidevelocity, and pm_powerslide. The most significant of these are covered in more detail in the Advanced Tweaking section of the guide, and some, such as r_skipSky ('Enable Detailed Sky') have been added to the main in-game GUI, so see the In-Game Settings section for new details.

I will provide further details of any new patches here as soon as they come out, so keep an eye on this section.

Click to enlarge

No-CD Patch

Quake 4 has a protection system based primarily on a CD Key check - you must have a valid CD Key to install and play Quake 4 online. Quake 4 also checks to make sure you don't have certain drive emulation or CD copying software installed. Software like Alcohol, Daemon Tools and CloneCD can and will cause problems when attempting to install/run Quake 4, so if necessary uninstall/disable this software to ensure Quake 4 runs without any problems.

Finally, Quake 4 also has a CD check, whereby you must have the game CD in your CD/DVD drive to launch the game. I really find this objectionable, given the game relies on a CD Key to protect the game from illegal users playing online, which is where the bulk of Quake 4's playability comes from. However while there are No-CD patches, and methods like the use of virtual images which can circumvent this, I can't cover these here as usual for legal reasons. Please don't email me asking for these. Just be aware they exist, and they work, and hopefully Raven will remove the CD check in a future patch.

Update: As of the 1.04 Patch the CD/DVD check has been officially removed by Activision. You don't need any form of 'No-CD' or 'Fixed Image' any longer, the patch removes all such requirements, so install the latest patch and enjoy the game. Thanks go to Activision for removing it so quickly after the game's release.

Maps and Mods

It is absolutely guaranteed that Quake 4 will have a range of user-made maps and mods created for it in the fine tradition of both the earlier Quake series, and the highly modifiable Doom 3 engine upon which it is based. The full Quake 4 Editing Tools have been released and you can download them from the Quake4 SDK Site, which also provides a range of links to guides for creating and editing Quake 4 material. You can also use the Editor, EditFX and ModView console commands (See the Advanced Tweaking section) to load up the Quake 4 Level Editor, FX Editor and Model Viewer respectively.

The Quakemas Q4 Map Pack weighs in at 24MB and contains three new multiplayer maps for Quake 4 - well worth downloading. Note that it is also now included in the latest patch for the game.

To find more maps and mods, check out the following:

Quake 4 Mods

Quake 4 MP Maps


Quake 4 Editing Forums

Quake4X Mod

Q4Max Competition Mod

These sites and many others provide you with links to user-made maps and mods. In particular, an interesting mod to try is this Quake 4 Parallax Mapping Mod, which can greatly improve the appearance and realism of surfaces in Quake 4.

Keep in mind that the Quake series has spawned so many mods and maps, and has so much fan interest, that there will be literally hundreds of user-made maps and mods out eventually. I will try to post the most prominent ones here as I become aware of them.

The next section of the guide covers In-Game Settings for Quake 4.