Welcome to Meng's

QUAKE

Page

My workplace echoes with the sounds of Quake after work almost every day. One of my collegues' PC, running Win NT, is permanently on, running a Quake server and even my BOSS plays Quake !
The following is similar to my DOOM page, info on effective weapons (the standard ones) employment, with special attention to their use in deathmatches. Yes, basically how to best use each weapon against your friends !

The Axe

The Axe Murderer Cometh !

This weapon is what you have left when you run out of ammo for all the other weapons. In a fight with people toting rocket launchers, the axe is suicidal :). However, the axe brings one of the most satisfying moments in Quake, when you get the "So-an-so Axe Murdered by you" message. Roars of laughter usually break out from everyone (except the victim :). The fear of being axe murdered often panics your opponent into making mistakes and the sight of you running at them with an axe is too much for some's nerves, often they turn tail and run. A great novelty weapon best employed for a laugh when you are so far ahead of the pack in kills or so far behind you can't catch up. However it is extremely difficult to employ, not to mention dangerous ! I have just under 10 axe murders to my name :)

The Shotgun

The default weapon you start with the shotgun is the equivalent of the pistol in DOOM ... a last resort weapon. Pretty effective when you are chasing someone, and you can get multiple shots in without retaliation. It doesn't have the novelty of the axe and is usually discarded as soon as something better appears. The spread of the shot is small and the effect of the shot is instantaneous (the shots hit as soon as you fire) and these make the shotgun an effective snipers weapon although there are better ones for this purpose. The shotguns have the highest muzzle velocity of all the standard weapons and you don't have to lead a moving target to hit.

The Double Barrelled Shotgun

A good close range, knife fight weapon, this shotgun delivers a hefty punch ... but only at close range. The shot spreads too much to do much damage at longer ranges. Like the single barreled version the double has a high muzzle velocity which means instant hit and no need to lead targets. However the slow fire rate can be fatal. Overall a good weapon to have until you find something better.

The Nail Gun

Like the double barreled shotgun this is an intermediate weapon, good to have handy while you look for the real weapons ! It has a high fire rate which means you can do a lot of damage when you hit. Hitting a moving target is however less easy than it may look. The reason is because of the muzzle velocity of the nail gun ... the nails take a finite amount of time to fly from your weapon to the target, unlike the shotgun which seems to be almost instantaneous. This means that a moving target will have moved away from your aim point by the time the nails arrive. The technique to employ the nailgun effectively is called leading the target ... yes similar to how fighter pilots lead their target. The idea is to fire at where you think your target is going to be rather than where he is at present. Obviously this does not apply to stationary targets as well as targets which are coming directly at you or moving directly away from you. The amount you need to lead the target depends on the targets speed, your speed and the direction in which you and the target is moving ... yeah sounds complicated and yes it is a difficult skill to learn. Most people just spray the nails around hoping to hit the target ... thats just a waste of nails. The chaingun in DOOM had no such problems and was effectively an instant hit weapon.

The Super Nail Gun

This is the first of the REAL weapons ! Chucks nails out at twice the rate of the nailgun. However I haven't been able to confirm if the super nail gun's muzzle velocity is higher than the normal variety. My guess is that it is, that means that the need to lead the target is less ... experience will tell you how much to lead. Watch where your nails end up and correct the lead. With enough practise it will soon become automatic. The main attraction of the nailgun is the damage it does ... if you hit your target ! A highly effective weapon when employed properly. Good to use in panic situation as well ... just spray it around. The catch is that the nails seem to run out pretty quickly, 200 nails (full load with a backpack) are gone in a few seconds !

The Grenade Launcher

Grenades exploding

At first impression the grenade launcher doesn't look very effective and it is pretty difficult to employ in a fast paced deathmatch. However, it can be very effective in the right situations, such as flushing out people hiding in small rooms and otherwise hard to reach areas and for lobbing in the path of a pursuer while running away. However, rule no 1 for the grenade launcher is NEVER EVER use it while chasing someone ! Why ? Try it an see :). It is also useful in a panic situation, such as, being caught in a small room with a rocket launcher or thunderbolt toting opponent and you are about to die ... just lob grenades everywhere as fast as you can, if you are lucky you may kill your opponent, even if you eventually die anyway and sometimes AFTER you die :).

The Rocket Launcher

Rocket on the way to the target then blood and giblets in the air after it hits

One of the two ultimate standard weapons in Quake. Like grenades, rockets have a blast radius which do damage even if you don't score a direct hit. However like grenades, rockets need care in their employment, precisely because of their blast radius ... careless use of a rocket launcher is a sure way of getting a suicide. Suicides aren't good because they reduce your score, being killed by someone merely increases his score. Another problem is that rockets have the slowest muzzle velocity of all the weapons (the grenade launcher doesn't count !). That means judging how much to lead a target is a vitally important skill to pick up. Rockets are also difficult to be accurate with and relatively easy to evade ... I have successfully charged head on at many a rocket toting opponent, sidestepping his rockets, getting in close and killing him first, then picking up his rocket launcher :) ... it is actually more dangerous to charge at someone with a nail gun ! So consider the reversed situation, someone is charging at you and you have the rocket launcher armed, he is side stepping your rockets and getting closer, hitting you with his shotgun or whatever and if you don't hit him soon you will die and he will take away your precious rocket launcher. What do you do ? First, remember that rockets have a blast radius so you don't have to hit him .... thats the first clue ! Fire at the walls and don't forget the floor ! Next, remember to lead him, don't fire directly at the floor where he is now, fire at where you think he is going to be when your rocket arrives ! Even if you don't kill him first time the blast will blow him off course and disorient him ... making it easier to hit him with the next rocket. Used properly the rocket launcher is probably the deadliest standard weapon in Quake.

The Thunderbolt

Blitzkrieg and a shot showing the limits of the Thunderbolt's range.

The Thunderbolt or lightning gun, is a favourite of mine and competes with the rocket launcher as my most frequently used weapon. The Thunderbolt has only one caveat, do not use near water (unless you have the Pentagram of Protection and you are in a pool of water with many opponents :) ! It is considered extremely uncool to discharge the Thunderbolt under water, the foremost reason is because it counts as a suicide .... and any suicide isn't good. It is a highly effective weapon in that it does a LOT of damage (I also believe that armour may not have any effect although I can't confirm it) and that being a lightning weapon, the bolt travels at the speed of light (muzzle velocity is meaningless here !) and hits your target instantly. However the Thunderbolt has a limited range and is therefore a close range weapon. It is not very effective as a sniping weapon because of its short range and that it is a dead giveaway to your position ... expect rockets to come your way, guided in by your own weapon ! It is probably the best weapon to have in a panic situation as it kills quickly and spraying it around can clear the room pretty quickly ... the only problem is that the Thunderbolt drains cells extremely quickly. Another warning about the Thunderbolt, it can appear suddenly and unexpectedly when you run outta ammo on the other weapons, this could result in an unfortunate accident if you are in water at the time :).
Created on Tuesday, February 25, 1997 and last updated on May 13, 2000