Help! I'm getting my rear end kicked in Quake Arena.

I got Quake Arena the other day and installed it on my reasonably fast 500 mhz PIII system with 528 megs of RAM and a nice fast 32 meg video card Nvidia -TNT2 etc. etc.

I can’t get past the initial stages of Quake Arena when fighting the bots on anything but the absolute, most basic baby level. The bots are moving so fast and jumping and flipping continuously etc with perfect aim that I’m lucky to rack up 2-5 tags (which isn’t easy) before they decide to get serious, kick some booty and finish me off. It’s so ridiculous that the game play really isn’t that much fun. I’ve played several FP Shooters over the years and this is the first to really stymie me

The main problem, I suppose, is that I am using the keyboard for firing, aiming and moving etc. I really don’t see how you could move with the keyboard and shoot with the mouse (I tried) unless you were unusually ambidexterous.

Do any Quakeheads have some pointers or advice to keep from getting spanked so regularly?

You’re trying to beat the bots? Don’t bother, just play single-player to get used to the game and practice, then play multi-player against other human beings. The bots are controlled by the computer, so obviously they have a major advantage. Go to for some great newbie tips.

As for using the controls, I found that it’s best (I’m right-handed) to set the W, A, D, and S keys to move your character forward, left, right and backward, respectively; use the mouse to turn your character, and use the left mouse button to fire. In fact, setting all of the controls to one section of your keyboard will keep you from having to move your left hand at all, which should help a lot.

Also check out for moves you’ll need to master.

Why not set the game to ‘I can win’ and move onto the more difficult levels from there.

You’ve got to get the mouse involved or you will be constantly stuffed.

How do you have your controls set up ?

I’d suggest that you set

Mouse sensitivety to the low end of the scale

Invert mouse = on

Free look = on

Fire = Mouse 1

Zoom = Mouse 2

If you have a scrolling mouse then set it so that it changes weapons such that

Previous weapon = MWdown

Next weapon = MW up

I use my keypad to do all the movements but then it helps that I’m left handed.

The jump button needs to be somewhere near to where your thumb naturally lands, the Spcae bar might be a good option if you use the keyboard.

you really cant play with just the keyboard. I agree with OneChance about the w,a,s and d keys, this just makes it easier to have your hands on the keys because if you have them on the right of the keyboard, you are all cramped (holding the mouse in your right hand).
He wasn’t clear that you should have a and d as left and right strafe as you turn with the mouse. Persevere with the mouse + keyboard combo, its the way all the experts play.
You should also have jump etc set as space (or whatever you are comfortable with.

If you dont play with the mouse, you cant look up and down, which is essential for firing at people above you, as many Quake levels are very 3 dimensional. This set up also allows you to circle strafe, ie strafing round your opponent while turning, so you are very difficult to hit.

You must also master the tactic of the strafe-circle. Strafe around your target while keeping him perfectly centered in the crosshairs.

You must use a mouse. Get a bigger mousepad. The Ratpadz offered by are supposedly sweet. This will forestall the inevitable frag you receive when you run out of pad space.

Play humans. That’s what the game is all about.

Also, check out the demos that Fatal1ty regularly records when he smokes everyone at the CPL events. Fatal1ty’s demos were the best training I ever had, when I had bandwidth and time. You can start by snooping around . Dr. Damage is a personal friend of Fatal1ty, and recently posted a link to a new strategy guide authored by the best Q3 player ever. The dude won a Haiabusa for playing Q3–that’s some seriously cool shite. The guy has a knack for blasting people in mid air with the rocket launcher. I never mastered that trick.

Y’know, I’d have to say that “What are some good strategies for this computer game” is really more a topic for MPSIMS than GQ… I seem to recall that that’s where the Civilization strategy threads were. I’ll move it over there now.

You CAN play with just the keyboard, but key+mouse is easier.

I was a keyboard cowboy in the original quake, have gone to key and mouse for q3.

control setup:
a,s,d,w = left, back, right, forward
space = jump
q,e = switch weapons up/down
shift = duck
alt = use item
f,r,g,v = taunt, custom macros
t = talk
mouse (NOT inverted, highest sensitivity you can) = aim
mouse1 = fire
mouse2 = zoom
mouse3 = switch weapon up

when I played just keyboard the arrow keys were turn and forward/back, delete, and pgdown were look up/down, and end was center view. And ctrl for fire.

But I gotta say, if you’re having trouble with the bots on the easiest difficulty, perhaps this game isn’t for you.


You sure about that mouse not inverted ?

I know nobody(except you I guess) who does not use the invert mouse setting for any 3D shooters.

Since this is a newbie to the game then mouse sensitivity should be set fairly low until things improve and then go for increased sensitivity.

If you can afford it Astro then get an optical mouse - it won’t get clogged up and you don’t even need a mouse mat so you never worry about running off the edge of it.

Yup, I’m sure about mouse not inverted. I move mouse up, I aim up. In fact, all the good players I know don’t invert the mouse. That’s not to say that inverted is necessarily worse, but unless you’ve already gotten used to it via flight-sims, uninverted is probably more natural.

And yes, you have to work up to mouse sensitivity; that’s what I meant by “highest you can”. My own is set beyond what the slider will let you do now (you can set it arbitrarily via the console)

I agree, optical mice kickass. I’ve got one, but it’s one that uses the metal pad with a grid on it. Still kicks ass, and never sticks or gets dirty.

Thanks to all for suggestions.

Much appreciated.

[li]You definitely must use your mouse. (It gets much easier with practice. :D)[/li][li]Jump, constantly.[/li][li]Strafe.[/li][li]Never stop moving.[/li][li]Double click forward, right, or left randomly. (that is how you flip.)[/li][li]Move unpredictably.[/li][li]If using a weapon that has splash damage, aim for the opponents feet.[/li][li]buy Unreal Tournament, it’s more fun.[/li][/list=1]
Good Luck!

If you do play UT, let me know and I’ll give you a list of fun servers.

My wife plays those kinds of games without the mouse inverted, it always throws me off when I play after she has messed with the controls.

I could never get used to using WASD for movement, I use the arrow keys. They are somewhat isolated from the other keys, makes it harder to miss the one you need. I then bind Jump to the right Shift key, duck (if supported) to the right Ctrl key, and Enter for any special functions (like throwing flashbangs in Solider of Fortune). I use the space bar as the generic Use button. This is the setup I use for all FPS games.