Quake III Arena Dedicated Server Documentation

A dedicated server is useful for servers that will be run on the internet or LAN for extended periods of time and/or will experience a high number of attached clients. There are two ways to start a Linux dedicated server. If you intend to play on the same machine, or are using a machine that has X11 and GL installed, you can use the full "quake3" binary as a dedicated server, either from the commandline or from within the Multiplayer menu. If you select a dedicated server from the menu, the engine will shutdown the menu graphics as soon you start the server, and you will have to use the console window to access the server.

For Linux installations that do not have X11 installed, you can also use the "q3ded" server which is available for installation from the CD. This binary does not require X11 or GL, and will start in dedicated mode. You can use the same command line options as with the full binary. The installation will not create symbolic links and startup scripts for "q3ded", so you will have to refer to it by the full path. Typically, configuration files for a dedicated server are maintained alongside the binary.

  The following lists the most commonly used settings for a dedicated server.

Starting the Serve r

To start a server that does not report to the master server, use the command line below.
This is also the default for the dedicated server binary.

    quake3 +set dedicated 1

To start a server (either binary) that notifies the master server of its presence, please use the following command line:

    quake3 +set dedicated 2

Command Line Options  

Command line options must be set on the command line and will not work if executed in a config file.


com_hunkmegs - allocates a certain amount of memory for map and item loading.  The default of 56 is required for the client but is overkill for a dedicated server, and thus wasting precious server memory.  For general use free for all, tournament maps, and team deathmatch, a com_hunkmegs setting of 16 is sufficient.  Using the included tournament maps only, a com_hunkmegs setting of 12 may be used to conserve more memory.  Capture The Flag requires a minimum com_hunkmegs setting of 26 with the included maps.

NOTE: user made or future map releases may require a higher setting.  If you receive an ERROR: Hunk_Alloc failed then try increasing the com_hunkmegs setting in increments of 2 until the map successfully loads.

Usage: +set com_hunkmegs <##>
Sample: quake3 +set dedicated 1 +set com_hunkmegs 16


If you are on a multi-homed server and the default IP is not what you want to use for your Quake 3 server, the net_ip command will need to be used.  This must be set on the command line in the following form.

Usage: +set net_ip <ip address>
Sample: quake3 +set dedicated 1 +set net_ip


Changing the default server port requires the net_port command be run on the command line.  It is useful for running multiple servers on the same computer or making the server somewhat more private.  The default port is 27960 and is incremented automatically by 1 if another server is started without a specified port.

Usage: +set net_port <port>
Sample: quake3 +set dedicated 1 +set net_port 27961

Configuration Files

To simplify setting up a dedicated server, a several server configurations file have been created for different game types.  You can modify each configuration file to your liking if the default settings are not sufficient.  If you wish, you may run these config files from the console, assuming com_hunkmegs is sufficient for each game type.  Use the following console command convention to run configs.

   exec <gametype.config>

The following are sample command lines to get you quickly up and running for each game type.

Free For All
quake3 +set dedicated 1 +set com_hunkmegs 16 +exec ffa.config

quake3 +set dedicated 1 +set com_hunkmegs 12 +exec tourney.config

Team Deathmatch
quake3 +set dedicated 1 +set com_hunkmegs 16 +exec teamplay.config

Capture The Flag
quake3 +set dedicated 1 +set com_hunkmegs 26 +exec ctf.config

Server Only Settings

Server settings are only used only on the server and may be used at the console or command line.  Command line usage requires a +set before each command.

   For example: +set sv_maxclients 16

sv_maxclients - sets the maximum amount of clients that can connect to the server.  The default setting is 8.  Setting should be increased for large free for all, team deathmatch, or CTF maps.

    Usage: sv_maxclients <##>

sv_privatePassword - sets a password on the server so only clients that know the password can connect to the server.  Clients use the \password command.  The default is for no password required.  Set to "" for no password.

    Usage: sv_privatePassword "<password>"

sv_hostname - sets the server name that will show up in the master server list.  The name must be enclosed in quotes if a space is in the name.

   Usage: sv_hostname "<servername>"

sv_master1 - sets the primary master server to which your server reports.  The default is master3.idsoftware.com and it is not recommended that this be changed.  Additional master servers can be added with the sv_master2 through 5 command.  The maximum number of masters that can be reported to is 5.

   Usage: sv_master2 <master.domain.com>

sv_maxRate - sets the maximum allowable rate a client may have set when connected to the server.  The default is 0, which is no limit.  A suggested setting is 8000 or 10000 so server bandwidth is not used up by high speed clients, thus allowing modem players to have a smoother game.

   Usage: sv_maxRate <#####>

sv_pure - controls crc/zip check of client pk3 files to make sure the pk3 file has not been modified for cheating or other purposes.  Client pk3 files must match that of the server to connect.  The default is set to 1, or on. Set to 0 to turn off check.

   Usage: sv_pure 1

Server Console Commands

Server console commands are used from the server console or the remote console.

status - shows the client number (num), score, ping, player name (name), client IP address (address), and port connected through (qport).  Client number is used in conjunction with the kick command.

   Usage: status

kick - removes a player from the server. Particularly useful for removing disruptive players.  To kick a player, first find the number (num) associated with the player name via the status command.

   Usage: kick <num>

capturelimit - sets the number of flag captures that must be reached before the level ends and the next level starts in CTF.  Setting capturelimit only has an effect if the server is in CTF mode.

   Usage: capturelimit <##>

fraglimit - sets the amount of frags that much be reached before the level ends and the next level starts.  Setting fraglimit to 0 results in no fraglimit.

   Usage: fraglimit <##>

timelimit - sets the number of minutes that must be reached before the level ends and the next level starts.  Setting timelimit to 0 results in no timelimit.

   Usage: timelimit <#min>

rconpassword - sets remote console password so clients may change server settings without direct access to the server console.  The default is set to none.  Client can control the server by entering commands on the console with the format of \rconpassword mypass and then adding server commands after the \rcon command.

   Usage: rconpassword <serverpassword>

killserver - will stop all server services from running but leaves the Quake III Arena executable running on the server.

   Usage: killserver

Game Commands

Generally, all game commands must be entered after the level loads either in the config file or on the command line/console.  Exceptions include the g_gametype and g_motd command.  The following are the most useful game commands for a dedicated server.

g_warmup - sets the amount of time in seconds that players may practice before the actual tournament match starts.  The default is 20 seconds.

    Usage: g_warmup <#seconds>

g_friendlyFire - determines if players can damage their own teammates.  Set to 1 to allow players to damage their own teammates.  Set to 0 so players can not damage their own teammates.  Setting has no effect for free-for-all or tournament modes.  A setting of 1 is suggested for team deathmatch, while a setting of 0 is suggested for Capture The Flag.

   Usage: g_friendlyFire 1

g_gametype - controls the type of gameplay (free for all, tournament, team deathmatch, CTF).  The default is 0, which is for free for all. Set to 1 for tournament 1 on 1 mode.  Set to 3 for team deathmatch mode. Set to 4 for CTF mode.

   Usage: g_gametype <#>

g_motd - sets the message that clients will see when they first connect to your server.

   Usage: g_motd "message of the day"

g_log - sets the name of the server log file.  The default is games.log and does not need to be modified unless running multiple dedicated servers on the same computer.

   Usage: g_log <filename.ext>

g_quadfactor - used to set multiples of damage caused by the quad damage powerup.  The default is 3 times damage, with 1 being equal to no quad damage powerup.  Decimals may be used (e.g. 0.25).

   Usage: g_quadfactor <#>

g_syncronousclients - syncs all clients up to allow demo recording. The default is the more desired 0 which allows smoother net play.  Set to 1 to allow client demo recording.

   Usage: g_syncronousclients 0

g_weaponsrespawn - used to set the number of seconds between the time a weapon is picked up and the time it respawns.  The default is 5 seconds in free for all and should only be modified if a free for all server has a large number of players on it, in which case lower it slightly.  It is not recommend that it be set to 0 or modified for other game types.

   Usage: g_weaponrespawn <#seconds>

g_allowvote - enable players connected to the server to call for and vote on changes including: map, map restart, kick, and g_gametype.  The default is 1, which is on.  Set to 0 to turn off voting.

    Usage: g_allowvote 1