Quakestarter is a (Windows only) package with tools for setting up a playable Quake installation and downloading/playing/managing many highly-regarded addons. This includes any necessary patching and recommended configurations for the addons! It's menu-driven, super easy to use, and has an optional autoupdate feature to help keep everything current.

This package also contains quite a bit of documentation on configuring Quake and exploring other user-created content.

New players can use Quakestarter as a quick way to get going with Quake and the many amazing things created for it since 1996.

Veteran players can use it as a nice way to bootstrap "yet another Quake installation", or to discover overlooked gems -- since no one can keep up with every single piece of custom content released.

Downloads & Things

Latest Version
  • Quakestarter (quakestarter-3.9.0.zip) ... use the big "Go to download" button above!
  • documentation — also included in zipfile
"Quake Engine Not Included" Variant for Power Users
More Info
Source (not required)


I recorded a how-to video for the 3.0.0 release; it doesn't show some of the current features like Quake engine selection and autoupdate, but it still covers the basics:


Over 20 years after Quake's release, there's still an amazing amount of creativity being put into maintaining and improving "Quake engines" (Quake-playing programs), content authoring tools, and new maps and mods. If you haven't been keeping up with developments over the years though, it can be difficult to get up to speed to the point where you are actually playing fun new stuff.

I spent some time writing guides to collect relevant info, but that doesn't really lower the entrance bar very much, especially when it comes to figuring out how to play custom content. A true "Quake for dummies" installer would be a great thing to have and be able to give to newbies. This isn't quite that, but it's getting closer.


Here's what this package includes:
  • the vkQuake and Ironwail Quake engines
  • the Simple Quake Launcher 2 front-end
  • the Quakestarter utility that can find pak files on your local system, install soundtrack music files, and install & launch a selection of maps and mods
  • documentation about configuring and running Quake
  • documentation about finding/installing/launching maps and mods
  • even more info on other Quake topics
  • an optional autoupdater for all of the above
The documentation is there as a fallback if something doesn't work, or if you want to learn more about a topic. The actual process of getting up and running is fairly simple as seen in the video above, and described in the "How to use this" section of the first page of the docs.
Submitted by
Joel B
Release date
Dec 28, 2016
First uploaded
Last update
5.00 star(s) 1 ratings

Latest updates

  1. Quakestarter v3.9.0, the Basically Just For Dwell 2 Release

    A new version of Dwell has been released, not only updating its first episode extensively but...
  2. Quakestarter v3.8.0, New Year New Stuff

    One major part of this release is bumping the bundled vkQuake engine from version 1.20.3 to...
  3. Quakestarter v3.7.0, It Came From Beneath!

    Your Quakestarter updates for November (drumroll)… Add Empire of Disorder and Sewer Jam 2 in...