Valve Developer Union

Quake Entity Guide: Weapons and Items

(Unreleased, slated for January 28, 2018)

These point entities are ones the player can pick up during the level to replenish health, armor, and give themselves special abilities.


These are the guns the player can pick up and use. The player will always spawn with an Axe, a normal Shotgun, and 25 shells, unless they have weapons from a previous level.

The game ranks weapons in this order, from worst to best:

  1. Shotgun
  2. Nailgun
  3. Super Shotgun
  4. Grenade Launcher
  5. Super Nailgun
  6. Rocket Launcher
  7. Thunderbolt

If the player has the game set to switch to new weapons on pickup if better than their current, this order is used.



The Nailgun fires a continuous stream of darts, alternating from each barrel. The nails have perfect accuracy, but the barrels are spaced slightly apart, and the nails will land with a deviance of four units where the player aims on both sides.


Super Shotgun

The Double-Barrelled Shotgun fires at a reduced rate compared to the normal Shotgun, but with higher damage and a larger spread. It uses two shells per shot, instead of one, and fires 14 pellets in one shot.


Grenade Launcher

The Grenade Launcher fires grenades that bounce off walls and explode on contact with enemies, or if given enough time. A direct shot with the Grenade Launcher is more powerful than a direct shot with the Rocket Launcher.


Super Nailgun

The Super Nailgun fires two nails at once for higher damage than the normal Nailgun. It also has no barrel deviance, with all shots landing in the same spot. It blows through ammo twice as fast, however.


Rocket Launcher

The Rocket Launcher devastates with its high damage output, splash damage, and accuracy. Rockets always explode on contact.



The Thunderbolt fires a steady stream of electricity in a straight line ahead of the player. When fired underwater, all the ammo the player has will get used at once and do damage to everything submerged in the liquid.


Boxes of ammunition are common pickups in Quake levels. They come in two varieties each, small and large, affecting their model and the amount of ammo they replenish, but not the entity's bounding box. If a box of ammunition doesn't spawn in-game, make sure you can fit a large box in the same space with some room to spare.

Set spawnflags 1 for any of the ammo entities to turn them into their large variants.



Ammo for the Shotgun and Super Shotgun. A small box gives the player 20 shells, while a large box gives the player 40 shells.



Ammo for the Nailgun and Super Nailgun. A small box gives the player 25 nails, while a large box gives the player 50 nails.



Ammo for the Grenade Launcher and the Rocket Launcher. A small box gives the player five rockets, while a large box gives the player ten rockets.



Ammo for the Thunderbolt. A small box gives the player six cells, while a large box gives the player twelve cells.


These will replenish the player's armor value, letting them take more damage from any source, including drowning. Each superior grade of armor will absorb more damage than the one before it, its protection value. Each armor has a certain amount of durability as well, represented by its point value.

In the code, the player will only be able to pick up a set of armor if the protection value of his own armor multiplied by the amount of durability the armor has left is less than the pickup's. We'll call the product the restore value. If the restore value of the pickup is less than or equal to the restore value of the player's current armor set, he will be unable to pick it up.

if (other.armortype*other.armorvalue >= type*value)

This is the QuakeC code used to determine if armor can be picked up. The other class refers to the player, in this case.

As one example, if the player has yellow armor with 38 points left on it, the restore value will be 22.8 (0.6 x 38 = 22.8). The restore value for green armor is 30 (0.3 x 100 = 30). Therefore, the player will be able to pick it up. If the player has yellow armor with 70 points left, however, the restore value will be 42, and the player won't be able to pick it up.

All armor sets takes 20 seconds to respawn in deathmatch.

Green armor


The weakest armor in the game, green armor absorbs 30% of damage taken and provides the player with 100 armor points.

The restore value of green armor is 30. Players with green armor can pick up any higher grade at any time.

Yellow armor


Yellow armor absorbs 60% of damage taken and gives the player 150 armor points.

The restore value of yellow armor is 90. The player will need to have 49 or fewer armor points to pick up green armor.

Red armor


The best armor in the game, red armor will absorb 80% of damage taken and give the player 200 points of armor.

The restore value of red armor is 160. The player will need to have 112 or fewer armor points to pick up yellow armor, or 38 or fewer to pick up green armor.


Health, in normal, rotten, and mega varieties
Health, in normal, rotten, and mega varieties

Health, on the other hand, is very simple. Aside from the armor calculations, each weapon and enemy attack does a certain amount of damage that subtracts from the player's health. At 0, they die.

Under normal circumstances, a medkit restores 25 health.


If both the Rotten and the Megahealth flags are set, only the Rotten flag will have an effect.


Keys (keycard, key, runekey) in both varieties
Keys (keycard, key, runekey) in both varieties

Keys are needed to progress through doors marked with a specific spawnflag. Once the player uses a key on a door, no other doors that require that key can be opened, unless another key is placed elsewhere in the map. There are two types of keys, silver (item_key1) and gold (item_key2).

The model each key uses will change depending on the value of the worldtype keyvalue for worldspawn. A medieval level (worldtype 0) will use the normal, toothed key model, a runic level (worldtype 1) will use the cubist runekey model, and an idBase level (worldtype 2) will use the boxy keycard model. This does not affect their functionality, only the text and sound on locked doors and the models of each key.



Artifacts are items which hold special purposes in gameplay. These items are time-limited to 30 seconds each and give the player a special ability.


The Biosuit gives the player infinite air underwater, negates slime damage, and reduces the amount of damage the player takes in lava.

In deathmatch, the Biosuit takes one minute to respawn.

Ring of Shadows


The Ring of Shadows will turn the player nearly completely invisible, save for their eyes. Any damage sounds will also be muffled.

In deathmatch, the Ring of Shadows takes five minutes to respawn.

Pentagram of Protection


The Pentagram of Protection makes the player completely invincible, including to the Thunderbolt's underwater attack. It will also cause the player to win any telefrag confrontations, though if two players, both with Pentagrams, telefrag each other, both will die.

In deathmatch, the Pentagram of Protection takes five minutes to respawn.

Quad Damage


Taking on the shape of the Quake logo, the Quad Damage multiplies all damage the player inflicts by four. Note that, even with Quad Damage, the Nailgun will still be unable to gib anything.

In deathmatch, the Quad Damage takes one minute to respawn.