Expert Quake2 Info
Expert Quake2 is the product of extended design focusing on
game depth and playability. Through many means, including balance
and lowered lethality, simple-minded tactics such as camping and
ambushing are eliminated in Expert because they are ineffective,
and reflexes and ping have a reduced role in the game. Only
through great skill and teamwork can players excel at Expert.
Expert Quake web site at PlanetQuake:
Expert News (also at PlanetQuake):
Expert Quake Clans (clan hosting!)
To play Expert DM or Team play, you will need the latest version of
Quake2. To play Expert CTF, you will need the basic Quake2 CTF
files released by id software with Quake2 3.14. One location of
these files is:
If the "CTF Team Distribution" feature is enabled on an Expert CTF
server, you will also need the Expert Client Package. Unzip this
into your quake2\baseq2 directory.
Alternately, you can type "allow_download 1" at your console to
download the Expert Client Package as you connect to an Expert
Expert servers enable some things to be configured by a player. Any
commands mentioned need to be typed at the console.
To spectate, type "observer" in the console. To become a player again,
type "observe" again.
Players can and should make use of specatator mode to perform team swaps
in order to balance teams when the server is in Fair Teams mode (see "Fair
Teams" below). For example, if there are two teams of 4 players each
but one team has much better players, a player from the better team can
switch into spectator mode, creating a 3v4 game, a player from the weaker
team will be able to switch to the better, and the spectator will be able
to rejoin the game on the weaker team.
Alternately, the command "set spectator 1" can be used to become a
spectator, and "set spectator 0" can be used to leave specatator mode.
The "set spectator" form of the command can be used before joining a
server so that a player immediately becomes a spectator upon entering
Custom low-poly explosion model
An alternate for the explosion model in Quake2 is available at
This model is much smaller and simpler, so it will render much
faster but look somewhat worse. The difference (other than the size)
isn't noticeable in combat. Here's a screenshot of the new model.
Center-handed firing override
In normal Quake2 you can choose to play left-, right- or
If you are playing left- or right-handed, projectiles come slightly from
the left or right, and your weapon is visible at the bottom of your screen.
If you play center-handed, your shots come from the center and always hit
the crosshair, but your weapon is only represented by an icon, so it's
tougher to tell instantly what weapon you have out.
On an Expert server, if you type "set fcenter 1 u" weapons will
though center-handed, no matter what handedness you use. For example,
you can set your handedness to right-handed so that the weapon is visible
at the bottom of the screen, and your shots will still be centered on the
You can put the command "set fcenter 1 u" in your .cfg file. It won't
have any effect on servers other than Expert.
In some modes of Expert for Quake2, such as "Free Gear" (see below),
players spawn with more than one weapon. You can choose which
you want to be holding when you respawn by setting the value "fweapon"
at the console, as follows:
set fweapon "Grenade Launcher" u
The "u" at the end is required; it makes the value of fweapon visible to
the server. You can put this command in your .cfg file.
Weapons names are not case-sensitive, that is, "gReNaDe LaUnChEr" will
successfully select the Grenade Launcher, and "RAILGUN" will select the
Railgun. Note that the quotation marks used above are required if there
is a space in the weapon name.
Obviously, you can't choose to respawn with a weapon you aren't given at
Flash and Tilt Prevention
On Expert servers with the No Hacks option enabled, players can turn off
screen tinting and viewpoint tilting.
Examples of screen tinting are the red, fullscreen flash seen when a
player takes damage, and the blue haze seen when a player is underwater.
To turn screen tinting off an Expert server with No Hacks enabled, type
this at your console:
set noflash 1 u
An examples of screen tilting is the rocking motion that occurs when a
player is hit. To turn screen tilting off an Expert server with No
Hacks enabled, type this at your console:
set notilt 1 u
Both of these options may or may not make it easier to tell what is
going on - for example lack of a red screen flash may make it easier to
see while you are being hit, but you may find it more difficult to
determine whether you've been hit. Both should also yield a small
improvement in rendering and network performance.
Expert-specific Auto-executed .cfg
Every time the level changes on an Expert server, the Expert server
will try to execute "expauto.cfg" on your behalf. If you don't have
an "expauto.cfg" nothing happens, but you can create such a .cfg file
to rebind keys and set up aliases specifically for playing on Expert
Note that not all Expert servers will have all these features
enabled. To find out which are enabled, type "settings" at
The Expert Weapons feature balances weapons left unbalanced by
id (eg blaster), and attempts to increase the skill required to
effectively use weapons.
With Expert weapons enabled, the Blaster, Machinegun and Assault
Shotgun have increased damage in order to be even with other weapons.
Hand grenades will not explode in-hand, instead exploding 0.5
seconds after being thrown. The BFG is disabled since it is too
effective in non-1v1 matches. Armor is equally effective against
energy weapons. Weapon switching is instantaneous. Various other
tweaks reduce randomness and importance of ammo fetching.
Specific weapon stats are below.
Identical to normal id weapons.
See additional notes below for items marked with a *.
"r" indicates radius damage, "d" indicates direct.
"Damage" is damage per firing
"Ammo Used" is per firing
"Rate" is number of shots per second
"Damage Rate" is peak rate of damage per second.
"Speed" is flight speed in units/sec if applicable. A player is 56 units tall
and moves 320 units in a second.
Weapon Damage Radius Rate Speed Ammo Used Damage Rate
------ ------ ------ ---- ----- --------- -----------
Blaster 15d NA 2/s 1000 none 30 *
Shotgun 48d NA 1/s instant 1 shell 48
Super Shotgun 120d NA 1/s instant 2 shells 120
Machinegun 8d NA 10/s instant 1 bullet 80 *
Chaingun 6d NA 30/s instant 1 bullet 180 *
Hand Grenade 125r 165 0.5/s varies 1 grenade 63 *
Grenade Launcher 120r 160 1/s 600 1 grenade 125 *
Rocket Launcher 120r 120 5/4s 650 1 rocket 125 *
Hyperblaster 15d NA 10/s 1000 1 cell 200 *
Railgun 100d NA 0.7/s instant 1 slug 70
BFG10K 200r NA 0.5/s 400 50 cells 250 *
Hand Grenade: Speed varies from 400 to 800, depending on how long you
hold the attack key. The timer is set to 3 seconds.
Chaingun: There is a spin-up delay for about a second, where it only fires
at 10 bullets/second.
Rocket Launcher: Direct hit damage is 100 + 1-20, radius damage always 120
BFG10K: 200 pts damage on direct impact, with 200 radius damage
50 pts/second damage from lasers up to 256u
1000 pts detonation damage on impact, radial from point of impact
(if the victim has line of sight to both the impact site
and the player who fired the BFG).
Weapon Damage Radius Rate Speed Ammo Used Damage Rate
------ ------ ------ ---- ----- --------- -----------
Blaster 25d NA 1/s 1000 none 75 *
Shotgun 64d NA 1/s instant 1 shell 64
Super Shotgun 96d NA 1/s instant 2 shells 96 *
Machinegun 6d NA 10/s instant 1 bullet 60 *
Chaingun 4d NA 20/s instant 1 bullet 80 *
Hand Grenade 85r 120 5/4s varies 1 grenade 85 *
Grenade Launcher 100r 140 0.8/s 600 1 grenade 125 *
Rocket Launcher 100dr 120 5/4s 650 1 rocket 125 *
Hyperblaster 14d NA 10/s 1000 1 cell 140 *
Railgun 45d NA 0.7/s instant 3 slugs 95 *
BFG10K ====================== disabled =======================
Hand Grenade: Speed varies from 400 to 1200, depending on how long you
hold the attack key (up to a maximum timer of 1.5 seconds).
Super Shutgon: The shot spread has been tightened.
Blaster: Three blasts are fired horizontally, each of which do 25 damage.
Machinegun: The bullet spread has been reduced to 1/4 the original horizontal
spread and .15 times the original vertical spread.
Chaingun: The bullet spread has been reduced to 1/2 the original horizontal
spread and 3/10 the original vertical spread.
There is no spin-up delay, gun always fires 20/s
The spin-down delay has been mostly eliminated
Hyperblaster: The spin-down delay has been eliminated.
Railgun: The railgun fires three times in rapid succession every ~1.5 seconds.
With balanced items set, players cannot gain large endurance advantages
by picking up armor or powerups, and health and armor is quickly restored
to injured players to ensure even combat.
All armors are of similar power, but different strengths in different
situations. "Shards" are equivalent to 1/3 of a suit of armor.
Health packs and stimpacks restore more health as indicated below.
Players spawn with 50 jacket armor. Dying players will always drop
packs, even if using the blaster or out of ammo. In addition to ammo
and possibly a weapon, packs contain the equivalent of an armor shard
and a 30 point health pack, and any powerups a dying player had (timed
to expire when the powerup would expire if the player hadn't died).
Adrenaline is not picked up unless a player has less than full health.
The MegaHealth becomes the "Ark of Life", restoring the same amounts
as a dropped pack.
Power Armor is replaced by the Inertial Screen, which lasts for 30
seconds, and prevents 1/3 of the damage from frontal attacks. The
Inertial Screen is represented by a green translucent rectangle in
front of the player who has the powerup.
Specific armor stats below.
Absorption% is the percentage of each hit that the armor will absorb
(rather than your health). Total Absorption is the total amount of
damage that your armor can absorb before being destroyed, and Value
is the product of the two (overall power).
"ToKill" is the amount of damage required to kill a player from full
armor and 100 health. For classic armor stats, ToKill assumes energy
weapons are not used. It is equal to:
max(100 + damage x (1 - absorption), 100 + armor max)
Health Type Value
Stimpack 2 over 100 allowed
Armor Type Absorption% Pickup Max Value To Kill
----------- ----------- ------ --- ----- ------
Jacket Armor 30% 25 50 7.5 143
Combat Armor 60% 50 100 30 200
Body Armor 80% 100 200 80 300
Health Type Value
Stimpack 10 over 100 NOT allowed
Armor Type Absorption% Pickup Max Value ToKill
----- ----------- ------ --- ----- ------
Jacket Armor 30% 160 160 48 143
Combat Armor 50% 96 96 48 196
Body Armor 60% 80 80 48 180
In Alternate Restore mode, no health, armor, or healing powerups
spawn in the level. Instead of grabbing items to heal themselves,
players are healed only in the following ways:
1) By scoring damage on an enemy player 10% of the damage inflicted
is restored to the attacker as health
2) By killing an enemy player. 30 health is awared immediately.
3) By picking up a player's dropped weapon. 25 health is awarded.
4) By regenerating. Players regenerate every two seconds, receiving
and amount of health proportional to how injured they are, with
a maximum of ten.
There is no armor in Alternate Restore mode. The maximum health is
150 instead of the normal 100.
All forms of ammo will be removed from the level. Instead of picking
up ammo, players regenerate ammo with much lower maximum ammo
quantities. The regeneration rates and maximum ammo capacities are
designed to prevent running out of ammo with any weapon as long as
some ammo conservation is applied. Abusing a weapon, such as by
continuous filling a corridor with grenades or rockets, will quickly
lead to running out of that ammo type.
Note that grenades in particular have a very low maximum, however,
firing a hand grenade costs only a fraction of what firing a grenade
from the grenade launcher costs.
Lethality is a damage multiplier applied to all damage done in the game,
from weapon damage to lava or falling damage. Lethality of "1" means no
change, "0.8" would mean only 80% of normal damage is inflicted, "1.2"
would mean 120% of damage is inflicted.
Note that lethality has no effect on the damage radius of explosives.
Damage is inflicted out to the normal radius of the explosive, and the
damage is just scaled up or down by the lethality setting.
If enabled, all players are given all weapons except the BFG and a store
of ammo on spawn.
Expert treats the hook as an action, like jumping, which is completely
independent of weapons use. The hook is a movement tool.
To use the hook, bind a key to "+hook", e.g. to use your right mouse
button for the hook:
bind mouse2 +hook
Hold down the button you have bound to fire and extend the hook,
release the button to release the hook. You can fire and switch
weapons at any time.
The key you bind for the hook should be about as handy as your
fire key. Advanced players continuously use the hook, including
in the middle of combat.
The "ball" of the Expert Hook has much higher flight speed than
most other hooks, but the "pull rate" or "reel-in rate" is lower.
The hook will not attach to players, instead inflicting 10 points
of damage and releasing. The hook will only allow you to hold
to a surface for 3 seconds, to deter ambushing. The hook may or
may not attach to the sky depending on the server configuration.
Players are still given a hook on spawn that is operated by +hook,
but the hook is very slow, only usable for getting past obstacles
that would otherwise be impassable on foot. The slow hook is not
useful in combat and not useful to speed up travelling where there
is a path traversable on foot. This option is intended to create
an effectively hookless game while still supporting maps that
expect the presence of the hook.
When this option is enabled, the sky can be hooked, rockets will
explode when they hit sky rather than vanish, and grenades will
bounce off the sky.
When fired, the Pogo provides a sudden forward and upward thrust
that throws the player forward.
Like the Expert Hook, the Expert Pogo is treated as an action,
like jumping, which is completely independent of weapons use. The
Pogo is a movement tool. Expert Pogo has the same control mechanism
as the Expert Hook, in fact, the +hook alias will trigger Pogo. Pogo
can also be fired with the alias "+pogo".
The force of Pogo can be combined with jumping or rocket jumping.
When Pogo is enabled, no players ever take falling damage.
Pogo cannot be fired more often than every 0.5 seconds.
Mutant Jump, alternate for Pentagram of Protection
Grabbing this gives you the ability to jump like the "Mutant"
from single player, along with immunity to slime, drowning,
lava, and falling.
Vampire Artifact, alternate for Quad Damage
If you shoot an enemy player, you gain half the _health_ damage
you do back as health. Players who have the Vampire Artifact
can be recognized by a radius of darkness and by a spherical
shell of dancing black particles.
NOTE: the darkness radius will appear as a light radius in
software rendering mode.
The TeamAudio system allows players to send pre-recorded audio
messages to teammates for better team coordination. There are
two types of TeamAudio messages: Team-Wide messages, which go to
your entire team, and Short Range messages, which only go to nearby
When Short Range TeamAudio messages are sent, all players
receiving the radio see a brief flash at the sending player and
here a "tweeting sound" coming from her direction. Most Short
Range TeamAudio messages also start a gesture (the animations
triggered by the "wave" command) in the sending player.
Typing "teamaudio" or just "ta" at your console will show all
available TeamAudio messages. To send a TeamAudio message, type
.. for example, "ta cover".
Typing "ta bind" will cause the server to bind F2 - F12 to the
11 built-in TeamAudio messages. Note that some of the messages
below are specific to Capture The Flag mode; when CTF is not
enabled those messages cannot be sent.
Team-Wide Radio Messages:
Key Name Message Gesture Range
COMMANDS / LOCAL STATUS
F2 base Get back to base Point Short
F3 flag Find the enemy carrier Point Short
F4 escort Find our carrier and cover him Point Short
F5 staying I have this covered None Short
F6 hold Hold this position Point Short
F7 follow Follow me Wave Short
F8 cover Cover me, I need an escort Wave Short
F9 ok You got it Salute Short
F10 no No can do None Short
F11 incoming Enemy units incoming None Team
F12 overrun Base is overrun, None Team
available units pull back
If you want to have the above keys automatically bound for you
whenever you play, copy the following lines into your .cfg file:
bind f2 "ta base"
bind f3 "ta flag"
bind f4 "ta escort"
bind f5 "ta staying"
bind f6 "ta hold"
bind f7 "ta follow"
bind f8 "ta cover"
bind f9 "ta ok"
bind f10 "ta no"
bind f11 "ta incoming"
bind f12 "ta overrun"
Prevents the most powerful powerups (quad, invulnerability,
and power shield) from ever spawning into the level.
On a teamplay server, this means players may only switch to a team
with less members.
When this gets in the way of players balancing teams, players should
make use of the spectator feature (see "Specatating") to swap members
between teams of equal size.
No Team Switch
Players may not switch teams at all.
When you are looking in the general direction of a player, the name
of the player closest to the center of your view appears above the
weapons statusbar. This is accurate to within a few degrees.
If there are no players within about 50 degrees of view arc,
no name will appear.
Expert CTF Team Distribution
If this feature is enabled in a CTF game, a small graph appears on
the right side of the HUD indicating the rough distribution of
teammates over the field, relative to the two bases.
The four vertical sections of the graph indicate by brightness the
concentration of players in four sections of the field: in the
immediate vicinity of home base, in the immediate vicinity of enemy
base, nearer to home base than enemy base, and nearer to enemy base
than home base.
Enemy base is always the topmost section, and home base is always
the bottomost section.