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Q3config Repair Guide

Skip the news, I just want to go and fix my config !


Updated 11/17/2002

No More Updates

At this point, I've decided to stop doing updates. Quake3 isn't going to evolve much more than it already has, and id software has put their effort now to newer and better things, namely, Doom3. If you should happen to have the leaked alpha of Doom3 and need some tips about getting it to run or wish to exploit some features, try, last I checked they were up and running and had some great info.

Updated 01/10/2001

1.27h Beta patch released

In response to the niggling  (now that's a queer word)  problems plaguing the recent 1.27g point release, id software has released 1.27h, which addresses the " James bug " as well as the now famous " guard/handicap " cheat. It may also boost your FPS, but mileage will vary. id also claims to have reset the mouse sensitivity back to the way it was in 1.17; while I personally disagree, as do most of my aquaintances,it definitely feels somewhat smoother. Run, do not walk, to your nearest browser and get this update. The following link should make that a little easier on you:
Quake3Arena 1.27h beta patch

Updated 01/05/2001

Happy New Millenium !!      A special update this month !

Lots of new stuff, Team Arena has been released along with sister point release 1.27g. There are lots of issues swarming around these releases - for one, they are much, much, more stingent regarding the writing and use of shaders. If you are experiencing problems where your video has large white blocks in TA, or your menu is all whacked, start by removing ALL custom .pk3 files in your baseq3 directory. Move them to a folder on your desktop, for example. Make sure you leave the original pak0, pak1, pak2, pak3, pak4, and optionally pak5.pk3 files intact, of course.
(BTW, some folks don't have a pak5.pk3. This is because they installed TA without installing the 1.27g point release first. While it's true TA automatically upgrades Q3 to 1.27g, for some reason the pak5.pk3 file is not created.   Solution - install the 1.27 point release.
Anyway, back to the video issue - you'll find the problem goes away. One by one, or two by two, add your custom pk3 files back in and start up TA. When the problem returns, you'll know who the culprit(s) is/are. There is, however, no fix for this. You simply can't use them until the author corrects and re-releases them.
Another common problem people are having is that the mouse sensitivty has gone through the roof. Back off your mouse sensitivity in the game, make sure cl_mouseAccel is set to 0, and turn off mouse acceleration in windows too. This usually has satisfactory results for most folks.
There has been a plethora of other problems reported in TA, like the " James " bug. If you've experienced it, you know what I'm talking about. I haven't for whatever reason, so I'm not sure of the exact circumstances or severity of it. Current word on the james bug is to open your q3config.cfg and replace every instance of " James " found with " Sarge " . I've also heard that id software is working on an .exe patch for this. Another bug is the no default.cfg found error - this is addressed at this
activision support page .
But the largest bug of all is the notorious "handicap/guard" cheat, where a player can get himself up to 28,000 health and armor ! The
only fix for this right now  is up at the AGQx website  (run by the guys from my favorite newsgroup :-) and must be run on the server.
With all this new info, I think it's obvious I'm going to have to put up another page dedicated just to TA. However, in the meantime,
this link will point to the "official" if not anemic Team Arena FAQ.
I think it's pretty fair to say that TA itself is in bigtime need of some fixes.

I've also just noticed a disturbing lack of links on my site. I'll get to work on a links page in the near future.

Now here's the meat of this update:
Here's a quick tip for those of you who like to edit files in the .pk3 archives.

If you've ever attempted to do this, you know it's easy enough to extract the file into the editor of your choice, be it Paint Shop Pro, Photoshop, or Sound Forge, Cool Edit or whatever, depending on what kind of file it is. However, it's a pain to put the file back in the archive because to work properly it must maintain the correct "path" . Sounds go under a sounds directory, and may go into subfolders deeper than that, depending on whether the sound belongs to a particular model, or world, etc. There's no way to edit the path once the file is in the archive. So, usually, you have to recreate the whole path from your root drive, or turn of folder paths in Winzip, but still you have to create the folders to store the file in.   Bah !

Forget about using Winzip, I've discovered that WinRar works much better, since it displays the path as a series of hierarchical subfolders.
Just drilling down thru the folders to the file I wanted to edit, I dragged a .wav file into sound forge, edited it, saved it to my desktop, then dragged that back into the WinRar window, where it promptly retained the path info.
Sweet ! Now if only it were freeware :-)

Speaking of free...
Another alternative is the "Compressed Folders" feature that comes free with WinMe. Normally, you can't just associate files (pk3s) with Compressed Folders because it doesn't show as a program - it's actually explorer.exe with switches and a classID.
However, you can edit the registry to associate pk3 files as compressed archives and thus get it to work. It's great, because they too display as a hierarchical folder structure. First thing to do is disassociate pk3 files from Winzip. Then, copy the below text into a file called pk3.reg, then double-click on it to merge it into your registry.


I don't know if Win2K supports this or not, frankly.

Cut here:------------------------------------


"Content Type"="application/x-zip-compressed"


Also, while I'm at it - there's a freeware archive utility called "PowerArchiver" ( that not only looks just like winzip, but does absolutely everything winzip can do and quite possibly more without needing helper apps. You can even download or create skins for the toolbar. Cute. Not that I have anything against Winzip, it's a great old standby. I just think I've found better alternatives lately.

For the most killer freeware image viewer, check out Irfanview at This thing rules ! I like it better than xnview, although it's similar in that it supports directory browsing (very, very cool - you use forward and back arrows on the toolbar to cycle thru all images in a directory), slideshow (very cool indeed), tons of formats, special effects editing, format conversion, batch conversions, etc. but it loads **lightning** fast. Damn, I mean, instantly. It's great for viewing your tga screenshots if you haven't caught on to the new 1.27g "screenshotJPEG" command yet. (hint hint)

Updated 10/22/2000

I've missed quite a bit here lately, been very busy studying. (Got the MCSE finally, now on to bigger and better things.)
id Software has recently released two new beta version Q3 patches as of late, 1.25p and 1.25y. Neither beta version is compatible with Rocket Arena 3 or any of the other mods for that matter. Lately, when trying to connect to a server, you may find yourself trying to connect to servers and getting spit out - most likely the server is running this new version.
You may also experience a problem where you receive an error stating that your CD key is invalid !! This has been addressed by Christian Antkow himself of id Software:

First off, thanks to all of you who chose to download and help test out the latest beta release. An annoying issue was brought to light as a result of testing this evening, and rather than have be inundated with e-mails about this bug, I thought it best to post an acknowledgement of the issue, and a temporary solution here. There appears to be a problem with your baseq3/q3key file being reinitialized to a virgin state when you connect to an original 1.25p server with your 1.25y client (they are incompatible.) The result of this bug is that Quake 3 will print "Invalid CDKey" when you exit the game, reload it, and try to connect to servers on the net. I was able to replicate this issue in-house and have mailed the programmers. If you wish to save yourself some aggravation while testing this release, I would suggest the following after you've ensured that q3key contains your valid CD-Key; - If you are an MS-DOS h4x0r, CD to your quake3/baseq3 directory and execute "attrib +r q3key" at the command prompt. This will make the q3key file read-only (after you are certain that it contains your valid CD key.) - If you are not comfortable using the command prompt, open up "My Computer" and head over to the directory where you have Quake 3 installed. Open the "baseq3" directory, right click on the "q3key" file. Select "Properties" and on the bottom of the panel, you should see a "Read-only" check box. Check that, and hit "Ok" to apply the changes. We'll get this issue resolved in the next release. Thanks again for helping us test out this release, and please remember to mail if you come across any further issues.

So there it is - in effect, you should write protect your q3key file until the next non-beta release is out, which should be very soon.

Other odd symptoms you may experience as a result of trying out the beta is not being able to switch to any other weapons. You are spawned with the machine gun, and although you hear the familiar "kachink" of picking up another weapon, you may find that you are unable to switch to it - even the gauntlet !
Sometimes it's best to just back -rev to the stable 1.17 version, and either try again, or stay put.
Here are instuctions to back rev to previous version 1.17:

  • Delete the pak4.pk3 file in your /baseq3 directory
  • Reapply the 1.17 patch, overwriting your quake3 executable.
Wala, you're back to 1.17 !

Stay tuned. The new Team Arena mission pack is due out very soon !

Updated 05/18/2000

I'm a little bit late here, but the latest patch is 1.17. I'm not aware of any bugs, and I haven't had a single problem with losing my q3config.cfg settings in a while. I wish they'd beef up their in-game browser, but I suppose most people use Gamespy anyway.

Updated 04/27/2000

Gave the site a bit of a badly needed facelift. It's a little more inline with the times now I think.

There's been some news about the Quake3 mission pack lately, and it sounds good. New models, new weapons, new maps, new interface, and a more teamplay oriented approach. Can't wait! More info at PlanetQuake's site .

Updated 03/12/2000

Nothing really new to report, more point releases have been unleased in rapid sucession, I think we're up to 1.16m now. I stopped downloading any betas, I'll wait until the real deal is done. Oh, and Zoid has left id software. id has pretty much stated there will be no Quake4.. I wonder what's next ?

Updated 01/16/2000
Wow !!! That's all I can say. I've had over 1600 hits on this site in just a week. Far more than I ever anticpated. I've gotten hits from all over the world (well, duh), but from some very exotic places. It just really goes to show you the scope of the internet.
It happened again. Out of the clear blue, for reasons unknown to me, Q3 decided to wipe out my q3config.cfg again. I installed or changed nothing. Fortunately, this time, I had a backup so it was a snap to copy the backup back in. I can't it stress enough, backup your q3config.cfg !!

Updated 01/14/2000

Well, the Point Release final was released last night. Most of the bugs it addresses now are bot related. I had noticed some things that still aren't quite right though. The initial beta point release introduced the ability for spectators to 'teleport' through closed doors. But I've found it doesn't seem to work in the Dredworkz, and also the door at the end of the long hallway to the Quad in Q3DM14 just spins you around rather than let you in.

Why couldn't "Add to Favorites" just be at the end of the menu, or somewhere else entirely?

Last, but not least, is the issue of a packet loss indicator on the scoreboard. This was hot news today, as the lack of the indicator was mentioned in Graeme Devine's .plan. Anyway, apparently Zoid feels it is unnecessary. You can, after all, simply set the lagometer on in order to monitor your packet loss with the simple command "cl_lagometer 1". However, that does not allow the other players on the server to see what kind of PL you have. Zoid made the comment that basically PL is incorporated into the ping. Hopefully, Zoid will change his mind and put it in there.

Updated 01/12/2000

Beta two version 1.15b was released last night and appears to have corrected the issues known to exist with the menu interface, along with other small fixes. It's apparent that the useful days of this website are numbered as newer patches are released. Gloom and doom notwithstanding, this site will have served it's main purpose if even only one person managed to save his/her game and sanity. I intend to keep the page up for a while longer, and maybe alter the focus from "beta point release repair" to just plain hacking your config - a cheater's guide.
I think it's noteworthy to mention that immediately after installing the new patch last night, ver 1.15b, something was obviously amiss in the graphics driver- I couldn't even see the menu interface at all! Calmly, I navigated to the GLSetup portion of the Quake3 CD and reinstalled my video drivers. After a reboot, everything was back to normal, including a now properly working menu. I'm still unsure why running GLSetup was necessary, as I was already running the latest nvidia reference drivers for my TNT according to nivida's website, but I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth- the game runs smoothly now and seems relatively bug free.
I also believe they've fixed some of the mouse wheel issues. I no longer need to restart the game after altering a mouse related config parameter. All in all, this patch earns from me a hearty recommendation.

Enjoy !!


Here's the official announcement on the new beta point release, released 1/07/2000, the only info offered when it first became available for download.

Quake III Arena Point Release (Beta) - Fri 01-07-2000 23:46

Despite all the problems at id today, we were still able to get the new Beta Point Release patch for Quake III: Arena. Here's a few words from Graeme Devine about it:

We've decided to make the point release beta, but public, because there's nothing like a few million beta testers! When running servers using this release we highly suggest running them as non-pure servers so that older clients can connect to them without problems. Please read the enclosed FAQ for a detailed list of which bugs and UI features we've addressed with this point release. If all goes well we'll go with a final version of the point release very soon. The Macintosh and Linux builds of the point release BETA will be out hopefully today as well.

Well, isn't that just peachy. We are now among millions of other 'beta' testers. They used to pay people for that. :-)
Naturally, no one is holding a gun against your head and forcing you to download the new patch, but who can resist? It's probably a fairly safe assumption that most quakers have downloaded this puppy. Some of you will have found that your Single Player mode is a little different. To be more specific, your medals are gone, and worse, so is all your previous level progress! How do you feel about starting all over again ?
Does this describe you? If not, then no need to read further, unless you're interested in a little insight into the q3config file. Maybe you just want to add a few frags to your tally the hax0r way :-)
On the other hand, if this describes you, then with a little work and attention to detail, you can restore your previous gamestate. You can get your level progress back, your cinematics back, and your medals back. I'm not going to make any claims that this is not for the faint of heart or anything dramatic or silly, because it does not require any registry hacking nor anything risky to your OS. It's pretty simple stuff, actually, and besides, at this point, what have you got to lose?? You can always just reinstall the game and be none the worse off for it. But my lawyers have advised me to post the following just the same- damn lawyers ;-)

Standard Disclaimer:
I cannot not be held responsible if you destroy your q3config.cfg or other files. You edit the file at your own risk.

Having said all the above, I wish to clarify that in no uncertain terms do I mean to demean or attack id software. They are the finest gaming company ever, in my book, and I enjoy Quake3 immensely, as I have all their other games ever since Doom. My intent is to help those unfortunates such as I that experienced problems with the beta patch. I realize that not everyone will have had difficulties. This is for those that do. I love Quake as much as the next guy. Maybe more.
If you have questions regarding modifying the config file, drop me a line at

Okay, with the intro out of the way, let's get cracking!

Let's go!