Patching q3config.cfg

Okay, first off, let's go to your baseq3 directory under your main Quake3 directory. For Windows newbies, a directory is the same as a "folder". The whole key here to restoring your previous gamestate is that the point release should back up your q3config.cfg file as "q3config.oldtxt". Whew, thank our lucky stars for that, right? It's just a matter of knowing what to copy over. I would not recommend renaming this oldtxt file back to your main config, because I tried this and Q3 simply overwrites it and this time you could be screwed for good. If the point release did not happen to backup your config, then things become a little more interesting, but don't give up. With the information below, it's simple enough to just manually edit the file to get back your settings as close as memory will allow.
One note here, the new point release config and the original config are not completely compatible, so you'll want to modify or copy and paste the pertinent portions of your old config to the new one rather than just rename the whole thing. It's worthy to note here that one of the benefits of the new config is that the CD Key is no longer there, but in a separate file.
So, without further ado, let's crack that q3config.oldtxt or q3config.cfg file open in notepad. I wouldn't recommend using wordpad, no telling what an editor capable of more than straight ASCII might do to that file. Never use formattting of any kind in the q3config.cfg.

This is what you will see when opening up the q3config.cfg file:

Layout of the q3config.cfg file:

The q3config.cfg file is all straight ASCII, no formatting, with each configurable parameter, or "field", delimited by a black rectangle, which denotes a line feed in some editors like vi. It is easier to turn on word wrap when working on the file in notepad, but to play it safe, turn it back off before saving. You should see absolutely NO line breaks in the file.

The 3 settings we are looking for are:

  1. The tiers, which unlocks which videos you can view as well as defines those which you have already seen.
  2. The medals, or awards, which you have accumulated.
  3. The levels you have completed.


The tier structure follows this pattern:

seta g_spVideos "\tier1\1\tier2\1\tier3\1\tier4\1\tier5\1\tier6\1"

"seta g_spVideos" is the header for the videos, referred to here as "tiers", and each tier viewed or "unlocked" is listed here. The \1 after the tier number indicates that the introductory cinematic for that tier has been viewed/unlocked, and thus can also now be viewed from the main menu. This also implies that you have completed the previous tier in it's entirety.
Note that uncompleted tiers simply don't appear in the q3config.cfg at all. In the above example, tiers 7 and 8 have yet to be unlocked. So, if the current tier you were on before installing the point release was tier 3, then you would have

seta g_spVideos "\tier1\1\tier2\1\1tier3\1"

in that part of the file. Although there are only 7 tiers in the game, with the final level against Xaero comprising the entire tier, the tier8 video refers to the ending cinematic once you have defeated Xaero.


Next, and probably the easiest, is the restoration of your medals (awards). Note how easy this is to pad if you want to brag to your friends :-) heh.. 11,000 frags? No problem ! This is usually the next field and reads something like

seta g_spAwards "\a0\3\a5\2\a1\20\a2\134\a4\1723"


a0 = Accuracy, a1 = Impressive, a2 = Excellent, a3 = Humiliation, a4 = Frags, and a5 = Perfect.

Medals you have not yet achieved are simply not listed. Frags seems to be listed last as a general rule.
So, if you had achieved 82 frags,4 excellents and a perfect, it would read as:

seta g_spAwards "\a2\4\a5\1\a4\82"


Last, and certainly not least, is the restoration of your progress. This is also the most esoteric layout. Again, this is the very next section of the q3config.cfg file, and is broken up into 5 separate fields, one for each difficulty level: 5 being Nightmare, 4 being Hardcore, etc. This looks something like this, of course, your mileage will vary:

seta g_spScores5 "" seta g_spScores4 "\l24\1\l0\1\l1\1\l2\1\l3\1\l4\1\l5\1\l6\1\l7\1\l8\1\l9\1\l10\1\l11\1\l12\1\l13\1\l14\1\l15\2"" seta g_spScores3 "" seta g_spScores2 "" seta g_spScores1 ""

What this tells us here is that I haven't completed a single thing on nightmare mode.. (seta g_spScores5 "") ..what a wimp!! The empty double quotes mean nothing completed at this difficulty. Same holds true for "Hurt Me Plenty" (seta g_spScores3 ""), "Bring it On"(seta g_spScores2 ""), and "I Can Win"(seta g_spScores1 "").
However, looking over at Hardcore, (seta g_spScores4) we see some information. The scores string MUST start with the \l24. L24 is the training level for some reason. Note that that is a lowercase "L", for "level", not One Hundred Twenty Four. I don't know why the training level is l24, rather than L0, but trust me, it is.
Here, the \1\ indicates the level is won, or "completed". Levels played but not won or "completed" are assigned a "2". You cannot progress to the next tier until all 4 levels in their tier group are assigned a "1". Levels not played at all are , as with the other items, not listed.
For example, if you have completed tiers 1 and 2 and half of 3 on the Hurt Me Plenty setting, then this is what you might have:

seta g_spScores3 "\l24\1\l0\1\l1\1\l2\1\l3\1\l4\1\l5\1\l6\1\l7\1\l8\1\l9\1"

Once all levels in a given tier are manually assigned a "1", make sure to go back and progress the tier field accordingly.
You can go back to previous levels and play them and they will show up again in this list of completed levels. It records all single player levels played, in the order in which they were played, not necessarily the order that id put them. If you switch to a different difficulty, then the level will show up in the appropriate field. (seta g_spScores2, 3, etc.)

Here's the breakdown of the level numbers and their corresponding maps:

Tier Levels
0 Q3DM0  \L24      
1 Q3DM1  \L0 Q3DM2  \L1 Q3DM3 \L2 T1  \L3
2 Q3DM4 \L4 Q3DM5 \L5 Q3DM6 \L6 T2 \L7
3 Q3DM7 \L8 Q3DM8  \L9 Q3DM9 \L10 T3  \L11
4 Q3DM10  \L12 Q3DM11  \L13 Q3DM12 \L14 T4  \L15
5 Q3DM13 \L16 Q3DM14  \L17 Q3DM15  \L18 T5  \L19
6 Q3DM16 \L20 Q3DM17  \L21 Q3DM18 \L22 Q3DM19 \L23
7 T7  \L25      

Last, but by no means least, backup your new q3config.cfg file !! Back it up as any name you like, anywhere you like, but back it up! Should disaster strike again, this time, you'll be prepared.
Well, this should arm you with all the information you need to reclaim that which was lost. Be patient, be careful, and you will have success. However, I will reiterate that I will not be responsible for what you do in your config file. I merely offer a guide. If you follow the directions properly, you should have no problems.

For more Quake info, visit, where you can find maps, skins, files, forums, and other fun Quake related stuff, courtesty of the best of the news:// crowd !

Also, I'd like to thank Scott Grenney from BarrysWorld SAS for mirroring this site as well- this page can be found at

Good luck, and enjoy.


Back to Home