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How to optimize Quake 3 autoexec.cfg

The Quake 3 logo
Here I share my optimized autoexec.cfg configuration for Quake 3. Compared to the defaults it offers several clear advantages for LAN gaming. [2 minutes]

I've been playing Quake (and Doom) since the originals came out, but struggled at first with after-hours Quake 3 at the office, for a number of reasons:
  • Poor Visibility: can't see through the gibs and shells. It felt like I was playing paintball.
  • Mouse sensitivity: 8 times the default, jumping all over the place.
  • Keybindings: annoying trying to change weapons or zoom.
  • Camouflage: The blue "team" model really stands out (many people use "bones" for the best camouflage)
To help, I've developed this autoexec.cfg (follow link) with the following tweaks:
  • Visibility: turns off muzzle flash, shells, gun model, gibs/blood.
  • Audibility: turns off level music to hear the other players.
  • Distractions: adds toggles for the gun model and HUD to clear distractions.
  • Mouse: Tunes mouse sensitivity just high enough to allow a 180-degree turn in one flick.
  • Telescopic sight: sets up multiple zoom levels via field of view.
  • Steadiness: turns off bob/roll for slightly steadier crosshair.
  • Crosshair: uses the circle + dot crosshair (cross can obscure small targets).
  • Weapon cycling: shortcuts for both keyboard and mousewheel cycling.
Embedding the full autoexec.cfg below:

P.S. After optimizing your Quake config, try optimizing your keyboard with the Colemak layout.
Do you have any favourite Quake 3 configuration tweaks? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. Hey. Old post I know, but I have some suggestions for you:

    1. r_drawSun doesn't give much visual benefit because most maps don't have a sun, yet the option sucks a bit of performance. Setting to zero should improve performance.

    2. r_fastsky is disabled? It's another option with very little visual benefit, but sucks some performance when disabled.

    3. r_finish is enabled, but this is only needed if vsync is enabled and you're experiencing input lag. I've never found a need for it, and if triple buffering is disabled, vsync should be off anyway...

    4. If you set r_picmip to zero you can get highest texture quality with small performance penalty.

    5. cg_drawAttacker consumes some power, and I find it useless. You might prefer disabling it and enabling cg_drawCrosshairNames instead.

    6. If you use the default cg_fov of 90, I recommend increasing it. I used to use 90 in the days of 17" CRTs, but with today's large LCDs, I find it much too small. I recommend 100 or higher. :)

    7. If your mouse has adjustable resolution, use it. Sensitivity of 3 is quite high. I set my mouse to 2000 dpi and run sensitivity 1. It is much smoother.

    Hope these are helpful. Do you ever play online?

  2. wow..great tips..i will try the 2000 dpi sensitivity of 1.. i run 1000 dpi sen of 1.8

    is there a way to set up triple buffering in Quake or is that an video driver set up?

  3. For more info check

  4. i read a while back that using more than 400 DPI in quake3 games causes negative acceleration. is that still true?


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