Quake Champions Announced: PC Only, Multiplayer Arena Combat

Bethesda started big. When the lights and music dropped, the giant screen at the E3 showcase showed a DOS prompt. After fiddling around directories for a moment, the unseen user typed one small word: QUAKE.

The game is Quake Champions, an arena-based shooter pitting “diverse warriors with unique attributes and abilities” against one another. It has been designed for “world class esports play at every level” and contains big Stroggy bastards and a blue-haired lady.

Aside from the fact it seems like it’ll be stepping on DOOM multiplayer’s toes a little, the big news here is that Quake Champions will be PC only. No consoles. id are targeting high level performance, with unlocked framerates at 120hz.

It’s multiplayer only and Tim Willits, who made the presentation, says id will be expanding beyond QuakeCon with new competitive tournaments and leagues.

id are developing this one in-house. I’d made a bet with myself that if a Quake game were announced it’d be in the hands of Machine Games; they didn’t have any announcements but both they and Evil Within creators Tango Softworks were shown briefly during the presentation so are presumably working on something for Bethesda. More Wolfenstein and more Evil Within, I reckon, though perhaps best not to presume given that I’ve just told you how wrong I was about Quake.

I’m also going to go ahead and admit that when the title first came up I thought it was going to be a Quake-themed MOBA and I nearly bellowed in frustration. As with Prey, we’ll learn more at QuakeCon.

You can follow all our E3 2016 news here.


  1. Spacewalk says:

    It’s not what I wanted.

    • cunningmunki says:

      Me neither. Bang goes my dream of a sequel/reboot of Quake 1.

      • FLoJ says:

        I’m actually pretty impressed by how positive the ESReality thread about this is link to esreality.com

        Even the different classes aren’t necessarily rubbished which is a massive suprise considering the audience of those forums (Die hard 20 yr Quake veterans that still play it daily)

  2. yogiwp says:

    Not in-house by id (or at least not entirely), but by Saber Interactive. Hoping it’s not another Certain Affinity :(

    • ran93r says:

      Class based arena shooter and Saber Interactive.

      My barge pole is ready!

  3. Anthile says:

    Has there ever been a good game with the word champion in the title?

    • ScottCase says:

      Street Fighter II Champion Edition? That was pretty good and has Champion in the name.

      • LennyLeonardUK says:

        Champion-ship Manager was also fantastic.

        • Xardas Kane says:

          Bloodline Champions was a very fun game that nobody remembers.

          • Koozer says:

            Hey! I loved that game. I loved teleporty voodoo woman and charge damage/heal power attack man.

  4. Catweasel says:

    “Quake Champions features a roster of unique characters, each with their own distinctive abilities, allowing you to fight the way you want. . Get your first look at Quake Champions and some of its heroes in the cinematic reveal trailer, debuted during the #BE3 2016 Showcase.”
    Oh boy, unique characters with distinctive abilities! That’s what I want in an arena shooter!

    • GWOP says:

      I know, right? I hope it’s F2P too.

      • Unruly says:

        Only if it has boosters and unlocks I can buy with real money!

        7 days of permanent quad damage for $10, armor-piercing ammo for $5, that kind of stuff. If it’s got that, I’m all over this. Oh, and I hope that they use fake-money, like “idBucks,” that isn’t on a 1:1 conversion ratio. That way they can charge odd amounts and always leave you with some unspent funds that are completely useless elsewhere…

    • Turkey says:

      Who’s your favorite unique muscle blob or skinny girl?

  5. GWOP says:

    New Wolfenstein, New DOOM, and now impending Quake2016 vs UT2014 wars, a World War FPS being considered a breath of fresh air… what’s old is new again.

  6. Raoul Duke says:

    Pointless to speculate until we see gameplay.

    But they did show jump pads and rocket launchers, which are good.

    Also lame special powers, which are bad.

  7. Herzog says:

    Awesome news! PC only, advanced movement physics, PC ONLY!!! Waited a decade for such this announcement.

  8. PoulWrist says:

    Well, I guess the MOBA success shows the world that all we really want is class based games with powers on Q, E and an ultimate ability that is sometimes good.

  9. Ross Angus says:

    … and a blue-haired lady

    Alice moonlighting?

  10. Unruly says:

    Woo! Different characters with different powers! Just what I want from Quake! If they tell us it has regenerating health and you’re limited to two weapons at a time, I won’t be able to contain my excitement. GOTY 2017!

    /sarcasm. As if I needed to clarify…

  11. Napalm Sushi says:

    Can anyone recall what made this stopping-starting dojo-fight-scene-esque music so popular all of a sudden?

    • Einsammler says:

      Dubstep. Popular in trailers because it’s the hot dance club thing.

  12. Kodaemon says:

    The new Wolfenstein *was* somewhat sneakily teased: link to i.imgur.com

    The New Colossus is a poem that BJ quotes from in the ending to TNO.

  13. bitrot says:

    Opinions Enclosed:

    [This will be a miserable failure and a disgrace to the legacy of the Quake IP, although at this point who’s surprised. If it has nauseatingly fast movement (which it won’t), it might be fun for a bit, but there’s no way a class-based trying-really-hard-to-cash-in-on-all-the-overwatch-hype “hero shooter” will come close to touching the competitive pedigree of the classic Quake games. If this is really what it appears to be, the soul of the arena shooter is well and truly dead.]

  14. zeep says:

    They better not fuck up the beloved Quake movement is all i can think of.

    • Herzog says:

      Rocket jumps, strafe and ramp jumping were confirmed during the stream.

      • dorobo says:

        Oh thank god.. i might get back into quake with this..

      • Czrly says:

        That’s nice. How about practically instant weapon switching so you can actually use the best tool for the job, in the game, and not-being-a-class-based-abomination so that you have more than two pre-selected tools and the opportunity to go and fetch others when you decide that a change-of-strategy is in order?

        Variety of characters with abilities… = NOT INTERESTED = NOT QUAKE

  15. int says:

    Go Visor! He was always one of my favorites.

  16. fish99 says:

    You’d think after how well the (new) Doom single player was received, they’d want to do something similar for Quake, remembering how good its single player was. Shame.

  17. aoanla says:

    Along with seemingly everyone else commenting, I’m extremely disappointed that this seems to be “Quake 3 but with Quake-light stylings”, and not a single-player Quake remake in the style of what they managed with Doom 2016 for Doom.

    Not that I didn’t like Quake 3, but what we all wanted was Quake.

  18. Xiyng says:

    Considering how much Bethesda tried to hype Doom’s multiplayer, it seems like they really put a lot of effort into it. And look how it turned out. I’m not too hopeful about this.

    Also, not too sure about the diverse warriors bit. It’s not necessarily bad if everyone can choose whatever they want, but I’m not sure it’s what arena shooters really need or even should have.

    And finally, 120 Hz is not unlocked. It’s locked at 120 Hz. 120 Hz is probably more than enough for most people, but there are people to whom it matters.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      I took that to mean that the game ran at 120hz, as in physics and server updates, the framerate is separate and uncapped (positions interpolated?)… The announcement was vague, is what I really mean and until we get more details or see it in action we won’t know.

      • Premium User Badge

        particlese says:

        And over in my corner, I was taking it to mean that 120Hz is the target frame rate for min/recommended spec PCs, but it can go higher if your rig is capable. Yay FUD!

        Server tick rate does make a lot of sense at the moment, though.

  19. Kasjer says:

    Well, we live in dark times where simple structured shooter is no longer enough to attract people. Thing is, even so-called e-sports centered shooters of recent, with Overwatch as a prime example, do not go route that QuakeWorld deathmatch begun so so many years ago.

    I think “advanced movement” so a game engine exploit that was essential to master in the Quakes 1-4 and Quakelive would be absent. Probably strefjumping, bunnyhopping, stairjumps, double-jumps and duck-slides of old games will be replaced with new Doom style parkour movement and Overwatch-like special abilities. Want to know why? Simple – none of movement techniques we, players of old, have in our instincts, are intuitive. Try to explain a concept of strafejumping to someone who grew up playing CoD starting with Modern Warfare. Parkour or special abilities like teleport backed up with a lore are far less intimidating and far easier to understand and execute.

    Another thing modern shooters aboandoned is concept of armor and health management. Nowadays it’s all about regen health. It is a part of the problem with item timing – it’s too hard for newcomers. When I first started playing Quakeworld I was helpless because I was running around “naked” because my opponents knew exactly when red armor (single most important item in the game!!!) or mega would spawn. It is not an easy thing to master when trying to not get killed or spawn-raped repeatedly. A concept of universal ammo emerged for the same reasons – in the days of old a single rocket pack could turn the tide of the match.

    It’s worth mentioning that maps stripped for items are nothing more thank digital skateparks to run around and developers know that, so they try to inject some of tactical element back by gamemodes about controlling certain points of map. It’s a stupid solution – instead of giving players a reason to control a part of map, with a reward for it (better weapon for your team, armor or a powerup) they are making certain part of map obligatory to focus on, artificially.

    What was lost earlier, in late 90’s is tiered weapon system. Nowadays almost every “arena type” game, since Quake 3, have homogonized roster of guns that have different apllications – short, mid and long range, hitscan or projectile, splash damage or not, but their damage per second output is roughly the same. This also makes a match less tactical as players aren’t really that pushed to hunt for guns around the map. Back in Quake 1 days, when you’ve got only a shoutgun and a mere nailgun, you were f****d against someone with a RL or LG. Especially when that person controlled an area with spawnpoints of those guns. You had to try to caught your opponent by surprise, chip off as much hp and ap as you can, then try to block armor and hp pickups from him by picking them up yourself or lure him away from RL spawnpoint and try to quickly grab it. Same goes in Q2, but there were more weapons, obviously.

    But, we will be lucky if we would get weapon pickups AT ALL and not just Halo-like two guns at the time thing.

    Point of this rant is – we are so far from the days of complex, more tactical but at the same time insanely fast shooters, that I’m not surprised by this announcement and whole “warriors with different abilities” thing. Nowadays shooters ale shallow – stripped of everything but actual shooting. Devs are trying to add some “tactical” element by rock-paper-scissors character classes, but it’s also shallow. I was playing Overwatch beta nad was extremely bored by it because instead of employing actual tactics and forcing teamwork, it all came to “if your team has problem with countering character X, just switch to character Y”. And this game is out of sudden a revelation and everyone and their momma is praising it.

    • Herzog says:

      True words. Still I think positive regarding a new Quake Arena Shooter made by id. Maybe they can pull it off.

      Maybe 2GD with his game Diabotical can give a new spin to the genre. Heard the Kickstarter campaign will launch this week?!

    • dkfgo says:

      I wouldnt call Overwatch the prime example of an esport oriented shooter, IMO it is quite the contrary actually. Sure Blizzard is going to slap a “OFFICIAL E-SPORT” sticker on it by promoting tournaments if thats what people want to see these days (and honestly thats all it takes to be an esport, right?), but the gameplay itself is very… casual, and I dont mean it as a derrogatory term (I swear!). Its just like TF2: you hop in, play a little bit, and you get off. You dont need to be extremely competitive to enjoy it, unlike the real prime example of these days, CS:GO, where you have to actually dedicate some serious additional time to learn about maps, grenades, keep your aim on point through religious deathmatches sessions, etc.

      • Kasjer says:

        Ha! Bringing up CS is actually funny because I remember how back in the years of 1.4 version (first boxed release, bbefore Steam) Quake (and UT) community criticized it for being a game for noobs that only can point&click. CS was never my cup of tea – yup, I’ve played it, even had fun during lan matches with friends, I understand why it appeals to so many people but at the end of the day the fact it was all about hitscan guns bothered me. I’ve missed rocket launcher too much. It is also relatively slow-paced compared to Quake.

        • dkfgo says:

          If it were only for its “casual” community (the same people that hop on Valve’s Casual servers today), CS would’ve died too (and for some time, it pretty much did, though it never got as dead as Quake Live is right now). It kept going because it had enough depth to develop a solid competitive scene, and one things feeds the other. Oh, and hats.

          Overwatch has hats too, doesnt it? Lets see how deep it can go.

          BTW I never undestood why hitscan weapons should be considered easier than weapons that do splash damage.

          • Unruly says:

            It’s a weird situation. In Quake, there were levels of hate regarding hitscan and projectile weapons. If all you did was spam chaingun or similar, you were a noob for using hitscan. If you snipe people all the time with the railgun, you were awesome despite the hitscan. If you spam rockets and rely on splash damage, you’re a noob. If you smack people in the face with dead-on rockets, you were awesome. And it had a lot to do with how fast movement was. Chaingun threw out tons of shots rapidly, allowing you to just track movement and still chew someone up pretty reliably. Railgun fired once and fired slow, meaning you had to get that shot in on target the first time and usually meaning you had to predict movement. Splash damage vs direct hits with rockets followed pretty much the exact same logic, except that direct rocket hits were even harder than railgun shots because the rockets were comparatively slow.

            Remove the rapid movement and everything becomes much easier. Remove the projectile weapons and you compound the ease.

          • dkfgo says:

            Yeah, rocket air shots are cool and hard to pull off, but the last time I watched a high level Quake match it didnt involve much air shots, most of it was map control by spamming splash damage projectiles around every corner, and after chipping their health, ending the battle with a hitscan weapon. In fact this is how most arena shooters are played, the meta game revolves around controlling power ups. Its a turtling battle, except ironically when you have a player that is good with the rail gun.

            So while projectiles are harder to hit, its not like players have much of a chance of performing with them, cause spamming is too effective. It doesnt make the game easier overall, cause its a level ground, the adversary has the same tools, but it does makes the shooting mechanic way easier and way less important than getting the mega health before your opponent.

            In CS, there are no powerups to make up for your crappy aim. The one with the best aim will win most of the time. Its more straightforward? Definitelly. Easier? Not at all.

  20. MikoSquiz says:

    I’m actually pretty excited about this. I’ve been almost loving Overwatch, but it feels far too lite – hitting Pharah’s “launch into the air” button makes me feel a pang of longing for proper rocket jumping every time, etc, etc. A hardcorerer take on the same, for example a Quake-based equivalent, feels like just what the doctor ordered. And also I miss deathmatch.

    On the other hand, the trailer’s so cackhanded I feel significantly less excited after watching it. The environment depicted could not be more nondescript if it was a completely featureless black void, the character and weapon designs are so convoluted and busy that everything ends up looking the same – is that a leg or a gun? When was the last time id came up with original enemy or character designs that looked even slightly interesting, Doom 2? They could really use a concept artist. Or a Tim Schafer to come up with more compelling theming than “there’s, like, bad guys, and there’s an army dude that fights them, and it’s rad”.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      “hitting Pharah’s “launch into the air” button makes me feel a pang of longing for proper rocket jumping every time,”

      You know you can use her “E” or Rockets to get a boost right? Using all inconjunction will give you a lot of options.

      • DelrueOfDetroit says:

        Junkrat also has a proper explosives propelled jump using his mines.

  21. Sound says:

    video is pretty. And completely in-coherent. Just a bunch of people running, and jumping. With guns. Which yeah reflects the game, but is bad storytelling.

  22. genecrazy says:

    I honestly don’t know what half of you people are complaining about. I’m a regular Quake Live player that plays Clan Arena and Duel and I’m excited for this. It’s the hero mechanic + arena style has not been done before.

    If you want pure arena shooters, there are other options out for you (Quake Live, Reflex, and maybe even the new and terrible Unreal Tournament game) So I don’t know why people are already jumping to conclusions and crying about gameplay that hasn’t even been revealed yet.

    Plus, I’m pretty sure more than half of you hasn’t even played Quake in the past few months considering how small the community is.

    • dkfgo says:

      More than half havent been playing CS 1.6 too, but quite a few are playing CSGO. Any idea why?

      • TheRealHankHill says:

        Because change is a good thing in gaming.

        • Emeraude says:

          That one is going to need a lot of convincing.

          • TheRealHankHill says:

            Then why aren’t we all still playing pong?

          • Emeraude says:

            Some changes are good. Doesn’t make change inherently good.

            And I’d argue gaming has suffered enough bad to make people deservedly cautious.

    • TheRealHankHill says:

      Change makes their buttholes pucker.

  23. Ulaxes says:

    OMG OMFG! Bethesda is really on a killing spree this year.
    So much hype, so much want.

  24. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    I was thinking about this the other day and… why didn’t they just release the new Doom and Quake games as a single package? Have Doom as the SP and
    Quake as the MP.

    • Razumen says:

      Because Doom MP doesn’t NEED to be like Quake, and vice versa. Doom was never really about being an arena shooter, which is why I think the whole outrage about it was completely ridiculous.

      • Kasjer says:

        But original Doom games were the ones to bring whole concept of deathmatch. While it wasn’t really until Quake that multiplayer mode of a shooter will get official dedicated maps, DM was always VERY important part of Doom appeal.

        I think that people weren’t wrong to expect a multiplayer mode that would be natural evolution of what id did previously. You are right that Doom multiplayer doesn’t have to be similar to Quake MP and no, nobody expected it will be. It’s just that we all expected something different from Doom series, coming from a company that basically forged what deathmatch is.

        • Razumen says:

          “You are right that Doom multiplayer doesn’t have to be similar to Quake MP and no, nobody expected it will be”
          Are you kidding? EVERYBODY that complained wanted it to be exactly like Quake. Now, I’m not a fan of some of the decisions they made, but the backlash was ridiculous, especially for a genre that’s been dying for decades now.

          • gnalvl says:

            I actually think they could have done well with a class-based humans vs. demons setup kind of like Natural Selection, Alien vs. Predator, and Quake Wars. If the demon classes were designed properly (re: skill-based, balanced, and true to source material), then it could have replicated the feel of campaign in a PVP setting.

            The problem isn’t just that they abandoned the Quake format; it’s that their replacement was the same generic console shooter format which everyone’s seen before; which is too simplistic to keep anyone’s interest. They stripped out weapon pickups and skill-based movement without adding anything else in to keep the player’s attention.

            I actually think there is room for an arena shooter which isn’t quite so hyperfast as Quake and can be grasped by average console gamers. I have experimented rebalancing the Halo games to this effect; implementing id-style rockets, plasma, and MG. It can be decent, but to make it work, you have to emphasize weapon pickups, not remove them.

          • Razumen says:

            They didn’t abandon the Quake format, because it was never something to be abandoned for Doom. Now, if you were talking about Quake Champions, then it would be a valid point.

            I don’t disagree that Doom’s MP couldn’t have been better, a lot better. Your examples for instance are some good ideas. there’s a lot more interesting ways they could’ve went with it, even if it was never going to be an arena shooter but the MP still does involve pickups that reamin important to control, even if it’s not quite as pure as Quake 3.

          • gnalvl says:

            At least they are adding the weapon wheel to SnapMap later this summer. That way the Halo-esque skew of PVP doesn’t spill over to custom singleplayer/co-op maps so badly, and people could even make a set of “pure deathmatch” style maps where you spawn with just the pistol and pick up everything else off the map.

          • Razumen says:

            Really? That’s great actually, I was very dissapointed when I found out Snapmap used the MP’s more limited features. Honestly they also need to make playing Snapmaps more easier from the MP mode-I think it was a mistake on their part to separate the two.

  25. heretic says:

    The trailer was kinda meh, one of the great things about Quake 3 were the really weird character designs, here they look a bit generic.

    Remember the eye thing (Orb?), or Hunter? Xero? The weird biker dudes, the dudes with sewn up mouths? Cadaver? Although maybe the best thing about that game were the bot text chat which was pretty damn well implemented :) also the “Tier 1, 2, 3” etc intros to the characters had a lot of style, I hope they do something similar.

    The intro to Quake 3 with its half CGI half in game graphics is miles better than this trailer :/

  26. TheRealHankHill says:

    Lmao, the fucking salt mines in this post. “Wahhhhh change wahhhhhh” I’m excited for it.