Quake Champions open tech test starts on Friday

If you know your gibs from your gifs and your frags from your frogs, draw a bloody circle around Friday, May 12th on your calendar then drag that fingerprint out and along to May 21st. That’s the duration of the Quake Champions [official site] “large scale tech test” which will invite everyone to rocketjump and railgun, unlike the previous limited closed beta. Rick Lane was pleasantly surprised by how much he liked the free-to-play FPS so sure, go on, let us in. If you want in, sign up this-a-way.

Servers will be up all day, all week, rather than only for weekends like in the current test. The “technical test” suggests a possible element of wonk as hordes of players are let in but hey, that’s testing.

Bethesda add that the start of the technical test will see the launch of Sacrifice Mode, a 4v4 team-based mode which I’d assume has some sort of sacrificial twist. It’ll also lift the non-disclosure agreement, letting every stream and shout as much as they please.

Rick had reservations about the Quake Champs business model, which offers one single Quaker free then charges virtuacash to rent others or a lump of real cash to buy them all at once, but he did dig the shootybangs:

“Still, I can’t deny that Quake Champions got under my skin in a way that I never expected it to. It balances tradition with innovation just right, and I reckon that provided Bethesda don’t get too greedy with the free-to-play model, it’ll be popular both with Quake veterans hungry for some frenetic old-school action, and neophytes like me who either have never played Quake before or never particularly understood it. It may not be as characterful as Overwatch or as innovative as Titanfall 2, but Quake Champions has got something else – pedigree and blistering pace.”

Ooh go on then. I am wary of having distinct characters, as I’m so used to Quake being a barebones game that modders build upon if they want classes or whatnot, but I suppose it’s not the ’90s any more. Britpop has ‘flipped’ off, for starters.


  1. Premium User Badge

    Nauallis says:

    Is railgun also a verb? I guess I’m getting old; the vernacular is just making less and less sense. If it is a verb now, I’m going ahead and assuming it’s some sort of euphemism that implies adorably pathetic, an appropriate metaphor for the millenial IT help desk guy ensconced in the too-crowded basement tech closet, with bad BO and a raging desperation for female interaction. Or maybe it means you’ll just gib people with a gun that “charges up” just slow enough that it’s intense, borderline frustrating every time you explodetonate (like a torque-bow, except a railgun) some poor scrub. Coffee mug refill #4, here we go!

  2. The Sombrero Kid says:

    I played the closed beta, it felt like Quake 3 but everything they’ve bolted on to it is perfunctory noise or balance breaking novelty, I hope they take a step back and compare what they’ve made to the original before release and undo the damage they’ve done because there really is the seed of a great revival in there.

    They should take a look at Starcraft 2 for inspiration on how to update a sacrosanct classic.

  3. catscratch says:

    Keep in mind that if you don’t like the changes they’ve made from old-school Quake, all of this is optional. Rumor has it that there will be a “classic” mode that plays out more or less like regular Quake, and I’m willing to bet that competitive duel will probably be played that way. If not, modders will fix anything in this game that competitive players don’t like, as they did with Quake 3. Remember Q3test and the shape that was in? Then look at OSP or CPMA and see what it turned into. One way or another, the game will be polished and balanced.

    It’s great that they’re finally lifting NDA. There wasn’t much need for that, the game speaks for itself, and I don’t think they have much to be afraid of. I can’t wait for it to launch. The problem with launching an indie arena shooter in a greenlight or early access model is that you get the hardcore players playing, and then everybody else trickles in one by one, plays against the hardcore players, gets destroyed, says to themselves “well I don’t have time to get good at this” and leaves. But if you launch a game like this with some fanfare and marketing, you get a lot of people playing all at once, and new players have other new players to play against, so they have a better time.

    Yes, the problem with Quake is us old farts that have been playing for decades. But now hopefully people can start on a more even footing and see for themselves what made us addicted to Quake in the first place.

    • Czrly says:

      This isn’t entirely true, in reality. Every new optional thing you tack on to a multiplayer game fragments the community and, personally, I doubt the community is big enough to support tonnes of different modes.

    • Mungrul says:

      Unfortunately, I suspect your contention that mods will fix the game is entirely unrealistic.

      This is a Quake without dedicated server capability or community moddability.

      Bethesda are addicted to the zeitgeist of complete publisher control over multiplayer communities.

  4. Blacki138 says:

    Lets hope they fix the infinite loading screen bug. Been in the beta since the beginning and have yet to play a match. :/

    • Herring says:

      If you’ve been on the loading screen since the beta started you might want to call it a day at this point and kill the process in Task Manager.

  5. Chitzkoi says:

    I will definitely give it a go… but CS has ruined online shooters for me since around 2002 or whenever it came out.

    Overwatch? Enjoyed it for a couple of weeks, then got bored and went straight back to CS.. I fear it will be the same for the new Quake.

    • Sic says:

      The relevant beta versions were released in 1999. 1.0 was in 2000.

      Random fact of the day.

  6. Ham Solo says:

    no dedicated servers?
    no community moddability?
    wallhack as “character ability”?
    mediocre to terrible net code?
    The “2 different currencies to scam people” Free 2 Play model?

    Thanks, but No thanks…