Quake Champions rocketjumps into early access

Get grunting, gibfiends, as Quake Champions [official site] is now in early access. This is id Software taking the vintage mega-fast arena FPS into slightly more modern lands by making it a bit of a ‘hero shooter’ where everyone has special abilities and different stats. (A ‘hero shooter’ is a class-based shooter where character classes have names rather than descriptions and they don’t wear similar uniforms. THAT IS ALL, OKAY.)

While Qamps will be free-to-play when it launches properly, making money by selling access to characters, for now it costs cash. Technically that’s buying the ‘Champions Pack’ pass, which includes access to all current and future characters.

The full launch is expected to come in early 2018. The blurb says, “While we feel we have a great Quake game, we still have more balance, polish, and major features coming online in the next few months.” For now, it has eleven characters, four modes, and eight maps.

Qamps is £19.99/29,99€/$29.99 on Steam Early Access and through Bethesda’s own doodad.

The last crack at a free-to-play Quake, 2010’s Quake Live, stopped being free-to-play in 2015. Live was a jazzed-up version of Quake 3, while Champions is trying something new-ish. It’s really just a modernised Future vs. Fantasy Quake though, yeah?

I do often think back to former Quake technomancer John Carmack’s daydream for free-to-play(ish) Quake multiplayer way back in 1996. His idea was to let everyone frag anonymously for free but charge $10 to register a name and access their personal statistics. Games are free but fame and personhood will cost you. Hey, we’d not yet discovered the horrors of being known online. Ultimately, id didn’t go with this plan.

“If it looks feasible, I would like to see internet focused gaming become a justifiable biz direction for us. Its definitely cool, but it is uncertain if people can actually make money at it.”



  1. Hunchback says:

    I am skeptical about their business model, but from what i’ve seen so far you don’t NEED champions to play since this IS Quake and 99% of the game is the same as before. The different champs do bring some differences but a pro player will kick your ass to hell with any given champ. So far.
    Here’s to hoping they don’t introduce some insane OP champs later on that you HAVE to buy…

    Other than that, i’ve been in the beta for quite a while and i have to say the game really has captured the Q3A feeling very damn well. Veterans will feel at home, newbies will get their teeth kicked in since there’s no -real- match making and you get to play vs some damn skilled players. Which is what Quake is all about :D

    • Herring says:

      I quite liked it during the Open beta. The only concerns I had were the lack of Clan Arena (which does a great job of easing newbies into the game) and the matchmaking took ages; I liked getting on a server for Q/Q2/Q3/QL and just staying on there, a nice fast turn-around.

      Adding the lobby / ready / restart stuff just slowed it all down.

      The movement was great though which I can forgive a lot for :)

      • Hunchback says:

        Closed beta queue times were insane. With one of the latest open-beta patches they’ve added the option to queue up for multiple game modes at the same time, so ATM queue is almost instant.

        As for Clan Arena – i despise this mode, but perhaps it is easier to get into it. Still, to me it’s a dumbed down quake for CS fans

        • Herring says:

          Duel was always my go-to in Q3 (when I wasn’t playing TDM for my clan) but CA was great to just unwind to. And my friends who weren’t as pathologically into Quake loved it as they could win (as part of a team), try all the weapons, contribute and (due to starting with full armour) not get constantly insta-gibbed by rails from across the map.

    • Pizzzahut says:

      And this is a huge problem. You just know ID will introduce superior Champions in the future. P2W.

      • clonex10100 says:

        The thing is though that you get all champions (Present and future) for 30$. So it’s kind of free to try and then you can just buy it if you like it.

  2. Uglycat says:

    They really missed targeting the literati market by not having ‘Murder in the Cathedral’

  3. zulnam says:

    Wow, two hero based twich shooters in a week. It must be christmas!

    In Monotonyland.

  4. Banks says:

    What a way to kill all the launch interest of a F2P game by releasing it at 30 bucks and with no F2P option. Great, now no one is gonna buy it, the servers are going to be empty and by the time it finally comes out of “early access” no one is going to give a fuck.

    I’ll keep playing it on the horrible bethesda launcher until I no longer can find any games (which was exactly yesterday). But no way in hell I spend 30 bucks on a game that has 1000 concurrent players at launch after Lawbreakers.

    • -Spooky- says:

      Uh? So wait, till it releases free on steam and grind all the heroes you want. Buy all heroes pack (and support the devs) is a thing. Big deal in 2017? Looks like ..

      • Banks says:

        I think it’s great that they offer the option to buy all the characters at a reasonable price to avoid the grind and get the best experience, thats great.

        But this is a F2P game that won’t have a F2P option for over a year, and that is has launched to a very very small playerbase. Not the best recipe for success.

  5. zeep says:

    I love this game but i hate the matchmaking. The worst thing is, everybody is just ok with it! Suggestions for a server browser get downvoted.

    It’s like “oh you want to play little kid? Here, let me find some people right for you to play with. Take a seat dumbass, it’s going to take a while. What? No you can’t choose for yourself.”

    Give me a server browser ffs.

    • Hunchback says:

      I sure DO hope a proper server browser AND dedicated/clan-ran servers are in the pipes or this can directly go to Console-Peasants land and stay there together with CoD 821 and the like.

    • Kalamadea says:

      They have said that a server browser is planned. No idea why the post got downvoted to hell but iD themselves have said a server browser is planned as far as I know.

  6. somegamerdude82 says:

    It’s not a good game at all. I know there is a small community trying to save this game, but it’s bad. The network code aka client prediction sucks. The hit boxes suck. It’s Quake in name only. Instead of getting a real engine with support. Id decided to cut corners and chose SaberTech. There are just bad decisions all around.

    • Herzog says:

      Let’s say the technical issues are fixed – would it still be Quake in name only?

      Quake 4 was technically broken on release. Quake 3 only became worthwhile through OSP. I still give them time…

      CTF is missing though!

    • Hunchback says:

      I am not an expert, but i don’t find the hitboxes bad. Perhaps nothing can “beat the perfection that Q3A was”, but a semi-pro-player friend of mine claims this version is really true to the legend.
      However the netcode i can agree, even though (it seems) that there are only US servers right now and pings get quite high. I hope that’s the reason i can’t hit for shit with the RL, especially up close.

    • Kalamadea says:

      It very much is Quake in more than name. It’s every bit as fast paced and skill-intensive as old Quake, but with a touch of modern in the form of the champion abilities.

  7. Herzog says:

    Hitboxes for the smaller champions, especially Anarki were borked.

    Regarding the perfection of Q3: only after years of modding perfection was reached. This perfection which reached it’s peak with the netcode of cpma actually broke the game balance.