How to install and run MachinesGames' new Quake episode

Quake turned 20 this week, and developer Machine Games celebrated by releasing a new episode for free. Here's how to get it, and other mods, up and running.


Quake is still one of the best run-and-gun FPS games on the planet, but the original version looks a little rough on modern systems. That's a shame, since Wolfenstein: The New Order developer MachineGames  rang in the shooter's 20th birthday by releasing a brand new episode for free.

You can bring Quake up to modern standards, and play mods like MachineGames' free campaign, by downloading source ports, modifications that give classic games a facelift and add extra features. Darkplaces is considered one of the best Quake ports available, so we wrote our guide with it in mind.

Purchasing and Installing Quake

You can't run a source port without the base game's data files. Fortunately, Quake is 20 years old, which means you can get it for cheap from most digital retailers like Steam and

Downloading and Installing Darkplaces

Darkplaces is popular among Quake aficionados for its enhanced animations, high resolutions, and improved textures and character models that enhance the game's eerie atmosphere.

The port's authors designed it around technical and single-player enhancements such as mods—meaning, you'll need to look elsewhere if you want a port that will let you and your buddies bounce "pineapples" at each other until dawn.

You can find Darkplaces on the downloads page of the website belonging to Lord Havoc, the port's author. Look under "Latest stable/official release" and click the ink that applies to your operating system. Place the file in the folder where you installed Quake.

Go to the folder where you installed Quake and unpack Darkplaces. To run the game, double-click the darkplaces application. Once the game starts open the Options menu and crank the resolution and graphical features as high as your computer can take them.

Downloading and Installing

Bethesda hosts MachineGames' free Quake episode on its website; grab it here. As before, place the file in the same folder where you installed Quake and Darkplaces, but do not unload it just yet.

Running a mod through Darkplaces requires you to first unpack a mod's data files in a folder with the same name as the mod. In this case, we downloaded a file called dopa, so right-click in the Quake folder and create a new folder called dopa. Move the dopa file into its new folder and unpack its contents there.

Go back one subfolder to Quake's home on your hard drive. Right-click inside the folder and select Create New Shortcut. The shortcut's filename should consist of the path to the Quake directory, followed by darkplaces -game dopa, the folder where you placed the dopa episode's data. For example, I installed Quake to the Games folder of my F:\ drive.

To finish creating the shortcut, give it a unique name, such as DOPA Episode. Double-click your shortcut to run DOPA.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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