The console in Quake and Quake 2 is almost as innovative an
idea as the Quake engine itself. The console acts as a conduit for the user to interact
with the game. Aesthetically it's a lot like command line operating systems such as DOS
and UNIX. There is a prompt and the user types in commands for the console to perform.
The console is of special interest to deathmatch players
because of the new levels of customization it brings to the game. Every good deathmatcher
has their copy of Quake 2 customized to their personal specifications. A good
configuration helps bring that extra (and fair) advantage newer and experienced players
alike crave for.
USING THE CONSOLE
Before we begin I should take the time to make sure you know how to access the console in
Quake 2 and type commands in. If you've been reading this tutorial all the way through you
should already know how to do this; but it doesn't hurt to cover it again.
To bring up the console anytime you're in Quake 2, simply
hit the tilde key (~). The tilde key is the little squiggle key in the upper left hand
corner of the keyboard located to the left of the "1" key and just under the
After you've hit the tilde key, the console appears. It's
quite obvious when it does. It looks like a brown box with a flashing prompt. Now you're
ready to enter commands. Just to see the console actually do something type the word
version into the console and hit enter. The full version of your copy of Quake 2 will then
be displayed. This is a very simplistic command, but it illustrates - at a very basic
level - what the console does. It interacts with the user, but instead of clicking buttons
to make it do things you type commands.
Quake 2 is probably one of the most (if not the most) highly customizable games on the
market today. Configuration files help allow that level of user customization.
Basically, a configuration file is nothing more than a text
file with a bunch, or a few, console commands in them. Quake 2 can load these
configuration files and execute all the console commands that are in them. You probably
already see the advantage to configuration files (or configs and CFGs as they are also
known). Instead of having to type a bunch of console commands every time you play Quake 2
you can just type them once into a configuration file and have Quake 2 load them every
time you play!
To get a look at a Quake 2 configuration file open up the
Windows Explorer and navigate to the "baseq2" folder in your "Quake2"
folder. Inside the baseq2 folder is a file called "config.cfg." Double click on
the file and it should open up in Notepad. What you're seeing is just one huge list of
console commands. Quake 2 loads this particular one automatically every time it starts.
Right now none of these console commands mean anything to you (but we'll soon change
that). Quit Notepad and be sure you don't save any changes made to this
|Remember for your
configuration files to work they must be placed in your Quake2/baseq2
The most useful command to any deathmatch player is probably the bind command. It lets you
assign another Quake 2 console command - like "use Chaingun" - to a specific
keyboard key. So if I wanted to I could write a bind command that would make my player
switch to the chaingun every time I hit the ALT key. Let's try a quick example of this.
Start up Notepad and type the following (or copy and paste)
into a blank document:
//Your first Quake 2 config file!
bind e "use grenades"
When you're done with that, save the files as
"autoexec.cfg" in the "baseq2" folder of your Quake2 folder. Now run
Quake 2 and start a game. Every time you press the "E" key your player will pull
out a grenade (provided you have some on you). I should also take a minute to note that
Quake 2 automatically checks for (and loads if they are present) two configuration files
named "config.cfg" and "autoexec.cfg."
USING MULTIPLE CONFIGS
I've already mentioned that Quake 2 will automatically load two config files - config.cfg
and autoexec.cfg - every time it starts. But what if you want Quake 2 to run other
configuration files? There are several ways you can go about doing this.
First you could use a console command in Quake 2 to load a
configuration file. For example if you wanted to load config file named
"myconfig.cfg" you would type exec myconfig.cfg at the console.
When you're playing deathmatch though you want this to be
done automatically so you don't have to bother with the console once you're in the game.
Gamespy can help us accomplish this. Start up Gamespy and click the player profile
button. Select a player name and then click Edit. In the next window
there should be a box labeled Custom CFG File:. This box will let you
select a CFG file to use from all the CFG files in your Quake2\baseq2 directory. Click Ok
and now every time you log onto a server with that player name, Quake 2 will automatically
load the config file you selected.
RESEARCHING THE CONSOLE
The things you can do with the Quake 2 console are truly endless and a complete and
thorough coverage of every console nuance and command is beyond the scope (and intention)
of this tutorial. However I do hope I've picked your curiosity and gotten you interested
in researching the Quake 2 console more.
You can start exploring the console more at Fahrenheit 176.
That was a quick, but hopefully thorough,
introduction to the Quake 2 console and the customization possibilities it opens up to
you. I highly encourage you to research this topic more on your own. It will help you
build the configuration that is tuned to your needs and styles. Click the link below to
read up on aliases.