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Quake Champions: release date, gameplay, beta, trailer - everything we know

quake champions

After Bethesda’s incredibly successful revivals of Wolfenstein and Doom, it was only a matter of time before they set their railgun sights on bringing Quake, progenitor of the multiplayer FPS, back to the fore of mainstream gaming with Quake Champions. Treading a careful line between old-school shooter purity and modern-day concessions like character abilities, Quake Champions is increasingly looking like an FPS fan’s dream come true.

For some aim down sights goodness, be sure to check out the best FPS games on PC.

The team are developing the game exclusively for the PC and are promising the same speed of classic Quake, with unlocked framerates and a refresh rate of 120hz. That should be enough to persuade the pro-players that developers id Software and Saber Interactive aren’t messing about. So in the interest of saving you all some time, here’s a comprehensive rundown of everything we know about Quake Champions while it’s in beta.

Quake Champions release date

quake champions release date

Bethesda have yet to provide any form of Quake Champions release date – not even a year – despite the fact that the game’s now in beta testing. The reason for this is that the beta period will be very, very lengthy. id Software creative director Tim Willits told GameSpot, “It’s going to come out after a really, really long closed beta. I’m telling people now, it’s going to be a long beta.”

Quake Champions gameplay

It might boast character abilities, but it’s definitely still a Quake game. Whatever cues id Software have taken from the unrivalled success of Blizzard’s Overwatch, they’ve been subtle about it – at launch, Quake Champions will feature 12 characters, each one boasting a primary and passive ability as well as distinct armour, health, and speed ratings. But that’s where the comparison ends: Quake Champions still clings on to relics from the FPS genre’s past like weapon and armour pickups, high-speed movement, and jump pads. Movement and precision reign supreme in Quake Champions, just as they did back in the original – there’s a good reason you can’t play it with a gamepad.

The focus in each multiplayer match is always divided up equally between scrambling for vital pickups, and using them to decimate enemies and up your frag count; abilities are useful extras. Quake Champions is an old-school multiplayer arena shooter first and foremost.

We’ve done plenty of fragging over the course of the Quake Champions beta, so be sure to check out our Quake Champions beta review.

Quake Champions game modes

quake champions game modes

At the moment, only four game modes are available in the beta: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Sacrifice, and Duel. Here’s a brief outline of each one:


Eight Champions in a free-for-all brawl. First to 50 frags, or the player with the most frags after ten minutes, wins.

Team Deathmatch

Familiar to anyone who’s played a first-person shooter, Quake Champions’ Team Deathmatch game mode sees two teams of four duke it out in an arena for ten minutes. The winning team is the one with the most frags when the timer runs out, or the first team to get 75 frags.


By far the messiest and least Quake game mode in Quake Champions, Sacrifice is essentially capture the flag with a single flag… and that flag is a soul, because this is an id Software game. The Soul is neutral and spawns in a central location, teams fight to bring it back to their Obelisk. When the Soul is at a team’s Obelisk that team must then defend the point while a capture metre fills up. Each round runs for five minutes, and the first to win two rounds wins the game. One neat twist: when you’ve got the Soul, you can’t use your Champion abilities.


Quake Champions’ Duel mode is a one-versus-one match type primed for Quake’s esports scene. Duel mode has each player pick three Champions in a MOBA-style draft before competing over three rounds – first to win two rounds wins. Rounds can be won be either defeating all three of your opponent’s Champions, or by running down the clock with more surviving Champions than your opposite.

Quake Champions beta

quake champions beta

After many months of Quake Champions’ closed beta tests, id Software have finally opened the game’s closed beta up 24/7 for the foreseeable future. The Quake Champions beta will remain closed for the time being, but id Software have promised to keep adding more players as their and when they feel their servers can cope with the strain. If you still haven’t tried Quake Champions, you can register for a beta keyhere.

Quake Champions trailer

We’ve almost known about the game for a year now, and as such we’ve got Quake Champions trailers and footage aplenty to share with you. Let’s start with the Quake Champions E3 2016 reveal trailer above. It gets the tone and Champion angle across, but it’s not juicy gameplay is it? The Quake Champions debut gameplay trailer might not be much longer than a minute, but it’s full of glorious frags, Railgun gibs, and rocket jumping. Watch it below.

Showing off a lot of the same endearing qualities as the above gameplay trailer is the Quake Champions closed beta announcement below.

Bethesda have also kicked off a series of in-depth Champion profiles with a look at Nyx’s primary and passive abilities:

Bethesda are also taking us on a virtual tour of Quake Champions’ arenas over the coming months. The first, which targets the aptly titled Blood Covenant arena, is below.

Finally, to get everyone in the mood for the Quake Champions closed beta, id Software have put together this raw slice of pure, frag-filled gameplay.

Quake Champions weapons

The arsenal of any FPS can be what makes it or breaks it, and Quake Champions weapons look like they’re torn from the same cloth as Unreal Tournament and Doom. They’re big, bulky and they’ve got no time whatsoever for attachments or high-powered scopes of any ilk.

Here are your starter weapons for Quake Champions:


quake champions weapons gauntlet

Nothing official has been released about the Gauntlet so far apart from this image from Tim Willits’ Instagram account. It’s likely the Quake Champions’ version of a knife melee attack, except cooler. You know, because Quake. It’s a tool for humiliating your foes, and particularly effective in the hands of Nyx, who can sneak up on enemies with her Ghost Walk ability.

Machine gun

As standard as starter weapons get, the humble machinegun will ensure you’re not totally useless in the arena. The only glimpse we’ve had of it is in the hands of Slash at the beginning of her Champion ability reveal, which you can watch above.


quake champions weapons stogun

In classic Quake style, you can have a basic shotgun as your starting weapon. A number of fans have pointed out its resemblance to Rage’s Combat Shotgun, but there’s no telling if it’ll behave similarly as there are no official damage stats for this starter weapon.


quake champions nailgun

The lesser version of the Super Nailgun, this seems to be the last option for a starter weapon. Like its daddy version, the Nailgun is probably going to be a little bit trickier to use than the machinegun, but capable of dealing more damage per second.

So far it appears that Quake Champions will have as few as six weapons to pick up in each of its arenas:

Heavy Machinegun

quake champions heavy machinegun

More powerful than the machinegun that players start out with, the HMG has a wide spread of fire making it easy to use in close-quarters, but is also one of the few weapons capable of long-range fire, albeit with much less efficiency than the Railgun. Here are the official stats:

  • Ammo: bullets
  • Damage per shot: 9
  • Rate of fire: 75ms
  • DPS: 120
  • Starting ammo: 100
  • Max ammo: 150
  • Range: medium-long

Super Nailgun

quake champions super nailgun

Of all the weapon pickups in Quake Champions, the Super Nailgun boasts the highest damage-per-second rating. That comes with a couple of caveats – it can’t handle long-range combat and requires you to be able to predict where your target will be. On the plus side it also penetrates armour, making it a weapon to respect. Official stats below:

  • Ammo: nails
  • Damage per shot: 12
  • Rate of fire: 80ms
  • DPS: 150
  • Splash damage: 6
  • Starting ammo: 100
  • Max ammo: 150
  • Range: medium

Super Shotgun

quake champions super shotgun

The Super Shotgun is all about finishing opponents off in close-quarters combat – it deals huge amounts of damage and is easier to land hits with than the Railgun or Rocket Launcher. Damage stats from Bethesda below:

  • Ammo: shells
  • Damage per pellet: 6
  • Pellets per shot: 20
  • Rate of fire: 1,000ms
  • DPS: 120
  • Spread: 800
  • Starting ammo: 10
  • Max ammo: 25
  • Range: close

Rocket Launcher

quake champions rocket launcher

Favoured by the pros for one key reason: the rocket jump, which allows players to exchange a smidgen of health and armour for air control and a solid vantage point. Or, if you’d rather use it against your enemies, the rocket launcher is adept at forcing foes back or damaging them before they’ve even rounded a corner. Official stats:

  • Ammo: rockets
  • Damage per shot: 100
  • Rate of fire: 800ms
  • DPS: 125
  • Splash damage: 1-100
  • Splash radius: 120
  • Starting ammo: 15
  • Max ammo: 25
  • Range: medium

Lightning Gun

quake champions lightning gun

The Lightning Gun is capable of dealing out huge amounts of damage to anyone who is able to track their foe efficiently. It also appears to have a stunning effect, rendering targets unable to fire back when trapped in the Lightning Gun’s beam – this is yet to be confirmed. Here are the exact damage numbers for the Lightning Gun:

  • Ammo: cells
  • Damage per shot: 7
  • Rate of fire: 50ms
  • DPS: 140
  • Starting ammo: 50
  • Max ammo: 150
  • Range: medium


quake champions railgun

It just wouldn’t be Quake without the Railgun. Aligning precision with high damage from a single shot, the Railgun is the sniper’s best friend and is especially useful for skilled players in open areas. Here are the official numbers:

  • Ammo: slugs
  • Damage per shot: 80
  • Rate of fire: 1,500ms
  • DPS: 53
  • Starting ammo: 5
  • Max ammo: 25
  • Range: long

Quake Champions arenas

quake champions arenas

So far only sixQuake Champions arenas have been detailed, Blood Covenant, Burial Chamber,Ruins of Sarnath, Lockbox, Blood Run, and Corrupted Keep. The last two – Blood Run and Corrupted Keep – are tailor-made for Duel mode. Here are the all-important stats on each Quake Champions arena revealed so far:

Blood Covenant

quake champions arenas

  • Elder God: Volkerh
  • Health items: 15
  • Armour items: 3
  • Cooldown items: 22

Burial Chamber

quake champions arenas

  • Elder God: Goroth
  • Health items: 16
  • Armour items: 3
  • Cooldown items: 12

Ruins of Sarnath

quake champions arenas

  • Elder God: Cthalha
  • Health items: 13
  • Armour items: 3
  • Cooldown items: 14


  • Health items: ???
  • Armour items: ???
  • Cooldown items: ???

Blood Run

quake champions arenas blood run

  • Health items: ???
  • Armour items: ???
  • Cooldown items: ???

As you may have noticed, each arena also has an Elder God, although there’s no word on how or if these will affect gameplay at all. Bethesda have their own comprehensive breakdown of each arena on the official Quake Champions site that’s worth looking at if you want to go into the beta fully clued-up.

Quake Champions characters

Quake Champions Anarki

Of course, one of the most significant changes in Quake Champions is right there in the title. So far, Bethesda have only unveiled ten of a promised 12 Quake Champions characters, and while a number of Quake fans have expressed concern about the addition of character abilities and stats to one of the purest arena shooters around, id’s approach is a lot more subtle than Blizzard’s. Each Champion has a Primary ability and a passive one – active abilities have a roughly 30-second cooldown that stays with you even after death, whereas passives are always active. Likewise, Champions also have starting stats for health, armour, and speed, as well as individual caps for how much they can boost each one with pickups.

The characters themselves seem to be split up between returning characters from Quake III Arena and brand new ones. Ranger, Sorlag, Slash, Visor, and Anarki are returning characters, while Scalebearer, Nyx, Galena, Clutch, and Wolfenstein’s leading man, BJ Blazkowiczare Quake Champions debutants. We’ve got a full rundown of every Quake Champions character, complete with stats, lore, abilities, and trailers if you’re particularly interested in how id Software are tackling the Champions component of the game.

Quake Champions F2P

Quake Champions free to play

After plenty of speculation Bethesda and id Software have confirmed that Quake Champions will be a free-to-play game, with the option for gamers to purchase it for instant access to all of the Champions. As an offshoot of that business model, Quake Champions will also include Champion cosmetics, loot boxes and weapon skins, ranging from new weapon models to armour sets and shaders.

To get access to new Champions without investing actual money in the game, players can earn Favor, Quake Champions’ in-game currency – however Favor only grants you access to a Champion for 24 hours at a time, meaning you’ll have to put some rounds in as Ranger before you can play as your favourite character. It also means you won’t ever have access to more than four or five Champions at a time, unless you’re regularly being named MVP.

You can buy Champions individually if you just want a couple of Champions, however, you can also earn them in loot boxes, which can be purchased with real money or Favor. Champions are the rarest item available in a loot box, though, so don’t count on grabbing your favourite ones this way.

As for cosmetics, you can buy them for Shards, which you can get by breaking up cosmetics you own. You’ll only get ten Shards per cosmetic though, so you’ll only want to do this if there’s one specific thing you want that you haven’t been able to find in a loot box.

That’s every scrap of information we’ve got on Quake Champions for now, but don’t hesitate to check back in as we’ll be updating this page regularly on the road to launch day… whenever that may be.