VkQuake Save

Vulkan Quake port based on QuakeSpasm

Project README

🌋 vkQuake Windows CI Linux CI macOS CI

vkQuake is a port of id Software's Quake using Vulkan instead of OpenGL for rendering. It is based on the popular QuakeSpasm and QuakeSpasm-Spiked ports and runs all mods compatible with QuakeSpasm like Arcane Dimensions.

Improvements over QuakeSpasm include:

  • Much better performance with multithreaded rendering and loading
  • The game can run at higher frame rates than 72Hz without breaking physics
  • A software Quake like underwater effect
  • Better color precision reducing banding in dark areas
  • Proper mip mapping for water surfaces to reduce aliasing
  • Native support for anti aliasing and anisotropic filtering
  • 8-bit color emulation
  • Scaling for pixelated look
  • Mods menu for easy mod loading
  • More modern protocol to avoid certain movement issues (from QSS)
  • Support for custom mod HUDs (from QSS)
  • Support for scriptable particles (from QSS)



Copy all files inside the vkquake-<version>_win64 or vkquake-<version>_win32 folder in the zip to the Quake base directory. Overwrite any existing files. Afterward to run the game just execute vkQuake.exe.


Copy all files inside the vkquake-<version>-linux64 folder in the tar archive to the Quake base directory. Overwrite any existing files. Run vkquake.AppImage.

📝 Note: Make sure all data files are lowercase, e.g. "id1", not "ID1" and "pak0.pak", not "PAK0.PAK". Some distributions of the game have upper case file names, e.g. from GOG.com.


OpenBSD includes vkQuake in the standard package repositories since version 6.6.

If you're running OpenBSD 6.6 or greater you can install the package with:

$ pkg_add vkquake

Quake '2021 re-release'

vkQuake has initial support for playing the 2021 re-release content. Follow installation instructions as above but copy the files into the rerelease folder.


vkQuake shows basic usage of the API. For example it demonstrates render passes & sub passes, pipeline barriers & synchronization, compute shaders, push & specialization constants, CPU/GPU parallelism and memory pooling.



Clone the vkQuake repo from https://github.com/Novum/vkQuake.git


Visual Studio

Open the Visual Studio solution, Windows\VisualStudio\vkquake.sln, select the desired configuration and platform, then build the solution.


Make sure that both your GPU and your GPU driver support Vulkan.

To compile vkQuake, first install the build dependencies:


apt-get install git meson gcc glslang-tools spirv-tools libsdl2-dev libvulkan-dev libvorbis-dev libmad0-dev libx11-xcb-dev

Arch Linux:

pacman -S git meson flac glibc libgl libmad libvorbis libx11 sdl2 vulkan-headers glslang spirv-tools

📝 Note: For vkquake > v0.50, you will need at least v1.0.12.0 of libvulkan-dev (See #55).

Then clone the vkQuake repo:

git clone https://github.com/Novum/vkQuake.git

Now go to the Quake directory and compile the executable:

cd vkQuake
meson build && ninja -C build

📝 Note: The Meson version needs to be 0.47.0 or newer. For older distributions you can use make:

cd vkQuake/Quake
make -j

Meson is the preferred way to build vkQuake because it automatically checks for out of date file depenencies, is faster and has better error reporting for missing dependencies.

📝 Note: vkQuake 0.97 and later requires at least SDL2 2.0.6 with enabled Vulkan support. The precompiled versions in some of the distribution repositories (e.g. Ubuntu) do not currently ship with Vulkan support. You will therefore need to compile it from source. Make sure you have libvulkan-dev installed before running configure.


To compile vkQuake, first install the build dependencies with Homebrew:

brew install molten-vk vulkan-headers glslang spirv-tools sdl2 libvorbis flac opus opusfile flac mad meson

Then clone the vkQuake repo:

git clone https://github.com/Novum/vkQuake.git

Now go to the Quake directory and compile the executable:

cd vkQuake
meson build && ninja -C build

📝 Note: On ARM macs the default homebrew installation moved to /opt/homebrew. For meson to be able to find homebrew files you need to set the following environment:

$ export PATH=/opt/homebrew/bin:$PATH
$ export LIBRARY_PATH=/opt/homebrew/lib:$LIBRARY_PATH
$ export CPATH=/opt/homebrew/include:$CPATH

📝 Note: The Meson version needs to be 0.47.0 or newer.


Setup your MinGW-w64 environment, e.g. using w64devkit or MSYS2.

Build 32 bit (x86) vkQuake:

cd vkQuake/Quake
make -f Makefile.w32

Build 64 bit (x64) vkQuake:

cd vkQuake/Quake
make -f Makefile.w64

If you are on Linux and want to cross-compile for Windows, see the build_cross_win??.sh scripts.


Quake has 4 episodes that are split into 2 files:

  • pak0.pak: contains episode 1
  • pak1.pak: contains episodes 2-4

These files aren't free to distribute, but pak0.pak is sufficient to run the game and it's freely available via the shareware version of Quake. Use 7-Zip or a similar file archiver to extract quake106.zip/resource.1/ID1/PAK0.PAK. Alternatively, if you own the game, you can obtain both .pak files from its install media.

Now locate your vkQuake executable, i.e. vkQuake.exe on Windows or vkquake on Ubuntu. You need to create an id1 directory next to that and copy pak0.pak there, e.g.:

  • Windows: Windows\VisualStudio\Build-vkQuake\x64\Release\id1\pak0.pak
  • Ubuntu: Quake\id1\pak0.pak

Then vkQuake is ready to play.

Optional - Music / Soundtrack

📝 Note: This section only applies to older releases. For the 2021 re-release music will work out of the box.

The original Quake had a great soundtrack by Nine Inch Nails. Unfortunately, the Steam version does not come with the soundtrack files. The GOG-provided files need to be converted before they are ready for use. In general, you'll just need to move a "music" folder to the correct location within your vkQuake installation (.e.g /usr/share/quake/id1/music). Most Quake engines play nicest with soundtracks placed in the id1/music subfolder vs. sound\cdtracks

QuakeSpasm, the engine vkQuake is derived from, supports OGG, MP3, FLAC, and WAV audio formats. The Linux version of QuakeSpasm/VkQuake requires external libraries: libogg or libvorbis for OGG support, libmad or libmpg123 for MP3, and libflac for FLAC. If you already have a setup that works for the engine you're currently using, then you don't necessarily have to change it.

Generally, the below setup works for multiple engines, including Quakespasm/vkQuake:

  • The music files are loose files, NOT inside a pak or pk3 archive.
  • The files are placed inside a "music" subfolder of the "id1" folder. For missionpack or mod soundtracks, the files are placed in a "music" subfolder of the appropriate game folder. So the original Quake soundtrack files go inside "id1\music", Mission Pack 1 soundtrack files go inside "hipnotic\music", and Mission Pack 2 soundtrack files go inside "rogue\music".
  • The files are named in the pattern "tracknn", where "nn" is the CD track number that the file was ripped from. Since the soundtrack starts at the second CD track, MP3 soundtrack files are named "track02.mp3", "track03.mp3", etc. OGG soundtrack files are named "track02.ogg", "track03.ogg", etc. FLAC soundtrack files are named "track02.flac", "track03.flac", etc. WAV soundtrack files are named "track02.wav", "track03.wav", etc.

See more: Quake Soundtrack Solutions (Steam Community)

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