How to play a custom map
Once you have downloaded a Q3 map you wish to play, these are the steps required to play it in Quake 3 Arena.
The quick version
The following information may not work for all maps.
- Extract any PK3 files from the zip you downloaded to your baseq3. At the very least this should be a single PK3 file.
- Start Q3A and visit Single Player -> Skirmish in the menu.
- Browse until you find your downloaded map, then start it.
Some maps do not appear in the menu system when you browse for them. There are a number of reasons why this happens:
- You did not put the PK3 into the baseq3 folder.
- You did not select the correct Game type from the Q3 menu.
- The map requires a mod for it to work correctly.
- The author of the map did not include an .arena file. This is a common
issue with the oldest maps on ..::LvL because the menu system support for
custom maps was added after Q3A was originally released. You can start the map
from the console. Check the readme file that came with the map.
The detailed version
- Find your map and download it. Pretty
straight forward. There are download links to choose from on the
- All maps have a Game Type, which can be found in the Overview
listing here on ..::LvL. Take note of it. This will give you some information
about what type of game mode the map has been designed for.
- Some maps require an add-on or mod to play. The common ones are,
CPMA (Challenge Pro Mode Arena),
RA3 (Rocket Arena) and Team Arena (which is an
official add-on for Quake 3 Arena). If the map is labeled CTF, it is a good
idea to grab a copy of the original ThreeWave CTF pack
as many mappers use this pack as a texture base. Without the ThreeWave Pack,
there is a chance you will have missing textures.
- Inside the downloaded zip file you should find at least one PK3 file and
very possibly more files. Place all the files into your baseq3 folder.
Sadly, you will need to find this folder by your self - it could be anywhere.
- Start Q3A and select (in most cases) Single Player then Skirmish.
- Select the Game type that matches the one for the map you have downloaded.
- Browse the maps until you find the map you downloaded.
- Play the map.