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What is OpenArena?

OpenArena is a free & open-source First-Person Shooter game, that means the game can be downloaded without any charge from the web, and its source code is open to everyone. It's based on the Id Tech 3 engine, the same which powered games like Quake III: Arena and Return To Castle Wolfenstein, and the one which was released as open-source in 2005 under the GPL license. The game, on the other hand, is distributed freely under the GPLv2 license.

A little bit of story...


In the year 1999, Id Software released Quake III: Arena, one of the two games (the other was Unreal Tournament, from Epic Games) which revoluted the First-Person Shooters field, getting rid of the infamous Adventure Mode of shooters of their time and focusing on the frenetism of multiplayer matches. In December 2000, the same company releases the expansion pack Quake III: Team Arena, which added more features and gameplay to the game, plus this expansion pack incorporated more content, team-based wise. The source code of the game engine, Id Tech 3, was released in August 19, 2005, under GPL license. But, the game content (maps, models, textures, sounds...) didn't. OpenArena solves this problem, since it's content is open-source and differs from the original game. Another of the ideas behind it is the support for Total Conversions, maps, models and mods maded for Q3. That way, TCs created for Quake III: Arena like Urban Terror and Bid for Power, can run under OpenArena without any problems.

Game content

At this moment, version 0.8.1, OpenArena has 45 maps (16 CTF and 29 DM) and 12 gametypes: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture The Flag, Tourney, One Flag CTF, Harvester, Overload, Elimination, CTF Elimination, Last Man Standing, Double Domination and Domination. The first 4 gametypes appear on the original game, while the latest 5 are new additions and the three remaining ones came from the Quake III: Team Arena missionpack. Also is incorporated (since v0.8.0) the inicial release of the Missionpack to replace Q3: Team Arena expansion pack, which has lots of new features.


OpenArena has actually 12 gametypes, each one with its own set of rules:

- Free For All: Deathmatch for the friends. :P It's main objective is to frag all the other players the most. The player with most frags at the end of the time, (deaths committed minus suicides) or the one who reaches the fraglimit first, wins the match.

- Team Deathmatch: Same as Deathmatch, but with teams. The team with most frags, or the team who reaches first the fraglimit, wins the match.

- Capture The Flag: In this gametype there are two teams, each one with its own base and a flag inside of it. Teams should take the enemy flag from their base, go back to its own, and touch its flag to score a point. The team who reaches the flag capture limit, or the one with most captures at the end of the time, wins the match.



- Tourney: Two players play head-to-head in a deathmatch game. Winner stays on the map, while loser becames a spectator, entering another player in its place.

- Elimination: Round-based Team Deathmatch. The teams must frag all the other team's players to score a point. Fragged players became spectators. For every round, the winner team gets a point. The team with most points at the end of the rounds wins the match.

- CTF Elimination: Same as Elimination, but with CTF flags, so it can be possible to score a point by capturing the enemy team's flag instead of fragging all the team. Same as above, for every round, the winner team gets a point. The team with most points at the end of the rounds wins the match.

- Last Man Standing: FFA Elimination. All the players fight eliminating themselves until only one remains, which is declared winner.

- Double Domination: In this gametype, the maps have two control points, A and B, which replaces CTF flags. Both control points should be hold in 10 seconds, (the enemy team can take already captured points) after it the team which holded both CPs score a point. the team with most successfull CP holdings, or the one who reaches the capturelimit first, wins the match.


- One Flag CTF: A CTF variant which adds a neutral flag which should be carried onto the enemy base to score a point. Again, the team with most successfull captures or the one who reaches the capturelimit first, wins the match.

- Harvester: This gametype is a little bit complex. Both teams have a Skull Pod in its base, and there's a Skull Generator in the center of the map. After fragging an enemy, a skull appears in this generator. The player must carry these skulls to the enemy base (you can carry more than one skull at time) to score points for your team. The team with most skull caps or the one who reaches the capturelimit first, wins the match.

- Overload: In this gametype, both teams have a crystal on it's base. The enemy team must destroy this crystal to score a point. (These have big HitPoints) The team with most points wins the match.

- Domination: In this gametype you must hold control pints to score points per time. With one point secured, you have 1 point per sec, the more points you secure the faster your team scores. The one who reaches the pointlimit, or has more points at the end of the time, wins the match.

System requirements

- Video: OpenArena needs OpenGL hardware support. It doesn't require DirectX. The minimal line for video cards goes from the 3DFX Voodoo2 8MB VGA.

- Operating System: It can run under Linux, all 32-bit Windows starting from Win95 up to Vista, and Mac OS X. Due to the GPL nature of the game, some Linux distros came with OpenArena bundled, but generally speaking, these could be older versions.

- CPU y memoria: Any processor starting from 90 MHz Pentium with 32 MB RAM can run the game, but the game requires a 233 MHz Pentium II with, at least, 96 MB RAM, due to higher detail level of OpenArena compared to Quake III: Arena.

Adult Content

OpenArena has adult content, like huge gore quantities, (blood and decals) on the maps, and some characters in the edge of nudity (but no completely naked) like Angelyss/Dark. The game isn't oriented towards children under 18 years-old.


If you like the First Person Shooters on the Quake/Unreal fashion, no matter how violent these are or the style they have, then OpenArena can be a good addition to your collection. If you aren't a fam of the genre, but you're entering on it, then you can test it.

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