Getting Started

The Guide is designed to be a reference for every level of players, but this section is specifically written with new players in mind. You could be a newly for many reason: you just bought a new computer and are finally able to play the games that you have been hearing so much about; you finally took the plunge and are just starting your adventures on the Internet; or you have been playing other types of games online and have decided to try something new. Regardless of reason, The Guide is here to help you through the almost infinite amount of information available on the Internet on 3D games called first person shooters.

The first thing you must decide is what game you want to play. Fortunately, most software companies now release shareware versions of their games. The typical shareware program offers most of the features available in the retail version, but with only a handful of levels. There are many sites that offer downloads of these programs. My favorite is Happy Puppy, but you will be able to find dozens of download sites. If you are only going to download one game, I would recommend that the game be Quake from id Software. The shareware version contains 8 levels and will give you a good idea of the reason behind the Quake frenzy. However, it is important to note that the most exciting developments in this genre are usually only available to people who have the registered version of the game. If you are serious about playing against others over the Internet, then the full version of a game is really the best, and in some cases the only, option.

After you have the game installed, assuming that it is compatible with your operating system, the next step is to find a server. A server is usually a computer with a fast and fixed connection to the Internet. This computer allows other machines to connect to it over the Internet and makes it possible for multiple players to play in the same game simultaneously. The best way to find a server is to use one of the many helpful programs that I call server finders. As the name implies, a server finder retrieves a list of available server running a particular game and gives you all of the information that you need to connect to the server. Many will connect you to the server through a single click of your mouse.

Once you have connected to the server of your choice, you might notice that other players are considerably better than you. There are many reasons for this, and most of them are covered in The Guide. For example, most games, especially those derived from Quake, allow the user to add many commands and custom configure the game to improve performance. Perhaps the problem is your connection to the Internet is much slower than the others on the server, and this is giving you considerable lag. Then again, maybe you just need to stop by a couple of sites that have helpful tips on how to play the game.

After a period of playing deathmatch, where you run around and shoot everything, you may become interested in other options. Fortunately, the Internet support a diverse and creative gaming community that is always experimenting with new modifications of popular games. It is fairly easy to experiment with various mods and find a game that you prefer.

For many players, multiplayer gaming is an addiction. If you find yourself wanting to become more involved in the gaming community, there are many places to find more information about first person shooters. From news page to online "radio" shows, the Internet is filled with places to find current news.

[Basics] [Servers] [Beyond basics] [Other versions of Quake] [Sources of information] [Citizenship] [Quake C] [Level editing] [Mods] [Quake derivatives] [Operating Systems] [Guide News]

This page is maintained by Darren L. Tabor,