Tired of dying 20 - 30 times a match? You need to master some basics of this high speed, super twitchy shooter first.

Quake Champions Beginner’s Guide To Not Getting Fragged (Immediately)

Tired of dying 20 - 30 times a match? You need to master some basics of this high speed, super twitchy shooter first.

So your nostalgia got the better of you and you decided to re-live the glory days of when you dominated in twitchy multiplayer shooters as a wily teen. You’ve loaded up Quake Champions… and immediately got fragged. You respawned… and got fragged even faster somehow. 

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Yeah, it happens to the best of us, so don’t get too down on yourself just yet. Quake is a whole different beast from your typical Call Of Duty style multiplayer shooter, and it requires a paradigm shift in how you think and how you play. 

Below we cover the basics of what you need to know in terms of weapons, movement, map layout, and Champion abilities so you can stop dying and start dominating in Quake.


The Absolute Worst Quake Champions Weapon

Let’s just get this out of the way — get rid of the machine gun as soon as possible. Unless you have the quad damage upgrade and initiated the Dual Wield ability as B.J., this is just a plain old garbage weapon.

The machine gun is only good for killing someone who wasn’t smart enough to pick up health after their last battle, or mildly damaging someone who is going to kill you so your teammate who is better at the game can maybe finish the job later.

It’s such a useless, pointless gun that I’m not even going to put a picture of it here. It deserves to go die in a corner somewhere, forgotten and alone.

The Alright But Not Amazing Quake Champion Weapons

The super shotgun is a thing of beauty in close range, if you aim at where your enemy is going to be, rather than where they currently are. Don’t forget you can still get some mild damage from near-misses due to spread.

The tri-bolt is a tricky weapon that fires three projectiles at once in an arc, and all three explode when they land. You have to aim carefully with this one due to the arc and plan ahead since it fires three at a time before reloading — but if you can land those hits, it does devastating damage.

For high rate of fire and double the damage of the pathetic machine gun, the super nailgun should be your go-to burst fire weapon. It chews through ammo, but can lay down suppressing fire like nobody’s business and keep enemies moving where you want them to move.

The Best Quake Champions Weapons

The lightning gun can easily chew through armor and health in no time flat, if you keep your aim on the enemy and manage to match their speed. Rather than firing an endless stream of bullets, this one is a beam that deals constant damage so long as you keep it lined up. For the love of all that’s holy, don’t jump when trying to avoid the lightning gun. Your slow falling arc when jumping will ensure you take maximum damage.

The rail gun is actually the hardest to hit with, and it has a much longer reload speed than the other guns, but it can potentially deal the most damage on direct hits. Its best for sniping from above or at the other end of corridors when the enemy doesn’t know you are there. If you are in close ranged combat, though, just go ahead and put this thing away.

Finally, the cream of the crop: the rocket launcher. It deals glorious damage on a direct hit or even a near miss through splash damage. When the enemy is strafing or jumping like crazy to avoid you, make sure to aim your projectile where they are going to land, not where they started. If you are playing as the Ranger, you should be on this weapon spawn as soon as possible, since he deals less self-damage and can fire at close range.


Let’s make this as simple as possible — if you aren’t going fast, you are dead. We’re not going to advocate doing meth or anything before a match, but at the very least you should probably have a Rockstar or Monster Energy IV drip set up for maximum speed.

So how do you increase your Champion’s speed? Say it with me now: strafe jumping, strafe jumping, strafe jumping. Say it one more time, but louder. No seriously, louder than that. 

To build up your speed, jump, then tap either A or D to move left or right, slightly swivel your mouse in that direction, and then repeat the process as you jump again. Not only are your movements harder to track, but your base speed will go up with each successful strafe jump. This isn’t something you want to try to master while in a match, though — so before you get playing, pull up a custom match and practice this over and over until you get it down.

Since the game is all about speed in every element, you may also want to re-bind your weapon-swapping controls to the buttons near the WASD movement keys so they are faster than using the mouse scroll wheel.

 See those platforms? Why aren’t you strafe jumping across them yet?

Map Layout and Upgrades

Nearly as important as fast movement and getting rid of that godawful machine gun is memorizing the layout of each map, as well as learning the cooldown period on the upgrades.

You want to be the first one to the mega armor or mega health, and you need to know the location of the normal health spawns if you plan on staying alive after any given skirmish.

On that note, don’t be afraid to disengage. Just because you saw an enemy and got behind them doesn’t mean you are going to come out the victor, especially if they are using a Champion with higher base health and they managed to get the armor upgrade.

Picking up the quad damage upgrade as soon as it spawns is nice, but lying in wait for the poor fools rushing the quad damage can be even better. The same goes for weapon spawn points. If you know where a coveted rocket launcher or lightning gun is located, hanging out nearby to snipe the enemies who know their cool down timers can be more effective than running around the map like a mad man.

Always remember — even in Team Deathmatch, you are competing for resources against your team mates. You want that gun before they can get their filthy casual hands on it.

 The holy grail of upgrades… and an excellent place to snipe the fools who rush for it 

Champion Abilities

Each Champion has different starting health, armor, and speed, in addition to passive abilities and an active ability with a cool down timer.

The hourglass upgrades laying around the map reduce your ability cool down — so if you use your ability frequently, you want to know where these are and stay on top of them.

Knowing your Champion’s abilities can give you the edge to beat out other players who have mastered the speed and weapon aspects of the game.

For instance, increasing your speed while playing Scalebearer is crucial, since you can damage enemies just by slamming into them when you hit a certain speed threshold. Meanwhile, Anarki has no upper cap to his speed increase while strafe jumping, so his extremely low starting health can be offset by a skilled player.

Want to know more about each Champion and their abilities? Check out our guide to Quake Champions characters for more information. 

 Bullets are fine, but spitting acid and going invisible can be better

Those are all the basics you need to know to not (immediately) get fragged in a Quake Champions death match. Have any other tips for the beginners? Let us know in the comments! And check out the rest of our Quake Champions guides for more tips and tricks. 

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Ty Arthur
Ty splits his time between writing horror fiction and writing about video games. After 25 years of gaming, Ty can firmly say that gaming peaked with Planescape Torment, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a soft spot for games like Baldur's Gate, Fallout: New Vegas, Bioshock Infinite, and Horizon: Zero Dawn. He has previously written for GamerU and MetalUnderground. He also writes for PortalMonkey covering gaming laptops and peripherals.