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SDAlogo runner.png This game has a run page on SDA!


Released in 1996, this is where it all began. Quake was a pioneer as a true 3D FPS and became the base on which the genre later developed. As was already customary with Doom, some guys started competing to see who was the fastest, and, in 1998, Nolan "Radix" Pflug beget SDA. It still has its own page at SDA, thousands of runs, and plenty of information about speedrunning it. There's a "Getting Started Guide" for those unfamiliar with the game [1]

General Running Tricks

Start Running

Most people start a demo with a bind such as bind X "record demo_name map";, so restart is only a key press away. But, before you press record, you can hold other keys like +forward, +right, +jump or +attack. This way, you'll start the demo already moving/shooting. Another important aspect of this trick is that you can turn your mouse while the map is loading, so you'll start facing a different direction, it's not very precise as you can't see anything, but it may give you an edge.


Similar to "North Running" on Doom, press diagonally against a wall and you'll walk up to 50% faster (from 320 to 480 units/s). The angle in which you should "hug" is dependent on your game settings. Further info (by Anthony Bailey) [2]


Some games just add up the player speed from lateral and forward/backward walking, which means you'll run faster diagonally, as in Doom. Quake tries to correct that, but it's not 100% effective, that's why you can zigzag to run faster. Further info (also by Anthony Bailey) [3]

Air Control

When you're not touching the ground, Quake's Law of Inertia says you continue on a straight line with the same speed (apart from falling due to gravity). Theoretically, the game was designed so that you should only be able to decelerate or get very small speeds, i.e. you cannot jump and then start running midair, like in some platform games. But, just like with zigzag, there's an oversight. When you turn and strafe at the same time, you're able to continuously gain speed. Without the ground to slow you down, you can change your trajectory pretty easily. Don't press to walk in two directions simultaneously (forward+left, for example), or else you won't be able to turn in air.


If you need to travel some horizontal distance quickly in air and you don't have much speed, you can "waggle" by rapidly turning+strafing in alternative directions so you'll accelerate while not deviating much from a straight line. See Jozsef's final trick in easy run in e4m2


When falling from a tight tube or similar structure, you can try to "curl" in air to accumulate as much horizontal speed as possible to exit the tube at a higher speed. The trick is to accelerate while avoiding contact with the surrounding walls, which slow you down. See Peter's start in the e4m1 easy run.

Bunny Hopping

Unless you're going up some stairs, there's not much reason to zigzag: bunnyhopping is the ultimate QdQ trick. It can be simply described as jumping while zigzagging, though the "modern" technique has much more to do with air control than anything else. Get some speed, jump, twirl in air to increase your speed while trying to maintain the intended trajectory, jump again. The brief moment when you touch the ground should keep you from going too fast, but speeds close to 500 units/s can be obtained. Further info (by Mathias Thore?) [4]

Power Bunnyhopping

As described in the above mentioned "Bunny Hopping Guide", there is an extra technique of tapping +forward every time you hit the ground. This reduces the speed loss on contact, which enables top speeds of over 500 - and even 600 - units/s. Most people do fine without this technique, and it's not very useful unless a long enough "bunny sequence" is expected.


Jumping on a ramp converts some vertical speed to horizontal speed, and vice versa, depending on the its angle. Use the downward ramps to go faster and upward slopes to get to higher places. It's usually a good thing to jump on contact to carry the movement forward or upward.

Damage Boost

This is the essence of Quake runs: bunnyhopping and damage boost. Whenever something inflicts damage on you, you are boosted to the opposite direction proportionally to the amount of damage received. This means you can use your own weapons, explosive crates, monsters, other players (in co-op runs) and anything else to reach new heights and speeds. Note that on the Nightmare Skill monsters are more aggressive, but also more predictable, abundant and have faster reactions. This can lead to Nightmare Runs being faster than Easy Runs for a same level, as getting a boost might be easier.

Grenade Jump

Perhaps the most obvious type of damage boost: shoot a grenade and stand over it as it explodes. Jump just prior to the explosion, otherwise you'll barely leave the ground. Timing is crucial and, to facilitate speedrunning, QdQStats (Almost obligatory tool) supports the command "impulse 210" for a grenade timer - demos recorded with the timer ARE accepted in SDA as there are means to take the timer messages out later. Very often you'll find that shooting a grenade straight at a monster's feet and jumping is faster than waiting for the grenade to explode.

Rocket Jump

The easiest and maybe the most enjoyable way to boost yourself is with a rocket launcher. Aim at the ground, shoot, jump, fly. Sometimes, you'll only need a horizontal boost, so you may be firing at a close wall or monster instead of off the ground. Something that people tend to oversee is the fact that it takes some time before the rocket explodes on the ground as it leaves at about half your height. That's why when you need maximum vertical boost you should fire first and then, a fraction of a second later, jump. In another situations, you'll need to do the opposite (jumping shortly before shooting) in order to save health. It's important that you are moving forward while doing a straight up rocket jump, since you can't look down at a perfect 90 degree angle; if you're running forward, by the time the rocket explodes, it should be roughly underneath the player's center.


Shooting the lightning gun underwater discharges all the ammo and kills you together with the fish nearby. But, if you're on the Invulnerability Ring or enjoying the friendly fire off in coop mode, you can use it to cut some time (see e3m5 coop runs as an example).

Quad Damage

As the damage increases, so does the boost. Remember that it doesn't matter what's your status when you fire a grenade, rocket or nail, the damage given depends on your status when the damage is inflicted. That means you can grab a grenade launcher, shoot it, get the quad and you'll have a quadded grenade boost.

Ogre-Grenade Jump

If you don't have a grenade launcher yourself, you can use an ogre. The damage inflicted, and therefore the boost, are significantly smaller and some monster cooperation is required. Using QdQStats "impulse 209" for Ogre-Grenade Timer, jumping off grenades laying on the floor is easier. But if an ogre is near enough, a more direct approach is usually preferable: as he throws a grenade at your direction, run towards it and jump before the impact; the explosion should happen as low as possible on the player's bounding box for maximum height, but careful not to jump over it entirely.

Vore Ball Jump

Call a vore's attention and gather a few voreballs behind you as you run in circles. This should make the multiple voreballs somewhat compact (close to one another), when you feel you got enough for your boost, jump and let them hit you. As with ogre grenades, it's common to run towards its direction to get more height per damage.

Fiend Boost

They can give quite a blow, even killing you in a single movement. This is great for horizontal boosts. Getting a vertical boost is tricky and you need to be higher in relation to the fiend (see e2m2 easy run as an example).

Enforcer Boost

Because they shoot the laser at your center, you got to jump before getting hit to actually go somewhere. Useful to climb crates in "base-style" maps.

Spawn Boost

Spawns are very unpredictable, so the best approach is usually killing them before they start moving around. Jump right before they explode and you should fly pretty far. The explosion can also trigger other spawns nearby and increase the effect.

Other Monster Boosts

Shamblers can usually give quite a boost with some reliability, but you may find yourself going for a boost from Grunts, Zombies (see e3m2 nightmare run as an example), Dogs, Scrags or Hellknights. You can get some boost from fishes and knights but they are usually not essential to the run. It should be noted that custom episodes might have custom monsters and weapons which gives new possibilities for tricks.

Fast Water Exit

Fast Wind Tunnel Exit

Combining Tricks

If a single grenade jump can't get you high enough, go for a grenade jump + rocket jump, or a double grenade jump. If one ogre-grenade just isn't enough, try a double ogre-grenade jump. Perhaps adding a fiend boost after that (like in Arturo's pb1 easy run). The possibilities are endless, and the most unexpected tricks make the most interesting demos.

General 100% Tricks

Monster Infight

In order to speed up the process of killing everyone, you can let the monsters kill themselves. When a monster is hit by another one of a different kind (Grunts are an exception, as they can fight among their kind), he'll change his attentions to whoever gave him damage and start attacking. It's even possible for an ogre or a vore to kill themselves in the explosion, but that's rare. Remember that it may take quite some time for a monster to die in this manner, so don't waste time waiting for it. A good 100% run always explores this, but sometimes it's easier to just shoot everyone and forget about it. In long runs with recurring routes and lack of weapons/ammo, this tactic can be crucial. In some nightmare runs you'll find that sometimes it's necessary to cause monster infighting in order to stop them attacking you.


Some maps have monsters being triggered to spawn after some event; they actually teleport from another area. The concept of telefragging is that if there is something standing in the teleport destination while something else teleports, one of them will get gibbed. When a player teleports, he'll kill whatever is standing in the other side of the teleport, even if it's another player. When a monster teleports and there's someone in the way, it's the monster that took the tele that will be fragged. If you know a monster will spawn in a certain place at a certain time, you can stand there yourself or trick another monster into standing there so to telefrag that spawning monster. Another way to do this would be to teleport yourself right where a monster is standing - this is how e3m3 "all the kills 100%" was done.

Intermission Killing

If you exit the level while shooting and hold the button, you may be able to keep firing for 2s in intermission before the game can look for you pressing a button and changes the level. This only works with nailguns (regular and super) and the lightning gun [can the axe work as well?]. Aiming can be difficult and some maps have up to four intermission screens, which means it may require some luck. Ideally, you should stop shooting before the game changes map, otherwise you'll need to split the demo like in a marathon run and it'll look bad. [lightning gun needs extra info here]

Hording Monsters

Health and Damage Charts

Amount of Damage Given

Axe 20
Shotgun 6x4
Super Shotgun 14x4
Nail 9
Grenade 120
Rocket 100 to 120
Lightning 30
Fish bite 20
Dog bite 1 to 24
Dog jump 11 to 20
Grunt shotgun 6x4
Enforcer Laser 15
Knight attack 3x(1 to 9)
Knight run-attack 5x(1 to 9)
Scrag spit 9
Zombie gib 10
Ogre chainsaw smash 6x(1 to 12)
Ogre chainsaw swing 7x(1 to 12)
Ogre Grenade 40
Hellknight slash (4, 5, 6 or 9)

x(1 to 9)

Hellknight spike 6x9
Fiend scratch 10 to 15
Fiend jump 40 to 50
Vore ball 40†‡
Spawn hit 10 to 20
Spawn explosion 120
Shambler shag (1 or 2)x(1 to 60)
Shambler ray (3 or 4)x10

If the damage is given in the form of explosion radius, due to distance between the explosion and the target's center, the actual inflicted damage is lower. If the target is a shambler, only half the damage is given.

If the target is a zombie, 110 damage is given, so that it'll gib him.

Monsters Health

Number of shots to kill a monster
Weapon number
Health 1 2 3 4 5 6/7 8 Health to gib
Fish 25 2 2 1 3 2 1 1 ×
Dog 25 2 2 1 3 2 1 1 -35
Grunt 30 2 2 1 4 2 1 1 -35
Enforcer 80 4 4 2 9 5 1 3 -35
Knight 75 4 4 2 9 5 1 3 -40
Scrag 80 4 4 2 9 5 1 3 -40
Zombie 60 1
Ogre 200 10 9 4 23 12 2 7 -80
Hellknight 250 13 11 5 28 14 3 9 -40
Fiend 300 15 13 6 34 17 3 10 -80
Vore 400 20 17 8 45 23 4 14 -90
Spawn 80 4 4 2 9 5 1 3
Shambler 600 30 25 11 67 34 11-12 20 -40

× In the Hipnotic pack, fishes gib when with -20 health.

Zombies can only be killed (gibbed) by doing 60 hp of damage in a single frame.

In theory, it should be possible to kill a shambler with only 10 rockets, but the chance of that happening is (1/10)^10. In other words, 0.00000001%.

Important Figures

The above tables are for mere curiosity, you shouldn't need to remember all that. Nevertheless, it's useful to have a few numbers in mind when going for a 100%:

  • 2 rounds of shotgun or 2 axe swings for a grunt, dog or fish.
  • 4 rounds for an enforcer, knight, scrag or spawn; or, better yet, a single round from the shotgun and a double round from the super shotgun (using in that order to save time).
  • 4 super shotgun shots or 2 grenades/rockets for an ogre.
  • 5 s.shotgun, 3 'nades/rockets or 2 nades/rockets + 1 s.shotgun for a hellknight.
  • 6 s.shotgun or 3 nades/rockets for a fiend.
  • 4 nades/rockets for a vore.
  • Any weapon, except the regular nailgun, will kill a zombie when with quad damage.
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