Three Quake Champions skills I have almost totally failed to master | PCGamesN

Three Quake Champions skills I have almost totally failed to master

Quake Champions Early Access tips

The first match of Quake Champions I ever saw was played between the two best players in the world. Last weekend, I witnessed the bold and unyielding Clawz destroy the shrewd and calculating Vo0 to the tune of $100,000.

This experience has, it’s fair to say, unfairly coloured my expectations of what I could hope to achieve within the gothic walls of id’s throwback shooter. What’s become clear to me playing the game since attending the Quake World Championships is that, while I certainly observed, I did not understand. I am no closer to mimicking the movements of Quake’s stars than I am to perfectly copying the cooking of Jamie Oliver.

What I can do is name the ingredients, however. Here are three essential Quake Champions skills I’ve almost totally failed to master during the beta.

Read more: the best first-person shooters on PC.

Very fast running

Quake Champions gameplay

Quake is famed for its speed. It comes from an era when shooters didn’t need sprint keys - in fact, they had walk toggles. Breakneck traversal was the default, and returning to it can be a discombobulating experience. Perhaps modern sensibilities have trained us to hang back and take cover, whereas Quake barrels ever onwards.

Yet, if I pick the transhuman punk Anarki as my character when starting up a game of Champions, I’ll have the highest possible default speed. So, if I hold W in a straight line, I can move as fast as anyone, no matter their skill. In a 200m sprint, I should match Clawz and Vo0 pace for pace. It’s just maths. Brillo.

The issue comes when I have to start turning corners or, worse, punctuating that running with jumps. The pros rarely touch the ground, treating the floor as if it’s lava. That approach might make you a harder target, but it also leaves you mostly at the mercy of whatever momentum you banked the last time you made contact with the map. This is the bad kind of maths. For me, it means hopping messily from point to point, as if manually cutting out an image in PhotoShop.

Often, I can dodge a railgun for a few seconds, but - since the camera is bobbing up and down, and forward and back in ways I can’t immediately influence - I, erm, can’t hit anything either. Sometimes I even go hurtling off the edge of the map. 

As such, I can’t tell you how to navigate Quake Champions’ medieval ruins with grace, but I can tell you there’s some lovely modelling on the underside of the pirate ship that’s docked off the side of Tempest Shrine.

Rocket jumping

The rocket jump is perhaps the most famous Quake thing - so much so that Champions refers to its rocket launcher in-game as ‘Old Faithful’, like a reliable vacuum cleaner. It’s a technique that found players exploiting the rudimentary physics of the original Quake to propel themselves far further than the space bar alone could carry them - a trade-off between taking explosive damage and the chance to surprise an enemy on a distant ledge. Born out of accident, it’s now deliberately supported by id, who show off rocket-propelled jumps in their trailers.

I’ve done it, too. I should be more precise: I’ve had it done to me. In Burial Chamber, there’s a central atrium dominated by a huge, slab-like ramp. This one time, chased by a rocket-wielding opponent, I slipped sideways off said ramp - but before I could hit the floor, one of my pursuer’s rockets caught up with me. With fire up my behind, I flew. I tasted the air, way up there, where the skybox feels close enough to touch. And then I was picked out of the air like a sodding clay pigeon.

Aiming good

Quake Champions skills

Current Quake world champion Clawz is 19 years old - of an age where his specialist skill could be shining laser pens into the eyes of teachers and aeroplane pilots. Instead, he’s harnessed his abilities to a more productive end - mastering Quake’s needly beam weapon, the Lightning Gun. In last week’s finals, he hunted Vo0 with Terminator-like doggedness, locking onto his target with the LG and never letting go.

‘Never letting go’ isn’t a fitting expression of what Clawz was really doing, of course. He was making hundreds of mouse adjustments, and every split-second was an opportunity to veer off target. But in conversation afterwards, he told me that the key to pulling off this feat was simply “full concentration” and “focus.”

There was a minute, between the hours of 12 and two on Friday afternoon, when that philosophy started to work for me. In that moment, wielding the LG, I seemed to bypass the thousands of hours the unenlightened consider necessary to mastering aim in Quake. Four enemies spilled pick-ups at my feet - the closest thing I’ve yet had to a kill streak.

But it’s now three days later and the lord LG is testing my faith. I have committed its location on the maps to memory. Like the pros, I only use the acronym - the full words ‘lightning’ and ‘gun’ cast off like dead weights. If I could have showered with the LG this morning, I would have. Focus and concentration have become my way of being. Pro Plus would only dampen my senses at this point.

But I can’t bloody hit anything. I am rubbish at Quake. brb: going to have to play it for a thousand hours like everybody else.

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techn1que avatarThothXV avatarJeremy Peel avatarWinD avatar
techn1que Avatar
10 Months ago

The pirate ship is located off the dock in tempest shrine in case anyone is interested =)

Jeremy Peel Avatar
10 Months ago

Ah my bad, got my maps mixed up. Cheers!

ThothXV Avatar
10 Months ago

"Yet, if I pick the transhuman punk Anarki as my character when starting up a game of Champions, I’ll have the highest possible default speed. So, if I hold W in a straight line, I can move as fast as anyone, no matter their skill. In a 200m sprint, I should match Clawz and Vo0 pace for pace. It’s just maths. Brillo."

That is DEMONSTRABLY false. A talented player playing as Ranger can outstrip a newbie playing Anarki. How?

QC characters have varying speeds. Ranger's speed is 320ups. Anarki's is quite a lot higher. However, that is BASE SPEED. In QC, as in every Quake game, you can exceed your base speed, most commonly through some variation on Strafejumping. The absolute speed cap varies, but is usually around 900ups. Anarki's is higher.

So a bad player playing Anarki could be outpaced by a good player on Ranger.

WinD Avatar
10 Months ago

Turn the speedometer and movement hints on - (even professionals do this; I am currently ranked #1 in the North American ESL Duel ladder - 20-0-5 ; ) As anarki it is simple - after moving forward and jumping one or twice; just hold space bar - don't let go - and hit A and look to the right; then D and look to the left; - make sure you click and look at the same time as Anarki jumps just keep this up back and forth - going down a narrow passage? just hold A or D for a few jumps - the tight turns are very easy to navigate you just move your mouse quickly and further than you normally would; then anarki will turn into the door way to the right or left without an issue - use objects like ledges (especially the edges) while at the capped speed or building speed to traverse great distances -

Slash is personal favorite to use although her slide is far more difficult for people to grasp. once you get momentum do basically the same thing except hold Control; and W with A or D while moving the mouse in a slow but sure arc in that direction to start skating at a great speed sliding on the ground; just holding A or D will have you literally strafe to the side at tremendous speeds -

In one slide I can traverse from the DM6 (Blood Covenant) bridge above the Armor spawn turn at the rocket launcher, fly off slide off of the first elevated bridgeway prior to the rail curve; slide off of that all the way to the rail gun; then across onto the bridge I started at and down to the armor - all at the capped 680 of Slash; now using her active ability you can get that 680 much lighter; using a rocket against a wall during that ability you can slide at an INSANELY high speed.

It's great to be fast as you will confuse people with your movement; but make sure you confuse people with your movement :P one of the best strengths of slashes slide is while using the LG or Shotgun up close in a very speedy way circular strafe or side to side (with a turn of 180 every once in awhile) most of the time (really; majority of the time) in a Deathmatch for example - people are not going to be able to hit you if you are 1 on 1 or even 1 on 2/3 unless you have two rocket launchers splashing around your predicted movement pattern.

If you ever want to go over anything in game Jeremy - just add me in game - " WinD "