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🌋 vkQuake

vkQuake is a Quake 1 port using Vulkan instead of OpenGL for rendering. It is based on the popular QuakeSpasm port and runs all mods compatible with it like Arcane Dimensions.

Compared to QuakeSpasm vkQuake also features a software Quake like underwater effect, has better color precision, generates mipmap for water surfaces at runtime and has native support for anti-aliasing and AF.

vkQuake also serves as a Vulkan demo application that shows basic usage of the API. For example it demonstrates render passes & sub passes, pipeline barriers & synchronization, compute shaders, push & specialization constants, CPU/GPU parallelism and memory pooling.




Start Git Bash and clone the vkQuake repo:

git clone

Visual Studio

Install Visual Studio Community with Visual C++ component.

Open the Visual Studio solution, Windows\VisualStudio\vkquake.sln, select the desired configuration and platform, then build the solution.


Download the latest release of MinGW-w64 and install it:

  • 32 bit:
    • Architecture: i686
    • Install location: C:\mingw-w32
  • 64 bit:
    • Architecture: x86_64
    • Install location: C:\mingw-w64

Also install the latest release of MozillaBuild with default settings.

Start MSYS with c:\mozilla-build\msys\msys.bat and compile vkQuake.

32 bit:

cd vkQuake/Quake
export PATH=${PATH}:/c/mingw-w32/mingw32/bin
make USE_SDL2=1 -f Makefile.w32

64 bit:

cd vkQuake/Quake
export PATH=${PATH}:/c/mingw-w64/mingw64/bin
make USE_SDL2=1 -f Makefile.w64


Make sure that both your GPU and your GPU driver supports Vulkan.

To compile vkQuake, first install the build dependencies:


apt-get install git make gcc libsdl2-dev libvulkan-dev libvorbis-dev libmad0-dev

Arch Linux:

pacman -S git flac glibc libgl libmad libvorbis libx11 sdl2 vulkan-validation-layers

* Please note that for vkquake > v0.50, you will need at least v1.0.12.0 of libvulkan-dev (See #55).

Then clone the vkQuake repo:

git clone

Now go to the Quake directory and compile the executable:

cd vkQuake/Quake


vkQuake 0.97 and later requires at least SDL2 2.0.6 with enabled Vulkan support. The precompiled versions in some of the distribution repositories (e.g. Ubuntu) do not currently ship with Vulkan support. You will therefore need to compile it from source. Make sure you have libvulkan-dev installed before running configure.


To compile vkQuake, first install the build dependencies with Homebrew:

brew install molten-vk vulkan-headers sdl2 libvorbis flac mad

Then clone the vkQuake repo:

git clone

Now go to the Quake directory and compile the executable:

cd vkQuake/Quake


Quake has 4 episodes that are split into 2 files:

  • pak0.pak: contains episode 1
  • pak1.pak: contains episodes 2-4

These files aren't free to distribute, but pak0.pak is sufficient to run the game and it's freely available via the shareware version of Quake. Use 7-Zip or a similar file archiver to extract Alternatively, if you own the game, you can obtain both .pak files from its install media.

Now locate your vkQuake executable, i.e. vkQuake.exe on Windows or vkquake on Ubuntu. You need to create an id1 directory next to that and copy pak0.pak there, e.g.:

  • Windows: Windows\VisualStudio\Build-vkQuake\x64\Release\id1\pak0.pak
  • Ubuntu: Quake\id1\pak0.pak

Then vkQuake is ready to play.

Optional - Music / Soundtrack

The original quake had a great soundtrack by Nine Inch Nails. Unfortunately, the Steam version does not come with the soundtrack files. The GOG-provided files need to be converted before they are ready for use. In general, you'll just need to move a "music" folder to the correct location within your vkQuake installation (.e.g /usr/share/quake/id1/music). Most Quake engines play nicest with soundtracks placed in the id1/music subfolder vs. sound\cdtracks

QuakeSpasm, the engine vkQuake is derived from, supports OGG, MP3, FLAC, and WAV audio formats. The Linux version of QuakeSpasm/VkQuake requires external libraries: libogg or libvorbis for OGG support, libmad or libmpg123 for MP3, and libflac for FLAC. If you already have a setup that works for the engine you're currently using, then you don't necessarily have to change it.

To convert the WAV files to FLAC, run this command with libflac and sox installed in a directory containing the WAV files:

for f in *.wav; do sox "$f" "${f%.wav}.flac"; done

Generally, the below setup works for multiple engines, including Quakespasm/vkQuake:

  • The music files are loose files, NOT inside a pak or pk3 archive.
  • The files are placed inside a "music" subfolder of the "id1" folder. For missionpack or mod soundtracks, the files are placed in a "music" subfolder of the appropriate game folder. So the original Quake soundtrack files go inside "id1\music", Mission Pack 1 soundtrack files go inside "hipnotic\music", and Mission Pack 2 soundtrack files go inside "rogue\music".
  • The files are named in the pattern "tracknn", where "nn" is the CD track number that the file was ripped from. Since the soundtrack starts at the second CD track, MP3 soundtrack files are named "track02.mp3", "track03.mp3", etc. OGG soundtrack files are named "track02.ogg", "track03.ogg", etc. FLAC soundtrack files are named "track02.flac", "track03.flac", etc. WAV soundtrack files are named "track02.wav", "track03.wav", etc.

See more: Quake Soundtrack Solutions (Steam Community)

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