20 Best Quake 2 Mods Of All TimeThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
The name alone is sure to ring a bell, as the Quake franchise is one of the most recognizable in gaming history.
While the FPS market looks much different now than it did then, Quake is credited to have paved the way for modern shooters.
It featured levels completely rendered in 3D, which was something completely new in gaming at the time. It’s also said that Quake took part in pioneering competitive gaming as a whole, which has grown exponentially into what we know of esports today.
One large added benefit of looking back at an older classic is the modding community. Modding has made it possible to push the game even further, making it absolutely worth the time to spend revisiting this classic.
With that, here are some of the most worthwhile you should try for Quake II.
Seeing as Quake II is a bit outdated, let’s start off with a graphical upgrade.
When it comes to Quake II, there is simply no other graphics mod other than quake2xp.
Considering that your current setup is probably more than capable of running Quake II vanilla, quake2xp will help you take advantage of the more advanced tech we have today to make everything look much better.
The mod makes use of different lighting, shader, coloring, and post-processing effects to bring the game’s graphics closer to what we’re used to in more modern titles.
19. Quake 2 Weapons Remodel
If you wanted to take Quake II’s graphics even further, you could do that with Turic’s Quake 2 Weapons Remodel pack.
He felt that while graphics-altering mods like quake2xp improved on the game’s overall graphics and effects qualities, the weapon models could still use some enhancement.
The mod features complete remodels of all vanilla weapons, giving each of the guns much more detail than before.
It’s crazy to think that you can get Quake II to look this good. There’s even visible wear and tear on the guns, as if they’ve actually been taken into battle a number of times before.
18. Quake 2 Monster Skins
Fragger is actually a seasoned modder, having created skins for multiple game including Soldier of Fortune, Half Life 2, Far Cry, and Doom 3.
He left the mod game for a while, until he saw the quake2xp mod. Fragger was then disappointed to find that almost everything was improved on graphically, except for the monster models.
While others have offered mods to address this, the older models were just resized. Which essentially didn’t improve how they looked at all.
With that, he gives us the Quake 2 Monster Skins pack.
So each of the enemies in Quake II can look their absolute best for every session.
17. Quake II Evolved
Quake II Evolved is another great option to consider if you’re looking to make the game look as good as it possibly can.
This one is especially good for those who prefer not to have too many mods installed. It aims to provide an all-in-one pack that covers mostly everything in the game.
Other than textures and weapon models, the mod even gives you a completely new UI and HUD – which is something unique to Quake II Evolved alone.
The mod also takes some of the best visual improvements seen in Quake III Arena, including the weapon selection bar and shader system.
16. Dawn of Darkness
Now that you have your game looking great, let’s take a look at some of the interesting gameplay mods that can completely alter Quake II.
Dawn of Darkness, for example, completely overwrites the Quake II campaign.
Instead of fighting against aliens as Bitterman, you’re placed in the shoes of a once revered warlord named Roarke The Merciless.
Other than the completely new story, this mod overhauls everything including weapons, enemies, maps, and even textures and models.
Another interesting feature here is that the mod is more focused on hand-to-hand combat as you’re given a dagger and sword as main weapons.
There are mods geared towards multiplayer gameplay too.
With Quake being one of the earliest competitive online gaming experiences, this is great for the many fans who prefer to enjoy Quake with some friends.
Gloom is a great example of a unique multiplayer experience. You’re given a team deathmatch style scenario to play through except with some original ideas thrown in to make things even more interesting.
You’ll find yourself in one of two opposing teams, playing as either humans or aliens. The goal of each team is simple: exterminate all enemies, along with their spawn spots.
What makes it even more exciting is the classes and roles each player has, making for a truly fun team-based game. There are classes who are able to rebuild spawns, and others who can build defenses and repair friendly units.
There’s a lot more to discover here too, as Gloom comes with a total of 16 classes, along with over 300 custom maps. So it’s probably best to try it out for yourself.
While playing online with other people is almost always more fun, some of us just don’t have enough friends to play with – especially if they’re just not playing as much as we are.
For when you just can’t find other people to play with, the game’s AI isn’t exactly a great alternative.
Well that can be said for most any game… which is probably why there’s almost always an AI mod aimed at making the enemy AI a bit more challenging here.
For Quake II, JABotQ2 is exactly that, giving AI bots more realistic movement and decision-making skills to make for much better opponents than before.
13. Q2E Blood Culture
There are still tons of other options for great multiplayer mods.
Q2E Blood Culture is one such multiplayer option that offers updates on pretty much everything.
The mod contains updated textures and skins, along with over 1,700 new maps, pre-configured bots, and a new HUD and inventory as well.
It also features a robust anti-cheat system to make sure everyone plays fair on their servers.
12. COOP or DIE
COOP or DIE on the other hand, attempts at combining the best of both worlds.
While we’ve covered a number of different solo campaigns as well as multiplayer scenarios, COOP or DIE sets itself apart as one of the only PvE mods for Quake II.
The mod sees you playing in coop mode against the game’s AI, where you’ll be able to play through the entire campaign with a friend.
COOP or DIE features updated HUD and inventory screens to be better suited with coop play, as well as new missions for you to enjoy beyond what’s offered in the base game.
Scenario and graphics mods aren’t the only ways to spice things up in Quake II.
LOX is a perfect example to illustrate that.
Instead of giving you better-looking models or new game modes, LOX focuses on beefing up the game’s available weapons.
As with any FPS, that in itself will have you spending countless hours exploring for each new weapon in the inventory.
This specific mod adds over 80 unique weapons for you to discover. Not only that, but it includes over 65 unique player features as well, including snanners, decoy bots, cloaking, and teleporting abilities.
10. StroggDM – You Are The Strogg!
Up next we have another multiplayer scenario mod, except this one turns things around from the original Quake II.
Instead of fighting as the space marines we’re all so used too, you’ll now be playing as the opposite faction instead: the Strogg.
This particular mod features a deathmatch game mode, where you select your specific Strogg type at the beginning of the game, and basically just destroy everyone you come in contact with.
It features a completely custom AI code as well, so you’ll have no problems filling the server if in case you want more enemies to play against.
Rampage is one of the more original multiplayer mods for Quake II.
It attempts to do some things that nothing else has, when it comes to gameplay modifications.
Now it does feature upgraded AI code, which is also customizable with different difficulty levels which will affect their movement and accuracy.
What makes Rampage so unique, however, is the additional actions available to players – including the ability to lift and throw different items around the map.
Barrels can be picked up and thrown at enemies for explosive kills. You can even pick up other enemies and throw them around as weapons as well.
Dday:Normandy is by no means an original idea. WWII mods are pretty common for mostly any game.
It’s quite interesting to see it done in Quake II though.
All the models and textures have been replaced to match the theme here.
The scenario is team-based, where you play on either the allied or axis factions across different maps based on locations found around the world.
It’s really just crazy to see WWII soldiers and weaponry in a game like Quake II, where the original setting is so far from that.
7. CodeRED – Battle For Earth
Up next we have another single-player Quake II experience that’s a great option to pick up if you’re looking for more after finishing the vanilla campaign.
CodeRED – Battle For Earth takes us to an alternate 1999, where man-made AI turns against humanity bringing upon the Mech Wars.
Years later, a human civilization is attempting to rebuild after the war.
You now play as a decorated military Lieutenant by the name of Joseph Hicks. After fighting against machines in the Mech Wars, he’s now tasked with protecting humankind from the next threat as aliens are now reported to be coming to Earth.
6. Transformers Quake 2
Beyond the typical expansion and reimagination mods, there are usually some options that are a bit more “out there” than the others.
Modders can think of the craziest concepts. And with the right amount of effort and know-how, they can come up with some of the most interesting mods for any game.
These next few on the list are some great examples of that. Starting off with Transformers Quake 2 by modder Alpha-Prime.
As you probably guessed, the mod completely transforms the title into a Transformers-themed game.
You can enter battle as either the Autobots or Decepticons, and play through the different supported game modes including Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Teamplay, and Co-op.
5. 007 Quake II
Alongside the launch of Quake II back in 1997 was another FPS game that’s still considered to be one of the best of its time.
Goldeneye 007 is not only considered to be the best Bond game, but is also said to be one of the most solid single-player FPS experiences out there.
Thanks to modder IoN_PuLse, we can have a merged experience of the two with 007 Quake II.
007 Quake II is a completely standalone mod that transforms the game into… something really different.
Trade in the space marines to play as the world’s slickest spy with this mod installed.
4. Paintball 2
This next one might seem a bit weird at first.
But it’s sure to give you hours of fun, especially playing with some friends.
Paintball 2 was actually a popular Quake II mod that has since been made standalone.
Taking the movement and gunplay mechanics of Quake II to a much less serious setting, the game allows you to simulate paintball matches in multiple game modes including Elimination, Capture the Flag, Siege, King of the Hill, and more.
If you’re feeling a bit more creative, you might want to give this next one a go.
Ya3dag allows you to create completely customized levels with its intuitive level editor.
You’re given all the tools you need to build your own scenarios, including terrain modification, object placing, lights, and waypoints.
Crazy, I know.
You can use all models from Quake 2 and 3 as NPCs as well, along with weather to change the environment whenever you like.
2. Eternal War: Shadows of Light
Now these final two are some of the most popular Quake II mods available, and should be well worth your time whether you’re playing alone or with friends.
Eternal War: Shadows of Light changes things up by giving you a more challenging AI to play up against in its campaign mode.
But in reality it’s like an entirely new game.
The mod offers 17 levels, each with new weapons and monsters to encounter.
What makes it even more interesting is that the creators added some puzzles scattered around each of the levels, which you’ll need to solve to beat the game.
Zaero is the other of the two most popular mods, with this one more focused on providing an expanded campaign playthrough for those who enjoyed the original Quake II single-player experience.
The mod was actually released as an unofficial expansion, and fans enjoyed it so much that it was eventually made into a standalone version after several years.
Zaero lets you play through a completely new campaign with its own storyline, and is said to be just as good if not better than the original.
Basically a must-try if you’re going back to the classics.