Is the full version of Quake II free now? If so, where can I find it - I don't see it available on ID's site, even in the Store section.

I see that there's a GPL source available. And I recall ID having made other's free as well. Is there an authoritative source?

  • 2
    I remember the Java port, Jake2, is available for free.
    – KOVIKO
    Sep 3, 2012 at 0:28

2 Answers 2


While id has open-sourced the engine, the game itself is not free (as in beer or speech).

All of the Q2 data files remain copyrighted and licensed under the original terms, so you cannot redistribute data from the original game, but if you do a true total conversion, you can create a standalone game based on this code.

This essentially means that you can download the source code, and use it as long as you comply with the terms of the license. Additionally, you can download versions of the Q2 binaries/source that other people have modified or made available, if you so desire. If you want to play the game, you'll need the game files from the original disc or some other source.

As far as the game is concerned, you can pick it up on Steam, along with most of the rest of the id library.

  • Couldn't you just simply download the code and run it off your machine if you are just planning to play with your friends?
    – Pacerier
    Jan 31, 2015 at 8:06
  • @Pacerier, you can download the code (or a prebuilt binary, or a modified binary) and run it off your machine. The code is released under an open source license. The problem is the other stuff - models, textures, levels, etc. If you want to use the original Q2 versions of those things, you have to buy the game. If you make or download alternative models, textures, levels, etc, then you're in the clear.
    – agent86
    Jan 31, 2015 at 21:24
  • Since they are all the same, why do you need to buy it if your friend has already bought it? Couldn't one person buy it and share it with 100 friends?
    – Pacerier
    Feb 1, 2015 at 13:52
  • @Pacerier, copying something that is copyrighted and distributing it to others without the permission of the copyright holder is called "copyright infringement." Sometimes people also call it "software piracy." So, yeah, sure, you can do that. It's just illegal :)
    – agent86
    Feb 4, 2015 at 13:24
  • Well, wouldn't they implement something to stop casual folks from doing it?
    – Pacerier
    Feb 8, 2015 at 17:57

Quake 2's engine has been released as an open source product. The best proof of this I can find is the id Software public git repository. The actual game content however has not and you still need to buy a copy from steam if you want to play it.

The source code can also be found zipped on id Software's FTP site here.

This link on slashdot points to the original id Software page, which has been updated since but which also point to the git repository.

  • 2
    Just so we're explicit on this, does this mean that there's no precompiled binaries available? Do people who want to play have to compile a copy for themselves? Sep 3, 2012 at 1:05
  • @MatthewScharley - Only the engine was release. The artwork that makes Quake 2...Quake 2 was not released and is still protected by copyright. Which means you still have to purchase the game. I don't think you understand what exaclty was released.
    – Ramhound
    Sep 4, 2012 at 12:08
  • 1
    @Ramhound: Yea, I got that from the other answer. This one wasn't particularly clear, hence my comment. Sep 4, 2012 at 12:17

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