Tutorial to play classic games like RTCW and Quake 3 arena on linux

In this tutorial I will explain how to install and play my favourite classic shooter games Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Quake 3 arena from the early 2000s on linux.

Quake 3 Arena

for manjaro and arch:

yay -S ioquake3-git

for debian based systems:

Download and install game-data-packager

sudo pacman -S game-data-packager

Install quake 3 Arena Demo:

game-data-packager quake3 -i

by default it will install the demo version, but you can play online with it like the original game.
However if you want the original game, read on.

Install quake 3 Arena (full):
You need to install the original game to get a file named pak0.pk3, you can install the original quake 3 arena with wine and then grab the pak0.pk3 file from the main folder in program files quake 3 arena.
But this is too complicated as the game is hard to get now (released in 1999)

But you can also just download the original file named pak0.pk3 from here (smarter decision than above step):

and place it in your home directory in a folder named whatever you like, but I named the folder “q3a”

Now to install the full game, you have to tell game-data-packager where pak0.pk3 (you downloaded from github in the previous step) is located (in my case it was the q3a folder in the home directory):

game-data-packager quake3 -i “/home/user/q3a/”

Thats it, enjoy quake 3 arena!


For manjarh and arch:

yay -S iortcw-git

For debian based systems:

For this game you need to install RTCW with wine first as well and then tell game-data-packager the install location.

Download and install game-data-packager (if you haven’t):

sudo pacman -S game-data-packager

Tell game-data-packager where the original rtcw is installed, it will then automatically update everything and port it to linux:

game-data-packager rtcw -i --package rtcw-en-data “/home/user/.wine/dosdevices/c:/Program Files (x86)/Return to Castle Wolfenstein/”

An alternative method to install rtcw:
Step 1)
Download the latest iortcw release yourself (choose which operating system and which architecture you run:

In my case I would download: iortcw-1.51c-linux-x86_64.zip

Step 2:
Also download the latest patch: patch-data-141.zip

Extract both contents into the same folder somewhere you want (create a directory named rtcw in home directory for example)

I think you can play already by executing “iowolfmp.x86_64” in this directory, but if not then you also need the original rtcw pak0.pk3, you can get this file by installing the original game through wine and look in the main folder in program files rtcw or you can probably also get this file somewhere online.

Final step:

To join my favourite RTCW server without bots and elite players still playing, open terminal in game by pressing the button left of 1 on your keyboard “`” and enter:

/connect wolfdm.xyz

to join the RTCW Eastcoast DM server

Have fun!