Quake 2

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Quake 2 is a 3D first person shooter game by id Software. The Polycount Forums have their roots in the Quake 2 modding community.


Released in 1997, Quake 2 (or Quake II) by Id Software was the first multiplayer game to natively support plug-in player models. Id software has a long history of cultivating end user modifiable content, but Quake 2 was the turning point, and of course the genesis for Polycount itself in its initial iteration as the Q2PMP.

About PPMs

PPMs are plug-in player models/player plug-in models.

The information here is written for vanilla quake 2. If you are using an updated q2 engine the information might not be correct.

Player models are stored in the baseq2/players/*modelName* directory.

A player model consists of three types of files. .md2 contains the mesh and vertex animations, .pcx contains the textures and .wav contains the sound effects.

Certain files are needed for a model to work:

  • tris.md2 - contains the player mesh and it's animations. (Animation list can be found in the reference section)
  • weapon.md2 - contains the player weapon and it's animations. (Animation list can be found in the reference section)
  • weapon.pcx - contains the texture for the weapon model.
  • skinName.pcx - contains the skin texture.
  • skinName_i.pcx - contain the icon for the skin texture.

Additional skin textures can be added by including including another skinName.pcx and skinName_i.pcx file.

Sound effects can be added to your PPM by the files:

  • death1.wav -
  • death2.wav -
  • death3.wav -
  • death4.wav -
  • drown1.wav - Played when you drown. (This file is never played as the default male drown1.wav is always played)???
  • fall1.wav -
  • fall2.wav -
  • gurp1.wav -
  • gurp2.wav -
  • jump1.wav -
  • pain100_1.wav -
  • pain100_2.wav -
  • pain25_1.wav -
  • pain25_2.wav -
  • pain50_1.wav -
  • pain50_2.wav -
  • pain75_1.wav -
  • pain75_2.wav -

If you wanted to add VWep support you need to include the following files.(If you are using the original weapon models you do not need to include the skin (.pcx) files. You can just link to the skin textures in the pak0.pak archive by using NST.) All of the extra weapon .md2's need to be animated like the default weapon.md2.

  • w_bfg.md2 - model that replaces the BFG.
  • w_bfg.pcx - skin for the BFG replacement.
  • w_blaster.md2 - model the replaces the Blaster
  • w_blaster.pcx - skin for the Blaster replacement.
  • w_chaingun.md2 - model that replaces the Chaingun.
  • w_chaingun.pcx - skin for the Chaingun replacement.
  • w_glauncher.md2 - model that replaces the Grenade Launcher.
  • w_glauncher.pcx - skin for the Gernade Launcher replacement.
  • w_hyperblaster.md2 - model that replaces the Hyper Blaster.
  • w_hyperblaster.pcx - skin for the Hyper Blaster replacement.
  • w_machinegun.md2 - model that replaces the Machinegun.
  • w_machinegun.pcx - skin for the Machinegun replacement.
  • w_railgun.md2 - model that replaces the Railgun.
  • w_railgun.pcx - skin for the Railgunreplacement.
  • w_rlauncher.md2 - model that replaces the Rocket Launcher.
  • w_rlauncher.pcx - skin for the Rocket Launcher replacement.
  • w_shotgun.md2 - model that replaces the Shotgun.
  • w_shotgun.pcx - skin for the Shotgun replacement.
  • w_sshotgun.md2 - model that replaces the Super Shotgun.
  • w_sshotgun.pcx - skin for the Super Shotgun replacement.

If you want the VWep to support all the offical addons to Quake 2 you will need to also include:

  • w_chainfist.md2 - model that replaces the Chainfist.
  • w_chainfist.pcx - skin for the Chainfist replacement.
  • w_disrupt.md2 - model that replaces the
  • w_disrupt.pcx - skin for the replacement.
  • w_etfrifle.md2 - model that replaces the
  • w_etfrifle.pcx - skin for the replacement.
  • w_grapple.md2 - model that replaces the Grapple.
  • w_grapple.pcx - skin for the Grapple replacement.
  • w_phalanx.md2 - model that replaces the Phalanx.
  • w_phalanx.pcx - skin for the Phalanx replacement.
  • w_plasma.md2 - model that replaces the
  • w_plasma.pcx - skin for the replacement.
  • w_plauncher.md2 - model that replaces the
  • w_plauncher.pcx - skin for the replacement.
  • w_ripper.md2 - model that replaces the Ripper.
  • w_ripper.pcx - skin for the ripper replacement.

Limitations of the file formats

Limitations of the .md2 model format.

  • Vertices - 2048???
  • Triangles - 4096???
  • Skin Resolution - 640*480???
  • Frames - 512???
  • There can be seperate objects in the .md2 but they all must be solid.
  • .md2 has a small vertex array which will give a model vert boil.

Limitations of the .pcx skin format

  • Limited 256 colour Pallete(Can be downloaded here)
  • No alpha channel.

Limitations of the Quake 2 .wav format

  • PCM 22,050 kHz, 16 bit, Mono. (44kHz CAN play in the game, however the sound system in Q2 can only mix up to 22kHz. Ditto for Q3A)

PPM statistic information

OOTB PPM information

  • Vertices -
  • Triangles -
  • Image Resolution -

OOTB Weapon model information

  • Vertices -
  • Triangles -
  • Image Resolution -

Custom player model information

  • Poly -
  • Verts -
  • Image Resolution - 256*256

Custom Weapon model information

  • Vertices -
  • Triangles -
  • Image Resolution - 128*128



Animation List

  • tris.md2 needs to contain all 198 frames.
  • weapon.md2( and all VWep.md2's) contain 173 frames. Crouch Death, Death1, Death2 and Death3 aren't needed as the weapon disappears when the player dies.
  • Extra frames can be added after the 198 or 173 frames. These can be useful for creating poses that would be helpful when skinning.

Liek fuck am I converting an html frame list to wikicacká. :D


  • Vert boil - Vert boil occurs when the file format doesn't have a large enough vertex array. Vertices can't be placed with the accuracy needed so the mesh takes on a jelly like effect. The Quake 2 powered game Kingpin suffered alot from this issue.
  • VWep - After the release of Quake 2 a new feature was added VWep(viewable weapons). VWep added the ability for the player model to visually hold individual weapons depending on which weapon the player was using.

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