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Xonotic was a free as in freedom fast multiplayer arena first-person-shooter game similar to e.g. Quake. It runs on GNU/Linux, Winshit, BSD and other systems. It is one of the best libre games, i.e. games that are completely free by both code and data/content. It is available under GPLv3. Its gameplay, graphics and customizability are pretty great, it may well be the best in the AFPS genre, even compared to AAA proprietary games -- this kind of quality is very rare among libre/noncommercial games.

UPDATE: Xonotic as a game died in summer 2023 when the retarded developers couldn't get an erection without CONSOOMING NEW CONTINT and started just blindly pushing bugs and balance breaking changes without listening to player complaints at all (and actually banning many for voicing criticism, including drummyfish), demonstrating update culture at its worst. The main server became a meme overnight, all fun (such as friendly push) was removed from the game to create a "safe space" for players, possibly to get the game ready for Steam sales or make it more open to noobs and advertisers. RIP. If you can fork Xonotic and restore it to its previous glory, please do so.

{ LOL the main server now banned me for voicing criticism of these updates xD RIP, I guess that's it for me. It was a nice journey. ~drummyfish }

{ I've been playing Xonotic for years, it's really an excellent game. I've met a lot of nice people there as the players are usually programmers and people looking for FOSS. The gameplay is addictive and relaxing and you can have a great chat during the game. Of course it's kind of bloated but Xonotic is a masterpiece. ~drummyfish }

The game builds on old ideas and mechanics but adds new weapons, mechanics, ideas and modes -- apart from the traditional deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the flag, complete the stage (defrag, racing without shooting) and competitive mode (duel), there are a number of new fun modes such as clan arena (team round-based mode without self-damage and items), freeze tag, key hunt, last man standing and even Nexball -- football in Xonotic!

Xonotic was forked from a game called Nexuiz after a trademark controversy (basically in 2010 the guy who started the project and abandoned it later, an ass called Lee Vermeulen, came back and secretly sold the trademark to some shit company named Illfonic). Nexuiz itself was created on top of liberated Quake 1 engine, so Xonotic still bears a lot Quake's legacy, however it masterfully expands on its core principles and makes the gameplay even better. For example rockets shot by rocket launcher can be guided with mouse while holding down the left button which adds a new skill element. New types of weapons were added to the classic AFPS weapons (e.g. the infamous electro, a meme spamming weapon used by noobs for its forgiveness of lack of skill). Movement physics was also modified to give better air control and faster movement as a result.

Fun fact: Xonotic even briefly appeared on a TV show: https://yewtu.be/search/watch?v=a0TFejn95Sw.

The game's modified Quake 1 (YES, 1) engine is called Darkplaces. It can be highly customized and modded. Just like in other Quake engine games, there are many console commands (e.g. cvars) to alter almost anything about the game. Advanced programming can be done using QuakeC. Maps can be created e.g. with netradiant.

Though compared to any mainstream modern games Xonotic is quite nicely written (e.g. runs very fast, doesn't have billions of dependencies and despite not being 1.0 yet has fewer bugs than today's AAA games at release), from a more strict point of view it's still very bloated and it's known to contain some shitcode -- for example the engine has frame dependent physics (TODO: cite a specific line in code), uses floating point to represent time, great part of the game is written in a joke language called QuakeC, its net code is worse than e.g. that of OpenArena and some people complain about input lag and other bugs. It could definitely be written MUCH better, but as already mentioned it's still a million times better than any new game.

{ The game runs extremely smooth for me even on old PC, I have no input lag. When my Internet connection gets bad I am sometimes unable to play Xonotic but still able to play OpenArena, which says something about the net code, but that happens very rarely. Also on pretty rare occasions I notice bugs such as imperfect culling of players or even projectiles just hanging mid air during whole game (which happens after heavy packet loss) etc., but nothing that would really be so frequent as to bother me. ~drummyfish }

Xonotic is similar to other libre AFPS games such as OpenArena and Red Eclipse. Of these Xonotic clearly looks the most professional, it has the best "graphics" in the modern sense but still offers the option to turn all the fanciness off. OpenArena, based on Quake 3 engine, is simpler, both technologically and in gameplay, and its movement is slower and with different physics. While OpenArena just basically clones Quake 3, Xonotic is more of an actually new and original game with new ideas and style. Similar thing could be said about Red Eclipse, however it's not as polished and shows some infection with SJW poison.

{ OpenArena is great too. ~drummyfish }

As of 2022 the game has a small but pretty active community of regular players, centered mostly in Europe, though there is some US scene too. There are regulars playing every day, pros, noobs, famous spammers, campers and trolls. Nice conversations can be had during games. There are memes and inside jokes. The community is pretty neat. Xonotic also has a very dedicated defrag ("racing with no shooting") community. There have also been a few small tournament with real cash prizes in Xonotic.

The GOAT of Xonotic is probably Dodger, his skill was just too high even above other pros. The worst player in Xonotic and probably also the biggest idiot on the planet is a player named 111.

Great news is the development and main servers have so far not been infected by the SJW poison and (as of 2023) allow a great amount of free speech -- another rarity. Even the game itself contains speech that SJWs would consider "offensive", there are e.g. voice lines calling other players "pussies" and "retards". This is great.


Here are some pro tips to git gud, impress your frens and generally have more fun.

See Also

All content available under CC0 1.0 (public domain). Send comments and corrections to drummyfish at disroot dot org.