Xonotic: The Free Arena Shooter For Everyone


Are you a fan of arena shooters? Were Quake and Unreal Tournament some of your favorite games back in the day? Well, while arena shooters may be on life support, they’re not quite dead yet. Let me tell you about Xonotic.

Ready For Most Computers

Xonotic is a completely free arena shooter for Windows, Mac and Linux, that should run on most computers, regardless of how powerful yours is. Once you’ve downloaded it, you don’t even have to install Xonotic, so it really requires minimal technical knowledge. Combine the fact that it’s completely free with the fact that it can run on almost any computer, regardless of operating system or processing power, and you can start to see why Xonotic really is the arena shooter for everyone.

If you’re a Quake fan, Xonotic won’t be anything too foreign to you, since it’s on the same open-source engine. In fact, Xonotic’s closest relative is Quake Live, which any arena shooter fan is familiar with. While Quake Live is no longer free, however, Xonotic will be completely free (you can’t even pay for anything in it if you want to) for as long as it’s around (according to its creator, at least).

Singleplayer and Multiplayer

For those who are less familiar with Quake, Xonotic has a well-polished single player mode to ease you into the game. Basically, it runs you through every single type of game mode (with varying difficulties) and only allows you to advance to the next one once you have beaten¬†the game mode you’ve been given. This means the single player is essentially a tutorial, although it’s the most organic and well-scaled tutorial I’ve ever come across. Once you feel comfortable enough beating up on the AI, you can start jumping into multiplayer modes.

This is where the one drawback to Xonotic comes in: there simply aren’t enough people playing it to sustain several servers. When searching for an online server in Xonotic, you’ll usually find one with about five players, a few with two to three players, and then several ghost servers with one player or none at all. This means that rather than picking which online game mode you feel like playing (deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the flag, and soccer, to name just a few), you’ll mostly just be searching for the most-populated server.

Tell Your Friends

While this makes the situation sounds hopeless, there is a silver lining — it shouldn’t be that hard convincing your friends to give Xonotic a try. They don’t have to spend a dime on it (even if they end up liking it), and they should have no problem running it on their computer, unless they’re running Windows 3.1 on an ancient Thinkpad. Even then, it’s probably worth a shot.

Xonotic Screenshot

Once all your friends are playing Xonotic, it won’t matter how dead the average server is, since you can just play in servers with your friends. If they ever played Quake or Unreal Tournament, it shouldn’t be too hard convincing them to give Xonotic a try. Even if none of your friends start playing it, you can usually count on me to be online.

So give Xonotic a try. Head over to their website, download the game (no installation required), and throw yourself back into the glory days of the arena shooter!

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