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Quake II RTX v1.3 Update

by Matthew Wrightson
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Quake II RTX is Nvidia’s ray-traced remaster of the beloved 1997 first-person shooter. In November, they introduced a ton of new features and enhancements, and now they are back with Quake II RTX v1.3 update. This adds an awesome new photo mode for custom screenshots, along with a free camera and Depth of Field option for making cinematic-quality shots, such as the samples shown below.

G-SYNC At CES 2020
Quake 11


To use Photo Mode, simply pause the game with your keyboard’s Pause key. Real-time rendering approximations and denoisers will be disabled, and the picture will instead be rendered using accumulation. This sees the engine render the same frame hundreds or thousands of times with different noise patterns, before averaging the results, for higher-quality screenshots.

To move the camera for unique in-game photos, use the W/A/S/D movement keys, plus Q/E to move up and down. The shift makes movement faster, and Ctrl makes it slower. To change the orientation of the camera, move the mouse while holding the left mouse button. To zoom, move the mouse up or down while holding the right mouse button. Finally, to adjust the camera roll, move the mouse left or right while holding both mouse buttons.

To add cinematic Depth of Field (DoF) effects to your photos, use the mouse wheel and Shift/Ctrl modifier keys: wheel alone adjusts the focal distance, Shift+Wheel adjusts the aperture size, and Ctrl/Ctrl+Wheel/Ctrl+Shift+Wheel makes the adjustments finer. In contrast with the depth of field effects used in other real-time renderers, this implementation computes “true” depth of field, which works correctly through reflections and refractions, and has no edge artefacts. But to get those perfect results, accumulation rendering is required, which is why this effect remains exclusive to Quake II RTX’s new Photo Mode.

G-SYNC At CES 2020
Quake 11

To save your screenshot, simply press F12 and navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Quake II RTX\baseq2\screenshots.

Settings for all of Photo Mode’s features can be found in the game menu. To adjust the settings from the console, see the pt_accumulation_rendering, pt_dof, pt_aperture, pt_freecam and some other similar console variables in the client Manual.

G-SYNC At CES 2020
Quake 11

In addition to Photo Mode, we’ve introduced support for the campaign’s cutscenes, which are missing from many conversions, remasters and upgrades of Quake II. And have made various other changes, too – to read the full list in v1.3, head here.

If you have Quake II RTX onSteam, the v1.3 update will be automatically installed. If you have a standalone Windows or Linux copy, download the update here. And if you’re interested in modding Quake II RTX, check out our modding guide.

If you don’t own a copy of the game, you can still try the first three levels for free by downloading the standalone version. To get access to everything, buy a copy from SteamGOG or Bethesda.net.

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