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General Questions

What is the Speed Demos Archive Quake section?
The Quake section is the home of all single level speed runs in the id software classic Quake. If you don't know what Quake is, you're missing out.

What is a speedrun?
A speedrun is a demo, recorded by the game, of people's attempts to get through a level in the fastest time possible without cheating.

What types of demos are there?
There are demos where the goal is simply to get to the exit of a level. [or one of the exits if there's more than one] The other type is where you must kill 100% of all monsters and find all the secrets before exiting. Both types can be done on both easy and nightmare skills. 

There's so many demos here! Where do I start?
Depends on what you want to start doing. If you just want to be entertained, follow the Tables link on the left, then go to one of the tables, like runs on the original levels, and then download some demos. We have many maps listed here, the original game, the mission paks, and user made episodes and levels. If you would like to try speedrunning yourself, make sure you follow the rules, then try to fill one of the blank spaces in the custom level tables. Or try to improve someone's record.

So what techniques can I use to gain speed?
Well, there's Wallhugging, Zigzagging and Bunnyhopping...and of course, any damage that is brought upon you causes an acceleration, sometimes a very significant one, like a quadded rocket that hits you in mid air...but there are easier ones too. You can be shot up a low ledge that you normally can't reach by a grunt, or use an enforcer-blast, or an ogre-grenade-jump, or a fiend-boost, or a vore-ball-jump, or a Shambler-lightning-ride, or a....

Zigzagging? Wallhugging?
Read these articles that Anthony Bailey wrote: wallhugging and zigzagging.

What the hell is 'Bunny-hopping'?
Bunnying is basically zigzagging but you jump after you zig or zag. The result is that you're not on the ground, which slows you down, so you go faster. Bunny hopping takes a while to get used to, but gets easier with time.

Read this short article for some further info: Bunny hopping.

What is this patch that prints 'QdQstats 1.8' and the end of most demos?
QdQStats is a Quake progs.dat that adds a few things for speedruners. It prints a more accurate time at the end [to five decimal points], fixes known problems with levels that you can't get 100% kills, and adds a grenade counter and trigger info. For more info and to get it, see

That grenadejump is awfully difficult to time! Suggestions?
You can try using the grenade counter in QdQstats, but some people frown on its usage. A higher fps helps a lot with grenade jumps [and rocket jumps]

Hey! I tried doing a 100% of E3M3, but I can't get 100% kills!
Yeah, there's a few levels were you can't get 100% kills because there's Zombies but no way to kill them. We all used to think E3M3 was one of them, but that has been showed to be wrong. Generally if you have a problem getting all the kills, follow the example set by the previous record. If there is no record, and you feel there's a map bug, then email us.

I've found a cool new route for the E1M4 Nightmare 100%, but there's always one monster missing. The Ogre by the silver key door never appears!
This is because of the way the triggers are set up. You must kill the Fiend to the left of the silver key door before you enter the rising Ogre/Knights either side of the lift area. You can get the super nail gun if you like, but if you go into the next area with the Fiend still alive then the Ogre will NEVER teleport in.

What is this .dz file?
A .dz is the format of a file made by Dzip, a compression program that works better than a normal zip program for Quake .dem files. You'll need to download dzip to extract the dz.

I downloaded a dz and got a pak...what do I do?
If you downloaded a marathon, it's probably in a pak file. To watch this you have two options:
-Make a marathon directory under your quake directory, then put the pak in there, making sure it's called pak0.pak. Then run quake -game marathon.
-Rename the marathon to pak2.pak (or higher if needed) and put it in your id1 directory, then run quake normally.
Then you'll probably have to do "playdemo start" or playdemo of the first map in the marathon (like e2m1, hip1m1 etc)

So, what's a marathon?
A marathon is a recording across multiple levels, done in one sitting. To make a marathon you need to use v1.6 or higher of the appropriate QdQstats mod. Then use compile.bat to compile the marathon into a .pak file.

Check out further instructions on how to create and watch marathon demos here.

Sumbission Questions:

I have a demo I think is a record, what should I do with it?
Great! Make sure it's a record, you used qdqstats, name it correctly, write a text file, dzip it and send it in to us.

How do I make sure it's a record?
For a map that's been on the tables for a while, the time on the site is very likely to be accurate. For new maps, though, there's a fair chance that the we've received an improvement since the last update and your best bet is to hassle someone on IRC to find out the current state of play. The second best bet is to email us and ask, though there's inevitably a risk here that the info will be out of date by the time you get it!

How should I name my files?
The simplest way of getting this right is looking at what the existing demos on the map you are trying do, but:

That didn't make any sense. Can you give me some examples?

It's not that hard, really :)

What should I write about in my text file?
Well, anything you like, really, but it's traditional to include things like your name, the map, category and time of your demo, the date you recorded the demo and a few comments on the run. Like the naming thing, have a look at what everyone else does. We appreciate but do not expect accurate information (especially if you're Dutch).

Anything else I can do to be helpful?
It helps a little if your player name in the demo is something distinctive like your QW handle or IRC nick.

Where do I send my demo?
Mail your demo to the entire SDA team at , not some random member of the staff who once looked at your girlfriend funny. This is particularly important because in the event of receiving multiple demos with the same time the one that hits the SDA mailbox first is the winner.

Do I really have to get all this stuff right?
Well, no, getting things like file names wrong will not result in your demo being considered invalid, especially if you're new at this SDA game, but if you keep at it you'll get on our nerves a lot :)

Tech Questions:

Right, I'm growing tired of typing "record demoname map" in the Quake console. How can I make demo recording a bit more ergonomical?
Well bind it to a key of course! Dont know how? Type in this at the console: bind <key> "record (demoname) (mapname)". Then when you have the inevitable screw up, just hit the key.

I want to see what the optimum would be for this run I'm trying.
For practicing only, you can set host_framerate to a lower value (like 0.005, this makes speedrunning a LOT easier) to try, but remember: we do NOT accept hfr demos!

How come I can sometimes rocketjump to a high ledge and sometimes I can't?
The speed of a boost you get is framerate dependant. Low fps, low jumps, that's basically all there is to it.

My computer is not very fast, but I need to perform this high jump in my demo. What techniques can I use to boost up my fps?
You can try using a smaller screensize, lower your resolution, and if even both of these methods don't provide enough frames per sec, you can try setting "r_drawflat" to "1". It looks horrible but it 'flows like liquid'!!

Some levels are so dark I can't see a damn thing. How do I lighten them up a bit?
In Dos/winquake you can use "r_fullbright 1" or "r_ambient 100" (100, or any other value you like). To light up your level in GL, only "r_fullbright 1" is available.

How do I start a coop server?
If you're running with four or less players its easy. The player who's going to be the server just starts quake like normal then types in "coop 1" and "maxplayers <# players>" then pick your map. Instead of the usual recording binding, you'll want to add ";wait;pause" at the end so the server will pause when the map starts. Then when the other runners connect, unpause and run away. For more than four players it's basically the same, only you have to add "-listen X" to your command line from which you boot Quake, in which is the number 4<X<17 is the number of players you want to add.  NetQuake only allows 8 player max though (even though it says 16). Remember that 99% of the maps don't have more than 4 coop starts (except for RDE levels, which have 8 =), so you'll have to start-unpause to let the second series of players enter the game.

How do I prevent my friends getting hurt from my fire?
Set "teamplay" to 1.

OK, I did coop, set teamplay to 1, but I still killed my friend when I grenadejumped off him!
Well that's because you have to wear the same color pants.

Ok I got this QdQstats patch for my LAN coop, but the monsters keep disappearing when I kill them to prevent lag, but I don't want this since I'm on a LAN.
QdQstats v1.5 has the disappearing stuff to try to help lag for over the 'net coop games. If you dont want it, get QdQstats v1.7. If you have v1.7 and you *do* want it, then set coop to 2.

Misc Questions:

I've recorded a demo of an unlisted custom level. Now what?
Keep your recording. We are currently adding a few new maps here and there. Feel free to mail us suggestion by telling us where to download map. DO NOT send us demos for maps that are not listed, as that will make it likely I won't even check out the map...

What is the difference between this place and QdQ?
QdQ seeks to run through the entire game in a continuous run and refilm the demos into movies. SDA is just individual levels.

I think this site is great. I want to send you some money. How can I contact you guys?
You can find contact information on the site info page.