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This article appeared in Quake II  

Berserker (Q2)


Will gib when health is


Attack Damage
  • Melee: 8-20
  • Leap: up to 8 (2023 remaster)
Found in

This Bald-mutha is one deadly freak. He may hit the dirt easy, but he’ll get up and is relentless in his pursuits.

—Quake 2 Manual

The Berserker is a Strogg built for melee combat. It is largely humanoid in appearance, but with an armoured body and both arms replaced with melee weapons - a hammer for one arm and a large blade for the other. They are a common foe, first appearing in the Ammo Depot in Unit 2, and being encountered in no less than 19 levels in Quake II's single-player campaign, a number surpassed only by the Gunner.

The Berserker was noticeably improved in the 2023 remaster, gaining the ability to perform melee attacks while running and gaining a new leap attack. However, its leap attack was toned down in the remaster's first patch, due to community feedback.

Behaviour and Attacks[]

The Berserker has no ranged weapons, and will run directly towards its target to engage them in melee. It is one of the faster enemies in the game. Once it reaches melee range in the original game, it will stop moving for a moment and deliver a strike from either its hammer or blade. However, in the 2023 remaster it has the ability to attack while running.

Melee: Each strike delivers 8 to 20 damage if it connects. The blade strikes more quickly than the hammer, and in the original game the blade's upward swing also sends its victim flying backwards into the air, potentially knocking them off ledges, but it doesn't do that anymore in the 2023 remaster.

Leap: (2023 remaster only) The Berserker has gained a new leap attack which can be performed if its target is a mid-to-long distance away from the Berserker. This leap can be executed from a very long range and is performed very quickly with little warning. It causes up to 8 damage if it strikes its target directly, but even if it misses it has a "shockwave" radius of effect, causing a nearby player or Strogg to be hurled away. In the original release of the 2023 remaster the radius of effect was remarkably large, but it was drastically reduced in the remaster's first patch. Furthermore, a player who jumps at the correct moment can avoid being hit by the shockwave. If the player remains close enough to the Berserker, the leap attack won't be performed.


  • In the original game, a Berserker is easy to kill so long as it doesn't corner you. The Berserker is one of the faster Strogg, but is slower than the player's running speed, so as long as you stay aware of your surroundings you can retreat to avoid its attacks. The Berserker has a significant weakness in that he must stop for a moment before delivering his melee strikes, allowing a player to take a quick step backward to avoid it. If you find yourself with your back to a wall as a Berserker approaches, it's a good idea to move towards the Berserker a little, thereby giving yourself a space to step back to if it reaches melee range. This is no longer the case in the 2023 remaster, since he can perform a melee strike while running, although you can still retreat faster than he pursues you - unless he performs his leap attack.
  • The 2023 remaster gives the Berserker a new leap attack which can be remarkably dangerous (and annoying). It can be performed from a surprisingly long distance away, occurs with no warning, and travels extremely quickly. It causes moderate damage if it strikes the player directly, but even if it misses, it causes a shockwave with a very large radius of effect which hurls the player around, potentially throwing you off ledges or into hazards such as lava. The remaster's first patch changed the leap attack so that a player who jumps at the correct moment can avoid the shockwave effect. Furthermore, there are two ways to prevent the Berserker leaping in the first place; either to immediately rush into close range (but not quite so close that he hits you in melee), or to wait around a corner or obstacle so that the Berserker cannot see you as it approaches. If you can stay at close enough range, the Berserker won't leap.
  • The Super Shotgun is a good choice against a Berserker, being capable of killing him with two shots at close range - but it requires all of the pellets to connect on both shots. The Chain Gun, Hyperblaster or Railgun are good options too, at any range; if only engaging one Berserker the Machine Gun and Shotgun can get the job done too. Explosives are not a wise choice, since the Berserker is fairly fast and will certainly be attempting to close the distance between you, putting you at risk of being harmed by your own splash damage.
  • One of its melee attacks is an upward swing which, in the original game, can knock its victim backwards into the air, which could be dangerous if there are hazards such as Slime or Lava nearby. If a Berserker infights other enemies then he can knock most of them into the air too, which is always fun to watch - furthermore, if he knocks another Strogg into deep water, they will eventually drown - the only enemies that can swim or breathe underwater are the Barracuda and the Gekk. However, his upward swing no longer has this effect in the 2023 remaster, but the shockwave caused by his leap attack can achieve the same thing.

Appearance statistics[]

Campaign Easy Medium Hard/Nightmare
Quake II 102 123 148
The Reckoning 35 58 57
Ground Zero 44 55 53
Quake II 64 50 68 84
Quake II PSX 19 26 22
Call of the Machine 50 52 54

Death Message[]

  • Player was smashed by a Berserker


  • The Berserker has some unused animations for slower attacks, attacks while running, jump attack, and crouching. These behaviors have been restored in the 2023 remaster.
  • When a Berserker spots the player, they will shout something that sounds like "Trespasser!".


The Berserker sharpening the arms
The Berserker spotting an opponent
The Berserker attacking
The Berserker being injured
The Berserker dying