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This article appeared in Quake III Arena  This article appeared in Quake Live  

Q3 invis.png

In Quake 3, Invisibility is a powerup that makes the user almost invisible for 30 seconds. The player becomes transparent with some shimmering light effects around him/her along the effect period. While it doesn't make player truly invisible, it makes him/her very difficult to see unless very close. The Invisibility power-up spawns in the map initially at the first 40 seconds and respawns after 2 minutes after picked up.

The similar powerup appears in Quake 4.


  • Invisibility should be used to sneak up on targets. Don't run in front of them and fire, because they still can see you when you get close. Instead, fire from a long distance or from behind them. Invisibility's greatest merit is allowing you to get a drop on a loner target at narrow areas to shred away foe's health or camp an important area (item spawns, sniper porches or teleporters) safely. If somebody notices you, it shouldn't be difficult to get away. Just stick to a path and they'll lose you.
  • Hit and run is crucial to invisibility users, abuse peekshots where ever possible. Even you are not detected, the enemy will know someone is nearby once they hear gunshots, footsteps or see shot trails, muzzle flashes and witness their others killed by unseen source. Try to take cover behind corners after shooting to cause a panic and force them to waste ammo by throttling. Keeping a high ground that have a sight on important chokes will allow you to take cover hastily just by crouching near the edges to evade anything thrown your way.
  • When you have invisibility, Shotgun, Grenade Launcher and Rocket Launcher like slow-firing weapons are your best friend. By a surprise factor, you can use the opportunity to combo different weapons to prepare long winded combos. Throttle firing anything in big fights is actually a risk since someone else you didn't focus can see your muzzle flash to locate you and invisibility becomes pointless.
  • As invisible you can use environment to your advantage, a body of water, dark cramped areas or slight fog can be used to surprise your opponents making you harder to see as long as you don't move too much. Try to stick around such areas by walking or crouch-walking around them. Remember that if you get noticed splash damage won't give you any breathing space on cramped areas.
  • A valuable tactic with invisibility, would be sticking around important pick ups such as armor, Mega or highly soared weapons like RG and LG to deny them away from foes and initiate fight on your terms. When you're located try not to be obvious by picking items around your foes unless it's a crucial move.
  • To starve the invisibility bearer, important items must be timed and taken at least once the announce is heard, else invisibility bearer will camp them out for prying on unsuspecting enemies. Upon succeeding, invisible foe would only waste time at cramped spaces or near health bubbles trying to lure enemies. A stacked opponent with invisibility is obviously more dangerous than a glasscannon. Try and sweep items that spawn at narrow chokes and high ground first as Invisibility power-up spawn time getting near.
  • It'll be difficult to tell if an enemy has invisibility, so you can't prepare yourself against it. Instead, just be aware of your surroundings and listen for the announcements. If somebody does attack, just run away! It's not worth getting killed at all because you wanted to chase a target that you couldn't see from medium or long range. Take it out on somebody else by going close to known hotly contested areas.
  • While invisible, beam type weapons like the Lightning Gun or rapid beaters like Plasma Gun and Machine Gun will give your position away while firing away. Prefer short bursts with rapid firing weapons in vast open areas where you face multiple foes. Only fire continuously when you're certain that you've cornered a loner at narrow spaces or close quarters. Even then, you may wanna take cover periodically to evade any incoming fire.
  • In a similar sense Shotgun, MG and Rocket Launcher can be also effectively used against invisible foes to reveal them from medium range. If you're located from medium range while invisible simply try not to move in a predictable path and try to dodge depending on the weapon you face. Jumping and retreating behind corners to take cover may give you a chance for a surprise attack if you get chased.
  • Railgun is a high risk, high reward weapon for invisibility users from long distances. Remember to move away and change position after tagging one enemy, because other foes in a crowded match will track you back and get to your sniping porch. Unless you are really good at taking out multiple enemies quickly nor can evacuate, they will most likely to get a retaliation kill.
  • Some basic console commands like mipmap ("/r_picmip #" where # is a number between [0-3]) might be able to make player spot invisibility wielders easily. So, mind that you're not fully invisible and not everyone are hackers. Anyone using picmip command to reduce the model quality would have a hard time to tell where grenades land on the ground due to color contrast however.
  • Invisibility's usefulness depends to a great extent on the players you are playing against. Some people spot invisible players easily, while others cannot see them, even if they are standing right in front of them. Watch your opponents carefully to see how observant they are. Use this knowledge to your advantage.
  • If you are playing against bots they won't be able to see you regardless of distance unless you fire. However some high awareness bots would get suspicious of footsteps.