Though supporting Deathmatch maps only, the various game modes work regardless of the lack of features. Despite its buggy and crash-prone code, Qtest became extremely popular and was played until the shareware release of Quake came out. The maps are early versions of the first three Deathmatch levels, each designed to showcase a Level Theme.
Also see Qtest Custom Files for a list of various files that were released by the community in the small time period between Qtest and Quake. As joked by id Software, they could have let the rest of the community finish up Quake at the rate they were coming out.
- Ranger sounds different, and has sounds for breathing and coughing, as well as rubbing against an object.
- Sounds are higher quality than the ones from the final version.
- HUD has different textures and font. Another font was used in an alternative HUD found in the pak files.
- HUD has no spot for Keys or Runes.
- Frags are displayed at the bottom of the HUD instead of on the Scoreboard.
- The Console used the Quake box art instead of being colored brown. Also the Console used font identical in appearance to Doom. Underneath the Console text was a stone texture instead of brown text.
- Sprites are used in place of particle effects and models, such as torches, gargoyle statues, an exploding orb, and an indicator that someone has used a Teleporter.
- Ambient sound effects do not exist.
- No Powerups.
- The smaller versions of the 25 Health are not always 15 Health, but vary between 10-15 Health.
- The chest gib was the player's Armor instead of a bare chest.
- The eyes of the face gib were bright blue.
- The Teleporters used the skybox texture.
- Slime, Lava, and Water textures were completely different.
- The player can't drown underwater.
- Each weapon looks completely different in model from the final version.
- Nails and Shells are limited to 99.
- There is no Axe, running out of Ammo results in a beep and no Weapon being able to be used.
- The Nailgun fires a stream of Nails with perfect accuracy.
- Nails are called Flechettes in-game.
- The Super Nailgun fires two Nails at once, but the Nails disperse at range. It is called the Chainailgun in the readme file.
- The Grenade Launcher fires Grenades in random directions.
- The Rocket fired by the Rocket Launcher has no texture.
- The Thunderbolt is only found in the readme and the files.
- The Chainlightning Gun is an exclusive weapon, but likewise never appears in-game.
- Enemies use Ranger's sounds.
- The Grunt doesn't have a pain animation and only has a wireframe texture.
- The Ogre fires Nails instead of grenades.
- The Knight has a different running animation, with its sword in the air.
- The Fiend is extremely large, being the scale of the Shambler.
- The Shambler has a weaker range.
- The Rotfish has animations, but they distort its body.
- The Spawn cannot do any damage to the player. It also crawls at a slow speed instead of jumping rapidly towards the player.
- The Scrag shoots powerful balls that explode when they hit something and cause splash damage. The balls are also sprites only. The Scrag can be killed if they are in front of their own projectile and the player touches it.
- The Zombie only has a wireframe texture and only one frame of animation.
- The Vomitus is an exclusive monster never added to the final game.
- The Dragon is an exclusive monster never added to the final game. It however, is only found in the files and cannot be created in-game.
- The Serpent is an exclusive monster never added to the final game.
- The Vore is known as the Shalrath, looks completely different, and is unknown to work in the game.
- No alcove with the Quad Damage. However, Rockets and a Rocket Launcher were placed near the alcove.
- The door to the "hidden" Red Armor room is opened by walking on a piece of floor near the entrance.
- The Yellow Armor room has no Teleporter.
- The hall connecting the Super Nailgun room and the Red Armor room has no Teleporter.
- The Nailgun and Rocket Launcher locations have been switched.