Play Quake 3 on the Raspberry Pi Using New Vulkan Driver

The RPi-VK-Driver was in development for two years and can run on older Raspberry Pi boards, including the Model A, B, Zero, and many more.

Cabe Atwell
21 days agoGaming

Quake 3 remains a popular multiplayer game since it was released in 1999, and while it has been available to play on any number of platforms, it can now be played on a handful of Raspberry Pi models. Earlier this year, the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced it was developing an open source Vulkan driver for enhancing the Pi’s GPU bottlenecking with OpenGL. NVIDIA engineer Martin Thomas has beaten the Foundation to the table, and recently released his RPi-VK-Driver, which he had been developing over the last two years.

Although it’s technically not a driver, as it doesn’t comply with the Kronos Group’s standard, it does adhere to the Vulkan parameters as much as possible. Thomas was able to use his driver on a Raspberry Pi 3 to play Quake 3 at over 100fps at a resolution of 720p, an impressive payoff for a two-year endeavor. The only limitation the driver has, is it’s only compatible with Raspberry Pi boards running a VideoCore IV GPU, which includes Models A, B, Compute Module 1/3, and Zero/Zero W.

On his GitHub page, Thomas states, “Compared to the available OpenGL drivers, it offers superb speed including precise and predictable memory management and multi-threaded command submission. It also offers a wider feature set such as MSAA support, low-level assembly shaders and performance counters. On the other hand, it currently does not support GLSL shaders.”

Thomas notes that the boot mode for the Raspberry Pi must be set to “Desktop,” and users will need to switch “tty console” for modesetting to work using ctrl+alt+f1. Users will need a copy of Quake 3 as well.

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