Quake III Arena, or Q3A, is an FPS game which is the third entry in the Quake series and the first in the series to exclude the single-player aspect while focusing on multiplayer games. Instead of the traditional single-player mode, players can play on a single-player match against computer-controlled bots in a game similar to the Unreal Tournament.
Because the game does not focus on a traditional single-player element, there is no plot-based campaign mode in Q3A. The gameplay involves the player progressing through map tiers by battling and fighting different bots. These bots increase in difficulty from Tier 0 to Tier 7. Players also battle against opponents, which take place in different complex arenas. The game features different maps as well. There are specific maps for deathmatch and tournament game modes. In a deathmatch mode, players can choose from maps and can battle against up to 16 opponents while tournament maps are made for battles against 2 players. The game features different gameplay modes including Deathmatch, Free for All, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Tournament, and others.
Weapons used by players vary according to their roles. Each weapon also has its own set of advantages and disadvantages in different situations. For instance, the railgun is advantageous at long-range while the lightning gun is better to use at close quarters.