Take normal deathmatch, and inject it with a 200g dose of adrenaline. This is Rocket Arena.

Rocket Arena, in all the games it has appeared as a modification, is a variant of the old style team deathmatch: one player versus another player, or a team of players competing against another team. What makes rocket arena different are two key factors.

  • No respawning. If you die, you're dead, and you stay that way until the next round.
  • No powerups. If you get shot at the beginning of the match, you carry that injury until the very end. If you run out of ammo, you switch to another weapon. To make things fair, you're given all weapons (as allowed by the server administrator or the current voting patterns; typically excluding the BFG in Quake 2 and 3, and the Redeemer in Unreal Tournament), and maximum ammo for each weapon.

In normal deathmatches, a strategy employed by players is the act of controlling a map. Knowing respawn times, key access points, and powerup locations ensures a victory over a less-informed player. Rocket Arena takes these factors away from a deathmatch, instead allowing the players to concentrate on fighting.

Rocket Arena has the added benefit of training a player at the given game. Players who play RA regularly will find themselves at a greater advantage over their opponents in other non-RA game modes, as RA players become better at pure dogfights, which is the core to any FPS.

Most Rocket Arena servers will only use maps made for RA, instead of the standard deathmatch maps. Maps designed for RA allow for greater flow and connectivity than normal deathmatch, as there are no uses for alcoves, dead ends, or other secluded locations to place powerful weapons or powerups. Each RA map usually contains both a pickup arena, where two teams of players compete, and a few rocket arenas, where smaller 1 on 1's, or 2 on 2 battles can occur.

In most Rocket Arena servers, selfdamage (inflicting damage to yourself with your weapons) is turned off, allowing for freedom of rocket jumps, grenade jumps, and combinations of the two. Doing so encourages the use of rocket jumping, but rocket jumping leaves a player vulnerable to both mid-air shots, and shots aimed at the point where the player will land. As such, skilled players will only rocket jump when necessary.

Currently, the Rocket Arena mod can be found at for both Quake 1, 2 and 3 (at http://www.planetquake.com/arena), and for UT (at http://www.planetunreal.com/arena).