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Nexuiz: A High Quality Futuristic Shooter With Linux, Mac, And PC Support

Danny Stieben 25-12-2013

Linux gaming has recently seen an increase in popular titles, but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t have good games before the arrival of Steam. Nexuiz is one of several such titles that remains a popular game to play on Linux for both old and new users.


Quick Note

Technically speaking, what I refer to as “Nexuiz” is called Nexuiz Classic on various websites as there were plans to remake Nexuiz with CryTek’s CryENGINE 3 engine. However, you can’t find the newer version anywhere, so “Nexuiz Classic” is currently the only playable Nexuiz game you can get.

How To Get It

Nexuiz can be installed on Windows, Mac OS X, and all major Linux distributions The Best Linux Operating Distros The best Linux distros are hard to find. Unless you read our list of the best Linux operating systems for gaming, Raspberry Pi, and more. Read More . Windows and Mac OS X can just go to the download page and get the installer, while Linux users can search their respective package manager for “nexuiz” and then install it. The game is just shy of 900MB, so it may take a little while for it to download.

Getting Started

When you first start the game, you’re met with three different options — single player, multiplayer, and settings.

In single player, you go through a series of campaigns that grow in difficulty. For the first two campaigns, you have to go through a tutorial and then fight one-on-one against a computer player and whoever kills the other player ten times wins.

In multiplayer mode, you can customize your character’s name and appearance before joining a session or creating one. There isn’t a master list that is downloaded, so you’ll need to look online for servers or ask friends to host a session. Of course, hosting a LAN session will be the easiest, as you don’t have to mess with port forwarding.


You’ll be able to mess with a handful of settings within the game. In fact, there are plenty of quality options that are placed on their own “Effects” page. Thankfully, there are shortcuts along the top of the screen so you simply click on Ultra, save, and get on your way.


The gameplay is very fast-paced and engaging. The futuristic theme is clearly present throughout the game, as the weapons can do various things like shoot lasers or plasma blasts. The maps are also very well-developed and futuristic — it can also react to your actions by reflecting shots and other effects. Considering that Nexuiz first debuted in 2005, this is actually pretty advanced for the time.


With settings cranked to their maximums, you’ll definitely find your system lags if you don’t have a strong graphics card. In fact, my laptop with integrated Ivy Bridge “HD 4000” graphics was only able to play on Ultra settings while the game was windowed to a very small resolution. So although you shouldn’t have problems running the game on any decently powered system, don’t expect it to run flawlessly on max settings.


The controls are very similar to any other shooting game — WASD makes you character move around, the spacebar makes your character jump, the numbers switch to different weapons, R reloads, and so on.


Remember when I said that there was a newer version of Nexuiz? During the development process, the code was forked which also gave birth to Xonotic. Xonotic is more advanced than Nexuiz, but it is more difficult to install because it is rare to find it packaged for various Linux distributions. Instead, you’d have to download the executable and place it somewhere yourself. I may review Xonotic at some point to check out the differences.


Although it might be a little old, Nexuiz is still a great game that has beautiful graphics, a fun game playing experience, and it has become a classic in Linux gaming. So, even if popular new titles come out for Linux, don’t forget that there’s always some classics that you can play too.

Don’t forget to check out other great Linux games!


What’s your favorite “classic” shooting game for Linux? For all platforms? Let us know in the comments!

Related topics: First Person Shooter, Mac Game.

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  1. ShhhhJustTakeIt
    January 5, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    You should check Xonotic, which is a clone or maybe a spiritual successor of Nexuiz.

  2. Dk
    January 2, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    Urban Terror is better and has an online community of at least 10,000 people at any given time.

    • you know who
      January 6, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      I wouldn't say they have 10,000 people on at any time, that seems like a little to much, but it is a really great game. I've been playing on and off for about 14 years, it was created before Counter Strike.

  3. Achim
    January 1, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Addicted to it! So simple and yet entertaining.

  4. cyv
    December 29, 2013 at 11:06 am

    I've played nexuiz for years because with "hook" enabled it is (one of) the fastest FPS. But Xonotic replaced nexuiz on my system about 2 years ago because the Xonotic developers implemented vehicles (racing-car, copters, spider-tank,..) so it is no longer a FPS only but more like a strategical "open battlefield" which demands teamplay and team-communication. The installation is as easy as nexuiz, all plattforms can download the zip. Linux users can get packages at CU! :)

    • Danny S
      December 31, 2013 at 11:24 pm

      Great tip about Xonotic! I'll definitely have to check it out in the near future! :)

  5. James
    December 26, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Natural Selection 2 in the steam store is in my opinion the best game on Linux. A High Quality Futuristic Real Time Strategic Shooter.

  6. Yami
    December 26, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Nexuiz is still very much alive (This one that is). I mostly play on TBCs CRA servers (feel free to check those out), but if that's not your style, I'm sure some server will be! The community is awesome. If you have any questions about Nexuiz, I'm sure someone in IRC at #thebadasschoobs (On QuakeNet) will be able to answer any thoughts or concerns you might have. We also have screenshots and videos of the gameplay so feel free to stop in! If you don't have an IRC client, we have a web-based one at

    -Happy Fragging!

  7. Djordje D
    December 25, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Nice mention there! I played it for years, and it was my favorite game for a long time. Unfortunately, it is not being actively developed anymore and all of it's community including myself migrated to it's successor (not sequel) Xonotic. It is developed and maintained, and it is a blast! Also you can check out Vecxis which is another fork of Nexuiz (deliberately has a name that is even more difficult to pronounce :) ). It is basically Nexuiz but being actively developed and has a lot of bugs fixed but it is still in beta and is yet to determine it's development path.

    Happy fragging :)

    • MikkeGee
      December 26, 2013 at 9:11 am

      "all of it's community" seems a bit of an overstatement since nexuiz's community is still far bigger than xonotic's. And while not being developped, Nexuiz is still being heavily modded and new features keep coming faster now than ever ..

  8. bob
    December 25, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Before I download it...can it be played with a gamepad?

    • Yami
      December 26, 2013 at 1:56 pm

      Yes, it has gamepad support (I've used a PS3 controller before on it). I still prefer my keyboard and touchpad, but to each their own :).

    • bob
      December 26, 2013 at 5:23 pm

      Thanks for your reply Yami!

  9. Brian Tkatch
    December 25, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    It's in the app store for $0.99. A comment there mentions xonotic, the sequel, which is also free, also on Mac and Linux, but not in the app store.

    • Danny S
      December 31, 2013 at 11:22 pm it's open source, it should be free, right? Well, I guess someone is charging for the conveience of having it in the app store rather than having to go search for it yourself.

      Thanks for sharing! :)

  10. Danny
    December 25, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    I'll check it out, looks like fun, thanks Danny!