With July 4th coming up for American readers, and a regular weekend for everyone else, I figured I’d spotlight something a bit “fun” for folks to get up to over it.

Yes, I’m writing about a game.

Now, I don’t tend to cover gaming too often because a) my buddy Liam does it so much better over on Gaming on Linux, and b) I’m more of a console gamer than a PC gamer (I know, I’m the worst).

But a new version of open source first-person shooter Xonotic is out. It’s a very substantive update for this totally-FOSS game (licensed under GPL3), as the team note in their release announcement. So, I figured I’d make an exception and mention it.

“There’s been thousands of commits since 0.8.2 [including] refined gameplay, new and updated maps and models, new sound effects, more dangerous bots, new HUD and menu features, more translations, better infrastructure, too many fixes to count, and much more.”

And the summary you’ve just read is a serious understatement. The full release announcement offers a comprehensive, blow-by-blow, nut-and-bolt overview of everything new. Almost every area of the game has been tweaked, tuned, or transform, from its levels, graphics, and characters models through to the “bots” you can play against offline.

One of the new maps 'Bromine'
One of the new maps ‘Bromine’

Although Xonotic draws inspiration from games like Quake 3 Arena and Unreal Tournament it’s developed a style all of its own with stunning high-resolution graphics, immersive maps, weapons, characters, and more. The game can be played online against other players or played offline against ‘bots’.

Want to try it out?

The easiest way to play Xonotic is to download the ZIP archive from the xonotic.org website, extract it somewhere accessible, then run the binary to play 🎮.

While many Linux distributions do package Xonotic in their repos this will generally be an older version (and thus lacking all of the improvements that make this update so special). Unofficial Flatpak and Snap builds are also available, if you prefer.

Give it a go and let me know what you think in the comments!

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