Update: the id master server is back online, the in-game server browser is working again. We will continue to look for a way to work around it in the event of future extended downtime. Our original post appears below.
If you’ve tried to play multiplayer Quake 3 using the original id Quake 3 binaries or ioquake3 in the past few months you might have had a difficult time finding a game with the built-in Server Browser. You would have seen the error message in the screenshot above:
No Response From Master Server
The master server is what game servers that you play on talk to, in order to communicate their availability to your copy of Quake 3: Arena.
Since at least March 11th the official Quake 3: Arena master server offered by id software at master.quake3arena.com has been offline and that is why there is an error displayed instead of a list of servers.
We operate a master server at master.ioquake3.org that has been up for years, and fortunately servers using ioquake3 are still reporting in to it, but there isn’t a quick fix for the in-game server browser at the moment. We have repeatedly reached out to id software to notify them of the issue, suggesting resolutions for it, and received no response.
You can watch for the resolution of this issue on Gibhub, but even when we resolve the issue for ioquake3 players, people using the original id binaries will be out of luck unless they switch to ioquake3 or id software brings their server back online.
Our Quake 3 server is still online and you can connect to manually by typing /connect phobos.ioquake3.org in the console. This same methods works for connecting to other servers when you know their address.