Cube 2: Sauerbraten

Engine default


Wouter van Oortmerssen & friends

Not specified


Supported Platforms:
Windows, Linux, Mac OS X

Languages Written In:

Languages Supported:

Graphics APIs:

  (5 reviews)

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Sauerbraten (a.k.a. Cube 2) is a free multiplayer/singleplayer first person shooter, built as a major redesign of the Cube FPS. Much like the original Cube, the aim of this game is not necessarily to produce the most features & eyecandy possible, but rather to allow map/geometry editing to be done dynamically in-game, to create fun gameplay and an elegant engine. The engine supporting the game is entirely original in code & design, and its code is Open Source (ZLIB license, read the docs for more on how you can use the engine).

Supported Features


  • Save/Load System 6 directional heightfield in octree world structure allowing for instant easy in-game geometry editing (even in multiplayer, coop edit).
  • Fixed-function
  • Fonts
  • GUI
  • Rendering engine optimized for high geometry throughput, supporting hardware occlusion culling and software precomputed conservative PVS with occluder fusion.
  • 3d menu/gui system, for in-world representation of choices.
  • Billboarding
  • Particle System
  • Sky
  • Water
  • Explosion
  • Fog Particle engine, supporting text particles, volumetric explosions, soft particles, and decals.


  • Per-vertex
  • Per-pixel
  • Lightmapping
  • Lightmap based lighting with accurate shadows from everything including mapmodels, smooth lighting for faceted geometry, and fast compiles.
  • Bloom lighting.


  • Shadow Mapping Soft shadowmap based shadows for dynamic entities.


  • Basic
  • Multi-texturing
  • Mipmapping Animated textures


  • Vertex
  • Pixel Pixel and vertex shader support, each model and world texture can have its own shader assigned. Supports normal and parallax mapping, specular and dynamic lighting with bloom and glow, environment-mapped and planar reflections/refractions, and post-process effects.


  • Mesh Loading Loading of md2/md3/md5/obj models for skeletal and vertex animated characters, weapons, items, world objects.

Scene Management

  • General
  • Octrees
  • Occlusion Culling
  • LOD


  • Keyframe Animation
  • Animation Blending


  • Rendering


  • Basic Physics
  • Collision Detection
  • Robust physics written specifically for this world structure.
  • Ragdoll physics


  • Client-Server
  • Master Server Network library designed for high speed games, client/server network system.

Artificial Intelligence

  • Pathfinding
  • Decision Making
  • Finite State Machines


  • 2D Sound
  • 3D Sound
  • Streaming Sound Simple stereo positional sound system.

Tools & Editors



Small but complete configuration/scripting language.


License Name Price in $US Source Code Included?
ZLIB Free Yes

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0 of 0 people found the following review helpful

Great engine and game

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 pez263 Feb 28, 2009 at 21:03

The cube 2 engine is probably the best game engine you could get completely free.The only downside is limited single player mode out of the box,but nothing that cant be fixed with some scripting.Graphicly this is one of the best,making great use of md2/md3 models and excellent shading,this runs really smooth,if needed you can get deep into graphic options.Sound is decent,nothing new but its pretty smooth.The in game editor is easy to jump right into,with basics to advanced mapping you can do it all.Out of the box features are good,only lags in coop-edit when spammers go on but if your making a game with it im sure you wont include coop-edit,has basic weapon features,good third person mode smiler to ratchet and clank camera movement,easy controls,no joystick support,all files needed to access scripts and content,and easy to follow license that just state you change all in game content(models,textures,midi's,ect.).I recommend for anyone making an fps or platform game on a tight budget.

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0 of 0 people found the following review helpful

Cube 2 -- Great game, great engine, free, but you unsurprisingly have to rely on the community for s

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 Lionsword Feb 16, 2009 at 21:55

NOTICE: This was UPDATED June 17, 2008
A game called Blood Frontier is a very popular free game that is still in beta phase and is based on this engine. It has been mentioned on several gaming websites including ModDB, IGN, Gamespot, and even Slashdot (News site for everything nerd. Only posts things that matter.).

I'll do this four-point style:

Has plenty of features, many you would never expect from a free engine or even a low-budget engine. There are even addons which allow things like Ragdoll physics as in Blood Frontier.
The scripting engine is great, the graphics are great.

Ease of Use:
The game itself is easy to modify, and making your own game based upon it is easy.
However, it gets a bit hairy when you are trying to add engine features, as the code is a bit hard to read for non-professionals.

No crashes, runs great on just about any machine. No reason to complain here.

The only support is some weak documentation and the Sauerbraten/Blood Frontier forums. Though, the community is massive and questions get answered fast.

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0 of 0 people found the following review helpful

Great Engine for FPS games with easy to use editor!

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 Mic Nov 05, 2008 at 15:19

I have worked in the gaming industry for about 10 years. The cube 2 engine has some outstanding features if you can find the right tools to work with them. As an artist with some scripting background I was looking for an engine that I could use and hit the ground running. After reading the documents on how to use the editor, I was able to start creating a level within the first 15 mins. But my focus was on character creation within the engine.

The Cube 2 engine uses the quake format for model importing. Mk2 for static meshes, and mk3 for animated and static models. If you have already created objects or characters in the past for any of the quake engine titles, you will have a good head start on how to use this engine. I had to learn the quake system, and after a few nights of messing around and finding the correct tools and exporters, I was able to get a skin mesh imported and shooting back at me. I was even able to find the area in the AI code where I could mess with the settings to change look angle, attack, speed, etc... For you coder types this open source engine would be a great place for you to start, because when you get into the art side of things, all the tools and editor exist.

I only used the engine for a short time, but I hope to get the chance to work with it again because I was able to learn it so quickly!

If you are a mod team for any type of FPS, take some time and look at this engine. Instead of creating a Mod that would only be played by a fraction of that game's install base, you could create a free/budget game using this engine!

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0 of 0 people found the following review helpful

Good Engine

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 Outreach Feb 24, 2008 at 04:41

Really good engine. The fps is slow at times, but a good computer should fix that problem. There is support, but it is a bit outdated. You don't need programming. I recomend this engine to the quick developer.

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0 of 0 people found the following review helpful

Recommended as both a game and a game engine.

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 Person_99 Jun 26, 2007 at 06:05

Sauerbraten comes with a full source code, with a simple Z-lib license for modification. The source code has a good structure and it is easy to read.
The game itself has incredible Doom 3 / F.E.A.R / Oblivion graphics (No HDR lighting, yet...). You get that with the source code also.
There is no external level editor required. If you want, you can set yourself a tricky CTRL+SHIFT+#+# key to access the editor, or whatever.
The level editor is incredibly simple and easy to use, but at the same time, it has a good amount of power.
The AI that comes with the game is basically see-chase-attack. But then since the source code can be easily modified and recompiled, you can code your own AI. Or if you don't feel up to that, just tweak the current AI.
The sound is good quality, average 3d sound.
This engine has great internet play. There is no lag, even on the worst split 56k internet.
Again, everything that is not a package (model/texture/sound) is in the source code.
The game is stable, and it preforms on even the smallest machine. With F.E.A.R/Doom 3 quality graphics, this game requires a Quake III-quality computer. And for those who's computers can't handle the F.E.A.R/Doom 3 quality graphics, the game lets you tweak the graphics like any other new game.
The support is a bit odd, the forums are slow to reply. Your best bet to get help is to ask on internet play or use the slow-forums or use alternate forums.
Overall, this engine is a high-quality engine with lots of features. Definately worth the thousands you would pay for some other unstable commercial engine.
But lucky for us, it costs nothing. All of these features, for absolutely nothing. Surely you won't go buy something 3d gamestudio if you have a little bit of programming experience?
Plus, 3d gamestudio still can't do some of the stuff that this engine can.
If you have no programming experience, looks like you found a locked door, and the way through is a couple of programming books.
And for those of you who want to see a demo of the game, download the engine, it comes with the game and the source code.

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Last edited Dec 28, 2011 at 13:11

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