All maps share the common objective of finishing in the fastest time possible, but there are variations on how this is achieved.
Run mode is a flat-out race which the objective is to finish line. In accuracy mode, map is completed after a certain number of targets have been hit with the railgun (a Q3A sniper rifle).
Level mode is similar to run, but map provide a number of alternative ways of reaching the finish line. In fast caps mode, the time is measured since the flag has been taken. ' Training mode usually requires the successful usage of a particular technique in order to complete the level. There also freestylemaps without primary objective, but where the player may practise particular techniques. The type of map can usually be seen in its name, although some do not follow this convention.
There are two game physics and ruleset modes—Vanilla Quake 3 (VQ3) and Challenge ProMode (CPM).
VQ3 is an original Q3A physics and game ruleset CPM is an altered game physics delivered from Challenge ProMode Arena modification. It provides a gamemode which includes physics allowing for better air-control, rebalanced weapons, fast weapon switching and improvements of jumping techniques.