Haters gonna hate, I do this for people who want to learn the game I love.
Im writing all this tips assuming you have played quake a few times or more.
So you know the very basics of quake by now, the very first thing you want to set up is a config you feel comfortable with. Alot of new players does the mistake by copying a good players config, thinking that it will make them better. But it's not the config that makes them good, it's simply their skill. You want to make a config that suits you best for the moment.
There is one exception though, i'd strongly recommend that you always start with binds to every single weapon. Because if you start off with scrolling through the weapons, I think most of you will regret that you got used to that instead of having binded weapons individually. It's more useful and thats the only thing i'd say you should go for in your config, the rest is up to you.
What a lot of lazy players do when they start playing duel is that they get destroyed by everyone, they give up and go play CA. They often tend to use the argument: "i'm gonna learn aiming and movement in CA first". While that may be partly true, learning aiming and movement in duel while playing it alot better for you. It's alot harder to aim in duel because the opponent is focused on you only and will try to dodge your shots at all times. In CA it's not the same case cause its so many on the screen. So i'd say just be stubborn and stick with duelling if you wanna become good at it. Dont cop out and play other modes in order to improve your duelling.
The first aspect you really need to focus on in duel when you're new is timing
i'd say. Try timing items you take like normal math. Just long enough so you kinda do it on your own without thinking too much. Once you've improved ALOT you can kinda time on feeling alot. But starting to really focus on this at the start really gives you a solid foundation. Because at lower level duelling, if you can outplay your opponent in item control you're pretty much going to beat everyone. Things like aim and movement, all that will come along the way the more you play.
I'm going to use ratings as a way for telling diffrent skill levels, although ELO ratings isn't completely accurate to a players skill, I just feel that this way is the most convienient to relate to. If you're new to quake and don't know anything about the duel rating system please check out: qlranks
Reaching 1600 ELO rating
So lets say you're at 1100-1300 elo and you struggle to get up. What you need to do is 1st: Try to get at the same level off all the maps (officially played maps). Cause almost all maps requires you to play a certain style. If you get your skill to around the same on all levels. You will have a very bright future, because it will make you into a small master off all styles. That is pretty much the best foundation you can have starting off. So focus on all the maps, and if you feel like you're worse on some maps than others: Get better at them. I know it may seem like alot of work but trust me. It will be worth it in the end. Watch alot and alot of demos of really good players, take notes of what they're doing. And im not talking about how they move or aim, you should look for the little things they do like small baits and tricks.
However when you've done this part, the rest will come in short future and you will reach 1600 ELO pretty easily. The only thing you need to have besides knowing this is your commitment.
Going to 1900 ELO rating
If you got to 1600 rating pretty fast doing this, breaking into the 1900 rating won't be a problem for you either. It's just a higher level of play here, less random stuff works. People punish you harder for your mistakes, they time items better and so on. You can't rely on much easy stuff anymore. I'd say to advance even further in duel from your skill level here. Is to not try so hard when you play public duel matches (normal games). Rather than playing your best and trying to win, you should try out new things all the time. Alot of people dont do this enough and I seriously think that even really high level players doesn't do this. Quake is such a big and deep game, there is so many new situations we still see 14 years later. There is so many players that don't get any better, just because they have in their mindset that they should do this kinda thing (metagame). Go out their in the quakelive world and try out new things constantly. You will learn alot and see the game diffrently. I don't think playing to win in normal games is a optimal way to improve your skills. You shouldn't care about winning or losing. From a perspective where you want to improve you only win when you learn new things.
Going even further...
This is when quake becomes super hard, at this level you pretty much need to know what to do. To overcome really good players, you need to throw something random at them sometimes. Be a bit random with a backup plan, this is stuff you should have learned from back when i said: "dont try so hard to win, try out new things in normal games"
. There are around 70 players with 2100 elo, I was one of them streaming on zyzz_brah. Going further is really hard and at this point you realise that quake is one of the hardest game you could play. But i'd say from this on you earn nothing at all playing people worse than you. You should play people better than you at all times, really at all times. And always asks for advices when you play them, and always take their advices seriously. Eventually you should catch up to their skill, and if you're talented too you might go as far to the 2200. From there on out you're on your own basically, theres not many in that rating so if you one day get there. Be damn proud of yourself.
If you're a new player or anyone else and you felt like this helped you in anyway. Im glad that I did something for you. Im just sharing some ideas, I could go on for longer, but now im gonna go out and dance and parteyy..