The Source engine is a 3D game engine developed by Valve Corporation. Its unique features include a large degree of modularity and flexibility, an artist-driven, shader-based renderer, accurate lip sync and facial expression technology, and a powerful, efficient and completely network-enabled physics system.

Report article RSS Feed Source SDK is free

Following the free to play release of TF2, Source SDK has been accidentally released free, and will remain that way.

Posted by INtense! on Jul 4th, 2011

This news comes a little late, but for those unaware due to the recent release of a free Team Fortress 2, the Source SDK will soon become free to use in its entirety, for everyone (confirmed by Valve's Robin Walker in this RockPaperShotgun article). The free SDK was first uncovered in our forums on the 28th of June by an enterprising young man going by the name of Riley, who just happens to be the playtest leader of esteemed Source mods Zombie Panic Source and No More Room In Hell.

This means that all Source mods, made for Valve games (we list around 1,500 for HL2 alone) may eventually be free to play, without requiring you to purchase a Valve game (thou who hasn't purchased a valve game on this site?)

Here is what Robin Walker had to say:

Robin wrote:Yep. That said, your email has triggered a process here that made us re-examine that, and we’re going to just go ahead and make the Source SDK freely available. Thanks for making us better!

When RockPaperShotgun emailed Walker for further confirmation, and he went on to explain:

Robin wrote:We are in the process of getting it all done. It’s a bit messy because we have multiple versions of the SDK, and there’s some dependencies we need to shake out. But yes, the gist of it is that we’re just going to go ahead and make the Source SDK freely available.

Nifty... share this great news!

Post comment Comments  (50 - 100 of 164)
Dman757 Jul 4 2011, 10:29pm says:

Man if only someone had posted about this last week


+7 votes     reply to comment
INtense! Author
INtense! Jul 4 2011, 10:39pm replied:

I missed that, sorry I know i'm late to the party

+3 votes   reply to comment
Icedecknight Jul 5 2011, 1:26am replied:

Don't worry all the cool kids are late to the parties ;).

+14 votes     reply to comment
Dman757 Jul 5 2011, 1:55pm replied:

Well it's on the frontpage this time so more the merrier!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Varsity Jul 5 2011, 3:44pm replied:

Excuse me? :p

I'd be interested to know which news admin didn't consider this story worth the front page...

+2 votes     reply to comment
INtense! Author
INtense! Jul 5 2011, 9:19pm replied:

I'm yelling at (henley) the site editor right now for missing that. This was a huge story which a few members on this site broke and we totally missed it.

+2 votes   reply to comment
BluishGreenPro Jul 4 2011, 10:35pm says:

The Source? For free!? Great!... only, I use Game Maker... oh well, I can still appreciate how great this will be for others!

+2 votes     reply to comment
nPen Jul 5 2011, 1:49pm replied:

Game maker? REALLY?

+12 votes     reply to comment
altercuca Jul 4 2011, 10:42pm says:

I smell new engine coming! don't forget boys Gabe said he's working on something that gonna make today look like the stoneages!

+10 votes     reply to comment
DarkPivot Jul 4 2011, 11:01pm replied:

When did they say that?

+5 votes     reply to comment
Icedecknight Jul 5 2011, 1:51am replied:

In the Podcast 17 interview I think.

+4 votes     reply to comment
altercuca Jul 6 2011, 10:26am replied:

He said that on Portal 2: The Final Hours. And @Icedecknight on Podcast 17 they actually said that "GoldSrc" was to never be free :P which is kinda ironic :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Sakrath Jul 4 2011, 10:43pm says:


+4 votes     reply to comment
Krisz113 Jul 4 2011, 10:49pm buried:


I think the HL (Ep)3 will be the last VALVe game, that i buy (If it's rlease ever). I bought the L4D Now if you had the L4D2, you had the L4D. I bought the Orange box. Now the TF2 is free. (Oh, i'm a premium user, what a wonderful feeling) And now the SDK... Gabe, don't you wana give me the VALVe?

-27 votes     reply to comment
DarkPivot Jul 4 2011, 11:02pm replied:

Oh well, your loss for missing out on some awesome games.

+13 votes     reply to comment
santap555 Jul 4 2011, 11:12pm buried:


Me too I feel like you .

I bought VALVE Games for Sorce SDK , But now It'FREE.

we are customer of VALVe. But why They give Many things for Many People for FREE .

What do you think valve ,What do you think about the feelings of your customers.

Please do something for your customers.

-25 votes     reply to comment
Ark_ Jul 4 2011, 11:26pm replied:

Jeez people really will bitch about anything.

The modding community really seem to be a uncontent and unsuporting bunch :/

"Please do something for your customers."
Like free dlc?

+14 votes     reply to comment
Icedecknight Jul 5 2011, 3:28am replied:

No please just kill me, I can't live knowing that I spent 20$ bucks on an awesome-but now free game :'( *Gives medic gun* :O

+8 votes     reply to comment
Evil-Police Jul 5 2011, 2:18am replied:

Unless you're unfortunate, you probably bought the OB a looong time ago like I did. Stop complaining. Chances are they will never ever make their single player games free (Portal was an exception and a promotion for Portal 2), just the multiplayer ones. So calm down kiddo.

+5 votes     reply to comment
rorios Jul 7 2011, 4:58pm replied:

1: The source engine has been out for 7 ****ing years, and you're upset that they're making it free???????????? what?!?!?

2: "we are customer of VALVe. But why They give Many things for Many People for FREE" what wrong with them promoting their games by making things free? It helps give new players a high opinion of valve which will give them even more customers in the future.

3: "Please do something for your customers" .............. urrrrr, free DLC???????????

+1 vote     reply to comment
MNKYband Jul 14 2011, 2:20pm replied:

Valve DID do something for their customers.

1. You didn't pay that much for TF2 probably.

2. You have a PREMIUM user now for buying it.

3. They made an awesome game free so everyone without enough money or not wanting to buy it (like me) can enjoy it.

+2 votes     reply to comment
ashton93 Jul 14 2011, 3:01pm replied:

Pfft, ahaha, seems like you dont know what Valve does for their customers and users

+1 vote     reply to comment
rorios Jul 7 2011, 4:50pm replied:

seriously??? you're upset and don't want to buy anymore valve games because they're using a good tactic to promote a game that's been out for 4 years, and which you could get for hella cheap anyway???? and I'm sick of reading stupid comments everywhere from the left over L4D2 boycott retards who can't get over themselves...

+2 votes     reply to comment
madcat1030 Jul 10 2011, 7:21pm replied:

I appologize. You must feel so inferior for buying something when it was new. I bought it when it was new too. I enjoyed it. I still enjoy it. Now people who didn't buy it when it was less than 5 years old can enjoy it too. Honestly, I don't get why people are ****** at valve for making things free. Had you known 5 years ago when you bought Team Fortress, can you honestly say you'd have waited until now to buy it? If not, your argument is voided.

+2 votes     reply to comment
thunderising Jul 4 2011, 11:09pm says:

Mods going standalone?

This is EPIC guys stop complaining will ya!

+9 votes     reply to comment
Joel8160 Jul 4 2011, 11:24pm says:

If there be a new engine on the making I can't afford the system req's. Most likely :(

+1 vote     reply to comment
audryzas Jul 5 2011, 6:21am replied:

All valve games more or less are supportable by older systems. I don't think theres much to wory about.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Medevila Jul 8 2011, 3:31am replied:

If there's one thing Valve is good at it's having games runnable on a vast spectrum of specs. (lol spectrum of specs herp)

+1 vote     reply to comment
BlueWolf72 Jul 4 2011, 11:45pm says:

need a flash IT'S FREE stamp with moddb colors

+1 vote     reply to comment
MattyG Jul 5 2011, 12:15am says:

Should help the modding community a bit.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Tatsur0 Jul 5 2011, 12:27am says:

This makes playing mods easier and benefits the modding community. It in no way harms any of their existing customers and follows Valve's tradition to make games affordable with free weekends, special holiday/etc deals, and you could get the source sdk with HL2:DM which has been $5 for a very long time. I honestly can't see any reason anyone would complain but instead I see plenty of reason to once again cheer Valve on for their incredible support of their fans/customers/community. I'm more excited for the new Tools than the updated/new engine that's been rumored.

Also, nice work Riley. I know you don't like praise but you've got great work ethic and have proven to be an asset not only to us at ZPS for so many years but now NMRiH and the entire Source community. Cheers!

+9 votes     reply to comment
MrTambourineMan Jul 5 2011, 7:49am replied:

^^ This, engine is fine, but we do need new tools. Awesome news btw.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Ashkandi Jul 5 2011, 1:58am says:


+1 vote     reply to comment
TheUnabridgedGamer Jul 5 2011, 2:10am says:

I get the feeling a big-hub-a-bub will gone for a while about this.

Frankly, it doesn't matter to me, as I already have the Orange Box.

Just glad modders finally get to make stand-alone games, granted they're based on 2007 Source (2009, I believe, will not be available without Episode 2).

+1 vote     reply to comment
BraveNoob Jul 5 2011, 2:13am says:

Wasn't this engine always free?
But besides that, if they make a new engine does that mean TF3??? I'll start saving my pennies; where did I put my piggy bank.

-2 votes     reply to comment
TheUnabridgedGamer Jul 5 2011, 10:30pm replied:

It was free, but only if you had a Source game (there's the hook, line, and sinker of it all).

+1 vote     reply to comment
GhostEdge Jul 5 2011, 2:26am says:

Hopefully some great mods will be revived again....Like Neotokyo, Dystopia and Eternal Silence. Valve is too smart.

+5 votes     reply to comment
MrTambourineMan Jul 5 2011, 7:51am replied:

Neotokyo yea, one hell of a mod, it's a damn shame it died so soon.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Ark_ Jul 5 2011, 9:17am replied:

Not so sure its dead, I check to see if anyone was playing about a week ago and there was nearly a full server. I was pleasntly suprised.

+3 votes     reply to comment
GhostEdge Jul 5 2011, 11:42am replied:

That's a surprise, I never usually see anyone on, but I guess I'll just take that as a sign like that of a heart beat...I'd really love to see the community packing heat in NT again, it was just, so wonderful when it was alive....unfortunately, people preferred CoD than NT's slower gameplay....NT's gameplay to be honest, is just at the perfect pace, it's not stupidly fast like CoD, it's not extremely slow like Project Reality, it's not too arcade-ish, yet not extremely tactical and complex like some others. It's just perfect if you ask me.

+4 votes     reply to comment
cinco Jul 5 2011, 2:34am buried:


and not a **** was given considering the source engine sucks donkey balls.

-22 votes     reply to comment
Icedecknight Jul 5 2011, 3:39am replied:

Considering its still alive on its 7th year, even if it does lack some technology now it was more than enough back than.... And don't even get me started on GoldSource... Heres a new engine that might be to ur liking though :)

+7 votes     reply to comment
Garyn Dakari
Garyn Dakari Jul 5 2011, 4:29am replied:

Good grief, it's you again. Do you ever have *anything* positive to say? All you ever post, is "< Insert game/mod/picture/engine/person here > SUCKS!" Don't you have something better to do?

+10 votes     reply to comment
aidy70060 Jul 5 2011, 5:17am replied:

It's funny because Source is quite possibly one of the greatest engines in the world. Just like Unreal, one of the most widely used, so easy to use and modify and it has probably some of the best physics there is alongside GeoMod and so on.

+6 votes     reply to comment
KnightofEquulei Jul 5 2011, 1:02pm replied:

No one likes cinco. LOL

+5 votes     reply to comment
Elementalist Jul 5 2011, 3:54am says:

Okay, so I'm a little late to the comments, but what? Does no one remember Alien Swarm? Alien Swarm is free, moddable, and based on Source. I'm not sure if it was exactly Source SDK, but it would end up being pretty darn close and I know it allowed for total conversions and whatnot.

So this isn't really that huge?

+2 votes     reply to comment
Ark_ Jul 5 2011, 4:14am replied:

The code base was quite largely differnt, that was fine for new mods starting up.
But this allow all the current HL2 mods to become allmost stand alone, at least you dont need to buy HL2.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Elementalist Jul 5 2011, 5:27pm replied:

Ah, I see the difference now. Thanks for explaining to me!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Ashkandi Jul 5 2011, 4:25am says:

This means the engine is free and you can sell the **** you made on it? Or its just about playing mods for free?

-3 votes     reply to comment
Garyn Dakari
Garyn Dakari Jul 5 2011, 4:26am says:

Wow, it's hard not to laugh at all the Valve bashing lately.

"Valve sucks, because I bought TF2 and now it's free!"

"Valve is greedy, because they have an optional hat shop!"

"Valve is being really stupid, and is about to sell all their stuff!"

"Valve hasn't done anything greedy that I can remember, so I'm sure they're about to...Really soon now...I can feel it..."

Lol. Anyway, this is pretty cool, and perhaps it will allow for standalone indie games at some point? That would be pretty awesome. Hmm...I should learn hammer one of these days :P

+3 votes     reply to comment
SinKing Jul 5 2011, 5:49am says:

the full package, eh? Respect the package!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Post a Comment
click to sign in

You are not logged in, your comment will be anonymous unless you join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) which we encourage all contributors to do.

2000 characters limit; HTML formatting and smileys are not supported - text only

Windows, PS3, X360, XBOX
Send Message
Official Page
Release Date
Released Oct 31, 2004
Engine Watch
Track this engine
Report Abuse
Report article
Related Engines
Source Commercial Released Oct 31, 2004
Related Groups
Valve Developer & Publisher