Pick up the crowbar of research scientist Gordon Freeman, who finds himself on an alien-infested Earth being picked to the bone, its resources depleted, its populace dwindling. Freeman is thrust into the unenviable role of rescuing the world from the wrong he unleashed back at Black Mesa. And a lot of people, people he cares about, are counting on him.

Post tutorial Report content RSS feed Beginners Guide to Valve Hammer Editor

This tutorial will show you how to make a very basic map, you will learn how to create brushes (they are blocks that you use to make your level) apply textures & scale them and using various tools that the hammer editor has.

Posted by on - Basic Mapping/Technical

[page=Starting Hammer]
If you already know how to start hammer move on to the next section.

First you'll need Half-Life 2 and Steam installed to use Hammer. After you've done that you need the SDK. Start Steam then open the "Play Games" menu. Go to the bottom of the list. There should be a "Source SDK" on the list (it will not appear if HL2 is not installed). Right-click on it and click "Launch game" button on the drop-down menu. If this is the first time that you have started the SDK, you'll need to download it (it does this automatically. You won't need to download it off of a site). This will take awhile. Once it finshes, you will have the SDK. Now when you launch, it will open a window (after it finshes loading). Here you have a list of most of the tools. Right-click on Hammer (the one at the top) and click "Launch" on the drop-down menu. Now that you've started Hammer (it may take a second or two to finsh loading)you can start mapping! Please move on to the next section.

[page=Mapping with Hammer]
First things first, click on the "file" tab at the top bar, then click on new.

Example:
User Posted Image

Once you've done that you will have a grid, camera and tools to work with,
Example:
User Posted Image

Now you're probably wanting to know what those tools on the side do. Here's a description of each one (note: only the basics of mapping is covered in this tutorial, not all of the tools will be covered, but I hope to cover them in later tutorials). If you get confused later about tools, look back here.

The Selection Tool:
User Posted Image
This is your selection tool. It lets you select brushes and enitiys that are in the map. When something is selected it will have a red-ish tint to verify that you have selected it. You can select multiple things at once by holding Crtl and clicking on the brushes you want.

The Zoom Tool:
User Posted Image
A simple tool used to zoom in and out of the grid and view. If you have a mouse wheel you can zoom in and out with that as well.

Camera Tool:
User Posted Image
This is the tool for moving around the "camera" view.

Entity Tool:
User Posted Image
The Entity Tool is the one of most important tools in Hammer. It can make lights or even place starting points.

Brush Tool:
User Posted Image
The most important tool in Hammer. This will let you create floors, walls, ceilings , catwalks almost anything can be made by using simple brushes. But for the more compelx shapes, you'll need models (I won't cover placing them in this tutorial, but I hope to in the future).

Texture App:
User Posted Image
For applying and scaling textures. This is very useful when textures tile badly (see later in this tutorial how it's used).

Apply Texture:
User Posted Image
Not to be confused with the Texture App. This will apply the texture currently selected in the texture browser (later this will be covered).

Apply Decal:
User Posted Image
Some textures are "Decals". For example, if you want a bullet hole in a wall, you get the decal selected in the texture browser (using the texture browser will be covered later). Click on the "apply decal" button and click on the place you want it to be in the "camera view".

Apply Overlay:
User Posted Image
A lot like a Decal. But overlays can be morphed and sized. You can place it the same way as you would a decal.

Clipping Tool:
User Posted Image
A more complex tool, but it can make amazing results. I will go into this in a later tutorial.

Vertex Tool:
User Posted Image
This lets you "morph" brushes. I will go into this in a later tutorial.

That's it for the main tools. Now let's make something. First, click on the brush tool, drag a box & press enter(the size doesn't matter much. You can change it later if you need). Move the camera so you can see your new brush. It should look something like this:
User Posted Image

NOTE: To see textured brushes, go to the top bar. Then View>3D textured polygons.

That brick texture looks pretty ugly. Lets change it. Over on the right-side of the screen you should see this:
User Posted Image
Click on "browse". A new window has appeared, it's the Texture Browser. Since this is a floor, we're gonna add "floor" to the filter. You'll come up with a lot of textures. So instead of just floor we'll add "metal floor" to the filter. This will narrow your search.
User Posted Image
Double click on the texture to use it. Now to apply it. Click on the brush you want to have the texture, and press the Apply Texture button. Voila!
User Posted Image
Now we need a ceiling. Hold shift and drag your floor brush (in the "side" grid) higher, then let go of shift.
User Posted Image
You now have a ceiling! Now you just need some walls. Drag to make brushes like you did before, but in the "side" grid make them tall.
User Posted Image
Then press enter. Repeat this until your map is sealed. Now find a good wall texture (doesn't really matter what you're using). Most likely you'll run into this problem:
User Posted Image
It tiles horribly! Select the walls and press Shift+A. A new window has appeared! It's the Texture App:
User Posted Image
Just play around with the scale and shift settings. It might take a while to get it right, but there's no need to hurry so take your time. When you finsh it should look something like this:
User Posted Image
Doesn't that look a lot better? Your map is almost ready. Now you need to place a starting point so the game knows where you start. Click on the Entity Tool. You won't need to select which entity you want right now. It starts out with a info_player_start entity so all you'll need to do is place the entity. On the grid click on where you want it to be. Here's an example:
User Posted Image
Press enter and a little green man will appear. Make sure that he's not going through the ground. I recommend making him float a little to be sure. Note that other source games such as Counter-Stirke: Source or Day of Defeat: Source use custom spawn points. Like into_player_terrorist and info_player_counterterrorist.
User Posted Image
Now for the last thing, you'll want to add some lighting. Click on the entity tool. Over at the right you'll see this
User Posted Image
From the drop-down list choose light. Place a few like you did with starting point. When you've finshed adding the lights it should look like this:
User Posted Image
Notice that I'm not placing the light entitiy on the ground, but i'm making them float just a little bit. This makes it a litte less intensely bright making it look a bit better. Now you need to save and compile the map. Press "file" at the top bar. Then click save
User Posted Image
Don't put spaces in the file name use _ or just don't use spaces. Now you're to the last part. Click on the "file" menu again then "Run Map" a new window will appear:
User Posted Image
Set everything to "normal" and turn off "don't run the game after compiling" if it's on. Press ok. The compile window will appear:
User Posted Image
Once finshed it will automatically run the game. The final product will look something like this:
User Posted Image
Congrats! you've made your very first level! it's not that pretty, but this tutorial is not for making the coolest looking map in the world. It's for beginners that want to map but just don't know how.
Go to the next page for some handy keyboard tricks.

[page=Keyboard tricks & wrap up]
Here's a list of every keyboard trick out there:

Tools:

Shift+S - Pointer Tool
Shift+G - Magnify Tool
Shift+C - Camera Tool
Shift+E - Entity Tool
Shift+B - Block Tool
Shift+A - Texture Application Tool
Shift+T - Apply Current Texture
Shift+D - Decal Tool
Shift+O - Overlay Tool
Shift+X - Clipping Tool
Shift+V - Vertex Edit Tool

File Operations:

Ctrl+N – Create a new file.
Ctrl+O – Open an existing file.
Ctrl+S – Save the current file.
Alt+B – Export again.
F9 – Run/Compile Map.
Ctrl+Shift+S – Open Sound Browser.

Undo/Redo:

Ctrl+Z – Undo.
Ctrl+Y – Redo.

Clipboard/Selection:

Ctrl+C – Copy objects to clipboard (also Ctrl+Insert).
Ctrl+V – Paste objects from clipboard (also Shift+Insert).
Ctrl+X – Cut objects to clipboard (also Shift+del).
Shift+Q or Esc – Clear current selections.
PgUp – Previous selection in "hit" list.
PgDn – Next selection in "hit" list .
Alt+Enter – Open up Object Properties for the currently selected objects.

Grid:

[ – Decrease the size of the grid.
] – Increase the size of the grid.
Shift+R – Toggle grid on/off.
Shift+W – Toggle snap to grid.
P – Toggle 3D grid on and off (with mouse cursor in 3D view).

Grouping:

Ctrl+G – Group selected objects.
Ctrl+U – Ungroup selected groups.
Ctrl+R – Create prefab with selected objects.
Ctrl+T – Tie to entity. Creates an entity with selected objects, or adds objects to an existing entity if one is also selected.
Ctrl+W – Toggle Ignore Groups mode to bypass entity and group selection.
Ctrl+Shift+W – Move selected solid entities to world.

Carving/Hollowing:

Ctrl+Shift+C - Carve selected objects.
Ctrl+H - Hollow selected objects.
Viewports
Ctrl+A – Auto-size 4 views to center.
Shift+Z – Maximize/restore current viewport.
Arrow keys – Nudge the current selection in the current 2D or 3D viewport.
Shift+Arrow keys – Clone the current selection and nudge it the current 2D or 3D viewport.
F6 – Cycles to the next active viewport.
F6 – Cycles to the previous active viewport.

2D Views:

Ctrl+I – Flip selected objects vertically.
Ctrl+L – Flip selected objects horizontally.
Ctrl+B – Snap selected objects to grid (based on bounding box).
Ctrl+Shift+B – Snap selected objects to grid (individually).
Tab – Switch view types (top/side/front).
+/- – Zoom in/out (hold Ctrl to synchronize all 2D views).
Mouse Wheel – Zoom in/out (hold Ctrl to synchronize all 2D views).
1 to 9 – Preset zoom levels.
Space – Hold space and left mouse button to drag view position.
Alt – Disable snap to grid while dragging with the mouse.
Ctrl+E – Center 2D Views on currently selected objects.
Mouse Wheel – Zoom in/out (hold Ctrl to synchronize all 2D views).

3D View:

Space - While holding the spacebar:
Holding the left mouse button allows you to rotate your angle of view in any direction, while the viewing point remains stationary.
Holding the right mouse button will allow you to move left, right, up, and down while keeping the viewing angle constant.
Space+Shift - While holding the spacebar and Shift:
The left mouse button acts the same as above.
The right mouse button allows you to move forward and backward, as well as from side to side.
Mouse Wheel – Zoom in/out.
W – Move camera forward.
S – Move camera backward.
A – Move camera (strafe) left.
D – Move camera (strafe) right.
z – Toggles 3D view "noclip" navigation mode.
P – Toggle 3D grid on and off (with mouse cursor in 3D view).
O – Display frames per second and yaw/pitch of camera (with mouse cursor in 3D view).
1 – Decrease far clipping plane.
2 – Increase far clipping plane.
Ctrl+Shift+E – Center 3D View on selection.

Selection Tool:

Ctrl – Hold Ctrl and click to select multiple objects.
Shift – Hold Shift when rotating to constrain rotation to 15 degrees; hold Shift when moving an object to create a copy (clone) of that object.
Left mouse – Click and drag left mouse button to select with a box; press Enter to select objects hitting the box, or press Shift+Enter to select objects only entirely within the box.
Esc – Cancel current selection

Camera Tool:

Shift or Alt – Hold Shift or Alt and click and drag left mouse button to create a new camera.
PgUp – Cycle to the previous camera position.
PgDn – Cycle to the next camera position.
Delete – Delete the current camera position.
Ctrl – Hold Ctrl and drag a camera or its point of interest to move both together.

Block Tool:

Left Mouse – Click and drag left mouse to draw a new brush shape.
Enter – Create object drawn with block/entity tool.
Esc – Delete object drawn with block/entity tool without creating it.
Alt+Shift+C – Insert original prefab.

Texture Application Tool:

Ctrl – Hold Ctrl and click to select multiple faces.
Shift – Hold Shift and click a face to select all faces on the brush.
Shift+Ctrl – Hold Shift and Ctrl, click a face to add all faces on the brush to the current selection.
Right-click – Apply the current material settings to the face that is clicked.
Alt+Right-click – Apply the current material settings to the face that is clicked, with wrapping.
Displacement Editing Tool, Select Mode
Ctrl – Hold Ctrl and click to select multiple faces.
Shift – Hold Shift and click a face to select all faces on the brush.
Shift+Ctrl – Hold Shift and Ctrl, click a face to add all faces on the brush to the current selection.
Displacement Editing Tool, Paint Geometry Mode
Ctrl – Hold Ctrl and click to select multiple faces.
Alt – hold Alt and drag to alter the size of the spatial editing brush.
Shift – hold Shift and drag a vertex to nudge the vertex along the editing axis.
Alt+Right-click – Click any brush or displacement face to make that face’s normal the current painting axis.
Displacement Editing Tool, Paint Alpha mode
Ctrl – Hold Ctrl and click to select multiple faces.
Shift+Ctrl – Hold Shift and Ctrl, click a face to add all faces on the brush to the current selection.

Overlay Tool:

Shift – Hold Shift and drag a overlay vertex to snap it to another vertex.
Ctrl – hold Ctrl and click to select multiple overlays.
Clipper Tool
Left mouse– Click and drag left mouse to create a new clip plane.
Shift – Hold Shift and drag with the left mouse button to create a new clip plane without performing the previous clip.
Enter – Perform clip
Ctrl – hold Ctrl and drag with the left mouse button to move both handles of the clipping plane.
O – Toggle clip distance display on and off (with mouse cursor in 2D view).
Shift+X – Cycle through clip modes.
Vertex Edit Tool
Ctrl+F – Split faces (vertex manipulation) – must have two edges or vertices selected.
Alt+E – Open Vertex Scaling dialog.
Enter – Close Vertex Scaling dialog and perform scale.
Shift+V – Cycle vertex/edge display modes.

Miscellaneous:

Shift+L – Toggle Texture lock.
Ctrl+M – Open Transform dialog.
Alt+P – Open Check for Problems dialog.
Esc – Abort current tool/mouse operation (drag/drop) or clear current selection.
Ctrl+Shift+G – Go to Brush Number dialog.
Ctrl+Shift+F – Open Find Entities dialog.
Ctrl+Shift+R – Open Replace Entities dialog.

Comments  (0 - 50 of 164)
sn1p3rs1x
sn1p3rs1x

First, i tried to learn how to make a map using the HELP section. it took me a long time. ty for making a complicated proccess simple

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ihardy
ihardy

i somehow got 3 camera boxs and the front box
any body know hot to correct this? plz reply

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cehok
cehok

ihardy-if you got that proble just go to the left upper corner of the view box and select that and choose the view that you want to see ;)

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KittyHawk
KittyHawk

If you want to get your "grids" back I suggest you move your mouse over the box that has the word "camera" (for the one you want to remove) on your screen then right click and pick a 2d whatever to make it be grid in THAT box I had this problem and took me awhile to figure it out -Note- the word highlights and/or becomes bold when your mouse is over it and another tip if you want to use only one grid just press tab to switch between TOP, FRONT, and RIGHT - KittyHawk

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KittyHawk
KittyHawk

Copier :P you just read my reply and made it smaller yet mine explains how, I'm not mad just think it's funny ><

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gate_guardian
gate_guardian

Douche, he posted that supposed coppy 2 years before you. So in essence you coppied him but made it longer..........

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Guest
Guest

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Sfisher7 Author
Sfisher7

Hope that this will help new comers to mapping :) , any comments?

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ELUSiON
ELUSiON

Thanks for this, I've seen other tutorials but the seemed to have skipped lots of things you covered, and the shortcut guide is amazing! :D

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zanatos
zanatos

lol i'm just starting hammer so bear with me! i can make only two walls how can i make the others its now working!!!!!!!!!

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KittyHawk
KittyHawk

Well first off I don't know if you mean now or not but 1 grid says "Front" one says "Side" the other says "Top" (Note: If you only have 1 grid you can either do my other reply or just press tab to switch between all 3) but Top is for Floors and ceilings, Side is for left and right walls and Front is for Front or Backward walls (Note:You may prefer top or bottom or North and South) You are welcome

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zanatos
zanatos

nvm i figured it out!

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`Eraser
`Eraser

(buried)

Cool tutorial, I didn't need it however :)

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Aquilia
Aquilia

good for you mr super-duper mapper man :P

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azngangster2002
azngangster2002

I'm having a problem with applying textures. I double-click on the metalfloor texture in the textures group and click the Apply Texture button on the toolbox but nothing happens! Please help me out, I want to learn to make maps.

If you can help me, you can email me at petervu1172@sbcglobal.net
Thanks

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azngangster2002
azngangster2002

I found the magic button that shows up my textures. If anyone needs help on that, just go to View then click on 3D Textured Polygons (Magic Button). Happy modding

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hip_hop_x
hip_hop_x

Nice tutorial for thos who want to create maps

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Grogdon
Grogdon

Thanks a lot. This tut helped me tons.

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dani26tk
dani26tk

so you want a comment...
THX THIS TUORIAL HELPED ME ALOT...
THANKS FOR THE CREATORS

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ironmitch23
ironmitch23

I understood everything, but i couldnt get the lights to work... any help/suggestions ??

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ironmitch23
ironmitch23

never mind i got it

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ironmitch23
ironmitch23

wen im finished, how i post it so everyone can download it?

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m4x0r
m4x0r

Thanks alot! I never understood the Hammer editor, and now it seems so easy!

-m4x0r

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headache
headache

The map worked fine but i couln't join as a player, it said all player spots were full. I added the player entiny but it still didnt work.

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KittyHawk
KittyHawk

I believe you need to add Info_Player_start, Info_Player_Terrorist, and Info_Player_Counterterrorist I do not know if it is necessary to add both teams because some maps use only 1 team and I think they only use that info_player_Terrorist or Counterterrorist

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The_Warlord
The_Warlord

Praise the lord someone who understands our n00b pain!

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PixelhateD
PixelhateD

When I drag the side it just makes it into a tall block :/

Help me please?

PS. I am holding shift

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KittyHawk
KittyHawk

As I said in my reply awhile ago down below One grid says "Top" Another says "Side" Last one says "Front" Top is for Ceilings and Floors, Front is for the Front wall and Back wall, Side is for Left, Right, Front, or Back wall, When you're making Left and Right walls using grid Side or Front (Note:You only need 1 to do this) Click the top square middle square out of all nine and pull it down or up and it adjusts the Height of it(Note:You can right click to switch between 4 circles to rotate, 4 squares to do Left, Right, Height, (top) Width (Bottom)or Nine the corner ones move Top left, Bottom Left, Top right, and Bottom Right at the same time depending on which you clicked)

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Isuress
Isuress

ty you have saved me :)

GREAT FRIGIN TUTORIAL!

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Metallica=-=1981
Metallica=-=1981

arg! my camera's being gay!! it only shows boxes and no texture
_____________________
| | Thats pretty much what it looks like so i can't really see if i'm
| |doing it right. My camera's nothing like the one in the tutorial
| |
| |
|______________________|

Plz help

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silentsniper878
silentsniper878

rawr....nice beginner tut, but i need intermediates :)

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livewire117
livewire117

i keep getting this error

The command failed. Windows reported the error:
"The system cannot find the path specified."

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Sfisher7 Author
Sfisher7

Trying going here: Interlopers.net , it lists tons of erorrs and how to fix them.

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General_Dragonblood
General_Dragonblood

I'm new to mapping so i'll give this a Try.

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The_Modder
The_Modder

Hey, thank you so much for this Tutorial. I'm going to keep working on your Tutorials *ahem* I mean look at them untill I'm a pro, and then I'll make my own Tutorial. :)

P.S Here's a good idea for the title of your next Tutorial:

Hammer: From Noob To Pro

lol :D

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Sfisher7 Author
Sfisher7

Lol, i'm not sure if there's much time to, i'm trying to learn how to use unreal ed, and so far i'm stuck trying to figure out how to make a block... :eek:

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Rocketronny
Rocketronny

i followed your guide to the letter, and now when i try to play my map it just takes me to a black screen... my lights aren't working!

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Sfisher7 Author
Sfisher7

Make sure your lights are inside your main box, when compiling make sure vrad is on.

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RezoreX
RezoreX

can some1 tell me how i get light in my map? I have lights on my map but they dont work...

plz help me.

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Superflydemon
Superflydemon

hey i have a question you know how when you first start and it says to drag a box in wich grid do i drag it?

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EviL|Smiley
EviL|Smiley

umm i cant make the player entiny......... do you like have to download entinys cuz i have none!

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scopeR
scopeR

hey, this is really helpful but i dont understand like early in the tutorials when wev made our ceilings and walls you sahy 'Repeat this till it is sealed' dont get what you mean.

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Darkhalo1326
Darkhalo1326

Very nice job on this tutorial, should get plenty more people used to it, I really like the Keyboard shortcuts, insanely useful man. Keep coming with tutorials!

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Cradle
Cradle

every time i click on entiny key it send me a window that says object properties: Func_detail
im new at map building and i dont now what to do from there cant find the lighting ??
can anyone tell me what to do :) plzz

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Cradle
Cradle

o ya and my categories box on the right side will not light up :(
plzz help

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Cradle
Cradle

nvm i got it lol :)

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sebban
sebban

Thanks for the Good and easy to understand tutorial :D

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Cradle
Cradle

how do i get my maps to play on my server ??
can anyone help plzz :)
thx

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KittyHawk
KittyHawk

In my mind it's simple but a little complicated Step one "Run map" to make it a Bmf file or something as the such, Then you save it in this folder C:\Program Files\Steam\Steamapps\XyzAccount\Source_Sdk Content\Cstrike\Mapsrc Then when you run you're "Lan" server it will show up in there as whatever you saved it as when you're picking what map. (Note:What I mean by Lan is you open up Css and you click the button "Create Server", it makes a server but a Lan server that only people that live around you can join or so I am told)

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scopeR
scopeR

dw, like alot of other people i figured it out ;P

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