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CS:GO SDK How to Compile and Run Your First Map

Category: Source: CSGO SDK
February 15, 2013

It is now time to run our map in-game. Up to this point we have created bsp geometry, placed prop models, textured our simple map and inserted lights. Lets compile and run the map in-game.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to compile your map
  • How to run your map in-game using Expert Mode and through CS:GO
  • Where to find your compile log
  • Inserting player spawns


You need 10-15 player spawns (or more) for each side. These player spawns are:

  • info_player_terrorist
  • info_player_counterterrorist

But for now, lets just insert one player start for each side.

Enable the Entity Tool, and use the drop down menu to select info_player_terrorist.

In perspective viewport, Left Click to place the player spawn.

Do the same thing for CT side, using info_player_counterterrorist.

Important: Make you raise each player spawn above ground higher then 8 units.

T MODEL ERROR (UPDATE: this Error has been fixed by Valve)

There is a bug in CS:GO, when you place info_player_terrorist player spawn, it renders it as model error. This is just a visual bug inside the editor and it does not affect the actual player spawn.


Make sure to save your map before compiling.

File --> Save As


Press F9 or up in the top toolbar click on the Run Map icon.

Run Map Normal Options will pop up. This is Normal Run Map Dialogue Box.

Set everything to Normal and make sure HDR is checked.

Also I check 'Wait for keypress when done compiling'. This is optional. It will keep the compile window open, until I press a key. Useful for looking at the compiling log.

Click OK to compile. Depending on the size of the map, this will take just a few seconds for our simple room to a few of hours for a full size map.

At this stage, there is a bug in CS:GO, because it should have started our map in-game automatically. But because of a bug we have to run our map using couple of other options.


Option 1:

If your map doesn't run automatically after compile, hit F9 again to bring up Run Map dialogue box. Click on Expert button to switch over to Expert Mode.

Under the drop down menu in Configurations, you have options of compiling your map with certain parameters. Very useful for final compiles.

What we are interested in is Run map - windowed option. Choose that and click go.

This option will launch your map in-game. Make sure you have compiled your map first, before running it.

Option 2:

Second option is to run your map in-game through Steam.

Go to Steam Library and Right-Click on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Next, click on set launch options.

Here we are going to set to launch our game in windowed mode. Here are my parameters:

  • -console -sw -w 1280 -h 720 +sv_cheats 1

Enable console, windowed mode dimensions and enable cheats.

Click OK and launch the game.

To bring up console hit the tilde key ~, it is the key above Tab.

Then type "map mapname" without quotes.


If you ever need to access your compile log to look through any errors or to post on forums when you can't figure out your map errors, you will find the compile log inside the saved map folder in C:\Program Files \Steam \steamapps \common \Counter-Strike Global Offensive \sdk_content\maps inside the folder where your .vmf file was saved. Inside you will find a text document saved with same name as your map. This is your compile log, the same text that was in the run map option when we compiled.

Every time you compile, it replaces the old log and generates a new one.

CS:GO SDK Beginner Basics Series:

How to Download, Install, Launch Hammer World Editor

Level Editor Navigation and Interface Basics in 15 minutes

Player and Architecture Scale, Dimension and Proportion

BSP Brush Geometry: How to Create Your First Room

Adding Prop Models: Using Models In Your Map

Adding Lights: How to Light Your First Room (Lighting Basics)

Texturing: Applying Textures and Principles for Optimizing Early

How to Compile and Run Your First Map


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About World of Level Design

My name is AlexG. I am self-taught level designer, game environment artist and the creator of World of Level Design.com. I've learned everything I know from personal experimentation and decades of being around various online communities of fellow environment artist and level designers. On World of Level Design you will find tutorials to make you become the best level designer and game environment artist.

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