Authoring Tools/SDK (Left 4 Dead 2)

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The Left 4 Dead 2 Authoring Tools, also known as an SDK, is a set of software utilities that allow you to create your own levels, campaigns, common Infected, and other gameplay elements. They include versions of Source SDK tools that have been updated to work with the Left 4 Dead 2 version of the Source Engine.


The Left 4 Dead 2 Authoring Tools are freely available on Steam to all owners of the PC version of Left 4 Dead 2.

Downloading and installation

Installing the Left 4 Dead 2 Authoring Tools

To install the Left 4 Dead 2 Authoring Tools, either click here or:

  1. Restart Steam if it's currently running.
  2. Open the Steam window.
  3. Click on the Tools tab.
  4. Double-click on the Left 4 Dead 2 Authoring Tools entry.
  5. The Left 4 Dead Authoring Tools will download to your computer via Steam.
  6. Once it has been fully installed, you will be able to launch it in the same way you installed it (from the Tools tab).

You can also create a desktop shortcut by right-clicking on the Left 4 Dead 2 Authoring Tools entry and clicking Create desktop shortcut from the context menu.

You may also want to install the L4D 2 Add-on Support which can be found in the tools section of Steam as well. This will give you access to additional assets from L4D 1 which you may include in your L4D 2 campaigns.

Note.png Note: You may need to restart Hammer after installing the Add-on Support to see the additional assets.
Note.png Note: For the Authoring Tools to function correctly, it is important that your installation of Left 4 Dead 2 is fully up-to-date. You can make sure of this by running the game before launching the Left 4 Dead 2 Authoring Tools. Simply launching the game then quitting after you get to the main menu is sufficient.
Note.png Note: Starting Hammer can take several minutes on some systems.

See also