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BSPZIP is a command-line tool that allows arbitrary files to be embedded within a BSP. When the map is being loaded the files will be mounted as if they were present in the game's real content folders.

Tip.pngTip:Several GUI utilities have been created that may be more convenient than using BSPZIP directly.
Tip.pngTip:Embedded content can be examined with archive tools that support .zip by opening the BSP file.
Icon-Bug.pngBug:Custom VMT files located in the root of 🖿materials/ folder may fail to be packed into the BSP (observed in Black Mesa), use subfolders for custom materials.
example: 🖿materials/my_custom_materials/

While it is usually a good idea to BSPZIP content, there are times when it can cause problems and other times when it won't work at all (e.g., for Maplist Thumbnails). When this happens, a resource list can be used instead.


BSPZIP is found at "common\<gamename>\<gamefolder>\bin\bspzip.exe". It performs several functions:

Adding a List of Files

The most common function. There are two related commands:

-addlist <input bsp> <file list> <output bsp>
-addorupdatelist <input bsp> <file list> <output bsp>

Include file extensions. The former command packs all files in the list, the latter (untested, Orange Box only) packs only those that have changed since the last operation.

Tip.pngTip:The input and output files can be the same.

The "file list" is a .txt file containing this pattern:

  • Internal paths (relative paths) are the location the file will take within the BSP; e.g., materials/metal/new_steel.vmt.
  • External paths (absolute paths) are the location of the file to be packed, e.g., C:\Users\Public\our_maps\materials\metal\new_steel.vmt.

For example:

D:\Steam\steamapps\common\Counter-Strike Source\cstrike\custom\stuff\materials\foo\bar.vtf
D:\Steam\steamapps\common\Counter-Strike Source\cstrike\custom\stuff\materials\foo\bar.vmt
D:\Steam\steamapps\common\Counter-Strike Source\cstrike\custom\stuff\sound\lorem\ipsum.mp3

Adding a Single File

The same principle as above, but without a file list.

-addfile <input bsp> <internal path> <external path> <output bsp>

Viewing and Extracting Files

If you have an archive tool installed that is able to look inside BSPs, it's better to use that. If you don't, these are the commands you need:

-extract <bsp file> <>
-extractfiles <bsp file>
-dir <bsp file>

Handling Cubemaps

Should be self-evident:

-extractcubemaps <bsp file> <output folder>
-deletecubemaps <bsp file>
Warning.pngWarning:-deletecubemaps actually deletes all .vtf files in the .bsp—handle with caution!
Icon-Bug.pngBug:(tested in Source 2013 Multiplayer)-deletecubemaps may actually delete the entire PAKFILE lump, rendering the map broken! Use VIDE VIDE instead.


There are situations where files won't be loaded from BSP files correctly. As time goes on, they become fewer in number, but it's always worth checking regardless. The easiest way to do so is moving all of the embedded content out of the game's folders—or even better, not storing it there in the first place.


(only in Source 2013 MultiplayerStrata SourceJabroni Brawl: Episode 3) Repacking allows you to compress your map using Wikipedia icon LZMA to save hard drive space and download times. To repack a map and compress it, these commands are used:

-repack -compress <bsp file>

To decompress repacked maps, run the same command but ommit the -compress command:

-repack <bsp file>
  • Repacked maps won't work in Source Filmmaker Source Filmmaker and will crash the program on load!
  • Map compression isn't supported by Source 2013 Singleplayer, but is supported by Source 2013 Multiplayer.
Icon-Bug.pngBug:Map compression may sometimes result in packed ADPCM audio files not properly caching, resulting in improper playback on subsequent loads (observed in Team Fortress 2 and Counter-Strike: Source). This does not happen if the audio cache was created when the BSP file was uncompressed, or when using other audio formats (8-bit, 16-bit, MP3, etc). This also does not seem to occur when using Team Fortress 2 Team Fortress 2's workshop uploader.
Confirm.pngConfirm: Can the map's audio cache be BSPZIPed once generated?
  • Currently, the BSPZIP included with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Authoring Tools doesn't support repacking.
  • Team Fortress 2 automatically compresses BSPs when uploading to the workshop.
Tip.pngTip:The map will need to be decompressed before BSPZIP will allow new files to be packed into the BSP.
PlacementTip.pngWorkaround: Ficool2's Map Batch Updater can edit the contents of compressed BSPs, including changing the compression level of the ZIP lump. although the same compression level will apply to all packed files
Confirm.pngConfirm: Can the ZIP lump in a compressed BSP be edited in some other way (using some other tool), allowing for custom levels of compression of different contained files? Perhaps using LMPFIX?
For example, the compression method used (Wikipedia icon LZMA) significantly impacts the load latency of audio files at high compression levels compared to faster methods.


The following GUI tools are often preferred to BSPZIP directly, and they may aid you in determining which files need to be packed into your map.

  • Compile Pal Compile Pal
  • Packbsp
  • Map Analyst Map Analyst
  • Pakrat Pakrat
  • Moltard's BspZipGUI Moltard's BspZipGUI(2020) - This app allows you to embed a folder with your files into BSP file, repack (compress and decompress) and can save different map configurations. It uses bspzip for the actual packing.
  • BspZipGui(2016) - The app allows you to embed a folder with your files into BSP file in just a few clicks. It uses bspzip for the actual packing.
  • AutoBSPpackingTool AutoBSPpackingTool - Automatically detects content that is used in the map and packs it. It has a GUI as well as a command line interface which makes it easy to add as a compile step in Hammer.
  • QuickPack - This script quickly finds and packs all dependencies in a map. For models with different skins, it only packs used skins to save file space.
  • TeamSpen's Hammer Addons TeamSpen's Hammer Addons - This includes a post-compiler which automatically finds and packs custom content, and adds entities to control auto-packing.

See also

  • Resource list (Alternative method to push content to users)
  • GCFScape (Read-only tool for inspecting BSP contents)