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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.

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.


Note.pngNote: Remember to set the appropriate VPROJECT before starting to use the tool.

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 ("full paths") are the location of the file to be packed, e.g., C:\Users\Public\our_maps\materials\metal\new_steel.vmt.

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!
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.


Repacking allows you to compress your map using 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>
Warning.pngWarning:Repacked maps won't work in Source Filmmaker Source Filmmaker and will crash the program on load!
Note.pngNote: Currently, the BSPZIP included with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Authoring Tools doesn't support repacking.
The BSPZIP included with Jabroni Brawl: Episode 3 Authoring Tools doesn't either, but the game itself can load compressed BSPs.
Warning.pngWarning:Map compression isn't supported by Source 2013 Singleplayer, but is supported by Source 2013 Multiplayer.
Tip.pngTip: The map will need to be decompressed before BSPZIP will allow new files to be packed into the BSP.
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 the contained files? Perhaps using LMPFIX?
For example, the compression method used (LZMA) significantly impacts load latency of audio files compared to faster methods like Deflate (which is used in id Tech 3 PK3s).
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, Video demonstration). 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).
Confirm.pngConfirm:Can the map's audio cache be BSPZIPed once generated?


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
  • Packbsp
  • Map Analyst
  • Pakrat
  • 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 - 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.
  • TeamSpen210's HammerAddons - This includes a post-compiler which automatically finds and packs custom content, and adds entities to control auto-packing.
  • TeamSpen's Hammer Addons TeamSpen's Hammer Addons - Postcompiler has a number of automatic and on-command packing features.

See Also

  • Resource list (Alternative method to push content to users)
  • GCFScape (Read-only tool for inspecting BSP contents)
Icon-visibility-filled.pngIcon-chat.pngIcon-edit-filled.png Official Source SDK tools
Map editors Hammer Hammer
Map compilers vbspvvis • vrad • vmpi
Map tools bspzip • glview • VBSP2 • vbspinfo
Model compilers Studiomdl
Model tools Dmxconvert • Dmxedit • HLFaceposer HLFaceposer • HLMV HLMV • Itemtest • Modelbrowser • QC_Eyes
Texture tools Height2Normal Height2Normal • height2ssbump • makevmt • mksheet • Pfm2tgas • Shadercompile • Splitskybox • Vtex Vtex • VTF2TGA VTF2TGA • xwad
Sound tools VSoundEdit
Engine tools ActBusy Script Editor • Commentary Editor • Foundry • Material Editor • Particle Editor • Source Filmmaker Source Filmmaker
Other Captioncompiler • Demoinfo • Elementviewer • Motionmapper • Sfmgen • VConfig • Vfont • Vfont_decompiler • VICE • vpk