Hammer Run Map Normal

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This window allows you to run the utilities that are necessary to compile the map into the .BSP format usable in the Source engine. The Run Map dialog will be in Normal or Expert mode, depending on which mode was last used.

The Normal compile dialog (see picture below) gives you some very basic control over the compiling process, enough for simple testing of levels.


The Hammer "Run Map" dialog, in Normal mode.

Run BSP, Run VIS, Run RAD

These settings allow you to define which tools will be run along with a couple of their most basic parameters.

  • BSP
    • No - To do: Useless?
    • Normal - What should usually be used.
    • Only Entities - Recompiles the map with changes, additions, and removals of entities without changing visibility or lighting. VIS and RAD should be set to No if used
  • VIS
    • No - Does not compile visibility information.
    • Normal - Calculates all visibility information.
    • Fast - Calculates most visibility information. Some visleafs will render even though it seems like they shouldn't.
  • RAD
    • No - Does not compile lighting information.
    • Normal - Compiles all lighting information.
    • Fast - Compiles lighting information without simulating how light bounces off surfaces.[confirm]
    • HDR - Compiles the map for both HDR and LDR. If not checked, only LDR is compiled.

Don't run the game after compiling

If this option is checked, the game will not be started after the map has finished compiling.

Wait for keypress when done compiling

Only available in Left 4 Dead and later versions of Hammer. If checked, the compile window will not automatically close when the compile finishes.

Additional Game Parameters

The text in the Additional Game Parameters text box will be appended to the game execution command, allowing you to feed special commands to the engine. If you are compiling a map for a mod, be sure to include the -game <modname> parameter. The parameters -dev and -console, also shown, are useful when testing maps. The BSP, VIS, and LIGHT processes are all dependent upon the Build Programs settings in the Options dialog box.


Starts the map compile with the current settings.


Exits the Run Map dialog with no changes.


This button switches the Run dialog to Expert Compile mode.

See also