Tutorials/Mapping Tools

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Making maps for Unvanquished requires some external tools. They are all free.

Recommended tool load-out

You will want:

Setup instructions are later in this guide.

Information 48x48.png


Arch Linux users can use the netradiant-git PKGBUILD to get the game and the netradiant-unvanquished for the gamepack.

Installing Netradiant

Follow the instructions on Ingar's Installation Guide. Mac and Linux users will have to use the terminal.


NetRadiant is designed to work with many Quake-based games, not just Unvanquished. This step gives NetRadiant Unvanquished-specific information such as entity lists.

Inside the gamepack zip file you will find two folders:

  • unvanquished.game
  • games

Extract and merge both of these into your NetRadiant installation directly, where you will see similar folders such as "warsow.game" and "xonotic.game".

Mac OS X

Installation of the game pack on Mac OS X is slightly more complex, as you must place the game pack within the application's package:

  1. Extract UnvanquishedPack.zip if you have not already done so. On some versions of Mac OS X, Safari is set by default to do this.
  2. Navigate to your copy of Radiant and right-click it.
  3. Select "Show Package Contents".
  4. Navigate to Contents/MacOS/install.
  5. Manually copy the unvanquished.game file (not directory) from the game/ directory of the unzipped archive to the Contents/MacOS/install/game/ directory of the application package.
  6. Manually copy the unvanquished.game directory (not file) from the unzipped archive to the Contents/MacOS/install/ directory of the application package.

Note that you cannot copy all the files at once because Mac OS X lacks a "merge" feature; if you attempt to copy both folders at once, you will be prompted if you would like to overwrite the existing "games" folder with the new one. If this happens, cancel the operation.

The directory tree should look as follows:

  • Contents/
    • MacOS/
      • games/
        • darkplaces.game
        • nexuiz.game
        • ...
        • ufoai.game
        • unvanquished.game
        • warsow.game
        • xonotic.game
      • unvanquished.game/
        • default_build_menu.xml
        • game.xlink
        • main/
          • default_shaderlist.txt
          • entities.def

Note that most of the contents of the tree have been omitted for brevity. Files that were added are highlighted green.


Extract the archive and copy and paste the contents in your NetRadiant installation folder. You will be prompted if you would like to merge the "games/" folder: choose "Yes".

Start up NetRadiant for the first time

When you first start up NetRadiant you will be asked what game you want to develop for.

  • If Unvanquished is not listed, then you have not installed the gamepack properly
  • If you don't want to see this dialog on startup you can disable it with the second checkbox.

Netrad global prefs.png

You may also be asked for the game's engine path if NetRadiant can't find it. This is the location where the game stores its "main" folder holding the many .pk3 resources.

Netrad engine not found.png

These are the default locations:

When installed from updater, the default system paths are:

Platform Default binary directory (libpath) Default data directory (basepath)
Linux ${HOME}/.local/share/unvanquished/base ${HOME}/.local/share/unvanquished/base
Windows  %ProgramFiles%\Unvanquished  %ProgramFiles%\Unvanquished
macOS Unvanquished/Unvanquished.app/Contents/MacOS Unvanquished/

When installed from universal zip, the default system paths are:

Platform Default binary directory (libpath) Default data directory (basepath)
Linux/Windows <Extracted directory> <Extracted directory>
macOS <Extracted directory>/Unvanquished.app/Contents/MacOS <Extracted directory>Unvanquished/

The user directory is only specific to system:

Platform Default user directory (homepath)
Linux ${HOME}/.local/share/unvanquished
Windows  %HOMEPATH%\Documents\My Games\Unvanquished
macOS ${HOME}/Library/Application Support/Unvanquished

Note that on Linux the default user directory is a XDG data home directory and on macOS the data directory is the directory containing Unvanquished.app.

Finally you should be greeted by NetRadiant's default interface:

Netrad default.png

Make sure you have a Common shader category. If you do not: contact the devs via IRC or the forums so we can get it fixed for you and write a guide here.

Netrad common.png

Optional Mapping Tools

It is recommended you start with NetRadiant, however many other options are available:

Program Tested Recommended Mapping method Supported OSes Last stable release Notes
Mac OS X Windows Linux
(Ingar's builds)
Yes Yes Brushes 10.5 & 10.6 Yes Yes Current (2015) Highly recommended brush-based editor. Mac users need X11 (10.7 users can get this from the XQuartz project). Arch Linux users can use the netradiant-git PKGBUILD in the AUR.
GtkRadiant Yes Brushes Yes Yes Yes (source) 1.6.6 (2018) Predecessor of NetRadiant. Brush based.
Blender Yes Polygons Yes Yes Yes Current Extremely popular and open-source polygon based modelling tool. See the katsbits tutorial for getting it to work with Unvanquished.
MacRadiant Brushes Yes (Intel & PPC) Unknown (v1.4 and v1.5) Problems have been reported with Snow Leopard and Leopard, though there are workarounds. See the download page for more information.
QuArK Brushes Current (2013) An all in one quake editor, capable of much more than mapping.
TrenchBroom Brushes 10.6 or newer Yes Yes Current (2017) Editor for quake 1 maps, possibly with quake 3 mapping support. Notably not a Radiant derivative
DarkRadiant Brushes Yes (source) Yes (32 and 64-bit) Yes (Debian/Ubuntu and source) Current (2017) Designed for a Doom 3 mod. Quake 3 map format (used by Unvanquished) is not yet complete.
J.A.C.K Brushes Yes (32-bit) Yes (32 and 64-bit) Current (2016) Designed for Half-Life and some id Tech engines, the map format is different (map220) and needs a modified q3map2 to be compiled. Notably not a Radiant derivative.
Milkshape 3D Brushes Yes (32-bit) Abandoned (2011) Designed originally for Half Life
Gmax Polygons Yes Abandoned (2005) Freeware version of polygon-based modelling tool 3DsMax. Used by many games but never updated: small bugs exist. May require a registration bypass to work (easily found) as the registration web-form has disappeared.

Brush based editors require you to make your maps using constructive solid geometry (CSG). Most mapping tutorials for Quake-like games such as Unvanquished follow this method.

Polygon based editors give a larger focus on 2D shapes making up 3D ones, which can be more powerful but is more difficult to teach and learn. These editors generally support 'boolean operations', allowing them to be used like CSG editors, but with more difficulty.