Readme 1st: Common TF2 mapping mistakes and how to fix them

  • Site Migration: See bugs? Report them here. Want something changed or have an idea? Suggest it here.


Sr. Hygiene Technician
Mar 24, 2008
Fixing areaportal leaks

A couple tips for fixing areaportal leaks. I learned this while going through my first map using them. If you do not know what areaportals are I would suggest reading this page. They do a tremendous job at speeding up the play on your maps and build times.

1: Hard to find leaks where the *.lin file just shows the line going in a circle or does not really show the leak.

Try removing all props, displacements and func_detail brushes along with any other standard func_brush by deselecting the visgroup to take them out of your view. This will remove the clutter from the map and only show the brushes that can seal the map / portal area allowing you to trace the leak down to the exact location.

2: Make sure there is no func_details brushes breaching the portal areas. If you have any sort of trim or other detail the spans between 2 portal areas it will cause a leak. You will need to split the detail brush in two leaving it to meet on either side of the area portal.

3: When testing maps how to speed up the process.
Trial and error of looking for leaks can be frustrating and time consuming. One tip I found is that when you go to run the map deselect the options for VVIS and VRAD by setting them to 'NO' this will only complete the make BSP portions of the map and show you any leaks. Also leave your game running at just ALT+TAB out of it between map tests. Make sure you 'Disconnect' from the map between tests to make sure nothing caches.

4: Really hard to find leaks. Have an entity that shows to be leaking but your map is sealed.

A: Do a 'select all' and look for origin points that are outside your map and in the void. If you are not using any sort of func_door / func_rotating then simply do a 'Center Origins' option in hammer and it will set them all correct.

B: Goto the Map > Entity Report > Select a group of entities and look for origin points in the void area outside of your map. IE Select all 'prop_static' and then look at the 2D overhead view for anything outside the map.

Last edited:


L2: Junior Member
Feb 1, 2009
lol I'll just set the wall behind my objects nodraw before sending the map to valve because it's not like anyone will ever set details to lowest possible and have them fade out and



L1: Registered
Dec 8, 2008
I'm not sure if i've got 8#
I use a wooden texture and if i walk ingame into a light area, they light up, and if i walk into a dark area, they turn dark.
Not as dark as the example screenshot but just a little. Is this the same problem?


Abuser of Site Rules
Aug 11, 2008
i'm not sure if i've got 8#
i use a wooden texture and if i walk ingame into a light area, they light up, and if i walk into a dark area, they turn dark.
Not as dark as the example screenshot but just a little. Is this the same problem?
model texturrrrrrre

Open Blade

L420: High Member
Nov 30, 2007
A common rookie mistake I see often is the model within a brush. Sometimes people move objects around and/or change the shape of a world brush and they end up leaving an object inside of a brush, which can cause a leak.


Jul 14, 2009
[ame=""]Spawn[/ame] [ame=""]room[/ame] [ame=""]door[/ame] [ame=""]motors[/ame].
Feb 14, 2008
Boojum's FGD fixes the sky problem.

I'd sugest compiling with BSP only to see if there are any leaks, much quicker than seeing if a pointfile was made.


L1: Registered
Dec 5, 2009
I find this quite usefull. Before, I had no idea there was an info_observer_point. I will use these instructions to make a better map :D


Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle
Mar 4, 2008
Most people don't seem to realise there is a seperate prop_static frame and prop_dynamic door which if used in combination dispense of the motor altogether. The only reason to use the dynamic door model (with the motor) is if the door exposed itself above the building/frame when opening.

In most cases this is not the case yet authors insist on using the motorised door model anyway and it looks stupid.


L1: Registered
Aug 26, 2011
*ahem ahem*
My map was made whit sky_tf2_04 as default, i didnt have to change it.
just noting it.
for the rest, this is a pretty good guide.
i would have forgot observer cams whithout this :D


L1: Registered
Apr 23, 2014
Thanks a lot for this post. Because of this ive taken a new look at a map I was working on and will be fixing the short comings ive found before I seriously consider getting anyone to play it.

Digaag Wa Riz

This is a minor point that I feel I need to mention. While it is important to have health and ammo packs I think that they should not be placed almost on top of each other. One problem I have with dustbowl is that any ammo pack accompanied by a health pack is usually so close to it that you have to make a concentrated effort to only get one of them. This is a problem for me (and something I avoid in my maps) because of situations where you only need one. Say you are low on health and need a nearby health pack, but a nearby friendly engineer is low on metal. You only want to get the health pack but you grab both by mistake because they are too close together. Granted, you don't have to wait very long for them to respawn but it can make a difference if that amount of metal can upgrade the engineer's sentry in time to take on an oncoming soldier or heavy.