Maps Workshop F.A.Q.

Q) This map looks cool. How do I download it?
A) When you "Subscribe" to a map in the Workshop, it is automatically downloaded and added under the "Workshop" tab in the in-game map browser. You can even do this from the Steam Overlay while you're in game.
Q) I want to make/play maps with non-official game modes. Does the workshop support those?
A) The new Custom game mode allows map makers to run their map with a bunch of custom settings via a custom config file. That means you can play mode variants like scoutzknivez and aim maps with their unique settings imbedded right in the map. So, how many new game modes will Custom support? We don't know! We can't wait to see what the community comes up with. We've provided some Custom mode examples in the SDK. Check ‘em out!
Q) What about maps that aren't on Workshop? Can I still play on Community servers?
A) You'll still be able to play using the community server browser, same as before. But, we think you'll have a better experience with Workshop maps. They'll be easy to find, easy to update and always current.
Q) I've got a map but my friends don't. Can we still play on it?
A) Yes. Start a Play With Friends lobby, invite your friends, pick the map you have, set permissions to Private Match and you will be able to start a local server. Your friends' game clients will download the map automatically and you will be able to play together on your local server.
Q) I'm a server operator. Can I use the Maps Workshop for the maps on my server?
A) Yes, you can - we actually think the Workshop will be great for server operators. Check out the Maps Workshop Wiki for all the information to get you started.
Q) How do I submit a map to the Workshop?
Q) I want to make a map for CS2. How do I get started?
A) Get started making your own maps by downloading the CS2 Authoring Tools. The package includes an updated copy of the Source level editor Hammer, a suite of command-line compiling utilities, an updated copy of Face Poser, the Workshop Map Publisher, and tutorial maps and Prefabs.

Weapon Finishes F.A.Q.

If you have Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the Steam Workshop now makes it easier than ever for you to submit weapon finishes for a chance to have them accepted and incorporated into the actual game. To publish an item to the workshop for consideration, first read the FAQ below, and then launch CS2 and open the Workshop Workbench.

The FAQ below is the best place to get started. If you have other ideas for the game, we encourage you to share them with the Counter-Strike community in the CS:GO forums. Yes, we actually do read them.

Disclaimer: Naturally, we will not accept items that contain offensive imagery or any copyrighted or trademarked material. So please, don't waste your time.

Helpful links:
CS:GO Workbench materials UV sheets, models and examples(.ZIP, 3.5 MB)
Steam Workshop
Weapon Finishes Guide
Source Developer wiki

Q) What are the steps to making a weapon finish?
A) Here are the broad steps involved in making a submission for CS2:
  1. Concept: Come up with a good idea in words.
  2. Design: Draw what it will actually look like.
  3. Paint: Create your design.
  4. Compile: Convert your design into a game-ready texture.
  5. Apply: Check out your finish on a weapon using the Workshop Workbench.
  6. Publish: Upload it to the steam workshop.
Q) How does the item publishing process work?
A) Like this:
  1. You create an item that meets the submission requirements.
  2. You publish your item to the Steam Workshop using the Workshop's web form.
  3. We review your item and potentially select it to be added to the game.
  4. If selected, we contact you then integrate the item into CS2.
  5. We test your item.
  6. We add it to a Weapon Case to drop in the game and split the money with you that your item generates through key sales.
Q) How do I open the CS2 Workshop Workbench?
A) To use the workbench, enable the developer console in your game options. From the main menu, open the console by hitting the "~" key. Type "workshop_workbench" and hit enter to pop open the workshop window. We recommend a minimum resolution of 1024x768 in order to accommodate the size of the editor window.
Q) I've made a custom finished weapon. How do I add it to the workshop?
A) Use the Weapon Finish Publisher.
Q) What software tool should I use to make my pattern?
A) We generally use Photoshop, but there are other image editors out there you may prefer.
Q) What resolution should my textures be?
A) All patterns must be square and their dimensions a power of two. Patterns authored to fit a weapon exactly with no tiling or offsets should use 2048 textures. Patterns that tile should use the smallest power of two possible without losing fidelity.
Q) What file format should my pattern image use?
A) Give us your source as a targa file (TGA). If your pattern uses an alpha channel, your file should be 32-bit. Otherwise it should be 24-bit.

To view your weapon finish in the CS2 Workshop Workbench you have to compile your targa into a VTF file. To see the finish exactly how it will ship, your VTF images must be DXT compressed. Images with RGB channels only should use DXT1, and images with additional alpha should use DXT5.
Q) Where do I save my pattern file so the in-game workbench can find it?
A) You can save your file anywhere you like. The CS2 Workshop Workbench can load a VTF file or a finish definition from anywhere on your computer or network.
Q) I made a very dark anodized paint and it turned purple, or green, or both. Where is that color coming from?
A) It's coming from the DXT compression of the final composited texture, which you can read about here if you're interested. To correct it you'll have to use slightly brighter colors and compensate with a dimmer phong albedo boost.
Q) Wait, what is a VTF again?
A) The Valve Texture Format (VTF) is the proprietary texture format used by the Source engine. Learn more about VTFs in this article in the Source Developer wiki.
Q) My item just got rejected. Why?
A) Chances are that it didn't meet one, or several, or possibly all of the guidelines listed below:
  • Obscenity: We will automatically reject any obscene items. (Don't even bother.)
  • Copyright infringement: Even if you made the pattern yourself, if you used an existing likeness, it's copyright infringement. We can't and won't put other people's intellectual property in our game, for the simple reason that we don't own it. They do. We will automatically reject any items based on existing intellectual property.
  • National, political, or religious symbols: We won't play favorites. The only way to be fair is not to pick any.
  • Overall Tone: We may reject an item if we feel it deviates too far from the tone or fiction of Counter-Strike.
  • Technical limitations: We're currently only accepting maps and weapon finishes. Model changes, new weapons, and animations all sound fun and interesting but we aren't ready for them.
  • Color: Items that are fully black, fully white, or fully saturated light poorly in-game.
  • Gold: Gold weapons have a special meaning to the Counter-Strike community, and so we're reserving gold finishes for special events. We have a bunch of them backlogged already and we don't need more.
  • Promotional Designs: At this point, we're not looking for designs that promote existing brands or companies. Designs should not advertise a person, team, company, organization, etc.
  • Solid Color Style or Anodized Style: We likewise have a bunch of solid color and solid anodized paints backlogged. If you make one, chances are we already have a similar finish ready to ship. Your best chance at getting an item into the game is to demonstrate creativity with a great design.

Stickers F.A.Q.

Q) How do I make a weapon sticker?
A) Making a sticker follows similar design steps to making a weapon finish: Come up with a great sticker idea, follow the sticker documentation instructions to preview your sticker ( then upload it to the Workshop!
Q) What shape or resolution should I make my sticker image?
A) Stickers need to fit inside an overall square shape, so we typically work at 1024x1024 resolution or higher, but save our VTFs at a lower resolution depending on how much detail we need to preserve. This means that in-game stickers are usually 512x512, but it's a good idea to work at a higher resolution than that to make sure all your detail is captured. We also find that stickers tend to look best when they use large, clear shapes, since small patterns or text can be unreadable or blurry even at medium distances.
Q) I made a cool sticker or weapon skin using a picture I found on the internet!
A) First, that's not a question - it's just copyright infringement - even if you traced it, changed the colors, or don't think anyone can tell. You don't own it and we can't ship it. It'll get removed and you might get a workshop community ban. Just don't do this. See the FAQ section "My item just got rejected. Why?" above for more info, but this is a pretty simple rule. Please make your own art from scratch.
Q) Can I collaborate with others to make a workshop entry?
A) Yes! When a workshop entry is uploaded, there's a section to set up revenue sharing settings between multiple authors.
Q) I followed all the directions but my sticker or weapon skin still doesn't look how I expect, or I'm running into a weird error I don't understand. Are there any resources I can use for help?
A) Yes! In addition to the Counter-Strike workshop official guides: there's also the community workshop discussion forum: This is an excellent place to ask questions, troubleshoot, get feedback or educate others about everything workshop-related.