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How to make CS:GO maps when you don’t have paid prime, but you do own Portal 2

Context

I didn’t buy CSGO before it went f2p, but I really wanted to map for it. However – I do own Portal 2, which comes with an SDK, quite similar to the one CSGO uses. I also want to clear up an annoyingly common misconception, which 3kliksphilip covered in his video here: you can still upload to the workshop using this. F2P players don’t get not get it to prevent workshop spam. To be honest, I don’t even know why it’s like this, and I’m 99% sure this is fully legal, but if anyone wants to actually read some ToSs you can go ahead and do that.

It’s not that hard, I do it myself.

So how do you do it?

Here’s a simple list of steps.

  1. Install CSGO and the Portal 2, and its SDK (Obviously)
  2. Install GCFScape
  3. Go to your Portal 2 install directory (usually at c:\program files (x86)\steam\steamapps\common\portal 2) and make a copy of the portal2 folder and name it csgo
  4. In the new csgo folder delete materials, models, and all of the .vpk files.
  5. Open up GCFScape and load in pak01_dir.vpk from the original csgo directory (usually located at c:\program files (x86)\steam\steamapps\common\counter-strike global offensive\csgo) ![https://sirtomato.us/blog/res/gcfscape-pak01.png]

  6. Right click on materials in GCFScape, hit extract, and select the portal2_csgoassets folder. Do the same for models. This will take quite a bit.
  7. Also copy over gameinfo.txt from the original csgo folder, replacing the Portal 2 gameinfo.
  8. Download the csgo.fgd from here and place it in the Portal 2 bin folder where hammer is.
  9. You’re almost done! Open the Portal 2 hammer and go to Tools -> Options -> Game Configurations
  10. Make a new game configuration and call it whatever you want. Mine is just called Counter-Strike: GO.
  11. Add the csgo.fgd from earlier to the list of Game Data files.

  12. Game Executable Directory should be wherever csgo.exe is (usually $SteamUserDir\counter-strike global offensive)
  13. Game Directory should be the path to the new csgo folder (usually $SteamUserDir\portal 2\csgo)
  14. Hammer VMF Directory can be wherever you want to store your uncompiled maps. Mine is in the Documents folder.
  15. Leave the Prefab Directory empty.
  16. Now go to the last tab to “build programs”
  17. Game executable should be the path to csgo.exe is (I’m sure you’ve figured out what $SteamUserDir means by now)
  18. The BSP, VIS, and RAD executables should point the the vbsp.exe, vvis.exe, and vrad.exe in the Portal 2 bin folder.
  19. Place compiled maps in this directory before running the game should be wherever the csgo/maps is (the original one obviously)