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Unreal Mapping FAQ

This FAQ is for the UT2003 Editor, UnrealEd 3. See Unreal Mapping FAQ (UT) for the old UnrealEd 2 FAQ.

Got a question that isn't covered here? Add it to the list (at its appropriate place) and leave the answer out. Somebody else will fill it in. Alternatively check the Help Desk for more advanced problems.


Where do I get a map editor for <insert name of Unreal engine game>?
See UnrealEd Versions.
Are there any map editors other than UnrealEd?
Nope, it's UnrealEd or bust.
UnrealEd isn't included in the UT2003 demo!
That's right. Buy the retail version to get the editor.
What patches are there for UT2003 and the editor?
See UT2003.
Where do I find tutorials for UnrealEd?
Take a look around this site! Try...
  1. Mapping Lessons for simple beginner steps in mapping
  2. UnrealScript Lessons for making your first easy mutators
  3. Category Tutorial will give a full list of all tutorial pages.
  4. You'll find other sites listed on External Links

Crashes and Other Problems


General Crash Tips:

  • Save often. UnrealEd is finicky and not the stablest environment.
  • After UnrealEd crashes ensure you rebuild the level completely.
  • It has been suggested that quitting the editor before testing a level can add to the stability of UnrealEd and UT2K3.
  • Use autosave to save your map periodically. Autosave information can be found here: UnrealEd Advanced Options.
  • There's some known issues with UnrealEd and Windows 98/ME. The stability of the program is reduced the longer you run it (tarquin reports getting about 30 minutes out of it at a time). Symptoms of this problem are "critical errors", "runtime errors", or "illegal operations". The only way to fix this is to reboot and keep trying.
UnrealEd crashes when I try to start it
  • on Windows 98/ME ? Download the [Windows 98/ME patch] from the official [Unreal Technology] page. Patching UT2003 to build 2136 also fixes this problem. (Don't apply the Windows 98/ME patch after patching to build 2136.)
  • If you see WM_BROWSER_DOCK in the crash history, try going in Unrealed.ini and changing Docked=1 to Docked=0 under [Texture Browser], [Sound Browser], etc.
UnrealEd crashes when I try and extract all of the UnrealScript sources.
That's a bug which is partly fixed with the UT2003 patch build 2136. But classes exported that way are incomplete due to an exporter bug; better download Epic's original sources from Class Tree.

Rescue Operations

First Aid
If the latest version of the map you saved is messed up, try the following:
  • If you had Autosave enabled, check your Maps folder for maps whose names start with Auto....
  • If you playtested your map from within UnrealEd recently, that version of your map is called Autoplay in your Maps folder.
I can't select any surfaces (textures in the 3D view) and the right mouse click doesn't do anything
  1. turning off anti-aliasing.
  2. turning off anisotropic filtering.
  3. pressing S. (this toggles visibility of the selection highlight: see Viewport Caption Context Menu for more.)
All the viewports are white when I start UnrealEd. How do I get them back?
That's an old bug. Do UnrealEd Main MenuViewViewportsConfigureOK to fix it.
UnrealEd shows up with a "window creation error" when I start it. What's wrong?
You have to restart your computer because system resources are too low (below 50%). To see how much system resources you have, right-click on My Computer and select Properties. On the performance tab, it will say how many system resources you have.
None of the [resource browser]?s (actor browser, etc.) are accessible.
This appears to be generally caused by the browsers being located off the screen. To get them back onto the visible portion of the screen, open one of the browsers. The window focus will change to the window that you cannot see. Press ALT-SPACE, then M to select the move option from the mini menu that's a part of every window. (If you are using a non-english version, click the icon in the top left of any window to see the menu and the appropriate hotkey.) You can then use the keyboard arrows or the mouse to move the window until you can see it. When I had this problem, the window was located just off the right edge of the screen.

See UnrealEd Bug List for more.


My screen gets much brighter when UnrealEd starts
That is normal. UnrealEd uses the same gamma correction as UT2003. To change the level, look under UnrealEd Advanced Options. To start UnrealEd with no correction at all, make a shortcut with "UnrealEd.exe -nogamma".
What is the acceptable polycount in maps?
About 50,000 for UT2003. See polycount.
How can I turn an 831K map into a 6Mb monster at the click of a button?
Simple – just re-build everything on the map. It seems to be the lightmaps that are responsible for most of the size increase although the bot path data has also been fingered as a contributing factor.
(Merge this one with the above) Is there anything I can do to keep my UT2003 maps a reasonable size?
Apart from using nothing but static meshes and terrain no. Once you get above around 200-300 brushes (normal adds, subtracts etc) your map size will bloat for no obvious reasons.
How do I share my level with others without sending all of the texture and mesh packages?
See MyLevel.
How do I enable "bright corners" for surfaces?
You can't. That feature has been removed from UnrealEd 3. See Surface Properties Window for the other flags.
How can you determine what packages are used in a map? I have a map that's failing to load but I don't know what's causing the problem.
  • Use UT Package Tool to extract a list of used packages.
  • Examine View → Log in UnrealEd and read the last log message - it will tell you what package couldn't load.
Can static meshes be used to create the boundaries of zones or must zones always be created with the zone portals touching BSP geometry rather than static meshes
Only brushes that aren't Volumes can be used for that.
When I close UnrealEd I see a dialog box message "Package # Has Changed, Save It Now?"
We think it's just a UnrealEd bug. Say "no" and don't worry about it.
I've changed a static mesh/sound/etc in my level, but when I next load/play the level, it contains an old version of the mesh/sound/etc
This problem may occur if your various static mesh, sound, etc packages have the same name (excluding the .usx, .uax etc extension) – see Package naming. Of course, you also may have forgotten to save your mesh/sound/etc packages after changing them.
When I load my level in the editor, it says it's missing a static mesh/sound/etc which I put in it last time I edited the level
Again, this may be a problem with packages having identical names (excluding extension) – see Package naming. Or again, you may have forgotten to save the relevant mesh/sound package after changing it.
How are static meshes lit?
What I know so far: for regular static meshes, the lighting is calculated per-vertex, and can be shadowed (per vertex) by BSP geometry. I assume, but have not confirmed, that this means the lighting is calculated at build time, and movers and other dynamically lit static meshes do not get this treatment.
Can I use AutoCad for building meshes and such or am I stuck with Maya and that other 3D program?
You can use Autocad or Inventor to create meshes as long as as you save your mesh in iges format, then you can import it into MAX 5 texture it then save it as a ase file which you can then import into UED 3 as a static mesh but if you texture your mesh with a texture that is not an original texture be sure to import it into UED3 or you will have to rassign new textures to your mesh.


See also playtesting.

When I get in the game, all I and my bots do is die. What's up?
  • You didn't rebuild. Do it.
  • In UT2003 make sure that the KillZ level (ZoneInfo or Level Properties?) is set correctly. Spawning below that level causes instant death.
  • It is possible you only have one playerstart, thus making a pile of bots and you spawn onto each other making a mass telefrag. (this no longer happens in UT2003)
I've changed my brightness, contrast and gamma and am concerned that my lighting may appear incorrectly on other systems. If a user changes their settings, that's fine but I need a known baseline for setting up my lights.
Your current settings are under ut2003/system/ut2003.ini, the default settings are under ut2003/system/default.ini. Defaults: Brightness=.800000, Contrast=.700000, Gamma=.800000

Helper Tools

Is there a list of all the useful programs work with or around UnrealEd?
The Wiki holds a list of Applications.
Where do you create static meshes?
These can be made from CSG geometry, but the best way is with Maya. Maya PLE is bundled on the third CD-ROM and must be installed separately.

New from Unreal Tournament?

Do you still work with UnrealEd 2 in your sleep? Confused by the new stuff?

Arg! What's a hardware brush? What's a static mesh?
A non-animated mesh with per-poly (or simplified per-poly) collision that is cached in video memory. See Hardware Brush for details.

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