qbsp − Compile a Quake BSP file from a MAP source file




qbsp is a tool used in the creation of maps for the id Software game Quake. qbsp takes a .map file as input and produces a .bsp file playable in the Quake engine. If the DESTFILE argument is not supplied, the output filename will be chosen by stripping the file extension (if any) from SOURCEFILE and appending the .bsp extension.



Doesn’t perform outside filling


Doesn’t build clip hulls


Doesn’t remove faces using the ’skip’ texture


Only updates .map entities


Print out more .map information


Print out almost no information at all


Doesn’t combine sky and water faces into one large face


Computes portal information for transparent water (default)


Computes portal information for opaque water


Computes portal information for transparent sky


Uses original qbsp texture alignment algorithm

−forcegoodtree (experimental)

Force use of expensive processing for SolidBSP stage. Often results in a more optimal BSP file in terms of file size, at the expense of extra processing time.


Creates a .por file, used in the BSP editor


Create an old-style QBSP .PTS file (default is new)


Prevents output of percent completion information


Create the output BSP file in BSP2 format. Allows the creation of much larger and more complex maps than the original BSP 29 format).


Create the output BSP file in 2PSB format. This an earlier version of the BSP2 format, supported by the RMQ engine (and thus is also known as the BSP2rmq or RMQe bsp format). original BSP 29 format).

−leakdist [n]

Space between leakfile points (default 2)

−subdivide [n]

Use different texture subdivision (default 240)

−wadpath <dir>

Search this directory for wad files (default is cwd)


The contents inside a brush depend on the texture name(s) assigned to it.

By default brush contents are solid unless they have a special name. Names beginning with an asterisk are liquids. A prefix of *slime indicates slime, *lava is for lava and anything else beginning with * will have contents as water.

All faces of a brush must have textures which indicate the same contents. Mixed content types will cause qbsp to print an error and exit.

Any surfaces assigned a texture name of skip will be compiled into the bsp as invisible surfaces. Solid surfaces will still be solid (e.g. the play can’t walk or shoot through them) but they will not be drawn. Water, slime and lava surfaces can be made invisible using the texture names *waterskip, *slimeskip and *lavaskip respectively.

Hint surfaces cause a bsp split and portal to be generated the on the surface plane, after which they are removed from the final bsp - they are neither visible, nor structural. Strategic placement of hint surfaces can be used by a map author to optimise the PVS calculations so as to limit overdraw by the engine (see also: vis(1)).

Use a texture with the name hintskip on any surfaces of a hint brush which you don’t want to generate bsp splits or portals. All surfaces of a hint brush must use either the hint or hintskip texture name.


This version of qbsp supports detail brushes which are similar in concept to Quake 2’s detail brushes.

To be compatible with existing Quake 1 mapping tools, detail brushes can be added by creating an entity with classname "func_detail". When qbsp reads the map file, it will add any brushes included in a func_detail entity into the worldspawn as details and remove the func_detail entity. Any number of func_detail entities can be used (useful for grouping) and all included brushes will be added to the worldspawn.

Here is an example entity definition suitable to add the the .QC files used by BSP Editor:

/*QUAKED func_detail (0.5 0.5 0.9) ?
Detail brushes add visual details to
the world, but do not block visibility.
func_detail entities are merged into
the worldspawn entity by the qbsp compiler
and do not appear as separate entities in
the compiled bsp.

For WorldCraft in .FGD format (untested):

@SolidClass color(128 128 230) = func_detail: "Detail" []

For Radiant in .ENT format:

<group name="func_detail" color="0 .5 .8">
Detail brushes add visual details to the world, but do not
block visibility. func_detail entities are merged into the
worldspawn entity by the qbsp compiler and do not appear as
separate entities in the compiled bsp.

What should be written to the .map file is a simple entity with one or more brushes. E.g.:

"classname" "func_detail"
( -176 80 0 ) ( -208 80 0 ) ( -208 48 0 ) COP1_1 0 0 0 1.0 1.0
( -192 -80 64 ) ( -208 -80 0 ) ( -192 -64 64 ) COP1_1 0 0 0 1.0 1.0
( -176 -80 0 ) ( -192 -80 64 ) ( -176 -64 0 ) COP1_1 0 0 0 1.0 1.0
( -16 48 0 ) ( -16 64 64 ) ( 0 48 0 ) COP1_1 0 0 0 1.0 1.0
( -16 64 64 ) ( -16 80 0 ) ( 0 64 64 ) COP1_1 0 0 0 1.0 1.0

When qbsp detects detail brushes, it outputs a modified portal file format with the header PRT2 (default is PRT1). This portal file contains extra information needed by vis to compute the potentially visible set (PVS) for the map/bsp. So you will also need a vis util capable of processing the PRT2 file format.


In addition to standard Quake 1 .map files, TyrUtils QBSP is compatible with:

Floating point brush coordinates and texture alignments

Valve’s 220 map format as produced by the Hammer editor

Extended texture positioning as supported by the QuArK editor

Standard Quake 2 map format (leading paths in texture names are stripped and any extra surface properties are ignored)


Written by Kevin Shanahan (aka Tyrann)
Based on source provided by id Software and Greg Lewis


Please send bug reports to tyrann@disenchant.net.
Improvements to the documentation are welcome and encouraged.


Copyright (C) 2013 Kevin Shanahan
Copyright (C) 1997 Greg Lewis
Copyright (C) 1997 id Software
License GPLv2+: GNU GPL version 2 or later

This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.


light(1) vis(1) bspinfo(1) bsputil(1) quake(6)