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SnowRunner™ Editor Guide. Part #1

Part #1 of this guide describes First Launch of the Editor, its UI, used File Paths (Chapters 1 to 4).


Posted by on (updated ago)

UPD: ===============================================================

Unfortunately, we have issues with updating the web version of this guide due to the large size of our guides (we have reached the max limit for pictures for an account, etc). Sorry for that.

However, you can find up-to-date versions of guides in PDF format here:

On the PC platform, the same guides are available at the folder of the *installed game* within the "...\en_us\Sources\BinEditor\Guides" directory.

Or, you can open the folder with the documentation package directly from SnowRunner™ Editor, by selecting Help > Guides in its main menu.


Quick links to parts of this guide:

  • Part #1 - Introduction to SnowRunner™ Editor: First Launch, UI, File Paths (Chapters 1 to 4)
  • Part #2 - Creation of a Map, beginning (Chapter 5, from 5.1 to 5.11) that covers:
    • Terrain
    • “Geometry” Brushes
    • PBR Materials
    • Snow and Ice
    • Models
    • Plants
    • Distributions
    • Overlays
    • Rivers and Water Objects
    • References
    • Trucks
  • Part #3 - Creation of a Map, continuation (Chapter 5, from 5.12 to 5.15) that covers:
    • Sounds
    • Sound Domains
    • Zones
    • Objectives
  • Part #4 - Post-production operations: Packing a Map, Testing a Map, Publishing a Map, Playing on a Map (Chapters 6 to 10)
  • Part #5 - Viewing Trucks (Chapter 11)

If you want an offline copy, you can download the full guide in the PDF format here.

1. Introduction

This guide provides an overview of basic operations necessary to create a map mod with SnowRunner™ Editor. Along with it, brief instructions on viewing trucks are also provided.

2. Installation and First Launch

The Editor is installed along with the game itself. You can find it in the folder of the installed game, typically at the following (or similar) directory:
C:\Program Files\Epic Games\SnowRunner\en_us\Sources\BinEditor\

NOTE: If you have installed the Public Test Server (PTS) version of the game, then paths to all files of this version will be similar to the ones shown in this guide. However, these paths will have SnowRunnerBeta in them instead of SnowRunner.

To open the Editor, you need to launch SnowRunnerEditor.exe in this folder:

editor exe file

No configuration is necessary, you can just launch it.

IMPORTANT: Currently, if you open the Editor, you will not be able to open the game at the same time. If you need to open the game, you will need to close the Editor first.

3. UI Overview

UI 1

UI 2

The UI of the editor consists of the following:

  1. The main panel (scene window) - displays the part of your scene. Here you perform the main operations with the content of the scene: add new objects, move and rotate them, paint the terrain using various brushes, and so on.
  2. File view panel - this panel works as a library that contains all maps and references. Double-click on the file in the panel will load the corresponding map.
  3. Scene View panel (upper part) - displays the list of objects on the scene, both physical and auxiliary. Objects can be selected both in the main panel (scene window) and using the Scene View list, after expanding its hierarchy. Along with objects, this hierarchy contains a set of various brushes in the Scene > Terrain > Geometry section (see below).
  4. Lower part of the Scene View panel (properties of a selected object) - this panel displays and allows you to modify the properties of a selected object.
  5. Minimap (the upper part of the Terrain panel) - displays the current view of the level minimap.
  6. Visible blocks section (the lower part of the Terrain panel) - displays visible blocks of the terrain, depending on the direction of the camera on the scene.
  7. Log (the Output panel) - All system messages and editor errors are displayed here.
  8. Above all these panels, the menu bar and toolbar are displayed.

3.1. Toolbar buttons

1   toolbar





save Save CTRL + S Saves the map and updates the data.stg file.
wireframe Wireframe CTRL + W Enables/disables rendering of the map in the
wireframe mode.
grid Grid CTRL + G Shows/hides the planar grid.
night Night Enables/disables the night mode. In the night
mode, you can see how your level looks at night
(lights, etc.).
fog Fog Enables/disables the fog.
stats Statistics CTRL + T

Shows/hides the graphics statistics of the level:
camera position, camera direction vector, amount
of Draw Indexed Primitives (DIPs, “drawcalls”),
faces, models, and so on.

TIP: You can use values displayed for camera
position and camera direction vector when setting
up cameraPos... and cameraDir... vectors for
Watchtowers and Gateways. See "" for details.

reload resources Reload Resources CTRL + R Reloads models, textures, settings of the materials,
XML classes, XMLs of the map and its references,
and other meta-data.
open file Open File ALT + SHIFT + O Displays a dialog that allows you to quickly find
and open a file from the Media folder.
duplicate selected Duplicate selected CTRL + D Duplicates the object selected in the Editor.

Pauses/enables the default animations that may
exist for the models in the Editor. For example,
if you add the windmill model, and then disable
and enable this option and Rebuild the level, you
will see the animated windmill:
It can be also used when viewing Trucks
(see "11.3. Viewing XML file of the Class").

Quick mode Quick mode Enables/disables the Quick Mode in the Editor.
This mode allows you to rebuild your map faster.
If this button is activated, then the grass will not
be calculated during the rebuild and there will be
no grass in the terrain blocks that were rebuilt.
No references No references If this button is activated, the Editor will ignore
references during the rebuild of the map. The
map will not contain visuals of the references
if this mode was enabled before the rebuild.
Local transform Local transform CTRL + L There are two coordinate modes for controlling
objects: local and global. If you enable the Local
transform mode, then the axes of an object will
correspond to its position. If you disable this mode,
then the axes along which you can move the object
will correspond to the coordinate grid of the entire
Enable autorebuild terrain Enable autorebuild terrain Enables/disables the auto-rebuild of the terrain.
If this option is activated, the terrain will be rebuilt
each time you switch from one brush to another.
Show Distribution mask Show Distribution mask Shows/hides the distribution mask in the main view
of the Editor when the particular distribution is
selected. For details on distributions and their masks,
see "5.7. Adding Multiple Objects via Distribution".
Show colored brush circle Show colored brush circle Enables/disables the highlighted circle below the
mouse pointer when the particular brush is selected.
Show snow Show snow Shows/hides the snow coverage of the level in the Editor.
Show all sound domains Show all sound domains When this option is enabled, the Editor displays all
sound domains on the level. By default, they are hidden
until selection in the Scene View panel.
Hide Strings Hide Strings Shows/hides the names of the objects displayed next to
them in the main window of the scene.
Show Heightmap Angles Show Heightmap Angles Displays the map of heightmap angles for the level.
image124 Enables/disables the Ruler tool, which allows you to
create splines and measure distances. After enabling
the tool, you can add points to the ruler spline by
right-clicking and selecting Add before and Add after
in the context menu. The spline works similarly to the
mechanism of overlays (see "5.8. Adding Overlays").
image23 It allows you to increase or decrease the brightness of
the preview of the level in the appearing dialog. It is used
for previewing the level in the Editor only. Particularly,
it is useful to decrease brightness when working with
snowy levels.
Pack terrain

Pack terrain

Packs your map and generates the .zip and .pak files.
For details, see "6. Packing a Map".
4 zone settings

Zone settings

Allows you to configure zones and objectives of your map.
For details, see "5.15. Adding Zones" and
"5.16. Adding Objectives".
2 region settings

Region settings

Allows you to create Regions and add multiple maps to them.
For details, see "5.17. Regions with Multiple Maps".

3.2. Camera Controls

  • Left-click – select an object
  • Left-double-click – fly to an object
  • Right-click – context menu
  • Mouse wheel – zoom in/out relative to the object under cursor
  • Left mouse drag – rotate around the object under cursor
  • Ctrl + Left mouse drag – strafe the camera
  • Shift + Left mouse drag – pan the camera
  • Alt + Left mouse drag – rotate around the center of the selected object

NOTE: However, when a brush is selected, the left-click and right-click behavior is different, see below.

3.3. Typical Brush dialog

Brushes of various types are frequently used in the Editor. They allow you to add the mud, snow, paint layers of the materials, paint distribution maps for plants, and so on. When you will be painting with a brush, the Brush dialog will appear within the main panel of the scene. The particular properties (modes of the brush, etc.) displayed in this dialog depend on the particular brush. However, most of the brushes look pretty similar:

05 brush dialog

Painting with the brush is typically performed by pressing and holding the right mouse button while moving the mouse. By pressing the left mouse button, you can apply the changes.

Typically, brushes have some universal settings:

  • Size - the size of the brush in meters.
  • Value - the force of the brush and the direction vector for changes after painting. It can be set to a negative value. For example, for a brush of heights, positive values will raise the terrain up, negative values will lower it.
  • Falloff - specifies the softness of the border of the brush. For example, 0 - a brush with absolutely hard edges, 1 - changes from the brush begin to fade immediately from the center of the circle of the brush.
  • Autofade - the automatic attenuation mode of the brush, that depends on the direction of the drawn line. Useful for drawing ruts and working with mud.
  • Randomize - random spread of brush values in a given range. That is, the brush will randomly change the values of force and direction. Useful for creating chaotic unevenness.

NOTE: For some brushes, the range of the Value slider is from 0 to 1. Typically, in this case, the brush will paint its content when the Value > 0.50 and remove its content when the Value < 0.50. However, the default value for such brushes is typically 0.50 and the brush will not do anything until you change this value.

Typically, to apply your changes after using the brush, you left-click the terrain (or deselect the selected section in the Scene View panel) and rebuild the terrain. You can either enable the autorebuild terrain option (see "3.1. Toolbar buttons" above) or manually rebuild the terrain. To manually rebuild the terrain, right-click the scene window and select Rebuild Terrain or Rebuild visible / Selection (to rebuild only visible or selected areas).

Undo Current Changes in the Brush dialog - discards the current changes during painting, reverts all changes made after the most recent right-click.

The Geometry section with the Scene View panel contains a lot of brushes. For their descriptions, see "5.2. “Geometry” Brushes for Terrain" below and its subsections.

3.4. Selection of Multiple Objects

The Editor supports the selection of the multiple objects of the same type (e.g. Models, Plants, etc.).
To select multiple objects, hold CTRL while clicking on them (either in the main window or in the Scene View panel). Objects will be displayed as selected in the Scene View panel, and names of the selected objects will be displayed in the main window next to the pivot, which is common for the selected objects:

06 multiselect

To select adjacent objects in the Scene View panel, hold SHIFT while selecting them.

3.5. Groups & Copying Them Between Maps

When you are working with objects in the Editor, you can use Groups as categories for them in the hierarchy of objects. These groups can contain only objects of the same type (e.g. only models, or only plants, etc.).

For example, you can add a group for a set of buildings:

07 multiselect

To add a group and assign an object to it:

  1. Right-click the necessary section in the Scene View hierarchy (e.g. Models) and select Add Group from the context menu.
  2. After doing this, the group with the few digits as a name will appear in the hierarchy.
    08 group 1
  3. If necessary, you can change the name of the group in its Name field (at the lower part of the Scene View panel, while the group object is selected).
  4. Now, to assign necessary objects for a group, for each such object:
    1. Select it in the Scene View panel.
    2. In the object properties, in the Group field, select the group you have created.
      09 group 2
    3. After doing this, the object will be moved to the group.
      10 group 3

The main goal of groups is to help you organize objects.
However, when objects are in the group it is easier to select multiple objects from them (see "3.2. Selection of Multiple Objects" above).

Moreover, after the creation of the group and assigning objects to it, you can copy all the objects from this group to another map.
This is possible because information about objects added to the group are saved to a separate file in the subgroups directory with the folder of the level (see "4. File Paths and Naming" below).

subgroups folder

So, you can copy the file corresponding to your group from this directory to the subgroups directory of another level. After that, the objects from this group will appear at this level, when you open it in the Editor.

NOTE: Objects from the copied group will appear in the new map at the same positions they have on the initial map.

3.6. Typical Context Menu

Right-clicking the main window of the scene or right-clicking the section/object in the Scene View panel will open the context menu.

NOTE: However, when a brush is selected, the right-click behavior is different, see "3.3. Typical Brush dialog" above.

The list of commands within a context menu depends on where particularly you have performed a right-click. If you have right-clicked an object, the commands related to this object will be displayed in the upper part of the menu, with the name of this object as a prefix (e.g. “country_building_01_c” in the picture below). If this object belongs to a group, then below them the operations related to groups will be displayed, with the name of this group as a prefix (e.g. “455” in the picture below). If you have clicked the particular object or a section of the particular type in the Scene View panel, then the operations related to this type of object will be listed, with the name of this object type as a prefix (e.g. “Models” in the picture below). And, also, the list will contain the list of general context commands (e.g. Reload, Rebuild Terrain, etc.) below all other commands.

12 context menu

The list of most frequently used commands is shown below:

Command Description
Reload Reloads the terrain. Any unsaved changes will be lost.
Rebuild Terrain Rebuilds all terrain of the map, applies all changes that
you have done to its properties (heights, references, etc.),
and refreshes the appearance of the level in the Editor.
Rebuild Selection Similar to Rebuild Terrain, but rebuilds only selected
terrain blocks, which is faster. You can select multiple terrain
blocks by holding CTRL and left-clicking the terrain in the
main window of the scene.
Rebuild Visible Similar to Rebuild Terrain, but rebuilds only terrain blocks
currently visible in the main window of the scene, which is faster.
Add Pbr Material Adds a new PBR Material, see "5.3. Assigning PBR Materials
to Terrain".
Add Model Adds a new Model, see "5.5. Adding Models".
Add Plant Adds a new standalone Plant, see "5.6. Adding Plants".
Add Distribution Adds a new Distribution (e.g. massively planted trees, rocks,
etc.), see "5.7. Adding Multiple Objects via Distribution".
Add Overlay Adds a new Overlay (e.g. a road, wires, etc.), see
"5.8. Adding Overlays".
Add River Adds a new River object, see "5.9. Adding Rivers and
Water Objects".
Add River Markup Add a new River Markup object (a sound area for the river),
see "5.9.2. Adding River Sounds via “RiverMarkup”".
Add Reference Adds a new Reference, see "5.10. Adding References".
Add Truck Adds a new Truck, see "5.11. Adding Trucks".
Add Sound Adds a new Sound, see "5.12. Adding Sounds".
Add … Sound Domain Adds a new Sound Domain of the particular type,
see "5.13. Adding Sound Domains".
… - Fly To Moves the camera to the right-clicked object, zooms it,
and selects it.
… - Delete Deletes the right-clicked object from the map. You cannot
undelete it after that.
… - Duplicate Duplicates the selected object.
… - Replace Replaces the right-clicked object with another object.

3.7. Main Menu

The File menu:

  • Close File - the system prompts you whether or not the changes should be saved, saves them if you select so, and then closes the opened file.
  • Reload File From Backup - allows you to reload your scene from automatically created backup (you can select it in the appearing dialog). Please note that backup contains only the XML file of the level, files of textures are not backed up.
  • Unpack references - allows you to unpack the set of in-game references provided with the Editor. For details, see "5.10.5" below.
  • Save - saves your changes (CTRL + S).
  • <list of recently opened files> - allows you to open them.
  • Exit - exits from the Editor.

The Settings menu:

  • Ignore Warnings - enabling this option will hide warnings and errors that are generated while working with the Editor. If this option is enabled, the “CAUTION! Error messages are disabled.” label is displayed at the top of the main window of the scene. If it is disabled, errors and warnings will be displayed as new dialog windows. Even if they are hidden, you can find them in the log, which is displayed in the Output panel.
  • Show Snow By Up Vector - this option enables the snow cover effect for models and plants on the scene, according to their texture settings.

The Help menu:

  • Guides - opens the folder with PDF files of guides for SnowRunner™.

4. File Paths and Naming

4.1. File Paths

Source files of levels and references are stored in the Media\prebuild folder, which is created in the Documents\My Games\SnowRunner\ folder.

NOTE: If you have installed the Public Test Server (PTS) or Closed Beta Testing version of the game, then paths to all files of this version will be similar to the ones shown in this guide. However, these paths will have SnowRunnerPublicTest or SnowRunnerBeta in them instead of SnowRunner. I.e., your particular paths will depend on the version of the game you are using.

Full path to it is typically similar to the following:
C:\Users\<name_of_user>\Documents\My Games\SnowRunner\Media\prebuild

media prebuild

NOTE: The prebuild folder will be filled with folders and files of levels after you create these levels. At the first launch of the Editor, this folder is empty. Files and folders in the screenshot above (and in the similar screenshots that follow) are shown for illustrative purposes only.

In this folder, each level corresponds to the <name_of_the_level>.xml file (e.g. level_test_map_1.xml). It is the main file of the level and the file you need to click in the File View panel of the Editor to open the corresponding map. The folder with the same name (e.g. level_test_map_1) contains all additional source data of the level, its source textures, and so on.

The compiled level files generated by Editor and their .zip archives prepared for uploading to are stored in the Media\levels folder:

media levels

Each folder of the level contains the data.stg file, which contains all binary information of the level and a set of compiled files for textures as .dds files. The data.stg file is updated each time you save the level.

When you pack the level in the Editor, the system, along with the .zip file (see above), also generates the .pak file for this level. It is automatically copied to the folder, where all local mods of the game are stored, i.e. to the Media\Mods folder.
For example:
C:\Users\<name_of_user>\Documents\My Games\SnowRunner\Media\Mods

mods folder

For more details on packing, see "6. Packing a Map".

4.2. Naming conventions

  • Names of levels must start with the level_ prefix.
  • Names of references must start with the ref_ prefix.


Quick links to parts of this guide:

  • Part #1 - Introduction to SnowRunner™ Editor: First Launch, UI, File Paths (Chapters 1 to 4)
  • Part #2 - Creation of a Map, beginning (Chapter 5, from 5.1 to 5.11) that covers:
    • Terrain
    • “Geometry” Brushes
    • PBR Materials
    • Snow and Ice
    • Models
    • Plants
    • Distributions
    • Overlays
    • Rivers and Water Objects
    • References
    • Trucks
  • <a href="https://snowr


Join the community or sign in with your gaming account to join the conversation:

hberkebagci @hberkebagci

Hey guys. I'll make my map but did not find pole lights on. Tested amp more times change the time look at night midnight whatever. Didn't open the pole lights. How can i make it this thing? Search from google but anyone talk this thing. Maybe my mistake to find the pole lights yelling but ı dont understand. Andybody help me plz.

SnowRunner_Support @snowrunner-support


What particular model of the lamp poles are you using?

Try to use the "us_light_pole" model (you need to perfrom "Rebuild Terrain" after adding it to the map). Lights from "us_light_pole" are visible both in the Editor and in the game (pic:
But, anyway, you need to perform "Rebuild Terrain" to see the lights (in the night mode).

However, we also have "broken lamp poles" models where lights are disabled intentionally (to represent broken lamp poles in the game).

Hope that helps.

rostden1 @rostden1

какой указать путь для загрузки текстур в редактор. редактор запускается но он пустой.

SnowRunner_Support @snowrunner-support

Текстуры (материалы) должны быть по умолчанию, ничего прописывать не надо, поэтому не до конца понимаю вопрос, к сожалению.
Но, есть один важный момент: когда вы запускаете редактор, и создаете новый Terrain, этот террейн (с дефолтной текстурой) не показывается по умолчанию -- чтобы он отобразился, нужно сделать двойнойной клик по превью террейна (панель Terrain и там окно Terrain Game Map) -- после дабл-клика там ("A" на скриншоте ниже) -- дефолтный террейн с дефолтной текстурой отобразиться в главной панели ("B" на скриншоте ниже). После этого уже можно будет делать все обычные операции с редактором (включая и назначение PBR Materials).
Может вы об этом?

Скриншот (из гайда):

Надеюсь, это поможет.

hondatj @hondatj

how can i undo copy height map i accidently clicked on it and it ruined my whole map after almost being complete! i have about 50hrs into this map

hondatj @hondatj

the wireframe is still there but when i rebuild terrain it goes flat.

hondatj @hondatj

why the helll is that even there???? i did it again. how to i get the map back!!!@