.BSP File Extension

Quake or Source Engine Game Map

Developer id Software
4.2  |  130 Votes

What is a BSP file?

A BSP file is a map file used by games developed using a Quake or Valve Source game engine. It contains information about the map's layout, objects, and resources. Many games use BSP files, including Quake, Quake 2, Quake 3, Half-Life, Half-Life 2, Team Fortress, Counter-Strike, Counter-Strike: Condition-Zero, Portal, and Call of Duty: World at War.

More Information

BSP stands for Binary Space Partitioning, which is a technique a game engine can use to break intricate polygons into convex sets. This allows the engine to render 3D maps more quickly. Every BSP file is made up of "lumps," which are chunks of data defined in the file's header. These lumps include Entities, Nodes, Vertices, Planes, Leaves, Visibility, Faces, and Textures.

BSP maps are compiled binary files. Developers can compile BSP files from .MAP files using tools such as Q3Map2 and Irrlicht. Developers can also create BSP files using id Software programs such as GtkRadiant and DarkRadiant.

Quake game engines that use BSP files include id Tech 1 (Doom Engine), Quake Engine (the original Quake engine), id Tech 2 (Quake II Engine), id Tech 3 (used originally for Quake III Arena), and id Tech 4 (originally used for Doom 3).

Valve Source engine BSP files

Since Valve's Source game engine (used to develop games such as Half-Life 2, Left 4 Dead, and Team Fortress 2) originated from the Quake engine, it also uses maps saved as BSP files. However, the Source engine's BSP file format differs slightly from the Quake engine's. As such, programs that can decompile Quake BSP files may not be able to decompile Source BSP files, and vice-versa.

Source engine games' BSP files are stored in the games' .GCF archives. Notably, Source engine BSP files do not include the map's description text or the AI navigation file that non-player characters (NPCs) use to navigate the map.

How to open a BSP file

BSP files are not meant to be opened. While some BSP map decompilers exist, which allow modders to view BSP files' contents and convert the files to editable formats, these tools often do not decompile BSP files correctly. Example BSP decompilers include Q3Map2, EntSpy, Vmex, and BSP2MAP.

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Programs that open or reference BSP files

Mario Kart Wii Binary Settings and Physics File

Developer Nintendo
2.3  |  3 Votes

A BSP file may also be a game data file used by Mario Kart Wii. It specifies how karts interact when they collide with each other and in-game objects. Mario Kart Wii's BSP files are stored in Common.szs's bsp directory.

More Information

Mario Kart Wii is a racing game for the Nintendo Wii. In the game, players can collide with each other, NPCs, and other in-game objects. When they do, the result of the collision is determined by Mario Kart Wii's BSP files.

Each Mario Kart Wii vehicle has its own BSP file. When the vehicle collides with another vehicle or object, the BSP file's values are used to determine how far the vehicle is pushed back and whether and how the vehicle should spin.

How to open a BSP file

Those who want to open and edit Mario Kart Wii's BSP files can do so using Atlas BSP Table (Windows), a player-created BSP file editor. BSP Table allows players to edit the binary data a BSP file contains.

Programs that open or reference BSP files


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