competitive csgo level testing

have your level tested by players likely better, and worse than you. Get instant feedback on why your level is bad, so you can make it better.

testing requirements and how it works

What kind of levels will you test?

Competitively we only will test DE/CS levels. Special arrangements can be made if you have a different / non-competitive level.

Requirements for Level testing

Verify your level qualifies for play testing.

  1. Current layout must be fully completed to the fullest for the test. (Submitting a competitve defusal level with 1 bomb site is a no go.)
  2. The layout has been self tested and you have preformed refinements to the layout.
  3. Level must display a decent amount of time invested into it. (If we suspect that a submitted layout is “low effort” it will be denied.)
  4. Make sure your level actually has an aesthetic that is properly displayed in the level. This does not mean the level must be detailed, dev textures are alright. (For instance, if you’re building a castle level. We should be able to tell that it’s a castle from the aesthetic you’ve built in the level.)
  5. Remember that you’re asking 9+ other people to spend about 2 hours of their time on your level.

Make sure the level has all the required content to be tested properly.

  1. Ideal but not required: Please try to use not orange walls in a test level (gray is ideal)
  2. NAV Mesh generated and packed.
  3. At least 8 spawns for each teams. (It is suggested to only have 8 spawns per team. On occasion many people will join a test resulting in a 12v12.)
  4. No boosts out of the level.
  5. If the level is a defusal map, the bomb site regions need to be clearly marked.
  6. Proper lighting with good visibility.
  7. Working radar overview with paths clearly marked.
    1. Buy zones, spawns, bombsites, and hostage zones should be marked.
    2. Please edit out all non-playable space.
  8. All custom content packed into the BSP file.
  9. Make sure to test the level yourself. Failure to do so will result in a block from further testing.
  10. Level has no FPS issues.
  11. Your level is clipped properly. Stairs, walls, any thing(s) that players may get stuck on.

TF2 Specific Requirements

The above requirements still apply where applicable (Things like bots and nav meshes don’t apply for instance)

  1. There must be 12 spawns on each team.
  2. For every new playtest of a map you have tested previously, a new suffix must be used (pl_map_b1, pl_map_r2, pl_map_a3, etc).
  3. The gamemode your map uses must be prefixed in each BSP name (KOTH_, CP_, CTF_, etc).
  4. All custom content must be packed into your BSP (prior to repacking).
  5. Your map must be repacked (AND PACKED) each time you submit(information on packing and repacking your map can be found here

Upload level and join communication channels.

  1. Upload Level to Workshop.
  2. Join the Discord Chat. This is used for some scheduling and discussion pre/post playtest.
Example state that your level should be at before submitting
How does testing work - Casual

Casual testing is done on a server without a cap for players. Teams are balanced to a “best effort.” Anyone is welcome to play in this test, and there is no punishment for leaving this test early. The creator is allowed to play in this test.

A typical timeline for casual playtest would be:

  • Test is announced in discord about 1 hour before start time.
  • Level is loaded onto server about 15 minutes before start time. Creator is expected to join the server at this time.
  • Server connection information and test starting announcement posted in discord at start time.
  • Players finish joining and run around level for about 5 minutes.
  • Test officially starts about 5-10 minutes after the start time.
  • 1 game played with competitve settings, but instead of BO30 it is 10 rounds each side. This is to ensure that players get to play each side.
  • Players join a voice channel inside Discord and provide feedback with the level creator in a civil manner. Players who are short on time are encouraged to leave their feedback in chat instead of vocal.
  • Test is over. GO TV Demo and feedback sent to creator.
  • Total approximate time: 50 minutes.
How does testing work - Competitive, 5v5

To have a competitive test scheduled, you must have had a previous casual test completed. This is to ensure quality testing in a competitive setting. More moderation is required to run these, as a result the requirements are more strict.

Players are picked by moderators based on skill, and are more balanced than casual. The creator is not allowed to play, and is required to spectate this test.

  • Test is announced in discord about 1 hour before start time.
  • Level is loaded onto server about 15 minutes before start time. Creator is expected to join the server at this time.
  • Server connection information and test starting announcement posted in discord at start time.
  • Players join the level and are allowed to run around the level to fully learn the layout.
  • Test will start no later than 20 minutes after the scheduled start time. Players can “ready” up to start the game early. This is to ensure that players are comfortable with the level before testing.
  • 1 full game is played, with half time, first to 16 round wins. No OT.
  • Players join a voice channel inside Discord and provide feedback with the level creator in a civil manner. 
  • Test is over. GO TV Demo available upon request.
  • Total approximate time: 75 minutes.
Rules during a test
  1. If a level has issues before a test that would prevent a proper test, it will be canceled.
  2. What a playtest moderator / admin says is law.
  3. Respect all players.
  4. Tests may be canceled at a moderator’s discretion, with a reason stated and announcement posted.
  5. If players determine that a level will get no additional feedback from continued testing, a test may be ended early and move to the feedback phase. For instance if 8 rounds in, there is a glaring issue that would otherwise invalidate feedback, it’s better to save people’s time and end the test early.
  6. If a map exploit is found during a test, please alert a moderator. Once discovered the exploit must not be used for the remaining of the match.

Rules subject to change as needed, without warning.

What happens after i submit a test request

All tests are added to the Playtest Queue (type >schedule in Discord). Once requested moderators are notified of a new test being added to the queue. There is also a message sent in #csgo_level_testing in the Discord server that will mention you. A test being in the testing queue does not mean it is scheduled; you are not guaranteed the requested date.

Moderators will then see what tests they are able to fit into their schedules. If the requested time does not work, you may recieve a Discord message asking to pick a new time. Once the times have been figured out the moderator will place the playtest on the calendar (also see below). Once your test is on the calendar you are scheduled for that date.

Lastly, please remember we do this for free to support the community we love. This does not pay the bills, so real life things may get in the way for the moderator that was going to run your test. This may mean that your test is cancelled, delayed, or rescheduled. If for some reason we need to cancel, delay, or reschedule we will reach out to you as soon as possible to let you know. In the event you are rescehduled, you will get priority on getting rescheduled. Meaning you will be scheduled before other tests in the queue.

Ido's Demands

If you’re here, you’re trying to schedule a playtest, great! In response to: “To confirm that you’ve read the testing requirements, click View Testing Requirements, look for Ido’s demands and follow the instructions.” type the following:
I have read and understand the playtesting requirements

Testing FAQ

What happens if I, the creator, leave a test early without notice?

Leaving without notice will result in you being blocked from any further testing. We understand that things come up and that’s fine. Just let us know that you need to leave and we can reschedule.

How often can I test/re-test my level?

There must be at least 2 weeks between tests.

I need to cancel my test, how do I do that?

Please contact the moderator of your test or TopHATTwaffle to cancel your test.

Please let us know as soon as possible. For the quickest response use discord private message. If for some reason you cannot use Discord, please contact me using email.

My level had a bug I did not know about until it went live for test

If the issue is minor, the test will still happen. If the issue is large enough to prevent the test we will delay the test a short amount of time to see if you’re able to fix the issue. If not, we can reschedule the test.

Moderators/Admins are more than happy to load your level before your test begins to allow for bug checking. Please take the time to verify your workshop version before hand, but you can use this as an additional check if you need.

I clearly scheduled my test on a day that was open, but it was denied anyways

You will receive a Discord direct message with the reason for why your test was denied.

Since tests are manually screened and scheduled based on moderator availability they are left in a queue until schedules are known. If a level was submitted before your level on the same date, that level is scheduled over your’s. It’s a first come first serve basis.

Will I get a demo from my playtest?

Demo files are recorded for all playtests. They are uploaded to and can be downloaded any time. If your test’s demo is not there, please ask a moderator.

Something happened and I need to leave a test early

Stuff happens, no biggie! Just let us know that you need to leave. Depending on how far along the test is, it may continue and feedback will be left in the Discord chat. If it is early on, the test may just be rescheduled.

Can I contribute in some way to the playtesting system?

Of course! There are a few ways you can help. Feel free to look ahead in the schedule and pre-test levels to help the creators. Everyone is always happy to have bugs / issues found before the test so they can be fixed. If you want to know other ways to help, feel free to ask someone in Discord how you’re able to contribute.

How much does it cost?

It costs nothing – but you can donate!

We pay for servers and would love to have any donations to help offset that cost. You can donate here!

Can I update my level after submitting?

Of course! However Steam’s workshop approval process now has a delay before the submission goes live. Meaning you need to make sure that the level is approved before the test begins. The time to get a level approved by Steam varies. To be safe you should not update the workshop map in the 24 hours before the test is scheduled.

The calendar is shown in Central Time! Please convert your local time to CT!

Remember: Tests are required to be scheduled at least 48 hours in advance.
Meaning if you want to test on a Saturday, you must submit no later than Thursday.

Click here to view current Central Time.

By clicking the “Google Calendar+” button, you can add the calendar to your Google Calendar and time-zones will be auto converted to your time-zone.

Before you schedule…

Have you read all information above?

Did you check the open dates on the calendar?

If you did - click here to submit your level for testing
To see the current test requests in the queue, in any channel or direct message, type >Schedule

To begin your request through Ido, in any channel or a direct message, type >Request. Ido will walk you through the process of creating a playtest request.

If you scheduled previously you will have a “Quick Request” provided to you when completing the request wizard. If you want to submit for another test at a later date, you can modify any of the required information and use that to submit again. If you’re familiar with the request system, you can skip the wizard by pre-filling out the template before with all the details. However, you can just type >request in any channel to do it thought a wizard.

>Request Date:

An example of a pre-built requests:

>Request Date:8/17/2019 14:00:00,
Game: CSGO
Discord:111939018500890624, 560667510580576266
Description:Testing timings along with newly added cover. Hope to flesh out any major issues.
PreviousTest:1/1/1970 00:00:00