Guide to mapping

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Other related guides: Understanding SS13 code, SS13 for experienced programmers and Map Merger


Map Merger

It is important that you use the Map Merger tools before commiting any changes to a map. See here for how.

Pre-commit checks

- Are all the floors with or without air, as they should be? (regular or airless)
- Does the area have an APC?
- Does the area have an Air Alarm?
- Does the area have a Request Console?
- Does the area have lights?
- Does the area have a light switch?
- Does the area have enough intercoms?
- Does the area have enough security cameras? (Use the verbs under Mapping for help)
- Is the area connected to the scrubbers air loop?
- Is the area connected to the vent air loop? (vent pumps)
- Is everything wired properly?
- Does the area have a fire alarm and firedoors?
- Do all pod doors work properly?
- Are accesses set properly on doors, pod buttons, etc.
- Are all items placed properly? (not below vents, scrubbers, tables)
- Does the disposal system work properly from all the disposal units in this room and all the units, the pipes of which pass through this room?
- Check for any misplaced or stacked piece of pipe (air and disposal)
- Check for any misplaced or stacked piece of wire
- Identify how hard it is to break into the area and where the weak points are
- Check if the area has too much empty space. If so, make it smaller and replace the rest with maintenance tunnels.
- Are there any unsimulated floors where they shouldn't be?

General Station-wide Mapping Guidelines


  • Each area should have EXACTLY one air alarm (Exceptions are only possible if a room has scrubbers or vent pumps on different frequencies)
  • Each ROOM (Walled off space) should have at least one vent pump and scrubber, which is properly connected to it's respective loop
  • The air supply loop's pipes should be colored blue
  • The scrubbers loop's pipes should be colored red


  • Each area (which requires power) should have exactly one APC


Pipes and manifolds

Atmospherics releases it's cocktail of gases into the air supply loop (blue pipes). The station is also equipped with a scrubber loop, which filters unwanted gases and sends them back to atmospherics via the scrubber loop (red pipes).

If you're expanding the air supply loop (blue pipes) use the objects in /obj/machinery/atmospherics/pipe/simple/supply/visible or ../hidden depending on if you want it to show above floors or below them. For manifolds use the objects in /obj/machinery/atmospherics/pipe/manifold/supply/visible and ../hidden.

If you are expanding the scrubber loop (red pipes) use the objects in /obj/machinery/atmospherics/pipe/simple/scrubbers/visible or ../hidden depending on if you want it to show above floors or below them. For manifolds use the objects in /obj/machinery/atmospherics/pipe/manifold/scrubbers/visible and ../hidden.

If you are however building a pipe network which has nothing to do with the air supply or scrubbers loop, you should use the objects in /obj/machinery/atmospherics/pipe/simple/general/visible or ../hidden. For manifolds use the objects in /obj/machinery/atmospherics/pipe/manifold/general/visible and ../hidden. To manually set these ones up you will need to set the following parameters (Assuming you are properly using the visible/hidden categories)

 color = ""  // select from "" for gray or "red", "blue", "cyan", "green" or "yellow"
 icon_state = "intact" //The color of pipes is set to what the color variable says at round 
 start irrespective of this, however to make mapping easier, please set the icon_state variable 
 to the correct one here too. Please refer to the table below for icon_states for different colors. 
Color Visibility icon_state (pipe) icon_state (manifold)
Gray Visible intact manifold
Gray Hidden intact-f manifold-f
Red Visible intact-r manifold-r
Red Hidden intact-r-f manifold-r-f
Blue Visible intact-b manifold-b
Blue Hidden intact-b-f manifold-b-f
Cyan Visible intact-c manifold-c
Cyan Hidden intact-c-f manifold-c-f
Green Visible intact-g manifold-g
Green Hidden intact-g-f manifold-g-f
Yellow Visible intact-y manifold-y-f
Yellow Hidden intact-y-f manifold-y-f

Air Alarm

Every single area (with scrubbers and/or vent pumps) should have exactly one air alarm. More than one should be placed if vent pumps or scrubbers use different radio frequencies than the default one (1439).

Scrubbers (Station air supply)

Every room (ie. walled off space) except for maintenance hallways should have at least one scrubber.

The vars you need to set for this one specifically are:

 on = 1
 scrubbing = 1
 scrub_co2 = 1
 scrub_toxins = 0
 scrub_n2o = 0
 volume_rate = 120
 panic = 0
 frequency = 1439

And make sure the id_tag is the default one (null)

Also ensure the scrubber is connected to the scrubber loop!!

Vent Pumps (Station air supply)

Every room (ie. walled off space) except for maintenance hallways should have at least one vent pump.

The vars you need to set for this one specifically are:

 on = 1
 pump_direction = 1
 pressure_checks = 1
 frequency = 1439

And make sure the id_tag is the default one (null)

Also ensure the vent pump is connected to the air supply loop!!



Each new room needs at least one, this will provide all the power for the room (magically). Any room that is very equipment heavy may need another APC to split the load and prevent early black outs.


Make sure the wires lead from the main power grid, and to the APC(s) of your area. If any equipment in your new area requires a wire under it, line it up, connected to the main power grid, and under the machinery. Wires are also helpful when making electrical grills (just dot wire under a grill), make sure the wires touch the main power grid (or they won't shock people).



Lights take up a lot of power, don't use too many! Make sure to put in just enough so the room is fully lit, but not so many that the equipment will go out in ten minutes of the round starting.

Light switch

For mood lighting, or to show the room is currently not in use by the primary occupant. These disable the lighting equipment (and power drain associated) in the area, but not desk lamps. Place these on walls, usually by a door.

Request Console

If a certain room has no need for materials, or produces no materials, do not give it a Request Console. If it does (for either case or both) make sure it has at least one, that is in a place where some one will see it.


At least every room should have one of these. They should be set to 145.9, and be speaker ON Microphone OFF. This is so radio signals can reach people even without head sets on. Larger room will require more than one at a time.

Security Cameras

Most areas should have these, enough to see the general area from a Human point of view, but, not bunched together for the AI's sake. Larger rooms may require more than one.

Room Structure


Door access


Pod Doors

Airless Floors

Ideal for rooms or chambers that mix gas, and for tiles exposed to space. Not ideal for areas that humans will cross in frequency.

Use these on external tiles (to prevent lag when the game starts) and chambers that will require gas mixing (toxins mix chamber/ furnace). Double check these to make sure you don't suffocate mobs in the new rooms.

Fire Alarms and Fire Doors

Make sure to put these INSIDE of the boundary of the area, so there is a lock down. Any spot that gets hot as a normal function should not have a fire Alarm right next to the heat source (toxin mix chamber). Make sure there is a fully sealed area (with the exception of maintenance doors for people to escape fires) that can't be open by normal civilians.

Weak Points

Judge how high security the room will be, if it is high security, reinforced walls and electrified grill windows may be in order. Areas that do not need a lot of security can use basic walls, and windows to your liking (though normal glass windows break very very easy). Each room should have one place that's weaker than the rest (like a back door, side entrance, or a window), just because the main entrance might be out of commission (and realistically, for traitors to break into).

Item and Machinery Distribution

Be smart about what will go in an area, keep a fine balance between the size of the room and amount of equipment. Large rooms may require multiple APCs to prevent power outages early in game. Second, make sure to place equipment that make sense for the area (security computer in a security area/ Medical vendor in a medical area).

Unsimulated Floors

Before you wrap up the map, look for any unsimulated floors, because those can cause some major problems. They can look like any floor, so the best way to find them is by using Ctrl+F and searching their exact path, '/turf/unsimulated/floor', and the first result you get should be at CentCom. To put it simply, unsimulated floors do not process things like air pipes over them, and mixing simulated and unsimulated by each other ends badly.


Item contents

The harder the room is to enter, the more goodies or sensitive equipment there is inside. Make sure to keep this in mind (and don't make an empty room that's covered in blast doors, electrified grills, reinforced walls, and captain level doors).

Room security

A room is only as secure as its necessity. Public rooms should not have many security functions (other than a fire alarm), but private work space must be more secure (based on job). The bartenders do not need reinforced walls around their storage, but engineers do.

The highest security rooms should utilize the highest security measures. The lowest security rooms should utilize the cheapest security measures.

Step_x, step_y and the broken movement syndrome

So you compiled the map and suddenly whenever you move you no longer get the animation of moving but just 'appear' on the next tile?

So a while back step_x and step_y were introduced to allow pixel based movement. SS13 does not utilize this. Step_x and step_y are variables that each atom has. The way they work is that as soon as you set any object on the map to use one of these variables, the game interprets that you overrode all default movement code and wrote your own - but you didn't (The code that makes the animation from tile to tile).

To fix this problem you need to close dream maker (save the project first, obviously). Open your map (.dmm) file in a text editor, such as notepad or notepad++. Search (ctrl+f) through the file for step_x and step_y and remove any reference to it. Once no more step_x or step_y -es are found in the file, save it and open it in dream maker once again. Compile the code and movement should work fine once more. Go to the development IRC if you need more help.

Contribution guides
General Hosting a server, Setting up git, Downloading the source code, Guide to contributing to the game, From blank to commit, Game Resources category
Database (MySQL) Setting up the database, Working with the database, MySQL
Coding Understanding SS13 code, Getting started with Code, SS13 for experienced programmers, Binary flags‎
Mapping Guide to mapping, Map Merger
Spriting Guide to spriting
Wiki Guide to contributing to the wiki, Wikicode, Hiding content