How to use VMEX - for novices

This page gives step-by-step instructions for installing and using VMEX via the command-line or the graphical user interface (GUI).


1. Download the latest version of VMEX and the Java Runtime Environment. You can find links to them in the Download and installation section of the main page.

2. Install Java. You may have to restart your computer for it to be completely installed.

3. Install VMEX. You can do this by extracting the zip file to any convenient folder. The simplest place to extract it is the same folder that the map .bsp files are in.

4. Find your bsp files. If you wish to decompile the HL2 single player levels, or CS:S maps, you will need GCF Scape (see the main page for links) to extract them from steam's .gcf files.

Running VMEX with a GUI

1. To run VMEX in GUI mode, double click on the "vmex.bat" file (or the "vmex2.bat" file if you are using Windows95/98).

2. Use the "Browse" button to select the .bsp file you wish to decompile. You may also type in the map's name in the "File" box.

3. Set any options you wish to change. For most maps, the defaults will be the optimum settings. Pressing the "Defaults" button sets all options back to their default values.

4. Press the "Decompile" button to decompile the map. You will see messages in the command-line window (black box) giving VMEX's progress. Most maps take only 10 seconds or so to decompile.

5. The decompiled map will be created in the same location as the .bsp file, and named "mapname_d.vmf".

6. Press "Exit" to exit the program, or "Browse" to choose another map to decompile.

Running VMEX from the command line

1. Open a command prompt. Under Windows XP and 2000, to do this, click the Start button, choose "Run...", enter cmd and press OK. Under older versions of Windows (95, 98), click Start, "Run...", and enter command

2. You now have a command prompt window. You now need to change directory to the folder you are storing your map files. You do this with the "cd" command. For example, if your maps are in the folder "c:\steam\steamapps\username\half-life 2\hl2\maps" , type:

cd c:\steam\steamapps\username\half-life 2\hl2\maps

If you get it right, you should see the current directory name before the > on the next line.

3. Run VMEX. If you have Windows XP, type:

vmex mapname.bsp

where "mapname" is the name of the .bsp file you want to decompile. If you have Windows 95 or 98, type:

vmex2 mapname.bsp

4. You now should have a file called mapname_d.vmf created in the same folder. This file can be loaded into hammer. On some maps, Hammer will report errors and problems as it loads the file, but you should still be able to see the majority of the map.

If you have tried all these steps and cannot get VMEX to work, see the FAQ page for troubleshooting help.

Back to the VMEX main page

Rof - (rof (at)