Steam Workshop

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Steam Workshop
Steam workshop.png
Website Info
My friend said making virtual hats was a waste of time. I paid $10,000 to make her disappear. It's quiet now.
Vanessa Brae, Age 8

The Steam Workshop is a mini-site that enables users to submit modeled items for in-game release and displaying online and Custom maps for the community to play with. The site went live with the Manniversary Update & Sale on October 13, 2011, and aims to make item contribution more open to the public by allowing all users to view and rate submitted items, and let the community play and rate maps. It currently supports Team Fortress 2 and over a thousand other titles. Team Fortress 2 submissions must be in the form of maps, weapons, cosmetics, taunts, War Paints, Unusual effects, and community fixes.

Users may also tag their submissions in special categories, denoting submissions for "Sound Device" items such as the Boston Boom-Bringer, holiday events like Halloween, Smissmas and Summer, and occasional special events and themes, such as the promotional item tie-in contests for Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris and Batman: Arkham Knight, and the Jungle theme leading up to the Jungle Inferno Update.

Submitted items can be viewed in the gallery of the site, sorted by the most recent or highest rated submissions. Items submitted to the site are chosen based on the quality of modeling, texturing and animation, and attributes such as damage statistics and weapon functionality are determined by Valve before release, in order to consider game balance.

The Steam Workshop site was created to replace the Contribution page on the TF2 Official Website and to make it easier for users to receive feedback from Valve and the wider community regarding specific entries.

Submission guidelines

As of August 9, 2019, all Workshop submissions require manual approval from Valve.[1]
Color swatch to follow when creating hats.


Visual guidelines

  • Theme
    • 1950s or 1960s style design.
    • Maintains character personality and bio.
  • Modeling techniques
    • Realistic but slightly skewed proportions to add visual draw.
    • Details may be over or underscaled.
    • Keep it simple and clean.
  • Texturing techniques
    • Maintain texture quality; nothing higher or lower res than what is next to it.
    • Hats are to use team specific or neutral colors.
    • Textures should be simple and not a distraction.
  • Technicals
    • Hat models under 1000 polygons.
    • Weapon models under 6,500 polygons.
    • Textures no larger than 512x512 pixels, 256x256 being preferred.
    • Steam avatars must be 184x184 pixels and saved in .JPG format.
    • Source files must be included for models and materials.
    • Thumbnails and in-game images must be 256x256 pixels.
  • Submission page.
    • Max file size permitted is 10MB.

Other criteria [2]

  • Workshop submissions require sufficient community support.
  • Items have to introduce something unique and different compared to items already in the game.
  • Cosmetics mustn't interfere with class identification. Classes should remain easily recognizable: areas that display team colors must be maintained and the geometry must complement the base character model underneath.
  • Items should complement and avoid clipping with most other cosmetics, allowing users to customize their look further.
  • Submissions may not be copyrighted by other companies.


  • Must have a Gamemode
  • Must have goals for said gamemode
  • Must have at least 1 RED spawn and 1 BLU spawn

Gold star

A Gold star submission

Items submitted through the Steam Workshop through the in-game import tool have the option of running through a verification process to ensure that the item meets a set of performance standards.

Correctly formatted items will receive a gold star certification.

Submitted items without a gold star indicate that there may be difficulties incorporating them into the game and consequentially, have a very low chance of being selected.


Update history

October 17, 2011 Patch
  • Fixed not being able to retrieve Steam Workshop items if any item had been deleted.
  • Increased Steam Workshop preview image size from 256x256 to 512x512.

December 16, 2011 Patch

  • Steam Workshop zip file size limit has been increased from 4 MB to 10 MB.

March 22, 2012 Patch

  • Item description character limit increased to 8000.

November 2, 2012 Patch

  • Beta version of new item import tool, available in game in the Steam Workshop submission process.

February 22, 2013 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Updated Steam Workshop import tool.

March 12, 2013 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Updated import tool.

September 18, 2013 Patch #1

  • Added a tag "Halloween 2013" to the Steam Workshop publish UI.
  • Fixed the Flex target preview in the Steam Workshop item import tool.

September 18, 2013 Patch #2

  • Fixed the "Halloween 2013" tag overlapping with the "Sound Device" tag in the Steam Workshop publish UI.

April 4, 2014 Patch

  • Fixed a problem that was preventing clients from uploading items to the Steam Workshop.

September 10, 2014 Patch

  • Added taunts to the items that can be uploaded to the Steam Workshop.
  • Added new "Taunt" and "Halloween" tags to the Steam Workshop.
    • Previous entries marked with the "Halloween 2013" tag will automatically be updated to use the new tag in the coming days.

September 17, 2014 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Added a new "workshop" folder within the "custom" folder, for the workshop import tool to override existing in-game content.

March 12, 2015 Patch

  • Steam Workshop taunt submissions can now be "Certified Compatible" and are no longer tagged as Beta.

April 29, 2015 Patch

  • Fixed not being able to preview paint changes in the Workshop import tool.

June 2, 2015 Patch

  • Steam Workshop map submissions can now be "Certified Compatible" and are no longer tagged as Beta.

June 4, 2015 Patch

  • Fixed a problem that was preventing clients from uploading items to the Steam Workshop.

September 24, 2015 Patch

  • Added an "Unusual Effect" checkbox for the Steam Workshop import tool.

November 18, 2015 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Removed the Batman tag from the Steam Workshop.

November 25, 2015 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Re-added the Batman tag for the Steam Workshop.

November 21, 2016 Patch

  • Added a "Jungle" tag for Workshop submissions

October 24, 2017 Patch

  • Added a Steam Workshop tag for War Paint submissions.

January 3, 2018 Patch

  • Fixed Steam Workshop file uploads applying filesize limits before compression, rather than after

March 1, 2023 Patch

July 25, 2023 Patch

  • Fixed embedded workshop map soundscripts not being loaded on clients (community fix from 'Jakub' (ficool2))

See also

External links