Source SDK basics

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I covered the process you need to go through to access the unreal engine editor in my post ‘UE3: Your first level’

In this Tutorial I am going to show you how to access the editor for Valve’s Source engine, for games such as Portal, Left 4 dead and Half Life 2; The editor is a set of tools called ‘Source SDK’


As you are using a copy of one of valves games, it will not surprise you that you can access the source SDK via the steam window.

Open up you steam games list. (Games > View Game library)

This is where steam will list all the games associated with your steam account – installed ones in white, non-installed games in Gray.

At the top of the list you should see a search bar and a drop down menu. In the drop down menu, select ‘Tools’ to show a list of tools available to you.

This is where you are able to install the SDK’s and editors for a range of games available on steam – only useful if you have the game in question!

We are looking for the Source SDK.

Currently you will see a few available ‘Source SDK’ options. Just choose ‘Source SDK Base’ Double-click or right-click and choose Install.

Steam will then begin to download and install the program for you.


If you can’t see any ‘Source SDK’s’ in Tools – If this is the case then steam doesn’t think you have any Source engine games. Re-install your source engine games and try again.


Once the SDK is downloaded run it like you would with any game or tool from steam > double click or right click and choose play game…

This will bring up the Source SDK.

If a full screen application starts, with a menu like in half life 2, portal etc… you are running one of the updated SDK base’s which is just a stress tester.

The source SDK will look like the following image:

Source SDK window

Source SDK window

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