Far Cry 5 Guide - 9 Tips For Designing A Great Arcade Map
Dos and Don'ts
In addition to the campaign and regular online modes, Far Cry 5 features an impressive map editor for the Arcade mode. It lets you create your own maps and game types for other players to try out, but not every map is created equal. To help you out, we've put together nine tips for designing a great map; you can also check out the video version for visual inspiration.
For more on Far Cry 5's Arcade, check out our video guide with more general tips on how to use the map editor, and get inspiration (or an idea of what not to do) with the best and worst maps available in the mode now. For guides on Far Cry 5's main modes, see our feature highlighting nine tips we wish we knew before starting and our video guide discussing general beginners tips to follow.
Far Cry 5 is out now on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Be sure to read our Far Cry 5 review for our full thoughts about the game. In other news, Ubisoft announced Far Cry 5's Season Pass, which takes you to settings like Mars and the Vietnam War. We also recently learned more about how to access the game's live events and the special rewards you earn by completing them. You can also find out more about how the game's microtransactions work in our detailed explainer.
Give Your Map Depth
Yes, it can be a pain to carve out terrain, and yes, you can still make a flat map interesting. However, when was the last time you took a walk outside? Nature isn’t flat. Just adding some elevation can make a world of difference. Make rolling hills, dig valleys, mold rivers. And don’t forget to use the smooth tool to even out those rough edges. The idea is to give your map some verticality so it's interesting to play and explore.
Don’t Make It Too Big
It’s tempting to make a huge map, but they present their own set of challenges. After all, the bigger the map, the longer it's going to take to fill it up with interesting things to do. However, if you have time to make a big map, you're going to need to consider your budget, as you can only fit so many assets into the map before running out of memory space. For example, you can cover empty map with loads of trees, but that'll quickly exhaust your budget. In order to learn the skills required to create better maps, we recommend starting small with your map and slowly growing outward.
One thing that separates the top-rated maps from the rest is that they have textures. It’s super easy to add textures, and they make a world of difference. You can even change the default texture to whatever you want within seconds. Just click on the grid texture, hit change, and pick whatever you want.
Stick To A Theme
For your first few maps, it's a good idea to decide on a theme before you begin. For example, if you're making a snowy map, don't add palm trees. It sounds obvious, but keeping to a theme can help guide your design.
Don’t Make Your Map Unnecessarily Difficult
Difficulty is good! No one wants a cakewalk of a map (unless they're trying to grind for XP), but spawning in, say, a tiny pit filled with Yetis or heavy enemies isn’t fun either. Instead, try to ramp up difficulty as the player progresses through your map. Also, don’t cram your map with 80+ enemies and ask the player to kill everyone. There are exceptions, but for the most part, be reasonable with the challenges you set forth for players.
Don’t Make The Enemies Dumb
While it’s not the most intuitive set of tools, you do have some flexibility with enemy AI. You can give them things to do, areas to defend, and places to go. This is something that can wait until the end, but if you are trying to make a map that tells a story and feels alive, it’s definitely an important step.
Adjust The Environment
The environment tools are how you set the mood of your map. You can adjust time of day, wind force, fog, the backdrop, and post FX. Seriously, this is what brings your maps to life. With the environment tools, you can turn a simple collection of trees into a dark, eerie forest.
Don’t Forget Boundaries
This is typically one of the last things to do when making a map. Once you’ve figured out the size of your map, use the map limits tool. This will give your players a death countdown if they get a little too adventurous.
For PC: Learn The Hotkeys
Knowing the hotkeys on PC can help speed up the map-making process significantly. We've listed them below.
- Gameplay Modifiers: M
- Select: 1
- Move: 2
- Rotate: 3
- Snap: 4
- Objects: 5
- AI Management: 6
- Texture Painter: F1
- Add Vegetation: F2
- Roads: F3
- Environment: F4
- Bump: F5
- Raise/Lower: F6
- Flatten: F7
- Ramp: F8
- Terrain Set To Height: F9
- Smooth: F10
- Noise: F11