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The information in this article pertains to Red Faction 1 only.

The splash screen of RED 1.2.

RED is the Red Faction Level Editor. RED is usually assumed to mean "Red EDitor".

Levels in Red Faction are comprised of BSP brushes and meshes exported from 3D Studio Max 4.2 or 5.0.


RED is used to produce levels (maps) for the PC and Playstation 2 game Red Faction. It should be noted however that while all maps for the PS2 version of the game were originally developed using RED, there is currently no known way to play custom RED levels on the PS2 version of the game.

RED can also be used to test various edits when developing mods for the PC version of the game.


  • Brushes: BSP Brushes make up the bulk of a Red Faction level. They define rooms and objects within those rooms. Brushes are often used in custom levels as a substitute for static meshes because RED does not support adding additional meshes without developing a seperate mod. Brushes can be edited in several ways. The 2 most useful ways are vertex editing and face editing. Brush sizing is measured in realistic meters, while playermodels such as Parker is rougly 1.90 meters tall.
  • Shapes:
  • Box
  • Cone
  • Cylinder
  • Face
  • Mesh
  • Sphere
  • Wedge
  • Textures: Textures are what you see on the polygons (faces) in a level. Textures are applied to all surfaces of a polygon in RED editor. When calculating/adding lightmaps, another texture map (called a lightmap) is added to each surface of your level (except for "Full Bright" faces). This is done by baked grayscale images which tells the surfaces how illuminated they should be. RED supports "Smoothing Groups" for the lightmaps to make lighting appear seamless on rounded surfaces.
  • Tools:
  • UV Unwrap (TODO)
  • Objects: There are many objects available to be used inside of RED. All objects in RED can be classified into the following categories:

User Friendliness

RED drew on elements from all the other level editors and 3D applications that Volition's level designers had used in the past. They had RED designed the way they wanted.

Red is more like UnrealEd in the fact that you start with a solid world and carve out of it. We feel this is inherently faster and more intuitive than additive CSG editors. You also don't have to worry about those nasty leaks that you can get in Quake based engines. You can, however, still do additive CSG (make solid brushes) just as easily. The editor/engine doesn't care. Once the level is compiled, it's basically one big brush.

~ RF Level Editing Team on RED

Red can be a bit steeper to learn than World Craft and UnrealEd, but you will have to judge for yourself of course. Our interface is text driven (not wacky icons like some other editors). That is, Red has text labels on top of every functional button within the editor to help identify what said button does. Red also uses a lot of hot keys. While it may take a little time to memorize all the hot keys, they are infinitely faster than clicking on buttons or navigating the pull down menus. Red is based in part from every editor and 3D program any of the designers on the RF team have used. We have all had input on it so while it shares some similarities with other editors out there, we feel it's much better than any of them.

~ RF Level Editing Team on RED


  • REDPF - Bundled with Pure Faction since version 3.0 comes REDPF. REDPF is an upgraded version of the stock editor. It features new and useful buttons added just to the top of the viewport area, new options added to the trigger properties window (for new trigger features introduced in Pure Faction), and the addition of very useful help strings.
  • RED-Optimized - A few years ago, community member RED-FROG released his own custom modified version of RED, called RED-Optimized. This version saw enlarged important buttons, removed help strings and removal of the splash screen.

RED Command-line switches

NOTE: All RED command-line switches are undocumented by Volition Inc. with the exception of -mod.

  • -sound - Only known function is allowing the preview button in the Ambient Sound object properties to play the wave file specified.
  • -mod <mod name> - Runs a mod. The parameter must match the name of the mod's folder in /mods/. Levels saved while this switch is active will be playable only when that mod is loaded.
  • -win32 - No known functions besides making all of RED's viewports displaying as flat white.
  • -opengl - No known functions besides making all of RED's viewports displaying as flat white. It can be assumed that the original intent of this command-line switch was to run RED using the OpenGL renderer as opposed to the standard Direct3D renderer, however it was left unfunctional in the shipped game.
  • -update <filename> - Assumed to update .rfl files in some unknown way.

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