May 28

Unturned – Easier Heightmap method!

You may have seen our previous guide on how to get a heightmap for a map in Unturned, a free to play open world zombie survival game, with a built in map maker utility.

This guide will show you an easy, quick way to get a realistic looking map.


Tools Required

Your going to need a couple of programs to get this working.


Getting the map data

  1. Go onto
  2. Drag the blue marker to the area you wish to get a heightmap for.
  3. In this example we have chosen The Mull of Kintyre and the Isle of Arran. You can use the controls on the right of the website to make the area of selection larger.Mull
  4. Click the export button on the right and name your download.
  5. Now extract the zip file you downloaded from the site. There will be several files in the directory. You will want to use the (Merged) version.

Congratulations you have your heightmap data!

Adding the heightmap to unturned.

In this section we will generate our map with our heightmap image.

From the last section we have our heightmap file, this image may be too large for the map size we want, we need to resize it to fit the Unturned map sizes.

The image we saved from was 1081 x 1081 pixels.
We either need to resize it to one of the below sizes, which would squash it/stretch it.
Or only use a section of the heightmap image.

This below table shows the resolution you need for each map size.


HeightMap Resolution Map Size
513×513 Large
257×257 Medium
129×129 Small

I will resize / crop the heightmap to fit a Large map.

  1. In Photoshop / GIMP / create a new image 513×513 (or your desired map size resolution)
  2. Add in your heightmap image. In photoshop, I opened the image then selected the entire image (ctrl+A) and then pasted it as a new layer into into the 513×513 project. this is so we can keep the full resolution of our original image.Uncropped
  3. You can now either stretch or shrink the image to fit the specified resolution. Or you can keep it the same resolution and crop it to fit the 513×513 image size. In this example I stretched it to fit the resolution.island
  4. Flip the image horizontally as Unturned flips it for some reason. Then save the image as heightmap.png
  5. Open up Unturned in Steam.
  6. Go to the WorkShop > Editor
  7. Create a map of the size fitting your heightmaps resolution. In my case,
  8. After clicking Add, minimize Unturned.
  9. Open up the Unturned folder in your Steam/Steamapps/common folder
  10. Open the maps folder
  11. Open the Folder with the name of the map you just created, in my case MullofKintyre
  12. Open the terrain folder
  13. Delete the Heights.dat file if it exists.
  14. Copy your Heightmap.png file into the terrain folder.
  15. Go back to Unturned. Click on your map and click edit.
  16. The map will be black, so hit terrain > materials > then in the bottom right Bake Global.


Enjoy your map!



Skip to comment form

    • NinoSecret on May 29, 2016 at 6:16 pm
    • Reply

    What about maps bigger than the 60km x 60km given by

    1. I haven’t found any others like which have a larger area selection.

      You can follow my old guide here which uses MicroDEM, its a bit more involved but you can download multiple heightmap files and join them together.

      Or you could try downloading the areas individually in and joining them together in photoshop. It may be a bit annoying trying to match up the right selections on

        • NinoSecret on May 29, 2016 at 8:29 pm
        • Reply

        I did it by microDEM but now i have one last (i hope) problem.
        Leaving the data as I found them there is no sea. To see the actual land outline I must lower too much the sea and it becomes way too shallow. I would like to model even the underwater surface so I think I must higher all the land, lower a bit the sea to define the outline and then lower the underwater zones that must be deeper. Any idea on how to do that? Maybe I should work a bit whit color tables and contrast in but I don’t know much about this stuff. Help please

        1. Unfortunately there is little to no chance the heightmap data will contain information for under the sea. The type of radar they use to measure the heights of the geography doesn’t penetrate the water afaik.

          The best thing to do would be to manipulate the levels in, see here:

          You should be able to slide the middle of the output slider UP to make the “greys” – which should be your low level landmass – in your image more white, therefore raising them up.
          It will leave the sea level black. So your overall land will be raised up, so you can have a deeper underwater level.

            • NinoSecret on June 1, 2016 at 10:47 pm

            Thanks for all your help!
            I’ll text you when the map is complete!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.