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Itemtest - The Easiest Way to Test Items and Preview Hat Colors!
By david rick
Looking for an easy way to preview hat colors? Need to know what hue looks best on your new misc? You don't need to mess around with external editors. TF2 has an item testing map built right in. Try out any weapon or hat you like, in any shade you want! This guide will show you how to access the itemtest map and give you a tour.
You've got a new hat, and the first thought you have is "What color would this look best in?" Or maybe you want to try out different hat and misc combinations to flesh out an awesome looking build. We've all thought about it at one point. You could go and buy the items and hope for the best, but that's a little far to go just for testing.
Did you think you'd need some kind of 3D knowledge, or some external program or builder in order to preview hat, weapon and misc models? You don't. TF2 has a built in item testing level where you can preview any item in the game, including paint shades and combinations.
Why would you settle for a screenshot of just the item when you can TRY IT ON?
Accessing the Itemtest Map
There are two ways to access the Itemtest map. One is available from the main menu, and one is available almost anytime.
From the main menu, you can click "Workshop" and then "Load Test Map". This will load the map from your main menu.
You can also load the map almost anytime by accessing your console. If you haven't used the console before, all you need to do is two things. First, from the main menu go to options, keyboard tab, click Advanced and then check Developer Console. Then all you do is press the tilde key on your keyboard (the button with the ~ character on it, typically to the left of your number 1 key.) Once enabled, you can access the console from most TF2 screens, even during gameplay.
Once your console is open, enter the command "map itemtest". This can be done whether you're connected to a server or not. Once you do this, the game will load the itemtest map.
The itemtest map consists of a modified version of BLU's spawn room from the Gorge map. It has no skybox, and you cannot access any area other than the spawn room.
This is where all the fun happens!
What to Do Once You're There
Once on the itemtest map, you can enter item testing mode by entering console command "itemtest". This will open the Item Testing dialog box.
From here, you can do a lot of things. The first step is to spawn a bot. This bot will be your mannequin!
Do this by clicking any of the classes under the "Testing Classes" section. Once you select one, you'll get the "Currently Testing" options, which allow you to add a Weapon, a Hat, and any two Cosmetic or Misc items that you like on the selected class. You'll see that you can select either a model from the game, or a custom model from your computer.
When you select a hat or a misc item, you can then click "Edit" to paint it or add an unusual particle effect to it.
When you have everything set the way you want it, you can press "Apply Test Items." This will spawn your bot back in the level, with your items on it.
It's important to note that you will be trying out the items and paints on a bot, not on your own character. You must spawn at least one bot to try out items and hats. This way, you can see the new loadout easily from all angles. And you can get the bot to move around however you want! They will be like your own personal mannequin.
Note that not all item combinations will work, and not all unusual effects are available. Also note that if you give a class a hat or misc item that it is not meant to use (for example, Sir Hootsalot on a Demoman,) you may get interesting results.
You can also play around with bot settings - you can spawn additional bots, as well as tell them to move around, stay still, fire weapons and more. There is a mini version of the bot control window available in this mode as well, accessible by entering command "itemtest_botcontrols" in your console.
Most anything you need to test paint colors and item combinations can be found right here. A lot of people don't know about it! And so the next time you get a new hat and aren't sure what to paint it, remember the Itemtest map!