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Making a Map: The Basics
Have you ever wanted to make a map, but don’t quite know where to start? This guide will help explain the basics to mapmaking as well as touch on some more advanced techniques.
As you’ve probably noticed, each TrackMania 2 environment is a separate game on Steam. As such, I’ve made a separate guide for each one. The biggest difference between guides are the pictures used, though certain environment specific topics may be omitted from the other guides.
IMPORTANT! Due to the new MP4 update, a lot has changed with TrackMania. This includes the course editor. While it is still mostly the same as before, there will be a lot of outdated info in this guide. I plan to update this, but we'll see how long that takes.
While this guide is quite long, it’s a fairly comprehensive look at almost all available tools. In general, the further down you go, the more advanced the topics in this guide become. Do not worry about reading the whole guide if you do not want to; just read the sections that you think will benefit you!
This guide will help you get a start in making maps. While laying pieces down is simple enough to explain, crafting a truly good map isn't nearly as straightforward. This guide is only meant to teach you the ins and outs of the editor, so anything beyond that is up to you to learn. If I have one tip, it is to make more maps. Making more maps and experimenting is the best way to hone your mapmaking skills!
You can also play the map you see in this guide, as well as open it up in the editor to see how it all works.
Alternatively, you can check the course out on Mania Exchange here[tm.mania-exchange.com]! Mania Exchange is a great place to share your maps, try out new ones, and even compete in mapping competitions!
First things first: if you can’t find the editor, it’ll be hard to make maps. To start making a new map, head into the “Editors” menu and select “New Map.” From here a couple of menus will pop up. First, it will ask you if you want to use the Simple or Advanced editor. To be frank, the Advanced editor isn’t that much harder to use than the Simple one; this guide will be using the Advanced editor, but you can take a look at the Simple one if you wish.
Your next masterpiece is just a couple of clicks away.
After selecting the Advanced editor, you will then select a Mood. In terms of performance, Sunrise and Day cost a little bit less than Sunset and Night, though the performance difference likely won’t be notable on maps of normal size. Select the mood you want, and you should load into the editor. From here, there’s a mess of buttons. Below is a screenshot with all the buttons labeled nicely.
We'll be going over most of these more in-depth later!
Now then, let’s get mapping.
Every valid course must fulfill a few requirements. For starters, you need a start block. These have a green figure and are labeled as “Start.” You can only ever have ONE start block on any given map. If you place more, you won’t be able to validate the map until only one remains. As the name implies, this is where your vehicle starts.
This is where players will start their engines.
If you want a multilap course, the yellow “Start/Finish” blocks are what you’ll be using. Like the start blocks, you can only ever have ONE. These also act as finish blocks, which lets you make complete circuits. You can set the number of laps, and setting the lap count to one allows the piece to act as a normal start block (though the finish functionality remains). Note that if you use a multilap block, you must have at least one checkpoint block somewhere.
If you’re going to start driving, you’ll need a spot to stop driving. For a map to be valid, there must be at least one red “Finish” block. Unlike the start blocks, you can have as many finish blocks as you like! Once you have both a start and end block present, the flag at the lower right hand corner should turn orange. This means the track is ready to be validated!
Validating a course is quite simple. The editor has recognized that all the required pieces are present, but it has no way of proving the course can be completed on its own. By clicking the validation button, you will drive the course. Completing the course means that you have proven the course can be done, and the best time you set while validating is saved as the Author Time. Once you have set a time, the flag should appear green in the editor. This means your course is valid and ready for local play!
There is only one other requirement left: shadows. The course can’t be shown off if the lighting is all wonky. For that, click on the hammer icon and click “Compute Shadows.” Select anything “Fast” or better, and let the shadows compute. The better the shadow quality is and the more detailed the map is, the longer the computations will take. Once the shadows are done, you can save the map and play it locally or share it with the world!
Once these computations finish, your map will look much nicer.
Of course, simply having a start and end block won’t cut it. We need turns, jumps, and loops! We need to make a map that will knock the socks off of its players, and that’s where building comes in. Click on the block icon to get started. This is where all of your pieces are stored, from simple roads to slaloms and scenery. Simply scroll to adjust the height of the block, right click to rotate the block, and left click where you want to place it. Amazingly simple, right? With all the blocks, however, possibilities are endless.
Now that we have the basics down, let’s talk about some more helpful things. There are plenty of nifty keyboard shortcuts that can help make mapmaking much more efficient. Here’s a few of my favorites:
Hold Alt to move the camera. Click and drag with left click to change its position and with right click to change its angle. Scroll to change the zoom
Hold Ctrl and click a piece to copy it
Hold X and click to erase pieces
Use Ctrl Z to undo actions
Hit Z to toggle underground view
You will notice that many pieces have a colored bar on either end: this is their Clip. Blocks can only be placed adjacent to another block’s clip if their clip is the same type and adjacent. There are plenty of blocks which will change the clip type over the course of the block, such as dirt to road.
These two types of road can easily be joined. || Looks like we can't set that block down...
It’s also notable that you can’t always set blocks down. There are many possible reasons a block can’t be set down, such as blocked by terrain, blocked by another piece, clip overriding, and other similar stuff. If a block is highlighted green, it can be set down. If it is red, then it isn’t able to be placed. There is a way to override this: Mix Mapping. However, this is a feature that shouldn’t be used willy-nilly. I have a section dedicated to it further down.
Blocks also have a code associated with them. This code is based on where they are in the folder structure of the editor. You might have noticed little numbers on each folder; simply read these off to find the desired piece. For example, 1-2-3 is found by opening folder 1, then folder 2 in folder 1, then selecting the 3rd piece in that folder. 1-X-X denotes any pieces found in folder 1 and its sub-folders.
There are some important blocks I'll talk about here, but most special blocks are detailed in the next section. You will notice that there are a lot of blue “Checkpoint” blocks. These blocks help set the route and generally let players respawn without going back to the start. In order to finish a race, the driver must pass all checkpoints in any order. Therefore, you could stick an end piece right after the start and it won’t do anything until all the checkpoints have been driven.
There are also “Road” pieces. I’m not talking about the asphalt pieces; I’m talking about the ones with the label “Road” under them. These can be connected to each other by clicking and dragging, and most of the time are compatible with a certain type of clip (even though the clip doesn’t display on the block).
Click and drag to create some nice roads. They can even intersect!
If you’re like me, you’ll want to test your track to make sure that what you’ve built works as intended, preferably without needing to drive the entire course over again. That’s what “Test Mode” is for. Select the car icon near the lower right corner, and you’ll be able to set your vehicle anywhere on the map. It even snaps to certain points, such as the start line or checkpoint respawns.
Set down your car and drive from wherever you want.
Lastly, the Plugins section lets you see a few cool gizmos to enable. Personally, I like to use the “CursorCoords” plugin (which displays the coordinates/rotation of the cursor) and a custom made “AutoEnableMix[tm.mania-exchange.com]” plugin (it automatically enables Mix Mapping and Air Mapping. Thanks, TGYoshi!).
Aside from the pieces already mentioned, there are plenty of special pieces each with their own unique attributes. All pieces relevant to this environment will be covered here; note that the other TM2 environments have their own sets of unique pieces.
Get ready to get some serious speed. || Drive fast, and you can earn a spot on here.
You will notice many pieces labeled as “Turbo.” These pieces have the magical ability to send your vehicle flying forwards when driven on. Use these to quickly speed up players.
Some pieces are adorned with a big trophy icon. These are Podium pieces. Placing these gives multiplayer winners a spot to sit at after racing and allows a podium mediatracker sequence to be made (more on the mediatracker later). If a podium is not placed, multiplayer races will end with the screen freezing and the results popping up. There can only ever be ONE podium piece.
Some pieces have multiple models. If you select the same block as one set in the map and hover over the set block with the same orientation, then the block highlight may turn blue. If it does, then simply click and the block will change models.
Certain pieces are directly involved with the terrain. See the “Landscaping” section of this guide to learn more about that. Some pieces will automatically generate the required terrain if it isn’t present, but some pieces need the terrain to be present first.
The Valley 1-5-X pieces feature roads along a cliffside. They generate cliffs when placed.
The Valley 3-X-X pieces are underground pieces. They must be placed at the edge of or inside the terrain.
The Valley 5-2-X pieces are dirt roads with water. Many of them generate water tiles when placed.
The Valley 5-3-X and 5-4-X are forest roads. They need to be placed in forest terrain.
The Valley 6-3-7 piece can be placed on the side of terrain to give it a more randomized, natural look.
Slapping pieces down is already an easy way to make nice and varied maps, but making a map will often times require working with the terrain. Many pieces (as stated above) require certain terrain conditions to be placed, so it’s essential to know how to modify this aspect of your courses. Simply select the mountain icon to get started.
Just click and drag to craft beautiful scenery or racing terrain.
You will notice that there are a lot fewer options here than in the block section. These options aren’t pieces; they will shape how you use your pieces. Select the kind of terrain you want, then click and drag to form steep canyons, river filled valleys, or dirt covered stadiums. Most terrain is stackable too, so you can make multi-leveled steppes. Note that you will likely need to select a surface at least 2 X 2 in size, though certain terrain lets you modify smaller areas. You can delete terrain just like pieces; hold X and drag across the undesired landscape. Watch out, though! Pieces may be automatically deleted if the necessary terrain conditions are no longer met.
Copy/Paste and Macroblocks
Making awesome structures can be quite fun, but you may find that the cool building you’ve constructed is just a couple blocks too far left. Rather than dismantling and rebuilding the entire thing, we can use the Copy, Cut, and Paste tools to make this process easier.
Begin by selecting the four-block set in brackets. With this, you can click on any part of your course to select the pieces (and even terrain). Once you have begun your selection, you can only select adjacent pieces. Don’t worry, though, you can select empty spaces if you want to select disconnected structures. If you’ve selected too much, you can click the “-“ symbol to start removing from the selection.
Once you have the selection you want, click the scissors to cut the piece or the parallel squiggly lines to copy the selection. Once you have a selection cut/copied, you can flip it symmetrically with the divided squiggly lines. If you want to select everything you’ve got on the map, click the icon of six folders. Similarly, click the X button to deselect everything. If you copy your selection, you can save it as a Macroblock with the save button next to the toolbar; these are blocks that can be selected from the multi-block icon and placed like normal blocks. They can even be selected for use in other maps!
Copy your selection and save it to be used whenever you need it, wherever you want it.
Many blocks can have a variety of textures applied to them. The first candidate for this is any sign blocks, which can be changed to show a variety of arrows, features, and even custom images. To start skinning blocks, click on the bucket icon (you will need at least one skinnable block placed). Once selected, skinnable blocks will have their clips highlighted green to be easier to identify. Click on one of these blocks and a menu will come up with a variety of options to choose from. If you want to return the block to its natural skin, select “Default” (note that some blocks have multiple default skins; selecting Default will randomly choose one of those skins). You can also use images from the internet with the “Select URL” button!
Signs make for excellent guides. Just click one and choose the image!
Each of these options lets you customize your track just a little bit more.
We’ve already visited the tools menu a couple of times, but there’s still a lot in there we haven’t gone over. Most of what’s there is self-explanatory, but here’s all the options regardless.
Set Map Type lets you change the map to use a custom mode, if you don’t plan on making a normal Race style map. You can also assign it a style, if you wish
Set Map Objectives lets you fine tune your medal times once you’ve validated the course. While the game automatically generates the non-author medal times, you can set them to your liking here. Make them more forgiving or brutally difficult if you aren’t satisfied with the automatic times
Edit Snapshot Camera lets you set the thumbnail of the track. Simply move it about with the arrow keys and right click and drag to change the camera’s angle. You can see what your thumbnail will look like in the box now present in the upper left corner of the screen
Edit Comments lets you give your course a quick blurb. Give it a tagline or something, just keep it short! The character limit isn’t particularly large
Choose Custom Music lets you set the course’s tune to something other than the default music selection, provided you know how to work it. You will need to refer to someone else’s guide if you want to learn how to set this up properly
Compute Shadows lets you compute the shadows of the course at any time. They range from Very Fast (used while editing to normalize the colors of the pieces) to Ultra (a hidden option that must be enabled in the launcher options). You can always render higher quality shadows than what you’ve previously rendered, and shadow quality resets if the map is modified
Test Map with Mode is used when you want to test your map using a custom gamemode other than the default race.
Set A Password for Editing lets you prevent people from editing the course. If you don’t want others peeking around and messing with your map, set a password here
Unlock Experimental Features lets you activate Air Mapping, Mix Mapping, and Item Embedding
Mix Mapping, more commonly known as blockmixing, is an advanced technique that can dramatically alter the quality of your course. It lets you ignore the restrictions on placing down pieces by using Ghost Blocks, meaning you can place anything anywhere. If used properly, you can make perfect racing courses otherwise impossible to build. If used improperly, however, they can ruin the look and feel of an otherwise fine course. I recommend getting a hang of mapmaking basics before experimenting with this technique.
Technically, Mix Mapping is an experimental feature. As such, it must be manually activated each time you load a map (unless you are using the plugin I mentioned earlier). To activate the feature, head back into the tools menu and click “Unlock Experimental Features.” In here, click on “Enable Mix Mapping.” Once this is done, you are ready to blockmix.
To start blockmixing, simply click on the block icon a second time. The icon will turn from blue to orange, which signifies that you are now using Ghost Blocks instead of normal blocks. You can click the icon again to return to normal blocks. Like I mentioned before, Ghost Blocks do not abide by the same rules normal blocks do. As long as a piece is not in the exact same spot and at the exact same rotation of another piece exactly like it, you will be allowed to place the block down. You can stick a pole through a road and you can stick that road in the ground. It’s a powerful tool, but it can lead to ugly consequences (in both looks and function).
An example of blockmixing. You can't normally place those pieces there!
There are no rules to blockmixing. In general, however, it is a good idea to follow these basic guidelines:
Make sure the Ghost Blocks do not detract from the route!
Try to keep Z-fighting to a minimum! Z-fighting is the flickering textures that occur when two surfaces occupy the same space and the engine doesn’t know which texture to render
Keep the use of Ghost Blocks to a minimum! If you don’t need to add a ghost block, use a normal block instead
Before using Ghost Blocks, ask yourself why you are using Ghost Blocks. Does it add to the route? The scenery? Or is it just getting in the way?
You probably won’t blockmix effectively when you first try out the tool, and that’s okay. The key is to practice and learn when the best times to use Ghost Blocks are. In fact, there’s quite a lot more to blockmixing than meets the eye; here’s a few advanced techniques for using this advanced technique:
When you copy a block in Ghost Block mode, you will copy that exact block. This can be used to force a certain variant of a block to be selected. For example, if you were to place a road piece in the edge of a cliff, it would normally be placed as a ground piece regardless of its height. If you place a road piece in the air, select Ghost Block mode, and copy the piece, then you can set the air variant in the cliff’s edge without the piece switching to its ground variant
Many pieces don’t overlap each other even though they occupy the same clip(s). For example, you can stack slanted block pieces to make a nice wall
Block pieces placed just under the ground tend to be just at ground level. You can use an upward curving block piece set in the ground to transition from ground to block efficiently
You can “shorten” the height of structures by placing them in the ground. You could also place them in the air and cover their undersides with blocks to raise them up
Items are an additional tool at your disposal. Like blockmixing, this is an advanced technique. It is recommended that you first learn the basics of mapmaking and then experiment with items. While only Valley has items by default, you can create your own custom items or find items others have made. Custom titlepacks will often come with their own sets of items to use (just take a look at any RPG titlepack map; that titlepack has numerous items which allow such complex maps to be crafted). Items can be placed much more precisely than normal blocks, but you can only have so many custom items embedded in any given map.
If you are using custom items (items not included with the titlepack you are using), you will need to activate Item Embedding. Like Mix Mapping, this option is found in the Unlock Experimental Features menu from the tools menu. As you can see, you can only have up to 150 kb of custom items on any given map. Note that you can have as many of a unique custom item as you want; the number of items embedded is based on the unique custom items you used, not how many you placed. For example, having one million of Item A placed counts exactly the same as having only one of Item A placed (in terms of embedding).
Items aren't restricted as much as normal blocks. As such, they can be placed very precisely.
To place items, click on the tree icon. From there, you can see all the items available through the titlepack and all the items you have downloaded (the downloaded ones must be embedded and are marked with a “Custom” tag). From there you can place them down like normal blocks, but usually on a much smaller grid (if a grid at all), and many items will snap to blocks. To be fully precise, click the tree icon again; it should turn clear, which will force all the items to be set on a certain smaller grid.
Items can also be rotated to a much finer degree than normal blocks. Press the + and - keys to rotate the block in 15 degree increments. Pressing your arrow keys will rotate on the other axes, letting you get items in just the right spot.
Mediatracker: Making a GPS (Part 1)
While hard to understand at first, the mediatracker is a great way to add a little more character to your courses. With that said, maps meant for online or competitive play will often consciously omit the use of the mediatracker. Unlike the previously mentioned tools, this is almost entirely separate from the route of your course (there are exceptions, but they are rather niche).
The mediatracker is a whole other beast to tackle, so I won’t be going over it in its entirety. I will show you how to make a GPS sequence, which is a term used for a mediatracker sequence which plays out a replay of the map to guide players. Learning to make a GPS should be more than enough to get a start in the mediatracker.
The mediatracker has a few different uses.
To start using the mediatracker, click on the film icon. From there, there are five possible options:
Intro: This sequence plays when the player loads your map
In Game: These sequences play when the player drives through the specified clips
End Race: Also known as the Outro, these sequences play after the player has completed the map
Podium: Only available if a Podium piece is placed, this sequence plays at the end of a multiplayer game, displaying the winners
Ambience: This sequence plays at all times: from when the map is loaded to when you leave it
A GPS is generally player-activated, so we need to select the In Game option. Our GPS will activate if the player stays still at the start, though this isn't the only way to trigger a GPS. From here, there will be a whole new interface to learn. It’s quite simple once you have learned it, but I understand how confusing everything looks when you haven’t touched it before.
First, notice the screen that has your map on it. You can right click to orient the camera and use the arrow keys to move it. You will notice an area in the lower left hand corner that has a bar with the word “Clip” in it; this area holds any sequences you have. If you were to be editing something like the Intro, which can only ever have one sequence, this area will not appear. The area next to it holds all the tracks, which dictate what happens during the selected sequence. To the right of this, under the map screen, is the timeline. This shows the sequence and when tracks will be played.
Since this is the first time editing our map’s In Game sequence, the game has automatically added a sequence and toggled the trigger mode of that sequence for us. You may notice a highlighted box where your cursor is in the map; this is a trigger you can place. Click and drag to make trigger areas and scroll to alter the height of the trigger. Click on a trigger already placed to remove it. When the player’s vehicle drives through one of these triggers, the associated sequence will play.
As I mentioned before, we want the GPS to play if the player waits at the start. Place triggers around the start position of the car so the GPS activates when the player hasn’t moved. Once you have done this, click the box icon above the Clip area. This toggles between setting triggers and editing the tracks. Let's finish going over the interface.
Setting up triggers lets you play sequences at specific spots during the course.
Above the timeline are a bunch of helpful icons. The bar with an arrow pointing left and right over it will let you fit the timeline to show the whole sequence. The film with a play triangle will let you preview the sequences you make, showing the whole screen as opposed to the smaller window. The other buttons are just like any other media set; you can warp to the start, stop the sequence if it’s playing, play the sequence in slow motion, play the sequence normally, and skip to the end.
You can also click on the Time number and edit it to go to the exact point in time you want. Alternatively, click the red box on the timeline and drag it to change the position of time. Right click on the timeline area and drag to change the scale of the timeline, such as zooming in on a smaller area or zooming out to a bigger picture.
Now we need to begin crafting the GPS sequence. Click the + icon over the currently empty Track list. A bunch of potential tracks will be displayed, each with its own function. We want the player to know there is a GPS if they wait, so click the “Text” track. There should now be a track labelled “Text” with a green bar next to it in the timeline. The bar should already be highlighted for us; you can click on bars in the timeline to select them. You will notice that the bar has two small, yellow blocks at either end of it. These are keys, and they dictate how a track will be at the given position in time. You can add more keys to the track for further customization, but we won’t worry about this.
The mediatracker is a versatile tool. || Add the text track and your screen should look like this.
Notice that the empty area in the middle left of the screen is now filled with a big “TrackText” box. Here, you can edit the properties of the track and its keys (if a key is selected). Right now, the track’s starting key is automatically selected. All we want to worry about is the color of the text and what the text says. Click on the bar that currently has an ellipse (...), then type “Wait for GPS” into the bar and hit Enter. The text should now appear in the middle of the map screen.
White might not be the best color choice, so you can change it if you want to. Just use the large color selector to change the color. Use the bar to change what color the text is and use the bigger frame to change how prominent and bright the color is.
By default, all tracks are set to be three seconds in length. That is probably fine, but let’s make it a bit longer for demonstration purposes. Just above the timeline are a bunch of icons as well as a “Block Start” and “Block End” pair of numbers. Click on the “0:03.00” under Block End and change it to “0:05.00” instead. Now the track will play from the moment it’s activated to five seconds after it’s activated (in this case, from the beginning of a run to five seconds in).
However, the text will still remain on screen even after five seconds. To make sure the text goes away (so it doesn’t annoy people who aren’t waiting for a GPS), click the “Keep Playing” button at the top so that it’s no longer checked. It’s also a bit annoying to have the text in the center of the screen, so let’s change that. If it isn’t already selected, click the start key at the leftmost end of the Text track’s bar to select it. Then, change the Y position to “0.7” instead of the default zero.
You will notice that, when played, the text travels back to the center. This is because we changed the position of the text at time zero, while the key at time five hasn’t been altered at all. Click on the end key and then ctrl-click the start key; this will copy the start key’s properties to the end key, thus changing the position of the text to what we want.
Our text track will let players know that they must wait at the start to see the GPS sequence.
Mediatracker: Making a GPS (Part 2)
So now we have some text, but we still need to actually show the replay of the map. To show a replay, we first need to make a replay. Click the icon with a red dot and “REC” underneath it. You will then be able to set your vehicle anywhere, just like Test mode. Place it at the start, then drive your course like normal and hit ESC when you are done. If you see “Wait for GPS” when you start driving and it disappears five seconds in, then you know you have done the text correctly.
Now there should be a new track called “Ghost:[yourUsername]” under the Text track. This is the replay you just made. If you click and drag the bar, you can change where it is. Click and drag the end keys to change its length. This is imprecise, however: I recommend editing the start and end times like we did with the Text track if you are looking for exact timings. You will want the start to be at five seconds in and the end to be long enough to show the car making it to the end.
Using ghosts to show the route in action can help guide lost or confused players.
Now that we have a replay, we need to make it so the camera actually follows it. Click on the start key of the Ghost track or the end key of the Text track, then add another track (like we did with the Text track) and select “Camera Race.” Notice that the three second track starts at five seconds; all added tracks will begin at the currently selected time. Now edit the Camera’s end time to be the same as the Ghost’s end time. Then, switch the target from “Local Player” to “1-[yourUsername].” Now the camera will follow the ghost we have made after five seconds of waiting. Once again, remember to toggle off the “Keep Playing” option; this is based on the tracks, not the sequence.
But we aren’t quite done yet. The clip automatically starts as soon as the player begins, ghost and all. This means that the player would need to try to drive while watching the GPS regardless of if they waited or not. Above the Clip area are a few options; toggle the In Clip Only option so that it is checked. Now, the clip only plays while the player is inside the trigger zone. When the player leaves the zone, the clip stops playing, so they can race in peace. Unlike the "Keep Playing" option, the "In Clip Only" option applies to the sequence rather than individual tracks.
Alternatively, we could make a new clip and set the trigger zone to be just beyond our GPS zone. We won’t add any tracks to this clip, we’ll just leave it empty. There can never be multiple mediatracker clips playing at the same time, so when players drive through the “empty clip” the game will play that clip. Since it has nothing in it, the sequence effectively cancels any other mediatracker clips. Use this technique to cancel out sequences such as automatic loop cams.
Leave a sequence empty and it will abort other mediatracker sequences when driven through.
With that, we have a fully functioning GPS sequence. That’s just scratching the surface of everything the mediatracker can do; mess around with it for a while, and you’ll be able to do all kinds of fancy things. To truly understand the full extent of what the mediatracker has to offer, however, we would need a completely separate guide. This section is already split in two to compensate for its length, and we’ve only touched on the basics!
Making maps can be fun in its own right, but you probably aren’t looking to keep your courses to yourself. If you’ve made something grand, you probably want to share it with the world! This is really easy to do, and I have a couple resources for sharing your maps.
Before we can share, though, we just need to make sure your map is ready. Remember the Requirements section all the way at the top? Make sure all of that is completed for your map. Remember, your validation flag will be green when the map has met all the requirements!
Now it’s time to share your creation. The first resource is the Steam Workshop: it’s quick, simple, and can be done in game. All you need is a valid map and an internet connection. To share, go back to the main Editors menu. At the bottom is a “Share Files” option; click that, then locate your map file. After that, sit back and let TrackMania do the rest. Your track will appear on the Steam Workshop with the course thumbnail automatically added as the item thumbnail and the description generated as the Author Comment (if present) followed by the Gold Medal time. You can modify any information on the item’s Workshop page.
My personal favorite resource, however, has to go to the Mania Exchange[tm.mania-exchange.com]. This is the most widely used map database for TrackMania 2 (along with TMX for the other TrackMania titles), though it requires a few more steps to uploading your map.
Browse thousands of varied tracks and submit your own!
First off, you need an account. These are free, and I have never received spam emails from them. Once your account is sorted out, you can click on “Upload Track.” Then, add your track file (these are located in Documents/ManiaPlanet/Maps) and add a custom thumbnail if you want. After that, you can add your own description of the item as well as enter details like track length, difficulty, style, and any additional contributors to the course (if you weren’t the only builder).
Through Mania Exchange, you will be able to see who downloaded your map as well as award courses you enjoyed. Besides this, there’s the Monthly Track Contest[tm.mania-exchange.com] which gives you a special theme to build your course around; this has helped me make my courses significantly better, as all courses are judged at the end of the month. Plus, the forums are a great way to find events looking for maps to play on. Who knows? Maybe your map will set the stage for the grand final.
Last, but not least, there’s the TrackMania Discord[discord.gg] and Mania Exchange Discord[discord.gg]. While you can advertise your latest map, these are also great places to ask questions, get building advice, and just chat with other TrackManiacs.
From competitions to creations, there's plenty to chat about.
As A Note
Thanks for checking out my guide! I hope you have found it helpful in learning the ins and outs of the map editor. If you wish, feel free to give this guide a rating and/or comment. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. If I’ve made any errors either grammatical, factual, or otherwise, please make sure to notify me!
Once again, the example course used in this guide can be found here: