How to add maps to command & conquer: zero hour

Written by brandon james
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How to add maps to command & conquer: zero hour
(battleship guns image by Pierrette Guertin from

"Zero Hour" is an expansion pack for EA's "Command & Conquer: Generals," a real-time strategy game about international warfare in the near-future. Its "world builder" allows users to create custom-made maps -- or levels -- both for single-player missions and multiplayer skirmishes. These maps can be downloaded from a variety of sources and used by any owner of the original game. By adding new maps to your collection you can increase the replayability of your game, explore new territories with your friends, and force yourself to come up with new strategies to attain victory.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Download a custom map from a website that hosts user-made "Command & Conquer" maps such as CnCMaps or CnCDen. Maps are usually packaged in a compressed ZIP or RAR file format.

  2. 2

    Unpack the map's archive file using software like WinRAR or 7 Zip, if Windows own ZIP-archival utility can't open the file itself. This will extract the map from its compressed file form. A map for "Command & Conquer: Generals - Zero Hour" is in the form of a folder named after the map. This folder contains a TGA image that summarises the map and the actual MAP file.

  3. 3

    Drag the entire folder containing both the TGA and the MAP files into your "Command & Conquer Generals Zero Hour Data/Maps" directory in the "My Documents" or "Documents" folder.

  4. 4

    Launch the game and choose the game modes "Skirmish" or "Multiplayer." Select "Unofficial Maps." Choose the custom map you wish to play and start a game. For a friend to play the map with you he must also have installed the map in his own "Maps" directory.

  1. 1

    Download a custom, user-made modification for "Zero Hour" from a website such as ModDB. Mods completely change the game by adding new units, characters, models, graphics, music and maps.

  2. 2

    Unpack the mod's archive into any folder. The folder will contain an executable program.

  3. 3

    Run the mod's installation executable. If the mod you downloaded does not include an executable, manually install the appropriate files into the correct folders as per the mod's readme file. Back up any files that a mod installation wants to overwrite so that if you later wish to uninstall the mod you can do so without having to reinstall "Zero Hero." Some mods are total modifications of the game, and by installing them, you will no longer have access to the original game's content and will have to uninstall the mod accordingly.

Tips and warnings

  • If you can't find your installed map on the selection screen, check the installation directory in your "Maps" folder. For example, a correctly installed map called "Second Hour" would contain a MAP file and a TGA file, both called "Second Hour," in the directory "Command & Conquer Generals Zero Hour Data/Maps/Second Hour."

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