Artist Debug Mode

SuperTuxKart includes a hidden "Artist Debug Mode" with a variety of features to help artists solve problems with their tracks more easily. Artist Debug Mode includes special rendering views and other features both for artists and developers.

Running SuperTuxKart from the command line can also provide useful insight in debugging a track in the terminal output.

Enabling Artist Debug Mode

When STK is closed, open the STK config file. (See the FAQ question "Where is the configuration stored?")

Locate the line that reads

and change it to


Track Layout Debugging

  • Flying: karts may be instantly turned into flying objects. This is quite useful to take a closer look at meshes that aren't too visible from the road, or to skip large portions of a track to go straight to the area you're interested in.
    • I: fly up
    • K: fly down
  • If there is no ground under the area where karts start, normally STK will print an error message on the terminal and abort; in debug mode, however, the kart will just hover so you can see what the problem is.
  • First person camera (available in debug menu): Fly around the map with WASD and rotate the camera with Q and E. Use a mouse to control your direction. There's also a smooth version which damps your movements, which can be adjusted in the config file of SuperTuxKart.
  • No Ready-Set-Go: To speed up testing your track, in Artist Debug Mode, when you play alone against no opponent, the ready/set/go messages are skipped very quickly.

Kart/AI Debugging

  • Debug checklines: Launch SuperTuxKart from the command line with --check-debug, and you will visually see where checklines are; active checklines will appear as red, inactive ones as white; and information about which kart crosses which checkline will be printed on the terminal.
  • --track-debug will enable you to see where drivelines are.
  • It is possible to set 0 laps in the race setup screen. This is useful for testing kart animations.

Graphics Debugging

  • Reload Textures (available in debug menu): This allows you to reload textures on-the-fly, including gloss, alpha, and normal maps, making it much easier to see how a gloss map will look in-game.
  • Frames Per Second (available in debug menu): Click "Toggle FPS" to show frames per second, polycount, etc. in-game.
  • Adjust Lights/Adjust values (available in debug-menu): You can adjust the values for red, green, blue, energy and radius of the light nearest to the kart (nitro emitters and other invisible lights are skipped) and see the effect immediately. This also applies to the sun (if no other light is closer) to easily find the right color for your sun.

Physics Debugging

  • Physics debug (in debug menu under Graphics): This shows the edges and normals of some meshes.
  • Normals view (in debug menu under Graphics): This shows all normals of all meshes except animated ones. However, it hides all textures.

Camera Effects

  • Alternative camera views (available in debug menu, under GUI)
    • Top view
    • Behind wheel view (more like below and behind kart view)
    • Behind kart view
    • Side of kart view
  • Toggle GUI (available in debug menu, under GUI): Hide the racing GUI, for screenshots, etc.
  • Hide karts (available in debug menu, under GUI) (Note: not a toggle; you will have to quit the race and restart to make the karts reappear.)
  • Change camera target (available in debug menu)

Items & Attachments

You can give yourself limitless items through the Items submenu. The Attachments submenu provides options for things like parachutes and anchors (called anvils in-game).