Assets & Resources
Where to get free art assets (models, textures, materials) for use in levels
This page lists free art assets (models, textures, materials) for use in levels.
  • We only list sites with robust free download plans + generic file formats that work in most engines.
  • "CC license" refers to free assets with permissive Creative Commons or public domain style licenses.
  • We also list other types of resources:
    • Books: list of other level design books, with brief summaries
    • Quake resources: list of free texture .WADs and other Quake-specific files

3D models and props (free)

Site
Content
CC license?
Sketchfab
biggest selection of free low poly + realistic + 3D scan assets on internet; quality varies; make sure to filter for "Downloadable"!
lots of free models designed for games, but quality varies a lot
Kenney
the most prolific free asset creator in games; many well-designed low poly 3D tilesets
another prolific free asset creator, lots of free low poly 3D props and characters
lots of good low poly 3D modules / tilesets, special Unity integration but works for any
BlendSwap
free community model exchange for Blender users... it's not hard to learn how to export models from .blend to .fbx / .obj
used to be the biggest stock 3D platform on the internet; still some good free stuff there

Materials and textures (free)

Site
Content
CC license?
ambientCG
formerly CC0Textures; lots of solid 4k / 8k materials with PBR support
lots of free textures designed for games with handpainted styles, quality varies
formerly CGTextures; most heavily used photosource library in the world until 2010; still offers a generous free account tier for medium resolution textures (x512, x1024)

Prototyping blockout textures

When making the blockout, we recommend using gridded placeholder textures to prototype the level geometry. This helps establish consistent scale and metrics for the level.

Skyboxes

A skybox is a special type of 6-sided cubemap texture that gives the illusion of a distant sky background. Contemporary game engines usually use procedural sky shaders / skydomes, but sometimes the old fashioned ways are more effective.

Quake / Half-Life style skyboxes

2D tilesets and sprites (free)

To make 2D levels, you'll usually want a tile-based level editor. See Tools.
Site
Content
CC license?
10000+ free tileset packs and sprites, mostly retro / pixel art style but lots of variety, basically the first place to look
Kenney
smooth chunky tilesets packs and sprites, very good but also very recognizable