Can’t draw? Here’s an extensive list of free fantasy map generators you could use to create a base for what you’d like me to customize. Also I’ve included some name generator sites.
Last updated: Aug 31/2019
Fantasy Map generators
Azgaar’s Fantasy Map Generator – creates colored world map bases. Someone could use this to create a zoomed out world map or country base. I have not determined if it is possible to freehand draw any shapes or if you are limited to adding from its randomization options. It appears you may be limited to what it generates.
RedBlogGames map generator – Creates a grid filled with random locations with sliders to control biomes. Great inspirational way to build a single continent. It’s so easy. I don’t think the final result is super polished though. It’s a most user friendly map generator and creating this result was effortless.
Watabou’s Medieval Fantasy City Generator – This is my personal favorite, very useful, it generates a blank city base. You won’t get something finished from this, but it’s under active development. It is now possible to edit text, though you cannot position it (it is randomized by seed and a warp tool). I find it a great idea generator.
Don Jon’s Fractal World Generator lets you generate random jagged landforms to use as a base. Could be useful to print out or draw on top to design coastlines and interesting random climates. Currently has very limited functionality. It’s a fun tool to brainstorm the view of an entire planet, however.
Donjon Random Dungeon Generator – generates very simple dungeons based on set parameters. Useful only for Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, and similar such groups, I suppose, as it actually generates a random set of encounters to go along with running the dungeon as a game using open source RPG materials! Here’s an example I received with this dungeon.
1 1 x 1st Level Warrior Duergar (dwarf), scavenging for food and treasure 2 1 x Derro, wielding bizarre eldritch powers 3 1 x Troglodyte Zombie, scavenging for food and treasure 4 1 x Medium Monstrous Spider (vermin), hunting for food 5 1 x Troglodyte, gathered around an evil shrine 6 1 x Shrieker (fungus), wielding bizarre eldritch powers Room #1
East Entry Stuck Stone Door (break DC 28; hard 8, 60 hp) (slides to one side, +1 to break DC)
→ Leads to room #2
South Entry #1 Unlocked Stone Door (hard 8, 60 hp) South Entry #2 Stuck Iron Door (break DC 28; hard 10, 60 hp) Empty
Red Blob Games Map Generator allows you to place land, mountains, water, and ocean on a painted style map, free to download for any use. An exceptionally powerful mapping tool which uses 3D to do both overhead and isometric views. I created this map in mere minutes and was impressed by the potential. I might use this!
Experilous Planet Generator lets you generate random globes to certain parameter specifications. Their settings give you access to plate tectonics, wind direction and more. Gget a sense of a whole world’s shape. Potentially useful, but I would say it’s more of a novelty to inspire you than a functional map building tool.
Davidson Tectonic Generator allows you to randomly generate plate tectonics and observe their movement over time. There are multiple projection views. Again, this is more of an inspirational tool than a “do it all” kit.
Oskar Stalberg’s City Generator. This city generator is extremely limited in functionality but very fun to tool around with to create an urban space with streets, trees and buildings if that’s your need. It is very easy to use, just click and it will add in a random new city block.
Inkwell Idea’s Random City Generator creates random cities that resemble an overhead pixel world map from a vintage RPG game, or you can position pieces yourself. It’s flexible for what it is, which is an old computer CGI pixel art style village or city map.
Mewo2 Map Editor. This isn’t a single box editor like many of the others, but you scroll through to add bits and build the map through several stages. The procedural process of building the map might work well for some. I found it easy and enjoyable to move through. However, names are limited to automatically generated place names.
Dave’s Mapper is for Dungeon Masters running fantasy dungeon crawl style games, or science fiction roleplaying game adventures such as Star Wars, Cyberpunk, etc as it has tilesets for space ships too. It is only tiles that you can place and flip around, and accepts donations of new tiles to continue expanding their tool. The results are limited but look great!
Worldspinner allows you to try their tool for one month for free, watermarked downloads only. However, they include a free heraldry tool. I’m including it on this list even though it’s not a “free” map generator, per se, but a trial. It also has a free name generator.
Fantasy Map Builder is another take on a tile-set, instead of being square modules the pieces are a variety of shapes and styles. I personally find it painfully slow to set up a map with this freebie, but it does have a very large set of free Dungeon Master tile art options to construct a map and someone patient could definitely create something great free for use with this tool.
Roll for Fantasy Creator allows you to make basic stamp maps out of some pre-existing pieces. While some people have used it to great success, I found it too tedious to construct anything to demo here.
HexTML is a hex map editor with very basic art, but stands out because of its collaborative functions, being the only map editor I know of that permits you to edit a map with another person. I would have loved that a decade ago, when I was collaborating primarily with someone who lived 16 hours away.
Hexographer is an archaic, out of date map-maker that has since been replaced with a similar hex-based map maker, Worldographer which can be demoed for free. Not personally my cup of tea, but good for making fast maps for games that are set on a hex grid specifically.
On a very similar token, GM Friend provides an in browser super basic hex map editor. More of a toy than anything.
A very different mapping program is Map Chart which allows you to create basic colored maps of the real world, used for statistics and academic purposes. Someone has used it to create Westeros, however, so I have elected to include it in this resource.
Also in the very limited functionality map makers, we have Metro Map Maker which is an in-browser map maker to create a subway or bus route in the style of New York, London, and other big city metro mapping styles. This could absolutely be used for a real world bus route map, and by using it, you agree your map will be placed in the public domain.
Easily the least artistic addition to this list is RPG City Generator, a vintage text-based map generator which will form an acsii map which corresponds to a code to understand what region of the city is being represented. It falls somewhere in between a fantasy city art map generator and a plain text city feature generator, as you do receive a visual, but it’s only functional as data, not art. The site includes a character generator as well, and is distinctively oriented towards the needs of the tabletop gamer and not creating a map for say, a novel.
Gozzy’s Wilderness mapper generates a random wilderness battle map based on a few assorted seeds.Gozzy’s Cave Maps will generate a random cave grid battle map. Finally, last but not least, Gozzy’s Dungeon Maps will make you a random dungeon based on an assortment of seeds. You can save the image as well as the URL based on the seeds. Great for Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer, that kinda game.
Autorealm is an old downloadable map maker which had interesting functionality but when I tried it years ago, did not impress me enough to move away from illustration-based programs. Still, it gets mentioned here and there, and it is free.
Paid Fantasy Map Making Programs
The paid program I favor is Other World Mapper which can be demoed for free with all features, but requires a payment to unlock the save option. I elected to do this, and since I’ve purchased the program, I have integrated its functionality into many of my maps. While I don’t think it is a complete package yet for an artistic map, since it does not have sketching tools, it’s really easy to get the hang of and turn out a map fast. I have a timelapse video of me drawing a map for my own setting in Other World Mapper to see what can be done. It’s the only one I’ve purchased to date after trying a demo.
Inkarnate map creator – Tons of people use this program to make their “sketches” for me. I haven’t used it, but it appears to be a collection of full color fantasy icons that can be assembled on assorted colored texture backgrounds. Inkarnate maps have a very recognizable look, but they can definitely be used to create a finished feeling project by a patient person. They have a limited free edition and paid options with more extensive tooling on a “per month” subscription free basis. As I have not signed up for Inkarnate, I have not created a demo.
Dungeon Fog lets you make three free maps and then you have to pay. This makes it more of a “free trial” than a “free mapping program”, alas, still potentially useful. Like Inkarnate, I have not joined to test it. Also, like Inkarnate, it is a subscription based model.
Map Forge is a download only program where you can create low-res maps for free or buy the full version, available for the low price of $31 at the moment. I have not tested it, but it is being actively developed and seeks to be something superior to those that come before. We’ll see how it goes.
Chaotic Shiny random world building generators – I go here REGULARLY. Tons of amazing world building specific generators, character generators, etc.
Seventh Sanctum random world building generators – Many generators, primarily name generators, but there’s plot generators, etc.
With all these perfectly good options, why should I hire you to create my fantasy map?
Because you like my art style.
Because you don’t want to do the heavy lifting creative jiggery
Fifty billion little trees.
Because you don’t have time to make a map as nice as you’d like.
Hand drawn custom mountain ranges.
Because you don’t want your map to look like one of these generator results.
Original compass art.
Because you have custom imagery not available in the icon sets.
All the fonts, all of the effects.
Because you want a unique world.
You have a specific vision.
Because you want a vector or large print piece.
Because you want art.
I don’t discourage anyone from trying to create their own map first. I even have a tutorial of my OG map making style with my original map icons available for download if you want to have a go at it in Photoshop. I freehand almost all of my work now, however, I used the set included with that download for many of my early maps.
Seriously, if you want to make your own map, go for it. That’s why I’m saving all of the free RPG fantasy map generators and makers I find on this page. I’ve been updating it regularly to add new things I find so check back, I guess, I’ll try branch it out into being a better resource as time goes on. 🙂