H13 tool steel, a versatile chromium hot-work steel, is widely used in demanding industrial applications such as high-pressure die casting. When processed by additive manufacturing (AM), innovative functionalities like conformal cooling can be implemented in these tools in order to optimize the thermal management as well as the linked processing cycle time. However, due to the high carbon content, robust processing of H13 requires high pre-heating temperatures, which cannot be achieved by many commonly available Laser beam melting (LBM) systems. This could be different for the Electron beam melting (EBM) process, where pre-heating temperatures of more than 1000 °C can be achieved. Against this background, the present study provides a first step towards process parameter development for H13 tool steel. For H13 processed by LBM it is shown that application relevant material characteristics, such as defect-density, surface quality and mechanical properties, are strongly influenced by the processing parameters.