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A record file is a game data file used in the Gamebryo and Creation engines. Record files contain information about in-game items, characters, world spaces, and settings. Game data such as textures, models, sounds, and other assets are found in BSA files rather than record files. Record files come in two forms: master (ESM) files and plugin (ESP) files. Both master and plugin files are found in the Data subfolder of any parent game directory (i.e. where the game's .exe file is found).

Record files can be viewed using the G.E.C.K. or Creation Kit, or with third-party tools like xEdit.

Master file

A master file, using the .esm file extension, (also called an ESM file, short for Elder Scrolls Master) serves as the primary database of game files which plugin files can reference, modify, or add to. They are loaded prior to plugin files.[1]

Plugin file

ESP

Plugin files, using the .esp file extension, (also called an ESP file, short for Elder Scrolls Plugin) are largely identical to master files in structure but are loaded after them, and are unable to modify other plugin files.[1] They are intended for use with player mods, as base games and their DLC are both packaged with .esm master files.

ESL

The Light Master file, using the .esl file extension is a new optimized file format introduced in the patch 1.10 update. Using Light Master files will allow more plugins to be loaded than the previously possible due to the 8-bit plugin ID limit of 255. A Light Master does this by using more of the Form ID range for load order, while also sacrificing its maximum capacity for form records. It is primarily used for Creation Club content.

Load order

The load order of record files determines when changes the files make are applied. Files appearing lower in the load order will overwrite changes made to records by files earlier in the load order.[2]

Record

Records are the individual structures of information that makeup record files. Each record contains a record header, with information such as a signature, Form ID, Editor ID, data size, flags, and version control information.[3]

Record signature

The signature within a record's header is what denotes its type. Some common record signatures are shown below:

Signature Record type
ACHR Character Reference ID
ACTI Activator
ALCH Consumable item
AMMO Ammunition type
ARMO Armor type
CELL World cell
CONT Container
LSCR Loading screen
MISC Miscellaneous item, weapon/armor modification
NPC_ Non-player character
QUST Quest
RACE Non-player character race
REFR Object Reference ID
WEAP Weapon type
WRLD World space

Files present in games

Fallout 3

Fallout: New Vegas

Fallout 4

Creation Club

Plugin File CC Content
ccbgsfo4001-pipboy[black].esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Onyx
ccbgsfo4002-pipboy[blue].esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Blue
ccbgsfo4003-pipboy[camo01].esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Desert Camo
ccbgsfo4004-pipboy[camo02].esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Swamp Camo
ccbgsfo4006-pipboy[chrome].esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Chrome
ccbgsfo4012-pipboy[red].esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Red
ccbgsfo4014-pipboy[white].esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - White
ccbgsfo4005-bluecamo.esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Aquatic Camo
ccbgsfo4016-prey.esl Morgan's Space Suit
ccbgsfo4018-gaussrifleprototype.esl Gauss Rifle Prototype
ccbgsfo4019-chinesestealtharmor.esl Chinese Stealth Armor
ccbgsfo4020-powerarmorskin[black].esl Power Armor Paint Job - Onyx
ccbgsfo4022-powerarmorskin[camo01].esl Power Armor Paint Job - Desert Camo
ccbgsfo4023-powerarmorskin[camo02].esl Power Armor Paint Job - Swamp Camo
ccbgsfo4025-powerarmorskin[chrome].esl Power Armor Paint Job - Chrome
ccbgsfo4033-powerarmorskinwhite.esl Power Armor Paint Job - White
ccbgsfo4024-pacamo03.esl Power Armor Paint Job - Aquatic Camo
ccbgsfo4038-horsearmor.esl Horse Power Armor
ccbgsfo4041-doommarinearmor.esl Doom Classic Marine Armor
ccbgsfo4042-bfg.esl Doom BFG
ccbgsfo4044-hellfirepowerarmor.esl Hellfire Power Armor
ccfsvfo4001-modularmilitarybackpack.esl Modular Military Backpack
ccfsvfo4002-midcenturymodern.esl Modern Furniture Workshop Pack
ccfrsfo4001-handmadeshotgun.esl Handmade Shotgun
cceejfo4001-decorationpack.esl Home Decor Workshop Pack
ccrzrfo4001-tunnelsnakes.esl Tunnel Snakes Rule!
ccbgsfo4045-advarcab.esl Arcade Workshop Pack
ccfsvfo4003-slocum.esl Coffee and Donuts Workshop Pack
ccgcafo4001-factionws01army.esl Weapon Paint Job - US Army
ccgcafo4002-factionws02acats.esl Weapon Paint Job - Atom Cats
ccgcafo4003-factionws03bos.esl Weapon Paint Job - Brotherhood of Steel
ccgcafo4004-factionws04gun.esl Weapon Paint Job - Gunners
ccgcafo4005-factionws05hrpink.esl Weapon Paint Job - Hot Rod Pink
ccgcafo4006-factionws01hrshark.esl Weapon Paint Job - Hot Tod Shark
ccgcafo4007-factionws07hrflames.esl Weapon Paint Job - Hot Rod Flames
ccgcafo4008-factionws08inst.esl Weapon Paint Job - Institute
ccgcafo4009-factionws09mm.esl Weapon Paint Job - Minutemen
ccgcafo4011-factionws11vt.esl Weapon Paint Job - Vault-Tec
ccgcafo4012-factionas01acat.esl Armor Paint Job - Atom Cats
ccgcafo4013-factionas02bos.esl Armor Paint Job - Brotherhood of Steel
ccgcafo4014-factionas03gun.esl Armor Paint Job - Gunners
ccgcafo4015-factionas04hrpink.esl Armor Paint Job - Hot Rod Pink
ccgcafo4016-factionas05hrshark.esl Armor Paint Job - Hot Rod Shark
ccgcafo4017-factionas06inst.esl Armor Paint Job - Institute
ccgcafo4018-factionas07mm.esl Armor Paint Job - Minutemen
ccgcafo4019-factionas08nuk.esl Armor Paint Job - Nuka-Cola Cherry
ccgcafo4020-factionas09rr.esl Armor Paint Job - Railroad
ccgcafo4021-factionas10hrflames.esl Armor Paint Job - Hot Rod Flames
ccgcafo4022-factionas11vt.esl Armor Paint Job - Vault-Tec
ccgcafo4023-factionas12army.esl Armor Paint Job - US Army
ccawnfo4001-brandattire.esl Graphic T-Shirt Pack
ccswkfo4001-astronautpowerarmor.esm Captain Cosmos
ccswkfo4002-pipnuka.esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Nuka-Cola
ccswkfo4003-pipquan.esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Nuka-Cola Quantum
ccbgsfo4053-dggoldr.esl Golden Retriever
ccbgsfo4056-dglabb.esl Labrador
ccbgsfo4036-trnsdg.esl TransDOGrifier
ccrzrfo4004-pipinst.esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Institute
ccbgsfo4062-pipat.esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Patriotic
ccfrsfo4002-antimaterielrifle.esl Anti-Materiel Rifle
cceejfo4004-nuka.esl Nuka-Cola Collector Workshop
ccbgsfo4072-pipgrog.esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Grognak
ccbgsfo4073-pipmman.esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Manta Man
ccbgsfo4074-pipinspt.esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Inspector
ccbgsfo4075-pipshroud.esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Silver Shroud
ccbgsfo4076-pipmystery.esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Mistress of Mystery
ccbgsfo4079-pipvim.esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Vim!
ccbgsfo4078-pipreilly.esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Reilly's Rangers
ccbgsfo4077-pipgrocket.esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Red Rocket
ccbgsfo4008-pipgrn.esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Green
ccbgsfo4015-pipyell.esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Yellow
ccbgsfo4009-piporan.esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Orange
ccbgsfo4011-pippurp.esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Purple
ccbgsfo4021-powerarmorskinblue.esl Power Armor Paint Job - Blue
ccbgsfo4027-powerarmorskingreen.esl Power Armor Paint Job - Green
ccbgsfo4034-powerarmorskinyellow.esl Power Armor Paint Job - Yellow
ccbgsfo4028-powerarmorskinorange.esl Power Armor Paint Job - Orange
ccbgsfo4031-powerarmorskinred.esl Power Armor Paint Job - Red
ccbgsfo4030-powerarmorskinpurple.esl Power Armor Paint Job - Purple
ccbgsfo4032-powerarmorskintan.esl Power Armor Paint Job - Tan
ccbgsfo4029-powerarmorskinpink.esl Power Armor Paint Job - Pink
ccgrcfo4002-pipgreenvim.esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Vim Refresh
ccgrcfo4013-piptan.esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Tan
ccbgsfo4010-pippnk.esl Pip Boy Paint Job - Pink
ccsbjfo4004-solarflare.esl Solar Cannon
cczsefo4001-bhouse.esl Charleston Condo
cctosfo4001-neosky.esm Noir Penthouse
cckgjfo4001-bastion.esl Settlement Ambush Kit
ccbgsfo4063-papat.esl Power Armor Paint Job - Patriotic
ccbgsfo4048-dovah.esl Fantasy Hero Set
ccbgsfo4115-x02.esl X-02 Power Armor
ccrzrfo4002-disintegrate.esl Zetan Arsenal
ccbgsfo4116-heavyflamer.esl Crucible
ccbgsfo4091-as_bats.esl Armor Paint Job - Bats
ccbgsfo4097-as_jack-olantern.esl Armor Paint Job - Jack O'Lantern
ccbgsfo4104-ws_bats.esl Weapon Paint Job - Bats
ccbgsfo4111-ws_jack-olantern.esl Weapon Paint Job - Jack O'Lantern
ccbgsfo4113-ws_reillysrangers.esl Weapon Paint Job - Reilly's Rangers
ccbgsfo4112-ws_pickman.esl Weapon Paint Job - Pickman
ccbgsfo4110-ws_enclave.esl Weapon Paint Job - Enclave
ccbgsfo4108-ws_childrenofatom.esl Weapon Paint Job - Children of Atom
ccbgsfo4099-as_reilysrangers.esl Armor Paint Job - Reilly's Rangers
ccbgsfo4098-as_pickman.esl Armor Paint Job - Pickman
ccbgsfo4096-as_enclave.esl Armor Paint Job - Enclave
ccbgsfo4095-as_childrenofatom.esl Armor Paint Job - Children of Atom
ccbgsfo4089-pipsynthwave.esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Neon Sunrise
ccbgsfo4083-pipartdeco.esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Art Deco
ccbgsfo4081-pipphenolresin.esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Phenol Resin
ccbgsfo4035-pint.esl Pint-Sized Slasher
ccbgsfo4086-pipadventure.esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Adventure
ccjvdfo4001-holiday.esl Holiday Spirits
ccbgsfo4047-qthund.esl Quake Thundersbolt
ccfrsfo4003-cr75l.esl CR-74L Combat Rifle
cczdefo4002-smanor.esl Shrouded Manor
ccacxfo4001-vsuit.esl Vault Suit Customization
ccsbjfo4002_manwellrifle.esl Manwell Rifle Set
cctosfo4002-neonflats.esl Neon Flats
ccbgsfo4117-capmerc.esl Capital Wasteland Mercenaries
ccbgsfo4046-tescan.esl Tesla Cannon
ccgcafo4025-pagunmm.esl Gunners vs. Minutemen
cccrsfo4001-pipcoa.esl Pip-Boy Paint Job - Children of Atom

Fallout 76

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 GECK data files page
  2. GECK data files page: "Load order determines the order in which mods lay their cards down on the table. Fallout3 goes first, then the next mod in load order, up to the last mod. Whenever two mods conflict, the later loading mod will win."
  3. Bethesda GECK glossary: "A Record is any discrete unit of data that gets saved to an .esp file. Base Objects and References are both Records, as are other things such as Game Settings."
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