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How to extract files from TF2
By Frying Dutchman and 1 collaborators
In this guide I will explain how you can extract texture and model files from Team Fortress 2 vpk's.
This will alow you to get to the music, voice lines, observe textures or getting those models and much more.
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Introduction, so what is this?
Hey there, If you are reading this guide you must have wondered as how you can view the textures or models from TF2 yourself right?

Well since May the first 2013 Team Fortress 2 has switched to a new method of loading and storing files called "Steampipe". Now files are stored wihin ".vpk's", these ".vpk" files are also the files we'll be opening to search and extract our files from the game.

So, within this guide I'll show you exactly how you open up the vpks, navigate them to find what you need and extract files from them.

Originally posted by New Contributor:
But why would I even want to extract files from the game!?

Well theres numerous answers for that, one of them is to customize items already ingame.
Lets say you really like your Sentry but you think it would look better if instead of Red and Blue it was Black and White.
Well then, its possible to extract the current files from the game, modify their colours and put them back in! Wonderful right?
Or you're having troubles creating your own item, maybe that wood texture just doesnt look right. Closely paying attention to textures already in the game could be that secret to find out what is wrong with your texture and help improve it!

And if youre not really into modding it's still exciting to see what TF2 is made out of, like a big treasure hunt of mold, dust and hats.
What you need
Now to get started you do need a couple of programs, don't worry their small and very easy to use.

Program Download Link
Team Fortress 2 Obvious but if you dont have it, click here.
GCFScape Click here to download, be sure to download the latest version![nemesis.thewavelength.net]
VTFEdit Click here to download, be sure to download the latest version![nemesis.thewavelength.net]

What is GCFScape?
GCFScape is a small program which you can use to open up and extract files from GCF files and VPK files.
If you're interested in more information have a look at the Valve Developer Wiki here

What is VTFEdit?
VTFEdit is a small program where you can view and edit VTF and VMT files, these are the fileformats Valve uses for their textures.
If you're interested in more information have a look at the Valve Developer Wiki here

Anything else?
For this guide you dont need anything else, maybe some cool music wouldnt hurt.

After youre done downloading and installing them its off to the next step.
Finding and opening up the VPK's
Open up GCFScape and you should be greeted by the following empty screen:
Now navigate to "File" in the top left corner and click on "Open"
Alternatively press "Ctrl+O" on your keyboard.

Now this should have opened a new window where you can explore the contents of your computer.
Navigate trough the following:
  • Steam
    • steamapps
      • common
        • Team Fortress 2
          • tf


As you can see above I have my Steam installed on my E drive, yours could be on a C or D drive.
Once you've succesfully navigated trough the folders you should be in the "tf" folder.
In this folder you'll find various other folders and if you scroll down you'll find the .vpk files.
Succes! You're halfway there!

Now there are four vpk files that end with _dir.
Each containing an aspect of TF2's content, these are the following:
  • tf2_misc_dir.vpk
  • tf2_sound_misc_dir
  • tf2_sound_vo_english_dir
  • tf2_textures_dir

Now open up "tf2_misc_dir.vpk" and youre done, you've safely opened up a vpk and should have a window similair to the following image:

Finding the files you need in the correct VPK
Now that you know where to find the VPK files and how to open them, you might be wondering which you need to open to find the files you need.
The following paragraphs shall explain whats inside each VPK

tf2_misc_dir.vpk
      Contains the following:
    • Model files
    • VMT files ( Texture materials)
    • Particles
    • Scripts

      So if you want acces to the models of the MVM bots, Classes or hats you need this VPK.
      This VPK also holds the VMT files for textures, to get the actual texture files you need "tf2_textures_dir"

tf2_sound_misc_dir.vpk
      Contains the following:
    • Sounds, Music

      This VPK contains all the ambient sounds, music, weapon sounds and various other sounds from the game. If you're looking for the voice lines the classes say, you'll need to open up
      "tf2_sound_vo_english_dir.vpk"

tf2_sound_vo_english_dir.vpk
      Contains the following:
    • Voice lines

      This VPK contains all the lines the classes say such as Scout's witty lines or Spies visits to Scouts mother. If you're looking for the various sounds you hear in the game you'll need to find
      "tf2_sound_misc_dir.vpk"

tf2_textures_dir.vpk
      Contains the following:
    • Textures

      This VPK contains all the imagery used within the game, so you'll be able to find the secrets some contributors leave on their textures. Or find that logo of Team Red. To find the material files that accompany the textures youll need to open up
      "tf2_misc_dir.vpk"
Examples of finding files
Example 1: Extracting the models for the Black Box
For this you'll need to open: "tf2_misc_dir.vpk"
      From there navigate trough the following folders
    • root
      • models
        • weapons
          • c_models
            • c_blackbox

      In this last folder you'll find the model files of the blackbox.
      Here you can select the files and with a simple click of the right button a new menu will appear.
      There you can click extract and specify where you want to put the file(s)
      And you're done!


Example 2: Extracting the textures for the HazMat Headcase
For this you'll need to open: "tf2_textures_dir.vpk"
      From there navigate trough the following folders
    • root
      • materials
        • models
          • player
            • items
              • pyro
        • Open "Pyro_hazmat.vtf" or extract it to your own specified folder

      As you can see in the last folder (pyro) you can find all the textures for various pyro items.
      The same goes for different folders within the "items" folder.

      Please note the following
      Everything new added after the Robotic Boogaloo update can be found here:

    • root
      • materials
        • models
          • workshop
            • player
              • items


Example 3: Extracting the materials for the HazMat Headcase
For this you'll need to open: "tf2_misc_dir.vpk"
      From there navigate trough the following folders
    • root
      • materials
        • models
          • player
            • items
              • pyro
        • Open "Pyro_hazmat.vmt" or extract it to your own specified folder

      Like before in the last folder (pyro) you can find all the textures for various pyro items.
      The same goes for different folders within the "items" folder.


Example 4: Extracting the Rocket Jump Waltz
For this you'll need to open: "tf2_sound_misc_dir.vpk"
      From there navigate trough the following folders
    • root
      • sound
        • ui
        • Open "gamestartup3.mp3" or extract it to your own specified folder

      In this folder the other "gamestartup.mp3" files are naturally the other menu music files!


Example 5: Extracting the Scout's voice lines
For this you'll need to open: "tf2_sound_vo_english_dir.vpk"
      From there navigate trough the following folders
    • root
      • sound
        • vo
            • Open "scout_sf12_falling03.wav" or extract it to your own specified folder

          And there you have it, in this folder you can find all the various lines from the classes.
    Congratulations you're done
    And here we are at the end of the guide. Hope you learned a thing or two.
    If you have any questions about this guide or any other comments be free to leave one.
    24 Comments
    < >
    Rambo's Ghost Jun 24 @ 1:36pm 
    do you have a way to find the matching files with the corresponding item that im looking because some times its hard to find if you don't know where to look
    Konertag Apr 27 @ 8:43am 
    I have a problem with VTFEdit, when i try to open it or a texture it says that the aplication cannot be started because the config is wrong.
    Frying Dutchman  [author] Feb 7 @ 10:23am 
    search for .mdldecompiler and one of the first results should be just that exact programs. Im sure the page has some helpful info along with it.
    Microprogramming[AoG] Feb 4 @ 9:20am 
    How do I decompile the .mdl files and with what program?
    Pafo Feb 2 @ 7:31pm 
    Very helpful. Thanks a lot! :D
    Taconinja Jan 31 @ 8:18pm 
    Almost all my files are missing. When im not using gcfscape and just searching for where the materials are, all i can find is shortstop in a different folder. When in gcfscape, i can't even find that. my materials folder is empty. Can anyone help me?
    Darth Shigi' Dec 19, 2013 @ 12:14pm 
    Thank you very much :)
    Frying Dutchman  [author] Dec 19, 2013 @ 10:55am 
    youll need to decompile the .mdl files first which will give you a file which you can open in a 3D program.
    Darth Shigi' Dec 19, 2013 @ 9:08am 
    Of the extracted models files which do I want to import into 3DS Max in order to edit the model?
    [IPot][TBB]BananaMan Dec 4, 2013 @ 5:46am 
    how do i texture the blackbox or any other weapon in blender?
    PLUS! thanks Frying Dutchman! You are a fine sir!