What Is a BSA File?

What Is a BSA File?

How to Open, Edit, & Convert BSA Files

A file with the BSA file extension is a BSARC Compressed Archive file. The BSA stands for Bethesda Software Archive.

These compressed files are used to hold resource apply for Bethesda Softworks video game, like the sounds, maps, animations, textures, models, and so on. Saving files in BSA archives makes organizing the information much easier than having them exist in lots or hundreds of different folders.

BSA files are saved in the \ Data \ folder of the game’s setup directory.

How to Open a BSA File

The Elder Scrolls and Fallout are two computer games that might connect with BSA files, however these applications instantly utilize the BSA files they find in the correct folders – you can’t use these programs to open a BSA file by hand.

To open a BSA file to view its contents, you can use the BSA Browser, BSA Commander, or BSAopt. All 3 of these programs are standalone tools, which suggests you just require to download them to your computer in order to use them (i.e. you do not need to install them).

What Is a BSA File?

Note: BSA Browser, BSA Commander, and BSAopt download within either a 7Z or RAR file. You can use one of these free file extractor programs (like 7-Zip) to open them. On that note, a file decompression utility like 7-Zip need to be able to open the BSA file too considering that it’s a compressed file type.

If the BSA file won’t open in any of the above programs, you might have much better luck with Fallout Mod Manager or FO3 Archive. These tools are designed to open BSA files from the Fallout computer game, and may even allow you to edit them, providing a creative method to tailor gameplay.

If you find that one of those games is connected with BSA files but you ‘d rather not have that occur, see our guide for making the necessary modifications in Windows to stop it from taking place.

How to Convert a BSA File

Converting a BSA file to another archive format (like ZIP, RAR, 7Z, etc.) most likely isn’t something you want to do. If you were to convert it, the computer game that uses the file would no longer recognize the archive, which implies the contents of the BSA file (the designs, sounds, etc.) wouldn’t be used in the game.

Nevertheless, if there are files within a BSA file that you wish to transform for use beyond the computer game (e.g. audio files), you can use one of the file unzip tools pointed out and connected to above to unload the information, and after that use a totally free file converter to convert the files to other formats.

For instance, maybe there’s a WAV file within the BSA file that you want to convert to MP3. Just draw out the WAV file from the archive and then use a totally free audio file converter to convert WAV to MP3.

Extra Reading on BSA Files

The Elder Scrolls Construction Set Wiki has some helpful info on BSA files consisting of how to develop your own.

You can read more about BSA files at The Garden of Eden Creation Kit (G.E.C.K.) from Bethesda Softworks. Also from G.E.C.K. is a page with details on advanced modding strategies for altering how the game works through changing the BSA files.

Still Can’t Open Your File?

If your file still isn’t opening even after trying the programs above, re-read the file extension to ensure you aren’t confusing it with a file format that shares similar file extension letters.

For example, a BSB (BioShock Saved Game) file is created by the BioShock game – you can’t open that file with the programs I pointed out above although the file extension is similar to BSA.

BSS is another example. This file extension comes from the background image format used with the Resident Evil PlayStation game. BSS files can be opened on a computer system with Reevengi, not any of the BSA file openers from above.

If your file’s suffix is not “. BSA,” research its real file extension to learn which programs can be used to open or transform it. You may even have luck opening the file as a text file with a totally free full-screen editor.

Last updated on September 16th, 2019

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