.ESP File Extension

.ESP File Extension

File Type 1

Elder Scrolls Plugin File

Developer Bethesda Softworks
Popularity
4.2  |  44 Votes
Category Game Files
Format Binary

What is an ESP file?

An ESP file is a plugin used by The Elder Scrolls (TES) first-person RPGs such as Oblivion and Skyrim. It is similar to an .ESM file but is used specifically for adding plugins that extend or modify the features of the game, such as new graphics, weapons, and world content. ESP files are commonly used for distributing custom game alterations.

More Information

The ESP file type is one of several file types supported by select Bethesda Softworks games and entries in the Elder Scrolls series that can be modified to alter elements in the game. The other two main file types are:

  • Elder Scrolls Master File (.esm file) - It is the primary database that contains the game files, which plugins may modify, a to, or reference. They are sometimes modified to create plugins.
  • Elder Scrolls Light Master File (.esl file) - An optimized "lighter" version of the ESM format that was introduced with the Fallout 4 patch 1.10 in August 2017.

In order to apply custom game modifications, ESP files interact with ESM (Master) files and are loaded after them to override default behaviors and data. While ESP files are designed to save plugins, you can also create mods of ESM files and distribute them for custom game alterations without using ESP files.

How do I open an ESP file?

You can load ESP files with various Bethesda Softworks games, including Fallout 4, The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim Special Edition (SE), and The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion.

You can also view ESP files with Bethesda Softworks Creation Kit (Windows) and The Elder Scrolls Construction Set (Windows).

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Programs that open ESP files

Updated August 4, 2021
File Type 2

Fallout 3 Plugin File

Developer Bethesda Softworks
Popularity
3.9  |  18 Votes
Category Game Files
Format Binary

What is an ESP file?

Plugin file used by the Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas futuristic post-nuclear war role-playing games; contains a plugin that modifies game content; can include game objects, dialogue, gameplay settings, AI settings, world properties, and other content.

More Information

ESP files can be used for modifying existing game data or for adding new game data. They can be edited using G.E.C.K. (the Garden of Eden Creation Kit), which is made available by Bethesda Softworks, the developers of the Fallout series.

ESP plugin files are complementary to .ESM master files and will not load without a corresponding ESM file. Additionally, the settings in ESP files override those in ESM files, since the ESP game data is always loaded after the ESM data. Therefore, you can use ESP files to override the default game properties with custom properties.

Programs that open ESP files

Updated February 16, 2011
File Type 3

ACD/Labs Dataset

Developer N/A
Popularity
2.4  |  5 Votes
Category Data Files
Format N/A

What is an ESP file?

Contains data generated by Advanced Chemistry Development analysis software.

Programs that open ESP files

Windows
ACD/SpecManager or ACD/Structure Elucidator
Updated 2006

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