.RES File Extension

Valve Resource File

Developer Valve
4.2  |  110 Votes

What is a RES file?

A RES file contains a resource list used by games developed by Valve, such as Half-Life 2 and Counter-Strike. It accompanies a .BSP multiplayer map file and is used to store the locations of custom content added to enhance map gameplay, such as materials and textures for player skins. RES files are saved in plain text.

More Information

RES files became prevalent in 1998 with the release of Half-Life, which was the first title from Valve Software. The files were used to store locations of resources instead of the resources themselves to reduce download times. When playing a game, such as Half-Life, the RES file is referenced by the game if the player is playing a custom map then downloads the resources, making them playable within the game.

But as download speeds have increased, new resource formats have been released, and the game engine evolved, actual RES files have become less common. Now, RES files are typically embedded into the map files they are associated with, using BSPZIP, a command-line tool. However, if a map with embedded resource lists cannot be accepted, the RES file can be used.

If the BSP map is incorrectly loaded by the game, it is most likely due to a typo in one or more of the resource paths. You can use a text editor to view and edit the RES file.

NOTE: In order for a RES file to be recognized by a game, it must be placed in the \​maps folder with the BSP map it is associated with and must also bear the same name as the BSP map.

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Programs that open RES files

C++ Complied Resource Script

Developer N/A
3.9  |  51 Votes

A RES file may also be a compiled resource file created by the Microsoft Resource Compiler (rc). It contains a compiled .RC script and compiled versions of the resources the script references. A developer creating a C++ program can link a RES file to their program when compiling the program to an .EXE file.

More Information

The Microsoft Resource Compiler is a tool that developers use to compile and package various program resources, such as icons, cursors, menus, and dialog boxes. Developers can then link the compiled resources into their program's executable file using their chosen C++ linker. This allows the program to access and load those resources.

To compile resources with Microsoft Resource Compiler, developers first create an RC file. This file is a plain text script that defines the resources the associated program uses. Typically, RC files contain references to several resource files, such as .CUR cursor files and .ICO icon files. (RC files may also contain resources defined entirely within the files themselves, using plain text.)

Developers then use Microsoft Resource Compiler to compile their RC file to a RES file. The resulting RES file contains not only a compiled version of the RC file, but also a compiled version of all the resources the RC file references. Developers can also use Microsoft Resource Compiler to link their RES file to their application's EXE file.

NOTE: Microsoft Resource Compiler is included as part of Microsoft Visual Studio and the Microsoft Windows Software Development Kit (SDK).

How to open a RES file

In most cases, RES files are not meant to be opened. However, you can use Resource Hacker (Windows) to decompile a RES file, allowing you to view and edit the resources it contains.

Programs that open or reference RES files

Windows Resource File

Developer Embarcadero Technologies
3.8  |  29 Votes

Binary file automatically generated by Delphi programming software; contains the program's main icon and version information (if necessary) and is required for compiling a program; may also include other resources used within the application, such as bitmaps, cursors, and string tables.

Programs that open or reference RES files

Godot Engine Resource File

Developer Godot
3.7  |  12 Votes

A RES file may also be a resource file created by Godot Engine, a free and open source game engine used to create 2D and 3D games. It contains binary data that is referenced by Godot Engine nodes to perform various functions in the games, such as setting user interfaces, simulating physics, generating 3D models, and drawing sprites.

More Information

In Godot Engine, RES resource files are the binary version of .TRES resource files, which are saved in plain text. The TRES format allows developers to more easily control resource versions. When a developer exports the game, Godot Engine converts the TRES files to RES binary files to reduce their size and increase the efficiency of the game package.

Programs that open or reference RES files


Star Wars KotOR Save Resources File

Developer LucasArts
3.2  |  19 Votes

File used by Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KotOR), a third-person action game based on the Star Wars series; saved alongside a .SAV saved game file and contains additional descriptive information for the save.

Programs that open or reference RES files

Centauri Production Resource File

Developer Centauri Production
1.7  |  3 Votes

A RES file may also be a game data archive used by a Centauri Production video game. It contains music, textures, 3D models, and/or other game assets. While RES files are not meant to e opened by players, modders have created utilities that allow them to extract the assets RES files contain.

More Information

Centauri Production is a Czech video game development company. Some of the company's notable games include:

  • Memento Mori
  • Memento Mori 2
  • Evil Days of Luckless John
  • Gooka: The Mystery of Janatris

Memento Mori (and possibly other Centauri Production games) contains several RES files. These archives store many of the game's assets.

How to open a RES file

You can use Memento Mori RES Unpacker or QuickBMS to extract the assets a RES file contains. If using QuickBMS, you must use the program's associated Centauri Production Resource File script (available here).

Programs that open RES files

QuickBMS with Centauri Production Resource File script

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