.VDF File Extension

Valve Data File

Developer Valve
4.1  |  645 Votes

What is a VDF file?

A VDF file is a data file format used by Valve's Source game engine. It contains various kinds of game metadata, including data for resources, installation scripts, configuration scripts, and visualization elements.

More Information

VDF files can often be seen when installing games distributed through Valve's Steam game client, such as Half-Life 2 and Counter-Strike. The file features Valve's KeyValues format, which is a plain text format that saves key-value parameters in a tree hierarchy. The format is similar to JSON and YAML. While VDF files are meant to be used by the Valve Source game engine, you can open the files with a text editor to view the contents.

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Programs that open or reference VDF files

Included with OS

AntiVir Virus Definitions File

Developer Avira Operations
3.8  |  80 Votes

Data file used by AntiVir, an antivirus application for Windows; saves virus definitions, which contain signatures that are used for recognizing viruses on the computer system; often downloaded during software updates so the software can check for new viruses.

More Information

VDF files are saved to the AntiVir installation directory and have the filenames vbase000.vdf, vbase001.vdf, etc.

Programs that open or reference VDF files

VirtualDub Video Filter

Developer Avery Lee
3.7  |  75 Votes

A VDF file may also be a plug-in used by VirtualDub, a video capture and processing utility for Windows. It is used to add additional editing features to VirtualDub. Some VDF files also allow VirtualDub to output video in additional video formats.

More Information

Screenshot of a .vdf file in VirtualDub 1
VDF file open in VirtualDub 1

VirtualDub is a free application that allows users to capture, edit, and process videos. Users edit and process videos using "filters," which are features that allow users to add special effects, adjust a video's aspect ratio, enhance a video's quality, change a video's encoding, and more.

Users who want to add additional filters to VirtualDub can do so by downloading and installing filter plug-ins, which are saved as VDF files. VirtualDub's many users have created hundreds of custom filter plug-ins, which typically include additional editing features, support for additional encoding formats, or both.

How to open a VDF file

To use a VDF file with VirtualDub (Windows), either:

  1. Place the file in VirtualDub's plugins folder. (If your VirtualDub installation does not include a plugins folder, create one in the program's main directory.)
  2. Open VirtualDub, select Video → Filters... → Add... → Load..., and load your VDF file.

You can also use VDF files with VirtualDub2 (Windows) and VirtualDubMod (Windows), which are modified versions of VirtualDub.

Programs that open or reference VDF files


Gothic Game Data File

Developer Piranha Bytes
3.7  |  47 Votes

Data file used by the Gothic video game series; contains worlds, characters, 3D models, textures, and sounds; Gothic II VDF files are stored in the /Gothic II/Data folder.

More Information

VDF files may be edited with GoMan or a hex-editor, but typically should not be altered. Incorrectly modifying VDF files may make them unusable.

Programs that open or reference VDF files

Piranha Bytes Gothic
Piranha Bytes Gothic II
Edit with GoMan

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