.WAL File Extension

2 file types use the .wal file extension.

Winamp Modern Skin

Developer Nullsoft
4.0  |  19 Votes

What is a WAL file?

A WAL file is a custom skin for Nullsoft Winamp, a media player for Windows. It is used to customize Winamp's appearance and user interface (UI). The WAL format was introduced with Winamp 3 (succeeding the .WSZ format).

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Screenshot of a .wal file in Nullsoft Winamp
WAL file open in Nullsoft Winamp

Winamp is a free media player that allows users to play many types of audio and video files. It also includes several other features, such as the ability to customize the program's appearance using skins.

For much of Winamp's existence, skins were saved as WSZ files. However, with the release of Winamp 3, Nullsoft introduced the WAL, or modern Winamp skin, format.

WAL files are very similar to WSZ files, in that both are simply renamed .ZIP files that include all of a skin's images and other assets. However, while WSZ files use .TXT files to specify how a skin's assets should be applied, WAL files use .XML files.

How to open a WAL file

With Nullsoft Winamp (Windows) installed, you can double-click a WAL file to apply it as a Winamp skin. Alternatively, you can manually place the file in Winamp's Skins directory and then select it from Winamp's Skin Browser (Options → Skins → Skin Browser...).

If you want to view the constituent files a WAL file contains, rename the file to use the .zip extension and then decompress it with any Zip-decompression utility, such as 7-Zip (Windows).

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Programs that open WAL files


Quake 2 Texture

Developer id Software
2.0  |  4 Votes

A WAL file may also be a bitmap texture used by id Software Quake 2. It is used to skin an in-game wall, floor, or other object. Each WAL file contains multiple copies of the same texture, saved at different resolutions.

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Screenshot of a .wal file in XnViewMP
WAL file open in XnViewMP

Quake 2 is the second entry in the popular Quake video game series. It contains game assets saved in a variety of proprietary file formats, including the WAL format.

Each WAL file contains a four-level mipmap of an in-game texture. Each level of the mipmap is saved at a slightly lower resolution. Being able to load textures at varying resolutions speeds up Quake 2's in-game rendering and reduces aliasing.

Players can find Quake 2's WAL files in its .PAK asset archives. While most players will never encounter or need to open WAL files, modders may want to open, examine, edit, and replace the files, to customize Quake 2's appearance.

How to open a WAL file

You can open a WAL file with XnViewMP (multiplatform), Wally (Windows), or wal (multiplatform). Note that XnViewMP will show you only one version of the image your WAL file contains.

How to convert a WAL file

You can use XnViewMP, Wally, and wal to convert WAL files to other raster image formats. For example, wal can convert WAL files to the .JPG (JPEG Image) and .PNG (Portable Network Graphic) formats.

Programs that open or reference WAL files


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