File formats in EU3

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This article is accurate for the latest versions of EU3, Napoleon’s Ambition, In Nomine, Heir to the Throne and Divine Wind.

There are several types of files within the game's folders that might be of interest to modders. The following is a list of those formats. Here you can find out what they are, and how to change (mod) them. Some file formats (e.g. .dds, .tga) require external applications to edit, while others can be opened using a text editor (such as .txt, .csv). Others (like .mp3, .wav) should probably not be changed.

Text files

.txt files

Most of the files you will find in the game folders are plain text files, .txt files. These are best viewed and edited in a text editor.

.csv files

The .csv files are text files consisting of tabular data in columns separated by semicolons.

They can be edited in a text editor, or by using a spreadsheet software like Microsoft Office's Excel or LibreOffice Calc. Using spreadsheets may cause corruption if you do something wrong during import/export, so it is advisable to at least keep a backup if you are not 100% sure on what you are doing.

Image files

.dds files

The .dds files are DirectDraw Surface files. This is a raster image format used by DirectDraw to apply textures. This file format is used for a lot of the graphics in the game.

Modding .dds files

To edit .dds files, you need to have a converter utility or a plugin to your graphics software.

With the nvidia plugin, use these settings below when editing and saving map\terrain\ and map\terrain\

  • 8:8:8:8 ARGB (32 bits)
  • 2D Texture
  • No MIP Maps
  • MIP Map Filtering --> Filter Type: Point

.dds modding utilities

.tga files

The file extension .tgastands for Truevision Graphics Adapter. This file extension is used by Europa Universalis III for the country flags and many other graphics seen in-game. .tga files cannot be edited with common "stock" graphics-editing programs such as MSpaint. A common graphic-editing program used by modders to change these files is

.x files

.x files are Direct-X files. More precisely, they are 3D model files. In Europa Universalis III the .x files contain things all 3D models on the map and all buildings in the city view.

If you want to edit a .x file, then you need a 3D model editor that can open it. Blender is a freeware program on the same level as 3D Studio Max.


To open the .x files with Blender, you have to press "Files", in the top left corner, press import and then .x files. Now when it's opened it's just easy to model.

If you have problems, this wiki book about modelling might help.


If your 3D model shows up completely white, then read the following thing. Your problem is that Blender, or the program you use to do the modelling, didn't write a link to your texture file. When done with modelling open the .x file with notepad, or any other text editor.

Look for something like:

   Material capital_1 {
   0.256200; 0.256200; 0.256200;1.0;;
   1.000000; 1.000000; 1.000000;;
   0.0; 0.0; 0.0;;
 }  //End of Material
   }  //End of MeshMaterialList 

now change it to this:

   Material capital_1 {
   0.256200; 0.256200; 0.256200;1.0;;
   1.000000; 1.000000; 1.000000;;
   0.0; 0.0; 0.0;;
    TextureFilename {
 }  //End of Material
   }  //End of MeshMaterialList

In my case it was capital.tga that was the texture file, but this is just the file that you use as texture file. Material capital_1 is just the figure or part that gets the texture.

Those two names will change depending on which file you open.

Additional file formats

  • .pdxa files
  • .pdxab files
  • .gfx files : Plain text files which detail the location of fx responses to player actions.
  • .gui files
  • .sfx files
  • .map files
  • .bin files (path cache)
  • .mp3 files (music)
  • .wav files (sounds)