How to extract BSA files using FO3 Archive

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This tutorial will explain how to use FO3 Archive to help you get started modding the models, textures and audio for Fallout 3.


  • Fallout 3 installed to C:\Fallout3\
  • There is enough room on C: to extract the BSA files
  • Sun Java 1.6 or higher is already installed.
  • You have an archive extraction tool. I recommend 7-Zip.
  • Tutorial based on FO3 Archive 1.0
  • Verified to work on Windows XP Professional 32-bit w/SP3 and Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit

Extraction procedure

  1. Create the following directory: C:\Fallout3\FO3Archive\
  2. Create the following directory: C:\Fallout3\FO3Archive\Out\
  3. Download FO3 Archive here:
  4. Extract it to C:\Fallout3\FO3Archive\
  5. Double-click the pre-made shortcut called "FO3Archive (Shortcut)" (probably has a blue gear icon)
  6. Click File, Open and navigate to your data folder and select a BSA file (this might take a while to open). Example: C:\Fallout3\Data\Fallout - Meshes.bsa
  7. Click Action, Extract All Files, Select the C:\Fallout3\Out\ folder and wait while the files are extracted.
  8. Do the same for the other BSA files and you will eventually have a fully decompressed "out" folder that contains all the models, textures and sound clips for direct access.
  9. As an additional step, you might want to add this "out" folder as an additional configured older in NifSkope so it can find the vanilla textures.

BSA list

Here are the BSA files that are installed in Fallout 3's Data folder and the amount of space required if you extract the files:

Fallout - MenuVoices.bsa (1,067 MB in 38,525 files)
Fallout - Meshes.bsa (1,787 MB in 14,167 files)
Fallout - Misc.bsa (2 MB in 127 files)
Fallout - Sound.bsa (855 MB in 2,709 files)
Fallout - Textures.bsa (1,843 MB in 12,280 files)
Fallout - Voices.bsa (770 MB in 51,553 files)