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CK and Unpacking BSAs



Hey all, couple questions on Creation Kit and Skyrim files that I wasn't able to find solid answers form the various STEP guides/forums...


1)  is it correct that in order to use meshes, textures, etc from a mod, the files need to be loose/unpacked?  I ask bc i couldn't find many of the vanilla skyrim textures until I added the optimized loose textures to MO, so I assume they can't be used while in BSA form?


2)  if above is correct, i assume I'll want to unpack my BSA's for vanilla skyrim as well as the DLCs right?  I already unpack any other mods that I install via STEP or otherwise...


3)  If I should unpack vanilla/DLCs, I assume using MO to unpack would be fine.  If so, do I just direct all the unpacking to the Skyrim/Data folder and it will file it correctly?  Even for the DLCs?


4)  Vanilla skyrim has separate BSAs for meshes, textures, etc...DLCs have just one BSA.  If I do unpack vanilla and DLCs, can/should I delete the BSAs?  


Sorry for the noobish questions...just want to make sure I'm doing it right.



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I assume you are talking about using them in the CK vs. while running the game, and that you are using Mod Organizer since you mentioned it.


1. The CK uses resources from BSAs as long as the BSAs file names are in the SkyrimEditor.ini file in the list with the SArchiveList entry. The default version of this file now includes the DLC BSAs (it didn't use to); other BSAs you want to use need to be added.


2. The CK should be able to use any loose resources that have been unpacked by MO or other utility like BSAopt, or loose in a mod. 


3. For the vanilla resources you should be able to use any of the vanilla texture replacer mods that provide the textures as BSAs or loose texture replacements, or unpacked versions of the vanilla resources as well as the original BSAs, subject to what's in answer 1.


4. You shouldn't unpack the DLC BSAs or any of the vanilla non-texture BSAs, just follow answer 1.

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Thanks Dragonlord.  Something still off?


In MO Data Tab (right side next to Plugins and Archives) I see meshes, scripts, etc from The DLC BSA's, as well as Unnoficial patches, SMIM, etc.  But I see nothing from the skyrim BSAs?   Is there a way to get the Skyrim BSAs to "kick in" and load in MO?
Edited by Gutmaw
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These BSAs show up in the Archives tab. They are greyed out because MO doesn't mange them (they are already resident in the Skyrim\Data folder) , which is why they are not in the Data tab. If you load the CK it will have access to these BSAs as long as they are in the ini file I mentioned.


Although it isn't obvious, "Dragon Lord" is related to the number of posts I've made; my user name here is Kelmych.

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