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B.A.E. - Beteshda Archive Extractor Guide -- by Kesta

Official BAE Support Thread on AFKMods


About B.A.E[edit]

Beteshda Archive Extractor (B.A.E. for short) is an archive extractor for Bethesda's archive file format. Unlike most of the "old" tools such as BSAOpt, it support both .bsa format (Skyrim and former games), and .ba2 format (new archive format which appeared with Fallout 4's release).

It provide an extremely quick, efficient, and easy-to-use means of extracting Bethesda's archive according to the user need. Moreover, it allow to visualize the content of an archive without having to extract it.

The main "downside" is that the tool is only designed for archive extraction, and won't allow re-packaging of archives.

Though originally designed for Fallout 4 archive extraction, and thus available only on the FO4's nexus section, it support Skyrim and any other Bethesda games using the .bsa format just as well.

Authoring and Credits[edit]

B.A.E. have been created by Jon (jonwd7 on nexus), member of the Unofficial Patch Team and current maintainer of the latest Nifskope version. The utility have been developed with help and advice from iannpatt and behippo (SKSE/F4SE team).


Download the main file from the Official Nexus Page. Choose "download manually".
The pre-requisite (VC++ 2013 Redist) should be installed by default on any modern windows computer. If not, It can be downloaded from the official Microsoft download center.

Simply extract the archive to a location easy to access (Using a "Modding Tool" folder is highly recommended).

In order to make the use of B.A.E. as easy and streamlined as possible, there is an additional step :

  • Browse to the Data folder, or into any folder which contains .bsa and/or .ba2 archive.
  • Select one archive and use Right-Click -> Open With..., or double-click if no default program have been assigned to handle .bsa/.ba2 file format in your computer yet.
  • In the windows that come up, use Browse..., browse to the folder where B.A.E. have been extracted, and select bae.exe.
  • Make sure that the "Always use the selected program to open this type of file" checkbox is ticked, and press OK.
  • Repeat for both .bsa and .ba2 format if the two formats are used (ex : Both Skyrim and fallout 4 are installed).

You can now easily visualise and extract the content of any .bsa/.ba2 file by double-clicking it.


If the above Installation procedure have been followed in its entirety, simply double-click any .bsa/.ba2 to visualise its content in B.A.E.

If not, launch bae.exe, select File -> Open File..., browse to a folder where the archive you wish to visualize/extract is located and select it.

Interface with an archive open :

From here, it's possible to select/unselect folders, sub-folders, and files using the checkboxes to extract them, or just browse the archives architecture to find a specific filepath. Files also have their size indicated in the right-side column.

To extract the selected file, simply click the Extract button.

Select All and Select None buttons can be used to quickly select/deselect all the files. The file will be extracted according to the archive's architecture (a file located in the Textures/actors sub-folder will be extracted to a textures/actors folder. Folder and sub-folders are created automatically if not already presents).

If the archive have been opened by double-click (.bsa/.ba2 file assigned to B.A.E. by default), the default extraction folder will be where the archive is located, which is usually where you really want this archive to be extracted.