by: Lo2k | Forum Topic
PSARCTool is a tool created by Periander to compress/uncompress files and folder from/to .pak archives.
To simplify, .pak files are just a kind of .zip format : they store in one compressed file several files and folders. This format has never changed since the initial release of No Man's Sky and you can still unpak mods created for the very first game version !
PSARTool is very easy to use :
- drag and drop any .pak file over it and it will decompress it into the contained files and folders.
- drag and drop any group of files and folders over it and it will compress them into a "psarc.pak" file.
Extracting all the game assets
If you want to start modding, the first thing to do is to extract all the .pak files.
To do so, select all the .pak files from the game PCBANKS folder and drag them over the tool icon.
Be aware though that this will open as many instances of PSARCTool than there are .pak files !
This means you won't really be able to use your computer for a few minutes, the time all the game assets will be extracted.
Be also aware that you will need some free space on your hard drive as latest 3.37 assets occupy 27.5GB !
repacking a simple mod
For a mod, you often only edit a single file, or just a few of them.
If the file is a global, no problem as it is at the root of the extracted files.
But if it is nested inside some folders, it is important that the exact same folder structure will be kept and dragged over PSARCTool exe.
Moreover, you don't need all the other files around in each folder or subfolder, only the one(s) you edited for your mod.
So to prepare your mod, it's better to recreate the same folder structure before dragging it over PSARCTool.
For example :
You edited the REWARDTABLE.MBIN that was previously inside METADATA/REALITY/TABLES (You didn't edit it directly in the original folder, didn't you ?). Then to prepare your mod :
- create a METADATA folder, enter it
- (inside the MEDATATA folder) create a REALITY folder, enter it
- (inside the REALITY folder) create a TABLES folder, enter it
- copy or cut your edited REWARDTABLE.MBIN file inside this TABLES folder
Now you can go back and drag the whole METADATA folder over PSARCTool and get a clean and very small mod .pak file.
if a new mod doesn't work, it's often because the original folder structure is not respected.
Possible causes :
- somewhere in the path you have some folders with uncommon characters.
- your files are nested inside so many sub folders on your computer than PSARCTool can't get the correct path (i.e. "My Documents/My project/METADATA").
The best solution in both cases is to move your mod folders closer to the root of your hard drive, like in C:/ or on the desktop.