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Total War Heaven » Forums » Game Modification & Editor Discussion » A List of Helpful Tools and Tutorials for Modding RTW
Topic Subject:A List of Helpful Tools and Tutorials for Modding RTW
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posted 16 March 2008 15:56 EDT (US)         
This topic contains a list of links to many helpful tools and guides for modding Rome Total War.

Frequently Asked Questions

Modding FAQ Provides answers to the most frequently asked questions about modding RTW.

RTW for Mac by Feral with instructions and links to a downloadable installer for using RTW mods on MAC computers.

Installer (with video guide!) for certain RTW mods on MAcs.


Pak Extractor This will extract all of the files (animations, sprites, textures, unit cards, etc...) in the .pak files, located in the RTW\Data\Packs folder. The extractor is part of a group of modding tools in this download.

IDX Extractor This will extract all of the game's audio (music, sound effects, and voices) from the .idx files in RTW\Data\Sounds. The extractor is part of a group of modding tools in this download.

7-Zip This free utility can be used to extract files in the .zip, .rar, and other file formats. This is handy as many mods are only offered in the .rar format, which Windows does not natively support.


DDS converter 2.1 This free utility will convert .dds files to other common file formats.

Nvidia WTV (Windows Texture Viewer) A simple application for viewing (not editing) .dds files.

Nvidia DDS Thumbnail Viewer A basic thumbnail viewer for .dds files.

Photoshop CS3 A graphics editor which can be used to edit the .dds files the game uses for unit textures (with the plugin below), as well as every other image in the game.

Paint Shop Pro X2 Another graphics editor which can be used to edit the .dds files the game uses for unit textures (with the plugin), as well as every other image in the game. Includes a 30 day trial version.

Nvidia .dds plugin for Photoshop & Paint Shop Pro X2 This plugin was made for Photoshop, but also works on Paint Shop Pro. It allows those applications to view, edit, and save the .dds files that RTW uses for textures.

The Gimp A free graphics editor, which can be used to edit both .dds files (with the plugin below), and unit cards.

Gimp DDS plugin This plugin allows The Gimp to import and export .dds files.


Notepad++ This free application is a generic source code editor, boasting features such as line numbering and advanced search and replace functions. A must for debugging game error messages.


3ds Max A 3d modeling application used to create and edit the models used in the game.

.Cas plugin for 3ds Max This plugin will allow 3ds Max to import and export .cas files, as well as animations and items from RTW. The plugin is part of a group of modding tools in this download.


General Game Modifications

Command Line Switches A guide to how to modify the shortcut used to start the game and enable many features and options.

How To Use Mod:Switch A guide to implementing the Mod:Switch feature, allowing your mod to function without altering a person's original game files.

A Guide To Installing XGM A complete, step-by-step pictoral guide to help with installing XGM.

How To Install A Second Copy Of RTW A complete, pictoral guide to creating a working copy of RTW, including how to create a new shortcut. Ideal for use with mods that do not use mod:switch.

Using A Memory Editor To Alter The Game This topic will show you how to use a memory editor to adjust nearly any setting in the game, such as your treasury.

A List of Known Hardcodes A list of known limits to the game engine.


A Guide to Creating New Units A guide that covers every aspect of creating new units.

A Guide To Export_Descr_Unit.txt A guide to the file that sets every unit's statistics, from attack, defense, formation, cost, etc...

A Guide To Descr_Model_Battle A comprehensive guide to the file that contains all of the unit's model and texture information.

How to Create Sprites A guide to creating and implementing sprites (2-dimensional textures) for your units.

Basic Guide to Creating New Unit Cards A basic guide on how to create new unit cards.

How to Create New Unit Cards In 3ds Max This guide will show you how to create new unit cards using 3ds Max and Photoshop.

3ds Max Basics This article will show you the basics of using 3ds Max, including how to open a .cas file and how to apply a texture to it.

Basic Modeling, Part 1 This article by will show you the basics of modeling with 3ds Max for RTW. More in depth than the 3ds Max Basics article, this will take you step by step through the process of creating new models to use in the game.

Basic Modeling, Part 2 A continuation of the previous article on using 3ds Max to model for RTW.

How to Assign a Texture To A .CAS File Without 3ds Max This post by Mythic Commodore reveals that you can open a .Cas file with Notepad and simply change the name of the texture file listed at the bottom of the file.

Editing Projectile Values This topic will show you how to edit properties of the projectiles in the game, including their accuracy, their velocity (which affects their firing arc), and more.

How To Adjust The Accuracy Of Missile Units
This topic reveals how to change the scatter, and other variables, of missile weapons.

Fix Missile Units Making Incorrect Firing Sounds Are your new slingers making the sound of archers when they fire? This topic will show you how to fix that, and to set the firing sounds of any missile units.

The Campaign

How to Make All Factions Playable A guide to making all the game factions playable.

Changing The Faction Selection Order This topic describes how to change order in which the factions are displayed in the Faction Selection Screen.

How to Make Factions Emergent and Hordes This topic will explain how to change if a faction is emergent or not, as well as a horde or not.

How To Create New Retinue Members A guide showing you how to create new retinue members for your campaign, or edit existing ones.

Creating New Traits This article will show you how to create new traits for your Generals, Spies, Assassins, Diplomats, and Admirals.

Adding New Territories to the Strat Map This article will show you how to create new territories on the campaign map.

How To Count The Number Of Territories In A Mod This topic will show you several easy ways to learn how many territories there are in a campaign.

Adding Resources In RTW A guide that reveals how to add new trade resources to a region.

Adding Buildings To RTW This guide takes you step-by-step through the process of creating new buildings for your cities.

The Descr_Strat Reference This guide reveals the inner workings of this file that sets all the playable factions, starting settlements, faction relationships, and more.

How To Find Location Coordinates On The Strat Map A simple way to find location coordinates for a spot on the campaign map (look down to the bottom of the second post).

A Guide to Descr_Sm_Factions.txt This article will take you step-by-step through this file that determines a factions culture, faction symbol, strat map colours, whether it can horde or is emergent, and many other things.

Modding General's Bodyguards How to make all new bodyguard units for your Generals.

How To Change Faction Names The title says it all. This topic shows you all the files that must be edited to completely change the name of a faction.

Changing Diplomatic Messages This quick and direct guide will show you how to change the text displayed by the game in Diplomatic exchanges.

How To Change Faction Symbols These notes explain how to change every instance of the faction logos, in the UI, on banners, in the Strat Map, and on the Battle Map. This is not a tutorial on creating the artwork, but rather shows you all the files that must be edited.

How To Create New Faction Symbols Using Photoshop(artwork) This is a tutorial that takes you step-by-step through the process of creating a brand new faction symbol using Photoshop. Where the previous tutorial described the files to edit, this one takes you deep into the actual creation of the artwork itself.

How to Change Victory Conditions This topic talks about how you can change the victory conditions in the game, so you to set the number of territories that must be taken, including specific ones.

Creating Custom General Portraits This topic provides you with a link to free facial editing software and guide to using it in order to create new portraits for your generals and agents.

[This message has been edited by Terikel Grayhair (edited 09-17-2010 @ 01:33 AM).]

posted 19 June 2009 16:58 EDT (US)     26 / 38       
I am interested in creating a Character Trait. I would like to know what the games hardcoded limits are for the effects of a given trait. I would be more than happy to find this out and post it but I am not sure where to look.
Seraph Emeritus
posted 20 June 2009 03:12 EDT (US)     27 / 38       
These are the known hardcodes for the character traits:
* Levels per trait: Minimum of 1. Maximum of 9.
* Points required for a threshold: Minimum of 1. Maximum of 600.
* Points assignable per trigger: Minimum of 0. Maximum of 100.
For all known hardcodes, see here.

We also have a guide to creating new traits here.

posted 21 June 2009 12:44 EDT (US)     28 / 38       
Thanks for replying, however I am still confused is the max limit for the effects(bribery, fertile, line of sight,etc) also 0-600. So if I create a trait and want to max GoodCommand what number do I put to the right of it? Thanks for helping I appreciate it very much.
posted 03 August 2010 16:19 EDT (US)     29 / 38       
is there someone who made a list with the coordinates for all settlements?
It whould realy help because I can see all settlements on the map so the cursorstat thing wont help me...
High King of Britain
posted 03 August 2010 16:33 EDT (US)     30 / 38       
There is not. Modding is by nature a slow process, you'll just have to get each settlement individually - or make a handwritten list in one sitting on the campaign map. But, that is an excellent idea; I shall make such a list as soon as I get a chance.

~ ancient briton ~

/|||| ||||\

*tegos, -esos, noun, neuter. house.
posted 03 August 2010 17:37 EDT (US)     31 / 38       
i really appreciate that, then I'll just wait a bit longer before I can place units in the city's...
posted 19 March 2011 04:37 EDT (US)     32 / 38       
hey, i love rtw and love to mod to i can't find a guide to change the superfaction can you tell me how to do it or link me guide?

thrace is the 1 faction that is the best
posted 19 June 2011 23:07 EDT (US)     33 / 38       

This is not the correct place to post your mod advert. Feel free to start a new thread for it in the modification forum. -Edorix

Creator of HALO: TOTAL WAR

[This message has been edited by Edorix (edited 06-20-2011 @ 03:35 AM).]

posted 25 June 2011 22:23 EDT (US)     34 / 38       
I've done this on a mac and tried to get it right for 2 hours. Any help?
High King of Britain
posted 03 July 2011 09:13 EDT (US)     35 / 38       
If you've followed the guide at the top correctly, it should be working. Beyond that we cannot really help, as we do not currently have any mac-users on staff; however you could try this link.

~ ancient briton ~

/|||| ||||\

*tegos, -esos, noun, neuter. house.
posted 03 July 2011 14:38 EDT (US)     36 / 38       
Well, I am a Mac user, and I can try to help, if this is the right place.

Butlem, are you trying to install mods on R:TW, or just make the game data modifiable, or what?

I really have nothing to say at this point.
Other than this.
Total War Games Played:
Je parle un peu de français
posted 04 January 2012 09:18 EDT (US)     37 / 38       
I FIND Paint.NET is a good editor for DDS and other files in RTW

ethan hickey
posted 23 October 2018 04:31 EDT (US)     38 / 38       
hello, I hope this is the correct thread to pose this question, if it is not any direction would be appreciated from any helpful member of this quite active community. does anyone know of a tutorial or walkthrough that could guide me in the building of an entirely new and full size campaign map. it is also worth noting that I plan on modding almost all aspects of the game to include faction names, cultures buildings, units ect ect. Tbh my plan is to change almost everything about the setting of the campaign to reposition the entire game to a completely different epoch in history... I understand that this is a massive undertaking and my modding experience is somewhere between beginner and intermediate so any helpful hints pertaining to the order and structure that an advanced modder would use would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance guys.
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