Creating a Mod
With great power comes great responsibility
Congratulations on installing WolvenKit! We're going to create an example project to help get you up to speed with WolvenKit's features and workflows. We'll walk through creating a basic mod step-by-step, while explaining how to get the best out of WolvenKit. Lastly keep in mind that understanding and modding Cyberpunk 2077 can be very challenging. If you're feeling stuck, please consider reaching out to fellow modders and the development team on our Discord server. Now without further adieu...
WolvenKit is a tool for mod developers to interact with REDengine file formats. Generally speaking most mods created with WolvenKit share a similar workflow:
- 1.Browse and extract game files
- 2.Convert game files to common formats that can be modified
- 3.Modify the file, often with an external application
- 4.Convert the common format file back to game format
- 5.Build a mod package including the newly modified files
In the guide below we'll cover these steps in detail to replace an image in Cyberpunk.
- 2.Create a new WolvenKit mod project
- 4.Navigate to the Asset Browser window
The Asset Browser is the most fundamental WolvenKit tool. It allows us to browse any archive and add individual files to a local mod project. Any files added from the Asset Browser will be added to the archive directory with their folder structure intact. Files added with the Asset Browser can be viewed, studied, modified, and packed as a modded archive.
- 1.Use the "breadcrumb" style navigator in the left-hand side of the Asset Browser to quickly navigate folders
- 2.Navigate to the following path:
- 3.Use the main file list panel inside the Asset Browser to preview individual files. The XBM file extension always represents a texture file within REDengine. WolvenKit is capable of instantly previewing textures and models. The Properties window responds automatically to selections within the Asset Browser. Feel free to experiment by selecting a few textures.
t2_084_pma_jacket__short_sleeves_decal_d01.xbmby left-clicking the file within the Asset Browser list. Feel free to choose another if you're feeling adventurous. Beware depending on the texture you choose, you may experience some difficulty when it comes time to verify that the final modded archive works successfully.
- 5.Add the texture to your project by double-clicking directly on the file
Mod Projects are the core of WolvenKit functionality. Projects are primarily used to separate and organize source and game files into distinct self-contained mods. Each project can be thought of as the source code for any given mod. The Project Explorer is the central component for each mod project. Project files are separated into two main system directories:
The archive directory is for REDengine/Cyberpunk format files. The raw directory is for non-REDengine/generic format source files. These are core directories for WolvenKit's file operations. These folders are never exposed to the game inside the packed mod.
- 1.(Optional) Navigate to the Project Explorer window to examine the new file added to the archive directory. The preview functionality of the Properties window also works for local project files. Many REDengine assets and common image files (png, tga, etc.) can be automatically previewed by selecting them within the Project Explorer.
WolvenKit features a bespoke tool for conversions between REDengine and non-REDengine formats, creatively named Import/Export. The Import/Export tool is extremely robust, featuring advanced options and batch functionality.
The archive and raw directories within the Project Explorer behave as a mirror to one another; REDengine files are always stored in the archive directory, and the analogous "generic" format file will be stored in the raw directory with the same folder structure. Import and export destinations never need to be specified enabling ultra-fast file I/O, with the added benefit of automatically-organized Raw files.
- 2.Double-click the
t2_084_pma_jacket__short_sleeves_decal_d01.xbmfile within the Export grid to view advanced options. Any asset within the Import/Export grid can be doubled clicked to adjust advanced I/O options for each file format.
- 3.Inspect the XBM Export Type drop down menu, in this case we want to export the texture as a PNG
- 4.Press the Confirm button to proceed. For batch exports, using the checkbox for Apply to all files of the same extension will ensure that any XBM currently within the Import/Export grid will inherit the same advanced options.
- 5.Press Process Selected to complete the export operation. A new PNG image will now be available within the Project Explorer Raw directory.
While this guide is step-by-step, it's counter-productive for the WolvenKit team to guide users on using other software. We can recommend free tools such as Krita, Paint.net, or Gimp for editing PNG format textures. If you're not familiar with image editing software, we recommend learning how to use creative software from experts in those fields. YouTube is an excellent resource for learning the basics of most applications.
- 1.Import the
t2_084_pma_jacket__short_sleeves_decal_d01.pngtexture file to an image editing software of your choice
- 2.Make a distinct and recognizable change to the image
- 3.Export the
t2_084_pma_jacket__short_sleeves_decal_d01.pngtexture file as a PNG, overwriting the original PNG file
- 1.Return to the WolvenKit Editor
- 3.Select the
t2_084_pma_jacket__short_sleeves_decal_d01.pngfile within the Import grid. Click the
Load Settingsbutton towards the top of the Import/Export tool. This sets the compression type and other various options to match the original XBM.
- 4.Press Process Selected to complete the Import operation
- 5.Verify the updated texture by selecting the XBM within the Project Explorer. The new texture should be viewable with the Properties window.
WolvenKit features a one-click mod building solution. The build process packs any archive directory files into archive format and installs to the game automatically.
WolvenKit only supports unbundled files. Files that have been decompressed using WolvenKit CLI will not be packed correctly. Buffers must be compressed within the main REDengine file. Files added with the built-in Asset Browser will always be the correct format.
To verify this texture mod in game, equip the outer torso item
Replica of Johnny's Samurai jacket. The jacket can be obtained through normal gameplay during the main questline. Alternatively, the jacket can be added to the player inventory by using the Cyber Engine Tweaks console.
While not all encompassing, this guide teaches the core philosophy behind our modding pipeline. If you've followed along so far, you're ready to start getting the most out of WolvenKit. We recommend familiarizing yourself with the Wiki to understand how our Editors work. Please keep in mind that everything in our community from software such as WolvenKit or this Wiki is developed, written, and created by passionate volunteers. If you encounter issues with software or documentation, consider getting involved with us on the Discord server!
Enjoy your RED Modding journey!