Modding: C&C Generals: File Directory

C&C Generals ModdingBy Phe0n1x

This page informs modders about the location and purpose of certain files in Generals and Zero Hour. The first thing that you will need is a .big extractor for the .big files that Generals and Zero Hour use. FinalBIG by Matthias Wagner (homepage) is the most commonly used .big extractor.

The following files and folders are to be found in C:\Program Files\Command and Conquer Generals or C:\Program Files\Command & Conquer Generals Zero Hour

NOTE: Any text in italics is placeholder text that must be replaced with the information described. The location and existence of the files and folders described below may differ slightly depending on the version of the game you have installed.

» Game Folders

File Path Description
UserData\Maps\ User-created maps are stored here by World-Builder during creation.
Data\Cursors\ Contains all of the default cursors, you may add your own for a mod.
Data\Language\ Contains your language files. This folder may not appear unless you install certain mods.
Data\INI\ Normally added after you install a mod, Generals and ZH reference here first before using the default files
Data\Movies\ Contains the in-game movies.
Data\Scripts\ Contains important scripts for being able to play maps.
Data\Scripts\ Contains multiplayer scripts
Data\Scripts\ Contains skirmish scripts
Data\WaterPlane\ Contains water effects
Support\ Contains the help files and readmes
MSS\ Contains vital program files
MSS\Audio[YOUR_LANGUAGE]\ or MSS\Audio[YOUR_LANGUAGE]ZH\ Contains audio data in your language
MSS[YOUR_LANGUAGE]\ or MSS\[YOUR_LANGUAGE]ZH\ Contains the in-game text data in your language
Patch.doc Contains the patch readme
Readme.doc Contains information about the game
Launcher.bmp The picture you see in on the splash screen


» .BIG Files

The next part of the tutorial describes the .big files the game uses.

.big File Description
Maps.big or MapsZH.big Contains the Official Multiplayer Maps and Missions
Music.big or MusicZH.big Contains the in-game music files
Patch.big or PatchZH.big Contains the patch data
Terrain.big or TerrainZH.big Contains the terrain data
Shaders.big or ShadersZH.big Contains the shader data

Speech.big or SpeechZH.big and
Speech[YOUR_LANGUAGE].big or  Speech[YOUR_LANGUAGE]ZH.big

Contains the voice sounds that you hear when units talk or during in-game clips.
Textures.big or TexturesZH.big Contains the textures used by the game.
Window.big or WindowZH.big Contains window data for the game
INI.big or INIZH.big Contains the INI data (configuration files) that run the game. Most of the modding will be done in these documents.


» INI Directory

The third part of this tutorial describes the .ini files within INI.big and INIZH.big. It is highly recommended that you extract the .big file to the Data\INI\ directory with FinalBIG as to not corrupt your game's files. For example Data\INI\Crate.ini - which is within INI.big and INIZH.big - can also be identified by the game if it is in the Data\INI folder under the name of Crate.ini.

File Path Description
Data\INI\Crate.ini Contains crate data
Data\INI\Rank.ini Contains Generals Power data
Data\INI\Science.ini Contains how many points per rank and what Generals Powers are available
Data\INI\SpecialPower.ini Contains every special weapon in the game, all go by their name in-game except the Nuclear Missile, known as the Neutron Missile in the INI file
Data\INI\Weapon.ini Contains all of the unit weapon data in the game
Data\INI\Object\WeaponObjects.ini Contains all of the special weapon objects, again—Nuclear Missile is Neutron Missile
Data\INI\Object\AmericaAir.ini Contains the data for USA air units
Data\INI\Object\AmericaInfantry.ini Contains the data for the USA infantry units
Data\INI\Object\AmericaVehicle.ini Contains the data for the USA vehicle units
Data\INI\Object\AmericaMiscUnit.ini Contains the data for miscelaneous the USA units
Data\INI\Object\ChinaAir.ini Contains the data for the China air units
Data\INI\Object\ChinaInfantry.ini Contains the data for the China infantry units
Data\INI\Object\ChinaVehicle.ini Contains the data for the China vehicle units
Data\INI\Object\ChinaMiscUnit.ini Contains the data for the miscelaneous China units
Data\INI\Object\GLAAir.ini Contains the data for the GLA vehicle units
Data\INI\Object\GLAInfantry.ini Contains the data for the GLA infantry units
Data\INI\Object\GLAVehicle.ini Contains the data for the GLA vehicle units
Data\INI\Object\GLAMiscUnit.ini Contains the data for the miscelaneous GLA units
Data\INI\Object\AirforceGeneral.ini Contains the data for the Airforce General
Data\INI\Object\BossGeneral.ini Contains the data for the Challenge Boss general
Data\INI\Object\ChemicalGeneral.ini Contains the data for the Chemical General
Data\INI\Object\DemoGeneral.ini Contains the data for Demolitions General
Data\INI\Object\InfantryGeneral.ini Contains the data for the Infantry General
Data\INI\Object\LaserGeneral.ini Contains the data for the Laser General
Data\INI\Object\NukeGeneral.ini Contains the data for the Nucular General
Data\INI\Object\StealthGeneral.ini Contains the data for the Stealth General
Data\INI\Object\SuperWeaponGeneral.ini Contains the data for the Super Weapons General
Data\INI\Object\TankGeneral.ini Contains the data for Tank General


NOTE: The .ini files of AirforceGeneral.ini and below are only found in INIZH.big.

If you want to specifically change a basic unit that is common to a faction (not General-dependent), then you need to edit AmericaAir.ini, AmericaInfantry.ini, AmericaVehicle.ini, AmericaMiscUnit.ini, ChinaAir.ini, ChinaInfantry.ini, ChinaVehicle.ini, ChinaMiscUnit.ini, GLAAir.ini, GLAInfantry.ini, GLAVehicle.ini, or GLAMiscUnit.ini. The *Generals.ini only contain data related to their uniqure units and powers.


» Data Folders

The next part of this tutorial deals with files in your "My Documents" folder, it can be found on your Desktop or by default at: C:\Documents and Settings\[USER_NAME]\My Documents\.

The following files can be found in My Documents\Command and Conquer Generals Data and My Documents\Command and Conquer Generals Zero Hour Data.

File Path Description
Maps\ Contains user-created maps. Make sure your map has a folder with the same name so that the map reviewers and the individuals playing your map have an easier time installing your custom map.

Contains the .tga files (mini-map image file included with each map) of the user-created maps. This folder is managed by Generals and Zero Hour automatically and functions as a cache of the mini-map image file included with all maps, including those in the Maps\ folder. Make sure you include the .tga file in your map when you send it to people.


Folder that contains your saved in-game replays. You can also install downloaded replays here.

Options.ini Configuration file that contains you options that you set in-game.
Skirmish.ini Configuration file that contains temporary data about the last map that you played, if you edit it, nothing will change
SkirmishStats.ini Contains your overall skirmish stats, edit at your own risk!
ReleaseCrashInfo.txt When Generals or Zero Hour crashes, the cause is listed in this file
ReleaseCrashInfoPrev.txt Contains the previous crash information


FYI: For user-created maps, you your map file and your .tga file need to be in a folder with the same name, case, and spacing as the map name. For example, "big_gap" is not the same as "big gap" and "Big_gap" is not the same as "big_gap" when Generals or Zero Hour interprets the name of your map.

Disclaimer: Remember, anything contained within this tutorial is for educational and modding purposes only. By editing files, know that you are doing so at your own risk and expense. If you do corrupt your game by incorrectly editing a file, we recommend completely uninstalling it, ensuring the entire installation folder has been deleted, and then reinstalling it.