Extracting Arma 3's Configurations

If you regularly build Arma 3 addons, you will almost certainly have extracted versions of every game file, because one of the steps for setting up the Arma 3 Tools correctly is building a P: drive with a tool such as Mikero's excellent Arma3P tool.

There two good reasons to have extracted game files:

Being able to Find in Files within the game files is extremely useful even if you only do SQF scripting and mission editing, but having a full 14Gb P: drive—which includes all textures, sounds and animations—just so that you can full text search on it, is overkill.

Extracting only config.cpp and .sqf Files

Extracting only the config.cpp and .sqf files is faster, and uses far less disk space. It takes less than a minute to extract all 50Mb of the text files found in the Arma 3 game files. To do the selective extraction, you need Mikero's ExtractPbo tool.

The steps are:

  1. Download and install DePbo from https://dev.withsix.com/projects/mikero-pbodll/files. This file is a prerequisite for all other Mikero tools.
  2. Download and install ExtractPbo from https://dev.withsix.com/projects/mikero-pbodll/files.
  3. Create a destination directory for the files:
    mkdir "C:\Arma 3 Configurations"
  4. Extract the .cpp files, which are stored in .pbo's as .bin files, by running (on a single line) this command:
    extractpbo -F *.bin,*.cpp,*.hpp,*.inc
        "C:\SteamLibrary\SteamApps\common\Arma 3\Addons"
        "C:\Arma 3 Configurations"
    When given a directory as in the above example, ExtractPbo automatically extracts all .pbo files found in the directory.
  5. If you want the .sqf files—including all of the bis_fnc... files—extract them with:
    extractpbo -F *.sqf
        "C:\SteamLibrary\SteamApps\common\Arma 3\Addons"
        "C:\Arma 3 Configurations"

You should now have a searchable directory tree of files in "C:\Arma 3 Configurations".

Mikero has been providing free versions of his tools for years, and very few addons would exist today without them. If you use them, you should consider subscribing to the full tool set; doing so supports continued development and also gives you access to the latest tools and features that aren't in the free versions.