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Medieval II: Total War - Modding Index

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Tutorials, resources and tools for modding Medieval II: Total War:

The below listing provides links to tutorials, useful answers to common modding questions, resources and tools, divided by category.
See also M2TW Modding Tutorials Category for tutorials contained on this Wiki and the M2TW Modding Category for other pages.

You are welcome to edit this page, please read these notes for guidance:-
When adding subject areas please use this layout.

When adding items please keep to existing format with the type of article first;

  • Tutorial = extensive tutorial or guide, step by step how to mod something etc.
  • Answer = short piece on minor topic or answer to frequently asked question.
  • Resource = lists of things that work in-game, docudemons, templates, downloads of helpful starting set-ups etc.
  • Tool = modding tools, for extracting, modifying, verifying, re-packing etc.

If you remove a link because an item is superseded, shown not to work, etc. please copy the link to the discussion page and note your reason for removal.

Items marked in bold are likely to be widely useful and form a good starting point on the subject. Items marked in italics may be of limited use, due to missing images or being superseded by later articles.

General Information

The recommended starting point for any new Medieval II: Total War mod is to use a Bare Geomod folder as the base, this provides the modder with a fully functional mod-folder that already incorporates bug-fixes for the vanilla game.

All aspects of the Medieval II: Total War game are modifiable, subject to some Hardcoded Limits and behaviours. Additionally, the M2TW Engine Overhaul Project is now making it possible to change some of that hard-coding by memory editing the game after loading.

M2TW and Computer Set-up

For any problems getting M2TW to run without mods refer to Medieval II Technical Discussion & Support

Mod Installation and Launching

Due to changes to the Steam version of M2TW some older methods may not work, or will only work for disc users.

Older Methods

Mod-Folder Set-up

M2TW allows a mod to be placed in a 'mod-folder', the contents of the mod-folder will be used instead of vanilla files with the same names, if the file_first command is used.

Troubleshooting Errors

Unpacking and Finding the Files

Modders will normally need to unpack the base game to access the original files. After unpacking with CA's tool the sounds and animations remain packed within the 'unpacked' file structure, IDX or similar tool is needed to access them.

Converters & Special Format Editors

Some M2TW files are provided in proprietary formats developed by CA, they need conversion to and from formats that can be read and edited in publicly available software programs.


The battle-map textures for units, buildings and landscape are stored in .texture format which is a .dds type compressed file with additional header information.


The files in the data/text folder provide the text translations visible to mod users, they are stored in .strings.bin format, the game will recreate most of these files from a .txt file if you supply one with the correct name and format. In some cases it may be desireable to edit the .strings.bin file directly.

.mesh/3d programs

Mesh files are used for battle models for units and generals.

.cas/3d programs


Units are most noticeable on the battle-map where they appear using .mesh models, textures and sprites. Unit stats and recruitment will also affect campaign play even if all battles are auto-resolved.

Getting Units in Game

Existing models and textures can be re-purposed to create 'new' units by text editing the relevant files.


Unit battle models use the .mesh format, with lower poly lod versions for medium distance views.


Unit textures are in .texture format which needs to be converted to .dds for editing.


Unit Sprites

Unit sprites are 2d renders of the unit in animated poses, they are used for far distance views on most graphics settings.

Unit Cards

Making unit cards could also be treated solely as a UI issue, but most mods choose to use renders of the unit model in animation pose.

Unit Flags/Banners

Unit Stats, Abilities and Projectiles


Campaign Map


Resources and Hidden_Resources

Strat Models

See also Characters section for figure strat models.

Campaign Elements



Emergent Factions and Hordes



Character Strat Models

Adding different levels of character strat model requires having additional models/textures and changes to traits.

Traits, Ancillaries and Attributes

The commands and conditions used in setting traits and ancillaries overlap with those used in Scripting.


Note: most name problems won't crash M2TW, but they will stop the battle editor loading!

Buildings and Settlements

Army/Unit Recruitment

Recruitment can also involve Scripting and Events.



Guilds and Missions


Events can also be added via Scripting.

Battle Maps

For more information on the wiki see Category:M2TW Battle Map Modding.

Custom Maps


Battle Map Structures


See also The AI Workshop.







Menu and Loading Screens


Text Descriptions

This section is for general information about all text areas, for unit descriptions see Units section, etc.

Console Commands and Config Preferences

Adjustments that can be made via in-game console commands or in players .cfg preferences instead of in modded files:

Tool Support and Format Research

This section is only likely to be of use to tool developers or those with obscure problems with tools/file format.


Historical Reference

See Also

Total War Modding

Indexes to Tools, Tutorials & Resources by Game:
Three Kingdoms | Warhammer I, II & III | Attila | Rome II | Shogun 2 | Napoleon: Total War | Empire: Total War | Medieval II: Total War | Rome: Total War & Remastered
Cross Platform Information:
Modelling, Textures and Graphics - Modding Index

Main Categories for Other Modding Pages on the Wiki:
M2TW Modding Category | RTW Modding Category

Modding Workshops on TWC:
Troy | Three Kingdoms | Brittania | Warhammer I, II & III | Attila | Rome II | Shogun 2 | Napoleon | Empire | Medieval II | Rome | Rome Remastered | Medieval I

Other Wiki Sections: Total War Center | Total War Series | Total War Mods | TWC Wiki
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