Tes5Mod:Mod File Format/RACE

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RACE records contain information on character and creature races.

There are a lot of fields here, many in repeating sets, and a lot of markers. Generally all sets of data are preceded by a gender-specifying marker, MNAM for male, FNAM for female. There are also markers indicating the presence of certain sets (or not).

General record structure (in order of appearance):

  • General Data
  • Male then female skeletal model separated by MNAM/FNAM
  • General Data
  • Repeating pairs of ATKD/ATKE (attack data)
  • Male then female egt model separated by MNAM/FNAM, preceded by NAM1
  • Male then female havok model separated by MNAM/FNAM, preceded by NAM3
  • General Data
  • 32x Body Part Strings - User defined Biped Object Names stord in each NAME Subrecord
  • EQUP info
  • Repeating pairs of PHTN/PHWT (facial expression data)
  • Male then female head data separated by MNAM/FNAM (and NAM0) in the following order:
    • Default headparts
    • MPAI/MPAV - Morph and Morph Values
    • Racial presets
    • Hair colors
    • Featuresets
    • Repeating tint fieldsets (TINI/TINC/TINV/TIRS) optionally with 2nd set (TINT/TINP/TIND)

C SubRecord Name Type/Size Info
+ EDID editorId zstring Editor id
- FULL full name lstring Full (in-game) name
+ DESC description lstring Description shown in-game when selecting the player's race (or 0)
- SPCT spellCount uint32 number of SPLO records that follow. If the race has no bonus spells, SPCT and SPLO are not present.
* SPLO spell formID Racial SPEL or SHOU
- WNAM skin formid ARMO record
+ BODT body template struct 12-byte struct (same as ARMO)
uint32 Biped Object Flags
uint32 General Flags (Undetermined)
uint32 Armor Type - Clothing is default if not given
- KSIZ KSIZ uint32 keyword count
- KWDA KWDA formID KYWD array of KSIZ
+ DATA General race stats struct 128-byte struct (v40) or 164-byte struct (v43)
uint8 - Skill 1 (Actor list value)
uint8 - Racial bonus for skill 1
uint8 - Skill 2 (Actor list value)
uint8 - Racial bonus for skill 2
uint8 - Skill 3 (Actor list value)
uint8 - Racial bonus for skill 3
uint8 - Skill 4 (Actor list value)
uint8 - Racial bonus for skill 4
uint8 - Skill 5 (Actor list value)
uint8 - Racial bonus for skill 5
uint8 - Skill 6 (Actor list value)
uint8 - Racial bonus for skill 6
uint8 - Skill 7 (Actor list value)
uint8 - Racial bonus for skill 7
uint16 - "Unused (padding)"
float - Height (male)
float - Height (female)
float - Weight (male)
float - Weight (female)
uint32 - Flags.
0x00000001 - Playable
0x00000002 - FaceGen Head
0x00000004 - Child
0x00000008 - Tilt Front/Back
0x00000010 - Tilt Left/Right
0x00000020 - No Shadow
0x00000040 - Swims
0x00000080 - Flies
0x00000100 - Walks
0x00000200 - Immobile
0x00000400 - Not Pushable
0x00000800 - No Combat In Water
0x00001000 - No Rotating to Head-Track
0x00002000 - Don't Show Blood Spray
0x00004000 - Don't Show Blood Decal
0x00008000 - Uses Head Track Anims
0x00010000 - Spells Align w/Magic Node
0x00020000 - Use World Raycasts For FootIK
0x00040000 - Allow Ragdoll Collision
0x00080000 - Regen HP In Combat
0x00100000 - Can't Open Doors
0x00200000 - Allow PC Dialogue
0x00400000 - No Knockdowns
0x00800000 - Allow Pickpocket
0x01000000 - Always Use Proxy Controller
0x02000000 - Don't Show Weapon Blood
0x04000000 - Overlay Head Part List {> Only one can be active <}
0x08000000 - Override Head Part List {> Only one can be active <}
0x10000000 - Can Pickup Items
0x20000000 - Allow Multiple Membrane Shaders
0x40000000 - Can Dual Wield
0x80000000 - Avoids Roads
float - Starting Health
float - Starting Magicka
float - Starting Stamina
float - Base Carry Weight
float - Base Mass
float - Acceleration rate
float - Deceleration rate
uint32 - Size (lookup: 0=Small, 1=Medium, 2=Large, 3=Extra Large)
uint32 - Head Biped Object ( lookup: Biped Object Names)
uint32 - Hair Biped Object ( lookup: Biped Object Names)
float - Injured Health Pct ( value ranging from 0 to 1)
uint32 - Shield Biped Object ( lookup: Biped Object Names)
float - Health Regen
float - Magicka Regen
float - Stamina Regen
float - Unarmed Damage
float - Unarmed Reach
uint32 - Body Biped Object ( lookup: Biped Object Names)
float - Aim Angle Tolerance
uint32 - "Unknown"
float - Angular Acceleration Rate
float - Angular Tolerance
uint32 - Flags. Only identified value is listed
0x00000002 - Non-Hostile
uint32 - "Unknown" x9

v43 of the record increases the size to 164 bytes. The additional 36 bytes may be an array of floats.

+ MNAM male marker 0-length marker for male model info
+ ANAM skeletal model zstring path to .nif
+ MODT model data MODT
+ FNAM female marker 0-length marker for female model info
+ ANAM skeletal model zstring path to .nif
+ MODT model data MODT unknown
+ NAM2 marker 0-length marker (Note that the NAM2 field has been removed and no longer exists)
* MTNM movement type name char[4] 4-letter code for movement types (WALK, RUN1, SNEK, BLD0, SWIM)
+ VTCK default voice types formid[2] VTYP male/female
- DNAM Decapitate armor formid[2] ARMO male/female
- HCLF default hair color formid[2] CLFM male/female
- TINL Tint Index Number uint16 This is the total number of Tints available to this race
+ PNAM FaceGen float FaceGen - Main clamp
+ UNAM FaceGen float FaceGen - Face clamp
* ATKR Attack Race formid found in one record in Dawnguard
* ATKD Attack Data struct 44-byte struct, providing data for one mode of attack
float - Damage Mult
float - Attack Chance
formid - Attack Spell
uint32 - flags:
0x01 - Ignore Weapon
0x02 - Bash Attack
0x04 - Power Attack
0x08 - Left Attack
0x10 - Rotating Attack
float - Attack Angle
float - Strike Angle
float - Stagger
formid - Attack Type
float - Knockdown
float - Recovery Time
float - Fatigue Mult
* ATKE attack event zstring event name but does not translate to AACT or SMEN/ENAM ex "attackStart_Attack2"
+ NAM1 marker 0-length marker for start of egt models
+ MNAM marker 0-length start of male model
+ FNAM marker 0-length start of female model
+ INDX marker uint32 always 0, precedes both .egt models
- MODL lighting model zstring path to .egt, seems to always use UpperBodyHumanMale(1st)/Female(2nd) regardless of race (Dragonborn.esm has records without MODL fields)
- MODT model texture data ubyte[12] always 0x02 11-0x00 (Dragonborn.esm has records without MODT fields)
+ GNAM body part data formid BPTD, only after 2nd model
+ NAM2 marker 0-length marker (Note that the NAM2 field has been removed and no longer exists)
+ NAM3 marker 0-length marker for start of hkx models
+ MNAM marker 0-length start of male model
+ MODL physics model zstring path to .hkx, points to same for both
+ MODT model texture data ubyte[12] always 0x02 11-0x00
+ FNAM marker 0-length start of female model
+ MODL physics model zstring path to .hkx, points to same for both
+ MODT model texture data ubyte[12] always 0x02 11-0x00
- NAM4 material type formid MATT "only 1 record without"
- NAM5 impact data set formid Unarmed IPDS
- NAM7 decapitation fx formid Blood FX ARTO (only if can be decapitated)
- ONAM open loot sound formid Sound SNDR
- LNAM close loot sound formid Sound SNDR
* NAME Biped Object Names zstring repeats exactly 32 times. these are body part names as seen in BPTD, for most/humanoids:

Probably vestigial - it doesn't appear to matter if these are filled in, Witchlight have no body parts here but have BPTD parts, WerewolfBeastRace has BODY but BPTD refers to "Torso" and so on.

8/8/2012 NOTE: These Values are user defined by clicking in the "Biped Object Names" column and giving it a name. You could clik 43 and call it Cape to assign that location for capes on Humanoids after also selecting it under First Person. These values are saved in the Plugin.

* MTYP Movement Override formid Default Movement Override
* SPED Override Values struct Float x 11
Left - Walk
Left - Run
Right - Walk
Right - Run
Forward - Walk
Forward - Run
Back - Walk
Back - Run
Rotate - Walk
Rotate - Walk
- VNAM Equipment Type Flags uint32 Equipment Flags, Other values are set but not used. If all are flagged then 4 0xFF
uint32 - Flags. Only identified values are listed
0x00000001 - Hand To Hand Melee
0x00000002 - One Hand Sword
0x00000004 - One Hand Dagger
0x00000008 - One Hand Axe
0x00000010 - One Hand Mace
0x00000020 - Two Hand Sword
0x00000040 - Two Hand Axe
0x00000080 - Bow
0x00000100 - Staff
0x00000200 - Spell
0x00000400 - Shield
0x00000800 - Torch
0x00001000 - Crossbow
* QNAM Equip slot formid EQUP
+ UNES Unarmed equip slot formid EQUP
* PHTN Phoneme Target Names zstring These are listed when used in PHWT. Dragons for example, have different names than humanoids. Can be listed in .tri files as well.
* PHWT facial expression weight struct Usually in .tri files, 16xfloat presumably for 16 points on the face
Dragons for example, have only have 8xfloat the names are saved in PHTN
+ WKMV Walk formid A MOVT
+ RNMV Run formid A MOVT
+ SWMV Swim formid A MOVT
+ FLMV Fly formid A MOVT
+ SNMV Sneak formid A MOVT
+ SPMV Sprint formid A MOVT
- NAM0 marker 0-length marker for start of head data
- MNAM marker 0-length start of male default/preset data
- INDX index(ascending) uint32 index (in this list)
- HEAD default headpart uint32 Default headpart HDPT
- MPAI index(ascending) uint32 Available Morph Index, Appears 4 times.
- MPAV values struct Available Morph Index Flags, Appears after each MAPI. These are selected from the "Face Data" tab in the CK
uint32 - Nose Morph Flags. Only identified values are listed
0x00000001 - NoseType0
0x00000002 - NoseType1
0x00000004 - NoseType2
0x00000008 - NoseType3
0x00000010 - NoseType4
0x00000020 - NoseType5
0x00000040 - NoseType6
0x00000080 - NoseType7
0x00000100 - NoseType8
0x00000200 - NoseType9
0x00000400 - NoseType10
0x00000800 - NoseType11
0x00001000 - NoseType12
0x00002000 - NoseType13
0x00004000 - NoseType14
0x00008000 - NoseType15
0x00010000 - NoseType16
0x00020000 - NoseType17
0x00040000 - NoseType18
0x00080000 - NoseType19
0x00100000 - NoseType20
0x00200000 - NoseType21
0x00400000 - NoseType22
0x00800000 - NoseType23
0x01000000 - NoseType24
0x02000000 - NoseType25
0x03000000 - NoseType26
0x08000000 - NoseType27
0x10000000 - NoseType28
0x20000000 - NoseType29
0x40000000 - NoseType30
0x80000000 - NoseType31
uint32 - "Unknown" x7
uint32 - Brow Morph Flags. Only identified values are listed
0x00000001 - BrowType0
0x00000002 - BrowType1
0x00000004 - BrowType2
0x00000008 - BrowType3
0x00000010 - BrowType4
0x00000020 - BrowType5
0x00000040 - BrowType6
0x00000080 - BrowType7
0x00000100 - BrowType8
0x00000200 - BrowType9
0x00000400 - BrowType10
0x00000800 - BrowType11
0x00001000 - BrowType12
0x00002000 - BrowType13
0x00004000 - BrowType14
0x00008000 - BrowType15
0x00010000 - BrowType16
0x00020000 - BrowType17
0x00040000 - BrowType18
0x00080000 - BrowType19
0x00100000 - BrowType20
uint32 - "Unknown" x7
uint32 - Eye Morph Flags. Only identified values are listed
0x00000001 - EyesType0
0x00000002 - EyesType1
0x00000004 - EyesType2
0x00000008 - EyesType3
0x00000010 - EyesType4
0x00000020 - EyesType5
0x00000040 - EyesType6
0x00000080 - EyesType7
0x00000100 - EyesType8
0x00000200 - EyesType9
0x00000400 - EyesType10
0x00000800 - EyesType11
0x00001000 - EyesType12
0x00002000 - EyesType13
0x00004000 - EyesType14
0x00008000 - EyesType15
0x00010000 - EyesType16
0x00020000 - EyesType17
0x00040000 - EyesType18
0x00080000 - EyesType19
0x00100000 - EyesType20
0x00200000 - EyesType21
0x00400000 - EyesType22
0x00800000 - EyesType23
0x01000000 - EyesType24
0x02000000 - EyesType25
0x03000000 - EyesType26
0x08000000 - EyesType27
0x10000000 - EyesType28
0x20000000 - EyesType29
0x40000000 - EyesType30
0x80000000 - EyesType31
uint32 - Eye Morph Flags. Only identified values are listed
0x00000001 - EyesType32
0x00000002 - EyesType33
0x00000004 - EyesType34
0x00000008 - EyesType35
0x00000010 - EyesType36
0x00000020 - EyesType37
0x00000040 - EyesType38
uint32 - "Unknown" x6
uint32 - Lip Morph Flags. Only identified values are listed
0x00000001 - LipType0
0x00000002 - LipType1
0x00000004 - LipType2
0x00000008 - LipType3
0x00000010 - LipType4
0x00000020 - LipType5
0x00000040 - LipType6
0x00000080 - LipType7
0x00000100 - LipType8
0x00000200 - LipType9
0x00000400 - LipType10
0x00000800 - LipType11
0x00001000 - LipType12
0x00002000 - LipType13
0x00004000 - LipType14
0x00008000 - LipType15
0x00010000 - LipType16
0x00020000 - LipType17
0x00040000 - LipType18
0x00080000 - LipType19
0x00100000 - LipType20
0x00200000 - LipType21
0x00400000 - LipType22
0x00800000 - LipType23
0x01000000 - LipType24
0x02000000 - LipType25
0x03000000 - LipType26
0x08000000 - LipType27
0x10000000 - LipType28
0x20000000 - LipType29
0x40000000 - LipType30
0x80000000 - LipType31
* RPRM Race Presets Male formid Racial preset NPC_
* AHCM Available Hair Colors Male formid Hair color CLFM
* FTSM Face Details Texture Set List Male formid Feature set TXST
- DFTM Default Face Texture Male formid Head Feature set TXST
+ TINI tint index short ascending record index
- TINT tint mask zstring Path to .dds
- TINP Mask Type uint16 lookup. There is no TINP entry if set to none.
1 = Lip Color
2 = Cheek Color
3 = Eyeliner
4 = EyeSocket Upper
5 = EyeSocket Lower
6 = Skin Tone
7 = Paint
8 = Laugh Lines
9 = Cheek Color Lower
10= Nose
11= Chin
12= Neck
13= Forehead
14= Dirt
- TIND Preset Default formid CLFM Preset Default. There is no TIND if a default isn't selected in the CK.
+ TINC Preset formid The Preset followed by TINV
+ TINV Default Value float Default Value of the preceding TINC
+ TIRS unknown uint16 This is the number of the Tint. The total number of Tints is stored in TINL.
- NAM0 marker 0-length marker for start of head data
- FNAM marker 0-length start of female head data
- Repeat from NAM0/MNAM For Female
Available Morphs
Tints and Tint Values
+ NAM8 Morph race formid RACE record
+ RNAM Armor race formid RACE record

Raw Data Examples[edit]

Custom Races[edit]

It is common for modders to create custom races, either something fanciful for the player character (e.g. playable Dremora), or more often a near-identical variant of a vanilla race for a new follower (used to ensure the follower can have entirely custom meshes and textures).

Three important race records for such a situation are:

  • ATKR (Attack Race)
  • NAM8 (Morph Race)
  • RNAM (Armor Race)

Various problems can be avoided by setting these to a vanilla race, such as Nord for a custom variant of Nord.

The ATKR record will use the specified race as the one that controls default combat behavior. While a custom set of combat data can be made for a race with new abilities, exactly which records and subrecords need to be created to obviate the need for an ATKR subrecord is not entirely clear or well-documented. A safer bet in most cases is to just pick one that's "close enough". Are players really going to notice that your Moonlight Elves fight like Bosmer? Do they even notice the difference between default Bosmer and Altmer combat approaches?

NAM8 being empty will cause errors in the Construction Kit if your new race does not have custom .TRI mesh-morphing files for body weight adjustments. Every race added to the game either needs a set of these or needs a NAM8 indicating which other race's morph files to use. If the race is just a copy of a vanilla one, setting NAM8 to that vanilla race is a safe "fire and forget" solution. If it's something outlandish like a playable Goblin race, custom .TRI files will actually need to be generated with mesh tools and added to the FormID Lists mentioned in the CK errors, so that something like weight 35 or weight 50 can be generated properly from the *_0.nif and *_1.nif meshes. If the race is unplayable and only for one or a few NPCs at fixed 0 or 100 weights, such that middling weights are never needed, then setting NAM8 to any vanilla race will have no effect on the game but will stop pop-up errors in the CK.

The RNAM record being set to a vanilla race obviates any need to change armor, weapon, and other records to account for the new race. This is perhaps the most common oversight in race modding. It is not actually practical to do anything else but set the RNAM to a vanilla race with the same general body/head shape and gear-using capabilities, because there are thousands of armor and clothing mods and you won't be able to add your custom race to all of them, item by item. Even doing it for vanilla gear only would be incredibly tedious and ultimately pointless. This sort of thing is one reason that custom playable new races for Skyrim are markedly less common for than for Oblivion and Morrowind, which had fewer complications of this sort. It's simply not immediately obvious to a new modder what to do to make a new race work properly, especially once third-party gear mods are involved. Fortunately, the RNAM is another situation where "close enough" should work. Most of the vanilla humanoid races are equivalent when it comes to equippability of most gear types. Some exceptions are that various Elven races have specific heads meshes and equip variant headgear meshes (if your new race has a head based on Altmer, don't pick Nord as the RNAM); beast races do as well, and cannot even equip all headgear types at all due to their snouts; and vampire race variants (since Update.esm) will no longer equip crossbows, the weapon specialized for hunting them.

The gist of the above applies to creatures as well. If you design a rideable giant Nix Hound as a mount, it will need: 1) either an ATKR of a comparably semi-fearsome quadruped, or comprehensive custom combat-related records and stats; 2) either custom .TRI files and FormID List entries for them, or fixed 0 and 100 weights only, with a dummy NAM8, perhaps for Horse or Sabre Cat; and 3) an RNAM set to the Horse race specifically if you want it to be compatible with saddles and with barding (horse armor) mods, and do not want it capable of equipping humanoid gear (your Thoroughbred Nix probably shouldn't be trying to using a sword). You may need to do mesh and skeleton adjustment work to make sure your hound-mount's body will actually fit such gear properly (which may not be as hard as it sounds; the basic skeletal armature of the in-game horse is the same as that of a dog and wolf).