Command and Conquer Generals (and Zero Hour)

A Bit of Info

The guides I'm going to try and put together will likely be a lot more handy than this section. For the moment I just copied it from my old website as a reference.

Loose Files

Most accessible and preferred method of modding. The game will read loose files then anything packed in big files. This means you can make changes on the fly with loose files without having to repack them. If running multiple custom content packs then it may be necessary to extract them as loose files and merge them in to one file. For instance, you can only declare 1 version of CommandSet.ini, if it's lose then that file will be read otherwise it will be read from the default big file. Loose files must follow the same folder structure and always check for duplicates if merging multiple units.

Big Files

These are loose files put in to one archive. The problem with this is they are not as easily accessible and can conflict with other mods. These are the easiest to install as all you need to do is place the *.big file in the root C&C directory then launch the title with the . If a filename or object is declared in the overridden big file then it will take priority over loose files.


Presume all downloads are for the latest version of Zero Hour. As of the last patch (1.07 / 1.04 ZH) - Added a new command line for mod developers that lets Generals run user-created content. Simply add the "-mod" command line after the generals.exe target path, followed by the name of any user-created .big file or user-created directory. The correct path would like this:
  • C:\Program Files\EA Games\Command and Conquer Generals\generals.exe" -mod MyGeneralsMod.big.
 All user-created content must be placed in the "Command and Conquer Generals Data" folder within your "C:\Documents and Settings" directory. 


If you want to mod something in Generals, chances are you'll need all these...

  • CSF Editor
    • For editing the string file which contains text used throughout the game
    • download
  • DDS importer/exporter
    • Allows the importing and exporting of DDS textures
    • download
  • Final Big
    • For working with .big file archives
    • There are plenty of versions out there but I have no idea which this is (was), only that it works!
    • download
  • Generals str file
    • Instead of using the CSF editor (which has limitations) you can edit the string file manually
    • The file is encrypted, but a long time ago someone wasted their time creating this simple text file so we can waste out time making mods
    • download
  • GMAX
  • RenX
    • 3D modelling software for exporting W3D units files
    • download
  • W3D Importer
    • For importing and exporting W3D models
    • download
  • W3D Importer (with animations)
    • For importing and exporting W3D models with animation
    • Try to use this when possible though I remember occasional errors using the script
    • download
  • XCC Mixer
    • For opening 'big' and 'mix' files (don't really need it)
    • download


Coming soon(ish)

My Stuff

Once upon a time, back in the days when dial-up was still a thing, I had these as individual downloads. I'm confident most people can manage the gargantuan 20mb download of all units! Unless you're in New Zealand or Australia. All I ever hear is how bad the Internet is there.

These aren't exactly professional units, just a bit of fun:
All Units Download

There's a couple of hundred in there to play around with. Most of them are pieced together from existing units or are purely code based. Most units should have a corresponding picture accompanying a zip file. The zip file (should, it's been a fair few years) contain unit files and a short text file with some form of description.

Sample units....

Slightly Better Units

Soon, when I get anything resembling free time, I'll be modding again and doing it properly...

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