Pikmin 2 instructions

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Helpful instructions for editing and handling Pikmin 2's files. This guide assumes you have some basic knowledge on navigating folders, opening files, using commands, etc. See obtaining a game's files if you are unsure on how to do so.

You can view and edit a lot of the game's files. You can read them without any worry, but if you want to change them and have those changes apply in-game, see saving changes in general instructions.

To do: Sound files.

Text files[edit]

To read and edit a plain text file (.txt), you can use any text editor such as Notepad or TextEdit. For Windows users, however, Notepad++ is highly recommended as it is far more advanced and will display the Japanese characters within vanilla files. The game treats a comment as anything in the same line taking place after a hashtag (#).

An example from the entities subsection within caves:

# TekiInfo
	2 	# num
	$Tadpole 23 	# weight
	0 	# type
	Sokkuri_bane 9 	# weight
	1 	# type

This example will treat the following as comments (ignored and can say anything you want):

  • "TekiInfo"
  • "num"
  • "weight" (x2)
  • "type" (x2)

ARC/SZS files[edit]

SZS files (.szs) and ARC files (.arc) are Nintendo's archive files (similar to that of a .zip or .rar). These cannot simply be opened using a program like WinRAR. Instead you must extract the contents using a tool such as Lunaboy's ArcExtract and ArcPack for Windows, or Wiimms SZS Toolset for macOS.


To extract the contents of an ARC or SZS file, simply drag-and-drop it on to the downloaded ArcExtract.exe file and the contents within that archive will be extracted in the same directory as the original ARC/SZS file.

To pack modified contents of an ARC or SZS file, make sure you have all the files that were extracted and place them into a new folder named after the original ARC/SZS file. If I wanted to repack enemyParms.szs then I would make a new folder called "enemyParms" and place all the contents within that folder. Now, drag-and-drop that folder on to the downloaded ArcPack.exe file and then an ARC file will be created and named after the folder you dragged-and-dropped. If you modified specifically an SZS file; in the case of Pikmin 2, you can just rename the extension from enemyParms.arc to enemyParms.szs where you will be prompted by Windows that you're changing the extension - just click OK/Yes. If you don't see the ".arc" or ".szs", then follow this guide on showing file extensions.


First, install Wiimms SZS Toolset using the instructions on the website. Unpacking and repacking is done through command lines. These tools can be used with Windows as well, but it is not practical.

To unpack a file, run the command line wszst extract <SZS file path>. This will create a folder with the same name as the SZS file - but ending in ".d". Inside this folder will be the contents of the SZS file, plus an additional data file, which is used by Wiimms SZS Toolset, so that it knows how to repack.

To repack the file, use wszst update <SZS file path>.


If you use Wiimms SZS Toolset on Windows, you can create scripts to automatically unpack and repack a SZS file, so that you don't have to write commands all the time.

  • Open a text editor such as Notepad, and write wszst extract %1. Save it as "SZS extract.bat", remembering to set the file type to "All files" as opposed to "Text file (.txt)"
  • Create a new file with wszst update %1 and save it as "SZS update.bat" - again, remembering to set the file type to "All files".

Now you will be able to simply drag-and-drop the SZS file on to the batch (.bat) file you need.

BMD files[edit]

BMD files (.bmd) are Pikmin 2's 3D model files. If you simply want to view them, you can do so with BMDView2.

If you want to make your own BMD, you will need Windows and these tools:

  1. 3ds Max (2015 recommended) - Download as a student for three years free.
  2. MaxBMD - BMD importer for 3ds Max.
  3. BMDCubed - DAE to BMD converter specifically for 3ds Max.

Follow these for creating your custom models:

  • Set up 3ds Max
  • Install MaxBMD - It comes with an executable named bmdview.exe, which you should drop in C:\Autodesk\Autodesk_3ds_Max_<the year number of your 3ds max version>__EFGJKS_Win_64bit_R2_wi_en-US. Then open 3ds Max and drag MaxBMD's script onto its tool bar.
  • For custom levels, check out Custom models.
  • For static objects such as treasures, follow the instructions on Custom models but ignore steps related to custom collision.
  • For making custom models that have bones, such as enemies, watch this video tutorial.
  • For changing the textures alone, you will need j3dview. Open the BMD in j3dview and you can change the textures by replacing the vanilla ones with custom BTI files. Note that some textures will get a corrupted UV Map when replaced and j3dview is not compatible with custom BMDs or BMDs from Pikmin 2 that contain bones. This means that j3dview is only good for editing the first three level models (Valley of Repose, Awakening Wood and Perplexing Pool).

BMG files[edit]

BMG files (.bmg) contain the game's text strings. Yoshi2's custom Pikmin 2 BMG Tool is highly recommended for this, as it allows you to change any text without worrying about the character count. To use it, simply drag the BMG onto packBMG.bat, edit the outputted text file in Notepad++, make sure it's encoded in UTF-8, save, and drag the saved text file onto packBMG.bat. That's all you need to do! (Keep in mind that any version of Python 3 (newer = better) is needed for this tool to work.)

Any text editor can also edit these, but once again, Notepad++ is highly recommended. You can find the strings after you scroll past the initial control data. If you want to edit the strings using a text editor, remember to keep their length the same. i.e. You can replace "Floor" with "Level", but not with "Step" or "Sublevel".

BTI files[edit]

BTI files (.bti) are image files. You'll need Wiimms SZS Toolset to view these. As with SZS files, you convert a BTI to PNG with the command line, though you can make a script to skip the command line part. The command to convert a BTI file is wimgt DECODE <BTI file path>. To save the converted PNG files back into a BTI format, use a program called png2bti. To use it, flip the image vertically and then drag it onto the exe. To note is that png2bti cannot compress larger images as well as Nintendo themeselves can, but you can get around this by making the modified texture half the size of the one it's replacing. This shouldn't be a problem with smaller textures such as 32x32 and below.


As with SZS files, you can write a script so that you don't have to write commands all the time. Open up a text editor, write

wimgt DECODE %1

And save it somewhere you can remember, with the name BTI converter.bat. Then, when you want to convert a BTI file into PNG, simply drag the BTI file onto the BAT file you created.

Now open a new file in the text editor and write
wimgt ENCODE %1
And save it with the name BTI updater.bat Now when you want to convert one of your PNG files back into BTI format, just drag the png onto this new BAT.

Running your modified game[edit]

See General instructions#Running a modified game.