NMS:Tutorials/Mod Creation by Hex Editing MBINs

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Tutorials // Mod Creation by Hex Editing MBINs


The purpose of Hex Editing

If the MBIN you want to edit is not yet supported by MBINCompiler after a game update, you can still edit it with an hexadecimal editor.

The way to o it :

  1. Use a binary comparison between the original MBIN files and modded MBIN files (both from previous NMS version).
  2. Note the changes and apply them to the new MBIN files from latest NMS version.
  3. Done
Info-Logo.png      Notice:Beware, sometimes new values are added into the files and some values have shifted. In that case, you will need to recognize the patterns by human eye.

Hexadecimal Editors

there are a lot of Hexadecimal editor available. Here is a list of some of them:

  • 010 (paid, with 30 day trial)
  • HxD (freeware, proprietary)
  • Hex Editor Neo (free, has paid versions)
  • Hex Workshop (paid)
  • HexEdit (mac only?)
  • XVI32 (freeware, very small (~1Mb) and portable)

.MBIN Header

All MBIN files start with a 24 (0x18) bytes header composed as follow :

  • Magic Data which is 4 bytes long. It is 0xCCCCCCCC for MBIN files and is 0xDDDDDDDD for MBIN.PC files.
  • Format ID, a 4 bytes long integer
  • Time stamp, an 8 bytes long integer
  • Template GUID, an 8 bytes long integer

Then there's a 72 (0x48) bytes string reserved for the internal file name.
So in total the header of an MBINfile is 96 (0x60) bytes.

For details on the header format of MBINfiles see here.
There are also associated pages which contain the header format for MBIN files produced by MBINCompiler as extra info is added to indicate the version of MBINCompiler used to compile the file.

The rest of the file contains the data. This can't be detailed here as each MBIN file has a different data structure but this won't be an issue as most of the time, we don't need the structure to make the needed changes.

Editing MBIN files

First, you need to know that MBIN Files are all using little indian byte order. So before anything, set your Hexadecimal editor to read values in little indian order.