.VPK File Extension

There are 2 file types use the .VPK file extension:

  1. Valve Pak
  2. PlayStation Vita Application Package

1. Valve Pak

Valve Pak

A VPK file is a Valve Pak file used by some games developed with the Source Engine, which include Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, DOTA 2, and Portal 2. It may be a master directory file for a collection of VPK files or may be one of the raw VPK data files. VPK files are used for storing maps, models, materials, choreography scenes, and other original game content, but can can be used for making game mods as well.

VPK files are saved as part of a VPK package. Each VPK package has a master VPK directory file named archive_dir.vpk (where "archive" is the name of the VPK package) and VPK archive files named archive_0.vpk, archive_1.vpk, etc.

You can create VPK files using the vpk.exe command line tool located in the game directory. To ensure compatibility, you should use the vpk.exe tool located in the directory of the game you are creating the VPK file for. In Windows, the vpk.exe tool will most likely be located in the following directory:
C:\Program Files (x86)\SteamApps\common\[game title]\bin

NOTE: The VPK format is the successor to the .GCF format.

Software's name License Platforms
GCFScape GCFScape Free Windows
Gibbed's VPK Extractor Gibbed's VPK Extractor Free Windows
Valve Half-Life Valve Half-Life Paid Windows
Valve Half-Life 2 Valve Half-Life 2 Paid MacWindows
Valve Left 4 Dead Valve Left 4 Dead Paid MacWindows
Valve Portal 2 Valve Portal 2 Paid MacWindows
Valve Team Fortress 2 Valve Team Fortress 2 Free Windows

Updated: April 23, 2019

2. PlayStation Vita Application Package

PlayStation Vita Application Package

A VPK file is an application package used to install third-party apps on a Sony PlayStation Vita gaming console. It contains multiple folders and files that make up a game, which may include .BIN, .XML, and .PNG files, that are compressed with Zip compression.

VPK files can only be installed on PlayStation Vita consoles that have been "jailbroken," or "hacked," with Henkaku. This Homebrew enabler allows users to better customize the content that can be used or played on the console. You can install apps packaged in a VPK file using VitaShell, which is a file manager that can be installed on the PlayStation Vita console.

Since VPK files are compressed using Zip-compression, you can extract the contents of the files using a Zip decompression utility, such as WinZip or 7-Zip. You may want to rename the .vpk file extension to .zip first and then open it with the decompression utility.

Software's name License Platforms
7-Zip 7-Zip Open Source LinuxWindows
Apple Archive Utility Apple Archive Utility Bundled Mac
B1 Free Archiver B1 Free Archiver Open Source AndroidLinuxMacWindows
Corel WinZip Corel WinZip Commercial MacWindows
Corel WinZip Mac Corel WinZip Mac Commercial Mac
File Roller File Roller Free Linux
funzip funzip Free Linux
Incredible Bee Archiver Incredible Bee Archiver Commercial Mac
p7zip p7zip Free LinuxMac
PeaZip PeaZip Open Source LinuxWindows
RARLAB WinRAR RARLAB WinRAR Shareware Windows
Smith Micro StuffIt Deluxe Smith Micro StuffIt Deluxe Commercial Windows
The Unarchiver The Unarchiver Freeware Mac

Updated: April 9, 2019

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