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Quick definitions of important words and concepts.

GECK Terms


Base Object

Base ID

  • A BaseID (or Base ID) is a FormID assigned automatically to an object by the GECK when a new object is created in the Object window (a Base Object). The Form IDs listed in the Object window are Base IDs. A Base ID is only associated with an object template in the editor, never with an instanced object in-game.


  • The EditorID (or Editor ID / EdID) of an object is a name given to an object by a GECK user to uniquely identify that object for use in the GECK. This name does not appear in-game, but is used in scripts.
    • EditorIDs cannot be given underscores ( _ ); once the form is saved, the underscores are removed. Editor IDs also cannot include any spaces or special characters and should not include numbers at the very start of the editor ID name.


  • The FormID (or Form ID) of an object is the unique unsigned numerical identifier for that object, in hexadecimal. This is the 'short version' used by the engine while the game is running. Note that in the GECK, the term Form ID may be used in one of two fashions: as the Base ID of an object template, and as the Reference ID of an instanced (placed) in-game object. The Form IDs in the Object Window are Base IDs. The Form IDs in the Cell View Window are Reference IDs.


  • LOD is Level Of Detail. As an object is farther away, it has less detail. (ex: close range, an object may be 200 pixels; farther away, it may only be 50 pixels. The LOD has been reduced.)


  • A Record is any discrete unit of data that gets saved to an .esp file. Base Objects and References are both Records, as are other things such as Game Settings.


  • References are instances of Base Objects that have been placed in the game world via the Render Window. References added to cells also appear in the Cell View Window. References inherit most of their properties from the Base Objects that they are templated on.
  • While a Reference can be referred to as a "ref", that term unfortunately coincides with Ref Variables, which can host either a Reference or a BaseForm. For that reason, it it recommended to use this shortening sparingly.

Reference Editor ID (EditorRefID)

  • A Reference Editor ID is a name given to a specific instance (Reference) of an object placed in the Render Window by a user. Reference Editor IDs are used in scripts to execute commands that affect only that instance of an object.

Reference ID (RefID)

  • A Reference ID is a FormID assigned automatically to a Reference by the GECK when an object is placed in the Render Window. Reference IDs are required to uniquely identify each instance of an object in-game. The Form ID column of the Cell View window lists Reference IDs.

File Types

BSA File

  • BSA (Bethesda Softworks Archive) are archives that contain resource files (meshes, textures, sounds, etc.). The GECK does not allow creation or editing of BSA files, but other tools do.

DDS File

  • DDS, short for Direct Draw Surface, is the file format used by Fallout 3 and New Vegas to store textures and images. One free .dds editor is Paint.NET, and plugins are available for most image editing programs.

NIF File

  • NIF, short for Net Immerse File, is the file format used by Fallout 3 and New Vegas to store models, also known as meshes. NIF files can be worked with using NifSkope and NifTools.
  • Note - The NIF files used in Fallout 3 and New Vegas are a different version than those used in Oblivion and many behind the scenes changes caused several NIF block types to no longer work. See NIF Block Types for more information.

OPL File

  • OPL stands for Object PaLette and this file format is used only in the G.E.C.K. to create an Object Palette, a collection of objects that speed up a process of building exterior worlds and interiors.