Workbench Metadata – Arma Reforger

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See the Metadata Wikipedia article.

.meta File

A .meta file is created whenever a resource (not scripts) is registered or created in the Workbench. This file holds metadata such as:

  • the resource's GUID - a unique identifier for the engine to track
  • the original file's path (informational, only the GUID is relevant to the engine)
  • platform build configuration:
    • file: import configuration - the one that is set in the Resource Manager's Import Settings tab (e.g file's build presence, texture import quality, etc)
    • directory: properties set by editing a registered directory using "Edit Properties" (e.g directory's build presence, build tag)
A runtime file (.ent, .et, .json, .edds, but not .fbx, .tiff, .tga) without a .meta file will throw a warning in the Log Console about missing it.


  • The GUID is generated based on the file's path and name (using them as seed - regenerating the metadata of a file with identical path and name will generate the same GUID)
  • Once the meta file is generated, moving or renaming the file will not change its GUID (the meta file obviously must be renamed along the main file - this is done automatically when renamed from the Workbench)

GUID Change

Changing a GUID manually is not a trivial operation - be careful doing it, and make backups.
  • Two files with the same GUID in two different addons will overwrite each other (see Data Modding Basics - Can Be Modified)
  • Two files with the same GUID in a single addon will throw a warning message in the Log Console and one of the files will not work properly.

A resource's GUID can be obtained can be obtained via the "Copy Resource GUID(s)" action Resource Manager - Contextual menus.

A GUID should normally not be changed, but a conflict can, in rare cases, happen. There are two ways to change a GUID:

  • rename the resource file, delete the .meta file, reimport the resource and rename the file back to the original name (safer, but any import configuration will be lost)
  • generate a new GUID with the Resource Browser utility (see Resource Manager - Generate GUID) and replace it manually in the .meta file

resourceDatabase.rdb File

This binary file is a database storing information of all resources available in the provided project (base game, addon). Its content changes when a resource is added or removed, and the file is verified and refreshed/re-created on Workbench opening and closing.