Artifact How to Remove Imps Guide

Artifact How to Remove Imps Guide by Necessary Extension

I have found out how to remove the Imps from Artifacts game files without breaking the game. An important insight is that the Imps are essential for Artifact to work, they do not in fact only exist to annoy the player. Their scripting is what makes the cards move around the board. If we delete them entirely the game becomes stuck showing us the hero cards at the beginning; there is no one to move them away and open up the board from it’s wooden box for us. As such we shall have to remain content with making the Imps invisible and mute while they continue to work unseen and unheard.

Warning: Modifying your Artifact game files may cause unforeseen consequences.

This guide is written for Windows 10 and will require use of the following tools/applications: GCFScape, VPK.exe, CMD.exe (Windows Command Prompt). It will require us to download a 3 GB mod-kit through Steam to get access to VPK.exe

If your Steam folder is located somewhere else than C:\Steam\ simply replace all instances of ‘C:’ with your install path. For example:


This guide will have 4 parts to it:

  1. How to extract your Artifact game files. (GCFScape.exe)
  2. How to remove the Imps from your extracted game files archive .
  3. How to import your Impless game files back into Artifact. (VPK.exe & CMD.exe)
  4. How to undo your modifications of Artifact.

  1. A. Download and install GCFScape to be able to extract Artifacts game files:

  1. B. Find your Artifact game files archive within your install folder:


  1. C. Use GCFScape to extract your pak01_dir.vpk archive into files you can work with.

To do this: Open pak01_dir.vpk with GCFScape, right-click the ‘Root’ folder in the top-left window and Extract it to your Artifact install folder:


  1. D. Find your extracted ‘root’ folder and rename it pak01_dir

‘2. A. Find the Imp Sound files within your extracted game files:


‘2. B. Delete/Backup your Imp Sound files as you please.

‘2. C. Find the Imp Mesh file within your extracted game files:


‘2. D. Delete/Backup your Imp Mesh file as you please.

‘2. E. Find the Imp Texture files within your extracted game files:


‘2. F. Delete/Backup your Imp Texture files as you please.

Remove everything except for wildlife.vmat_c , wildlife_color_psd and wildlife_refl_psd

‘3. A. In order to import our files back into the game we must compress them back into a .VPK archive using Valves own packing tool.

‘3. B. Download Source SDK Base 2013 Multiplayer through Steam. It is very unfortunate we must download 3 GB only to get a 1 MB program. But this way we can trust the program since it is created and distributed by Valve through Steam.

To do this:

a. Right-click your Steam icon in the taskbar and left-click ‘Library’

b. Hover your mouse over the ‘Library’ tab and left-click ‘Tools’

c. Search for ‘SDK’ and install the Source SDK Base 2013 Multiplayer tool like any other game.

‘3. C. Find the \bin\ folder within your Source SDK Base 2013 Multiplayer install location:

C:\Steam\steamapps\common\Source SDK Base 2013 Multiplayer\bin\

Find and Copy the following 4 files: filesystem_stdio.dll, tier0.dll, vpk.exe, vstdlib.dll over to your Artifact install folder:


(You can now uninstall Source SDK Base 2013)

‘3. D. To avoid overwriting our unmodified game file archive, we must remove them. Copy them somewhere else as backup if you like. Steam will simply redownload them for you if you try to launch Artifact without them anyway.

Delete all of the 35 different VPAK01_XXX.vpk files in your install folder:


‘3. E. In order to use VPK.exe we must run it through the Windows Command Prompt tool. Use either Search or Run to find CMD.exe on your computer.

Once inside the Command Prompt application write the following three commands within it pressing enter after each:

C: (If your Steam folder is on another drive type that one instead e.g. D:)

cd C:\Steam\steamapps\common\Artifact\game\dcg\ (you can copy-paste the directory path straight from windows explorer tab)

vpk.exe -M pak01_dir

(You can type vpk.exe -? first if you want to see a list of all the commands vpk.exe has)

This will command VPK.exe to begin compiling your game files into a .VPK archive which your Artifact can use. This can take up to 20 minutes since the game files are about 3.6GB in size. You can leave it running in the background, just do not try to launch Artifact before it is done.

You will know the compiling is complete when the Command Prompt writes out your game install folder path:


Once the compiling is complete our work is done. You may now play Artifact without seeing or hearing Imps.

‘4. In order to undo our changes, simply delete your Artifact .vpk game file archives, i.e. repeat step 3. D.

If you backed up your unmodified game file archives somewhere, simply copy-paste them back to your install folder. Otherwise launch Artifact as normal and Steam will redownload them for you.

EDIT: I’ve done a lot of other modifications to my Artifact client. In my wish to make this guide as simple as possible I may have overlooked an important step. It’s possible that removing the Imps Mesh without removing the corresponding Texture causes a memory leak. I’ll do some more testing but if you’ve modified your game files I recommend following the added steps in 2. E. and 2. F.

Update: After some testing, running Artifact with the Imp Mesh removed but Imp Textures still present in the game file definitely appears to decrease performance for me while removing the textures increases it. I have updated the guide with the step to remove the textures. If anyone experiences decreased performance or increased instability after following the guide please let me know as I can only test it on my own device.

Update 14.12.2018: With the first patch released it appears having compiled our modified .vpk archive makes Artifact unable to launch after patching. Simply follow step 4 and then repeat the guide to remove the imps once more.

Update 22.12.2018: It appears we have been blessed with flying santa hats after the last mini-patch. They can be removed at:



To whom it may concern at Valve, model textures belong inside the C:\Steam\steamapps\common\Artifact\game\dcg\pak01_dir\materials\models\ folder regardless of whether or not they are part of a seasonal event, thank you.

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