Okay, so I have Portal 2 on my PC. I would like to use one of its sound effects for a little project, so I started searching the installed files. Well, eventually I found a bunch of "sound" files. I tried to run them, but apparently I can't.

When I go to properties, the file type says: Sound on format AU (.snd)

I don't get it (is the file .au or .snd?), how can I use such file? How could I convert it to, say, .mp3?

  • Can you tell us where you found the .snd files? Most, if not all of the game's sound files are in WAVE format.
    – user56
    May 2, 2011 at 22:25
  • In a folder called "reslist"?
    – Saturn
    May 2, 2011 at 23:04
  • On a lark, I popped a couple of those .snd files open with vim... Turns out, they're just text files, no audio data. Your search continues. :) May 3, 2011 at 3:14
  • 1
    Possible duplicate or at least it could be useful for your problem too: gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/20498/…
    – Drake
    May 3, 2011 at 7:41

2 Answers 2


All the sound files in the game are in the WAV format, stored within the VPK (Valve Package) files.

Use GCFScape and open up the Portal 2 content file, found at \steamapps\common\portal 2\portal2\pak01_dir.vpk (for some reason it's unlike TF2 and HL2 which use .gcf's)

There will be a directory structure visible in the program, browse to \root\sound\ and look through the subdirectories for sound effects. Some sound like throwbacks to Portal 1, and others seem like total cruft from HL2, but everything should be in there, though with perhaps confusing names.

  • For Portal 1: The same process but with the "\Steam\SteamApps\common\Portal\portal\portal_pak_dir.vpk" file. Sep 5, 2013 at 22:48

Your best bet is using VLC. Not only can it play all the waves, but it can convert them as well.

It has a convert option in the File menu.

  • VLC is great.[] May 2, 2011 at 21:15
  • 1
    Apparently VLC won't play the file. And when I convert it, the output is also unplayable.
    – Saturn
    May 2, 2011 at 23:13

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