WAD (Wii)

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File Format
Name WAD (Wii)
Extension(s) .wad
Released 2006?[1]

The WAD format is an installation/archival format used on the Nintendo Wii game console. Its primary use is to hold software bought over the Internet (through the "Wii Shop Channel"), but it is also used by homebrewers (whether by the company, also, is unclear) for operating system updates[2], custom "Homebrew" games, "forwarders" and for piracy[3]. When used for applications as opposed to updating the operating system, a WAD usually holds one "channel", a high-level concept of a self-contained program that can be accessed from the "system menu".

The content of the WAD stored using the Title metadata (TMD) system, i.e. with a TMD header and a TMD data section contained within the WAD. It appears that the first[4] file is always a Brlan file, which is used as a container for information related to display as a "channel" in the interface sense. This is how WAD manipulation tools can show contained resources as having string-based file names, even though TMD only supports numerical codes for identifying files; they are in fact contained within the Brlan file, which is contained within the TMD structure, which is contained within the WAD.

WAD contents are encrypted using the Ticket system.


Sample Files

  • CustomizeMii source (see #Software), branch "Base_WADs"




  1. Release of Wikipedia:Wii Shop Channel
  2. https://wiibrew.org/wiki/NUS_Downloader
  3. https://wiibrew.org/wiki/WAD_files
  4. LibWiiSharp source → libWiiSharp/WAD.cs → parseWad
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