3DGE can read content from the following archive formats:
- WAD: Doom's native format; it is sequential and does not offer compression
- GRP: Build's native format
- SIN: SiN's native format, based on Quake's QPAK format. Does not offer compression, but preserves directory structure.
- HOG/MVL: Descent's various formats
- RFF: Blood's native format
- PAK: Quake's native format (this is used for the edge2.pak startup archive. Does not offer compression, but preserves directory structure.
- ZIP/PK3: Contrarily to most implementations, 3DGE fully implements the ZIP standard and is able to open zipped archives that many utilities do not
- 7z/PK7: One of the best all-around compressed archive format
- Directory: Technically not an archive format, nevertheless 3DGE is able to load the entire content of a directory
- Single file: Also technically not an archive format, nevertheless a single lump can be loaded
- Embedded wad: a .wad file contained within a non-wad archive will be recursively loaded
3DGE, as of 2.1.0-Test3, uses PhysicsFS for most of its file abstraction; the port was previously completely based on EDGE author Andrew Apted's OBLIGE's archive implementation, which is still seen in the EPI utility code.