Map scripting

Matthias Mailänder edited this page Jul 23, 2016 · 38 revisions
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The map scripting feature of OpenRA allows you to create custom shellmaps, minigames, single player/co-op missions and more.

The Lua scripting language is used in OpenRA for scripting maps. There is no need to download Lua from the website; a custom build of Lua is included with recent versions of the game. A basic guide to Lua can be found on the Programming in Lua (first edition) page.

IDE support

You can use any programmers text editor or Lua supporting IDE (integrated development environment).

ZeroBrane Studio

ZeroBrane Studio is cross-platform Open Source Lua IDE. Download the openra.lua file and place it in in ZBS/packages/ or HOME/.zbstudio/packages. Then restart and select Project - Lua Interpreter - OpenRA. The file then gets code completion and tooltips based on the Lua-API definition.

ZeroBrane Studio OpenRA Lua


A convenient way is to also use MonoDevelop for both the C# editing and Lua scripting. Go to Tools - Add-In-Manager and install the MonoDevelop Lua bindings.

MonoDevelop Lua bindings

You will then get syntax highlighting and templates for the .lua files referenced in the OpenRA.sln main project file.

MonoDevelop OpenRA Lua

Setting up Lua for your map

This guide assumes you have knowledge of creating and editing OpenRA maps (See Mapping).

Lua script code is to be contained in one or more .lua files within the map archive, next to map.yaml and map.bin. All script files for a particular map must be within the map's archive.

See Lua-API for more details.


See also