Skip to content


Switch branches/tags

Name already in use

A tag already exists with the provided branch name. Many Git commands accept both tag and branch names, so creating this branch may cause unexpected behavior. Are you sure you want to create this branch?

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time
⚠️ This repository is provided for reference only, and might be out of date. Always use the newest SDK included with the simulator to build your plugins. ⚠️


eXpanSIM is a universal vehicle simulator supporting VR. The training mode lets you learn (eco-)driving cars and trucks. Racing fans can test their skills in driving vehicles with realistic physics. It is also a modern research testbed for engineers, designers and AI specialists working on autonomous vehicles. You can find it on Steam. We also offer enterprise licensing: contact us for details.

IMPORTANT: this is an early preview release of the plugins feature and the SDK. Everything is subject to change.

After installing eXpanSIM on Steam you can find the built SDK in the <Steam directory>\steamapps\common\eXpanSIM\SDK directory. It's recommended to always use the SDK included with the simulator build. The GitHub repository is provided only for reference and might be out of date.


Building plugins with the current version of the SDK requires:

  • Visual Studio 2019 16.7 or newer. Other compilers haven't yet been tested and aren't recommended at this time.
  • C++17 support. C support will be released in the future.
  • Windows SDK 1809 (10.0.17763.0).

Getting started

  1. Set XSIM_SDK_PATH environment variable to this folder.
  2. Install the Visual Studio project template (see below).
  3. After building your plugin, copy it to one of these directories (create it if it doesn't exist):
    1. <installation path>\Simulator\Plugins: this is recommended path to use for automated deployment
      • for Steam version: <Steam library path>\steamapps\common\eXpanSIM\Simulator\Plugins (stored under installpath value in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\WOW6432Node\SOFTWARE\Raving Bots\eXpanSIM\Steam)
      • for enterprise version (default): C:\Program Files\Raving Bots\eXpanSIM (stored under InstallPath value in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Raving Bots\eXpanSIM\Enterprise)
    2. Documents\eXpanSIM\Plugins (if not redirected then C:\Users\<username>\Documents is the default)
  4. Run eXpanSIM. Your plugin should now be loaded -- this will be noted in Simulator.log.

Plugin framework

The SDK comes with a framework that makes implementing plugins easier, and takes care of some of the details for you. In the current version, you have to implement the xsim::GetPlugin method, and inside call xsim::MakePlugin<YourPluginClass>. The plugin class specified must inherit from xsim::PluginV1<> and in the template arguments specify which interfaces it wants to implement.

#include <xsim/xsim.hpp>
#include <xsim/generated/IPluginNotifySpawnV1.hpp>

namespace my_plugin
	struct MyPlugin final : xsim::PluginV1<xsim::IPluginNotifySpawnV1>
			// must be default-constructible
			// constructed when the plugin is loaded

		~MyPlugin() noexcept
			// destructed when the plugin is being unloaded gracefully

		// ... override methods ...

std::unique_ptr<xsim::IPluginWrapper> xsim::GetPlugin()
	return xsim::MakePlugin<my_plugin::MyPlugin>();


The plugin system is now based on your plugin class inheriting from special interface classes and overriding methods in them.

Every plugin implements IPluginV1 implicitly. Your plugin class will be created using the default constructor when the plugin is loaded, and destructed when the plugin is gracefully unloaded. eXpanSIM doesn't guarantee that the plugins will be unloaded when it terminates, however.

Other than that you can implement any number of functionality-related interfaces. The unstable interfaces expose the latest features, but will change in time and plugins using them will eventually stop working. The stable interfaces are versioned and never change (but might be removed in the future). For the current list of interfaces see

Your plugin will continue to work even if interfaces you implement have changed or are no longer supported. See ABI stability below.


Some interfaces require you to specify when its methods are to be called. This is controlled by a JSON file deployed together with the plugin (in previous version this was API_v1.json in the main configuration directory).

The file should be have the same base name as the plugin, and a .json extension, e.g. if your plugin is Telemetry.dll then the configuration is Telemetry.json. The defaults look like this:

	"DebugMode": false,
	"VehicleControllerV1": "None",
	"VehicleV1": {
		"MotorEngineV1": "None",
		"TransmissionV1": "None",
		"WheelHubV1": "None",
		"CatTrackHubV1": "None",
		"TelemetryV1": "None",
		"DashboardV1": "None"

Setting DebugMode to true enables some additional diagnostic logging. For other fields the valid values are:

  • None (the default if the field is not present) - the plugin method will not be called at all
  • Inherit - the plugin method will be called after the default implementation is done
  • Replace - the plugin method will be called instead of the default implementation

Note that this only applies to some of the interfaces, e.g. IPluginNotifySpawnV1 doesn't require dispositions. See for more details.

For example a plugin that wants to receive telemetry would implement IPluginTelemetryV1 and set TelemetryV1 in the configuration to Inherit:

	"VehicleV1": {
		"TelemetryV1": "Inherit"

ABI/API stability

The current ABI version is v1. Plugins built for ABI v0 will no longer work.

Your plugin will continue to work as long as ABI v1 and IPluginV1 interface are supported, even if you implement unstable interfaces. Interfaces are identified by a unique name and a checksum, so your methods will simply not be called on interfaces that have changed or have been removed.

You should no longer need to rebuild the plugin when new simulator builds are released. Implement only stable interfaces for the best guarantee that your plugin will continue to work as intended with no changes.

API might change occasionally as the framework is improved, however. Expect your code to require changes to recompile with newer versions of the SDK.

Utility functions

The SDK offers a few utilities to make developing the plugins easier:

  • In <xsim/logs.hpp>
    • xsim::Log(xsim::LogLevel level, std::wstring_view message, Args&&...) - logging with formatting support (via fmt)
    • xsim::Log(std::wstring_view message, Args&&...) - for API compatibility with earlier SDK, calls Log with LogLevel::Information
  • In <xsim/math.hpp>
    • xsim::Vector2F, xsim::Vector3F, xsim::Vector4F - vector classes with overloaded operators (including xsim::Dot and xsim::Cross)
    • xsim::Quaternion - quaternion class (no operator support yet)
  • In <xsim/utils.hpp>
    • xsim::PluginError - exception class that supports wstring message
    • XSIM_FAIL(message) - unconditionally throws xsim::PluginError tagged with file/line/function
    • XSIM_FAILF(message, ...) - same as above, plus formatting support
    • XSIM_FAIL_WINDOWS(message) - unconditionally throws xsim::PluginError with a description based on GetLastError(), tagged with file/line/function
    • XSIM_FAILF_WINDOWS(message, ...) - same as above, plus formatting support
    • XSIM_FAIL_WINDOWS_CODE(code, message) - same as above, but with given error code instead of GetLastError()
    • XSIM_FAILF_WINDOWS_CODE(code, message) - same as above, plus formatting support
    • XSIM_FAIL_HRESULT(hr, message) - unconditionally throws xsim::PluginError with a description based on given HRESULT, tagged with file/line/function
    • XSIM_FAILF_HRESULT(hr, message, ...) - same as above, plus formatting support
    • XSIM_CHECK_HRESULT(hr, message) - throws xsim::PluginError if given HRESULT is FAILED(), tagged with file/line/function
    • XSIM_CHECKF_HRESULT(hr, message, ...) - same as above, plus formatting support
    • std::wstring xsim::ToUTF16(std::string_view source) - converts given string from UTF-8 to UTF-16
    • std::string xsim::ToUTF8(std::wstring_view source) - converts given string from UTF-16 to UTF-8
    • const fs::path& xsim::GetDocumentsPath() - returns the path to Documents\eXpanSIM
    • const fs::path& xsim::GetSimulatorPath() - returns the path to eXpanSIM executable directory
    • int32_t xsim::GetSimulatorBuildID() - returns the current build number (increases by 1 with every build)
    • std::wstring_view xsim::GetSimulatorVersion() - returns the current descriptive simulator version (in undefined format, use GetSimulatorBuildID for version checks)
    • auto xsim::Protect(Fn&&) - calls the given invokable and catches all unhandled exceptions

Troubleshooting and logging

Any plugin-related errors can be found in the simulator log file: %LOCALAPPDATA%\eXpanSIM\Logs\Simulator.log. Use xsim::Log to append your own messages there.

Thread safety

Threading model will be clarified in the future. For now assume plugin-exported functions might be called at any time by any thread.


Exceptions can be used within the plugins, but they must not cross the DLL boundary: the interface methods are all noexcept. Any unhandled exception will terminate the simulator. You can use xsim::Protect to log the unhandled exceptions and continue instead:

void SomeMethod() noexcept override
		// code that might throw


All pointers you receive are valid only for the duration of your exported function. Make a copy of any data you want to hold on for longer.

Visual Studio project template

To use this template copy VisualStudio\ to Documents\Visual Studio 2019\Templates\ProjectTemplates or Documents\Visual Studio 2017\Templates\ProjectTemplates. Make sure Visual Studio is closed, or restart it after copying the file.

Afterwards you should be able to find "eXpanSIM plugin" in the Visual C++ category.


Early examples can be found in the Examples folder. Built DLLs are included with the simulator SDK.

  • Telemetry - a sample plugin that exports vehicle telemetry to a CSV file. Requires Telemetry.json to work properly.


Reference repository for the eXpanSIM SDK.