Skip to main content

Getting Started

🚧Pardon our dust!
We are in the process of updating and expanding our documentation, and collapsing the Development FAQ pages into other parts of our documentation as part of this process. Some information may be temporarily outdated. If something seems wrong, please join our Discord and ask in #plugin-dev for assistance.

How do I get started?

The majority of the XIVLauncher and Dalamud ecosystem is written in C# for its usability, convenience, and robustness. It is recommended that anything you work on is also in C#, unless you're working on something with a significant amount of interoperation with native code (in which C++/CLI may be useful) or you're experimenting with other .NET languages.

To get started, you'll want to get the latest version of Visual Studio found here; the Community edition will work fine. After doing so, you can clone any of the following projects and get to work with their Visual Studio solutions. Alternatively, you may want to use another IDE such as JetBrains Rider.

Dalamud Plugins

Plugins allow you to interact with the game and add features, modify functionality, and do much more. We ask you to be respectful of our guidelines to ensure that your plugin is approved into the primary repository, and to minimise the risk of action by Square Enix. You can read more about this here.

We recommend that you start by cloning one of the following templates, and then customising it to your requirements. While SamplePlugin is the most actively maintained, the others are updated as required:

To distribute a plugin, it needs to be packaged correctly. This can be done manually or with DalamudPackager.

When your plugin is ready for testing/release, it should be PRed over to the DalamudPluginsD17 repo. Please place testing plugins in the testing/live folder.

Dalamud

Dalamud is the core addon/plugin system. It is loaded by XIVLauncher into your game, and is responsible for loading your plugins and providing them with a core set of functionality.

The Dalamud source code can be found on GitHub.

Other assets required by Dalamud can be found in the DalamudAssets repository.

You can find the Dalamud API documentation on this site.

XIVLauncher

XIVLauncher is a custom launcher for FFXIV that offers a number of benefits, including faster launching, saved credentials, and automatically injecting Dalamud into the game.

The XIVLauncher source code can be found on GitHub.

Where do I ask for help?

The best place to ask for help is the #dev channel of the Discord; we're a helpful bunch and will do our best to answer your query as long as you explain what you've tried and looked at so far.

How do I hot-reload my plugin?

As of API 4/Dalamud 6, hot-reloading is part of Dalamud. To use it, go to Dalamud Settings > Experimental > Dev Plugin Locations, and then add either the folder that your plugin is in or the plugin itself. If you add a folder, Dalamud will attempt to load all DLLs within the folder.

Your configuration should look something like this: image

How do I debug my plugin and/or the game?

To debug, you'll need to attach a debugger to the game. This will usually be from your development environment, such as Visual Studio.

However, the game has antidebug protection on by default. To turn this off, use the Dalamud dev menu (/xldev), then go to Dalamud > Enable AntiDebug; this setting is persisted between launches, so you do not need to turn it on each time.

Once you've done this, you can attach to the game with your debugger. In Visual Studio, you can go to Debug > Attach to Process (Ctrl+Alt+P), and then select the FF14 process. For the full debugging experience, make sure to change "Attach to" to include both Native code and Managed (.NET 4.x) code; this will ensure that the debugger will work for both the game and for Dalamud plugins.

This functionality is only supported for debugging your plugins. You will not receive support if you use it for anything else.

Detailed instructions are available here.

How do I use FFXIVClientStructs in my own code?

FFXIVClientStructs is a communal project to provide an interface to the game's classes, data, and more to C# users and reverse engineers.

To use FFXIVClientStructs in your own code, you'll need to add a reference to it. This can be done by opening the csproj for your plugin and adding the reference with the other references:

    <Reference Include="FFXIVClientStructs">
<HintPath>$(AppData)\XIVLauncher\addon\Hooks\dev\FFXIVClientStructs.dll</HintPath>
</Reference>

or through right-clicking the project in VS, going to Add, and then adding an Assembly Reference to the same path. Note that you will likely need to still open the csproj after doing this to ensure that the path uses $(AppData) and not the path specific to your system.

The version of FFXIVClientStructs included with Dalamud is updated with reasonable frequency, and has several patches to ensure that backwards compatibility with existing plugins is not broken. You can bundle your own version if you'd like for the latest findings, but be aware that this may make it difficult for you to maintain compatibility with new versions of the game and/or Dalamud.