File Format Specifications

Current File Formats

General

TitleDateDescription
Flightplan files - v11 .fms file format27 Sep 2017The new v11 .fms flightplan format allows saving and loading flightplans with coded instrument flight procedures. These files are understood by the X-Plane 11 GPS (GNS430W/530W), G1000 and FMS.
Sound (.snd) File Format Specification5 May 2017X-Plane .snd files integrate custom FMOD sound into an aircraft.
Joystick Configuration (.joy) File Specification8 Dec 2016This article describes how to create joystick configuration (.joy) files.

Modeling

TitleDateDescription
lights.txt File Format2 Apr 2020The lights.txt file provides X-Plane's rendering engine with instructions on how to make lights with names for other parts of the art system to reference

Airport & NAVAID Data

TitleDateDescription
Navdata in X-Plane 119 Oct 2016This document explains the new Nav data format for X-Plane 11.
Airport Data (apt.dat) 11.00 File Format Specification18 Nov 2015This document defines core airport data for current version of X-Plane (11.00 and onwards).
Astronomical data (astro.dat) File Format Specification12 Nov 2015This document describes the file format and codes used in X-Plane's astro.dat file, usable with X-Plane version 7.40 onwards.

Aircraft

TitleDateDescription
Aircraft VR Configuration (_vrconfig.txt) File Format Specification6 Apr 2018Explains how to create a text-based configuration file that customizes VR interactions for your aircraft.

Scenery

TitleDateDescription
Autogen String (.ags) File Format Specification30 Nov 2015Describes X-Plane's autogen string (.ags) file format, which is used to place a large number of tile-based scenery buildings around a polygonal shape.
Autogen Block (.agb) File Format Specification30 Nov 2015Describes X-Plane's autogen block (.agb) file format, which is used to tightly fill and pack rectangular scenery areas.
Painted Line (.lin) File Format Specification23 Jun 2013Describes X-Plane's painted line (.lin) file format, which defines taxiway markings that can be draped over DSFs in scenery.
Vector Network (.net) File Format Specification23 Jun 2013Describes X-Plane's vector network definition (.net) file format, which is used to render road networks.
Draped Polygon (.pol) File Format Specification23 Jun 2013Describes X-Plane's draped polygon (.pol) format, which defines how a DSF polygon should be draped over the existing terrain mesh.
Object String (.str) File Format Specification23 Jun 2013Describes X-Plane's object string (.str) files, which place objects (such as taxiway lights) along a bezier curve.
Terrain Type (.ter) File Format Specification23 Jun 2013Describes X-Plane Terrain (.ter) files, which tell X-Plane how to paint terrain patches. Discusses the contents of TER files and how DSF files are combined with a TER file to create a mesh.
Library (library.txt) File Format Specification23 Jun 2013Describes X-Plane's library.txt format, which tells X-Plane how to use the objects & other graphic resources located in other parts of the simulator.
X-Plane 10 Autogen Scenery File Format9 May 2013This document describes the syntax of the X-Plane 10 autogen art asset file formats.
X-Plane 10 Facade (.fac) File Format Specification8 May 2013This document describes the complete X-Plane 10 facade file format.
Standard Shading Options for X-Plane 10 Scenery6 May 2013This document describes the syntax and options for shading in most X-Plane scenery file formats.
Forest (.for) File Format Specification21 Mar 2012A detailed file format explanation for X-Plane 10 forest files.
OBJ8 (.obj) File Format Specification21 Mar 2012A complete file format specification for X-Plane 10 object (.obj) files, including all new v10 features.
DSF Usage In X-Plane19 Feb 2012This articles explains how X-Plane interprets raw DSF data to render scenery.
DSF File Format Specification19 Feb 2012A low-level specification of X-Plane's binary DSF scenery file format.

Legacy File Formats

TitleDateDescription
Airport Data (apt.dat) 1050 File Format Specification7 Feb 2017This defines the legacy apt.dat format for X-Plane version 10.50-10.52.
Airport Data (apt.dat) 850 Version18 Jan 2017This defines the legacy apt.dat format for X-Plane version 8.50.
Airport Data (apt.dat) 10.00 Version18 Jan 2017This document defines core airport data for X-Plane 10.00.
Airport data (apt.dat) 715 version19 Nov 2015This defines the legacy apt.dat format for X-Plane version 7.15 – 8.06.
X-Plane nav-aid data file definition (740 version)19 Nov 2015This explains the legacy nav.dat file format for X-Plane version 7.40 – 8.09.
Navigation Data (nav.dat & earth_nav.dat) File Format Specification12 Nov 2015This explains the legacy nav.dat file format for X-Plane version 8.10 – 10.52.
Fix Intersection (fix.dat) File Format Specification12 Nov 2015This explains the legacy earth_fix.dat file format for X-Plane version 7.40 – 10.52.
Airway Data (awy.dat) File Format Specification12 Nov 2015This explains the legacy earth_awy.dat file format for X-Plane version 7.40 – 10.52.