File Format Specifications

Current File Formats

General

Title Updated Description
Joystick Configuration (.joy) File Specification 11 Oct 2021 This article describes how to create joystick configuration (.joy) files.
Flightplan files - v11 .fms file format 20 Dec 2018 The 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.

Modeling

Title Updated Description
lights.txt File Format 10 Jun 2020 The 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

Title Updated Description
Airport Data (apt.dat) 12.00 File Format Specification 7 Nov 2022
Navdata in X-Plane 11 and 12 2 Jul 2022 This document explains the new Nav data format for X-Plane 11.
Airport Data (apt.dat) 11.00 File Format Specification 19 Nov 2021 This document defines core airport data for current version of X-Plane (11.00 and onwards).
Astronomical data (astro.dat) File Format Specification 19 Nov 2015 This document describes the file format and codes used in X-Plane's astro.dat file, usable with X-Plane version 7.40 onwards.

Aircraft

Title Updated Description
Aircraft VR Configuration (_vrconfig.txt) File Format Specification 1 Jun 2022 Explains how to create a text-based configuration file that customizes VR interactions for your aircraft.

Scenery

Title Updated Description
Library (library.txt) File Format Specification 26 Jan 2023 Describes 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.
Forest (.for) File Format Specification 10 Nov 2022 A detailed file format explanation for X-Plane forest files.
OBJ8 (.obj) File Format Specification 9 Nov 2022 A complete file format specification for X-Plane 10 object (.obj) files, including all new v10 features.
DSF Usage In X-Plane 2 May 2022 This articles explains how X-Plane interprets raw DSF data to render scenery.
X-Plane 10 Autogen Scenery File Format 9 Oct 2019 This document describes the syntax of the X-Plane 10 autogen art asset file formats.
DSF File Format Specification 3 Oct 2019 A low-level specification of X-Plane's binary DSF scenery file format.
Painted Line (.lin) File Format Specification 18 Jul 2019 Describes X-Plane's painted line (.lin) file format, which defines taxiway markings that can be draped over DSFs in scenery.
Terrain Type (.ter) File Format Specification 28 Jun 2018 Describes 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.
X-Plane 10 Facade (.fac) File Format Specification 5 Feb 2018 This document describes the complete X-Plane 10 facade file format.
Autogen String (.ags) File Format Specification 16 Dec 2015 Describes 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 Specification 16 Dec 2015 Describes X-Plane's autogen block (.agb) file format, which is used to tightly fill and pack rectangular scenery areas.
Draped Polygon (.pol) File Format Specification 2 Mar 2015 Describes X-Plane's draped polygon (.pol) format, which defines how a DSF polygon should be draped over the existing terrain mesh.
Vector Network (.net) File Format Specification 25 Jun 2014 Describes X-Plane's vector network definition (.net) file format, which is used to render road networks.
Object String (.str) File Format Specification 25 Jun 2014 Describes X-Plane's object string (.str) files, which place objects (such as taxiway lights) along a bezier curve.
Standard Shading Options for X-Plane 10 Scenery 7 May 2013 This document describes the syntax and options for shading in most X-Plane scenery file formats.

Sound

Title Updated Description
Sound (.snd) File Format Specification 1 Jun 2022 X-Plane .snd files integrate custom FMOD sound into an aircraft.

Legacy File Formats

Title Updated Description
Airway Data (awy.dat) File Format Specification 22 Mar 2017 This explains the legacy earth_awy.dat file format for X-Plane version 7.40 – 10.52.
Fix Intersection (fix.dat) File Format Specification 22 Mar 2017 This explains the legacy earth_fix.dat file format for X-Plane version 7.40 – 10.52.
Navigation Data (nav.dat & earth_nav.dat) File Format Specification 22 Mar 2017 This explains the legacy nav.dat file format for X-Plane version 8.10 – 10.52.
X-Plane nav-aid data file definition (740 version) 22 Mar 2017 This explains the legacy nav.dat file format for X-Plane version 7.40 – 8.09.
Airport data (apt.dat) 715 version 22 Mar 2017 This defines the legacy apt.dat format for X-Plane version 7.15 – 8.06.
Airport Data (apt.dat) 10.00 Version 22 Mar 2017 This document defines core airport data for X-Plane 10.00.
Airport Data (apt.dat) 850 Version 22 Mar 2017 This defines the legacy apt.dat format for X-Plane version 8.50.
Airport Data (apt.dat) 1050 File Format Specification 22 Mar 2017 This defines the legacy apt.dat format for X-Plane version 10.50-10.52.