General Documentation

Plugin Guidance for OpenGL Drawing4 Apr 2020Guidelines for using OpenGL to draw from X-Plane plugins running inside X-Plane’s process. Plugin-drawing is supported only via OpenGL.
Plugin compatibility guide for X-Plane 11.503 Apr 2020X-Plane 11.50 and newer contains to option to run in Vulkan, Metal or OpenGL. This guide explains what's compatible and what needs to update for plugin authors.
Building and Installing Plugins24 Oct 2017Discusses platform-specific considerations for compiling & distributing plugins on Windows, macOS, and Linux.
Developing Plugins24 Oct 2017An introduction to the plug-in system, including the basics of how to set up plugins.

Available APIs

Tech Notes


Moving the Plane10 Jan 2018This tech note describes how to position the user's aircraft or multiplayer aircraft in X-Plane.

Data Access

Datarefs for the CDU screen12 Jul 2019Datarefs to read the contents of the X-Plane default FMS Control and Display Unit (CDU) screen.
SDKRawData5 Dec 2012This guide contains some of the raw data used to generate the SDK. It is probably not of general interest, but may be useful to programmers working with lots of datarefs, or adapting plugins to other APIs.


LuaJIT10 Jan 2018This tech note describes the integration issues between X-Plane 10.20 64-bit and LuaJIT.
Deferred Initialization12 Dec 2017This article explains limitations on plugins due to loading early in the X-Plane init sequence.


OpenGL State10 Jan 2018This note covers the differences between the 3 OpenGL states and how to handle them in your plugin.
Plugins and Objects10 Jan 2018This tech note describes how plugins can interact with objects.
Screen Coordinates10 Jan 2018This tech-note describes the various coordinate systems in X-Plane.
Drawing Rules10 Jan 2018A tech note with guidelines on plugin drawing in X-Plane.


OpenAL10 Jan 2018This tech note explains how to use OpenAL in an X-Plane Plugin.

User Interface