Available APIs

General Documentation

Title Updated Description
Plugin compatibility guide for X-Plane 11.50 12 Oct 2021 X-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.
Plugin Guidance for OpenGL Drawing 12 Oct 2021 Guidelines for using OpenGL to draw from X-Plane plugins running inside X-Plane’s process. Plugin-drawing is supported only via OpenGL.
Testing in X-Plane 16 Mar 2021 This document outlines how to test X-Plane via CLI commands and telnet. It explains key commands, debugging, and provides a sample test script text file.
Building and Installing Plugins 7 May 2019 Discusses platform-specific considerations for compiling & distributing plugins on Windows, macOS, and Linux.
Developing Plugins 13 Feb 2019 An introduction to the plug-in system, including the basics of how to set up plugins.

Tech Notes


Title Updated Description
Helicopter governor and correlator configuration 20 Nov 2023 X-Plane 12 revises the interaction of collective and throttle control in helicopters. Existing helicopters retain the default behavior of X-Plane 11 until modified in Plane Maker 12 to opt into one of the new governor systems. The joystick control assignments for collective and throttle don't change, but there's a new joystick curve available for Robinson-style throttle control.
Moving the Plane 12 Jul 2018 This tech note describes how to position the user's aircraft or multiplayer aircraft in X-Plane.

Data Access

Title Updated Description
Datarefs for the CDU screen 29 Jun 2022 Datarefs to read the contents of the X-Plane default FMS Control and Display Unit (CDU) screen.
Plugin Traffic Wake Turbulence 27 Feb 2022
Overriding TCAS and providing traffic information 4 Jan 2022 With X-Plane 11.50, plugins that display traffic in X-Plane, whether auto-generated or from an online multiplayer network, have to use the XPLMInstance API to draw these aircraft in X-Plane's world.
SDKRawData 11 Jan 2018 This 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.


Title Updated Description
LuaJIT 24 May 2021 This tech note describes the integration issues between X-Plane 10.20 64-bit and LuaJIT.
Deferred Initialization 12 Jul 2018 This article explains limitations on plugins due to loading early in the X-Plane init sequence.


Title Updated Description
Drawing Rules 12 Jul 2018 A tech note with guidelines on plugin drawing in X-Plane.
Screen Coordinates 12 Jul 2018 This tech-note describes the various coordinate systems in X-Plane.
Plugins and Objects 12 Jul 2018 This tech note describes how plugins can interact with objects.
OpenGL State 12 Jul 2018 This note covers the differences between the 3 OpenGL states and how to handle them in your plugin.


Title Updated Description
OpenAL 11 Jan 2018 This tech note explains how to use OpenAL in an X-Plane Plugin.

User Interface