Modding:Maps

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Index

This page explains how to edit maps. This is an advanced guide for modders.

Intro

Basic concepts

  • A map is the layout of the terrain (like water, cliffs, and land), terrain features (like bushes), buildings, paths, and triggers for a particular area. When you reach the edge of an area or enter a building, and the screen fades to black during the transition, you're moving between maps.
  • Each map consists of several layers stacked one in front of the other. Objects in a layer closer to the front will hide objects in layers behind them. From back to front, the standard layers are...
    layer name typical contents
    Back Terrain, water, and basic features (like permanent paths).
    Buildings Placeholders for buildings (like the farmhouse).
    Paths Flooring, paths, grass, and debris (like stones, weeds, and stumps) which can be removed by the player.
    Front Objects that are drawn on top of things behind them, like most trees.
    AlwaysFront Objects that are always drawn on top of other layers. This is typically used for foreground effects like foliage cover.
  • Each layer consists of many tiles, which are 16×16 pixel squares placed in a grid to form the visible map. Each tile can have properties (e.g. passable / blocked), special logic (e.g. an action to perform when the player steps on them), and a picture to show. The picture is represented by a sprite index (or tile index), which is its position in an associated spritesheet (see next).
  • Each map has one or more spritesheets (also known as tilesheets when talking about mods), which contains the available tiles and images that are put together to form the visible map.

Tile coordinates

Each tile has an (x, y) coordinate which represents its position on the map, where (0, 0) is the top-left tile. The x value increases towards the right, and y increases downwards. For example:

Modding - creating an XNB mod - tile coordinates.png

Getting started

There are two main ways to edit a map.

Using SMAPI

Creating a SMAPI mod requires programming, but it's much more powerful and multiple SMAPI mods can edit the same map. If you want to use this approach:

  1. Create a SMAPI mod.
  2. See instructions below for map changes.

Using Tiled

Creating an XNB mod doesn't require programming, but it's less flexible and players can't install two XNB mods that change the same map. You'll need to unpack the game's map file, change it using a map editor, and repack it. If you want to use this approach:

  1. Install the latest Tiled snapshot version (not the stable version).
  2. Once installed, go to Edit > Preferences > Plugins and enable the tbin plugin.
  3. Set the following settings:
    setting value reason
    View > Snap to Grid ✓ enabled This is required to convert objects back into the game's format.
    Highlight Current Layer ✓ enabled This makes it more clear which tile you're editing.
  4. See Modding:Creating an XNB mod for help unpacking & packing the map files.
  5. See instructions below for map changes.

Map edits

Custom map

You can add a new map and location to the game.

If you're using SMAPI:

public void Entry(IModHelper helper)
{
   // load a map.tbin file from your mod's folder.
   Map map = helper.Content.Load<Map>("map.tbin", ContentSource.ModFolder);

   // add the new location
   GameLocation location = new GameLocation(map, "YourLocationName") { IsOutdoors = false, IsFarm = false };
   Game1.locations.Add(location);
}

If you're using Tiled:

You can create the map in Tiled, but you need SMAPI to add it to the game.

Custom tilesheet

You can add custom sprites, tiles, or images to a map.

If you're using SMAPI:

public void Entry(IModHelper helper)
{
   // This gets the asset key for a tilesheet.png file from your mod's folder. You can also load a game tilesheet like
   // this: helper.Content.GetActualAssetKey("spring_town", ContentSource.GameContent).
   string tilesheetPath = helper.Content.GetActualAssetKey("tilesheet.png", ContentSource.ModFolder);

   // Get an instance of the in-game location you want to patch. For the farm, use Game1.getFarm() instead.
   GameLocation location = Game1.getLocationFromName("Town");

   // Add the tilesheet.
   TileSheet tilesheet = new TileSheet(
      id: "your-custom-spritesheet", // a unique ID for the tilesheet
      map: location.map,
      imageSource: tilesheetPath,
      sheetSize: new xTile.Dimensions.Size(32, 62), // the pixel size of your tilesheet image.
      tileSize: new xTile.Dimensions.Size(16, 16) // should always be 16x16 for maps
   );
   location.map.AddTileSheet(tilesheet);
   location.map.LoadTileSheet(Game1.mapDisplayDevice);
}
To change tiles using the new tilesheet, see #Tiles below.

If you're using Tiled:

  1. Create your spritesheet. This should be a PNG image with images divided into 16x16 tiles (see Modding:Creating an XNB mod#Basic concepts for examples).
  2. Open the map in Tiled.
  3. Add the custom spritesheet:
    1. In the Tilesets pane, click the Modding - creating an XNB mod - Tiled 'new tilesheet' button.png button.
    2. Give it a descriptive name (like 'cute bugs') and choose the image source.
    3. Keep the default settings and click OK.
  4. Add custom sprites to the map:
    1. In the Layers pane, click the layer you want to edit.
    2. In the Tilesets pane, click the tab for your custom spritesheet.
    3. In the Tilesets pane, click one tile to select it. To choose multiple, click and drag the cursor.
    4. Move the cursor to the map, and you'll see an overlay with the tiles you selected.
    5. Click the map to place those tiles on the selected layer.

Map properties

Each map can have multiple map properties, which define attributes and behaviour associated with the map like lighting, music, warp points, etc. Each property has a name (which defines the type of property) and value (which configures the property). See #Known properties below.

If you're using SMAPI:

public void Entry(IModHelper helper)
{
   // get the 'Music' value
   Game1.currentLocation.map.Properties.TryGetValue("Music", out string value);

   // add or set the 'Music' value
   Game1.currentLocation.map.Properties["Music"] = "MarlonsTheme";

   // remove the 'Music' value
   Game1.currentLocation.map.Properties.Remove("Music");
}

If you're using Tiled:

  1. Click Map on the toolbar and choose Map Properties.
  2. View and edit properties using the GUI.

Tile properties

Tile properties are set on individual map tiles. They can change game behaviour (like whether the player can cross them), or perform actions when the player steps on or clicks the tile. Each property has a name and value.

If you're using SMAPI:

public void Entry(IModHelper helper)
{
   // get property
   string value = Game1.currentLocation.doesTileHaveProperty(tileX, tileY, "Diggable", "Back");

   // add or set property
   Game1.currentLocation.setTileProperty(tileX, tileY, "Back", "Diggable", "T");

   // remove tile property
   Layer layer = Game1.currentLocation.map.GetLayer("Back");
   Tile tile = layer.PickTile(new xTile.Dimensions.Location(x, y) * Game1.tileSize, Game1.viewport.Size);
   tile.Properties.Remove("Diggable");
   //tile.TileIndexProperties.Remove("Diggable"); // NOTE: removing a tile index property will affect all tiles of this type
}

If you're using Tiled:

In Tiled these are represented by two types: object properties only apply to the selected tile, while tile properties apply to every instance of that tile. In general you'll always set object properties, so we'll only cover those.
  1. Select the object layer in the Layers pane.
  2. Choose the Modding - creating an XNB mod - Tiled 'select object' button.png select object tool in the toolbar.
  3. Click the object whose properties you want to view. Objects are represented with a gray selection box on the map:
    Modding - creating an XNB mod - map object.png
  4. The object properties will be shown in the Properties pane.
    Modding - creating an XNB mod - Tiled tile properties pane.png
To edit properties for an existing object:
  • Change a value: click the value field and enter the new value.
  • Change a name: select the property and click the Modding - creating an XNB mod - Tiled 'edit' button.png icon.
  • Add a property: click the Modding - creating an XNB mod - Tiled 'add' button.png icon, enter the property name, make sure the selected type is "string", and click OK.
To add a new object:
  1. Select the object layer in the Layers pane.
    There should be one object layer for each tile layer. If the object layer is missing, create one with the same name as the right tile layer.
  2. Choose the Modding - creating an XNB mod - Tiled 'insert rectangle' button.png insert rectangle tool from the toolbar.
  3. Click and drag the rectangle over the tile you want to edit. Make sure it snaps to the tile grid (see #Using Tiled), and only one tile is selected.
    1. See previous for how to edit its properties.

Tiles

You can edit the tiles for an existing map.

If you're using SMAPI:

public void Entry(IModHelper helper)
{
   // remove tile from layer
   location.removeTile(tileX, tileY, "Back");

   // add tile
   Layer layer = location.map.GetLayer("Back");
   TileSheet tilesheet = location.map.GetTilesheet("tilesheet name");
   layer.Tiles[tileX, tileY] = new StaticTile(layer, tilesheet, BlendMode.Alpha, tileID);

   // toggle water tile behaviour
   location.waterTiles[tileX, tilyY] = false; // true: water, false: not water
}

If you're using Tiled:

See Tiled documentation.

Animated tiles

Modding - creating an XNB mod - example animation.gif

You can animate tiles to create effects like Gil in his rocking chair (see example at right).

If you're using SMAPI:

TODO

If you're using Tiled:

  1. Select the tile you want to animate in the Tilesets pane.
  2. Click View > Tile Animation Editor in the toolbar to show that pane.
  3. In the Tile Animation Editor pane, drag tiles from the tilesheet into the box on the left to create a frame (one image in the sequence).
  4. Double-click the numbers to change how long each frame stays on the screen before the next one (in milliseconds). Make sure every frame has the same time; the game can't handle variable frame times. For example, here's the animation editor showing one of the tiles of Gil rocking:
    Modding - creating an XNB mod - Tiled example animation pane.gif
  5. When you're done, close the pane.
  6. The animated tiles in the Tilesets pane will now have a little symbol in the bottom-right corner:
    Modding - creating an XNB mod - Tiled example animation tileset.png
    The animation is now part of that tile. Every instance of that tile on the map will now have the same animation.

Known properties

Map properties

Known map properties:¹

property explanation
AmbientLight <int r> <int g> <int b> Sets the RGB colour of the ambient light.
Example: AmbientLight 95 95 95 for a normal indoor daytime lighting.
BrookSounds [<int x> <int y> <int sound>] Adds sound sources. The <x> <y> fields are the tile coordinates, and <sound> is the ambient sound ID.
DayTiles [<string layer> <int x> <int y> <int type>]+ Sets which tiles should glow during the day to simulate sunlight streaming through windows. The <layer> field is the map layer name, <x> <y> are the tile coordinates, and <type> specifies the glow type (e.g. 256 and 288 for an upper and lower window).
Example: DayTiles Front 3 1 256 Front 3 2 288.
Doors <int x> <int y> <string sheetID> <int tileID> Adds a door. The <x> <y> fields are the tile coordinates, <sheetID> is the name of the sheet containing the door sprite, and <tileID> is the tile index in the spritesheet.
Fall_Objects T²
Spring_Objects T²
Summer_Objects T²
Winter_Objects T²
Whether to spawn seasonal objects on spawnable tiles based on the data in Data\Locations.xnb.
Example: Fall_Objects.
Light [<int x> <int y> <int type>]+ Adds light sources. The <type> field is the kind of light source (e.g. 4 for twin candles), and <x> <y> are the tile coordinates.
Example: Light 3 8 4 6 8 4 11 8 4 3 2 5 10 2 5 6 19 5 5 15 5 5 11 5 11 12 5 (Adventurer's Guild).
Music <string name> Sets the music that plays when the player enters, where <name> is the cue name in the audio files.
Example: Music MarlonsTheme.
NightTiles [<string layer> <int x> <int y> <int type>]+ Like DayTiles, but for moonlight at night.
Outdoors T² Sets whether the location is outdoors.
Example: Outdoors true.
TreatAsOutdoors T²  ?
Trees [<int x> <int y> <int type>]+ Adds trees to the map. The <x> <y> fields are the tile coordinates, and <type> is the tree type (1: oak, 2: maple, 3: pine, 6: palm, 7: mushroom tree).
Example: Trees 17 18 2 20 31 2.
UniquePortrait [<str name>]+  ?
UniqueSprite [<str name>]+  ?
ViewportFollowPlayer T² Forces the viewport to stay centered on the player.
Example: ViewportFollowPlayer.
Warp [<int fromX> <int fromY> <string toArea> <int toX> <int toY>]+ Sets the tiles which warp the player to another map (e.g. doors). The <fromX> <fromY> fields are the tile coordinates that initiate the warp, and <toArea> <toX> <toY> are the name of the in-game location to warp to and the tile coordinates within it.
Example: 6 20 Mountain 76 9.

The following properties are used but apparently have no effect: Arch, Debris, and Fish.

¹ Map properties are handled in GameLocation::resetForPlayerEntry and GameLocation::loadObjects. ² The T value (short for true) is conventional, but any non-empty value will work too.

Tile properties

Known tile properties (excluding specialised properties like TouchAction WomensLocker):¹

layer property explanation
Back Diggable T² Marks the tile as diggable with the hoe and enables planting crops.
Back NoFurniture T² Prevents the player from placing furniture on this tile.
Back NoSpawn All
NoSpawn True
Combines NoSpawn Grass and NoSpawn Tree.
Back NoSpawn Grass Prevents debris (e.g. weeds or stones) from spawning on this tile.
Back NoSpawn Tree Prevents trees from spawning on this tile. Prevents the player from planting trees on this tile, except on the farm. If a tree is already on this tile, prevents it from growing.
Back NPCBarrier T² Prevents NPCs from crossing this tile.
Back Type <str type> Sets the tile type for various game logic (e.g. step sounds or planting crops), where <type> is one of Dirt, Stone, Grass, or Wood.
Back Water T² Marks the tile as a water tile for various game logic (e.g. items splash into it, can refill watering can from it, can't walk on it, etc).
Back WaterSource T² Lets the player refill the watering can from this tile.

The TouchAction property makes something happen when the player steps on the tile:

layer property explanation
Back TouchAction ChangeIntoSwimsuit Changes the player into their swimsuit and disables running.
Back TouchAction ChangeOutOfSwimsuit Changes the player into their regular clothes and enables running.
Back TouchAction Door <string npc> If the player doesn't have 2+ friendship hearts with the villager named by the <npc> field: stops the player, marks the tile as impassible, and displays a door-locked message.
Back TouchAction Emote <string npc> <int emoteID> Finds the NPC whose name matches the <npc> field, and causes them to show the given <emoteID> above their head (4: empty can, 8: question mark, 12: angry, 16: exclamation, 20: heart, 24: sleep, 28: sad, 32: happy, 36: x, 40: pause, 52: videogame, 56: music note, 60: blush).
Back TouchAction FacingDirection <string npc> <int direction> Finds the NPC whose name matches the <npc> field, and make them face the given direction (0: up, 1: right, 2: down, 3: left).
Back TouchAction MagicWarp <string area> <int x> <int y> [string prerequisite] Warps the player to the <x> <y> tile coordinates in the given <area> with a magic sound and effects. If the [prerequisite] field is specified, only occurs if that flag is set via Game1.player.mailReceived.
Back TouchAction PoolEntrance Switches the player between swimming and walking mode.
Back TouchAction Sleep Ends the day if the player confirms.

The Action property makes something happen when the player interacts (e.g. clicks) with the tile:

layer property explanation
Buildings Action AdventureShop Shows the Adventurer's Guild shop screen.
Buildings Action Arcade_Prairie Shows the Journey of the Prairie King arcade game.
Buildings Action Arcade_Minecart Shows the Junimo Kart arcade game.
Buildings Action BuyBackpack Shows a menu which lets the player upgrade their backpack if an upgrade is available.
Buildings Action Billboard Shows the calendar menu.
Buildings Action BuyQiCoins Shows a dialogue which lets the player buy 100 Casino club coins.
Buildings Action ColaMachine Offers to let the player buy a Joja cola.
Buildings Action ClubCards
Action Blackjack
Shows the casino blackjack minigame.
Buildings Action ClubComputer
Action FarmerFile
Shows a dialogue with play stats (steps taken, gifts given, dirt hoed, etc).
Buildings Action ClubSeller Shows a dialogue which lets the player buy a Statue of Endless Fortune for one million gold.
Buildings Action ClubShop Shows the casino shop menu.
Buildings Action ClubSlots Shows the casino slots minigame.
Buildings Action Dialogue <text> Shows a generic dialogue box with the given text. See dialogue format.
Example: Action Dialogue Hi there @!
Buildings Action DivorceBook Shows divorce options for the player's current marriage status (as if they clicked the divorce book).
Buildings Action JojaShop Shows the Joja shopping screen.
Buildings Action Jukebox Shows the jukebox menu to choose the ambient music.
Buildings Action kitchen Shows the cooking menu.
Buildings Action Letter <string text> Shows the letter menu on-screen with the given text, with the syntax used by Data\mail.xnb.
Example: Action Letter Hey there!^I had some extra wood lying around... I thought maybe you could use it. Take care! ^ -Robin %item object 388 50 %%
Buildings Action LockedDoorWarp [<int toX> <int toY> <string toArea> <int openTime> <int closeTime>] Creates an activation warp normally used on doors with a time window for when it can be used. Note that you must use 24-hour times, i.e. 2000 for 8pm.
Example: 6 29 SeedShop 900 2100
Buildings Action Mailbox Shows the next letter from the player's mailbox (if any).
Buildings Action Material Shows a summary of the player's stockpiled wood and stone.
Buildings Action Message <string messageKey> Loads a message with the given key from the Content\Strings\StringsFromMaps.xnb file and displays it in a dialogue box.
Buildings Action MessageOnce <int eventID> <string message> If the player hasn't seen the event with ID <eventID>, marks that event seen and displays the given message text in a dialogue box. This does not parse dialogue format.
Buildings Action MineSign <string message> Shows a mini-dialogue box with the given raw message text. This does not parse dialogue format.
Buildings Action MinecartTransport Shows the minecart destination menu (or a message if not unlocked).
Buildings Action MineElevator Shows the mine elevator menu (to warp to a mine level) if the player has reached mine level 5+, else a mine elevator not working message.
Buildings Action NextMineLevel Warps the player to the next mine level (or level 1 if they're not in the mine).
Buildings Action Notes <int noteID> If the player has found the specified lost book, displays its museum note text and marks it read.
Example: Action Notes 17
Buildings Action NPCMessage <str name> "<str dialogueKey>" If the named NPC is within 14 tiles of the player, reads dialogue with the given key from the string files and displays a dialogue box. See dialogue format.
Example: Action NPCMessage Abigail "Strings\\StringsFromCSFiles:Event.cs.1022"
Buildings Action playSound <str cueName> Play the sound or music with the given name.
Buildings Action QiCoins Shows a dialogue which lets the player buy 10 Casino club coins if they have none, else shows how many they have.
Buildings Action Warp <int x> <int y> <str area> Warps the player to the <x> <y> tile coordinate in the <area> game location.
Example: Action Warp Mountain 76 9
Buildings Action WarpCommunityCenter Warps the player to the inside of the Community Center if they have access (else show an "it's locked" message).
Buildings Action WarpGreenhouse Warps the player to the inside of their greenhouse if they've unlocked it, else shows a message about the greenhouse ruins.
Buildings Action WizardShrine Shows the character customisation menu normally available from the Wizard's tower.

¹ Tile properties are handled throughout the codebase using GameLocation::doesTileHaveProperty. Actions and touch actions are handled by GameLocation::performAction and GameLocation::performTouchAction respectively. Emote IDs are listed as Character constants.
² The T value (short for true) is conventional, but any non-empty value will work too.