Modding:Modder Guide/APIs/Content Packs

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A content pack is a special type of mod that isn't run by SMAPI directly, but contains files your own mod can read.

Content pack format

A content pack is a folder containing a manifest.json file which specifies your mod in its ContentPackFor field (see manifest). The format beyond that is up to you to define. For example, Content Patcher requires a content.json file, but that's not validated by SMAPI itself. Instead, SMAPI provides an API you can use to read any other file you need from the content pack.

See Modding:Content packs for more info about content packs.

Content pack API

Get owned content packs

To get the content packs installed for your mod (including a Manifest field with the content pack's full manifest info):

foreach(IContentPack contentPack in this.Helper.ContentPacks.GetOwned())
   this.Monitor.Log($"Reading content pack: {contentPack.Manifest.Name} {contentPack.Manifest.Version} from {contentPack.DirectoryPath}");

Content packs are listed in load order, so they're already sorted for dependencies. For example, if content pack B requires A, they'll be listed in the order A → B.

As a note, this can be done as early as ModEntry, although mods often choose to perform this step in the GameLoad or SaveLoaded event.

Check if a file exists

You can check if a file exists in the content pack folder using HasFile. You can specify a relative path like data/content.json.

if (!contentPack.HasFile("content.json"))
   // show 'required file missing' error

It is often a good idea to alert the player (and modders who may be using your mod) if the file is missing on deployment.

Read a JSON file

You can read a JSON file from a content pack folder into a data model (YourDataModel in the example below) using ReadJsonFile. You can specify a relative path like data/content.json. This will return null if the file doesn't exist.

YourDataModel data = contentPack.ReadJsonFile<YourDataFile>("content.json");

Write a JSON file

You can write a JSON file in a content pack folder using WriteJsonFile, using a data model (YourDataModel in the example below). You can specify a relative path like data/content.json (subdirectories will be created automatically if needed). This will create the file if it doesn't exist, or overwrite it if it does.

Note: this is best used for generated files. Overwriting the original files isn't recommended, since a bug in your mod which changes an original file might permanently break the content pack and require the player to reinstall it.

YourDataModel data = new YourDataModel();
contentPack.WriteJsonFile("content.json", data);

Read content asset

You can read a content asset from the content pack folder using LoadAsset. You can optionally specify a relative path to read from a subfolder.

Texture2D image = contentPack.ModContent.Load<Texture2D>("image.png");

If you need to pass an asset name to game code, you can use the GetActualAssetKey method:

tilesheet.ImageSource = contentPack.GetActualAssetKey("image.png");

Get translations

You can read translations from the content pack's i18n folder. This is identical to the translation API, but accessed through contentPack.Translations:

string text = contentPack.Translation.Get("item-type.label");

Create a fake content pack

In specialised cases, you can create a temporary content pack for a given directory path:

// create with random manifest data
IContentPack contentPack = this.Helper.ContentPacks.CreateFake(
   directoryPath: Path.Combine(this.Helper.DirectoryPath, "content-pack"),

// create with given manifest fields
IContentPack contentPack = this.Helper.ContentPacks.CreateTemporary(
   directoryPath: Path.Combine(this.Helper.DirectoryPath, "content-pack"),
   id: Guid.NewGuid().ToString("N"),
   name: "temporary content pack",
   description: "...",
   author: "...",
   version: new SemanticVersion(1, 0, 0)