Welcome to The OpenRA Book!

OpenRA is an RTS game engine that:

Who This Book Is For

  • Players
  • Modders / Game Makers
  • Developers

Assumptions This Book Makes About You


You have:

  • played one of the above-listed games (or their sequels), or an RTS game in general
  • the latest stable version of OpenRA installed
  • the original Red Alert assets (either a CD-ROM / ISO or you'll let OpenRA install these for you)

Modders / Game Makers & Developers

You are familiar and comfortable with:

  • basic text editing
  • reading and writing C#
  • using a terminal (such as cmd.exe on Windows, on macOS, Xterm/Konsole/something else on GNU/Linux)
  • git

How to Read This Book

The current vision for this book is to have 3 sections, in the following order:

In general, the book assumes that you're reading the section(s) relevant to you in sequence from start to finish.

The section order is deliberate because knowing how to play the game is important to being able to create games/mods that players want to play and knowing, at a high-level, how game making / modding is done will help you implement better, reusable, modder- and player-friendly functionality.

Later chapters build on concepts in earlier chapters, and earlier chapters might not delve into details on a topic; we typically revisit the topic in a later chapter.

Truly there is no wrong way to read this book: if you want to skip ahead, go for it! You may have to jump back to earlier chapters, or get help from the community, if you experience confusion. But do whatever works for you.

You can dive in by reading the glossary page, then the Getting Started chapter for modders right now!

Community & Social Media

  • Discord - discuss modding, engine development, game playing, etc.

  • Twitter - @openra

  • Reddit - /r/openra