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wesnoth - Man Page

Battle for Wesnoth, a turn-based fantasy strategy game


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Battle for Wesnoth is a turn-based fantasy strategy game.

Defeat all enemy leaders using a well-chosen cadre of troops, taking care to manage your resources of gold and villages. All units have their own strengths and weaknesses; to win, deploy your forces to their best advantage while denying your foes the chance to do the same. As units gain experience, they acquire new abilities and become more powerful. Play in your own language and test your skill against a smart computer opponent, or join Wesnoth's large community of online players. Create your own custom units, scenarios or campaigns, and share them with others.



Show all translations in the in-game language selection list, even if they are deemed insufficiently complete.

--bunzip2 infile.bz2

decompresses a file which should be in bzip2 format and stores it without the .bz2 suffix. The infile.bz2 will be removed.

--bzip2 infile

compresses a file in bzip2 format, stores it as infile.bz2 and removes infile.

-c[id_campaign], --campaign[=id_campaign]

goes directly to the campaign with id id_campaign. A selection menu will appear if no id was specified.


The difficulty of the specified campaign (1 to max). If none specified, the campaign difficulty selection widget will appear.

--campaign-scenario id_scenario

The id of the scenario from the specified campaign. The default is the first scenario.


Skip [story] screens and dialog through the end of the start event.


Adds the option to show a clock for testing the drawing timer.

--config-dir name

Deprecated, use --userdata-dir.


Deprecated, use --userdata-path.

--core id_core

overrides the loaded core with the one whose id is specified.

--data-dir directory

overrides the data directory with the one specified


prints the path of the data directory and exits.

-d,  --debug

enables additional command mode options in-game (see the wiki page at https://www.wesnoth.org/wiki/CommandMode for more information about command mode).


enables some Lua debugging mechanisms


disallow deprecated Lua API calls

-D,--diff left-file right-file

diffs the two WML files; does not preprocess them first (to do that, run them through -p first). Outputs the diff as DiffWML on standard output or to the file indicated by --output.

-e[file], --editor[=file]

start the in-game map editor directly. If file is specified, equivalent to -l --load.


displays the number of frames per second the game is currently running at in a corner of the screen as well as writes these values to a file in the userdata directory.

-f,  --fullscreen

runs the game in full screen mode.

--gunzip infile.gz

decompresses a file which should be in gzip format and stores it without the .gz suffix. The infile.gz will be removed.

--gzip infile

compresses a file in gzip format, stores it as infile.gz and removes infile.

-h,  --help

displays a summary of command line options to standard output, and exits.

-l--load file

loads the savegame file from the standard save game directory. If the -e or --editor option is used as well, starts the editor with the map from file open. If it is a directory, the editor will start with a load map dialog opened there.

-L--language lang

uses language lang (symbol) this session. Example: --language ang_GB@latin


sets the severity level of the log domains. all can be used to match any log domain. Available levels: errorwarninginfodebugnone. By default the warning level is used for most domains, but deprecation defaults to none unless combined with the -d option.


shows the timestamps in log output with more precision.


sets the strict level of the logger. Any messages sent to log domains of this level or more severe will cause the unit test to fail regardless of the victory result. Only relevant when used with -u.


lists defined log domains (only the ones containing filter if used) and exits


prevents redirecting logged output to a file. Log files are created in the logs directory under the userdata folder.


log output is written to a file. Cancels the effect of --no-log-to-file whether implicit or explicit.


For Windows, when used with --no-log-to-file, results in output being written to cerr/cout instead of CONOUT. Otherwise, does nothing.

--max-fps fps

the number of frames per second the game can show, the value should be between 1 and 1000, the default is the monitor's refresh rate.

-m,  --multiplayer

runs a multiplayer game. There are additional options that can be used together with --multiplayer as explained below.


load the test mp scenarios.


there is a new WIP widget toolkit, this option enables it. This is very experimental, don't fill bug reports since most are known. Parts of the library are deemed stable and will work without this switch.


runs the game without any delays for graphic benchmarking. This is automatically enabled by --nogui.


disables loading of user addons.


disables caching of game data.


runs the game without the GUI. Only available in combination with --multiplayer or --screenshot or --plugin.


suppress the startup banner.


runs the game without music.


don't try to validate replay of unit test. Only relevant when used with -u.


runs the game without sounds and music.

--output file

output to the specified file. Applicable to diffing operations.

--password password

uses password when connecting to a server, ignoring other preferences. Unsafe.

--plugin script

(experimental) load a script which defines a Wesnoth plugin. Similar to --script, but Lua file should return a function which will be run as a coroutine and periodically woken up with updates.

-P,--patch base-file patch-file

applies a DiffWML patch to a WML file; does not preprocess either of the files. Outputs the patched WML to standard output or to the file indicated by --output.

-p--preprocess source-file/folder target-directory

preprocesses a specified file/folder. For each file(s) a plain .cfg file and a processed .cfg file will be written in specified target directory. If a folder is specified, it will be preprocessed recursively based on the known preprocessor rules. The common macros from the "data/core/macros" directory will be preprocessed before the specified resources. Example: -p ~/wesnoth/data/campaigns/tutorial ~/result. For details regarding the preprocessor visit: https://wiki.wesnoth.org/PreprocessorRef#Command-line_preprocessor.


comma separated list of defines to be used by the --preprocess command. If SKIP_CORE is in the define list the "data/core" directory won't be preprocessed.

--preprocess-input-macros source-file

used only by the --preprocess command. Specifies a file that contains [preproc_define]s to be included before preprocessing.


used only by the --preprocess command. Will output all preprocessed macros in the target file. If the file is not specified the output will be file '_MACROS_.cfg' in the target directory of preprocess's command. The output file can be passed to --preprocess-input-macros. This switch should be typed before the --preprocess command.

-r XxY--resolution XxY

sets the screen resolution. Example: -r 800x600.

--render-image image output

takes a valid wesnoth 'image path string' with image path functions, and outputs to a .png file. Image path functions are documented at https://wiki.wesnoth.org/ImagePathFunctionWML.


initializes game directories, prints build information suitable for use in bug reports, and exits.

--rng-seed number

seeds the random number generator with number. Example: --rng-seed 0.

--screenshot map output

saves a screenshot of map to output without initializing a screen.

--script file

(experimental) file containing a Lua script to control the client.

-s[host], --server[=host]

connects to the specified host if any, otherwise connect to the first server in preferences. Example: --server server.wesnoth.org.


runs the game with the GUI, overriding any implicit --nogui.


validation errors are treated as fatal errors.

-t[scenario_id], --test[=scenario_id]

runs the game in a small test scenario. The scenario should be one defined with a [test] WML tag. The default is test. A demonstration of the [micro_ai] feature can be started with micro_ai_test.

--translations-over percent

Set the standard for deeming a translation is complete enough to show in the in-game language list to percent. Valid values are 0 to 100.

-u--unit scenario-id

runs the specified test scenario as a unit test. Implies --nogui.


makes the package package available to lua scripts, so that they can load arbitrary packages. Do not do this with untrusted scripts! This action gives lua the same permissions as the wesnoth executable.

-S,--use-schema path

sets the WML schema for use with -V,--validate.

--userconfig-dir name

sets the user configuration directory to name under $HOME or "My Documents\My Games" for windows. You can also specify an absolute path for the configuration directory outside the $HOME or "My Documents\My Games". On Windows it is also possible to specify a directory relative to the process working directory by using path starting with ".\" or "..\". Under X11 this defaults to $XDG_CONFIG_HOME or $HOME/.config/wesnoth, on other systems to the userdata path.


prints the path of the user configuration directory and exits.

--userdata-dir name

sets the userdata directory to name under $HOME or "My Documents\My Games" for windows. You can also specify an absolute path for the userdata directory outside the $HOME or "My Documents\My Games". On Windows it is also possible to specify a directory relative to the process working directory by using path starting with ".\" or "..\".


prints the path of the userdata directory and exits.

--username username

uses username when connecting to a server, ignoring other preferences.

--validate path

validates a file against the WML schema.

--validate-addon addon_id

validates the WML of the given addon as you play.


validates the core WML as you play.

--validate-schema  path

validates a file as a WML schema.


assumes that the cache is valid. (dangerous)

-v,  --version

shows the version number and exits.


shows the version number and nothing else, then exits.

-w,  --windowed

runs the game in windowed mode.


replays the game loaded with the --load option.

Options for --multiplayer

The side-specific multiplayer options are marked with number. number has to be replaced by a side number. It usually is 1 or 2 but depends on the number of players possible in the chosen scenario.

--ai-config number:value

selects a configuration file to load for the AI controller for this side.

--algorithm number:value

selects a non-standard algorithm to be used by the AI controller for this side. The algorithm is defined by an [ai] tag, which can be a core one either in "data/ai/ais" or "data/ai/dev" or an algorithm defined by an addon. Available values include: idle_ai and experimental_ai.

--controller number:value

selects the controller for this side. Available values: human, ai and null.

--era value

use this option to play in the selected era instead of the Default era. The era is chosen by an id. Eras are described in the data/multiplayer/eras.cfg file.


exits once the scenario is over, without displaying victory/defeat dialog which normally requires the user to click End Scenario. This is also used for scriptable benchmarking.


do not use map settings, use default values instead.

--label label

sets the label for AIs.

--multiplayer-repeat value

repeats a multiplayer game value times. Best to use with --nogui for scriptable benchmarking.

--parm number:name:value

sets additional parameters for this side. This parameter depends on the options used with --controller and --algorithm. It should only be useful for people designing their own AI. (not yet documented completely)

--scenario value

selects a multiplayer scenario by id. The default scenario id is multiplayer_The_Freelands.

--side number:value

selects a faction of the current era for this side. The faction is chosen by an id. Factions are described in the data/multiplayer.cfg file.

--turns value

sets the number of turns for the chosen scenario. By default no turn limit is set.

Exit Status

Normal exit status is 0. An exit status of 1 indicates an (SDL, video, fonts, etc) initialization error. An exit status of 2 indicates an error with the command line options.
When running unit tests (with -u), the exit status is different. An exit status of 0 indicates that the test passed, and 1 indicates that the test failed. An exit status of 3 indicates that the test passed, but produced an invalid replay file. An exit status of 4 indicates that the test passed, but the replay produced errors. These latter two are only returned if --noreplaycheck is not passed.


Written by David White <davidnwhite@verizon.net>.
Edited by Nils Kneuper <crazy-ivanovic@gmx.net>, ott <ott@gaon.net> and Soliton <soliton.de@gmail.com>.
This manual page was originally written by Cyril Bouthors <cyril@bouthors.org>.
Visit the official homepage: https://www.wesnoth.org/

See Also


Referenced By


2022 Battle for Wesnoth