Configuring Plugins


These docs were written for SpongeAPI 7 and are likely out of date. If you feel like you can help update them, please submit a PR!

Configuration files allow plugins to store data, as well as allow server administrators to easily take control over specific portions of a plugin, if you so choose to let them. Sponge uses Configurate to allow you to easily manipulate configuration files. These pages will explain how to utilize Configurate in order to use configuration files to full advantage.


See the official Configurate wiki to gain more in-depth information about working with its components.


Sponge makes use of the HOCON configuration format, a superset of JSON, as the default format for saving configuration files. The rest of this guide will assume you are using HOCON as well. See Introduction to HOCON more for information regarding the HOCON format. Working with different formats is made relatively similar by the Configurate system, so it should not pose too much of an issue if you use an alternate format instead.

Quick Start

Creating a Default Plugin Configuration

Plugins using SpongeAPI have the option to use one or more configuration files. Configuration files allow plugins to store data, and they allow server administrators to customize plugin options (if applicable).

Getting your Default Plugin Configuration

SpongeAPI offers the use of the DefaultConfig annotation on a field or setter method with the type Path to get the default configuration file for your plugin.

If you place the @DefaultConfig annotation on a field with the type ConfigurationLoader<CommentedConfigurationNode> then you can use it to load and save the default config file in the file system. Please keep in mind that the annotated ConfigurationLoader does not use any default config file that you might ship with your jar, unless you explicitly load it.

The @DefaultConfig annotation requires a sharedRoot boolean. If you set sharedRoot to true, then the returned pathname will be in a shared configuration directory. In that case, the configuration file for your plugin will be your_plugin_id.conf (with “your_plugin_id” replaced with your plugin’s specified ID).


See Main Plugin Class for information on configuring your plugin ID.

If you set sharedRoot to false, the returned pathname will refer to a file named {pluginname}.conf in a directory specific to your plugin.

If you are unsure of what to set the value of sharedRoot to, consider the following:

  • If you plan on having multiple configuration files (complex plugins) in the future, set the value to false.

  • If you plan on having a single configuration file (less-complex plugins), set the value to true.

You can also obtain a Path instance pointing to the config directory instead of a particular file. Just have it injected using the ConfigDir annotation, either with sharedRoot set to false for a plugin specific directory or to true to get the shared configuration directory.


While it may be possible to get a File instead of a Path, Configurate (and Sponge) recommend using Path.

Example - Field using @DefaultConfig

import java.nio.file.Path;
import org.spongepowered.api.config.ConfigDir;
import org.spongepowered.api.config.DefaultConfig;
import org.spongepowered.configurate.CommentedConfigurationNode;
import org.spongepowered.configurate.loader.ConfigurationLoader;

@DefaultConfig(sharedRoot = true)
private Path defaultConfig;

@DefaultConfig(sharedRoot = true)
private ConfigurationLoader<CommentedConfigurationNode> configManager;

@ConfigDir(sharedRoot = false)
private Path privateConfigDir;


When your plugin is running for the first time, returned pathnames for configuration files and directories may not yet exist. If you delegate all reading / writing of files to Configurate, you do not need to worry about non-existent paths as the library will handle them appropriately.


The use of YAML format ( and JSON format ( is also supported, but the preferred config format for Sponge plugins is HOCON. Conversion from YAML (or JSON) to HOCON can be automated by using a YAMLConfigurationLoader (or GsonConfigurationLoader) to load the old config and then saving it using a HoconConfigurationLoader.