TextTemplates are an easy and convenient way to store messages with variable elements. For instance, you may find yourself wanting to create a configurable message for players who have joined the server for the first time. This is easily attainable with TextTemplates using the following strategy:

Let’s say we want to create a join message where the text is all yellow and italicized except the player’s name, which will be bold and aqua and the server’s name which will be bold and red. We can create a template of that description using the following code:

import static org.spongepowered.api.text.TextTemplate.*;
import org.spongepowered.api.text.TextTemplate;
import org.spongepowered.api.text.format.TextColor;
import org.spongepowered.api.text.format.TextStyle;

TextTemplate template = of(
    TextColors.YELLOW, TextStyles.ITALIC, "Welcome to ",
    arg("server").color(TextColors.RED).style(TextStyles.BOLD), " ",
    arg("player").color(TextColors.AQUA).style(TextStyles.BOLD), "!"

You can obtain the result of this text template with the TextTemplate#apply() method. The apply() method accepts a Map<String, TextElement> of parameters where the keys are the names of the arguments and the values are the TextElement values you wish to replace the arguments with.


Unless an argument is specified as „optional” via Arg.optional() when it is created, missing parameters supplied to the apply() method will throw a TextTemplateArgumentException. Arguments may also specify a default value during their creation with Arg.defaultValue()


Although arguments can have text formatting associated with them, this can be overridden by providing a Text object with custom formatting to the parameter map via the apply() method.

TextTemplates, like Text objects themselves are serializable to Configurate. To save a TextTemplate to a configuration file use the following code. We are also going to add a setting here so the user can define the name of their server.


To learn more about how to use Configurate to create configuration files for your plugin please refer to Configuring Plugins.

import ninja.leaping.configurate.ConfigurationNode;
import com.google.common.reflect.TypeToken;

ConfigurationNode node = loader.load();
node.getNode("serverName").setValue("My Sponge Server");
node.getNode("mytemplate").setValue(TypeToken.of(TextTemplate.class), template);

This will produce the following output:

serverName="My Sponge Server"
mytemplate {
    arguments {
        player {
        server {
    content {
            "Welcome to ",
            " ",
    options {

You can retrieve TextTemplates from configurations using the following code:

TextTemplate template = node.getNode("mytemplate").getValue(TypeToken.of(TextTemplate.class));

Once you are happy with the layout of your new TextTemplate, let’s go ahead and send it to the server when a player joins the server for the first time. We can achieve that using the following code:


To learn more about how to handle events, please refer to Events.

import com.google.common.collect.ImmutableMap;
import org.spongepowered.api.Sponge;
import org.spongepowered.api.data.key.Keys;
import org.spongepowered.api.entity.living.player.Player;
import org.spongepowered.api.event.network.ClientConnectionEvent;
import org.spongepowered.api.text.Text;
import java.time.Instant;
import java.util.Optional;

public void onJoin(ClientConnectionEvent.Join event) {
    Player player = event.getTargetEntity();
    Instant firstPlayed = player.firstPlayed().get();
    Instant lastPlayed = player.lastPlayed().get();
    if (firstPlayed.equals(lastPlayed)) {
        // Player has not been to this server before
        // First we will get the server name from our configuration file
        String serverName = node.getNode("serverName").getString();
        // Next we will send the template to the server,
        // using the "server" and "player" template parameters
        Text message = this.template.apply(ImmutableMap.of(
                "server", Text.of(serverName), "player", Text.of(player.getName())