0.5.0 • Public • Published


read and write age of empires .dat files in nodejs. send issues if there are any requests this package aims to be the most portable .dat file opener for AoE games. currently fully supports AoE DE2 since 2023 Marc.

Install - Usage - Supported Formats - Limitations - API - License: LGPL-3

npm travis standard


npm install genie-dat-utils


var genieDat = require('genie-dat-utils')
var buffer = require('fs').readFileSync('/path/to/empires2_x1_p1.dat')
genieDat.load(buffer, (err, dat) => {
  console.log( =>

Supported Formats

The data file format differs slightly between game versions. Versions supported by this library are:

  • aoc - All AoC-style formats, such as empires2_x1.dat of AoC 1.0 and empires2_x1_p1.dat of AoC 1.0c (the most common version). UserPatch and UserPatch based mods like WololoKingdoms and Portuguese Civ Mod also use this format. HD Edition versions before 5.0 also use this format.
  • african-kingdoms - The release of African Kingdoms changed the file format slightly; HD Edition versions 5.0 and up use this format. Note that this is used regardless of whether the African Kingdoms DLC is actually installed.


Age of Kings, SWGB, and the AoE1 and AoE:DE files are not yet supported. The goal is to expand support for these formats in the future.

Still write/save functionality is not done, but can be easily implemented using the existing codes.


genieDat.load(buffer, opts={}, cb)

Decompress and load buffer, eg. a raw .dat file.

opts can be an object with properties:

cb is a Node-style callback receiving (err, dat). dat is a plain object representing the dat file contents. console.log() it to find out what's in it. There is a lot of junk, some of the more useful properties are:

  • playerColors - Player colours, mostly offsets into the main palette file
  • techs - Technology effects
  • terrains - Lists terrains
  • civilizations - Lists available civilizations
    • civilizations[i].objects - Lists unit statistics for each civ
  • researches - Lists available researches—this refers to the technology effects a lot

genieDat.loadRaw(buffer, opts={}, cb)

Load an already decompressed buffer. Use this if you manually did zlib.inflateRaw or got an uncompressed buffer through some other means. Otherwise it is identical to genieDat.load.

This project is forked from

The original genie-dat was forked by mrommel, who made a lot of improvements, I could also fork that repo, but it would be confusing. Also for visibility purposes and to finally group efforts in portability of genie dat files, I propose this new github repository.


If newer version comes out from AoEDE2 we just copy the protocol from the official: genieutils


This project is based heavily on genieutils by apreiml and Tapsa, and on the openage conversion script.


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npm i genie-dat-utils

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  • sixzero