Protomods Usage?

Is there any documentation or other sort of assistance for the new protomods.xml file that can be used in mod packs? Now that we have an official way to append to the protoy without editing it directly, I’d love to convert my existing mod to use that system so that it doesn’t break with every patch. However, when I tried to use protomods in the same way that I saw in one of the official mods, it made my game crash. So if anyone knows where I can find information on how this new system works, I’d like to see that documentation. (Also, if there are ways to append to other data files like the tech tree, I’d love to know the ways to do that as well.)


Did you ever figure this out? I’m trying to figure it out as well.

I was actually hoping to find more information here myself, since my game crashed the last time I tried running tests with protomods files. Is there a place where the developers have said anything about this, aside from the update notes for the patch that introduced the functionality? It seems strange to offer a feature and then not explain how it works.

I also would like to know if there are plans for other important files getting the same treatment. The civilization, tech tree, and politician data files are also important files for mods that involve custom content. (Honorable mentions to the string table and nuggets files.) Without good ways to append to those sets of data, mods that add custom units will always be tied to a dataset based on an old build. (For instance, my current custom scenario mod has the protoy from when the Inca got more food from their houses, so it’s like playing on that build when that mod is active.)

As a side note, it would be a great feature to have a way to refresh the game data without restarting the game. I’m not sure how the data from XML/XMB files gets loaded, but a button in the mods menu to flush the data and re-load it based on current mods would really speed up mod activation and testing. (It’d also be great to play scenarios from the downloaded mod without needing to move the files…)

I’ll be sure to add some info here if I do happen to find something, but if my game crashes every time I try to load a protomods.xml that I made, I can’t really learn what works…


Hi @JackkelDragon, I have some information I can share about future support for modding. @Emma5531 hopefully this information also helps answer part of your query: Old versions of protoy.xml and other files needed for mods? as well.
The current protomods.xml file was created specifically for an in-game event (Winter Wonderland) and doesn’t yet have robust support. We intend to perform additional work in this area to develop this for proto units and other data files. Allowing modded data to be ‘hot reloaded’ so the game does not have to be rebooted each time after enabling/disabling mods is something we also plan on. Lastly we would also like to provide documentation when the systems are more complete; though we cannot provide a timeline yet on just when to expect that.

Thanks for sharing your interest in modding Age of Empires 3 DE!


It’s great to hear that!

I’m happy to hear that we may have more to work with here in the future. As I’ve said in a few other places, this would really make it much easier for people to add data to the game, which hopefully would encourage more people to try modding.

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I saw in the most recent patch notes that more work had been done on additive data mods, and I love what I’m seeing! It’s even more robust than I was expecting before. I’ve not tested everything yet, but I THINK I managed to convert my custom civ+scenario mod to use the new system properly. I’m really excited that the mod will no longer break with every patch!

For those who haven’t seen it yet, this is the page I used to create my data mods: Additive Data Mods – Age of Empires Support

If I wasn’t busy with other things, I’d certainly start working on another mod idea that involved data changes, now that it’s so much easier to add things without breaking the game. I’d like to thank the developers and testers who managed to get this working!

This is so awesome! I had not seen it yet. Thank you @Breadalus and team for making mods a sustainable and fun thing and no longer something you sign up to maintain forever or it breaks after the next update.



Hello dev, @Breadalus can you look at the ‘render sky’ effect in the trigger section? It doesn’t work while previously you could obtain sky like these (or are these all mods?):

Photobucket | FloodC.jpg

Photobucket | BehindtheLonelynessesTrees1.jpg

Photobucket | CityintheJungleoftheLonelynesses.jpg

Photobucket | RiverofthePeacenesses.jpg

Photobucket | ALostCityoftheEvilnesses.jpg

Photobucket | LightnessesTakenLandoftheIcePeople.jpg

Photobucket | screen88.jpg

Photobucket | screen199.jpg

Photobucket | screen194.jpg

Photobucket | outnumbered.jpg

Photobucket | cd8d44ff.jpg

Photobucket | 33e572a0.jpg

Here is a video that illustrates the render sky working: Age of Empires III naval battle - YouTube

Some google search tells me that it is a reminiscent of AoM, but that doesn’t explain the video?

Hi @RoomOfTheEvil, I have made a ticket in our database to investigate ‘Render Sky’ trigger. We are now tracking the issue. :slight_smile:


Thank you very much.