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Localisation modding


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This article is for the PC version of Stellaris only.

Localisation refers to the actual text presented to the player in events, menus, weaponry, stories, and any other string of text in any window in the game. Localisation files are saved as .yml in the localisation/ folder and should be encoded with UTF-8 with BOM. The naming convention for .yml files is <file>_l_<language>.yml where <file> is the name given for this group of localisations, and <language> is the language the localisation is for. Supported languages currently include Portuguese (braz_por) English (english), French (french), German (german), Polish (polish), Russian (russian), Spanish (spanish), and simplified Chinese (simp_chinese).

Creating Localisation FilesEdit

  • In the root mod folder (not in common), create a folder named "localisation" spelled with an s. Note, some other paradox titles may use the Americanized "localization" with a z.
  • Optionally, create language subfolders within the "localisation" folder. This is organizationally helpful but not required.
  • Stellaris's localisation files are encoded as UTF-8-BOM. They must be encoded in UTF-8-BOM, as even UTF-8 will fail to be parsed by Stellaris, and will not work.
  • The easiest way to get the correct encoding is to copy an existing Stellaris .yml file and modify it.
  • Alternatively, simply create a standard text file and save it as .yml with UTF-8 with BOM encoding. Various text editors, such as Notepad++ and Visual Studio Code, will allow you to manually save with encoding UTF-8 with BOM
  • The file name must end in "_l_<language>", otherwise it will not be read.
  • The first line of any localisation file must be l_<language>:, otherwise it will not be read.
  • Example file name: mod_buildings_l_english.yml

Naming a YML file the same as a vanilla YML file will overwrite vanilla. Doing this is not recommended, unless you are trying to change (almost) all of the entries in the file. Localisation entries can be overwritten individually, by saving them in the "Replace" folder. See overwrite section.

Unfortunately there is no mod-friendly fallback language feature, so if localisation keys are missing, these keys are simply displayed as text. Therefore, it is practice to simply duplicate the English files for all other languages (changed with appropriate header).

File EncodingEdit

  • Open the YML file using a text editor. Editors such as Notepad++ and Visual Studio Code are recommended, however, if those aren't available, even standard Notepad will work.
  • Convert the file to UTF-8 with BOM
  • If using Notepad++, go to menu bar, open the Encoding menu.
  • If using VSC, go to the bottom right corner and click on the encoding (UTF-8 by default), then click Save with Encoding. Alternatively, it is possible to modify the settings so YML files created using VSC have UTF-8 with BOM encoding by default.
  • If using Notepad, go to Save As..., then change the encoding and save the file.
    • If the options listed are UTF-8 and UTF-8 with BOM (or similar), use UTF-8 with BOM.
    • If the options listed are UTF-8 without BOM and UTF-8 (or similar), use UTF-8.

Localisation KeysEdit

 localisation_key_1: "Text String 1"
 localisation_key_2: "Text String 2"

Individual localisation entries are called keys and are placed before the colon. Keys are the actual code that points to the localised text. The text itself itself is called a string. The key is to the left of the colon. The string of text that will display in game is to the right of the colon, listed within two quotation marks (" "). The colon is the separator.

  • The number seen in vanilla files right after the colon can be omitted, as it is only useful for Paradox's internal translation tracking.[1]
  • The file must contain l_english: (or equivalent for other languages) before any localiaztion keys.
  • Every entry after l_english: (or equivalent) must begin with whitespace (a space or a tab works).
  • Each string to be displayed in game is encased in quotation marks. To display quotation marks in game, input a backslash before each quotation mark (for example: text \"name\")
  • Note that the following unicode characters are invalid inside the localisation file and will generate a "?" instead: „ “ ‚ ‘ – ” ’ … —


Overwriting Vanilla TextEdit

To overwrite vanilla localisation keys (or keys from other mods), create a folder named "replace" inside your "localisation" folder. Localisation files in this folder will load after all other localisation files, and overwrite any duplicate keys. In this way it is not necessary to overwrite entire localisation files, as individual key entries will be overwritten by the last loaded file, LIOS (Last in, only served). It is possible to overwrite localisation without a "replace" folder, however this is not a reliable method.

Bracket CommandsEdit

Bracket commands are enclosed in square brackets ([ ]), start with a primary scope, end with a text retrieval, and can have one or more secondary scopes in between. The fields are separated by periods (.). Text retrievals can be predefined (as per examples below), can mention Variables defined in the scope, or can be a scripted_loc (see common/scripted_loc/ files for for examples). When writing "scripted_loc" entries, it's important to note that these entries cannot themselves use bracket commands (i.e., a scripted_loc that includes "[Root.GetName]" will literally print "[Root.GetName]").

Primary ScopeEdit

Command Example usage Comments
Actor [Actor.GetAllianceName] Used in diplomatic response messages. The faction initiating an action
Recipient [Recipient.GetName] Used in diplomatic response messages. The faction targeted by the action
Third_party [Third_party.GetName] Used in diplomatic response messages. A third party involved in the action
Root [Root.GetName] The event's ROOT scope
This [This.GetName] The current scope
From [From.From.GetName] The calling event's ROOT scope. For events further back in the call stack, From can also be used as a secondary scope
Prev [Prev.From.GetName] The previous scope. It is not obvious to me what Prev.From points to, but some project descriptions use it
<event target tag> [mytarget.GetName] Event target tags are used without preceding them with event_target: in localisation

Secondary ScopesEdit

Command Example usage Comments
Capital [Root.Capital.GetName] The capital of the current scope
Leader [Root.Leader.GetName] The leader of the current scope (e.g. admiral of fleet, ruler of country)
MainAttacker [This.MainAttacker.GetAllianceName] The main attacker of the current scope (must be used in a war scope), used in war name formats
Owner [Root.Owner.GetName] The current scope's owner
Planet [Root.Planet.GetName] The planet where the current scope is located
Solar_System [Root.Solar_System.GetName] The system where the primary scope is located

Text RetrievalEdit

Command Example usage Comments
GetAdj [Root.GetAdj] The adjective associated with the current scope
GetAdjective [Root.GetAdjective] The adjective associated with the current scope
GetAllianceName [This.MainAttacker.GetAllianceName] The name of the alliance the current scope belongs to
GetControllerName [Root.GetControllerName] Name of the current controller (known to work on planets)
GetClassName [Root.GetClassName] Name of the current planet class
GetFleetName [Root.GetFleetName] The name of the fleet associated with the current scope
GetHeirName [Root.GetHeirName] The name of the current heir
GetHeirTitle [Root.GetHeirTitle] The title of the current heir
GetHomeWorldName [Root.GetHomeWorldName] The name of the home world of the current scope
GetLeaderName [Root.GetLeaderName] The name of the leader associated with the current scope
GetName [Root.GetName] The name associated with the current scope
GetFirstName [Root.GetFirstName] The name first associated with the current scoped leader
GetSecondName [Root.GetSecondName] The second name associated with the current scoped leader
GetAge [Root.GetAge] The age of the scoped leader
GetNamePlural [Root.GetNamePlural] The plural name associated with the current scope (must be a species)
GetNebula [Root.GetNebula] (unknown)
GetOwnerName [Root.GetOwnerName] Name of the current owner
GetPersonalityName [Root.GetPersonalityName] Get the name of the current AI personality
GetPlanetMoon [Root.GetPlanetMoon] "planet" or "moon" depending on whether the current scope is a planet or moon
GetPlanetMoonCap [Root.GetPlanetMoonCap] "Planet" or "Moon" depending on whether the current scope is a planet or moon
GetPopFactionName [Root.GetPopFactionName] The name of the currently scoped pop's faction
GetRandomSpeciesSound [Root.GetRandomSpeciesSound] A sound chosen randomly from a list of sounds associated with current scope's species
GetRegnalName [Root.GetRegnalName] The regnal name of the current scope
GetRulerName [Root.GetRulerName] The name of the ruler associated with the current scope
GetRulerTitle [Root.GetRulerTitle] The title of the ruler associated with the current scope
GetSpeciesAdj [Root.GetSpeciesAdj] The adjective for the species of the current scope
GetSpeciesClass [Root.GetSpeciesClass] The class to which the species of the current scope belongs
GetSpeciesClassPlural [Root.GetSpeciesClassPlural] The plural of the current scope's species' clas
GetSpeciesMouthName [Root.GetSpeciesMouthName] The word for the current scope's species' mouth
GetSpeciesName [Root.GetSpeciesName] The name of the current scope's species
GetSpeciesNameCompliment [From.GetSpeciesNameCompliment] A compliment using the current scope's species
GetSpeciesNameInsult [From.From.GetSpeciesNameInsult] An insult using the current scope's species
GetSpeciesNamePlural [This.GetSpeciesNamePlural] The plural of current scope's species' name
GetSpeciesNamePluralCompliment [Root.SpeciesNamePluralCompliment] A compliment using the plural of the current scope's species' name
GetSpeciesNamePluralInsult [From.SpeciesNamePluralInsult] An insult using the plural of the current scope's species' name
GetSpeciesHandName [From.GetSpeciesHandName] The word for the current scope's species' hand
GetSpeciesMouthName [From.GetSpeciesMouthName] The word for the current scope's species' mouth
GetSpeciesOrganName [From.GetSpeciesOrganName] The word for the current scope's species' internal organ
GetSpeciesSpawnName [Root.GetSpeciesSpawnName The word for the children of the current scope's species
GetSpeciesSpawnNamePlural [Root.GetSpeciesSpawnNamePlural The plural word for the children of the current scope's species
GetStarName [Root.Capital.GetStarName] The name of the star where the current scope is located
GetHerHim [admiral.GetHerHim] Prints 'her' or 'him' based on the character's gender.
GetSheHe [abducted_leader.GetSheHe] Prints 'she' or 'he' based on the character's gender.
GetSheHeCap [abducted_leader.GetSheHeCap] Prints 'She' or 'He' based on the character's gender.
GetHomeWorldName [Root.GetHomeWorldName] The home world name of the selected country
GetHerHis [admiral.GetHerHis] Prints 'her' or 'his' based on the character's gender.
GetHerHisCap [admiral.GetHerHisCap] Prints 'Her' or 'His' based on the character's gender.
LastKilledCountryName [LastKilledCountryName] Prints the name of the last killed country.

Color CodesEdit

Color codes start with §, which is followed by a single character specifying the color to be used until another color code is detected, or the end of the string. There may be other supported color codes, these are the ones found in a brief perusal of localisation files. Within a $ command, the color for a displayed variable (not string definition, s. below $ Codes) may also be specified by preceding the closing $ with | and the color code character: $AGE|Y$

Code Color
B Blue
E Teal
G Green
H Orange
L Brown
M Purple
P Light red
R Red
S Dark orange
T Light grey
W White
Y Yellow
! Default

For an example of these color codes in-game, refer to this image.

$ CodesEdit

$ is used to delimit strings (or variables) defined elsewhere to be expanded in the current string, or system statistics in GUI elements.

Number FormattingEdit

The | character can also be used to format numbers. $VALUE|*x$ will format VALUE to x decimal places.

# EXAMPLE = 100
"$EXAMPLE|*0$" # 100
"$EXAMPLE|*1$" # 100.0

£ CodesEdit

£ codes are used for the names of various system stats, including energy, minerals, influence, and the three research categories (engineering, physics and society.) More exist than those listed here, such as £ship_stats_hitpoints\armor\shield£, £fleet_template_size£, and £trigger_yes\no£ among others. Search the '£' character using something like Notepad++'s Find in Files feature to find something specific. Remember that £ codes must surround the tag you're inserting, ie. £energy£.

It also supports the multiple frames (if the source sprite has them), i.e: £leader_skill|3£ will render an icon of chosen skill level.

Code Picture

£ Custom IconsEdit

You can create custom text icons to appear in game exactly like those above, by saving an icon in <root>/gfx/interface/icons/text_icons. Standard text icons are 16x16 pixel .dds files. In order to reference your icon in text, you will need to define it in the same way you define event pictures. Save a text file as .gfx in <root>/interface/ Define any custom modifiers as shown below:

spriteTypes = {	
	spriteType = {
        name = "GFX_text_worker_produces_mult"
        texturefile = "gfx/interface/icons/text_icons/"

You can link multiple icons by making separate spriteType = blocks. All of these should be within one larger spriteTypes = (with an s) block.

The name must be prefixed GFX_text_. However, to reference this custom icon in localisation, use £worker_produces_mult£ (without the prefix) and it will appear alongside in game text.

Slash-Based CodesEdit

The sole slash-based code is \n, which is the equivalent of pressing the Enter key and starting a new line, unless it is inside one of the above codes. Backslashes can also be used to treat special characters as text characters, for example \" will make the string contain a quotation mark, instead of closing it off.

Style GuideEdit

Vanilla events, modifiers and all other type of localization follows punctuation and capitalization guidelines. The following table highlights some of the rules employed in the vanilla English localization, allowing custom content to blend in more seamlessly. The table is by no means comprehensive, but instead should serve as a quick cheat-sheet for the most common type of strings. The number given for Character Limit is not a hard limit. Depending on the location, exceeding the limit might cause the text to be cut off, completely break the UI, or just look ugly and out of place.

Location Capitalization Punctuation Character Limit Example
Event Names Title Case None 50 "Exotic Woodwind"
Event Descriptions Sentence case Standard 2000 "Music has taken many forms among the beings we have encountered since leaving [Root.GetHomeWorldName], and the methods and preferences continue to baffle us. Sometimes alien [...] Whatever this instrument is, it's unlike any of our own."
Event Options Sentence case Terminal punctuation 70 "An excellent time to learn more about their culture.", "Let us be careful and study this instrument.", "The colony is part of our future. It stays."
Names for Traits/Modifiers/Buildings/Ethics/etc. Title Case None 30 "Building Cost", "Massive Crater", "Very Strong"
Description for Traits/Modifiers/Buildings/Ethics/etc. Sentence case Standard 200 "The impact site of the meteorite which brought Lithoids to this planet.", "Members of this species possess a strength that almost defies the laws of physics."
UI Buttons Sentence case / Title Case None Depends on UI "Withdraw"
UI Alerts Title Case None Depends on UI "Relic Activation Available"