You can not select more than 25 topics Topics must start with a letter or number, can include dashes ('-') and can be up to 35 characters long.



Here is a cursory view of concepts vital to ZScript and ZDoom in general. If you can't find something here, it's likely inherited directly from Doom, so you should check the Doom Wiki for more relevant information.

Action Scoping

On classes derived from Actor, states and methods can be scoped to a certain subset of uses. This is mainly to differentiate actions which take place in inventory items and weapons, and actions which take place in the actual game map, for disambiguating the self pointer usage. The available scopes are:

Name Description
actor Actions are called from an actual map object.
item Actions are called from an inventory item.
overlay Actions are called from a weapon overlay.
weapon Actions are called from a weapon.

These can be defined either in the states block header as-is, or in Actor's DefaultStateUsage property with the following bit flags:

Name Scope

Object Scoping

Most objects are subject to object scoping, which restricts the way data can be used in certain contexts. This is to ensure that the game simulation does not get changed by the UI, for instance, or that the game simulation doesn't read from the UI and break network synchronization. In other words, it is to prevent a multitude of errors that arise when data is modified or read from the wrong places.

There are three scopes in ZScript: Play, UI, and Data (also known as “clearscope.") The Play scope is used for objects that are part of the game simulation and interact with the world in some way or another, while the UI scope is for objects that have no correlation with the world besides perhaps reading information from it. The Data scope is shared between the two, and must be used carefully.

Here is a chart of data access possibilities for each scope:

Data scope Play scope UI scope
From Data context Read/write Read-only No access
From Play context Read/write Read/write No access
From UI context Read/write Read-only Read/write

Format String

A format string is a string that specifies the format of a conversion from arbitrary data to a contiguous character string. A format string contains normal characters and conversion specifiers. See this page for more information. Differences between C's printf and ZScript formats include:

  • Since there's no char type, int is used for %c.
  • %s also works for name.
  • No %n specifier.
  • An additional conversion specifier %B exists which converts a number to binary.
  • An additional conversion specifier %H exists which works like %g but automatically selects the smallest appropriate precision.


A sprite is stored in two numbers: the sprite ID (represented by the spriteid type or sometimes int) and the sprite frame (represented by an int or uint8 usually.) The rotation is generally irrelevant as only the 0 (front rotation) frame is used in most contexts. The sprite frame is, unlike the file and state block representations, not a character, but an integer. The number 0 for instance represents the letter A, 1 to B, etc.

For more information on sprites and rotations, please refer to the relevant Doom Wiki article.

Game Tick

The Doom engine, as long as it has existed and into every faithful-enough port of it, no matter how different from the source material, runs the game simulation in the same way:

Input events are processed.

Keyboard, mouse, gamepad, etc. if a local player, the demo file if watching a demo, packets over the internet in networked games.

The game is “ticked”.

Every 1/35th of a second that passes, a new “game tick” takes place, also referred to as gametic, tick or simply tic.

The game is rendered.

All information from the current game tick is rendered. This usually happens more often than the game is actually ticked. In ZDoom, Eternity Engine, and some other ports, the information is interpolated between the last and current game tick when there is extra time available to give smoother rendering.

For more information on ticks, please refer to the relevant Doom Wiki article.