Manifest actions

Actions are options players can pick from when launching your game / opening your application.

Valid actions contain at least:

  • A name: this will affect the label shown to users
  • A path: this specifies what to run when the action is picked

For executables, give the path of the .exe on Windows, of the binary or launcher script on Linux, and of the app bundle on macOS.

Here's a minimal manifest with a single action:

name = "play"
path = "Overland.exe"


A few well-known names are supported:

  • play: shows up as Play Now in english, is highlighted
  • editor: shows up as Editor in english
  • manual: shows up as User Manual in english
  • forums: shows up as Forums in english

Well-known names are localized as well as the rest of the itch app via our translation platform, and have a corresponding icon.

Custom names are supported too, but you'll need to provide your own localizations.

For example:

name = "Let's go already!"
path = "FooBar.exe"

name = "Allons-y!"

name = "Gehen wir bereits!"

Note: the example manifest above describes just a single action, in three languages.


Paths can either be:

  • A file path, relative to the manifest's location (ie. the game folder)
  • An URL

If you're unsure how an action will be opened by the itch app, use butler's validate command on your build folder to run a simulation. See Validating builds and manifests for more info.

Sample manifest:

name = "play"
path = "game.exe"

name = "editor"
path = "tools/editor.exe"

name = "Open mods folder"
path = "mods/"

name = "Discussion forum"
path = ""


The args field can be used to specify an array of arguments to pass to native executables.

Sample manifest:

name = "A lot of arguments"
path = "sample.exe"
args = ["--that", "--is", "--a", "lot=of-arguments"]

For HTML5 games, arguments are available as Itch.args (Itch being added to the global scope, usually window ).


The platform field can be used to limit a manifest entry to apply only to a specific operating system. This feature is quite useful in conjunction with args, due to Windows and Unix using different conventions for command-line arguments. Valid values are "windows" for Windows, "osx" for OS X / macOS, "linux" for Linux, and "unknown" if the platform cannot be determined.

Sample manifest:

name = "A lot of arguments"
path = "sample.exe"
platform = "windows"
args = ["/t", "/i", "/a", "/l=of-arguments"]

name = "A lot of arguments"
path = ""
platform = "osx"
args = ["--that", "--is", "--a", "lot=of-arguments"]

name = "A lot of arguments"
path = "sample"
platform = "linux"
args = ["--that", "--is", "--a", "lot=of-arguments"]

API key & scoping

Games can ask for an API key by setting the scope parameter.

Sample manifest:

name = "play"
path = "DokiDokiOnline.exe"
scope = "profile:me"

Valid values for scope:

  • profile:me: grants access to
  • (This is the only valid scope for now)

When the scope parameter is set, the app sets the following environment variables:

  • ITCHIO_API_KEY :a game-specific, session-specific API key
  • ITCHIO_API_KEY_EXPIRES_AT the expiration date of the key, in iso-8601 format.

Making requests with the API key

The API key provided to the game should be the value of an HTTP
header named Authorization.

For example, using the JavaScript library needle, one would do:

const apiKey = process.env.ITCHIO_API_KEY

const opts = {
  headers: { 'Authorization': apiKey }
needle.get('', opts, function (error, response) {
  // deal with error, if any & process response

Accessing the API key in HTML5 games

The HTML5 environment doesn't grant access to environment variables by design,
so the itch app injects a global object named Itch into the JavaScript runtime.

Here's the proper way to check that it's there:

if (typeof Itch === 'undefined') {
  // not launched by itch app (regular web browser, missing manifest, etc.)
} else {
  // launched by itch app

XHR requests are normally limited to the host that served the javascript: in the case of the app, HTML5 games are served from a custom protocol, and the same-origin policy is disabled so that your HTML5 game can make requests to the server or to your own server somewhere else.

Sandbox opt-in

Adding sandbox = true to an action opts into the sandbox.

This means that, no matter what the user's settings are, the game will always be launched within the sandbox.

Game developers are encouraged to opt into the sandbox as early as they can afford to, to have plenty of time to adapt to it. In the future, the sandbox might become mandatory (for app users).

Sample manifest:

name = "play"
path = "ProceduralChaos.exe"
sandbox = true

Console / text-mode applications

By default, the itch app redirects the standard output and standard error to
a log file on disk, which helps debugging when reports are sent.

For console applications, this might not be desirable. You can opt out from
redirection by setting the console attribute of the relevant action to true:

name = "play"
path = "TheWillowEffect.exe"
console = true

On Windows, it'll also open a new command line window to display the game into.

console is not yet supported on Linux and macOS

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