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[Update: RAR support happened] RAR support is not happening — repack your games!

A topic by Amos created Dec 17, 2015 Views: 3,443 Replies: 9
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Admin (11 edits) (+1)

RAR support happened!

Status update! RAR is now supported as of 18.5.0, see release notes.

We switched from 7-zip (the tool) to unarchiver, which contains a from-scratch implementation of .rar, which mean it doesn't suffer from the unRAR restriction.

RAR policy

Some games on use the RAR archive format.

However, itch (the desktop app) does not support RAR and will never support it.

The main reason is its license, which prevents us from shipping a RAR decompressor.

Players: if a game you like is using .rar, get in touch with the developer and tell them about this page.

Developers: use .zip if you want everybody to be able to open it, use .7z if you want small downloads.

More information:


Do you seriously expect RAR to go away?
Well, we can try! The nice thing with software is that you can sincerely wish for its extinction without remorse.

I've run some tests and RAR is smaller/faster/better/stronger
That doesn't solve the licensing problem, so it's kind of a moot point.

But isn't the licensing thing only for RAR compressors, not decompressors?
Maybe, but the rar-free version of 7-zip is available in most linux distributions without having to enable non-free repos, and that makes our lives a lot easier.

Can I fork itch & add RAR support?
Hey, it's open-source, do as you want! But 1) if you're going to touch itch code, I implore you to pick a more useful problem to tackle instead: 2) we won't merge it in the main version.

Is RAR ever going to be supported or it just doesn't work with your implementation?

RAR will never be supported. Not only is it technically inferior (so there would be no reason to use it now), it has serious licensing issues (so there would be very strong reasons *against* using it anytime). Developers should start repacking their games now (cf. title of this thread)

Neat! Thanks for the info.

I keep getting an Itch App error warning me that one of the games in my collection by another developer is using RAR. Am I going to be hounded by this error every few minutes until the developer changes their packaging format? I'd rather the Itch App simply warn me when I try to install or update the game but not automatically...(just popped up the error again)...every few minutes.

Admin (2 edits)

Actually, the latest version of the itch app does support rar (contrary to what this post suggest, I should edit it) — updating to the latest version of the itch app should fix that problem :) You can download it from or simply let the itch app self-update on Windows & Mac.

Thanks for the quick response, but I believe we've had a miscommunication. It's very clear that you will never support RAR and I think that makes sense. That's not at all what I'm asking about. The problem I'm experiencing is the Itch App is hounding me every few minutes if a game I have subscribed to is packaged up by its developer in RAR format. It's popping up the same error on my screen every five minutes or so, interrupting my work and my twitch stream.

In other words, this is a request for you to disable this error message within the Itch App. Please. I see no reason to punish all users. Why not just prevent the RAR packaged game from operating and mark it with an icon or a link to more info? This is simply a complaint about repetitive pop up errors in the Itch App.


Let me try this again:

  • this post suggests .rar is not supported
  • in some previous versions of the app, a bug existed where if the 'best upload' became a .rar file (which I suppose is what you're seeing), then it would show the "RAR is not supported" on every update check (30 minutes)
  • .rar support was actually added in 18.5.0
  • this fixes the above issue, since the "RAR is not supported" dialog doesn't exist anymore, and the itch app will now simply extract the .rar archive instead of complaining
  • please update to the latest of
(Also, I'm curious why your itch app didn't auto-update — are you on Linux?)

I think you should edit your post here, Amos, to remove the note about not using RAR. ;)


That's a good point! Although, I really would rather people not use RAR even now :)