Shading the CommandAPI in your plugins

After 2 years, this most requested feature is finally here...

The CommandAPI can now be shaded into your own plugins! "Shading" is the process of including the CommandAPI inside your plugin, rather than requiring the CommandAPI as an external plugin. In other words, if you shade the CommandAPI into your plugin, you don't need to include the CommandAPI.jar in your server's plugins folder.

Shading vs CommandAPI plugin

The CommandAPI plugin has a few slight differences with the shaded CommandAPI jar file. The CommandAPI plugin has the following extra features that are not present in the shaded version:

  • Command conversion via a config.yml file
  • Creation of the command_registration.json file to show the Brigadier command graph

Shading requirements

For the CommandAPI to function as normal, you must call the CommandAPI's initializers in the onLoad() and onEnable() methods of your plugin:

CommandAPI.onLoad(boolean verbose);
CommandAPI.onEnable(Plugin plugin);

The onLoad(boolean) method initializes the CommandAPI's loading sequence. This must be called before you start to access the CommandAPI and must be placed in your plugin's onLoad() method. The argument verbose is used to enable verbose logging output.

The onEnable(Plugin) method initializes the CommandAPI's enabling sequence. As with the onLoad(boolean) method, this one must be placed in your plugin's onEnable() method. This isn't as strict as the onLoad(boolean) method, and can be placed anywhere in your onEnable() method. The argument plugin is your current plugin instance.

Example - Setting up the CommandAPI in your plugin

public class MyPlugin extends JavaPlugin {

    public void onLoad() {
        CommandAPI.onLoad(true); //Load with verbose output
        new CommandAPICommand("ping")
            .executes((sender, args) -> {
    public void onEnable() {
        //Register commands, listeners etc.


Shading with Maven

To shade the CommandAPI into a maven project, you'll need to use the commandapi-shade dependency, which is optimized for shading and doesn't include plugin-specific files (such as plugin.yml):


Once you've added this this, you can shade the CommandAPI easily by adding the maven-shade-plugin to your build sequence:


Of course, if you shade the CommandAPI into your plugin, you don't need to add depend: [CommandAPI] to your plugin.yml file.

Shading with Gradle

To shade the CommandAPI into a Gradle project, we'll use the Gradle Shadow Plugin. Add this to your list of plugins:

plugins {
    id 'java'
    id 'com.github.johnrengelman.shadow' version '6.0.0'

Next, we declare our dependencies:

dependencies {
    compile "dev.jorel:commandapi-shade:5.0"   

Then we add it to the shadowJar task configuration:

shadowJar {
	dependencies {
		include dependency("dev.jorel:commandapi-shade:5.0")

Finally, we can build the shaded jar using the following command:

gradlew build shadowJar

Again, as we're shading the CommandAPI into your plugin, we don't need to add depend: [CommandAPI] to your plugin.yml file.