Shading the CommandAPI in your plugins

Developer's note:

Shading the CommandAPI is discouraged. The CommandAPI was initially designed to run as a standalone plugin (similar to Vault or ProtocolLib) because it has to hook into events (which requires a plugin instance), it creates files (config.yml, command_registration.json) and has much better performance (uses one singular cache, only registers an event once etc. etc.). There are reports that multiple plugins with a shaded copy of the CommandAPI can result in plugin conflicts - this is not something that the CommandAPI plans to work on.

The CommandAPI does not offer the extensive level of support for issues with regards to using the shaded version of the CommandAPI, so consider using the plugin version instead!

That said, shading should work perfectly, so don't let this giant box put you off from using it if it's exactly what you need!

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(CommandAPIConfig config);
CommandAPI.onEnable(Plugin plugin);


The onLoad(CommandAPIConfig) 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 CommandAPIConfig is used to configure how the CommandAPI. The CommandAPIConfig class has the following parameters which let you set how the CommandAPI works similar to the config.yml, which is described here.

public class CommandAPIConfig {
    CommandAPIConfig verboseOutput(boolean value); // Enables verbose logging
    CommandAPIConfig silentLogs(boolean value);    // Disables ALL logging (except errors)
    CommandAPIConfig useLatestNMSVersion(boolean value); // Whether the latest NMS implementation should be used or not
    CommandAPIConfig missingExecutorImplementationMessage(String value); // Set message to display when executor implementation is missing

The CommandAPIConfig class follows a typical builder pattern (without you having to run .build() at the end), which lets you easily construct configuration instances. For example, to load the CommandAPI with all logging disabled, you can use the following:

CommandAPI.onLoad(new CommandAPIConfig().silentLogs(true));


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(new CommandAPIConfig().verboseOutput(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):


As of the time of writing, the latest stable version of the maven-shade-plugin is not compatible with Java 16, which means certain classes such as record types cannot be shaded. This can be overcome using the latest snapshot build of the maven-shade-plugin. To use the snapshot build, add the following plugin repository to your pom.xml file:


Once you've added this this, you can shade the CommandAPI easily by adding the maven-shade-plugin to your build sequence using the snapshot version 3.3.0-SNAPSHOT:


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:commandapi-shade:6.4.0"   

Then we add it to the shadowJar task configuration:

shadowJar {
    dependencies {
        include dependency("dev.jorel.CommandAPI:commandapi-shade:6.4.0")

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.