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The Swiss Army Knife of SA:MP - vital tools for any server owner or library maintainer.

sampctl is a command-line development tool for developing SA:MP Pawn scripts. It includes a package manager, a build tool and a configuration manager.

If that sentence meant nothing to you, don’t worry! You’ll probably find use in sampctl if you do anything related to the Pawn language. Below are some explanations of what the terms in bold above mean.

For a quick-start guide, click this link!


As mentioned above, sampctl is a command-line development tool so it has no graphical user interface. The videos below show sampctl being used with Visual Studio Code which is a light-weight text editor that works very well with sampctl to provide the perfect SA:MP/Pawn development environment.

Package Manager

Always have the libraries you need. Inspired by npm.


Build/Run Tool

Use on the command-line or integrate with any editor.


Easily write and run tests for libraries or quickly run arbitrary code. Utilise the power of Docker to run on any platform!


Developer Tools

Quickly bootstrap new packages.


SA:MP Server Configuration - no more server.cfg

Manage your server settings in JSON or YAML format


Automatic Server Restart - no more dodgy bash scripts

Run the server from sampctl and let it worry about restarting in case of crashes.


Automatic Server and Plugin Installer

Automatically download Windows/Linux server binaries and plugins when and where you need them.



Installation is simple and fast on all platforms so why not give sampctl a try?


For a list of commands, click here.

Or visit the Wiki site for documentation on each feature..


sampctl is designed for both development of gamemodes/libraries and management of live servers.

Below is a quick overview of the best features that will help you develop faster.

Package Management and Build Tool

If you’ve used platforms like NodeJS, Python, Go, Ruby, etc you know how useful tools like npm, pip, gem are.

It’s about time Pawn had the same tool.

sampctl provides a simple and intuitive way to declare what includes your project needs. After that you simply let sampctl take care of the downloading and building.

If you release scripts, you know it’s awkward to test even simple code. You need to set up a server, compile the include into a gamemode, configure the server and run it.

Forget all that. Just make a pawn.json/pawn.yaml in your project directory with sampctl package init and use sampctl package install to get the includes you need:

  "entry": "test.pwn",
  "output": "test.amx",
  "dependencies": ["sampctl/samp-stdlib", "Southclaws/formatex"]

Write your quick test code:

#include <a_samp>
#include <formatex>

main() {
    new str[128];
    formatex(str, sizeof str, "My favourite vehicle is: '%v'!", 400); // should print "Landstalker"

Build with sampctl package build and run it with sampctl package run!

sampctl package run

Server Plugins
 Loaded 0 plugins.

Started server on port: 7777, with maxplayers: 50 lanmode is OFF.

  Loaded 0 filterscripts.

My favourite vehicle is: 'Landstalker'!

You get the compiler output and the server output without ever needing to:

See documentation for more info.

Server Configuration and Automatic Plugin Download

Use JSON or YAML to write your server config:

  "gamemodes": ["rivershell"],
  "plugins": ["maddinat0r/sscanf"],
  "rcon_password": "test",
  "port": 8080

It compiles to this:

gamemode0 rivershell
rcon_password test
port 8080
(... and the rest of the settings which have default values)

What also happens here is maddinat0r/sscanf tells sampctl to automatically get the latest sscanf plugin and place the .so or .dll file into the plugins/ directory.

See documentation for more info.


1.8.38 - Southclaws

The Swiss Army Knife of SA:MP - vital tools for any server owner or library maintainer.

Commands (6)

sampctl server

Usage: sampctl server <subcommand>

For managing servers and runtime configurations.

Subcommands (4)

sampctl server init

Usage: sampctl server init

Bootstrap a new SA:MP server and generates a samp.json/samp.yaml configuration based on user input. If gamemodes, filterscripts or plugins directories are present, you will be prompted to select relevant files.


sampctl server download

Usage: sampctl server download

Downloads the files necessary to run a SA:MP server to the current directory (unless --dir specified). Will download the latest stable (non RC) server version unless --version is specified.


sampctl server ensure

Usage: sampctl server ensure

Ensures the server environment is representative of the configuration specified in samp.json/samp.yaml - downloads server binaries and plugin files if necessary and generates a server.cfg file.


sampctl server run

Usage: sampctl server run

Generates a server.cfg file based on the configuration inside samp.json/samp.yaml then executes the server process and automatically restarts it on crashes.


sampctl package

Usage: sampctl package <subcommand>

For managing Pawn packages such as gamemodes and libraries.

Subcommands (9)

sampctl package init

Usage: sampctl package init

Helper tool to bootstrap a new package or turn an existing project into a package.


sampctl package ensure

Usage: sampctl package ensure

Ensures dependencies are up to date based on the dependencies field in pawn.json/pawn.yaml.


sampctl package install

Usage: sampctl package install [package definition]

Installs a new package by adding it to the dependencies field in pawn.json/pawn.yaml and downloads the contents.


sampctl package uninstall

Usage: sampctl package uninstall [package definition]

Uninstalls package by removing it from the dependencies field in pawn.json/pawn.yaml and deletes the contents.


sampctl package release

Usage: sampctl package release

Creates a release version and tags the repository with the next version number, creates a GitHub release with archived package files.


sampctl package get

Usage: sampctl package get [package definition] (target path)

Clones a GitHub package to either a directory named after the repo or, if the cwd is empty, the cwd and then ensures the package.


sampctl package build

Usage: sampctl package build [build name]

Builds a package defined by a pawn.json/pawn.yaml file.


sampctl package run

Usage: sampctl package run

Compiles and runs a package defined by a pawn.json/pawn.yaml file.


sampctl package template

Usage: sampctl package template <subcommand>

Provides commands for package templates

Subcommands (3)

sampctl package template make

Usage: sampctl package template make [name]

Creates a template package from the current directory if it is a package.


sampctl package template build

Usage: sampctl package template build [template] [filename]

Builds the specified file in the context of the given template.


sampctl package template run

Usage: sampctl package template run [template] [filename]

Builds and runs the specified file in the context of the given template.


sampctl version

Show version number - this is also the version of the container image that will be used for --container runtimes.

sampctl completion

output bash autocomplete code

sampctl docs

Usage: sampctl docs >

Generate documentation in markdown format and print to standard out.

sampctl help

Usage: Shows a list of commands or help for one command

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