RCON

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RCON is a text based protocol completely unrelated to the Source RCON protocol. It is designed with readability, ease of implementation, and human usability in mind.

Packet Format

RCON packets consist of a single-byte Type ID, a variable number of ASCII strings separated by the Delimiter (Start of Text/0x02), and a newline. The text after the Type ID and before the newline is referred to as the message.

Type ID Message End Message
1 byte Variable Characters 0x0A (Newline)

Limitations

RCON strictly contains standard ASCII strings and does not support null characters. RCON therefore only guarantees the reliability of character values [1, 127]. This is largely because RCON is interpreted entirely as strings by the Renegade X server, but both TCPLink and Rx_TCPLink are incapable of directly reading or transmitting non-ASCII characters when in text mode.

Player are consistently represented in the format id,team,name. This means that you can parse RCON output directly without retaining any information about players if you so choose.

Escaping

Unicode sequences are escaped and interpreted in the format "\uXXXX", where XXXX is the hexadecimal representation of a Unicode code point. There is no support for Unicode code points beyond 16 bits in size, largely because the Unreal Development Kit does not support these strings. Therefore, both RCON and the Unreal Development Kit can only possibly support characters within the Unicode Basic Multilingual Plane (BMP).

The only non-Unicode character that you must sequence is the backslash (\) character, which can be escaped as \\

Processing

The recommended and intended method of processing RCON output is to:

  1. Process incoming data into lines (split on newline; no CR is included)
  2. Process tokens in each line into an array
  3. Process each token for escaped Unicode sequences
  4. Begin processing the content normally, based on the Type ID.

Type ID values

Server refers to the Renegade X server and client refers to the RCON client. Type IDs

Client -> Server

If not yet authenticated, the server will only accept Authenticate messages.

Type ID Description
a Authenticate
s Subscribe
u Unsubscribe
c Command
d DevBot specific (reserved)

Server -> Client

Type ID Description
v RCON and game version information
a Authentication success
e Error
r Command response
c Command execution finished
l Log
d DevBot specific

Example Implementation

An actively maintained and fully functional RCON client implementation can be found on Agent's GitHub here. Jupiter Bot is entirely ISC licensed, and you are free to reference, modify, and redistribute any code from it.

Version

The version provides information about the server in the following format. Each element is separated by the Delimiter (STX/0x02).

RCON Version Number Game Version Number Game Version String
004 5230 Open Beta 5.23

The zeroes preceding the RCON version number are to maintain compatibility with previous version of RCON where there was not a delimiter between the version number and the game version string, and may be removed in the future. The RCON version number is base 10.

Authentication

The TypeID for authentication is 'a'. The message portion from the client is just the RCON/admin password for the server. The message portion from the server is the RCON client's connection ID, so that the RCON client can identify its own command executions from other clients. The sequence for authenticating is as follows:

  1. Client connects to Server
  2. Server sends version information
  3. Client sends authentication request
  4. Server replies with authentication success or an error

Once the client is authenticated, they may subscribe to the log stream and execute commands.

Subscribe & Unsubscribe

The message elements for both of these Type IDs are empty and ignored. Subscribe marks the stream to receive RCON logs, and Unsubscribe marks the stream to not receive RCON logs. The default state in unsubscribed; therefore, you will need to Subscribe after successful authentication in order to receive any log messages.

Commands

In addition to the following RCON commands, RCON clients can also execute console commands. Console commands do not return any useful output. Some RCON commands are not available when bIsCompetitive is true.

The message format for commands is the command and if there are any parameters to pass to the command's execution, you need to add a space character (0x20), followed by the string representing the parameters. Required parameters are marked as <Parameter>, and optional parameters are marked as [Parameter].

Player can be a portion of a player's name, a player's full name, pid<player's ID>, or Player<player's ID>. These commands can also be executed by administrators in-game by using the admin console command (example: admin help).

Command Parameters Fair Response Description
Help [Command] True Lists available commands if parameters is empty, command-specific help message otherwise Provides helpful information about commands
ClientList True List of players and relevant information Provides a list of players and some relevant information
LoadMutator Mutator True Nothing on success, error otherwise Loads a mutator
UnloadMutator Mutator True Nothing on success, error otherwise Unloads a mutator
ListMutators True List of mutators currently loaded Lists mutators currently loaded
HostSay Message True Nothing on success, error otherwise Sends an in-game Host message
HostPrivateSay Player Message True Nothing on success, error otherwise Sends an in-game private message to a player as the host
Kick Player [Reason] True Nothing on success, error otherwise Kicks a player from the server, and displays a kick message if specified
KickBan Player [Reason] True Nothing on success, error otherwise Kicks and bans a player from the server, and displays a kick message if specified
ForceKick Player [Reason] True Nothing on success, error otherwise Forcefully kicks a player from the server, and displays a kick message if specified
TextMute Player True Nothing on success, error otherwise Mutes a player from using any chat mechanisms or starting votes
TextUnMute Player True Nothing on success, error otherwise Unmutes a player
ChangeMap Location to travel to True Nothing on success, error otherwise Travels the server immediately to the specified level or server
RecordDemo True Nothing on success, error otherwise Starts a demo recording
SwapTeams True Swaps the players on each team
EndMap True Nothing on success, error otherwise Ends the current match immediately
ForceNonSeamless True Unforces non-seamless travel
ForceSeamless True Forces non-seamless travel
CancelVote Team True Nothing on success, error otherwise Cancels a vote in progress
MutateAsNone Message to pass to mutate() True Nothing on success, error otherwise Calls the Mutate() function on mutators, passing None as the instigator
MutateAsPlayer Player Message to pass to mutate() True Nothing on success, error otherwise Calls the Mutate() function on mutators, passing a player as the instigator
HasCommand Trigger True "true" or "false" on success, error otherwise Checks if a command exists
Map True Level name and GUID Provides information about the current level
Ping Message True PONG Message Makes you think you're playing PING/PONG
Team Player True Nothing on success, error otherwise Changes a player's team as if they used the "Change Teams" button
Team2 Player True Nothing on success, error otherwise Changes a player's team, but the player retains their credits
ClientVarList List of tokens True List of players and requested information Provides a list of players in the match and information based on the specified parameters
BotList True List of bots and relevant information Provides a list of bots in the match and relevant information
BotVarList List of tokens True List of bots and requested information Provides a list of bots in the match and information based on the specified parameters
PlayerInfo Player True Information requested about a player Provides information about a specific player
MineLimit True Mine Limit [ ... | Team Name | Team Mine Limit ] Provides information about the mine limits
VehicleLimit True Vehicle Limit [ ... | Team Name | Team Vehicle Limit ] Provides information about the vehicle limits
ChangeName Player NewName True Nothing on success, error otherwise Changes a player's name
ServerInfo Optional list of tokens True Information about the server Provides information about the server
GameInfo Optional list of tokens True Information about the game Provides information about the match
BuildingInfo True List of buildings and relevant information Provides information about the buildings in the match
Rotation True List of the levels in rotation and their GUIDs Provides information about the level rotation
MineBan Player True Nothing on success, error otherwise Bans a player from mining
MineUnban Player True Nothing on success, error otherwise Unbans a player from mining
TeamInfo List of tokens True Information about a team on success, message starting with "Error:" otherwise Provides information about a team based on the parameters
SpectateMode Player True Nothing on success, error otherwise Puts a player in spectator mode
NormalMode Player True Nothing on success, error otherwise Puts a player in normal mode
AddMap Level name True Nothing on success, error otherwise Adds a level to the rotation
RemoveMap Level name True Nothing on success, error otherwise Removes a level from the rotation
Kill Player False Nothing on success, error otherwise Kills a player's pawn
GiveCredits Player Amount False Nothing on success, error otherwise Gives a player credits
Disarm Player False Nothing on success, error otherwise Disarms all of a player's deployed weapons
DisarmBeacon Player False Nothing on success, error otherwise Disarms all of a player's deployed beacons
DisarmC4 Player False Nothing on success, error otherwise Disarms all of a player's deployed C4

Logs

Most game events are logged, including everything from players joining/leaving to mines being placed/disarmed. Some logs are disabled when bIsCompetitive is true.

Logs follow the following format:

  1. Token 0 is the primary header
  2. Token 1 is the secondary header
  3. Tokens beyond 1 depend entirely upon the primary and secondary headers

The '|' character in the following tables notates represents the Delimiter (STX/0x02). String constants in the parameters are surrounded by double quotes. Sections surrounded in [ Brackets ] indicate that these parameters may not always appear.

PLAYER

Player state changes and warnings are covered by this header.

Secondary Header Parameters Description
Enter; Player | "from" | IP Address | "hwid" | "" | "nosteam" / <"steamid" | Steam ID> A player entered the server; hwid may later be removed
TeamJoin; "joined" | Team [ | "left" | Old Team ] A player joined a team
HWID; HWID Reports a player's HWID
Exit; Player A player left the server
Kick; "for" | Reason A player was kicked
NameChange; "to:" | New Name A player's name changed
ChangeID; New ID | "from" | Old ID A player's Player ID changed
Rank; Rank A player's leaderboard Rank has been assigned
Dev; "true" / "false" A player has been marked as a Developer
Command; Command A player executed an RCON command
SpeedHack; Player A player has thrown a SpeedHack warning

GAME

Game events are covered by this header.

Secondary Header Parameters Description
Deployed; Player [ | "on" | Surface ] A deployable weapon (beacon, c4, etc) was deployed
Disarmed; "by" | Player [ | "owned by" | Owner ] A deployed weapon (beacon, c4, etc) was disarmed
Exploded; "near" | Spot Location | "at" | Location [ | "by" | Owner ] A deployed weapon (beacon, c4, etc) exploded
ProjectileExploded; "at" | Location [ | "by" | Owner ] A projectile weapon exploded
Captured; "id" | Building ID | "by" | Player A building was captured
Neutralized; "id" | Building ID | "by" | Player A capturable building was neutralized
Purchase; <"character" / "item" / "weapon" / "vehicle" | Object | "by" | Player> / <"refill" | Player> A player purchased something
Spawn; <"player" | Player | "character" | Character> / <"bot" | Player> / <"vehicle" | Vehicle Team "," Vehicle> Something spawned
Crate; [Crate Type | Crate Type Parameters (see below table)] | "by" | Player A player picked up a crate
Death; "player" | Player | <"by" | Killer Player | "with" | Damage Type> / <"died by" | Damage Type> / <"suicide by" | Damage Type> A player died
Stolen; Vehicle | <"by" | Player> / <"bound to" | Owner Player | "by" | Player> A vehicle was stolen
Destroyed; Object | "by" | Killer Player | "with" | Damage Type An object (building, vehicle, etc) was destroyed
Donated; "to" | Recipient Player | "by" | Donor Player A player donated funds to another player
OverMine; "near" | Location A player is over-mining
MatchEnd; "Nod=" Nod Total Score The match has ended
Crate Type Parameters Description
vehicle Vehicle A vehicle spawns near the player
death Player dies
suicide Player kills their self
money Amount Player gets free credits
character Character Player gets a new character
spy Character Player gets a spy that is hidden from base defenses
refill Player gets a health and ammo refill
timebomb A suicide Timed C4 gets attached to the player
speed Player's speed gets increased
nuke A nuke spawns at the player's location
abduction Player gets abducted and killed by aliens

CHAT

Chat messages are covered by this header.

Secondary Header Parameters Description
Say; "said:" | Message A player said something in public chat
TeamSay; "said:" | Message A player said something in team chat
Radio; "said:" | Message A player used a radio command
AdminSay; "said:" | Message A player said something in the admin chat
ReportSay; "said:" | Message A player said something to the administrators
HostSay; Message Host said something in public chat

VOTE

Votes are covered by this header. Team Type is either "GDI", "Nod", or "Global". It is theoretically possible for Team Type to be empty.

Secondary Header Parameters Description
Called; Vote Type | "by" | Player [ | Parameters... ] A vote has been started; see the table below for a list of parameters
Results; Vote Type | "pass" / "fail" | "Yes=" Total yes votes | "No=" Total no votes A vote has ended with the following results
Cancelled; Vote Type A vote was forcefully cancelled
Vote Type Called; Parameters Description
Rx_VoteMenuChoice_AddBots "GDI" / "Nod" / "Both" | "amount" | Number of bots | "skill" | Skill Level Adds bots
Rx_VoteMenuChoice_ChangeMap Forcefully ends the game on success
Rx_VoteMenuChoice_Kick Player Kicks a player from the server
Rx_VoteMenuChoice_MineBan Player Restricts a player from mining
Rx_VoteMenuChoice_RemoveBots "GDI" / "Nod" / "Both" | "amount" | Number of bots Removes bots
Rx_VoteMenuChoice_RetsartMap Forcefully ends the game and restarts the level
Rx_VoteMenuChoice_Surrender Forcefully ends the game as a loss for the team
Rx_VoteMenuChoice_Survey Message A survey with a user-specifiable message

MAP

Changes to the level's state are covered by this header.

Secondary Header Parameters Description
Changing; "nonseamless" / "seamless" Server is changing levels
Loaded; Map Server finished loading a level
Start; Map Match started

DEMO

Demo recording state changes are covered by this header.

Secondary Header Parameters Description
Record; <"client request by" / "admin command by" | Player> / "rcon command" A demo recording has started
RecordStop; A demo recording has stopped

ADMIN

Events related to a player's administrator or moderator permissions are covered by this header.

Secondary Header Parameters Description
Rcon; "executed:" | Command A player executed an RCON command
Login; "as" | Type = "moderator" / "administrator" A player logged into administrative permissions
Logout; "as" | Type = "moderator" / "administrator" A player logged out from administrative permissions
Granted; "as" | Type = "moderator" / "administrator" A player was granted administrative permissions

RCON

RCON events are covered by this header.

Secondary Header Parameters Description
Command; "executed:" | Command An RCON client executed a command
Subscribed; User An RCON client subscribed to RCON logs
Unsubscribed; User An RCON client unsubscribed from RCON logs
Blocked; Reason An RCON client was blocked from connecting
Connected; User An RCON client connected
Authenticated; User An RCON client authenticated
Banned; "reason" | Reason An RCON client was banned
InvalidPassword; User An RCON client attempted to login with an incorrect password
Dropped; "reason" | Reason An RCON client was dropped
Disconnected; User An RCON client disconnected
StoppedListen; Reason No further RCON clients can connect
ResumedListen; Reason Additional RCON clients can now connect
Warning; Warning Message An RCON-related warning string

ERROR

This header is currently unused, but was used in previous versions of RCON and may be used again in the future.

Trivia

  • RCON v3 used a non-breaking space (nbsp/0xA0) was the token deliminator despite it not being in the standard ASCII range. This lead to inconsistent results between servers, and was therefore replaced with the Start of Text character (STX/0x02) in RCON v4. In order to retain in-game readability of RCON output, the deliminator is replaced with a space before being displayed.

External Links