ZIPReader in Godot – Complete Guide

Mastering the use of ZIP files is a crucial skill for developers, particularly when managing resources and data packaging. In Godot 4, a powerful game engine known for its flexibility and ease of use, the ZIPReader class stands out as a tool for working with zip files seamlessly. Today, we aim to provide a comprehensive guide to using the ZIPReader class, unpacking the potential to enhance your game development journey. Whether you’re a budding game developer or a seasoned coder looking to refine your skills further, understanding how to manipulate zip files in Godot can be a game-changer.

What is ZIPReader?

The ZIPReader class in Godot 4 is a practical tool designed to easily read and extract the content from zip archives. Zip archives are widely used to compress data, making it easier to transfer and manage files. By using ZIPReader, developers can access individual files within a zip file programmatically, which is essential for resource management in game development.

What is it for?

ZIPReader serves a fundamental purpose in game development: managing game assets. Say you have a collection of images, audio files, or scripts that you want to package neatly. The ZIPReader helps you access these packaged files without the need to extract the entire archive manually. This can be particularly useful for handling downloadable content, patch updates, or simply organizing assets more efficiently.

Why Should I Learn It?

Learning how to use ZIPReader not only streamlines the process of working with archives but also equips you with knowledge that translates well into other areas of software development. This functionality is critical for keeping games lightweight and minimizing load times, ensuring a better experience for the end-user. Furthermore, understanding ZIPReader in Godot can open the door to more advanced resource-handling and optimization techniques. Let’s dive into this powerful feature and unlock the full potential of your game’s assets.

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Initializing the ZIPReader

Before diving into extracting files, it’s essential to know how to initialize the ZIPReader in Godot. The first step is to create a new instance of the ZIPReader class. This can be easily done with a simple line of code:

var zip_reader =

Once you have the ZIPReader instance, you need to open the zip file. This is done by providing the path to your zip file and ensuring it’s present in the project directory.

var file =
if"res://", File.READ) == OK:
    print("Failed to open zip file.")

Remember to replace `` with the actual path to the zip file you want to manipulate.

Listing Files in the Archive

To list all the files in the archive, you can use the `get_file_list()` method. This will return an array of file names contained within the zip archive.

var file_names = zip_reader.get_file_list()
for file_name in file_names:

This snippet prints out the names of all files in the archive, which helps you verify the contents before extraction.

Reading Files from the Archive

Reading a specific file from within the archive doesn’t require you to extract it to the filesystem. You can directly read its contents like so:

var file_to_read = "path_within_zip/myfile.txt"
if zip_reader.has_file(file_to_read):
    var data = zip_reader.get_file_as_text(file_to_read)
    print("File does not exist in the archive.")

The `has_file()` method checks if the file exists inside the zip, and `get_file_as_text()` reads its content, assuming it’s a text file.

Extracting Files

You may want to extract one or more files from the archive to the local file system. Here’s how to extract a single file:

var file_to_extract = "path_within_zip/extract_me.txt"
var destination_path = "user://extracted_file.txt"

if zip_reader.extract_file(file_to_extract, destination_path):
    print("File extracted successfully to " + destination_path)
    print("Failed to extract file.")

For extracting all files:

var extract_destination = "user://extracted_files/"

for file_name in zip_reader.get_file_list():
    var destination = extract_destination + file_name
    if zip_reader.extract_file(file_name, destination):
        print("Extracted: " + file_name)
        print("Failed to extract: " + file_name)

In the above code, replace `user://extracted_files/` with the actual path where you wish to extract the files.

Remember to handle file extraction responsibly, ensuring that destination paths are valid and that you have appropriate permissions. This wraps up the basics of file handling with ZIPReader in Godot 4. By now, you should be confident in initializing, listing, reading, and extracting files from zip archives within your Godot projects.As we continue with ZIPReader exploration, there are key operations that further enhance your work with zip file archives in Godot 4. Let’s explore additional features and how to utilize them in your projects.

Advanced File Extraction

Sometimes, you may want to perform checks or operations right before extracting each file. This is how you can iterate through files, perform a check, and then extract if needed:

var needed_files = ["image.png", "data.json"]
for file_name in zip_reader.get_file_list():
    if file_name in needed_files:
        var destination = "res://extracted/" + file_name
        if zip_reader.extract_file(file_name, destination):
            print("Extracted: " + file_name)
            print("Failed to extract: " + file_name)

Here, we’re filtering extraction by file name, ensuring only needed files are extracted.

Accessing File Information

ZIPReader also allows you to access specific information about files within the zip archive. This information can include the size of the file or its CRC checksum. To access this info, use the following code:

var file_info = zip_reader.get_file_info("path_within_zip/myfile.txt")
if file_info:
    print("File size: " + str(file_info.size))
    print("File CRC checksum: " + str(file_info.crc))
    print("File information not available or file does not exist.")

Checking If a File Exists in the Archive

It’s crucial to verify the existence of a file before attempting any operations. This prevents errors and streamlines the execution of your code:

var file_name = "desired_file.txt"
if zip_reader.has_file(file_name):
    print(file_name + " exists within the archive.")
    print(file_name + " does not exist in the archive.")

This check ensures you can safely proceed with operations specific to the file in question.

Extracting Files to a Custom Directory

If you’d rather not extract files to the project’s `res://` or `user://` directories, you can specify a custom path:

var custom_path = "C:/MyGameAssets/"  # Ensure you have write permissions on your custom path
var file_name = "assets/spritesheet.png"

if OS.get_name() == "Windows" and zip_reader.extract_file(file_name, custom_path + file_name):
    print("File successfully extracted to custom directory.")
    print("Could not extract the file to custom directory.")

Make sure to adjust the custom_path to match your operating system’s file structure and have the necessary permissions.

Working with Non-Text Files

If you’re handling non-text assets, such as binary data, the process is slightly different. Here’s how you can read a binary file from the archive:

var image_file = "sprites/image.png"
if zip_reader.has_file(image_file):
    var image_data = zip_reader.get_file_as_binary(image_file)
    var image =
    if image.load_png_from_buffer(image_data) == OK:
        print("Image loaded successfully from the zip archive.")
        print("Failed to load image from the archive.")
    print("Image file does not exist in the archive.")

In this example, we’re handling image assets specifically, but similar concepts apply to other binary data types.

With these additional examples, you should feel more equipped than ever to navigate the complexities of file handling within Godot 4’s ZIPReader class. Leveraging the class’s full capabilities will make asset management smoother in your development workflow. As with all programming tasks, remember to write clean, concise code and handle potential errors adequately, ensuring a great experience for both developers and users alike.Continuing with our deep dive into the ZIPReader class in Godot 4, here are additional code examples and information to enhance your understanding and usage.

When working with multiple files, you might want to extract them based on a condition, such as only extracting files that are images. Here’s how you might go about that:

var files_to_extract = zip_reader.get_file_list()
for file_name in files_to_extract:
    if file_name.ends_with(".png") or file_name.ends_with(".jpg"):  # Check if the file is an image
        var destination = "res://extracted_images/" + file_name
        if zip_reader.extract_file(file_name, destination):
            print("Image extracted: " + file_name)
            print("Failed to extract image: " + file_name)

Sometimes, you may want to extract files while preserving the folder structure inside the zip file. Here’s a way to maintain the directory hierarchy:

func extract_with_directories():
    var file_list = zip_reader.get_file_list()
    for file_path in file_list:
        var local_path = "res://extracted/" + file_path
        var directory =
        if zip_reader.extract_file(file_path, local_path):
            print("Extracted with folder structure: " + file_path)
            print("Failed to extract: " + file_path)


When extracting large files or numerous assets, it’s a good idea to show some progress. This can be done by updating a progress bar or printing out the current status:

func extract_files_with_progress(file_paths):
    var total_files = file_paths.size()
    for i in range(total_files):
        var file_path = file_paths[i]
        var destination = "res://extracted/" + file_path
        var progress = float(i) / total_files
        print("Extracting: %s (Progress: %.2f%%)" % [file_path, progress * 100])
        if zip_reader.extract_file(file_path, destination):
            print("Extracted: " + file_path)
            print("Failed to extract: " + file_path)

var file_list = zip_reader.get_file_list()

In situations where memory usage is a concern, especially with large zip files, you might want to process files one at a time, clearing them from memory after use:

func process_and_clear_files(file_names):
    for file_name in file_names:
        if zip_reader.extract_file(file_name, "temp/" + file_name):
            # Process the file here
            print("Processing: " + file_name)
            # Clear the file from memory if need be
            var dir =
            dir.remove("temp/" + file_name)
            print("Failed to extract: " + file_name)


Lastly, if your game is internationalized and you’re shipping localized assets in separate zip files, ZIPReader can help you to choose and extract only the relevant localized assets:

var localization_zip_map = {
    "en": "res://localization/",
    "es": "res://localization/",
    # ... other locales
var current_locale = "en"  # This would be set according to user preference or system locale
var selected_zip_path = localization_zip_map[current_locale]

if, File.READ) == OK:
    var localized_file_names = zip_reader.get_file_list()
    for file_name in localized_file_names:
        if file_name.ends_with(".txt"):  # Assuming you're only interested in text files for this example
            zip_reader.extract_file(file_name, "res://locales/" + current_locale + "/" + file_name)

Through these examples, you should have a solid idea of the myriad ways ZIPReader can be utilized in your Godot 4 projects. These snippets provide a glimpse into the dynamic capabilities of file handling within Godot, demonstrating that ZIPReader is an invaluable tool for managing game assets and data. Your project’s organization, performance, and adaptability can greatly benefit from these techniques, ensuring an optimal development process and, ultimately, a superior gaming experience for your audience.

Continue Your Game Development Journey

Mastering ZIPReader in Godot 4 is just the start of your game development journey. Now that you understand the basics of asset management within Godot, you have a solid foundation to build upon. To continue honing your skills and delve deeper into game creation, we wholeheartedly encourage you to explore our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree. This comprehensive program will guide you through creating cross-platform games, covering essential topics from 2D and 3D asset creation to GDScript programming and control flow. Whether you’re a beginner or seeking to enhance your existing knowledge, our courses are designed with flexibility to fit your learning pace.

For those eager to expand their expertise, we also offer a wide array of Godot tutorials and courses that can take you from a novice to a professional game developer. With over 250 courses available, finding the right content to boost your career and achieve your goals is within reach. Visit our broad collection of Godot courses to continue learning and start crafting the games you’ve always imagined.


Navigating the intricacies of the ZIPReader in Godot 4 is an empowering step towards mastering game asset management. Embracing this knowledge not only streamlines your workflow but also opens up the possibility of creating richer, more complex games. Remember that every great game stands on the pillars of efficiency, organization, and attention to detail; skills and practices that you’ve honed here with ZIPReader are a testament to your commitment to these principles.

Don’t stop here, though! With the vast expanse of game development waiting to be explored, we invite you to deepen your expertise with our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree. Dive into a world of opportunities and take the reins of your game development adventure, creating compelling and memorable experiences for players around the globe. At Zenva, we’re thrilled to be part of your learning path and look forward to seeing the incredible worlds you’ll build.

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