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Last modified on Jul 27, 2022 in plugins

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PlaceholderAPI Plugin Tutorial


Building a server can be difficult, especially when you want to customize plugins and the in-game chat. Placeholders are an amazing feature that many plugins use to help with editing formats or settings in their respective files. A placeholder is a tool for customizing your server through dynamic information from immediate events occurring in the server. For example, if you need to display custom nicknames, player time, world names, money, etc. from a plugin in your server, then placeholder values are required to pull that information. Luckily, the PlaceHolderAPI plugin or otherwise known as PAPI, is the best tool for this control. It’s an all-in-one tool that hooks into your plugins to grab a hold of useful information to better format your server to become professional. We created this Apex Hosting tutorial to help you understand the plugin’s control and configuration into other plugins.

Server Installation

  1. Press Downloadin the top right corner of PlaceHolderAPI’s Spigot page.
    PlaceholderAPI Spigot Download
  2. Head towards your Apex server panel and to the left-hand side, click FTP File Access.
  3. Use your panel password to login and locate the plugins folder.
  4. Once found, enter into the folder and press Upload in the top left.
  5. Drag and drop the plugin’s JAR file into the drop box area, then wait for it to reach 100% on the left.
    FTP Panel PlaceholderAPI Upload
  6. Afterward, go back to the main panel and Restart the server.

For additional information about installing plugins on your server, go here.

Downloading Placeholders

The PAPI plugin allows you to download placeholders from supported plugins through their ecloud database. It’s worth noting that some plugins are compatible but may not directly mention it. Sometimes, a plugin may quietly mention the support on their Spigot or Bukkit page. However, it’s best to stick with the official list to easily implement placeholder values into your server.

  1. Review PlaceHolderAPI’s extension list to find the one you want to use by using the Search field in the top right corner, then selecting it under the Name category.
    PlaceholderAPI Ecloud Search

    Note: A list of placeholders will be listed once you click on an extension.

  2. Once you have it, join your server and execute /papi ecloud download [extension]
    PlaceholderAPI Ecloud Essentials Example

    For example: /papi ecloud download Essentials

  3. After running the command, type /papi reload to apply the changes.
    PlaceholderAPI Reload Command
  4. Now you may use all placeholder values from that extension in your other plugins.

Most placeholders require the dependent plugin to be installed on the server before it fully works. You can find default values here from PAPI that don’t require a dependency to be installed. However, they do require the ecloud download command to be applied.

How to Use PlaceHolderAPI

Placeholder API Essentials

Using placeholders requires you to enter available placeholders into a compatible plugin or file configuration from the FTP panel. Most of the time you would use plugins for placeholders, and most of those values start and end with %, but can be { or (. A list of useful and popular examples are down below to display their usages, so you may have a better understanding with PlaceHolderAPI.

E.g. %essentials_nickname%

Server Chat

PlaceholderAPI Essentials Nickname Chat

One of the many locations where PlaceholderAPI can be used is to edit the server chat. When combined with a plugin such as LPC, various placeholders can be added to customize and format your in-game chat. Some examples would be to display the player’s nickname from EssentialsX, rank suffixes, the amount of money a player collected, and other neat aspects.


PlaceholderAPI Tablist Playtime Example

Another good location for placeholders is in the tablist that displays the list of players and other information. A popular plugin for that control is TAB, so it can display the amount of time played on your server, which is from the PlayTime plugin. You can implement the world’s name, server’s TPS, ping, and other useful things in the tablist.

E.g. %playtime_time%


PlaceholderAPI Scoreboard LuckPerms Example

Many servers may include or want a scoreboard, which is displayed on the right-hand side of the screen. The RealScoreboard plugin is a great tool for that, which we used for displaying the player’s LuckPerms placeholder rank in-game. You can add anything else to the scoreboard like the server’s uptime, total player count, the player’s username, and other information.

E.g. %luckperms_prefix%


You now fully understand the PlaceHolderAPI plugin and all the capabilities it offers! One of those features is the ability to download extensions for more placeholder values, which is done through their ecloud commands. Once all of them are installed on the server, you can set the values in other plugin files from the FTP panel to appear in-game such as the server chat. Remember that not all Spigot or Bukkit plugins use PAPI or list it’s compatible with placeholders, so you may have to test it out. Using this information, you may now start making your server professional through the power and customization of PlaceHolderAPI!

Useful Links

PlaceHolderAPI Extension List
PlaceHolderAPI Command List
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