Record Store

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The world model is split in two parts: An immutable part and a mutable part. The record store represents the immutable part.

The esm/esp file format contains a list of records, where each record is composed of a type ID and additional data. Our world model does mirror this structure.

Individual records can by identified by a string ID, a numeric ID, a coordinate-pair or not at all (depending on the type).

For each type of record we have a struct in the ESM namespace:

For each type of record we also have a list of these records, instantiating the MWWorld::Store template. There are some variations depending on the record type.

The class implementing the record store is named ESMStore (in the MWWorld namespace). The ESMStore merges records from multiple ESM/ESP files into a single store. The merging implementation can vary depending on the record type.

A const reference to the current ESMStore can be obtained from the MWBase::World class instance.

Dynamic Records[edit]

Some types of records can be generated dynamically during gameplay and then accessed via the record store like any other record.


  • custom classes
  • custom enchantments
  • potions created by alchemy
  • modifications to levelled lists via the console


A cell record consists of some header-type data fields and a collection of references. Of these only the header data is stored in the record store. The collection of references is mutable and as such needs to be treated separately.


For every practical purpose each info record is a sub-records of a dialogue record. The OpenMW info storage implementation reflects this structure. The esm/esp format does not.