Tutorial by: TheRealUnderscore

Many of you might have been told to use lists, and/or are wondering what lists are. Well, this is the tutorial for you!
Why should you use lists? Lists are a built-in form of variables that let you manage variables easily and efficiently.

Basic Understanding

A list is a TreeMap. A TreeMap stores values using keys.

What's a key?

A key is an index. It can be a player, a location, or anything. Although, no matter what, a key is a text. If you want a value that's not a text, parse it as the desired type.
Take such: {example::%player%}. %player% would be the key in this list.
Keep in mind that not all values that you send are the same when you use them in a key.

For example, if a player is at coordinates 1, 2, 3 in the world world:
send "%location at player%" would output x: 1, y: 2, z: 3, but {example::%location at player%} would be {example::world:1,2,3}

How do I use them?

Lists are formatted just like variables, but with an important difference: ::. With lists, you use :: as a delimiter to tell Skript it's a list.


Well, how would you use lists in real code, you ask? It's simple!


on death:
    add 1 to {kills::%attacker%}
    add 1 to {deaths::%victim%}

This would simply store kills and deaths. Since it's a list, you can also loop and delete it.

command /stats <text>:
        if arg-1 is "kills":
            loop {kills::*}:
                send "%loop-index% has %loop-value% kills!"
        else if arg-1 is "deaths":
            loop {deaths::*}:
                send "%loop-index% has %loop-value% deaths. D:"
        else if arg-1 is "delete":
            # This would reset all kills and deaths
            delete {kills::*}
            delete {deaths::*}

(Check out this tutorial if you don't know how to make custom commands)

Looping is one of the key components of lists.
You may have noticed I used loop-index. If you don't know what that is, that's just the key of the value.
In this example, if Notch killed jeb_, {kills::notch} would be 1 (keys are lowercased), and {deaths::jeb_} would be 1 also.
If /stats kills was executed, it would send Notch has 1 kills!. Maybe not grammatically correct, but it gets the job done.

Convert old variables to lists

If you want to convert your old variables to lists, it's fairly simple.
Some examples are as such:

{%player%.money} -> {money::%player's uuid%}
{home.warps.%player%} -> {warps::%player's uuid%::home}
{%player%.cooldown} -> {cooldown::%player's uuid%}
{kills.%attacker%} -> {kills::%attacker's uuid%}

You can see player is changed to player's uuid. This is just so if the player changes their name, the value won't be lost.

Adding a value

Now, there are times you also want to just add a value to a list. Well, although you can add, it's best you set them instead. This is much faster, and I'll explain why.

on place:
    set {placed::%event-location%} to player

This would "add" the block's location in relation to the player.

on break:
    if {placed::%event-location%} is event-player:
        send "You placed this block earlier!"
        delete {placed::%event-location%}

This would check if, on break, the block broken was placed by the player previously. If true, it sends a message to the player and removes the block's location from the list.

Why would you want to do this?

The equivalent of this with just add would be:

on place:
    add event-location to {placed::%player%::*}
on break:
    if {placed::%player%::*} contains event-location:
        send "You placed this block earlier!"
        remove event-location from {placed::%player%::*}

Although this may seem simpler, it's a lot slower. Using add makes Skript loop through the whole list until it finds an empty value.

In Skript code, this is basically:

set {_key} to 1
while {list::%{_key}%} is set:
    add 1 to {_key}
set {list::%{_key}%} to {_value}

This means if you placed 20 blocks, Skript would've looped 190 times throughout the 20 blocks only.
If you placed 50, a whole 1275!

Using remove also loops the list, except differently.

loop {list::*}:
    if loop-value is {_value}:
        delete {list::%loop-index%}
        stop loop

As you can see, internally this is way slower than simply using set and delete.
Another alternative to adding is getting the size of the list, then setting it using that. i.e.

set {_size} to (size of {list::*}) + 1
set {list::%{_size}%} to {_value}

Although, this can error. For example, if you have {list::1}, {list::2}, and {list::3}, and you delete {list::2}, the size of the list would be 2, and would replace {list::3} if you add to it.

Sorting a list

If you need to sort a list, it's simple, just use a sort function like this one:

function sort(indices: strings, values: numbers, descending: boolean = true) :: strings:
    loop {_indices::*}:
        set {_sort::%{_values::%loop-index%}%.%loop-index%} to loop-value
    return (reversed {_sort::*}) if {_descending} is true, else {_sort::*}

Understanding of this function is not necessary due to it being relatively complex, but if you want to study it, you can. Because keys are lost using the sorted expression, a function is mandatory.

Now imagine you have a list like such:
{points::mark_} = 400
{points::Jaeger_Danger} = 70
{points::pesekjan} = 69
{points::DelayedGaming} = 20
{points::Skillsbo} = 15
{points::some_dude} = 13

And you have a command like such:

command /sort:
        set {_sorted::*} to sort((indices of {points::*}), {points::*})
        loop 5 times:
            set {_player} to {_sorted::%loop-value%}
            set {_value} to {points::%{_player}%}
            send "%loop-value%. %{_player}% has %{_value}% points!" to sender

Doing /sort would output:
1. mark_ has 400 points!
2. jaeger_danger has 70 points!
3. pesekjan has 69 points!
4. delayedgaming has 20 points!
5. skillsbo has 15 points!
As stated earlier, keys are lowercased, so all of these values are lowercased.
If the keys of {points::*} are UUID strings or players, simply change set {_player} to {_sorted::%loop-value%} to set {_player} to {_sorted::%loop-value%} parsed as offline player.
This way, {_player} would be the actual player type, allowing you to use it as such, and the casing is correct.

Well, that's all. Please comment down below any suggestions you want me to add.

Did you find TheRealUnderscore's tutorial helpful?

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  • July 11, 2021, 9:14 p.m. - TheRealUnderscore  

    If there's something you want to comment on, say it here!
    All feedback is greatly appreciated.

  • Oct. 11, 2021, 6:39 p.m. - Quik2007  

    Thank you for the great tutorial!

  • Oct. 12, 2021, 5:48 p.m. - Quik2007  

    Hi, i have a short question. How do i manage lists in other list?
    I have {regions::} and {regions::1::} (And {regions::1::owner} and so on). And how do i use "size of {regions::1::*}" or something?

  • Oct. 22, 2021, 3:26 p.m. - EnchantedApple  

    Thank you very much. I've been trying to find this kind of tutorial for a long time!
    Very useful.

  • Oct. 27, 2023, 4:22 p.m. - DarkestVoids  

    Err I know this has been up for a while but I have a quick question,

    How do I call the function to store the values?
    I'm trying to implement it into my code and I just can't get it to work, no errors the leaderboard just displays as "1. [HTML_REMOVED] has [HTML_REMOVED] points!"

    The variable I use to save the points for my game is {score::*} and to change players points I used {score::%uuid of player%} but I'm not sure how I would call the function using them.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated ty.

    Oct. 27, 2023, 5:03 p.m. - DarkestVoids  

    Nevermind I figured it out lol