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TypeScriptToLua uses the same configuration file as the vanilla TypeScript compiler, loading it from the tsconfig.json file using the same rules as tsc.

Custom options

To customize transpilation behavior we add a new group of options to the tsconfig.json file. All of these options should be placed in a tstl object.

You can use our VS Code extension or manually specify the JSON schema to receive autocompletion and hints for the configuration file.

// Optional: Schema file for hints and validation
"$schema": "",

// ... tsconfig options

"tstl": {
// Custom options
buildMode"default", "library" (default: "library")Use buildMode: "library" to build publishable library packages.
extensionFile extension (default: ".lua")Extension of emitted lua files.
luaTarget"JIT", "5.4", "5.3", "5.2", "5.1", "universal", "5.0" (default: "universal")Specifies the Lua version you want to generate code for. Choosing universal makes TypeScriptToLua generate code compatible with all supported Lua targets, except for Lua 5.0, which features an unique syntax not compatible with that of the other targets.
noImplicitGlobalVariablestrue, false (default: false)If true, always makes root level function and variable declarations local, even if not in a module (would be global in TypeScript).
noImplicitSelftrue, false (default: false)If true, treats all project files as if they were prefixed with
/** @noSelfInFile **/.
noHeadertrue, false (default: false)Set this to true if you don't want to include our header in the output.
lua51AllowTryCatchInAsyncAwaittrue, false (default: false)Disable warning diagnostic about try/catch inside async functions for Lua 5.1, in case you are using a modified 5.1 environment that can handle this.
luaLibImport"inline", "require", "require-minimal", "none" (default: "require")We polyfill certain JavaScript features with Lua functions, this option specifies how these functions are imported into the Lua output. "inline": Inline used functions in code; "require": Require full lualib bundle if used in file. "require-minimal": Require a partial lualib bundle containing only the functions used by your code. "none": Never require/inline any lualib features.
sourceMapTracebacktrue, false (default: false)Overrides Lua's debug.traceback to apply sourcemaps to Lua stacktraces. This will make error messages point to your original TypeScript code instead of the generated Lua.
luaBundleFile path (relative to the tsconfig.json)Will bundle all output lua files into a single bundle file. Requires luaBundleEntry to be set!
luaBundleEntryFile path (relative to the tsconfig.json)This should be the name/path of the TS file in your project that will serve as entry point to the bundled code.
luaPluginsArray<{ name: string; import?: string }>List of TypeScriptToLua plugins.
tstlVerbosetrue, false (default: false)Output additional logging when performing a tstl build, to help diagnose issues.
noResolvePathsArray<string>An array of require paths that will NOT be resolved. For example ["require1", "sub.require2"] will stop tstl from trying to resolve Lua sources for require("require1") and require("sub.require2").

Standard options

Most of the standard TypeScript options work without any changes. Notable unsupported options are:

  • composite, build
  • incremental
  • emitDecoratorMetadata
  • esModuleInterop

Some options do not apply to TypeScriptToLua and are ignored:

  • outFile - use luaBundle instead.
  • importHelpers, noEmitHelpers - use luaLibImport instead.
  • target, module - it's only effect is limiting some features, so prefer to set it to esnext. If TypeScript requires you to specify different module type because you want to bundle your declarations with outFile, consider using API Extractor instead.


Transformers is a powerful feature of TypeScript that allows you to modify behavior of your program during compilation. While TypeScript currently does not provide a user-facing way to use transformers, TypeScriptToLua allows you to specify them in the configuration file, following ttypescript format.


"compilerOptions": {
"plugins": [{ "transform": "dota-lua-types/transformer" }]