Pawn (programming language)

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Pawn code displayed in an editor
Appeared in 1998
Developer ITB CompuPhase
Stable release 3.3.4127 (3 July 2009)
Influenced by Small-C[1]
OS Cross-platform
License zlib License
Website [1]

Pawn, formerly known as Small, is an open source programming language primarily intended as an embeddable scripting language. It is maintained by a Dutch company named CompuPhase, which released the first version in 1998.[2] The language was known as Small until version 3 was released in March 2005.[2]

Pawn is a typeless language influenced by Small-C.[1] and has C-like syntax[3]

Pawn has been used in a few projects. It is the principal coding language, along with C++, in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Multiplayer servers. It is also used in the Half-Life mod, AMX Mod X and Source Engine based SourceMod.


Pawn code is compiler-oriented. Source Code is stored in a PWN format file, which is the equivalent of a text file. Once compiled, an AMX format file is created, which stores the actual, encrypted code. Once it is in the AMX format, it requires a decrypting tool or interpreter in order to be utilized. In some cases, it can be seamlessly integrated with other languages as well.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Multi-Player

A common use for PAWN is in the popular unofficial Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas modification, "San Andreas Multi-Player". This allows server hosts to enable their scripts to perform all the tasks available to players of the single player version of "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas". This is made possible by the ability for server hosts to create their own "game modes" with the PAWN compiler. The implementation of the PAWN language also allows users to interact with the game in ways previously not possible in the single player environment.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "The Pawn Booklet: 1. Language Guide". 2008-03-04. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 history.txt, distributed with the source code
  3. "The Pawn language". Retrieved 2008-03-08. 


nl:Pawn pl:PAWN pt:Pawn sv:Pawn

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