Swift HeroProtocol is a cross platform native Swift port of Blizzard Entertainment's heroprotocol python library for extracting component files of a Heroes of the Storm replay file and decoding them

Swift HeroProtocol

Swift HeroProtocol is a cross platform native Swift port of Blizzard Entertainment's heroprotocol python library for extracting component files of a Heroes of the Storm replay file and decoding them. It comes in the form of 2 executables which can be used as is, swiftmpq and swiftheroprotocol (the equivalent of Blizzard's mpyq and heroprotocol python scripts). Swift HeroProtocol uses and creates 2 libraries, MPQArchive and HeroProtocol which can be dynamically linked and used in software that needs to manipulate MPQ archives and/or heroes of the storm replay information.

Swift HeroProtocol replicates the full functionality of both the mpyq (python library used to extract files from a MoPaQ archives) and heroprotocol executables and libraries. The executables have the same interface and command line parameters as their python equivalents.

Python heroprotocol can be found here

MPQArchive framework

Is a complete swift port of the python mpyq library. It can extract all or specific files contained in an MPQ archive both to disk or in memory. While faster than the python version it is a direct port and has the same limitation - It shouldn't be used to extract large files so its use case should be limited to replay files from starcraft 2 or heroes of the storm.

The library can be found standalone here: https://github.com/gabrielnica/MPQArchive

HeroProtocol (swift) framework

The HeroProtocol swift framework contains a set of functions to decode the replay component files into native swift types such as dictionaries or arrays. In order to not have to make a swift translation of hundreds of python scripts and to be future proof, it makes use of Python's C interoperability to interface with the required patch protocol through the PythonBridge swift framework and Swift 4.2's new @dynamicMemberLookup functionality. Note that the Swift HeroProtocol library does not spawn any other system process or any other gimmick that runs the original python scripts. It directly interfaces with Python through C interop

About Heroes of the Storm replay files

.StormReplay files are MoPaQ archives which contain a set of files that further contain replay information such as messages and actions taken during a game. Those files are encrypted and tightly packed

What happens when Blizzard releases a new patch

Each Heroes of the Storm patch has a corresponding "protocol" which contains information about how to decode the replay files for that particular version of the game. When a new patch is published Blizzard updates automatically the python library in the heroprotocol github repo

The Swift HeroProtocol library requires a path to a local clone of the python heroprotocol which must be set before any replay file can be loaded. In this way it is ensured that whenever a new patch comes out all you need to do is a git pull for the heroprotocol repo and the Swift library will pick up the new version. The executable version might do all this by itself in the future.


  • the heroprotocol python repository cloned locally. If using the executable version of swiftheroprotocol then this python files must reside in [executable path]/py-heroprotocol/heroprotocol-master
  • Xcode 11 or Swift 5.1 toolchain
  • Python 2.7.14 installed with homebrew. If installed through other means the modulemap paths need to be changed. Ensure that /usr/local/Cellar/python/2.7.14/Frameworks/Python.framework exists
  • ZLib C library
  • BZip2 1.0.6 library installed with homebrew. Ensure that BZip2 is installed in /usr/local/Cellar/bzip2/1.0.6_1. If installed in different location you must modify the modulemap for bzip2 in MPQArchive


  • Copy the heroprotocolbridge.py file from Sources/HeroProtocol/ into [executable or target path]/py-heroprotocol/. This is because of a limitation of SwiftPM that doesn't have a way to bundle files with a package


  • clone the repository locally
  • run swift build in the clone folder or if you want to open and build the project in Xcode, swift package generate-xcodeproj

As a library using Swift Package Manager

Add this dependency in your package description

  .package(url: "git@github.com:gabrielnica/SwiftHeroProtocol.git", from: "1.0.0")

Note that this still needs the heroprotocolbridge.py file

HeroProtocol Usage

All HeroProtocol .load[...] functions return either a dictionary or an array of dictionaries. For nil values within the dictionaries it uses NSNull

let path = "/usr/local/lib/heroprotocol-master"

HeroProtocol.shared.path = path
MPQArchive.logOptions = [.none]

let replayURL = URL(fileURLWithPath: "/Users/..../Infernal Shrines (60).StormReplay")

do {
    let replayFile = try ReplayFile(url: replayURL)
    let messages = try replayFile.loadMessageEvents()

    // messages is an array of [String: AnyObject] where each element of the array is a message

    for message in messages {
} catch {
    print("Error while reading file: \(error)")

Available functions:

public class ReplayFile {

    public init(replayFileURL: URL) throws

    public func loadReplayDetails() throws -> [String : AnyObject]

    public func loadInitData() throws -> [String : AnyObject]

    public func loadMessageEvents() throws -> [[String : AnyObject]]

    public func loadAttributesEvents() throws -> [[String : AnyObject]]

    public func loadTrackerEvents() throws -> [[String : AnyObject]]

    public func loadGameEvents() throws -> [[String : AnyObject]]

    public func loadHeaderInfo() throws -> [String : AnyObject]

MPQArchive Usage

To unarchive in memory:

let replayFileURL = URL(fileURLWithPath: "/Users/..../Infernal Shrines (60).StormReplay")
do {
    let archive = try MPQArchive(fileURL: replayFileURL)
    // by now the file is already loaded and MPQArchive extracted the file list. if you don't want to that
    // and load the archive later
    // use let archive = MPQArchive(); [...] try archive.load(fileURL: replayFileURL)
    let data = try archive.extractFile(filename: "replay.message.events", writeToDisk: false)
} catch {
    print("Error while reading file: \(error)")

For more info on how to use MPQArchive see https://github.com/gabrielnica/MPQArchive


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Last updated: Tue Nov 21 2023 12:08:39 GMT-1000 (Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time)