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Game Systems: Custom UI Skinning in LOTRO
In The Lord of the Rings OnlineTM: Shadows of AngmarTM (LOTRO), players can customize certain elements of the game's user interface (UI), also known as "skinning." While we don't allow you to do a full-scale UI replacement, we do give you the ability to replace selected visual elements of the UI. (A full list of these elements and their sizes is provided at the end of this overview.)

The Directory Structure

All of the UI skins created by users must be located within the "...uiskins" directory. Each user-defined skin should be placed in a separate subdirectory under our pre-defined location, so you may have something like:


Inside each user defined skin directory a skin definition file (and accompanying images) is expected. This XML file is named "SkinDefinition.xml" for every skin (discussed below.)

The remaining files in this directory are the media files. The media files are generally TGAs (RGB + alpha).

Note: the "..." directory is where you can find the UserPreferences.ini file. It is usually something like

"C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\The Lord of the Rings Online"

The Skin Definition File Structure

The skin definition provides two pieces of information: the name of the skin (which is displayed on the "User Skins" option panel listbox) and the list of media that the skin replaces. The two XML tags are:
  • SkinName - the name of the skin. There should only be one SkinName tag in the file.
  • Mapping - the mapping of an ArtAssetID to an image FileName. There will be one mapping in the file for each piece of media that is going to be replaced.
The "Mapping" tag has two parts:
  • ArtAssetID - a string representing in internal identification of an image. We provide you a "dictionary" of all valid mappings from which to chose (see below)
  • FileName - the local file to use when rendering that ArtAssetID. These can be any media on your drive.
A sample skin file is as follows:

The sample skin is named "RedToolbar" and replaces one piece of media: the toolbar identified by "LetterBoxBottom" is replaced by the file


Activating Your Skin

You can activate your custom UI skin from within LOTRO.
  1. Open the Options panel, Ctrl-O
  2. Click "UI Settings"
  3. In the "Current User Skin" droplist at the bottom of this window, select your skin.
(click on images for larger versions)

After you click "Accept", your new UI will be applied!

If your skin is not in the list, it failed to parse. Make sure your tags are all specified and closed!
Currently, the game must be re-launched whenever a new skin is added or a change is made to an existing skin.

ArtAssetID Dictionary and SkinDefinition XML file
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