#bevy #serialization #serde #save #ecs


Stateful, structural and human-readable serialization crate for the bevy engine

8 unstable releases (3 breaking)

new 0.4.0 Jul 4, 2024
0.4.0-rc.4 Jul 1, 2024
0.3.0 May 24, 2024
0.2.0 Apr 28, 2024
0.1.4 Apr 26, 2024

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Blazingly fast, stateful, structural and human-readable serialization crate for the bevy engine.


  • Stateful serialization and deserialization with world access.
  • Blazingly fast (compared to DynamicScene).
  • Treat an Entity, its Components and children as a single serde object.
  • Deserialize trait objects like Box<dyn T>, as an alternative to typetag.
  • Extremely lightweight and modular. No systems, no plugins.
  • Supports every serde format using familiar syntax.
  • Serialize Handles and provide a generalized data interning interface.
  • Serialize stored Entitys in a safe manner.
  • No reflection needed.

Getting Started

Imagine we have a typical Character bundle.

First we derive BevyObject:

#[derive(Bundle, BevyObject)]
pub struct Character {
    pub transform: Transform,
    pub name: Name,
    pub position: Position,
    pub hp: Hp,
  • #[bevy_object(query)]

This indicates we are serializing a query instead of a hierarchical tree, which improves performance.

To serialize we simply do:


This finds all entities that fits the QueryFilter of the bundle and serializes them in an array.

To deserialize we use deserialize_scope:

world.deserialize_scope(|| {
    // Returned object doesn't matter, data is stored in the world.
    let _ = serde_json::from_str::<InWorld<Character>>(&json_string);

This statement spawns new entities in the world and fills them with deserialized data.

You might want to delete current entities before loading new ones, to delete all associated entities of a serialization:

// Despawn all character.

To save multiple types of objects in a batch, create a batch serialization type with the batch! macro.

type SaveFile = batch!(
    Character, Monster,
    // Use `SerializeResource` to serialize a resource.

This saves each type in a map entry:

    "Character": [ 
        { .. },
        { .. },
    "Monster": [ .. ],
    "Terrain": ..

Advanced Serialization

BevyObject is not just a clone of Bundle, we support additional types.

  • impl BevyObject: Components are automatically BevyObject and BevyObject can contain multiple other BevyObjects.
  • Maybe<T> can be used if an item may or may not exist.
  • DefaultInit initializes a non-serialize component with FromWorld.
  • Child<T> finds and serializes a single BevyObject in children.
  • ChildVec<T> finds and serializes multiple BevyObjects in children.

See the BevyObject derive macro for more details.

// Note we cannot derive bundle anymore :(
// #[bevy_object(query)] also cannot be used due to children being serialized.
#[bevy_object(rename = "character")]
pub struct Character {
    pub transform: Transform,
    pub name: Name,
    pub position: Position,
    pub hp: Hp,
    pub weapon: Maybe<Weapon>
    pub cache: DefaultInit<Cache>,
    pub potions: ChildVec<Potion>

Projection Types

The crate provides various projection types for certain common use cases.

For example, to serialize a Handle as its string path, you can use #[serde(with = "PathHandle")] like so

#[derive(Serialize, Deserialize)]
struct MySprite {
    #[serde(with = "PathHandle")]
    image: Handle<Image>

Or use the newtype directly.

#[derive(Serialize, Deserialize)]
struct MySprite {
    image: PathHandle<Image>


We provide a framework to serialize Entity, Parent etc. Before we start keep in mind this only works with a serializer that can preserve the order of maps. In serde_json for instance, you must enable feature preserve_order to use these features.

When using BevyObject, we can specify the EntityId component. This registers the Entity id of this entity for future use in the same batch.

After the entry, future entities can use Parented to parent to this entity, or use EntityPtr to serialize an Entity that references this entity.


The typetag crate allows you to serialize trait objects like Box<dyn T>, but using typetag will always pull in all implementations linked to your build and does not work on WASM. To address these limitations this crate allows you to register deserializers manually in the bevy World and use the TypeTagged projection type for serialization.

world.register_typetag::<Box<dyn Animal>, Cat>()


#[derive(Serialize, Deserialize)]
struct MyComponent {
    #[serde(with = "TypeTagged")]
    weapon: Box<dyn Weapon>

To have user friendly configuration files, you can use register_deserialize_any and AnyTagged to allow deserialize_any, i.e. deserialize 42 instead of {"int": 42} in self-describing formats. Keep in mind using AnyTagged in a non-self-describing format like postcard will always return an error as this is a limitation of the serde specification.

world.register_deserialize_any(|s: &str| 
        .map_err(|e| e.to_string())?
    ) as Box<dyn Animal>)

For Library Authors

It is more ideal to depend on bevy_serde_lens_core since its semver is less likely to change inside a major bevy release cycle.


bevy bevy-serde-lens-core bevy-serde-lens
0.13 - 0.1-0.3
0.14 0.14 0.4


Licensed under either of

at your option.


Unless you explicitly state otherwise, any contribution intentionally submitted for inclusion in the work by you, as defined in the Apache-2.0 license, shall be dual licensed as above, without any additional terms or conditions.


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