Getting started
Writing your first contract

Writing your first contract

TON contract is an isolated object that have state and code, can send and receive messages and export get-methods for off-chain reading of a contract state.

The code of the contract dictates how:

  • it manipulates it's own state
  • it reacts to incoming messages
  • exposes it's state to off-chain world

Contract example

This contract allows to increment counter by anyone in the network, stores the owner of the contract and exposes counter value and owner address to off-chain world.

contract Counter {
    owner: Address;
    counter: Int as uint32;
    init(owner: Address) {
        self.owner = owner;
        self.counter = 0;
    receive("increment") {
        self.counter = (self.counter + 1);
    get fun counter(): Int {
        return self.counter;
    get fun owner(): Address {
        return self.owner;

Contract state and init

This contract has two state variables that persisted between contract calls: owner and counter. The state variables are declared in the contract header and initialized in the init function. The init function is called before contract is deployed.

counter variable is declared as Int as uint32 which means that it will be stored as uint32 in the contract state. The Int type is used to represent integer numbers in the contract code. Int is 257-bit signed integer. Size checks are performed only when storing. Overflowing Int causes an exception and aborting the transaction.


Notation receive("increment") means declaration of a receiver function that will be called when a text with value "increment" is sent to the contract. The function body can modify the state of the contract and send messages to other contracts. It is impossible to call receiver directly. If you need to reuse some logic you can declare a function and call it from receiver.

There are several receiver functions. All receiver functions are processed in the order they are listed below:

  • receive() - called when an empty message is sent to the contract
  • receive("message") - called when a text message with a specific comment is sent to the contract
  • receive(str: String) - called when an arbitrary text message is sent to the contract
  • receive(msg: MyMessage) - called when binary message of type MyMessage is sent to the contract
  • receive(msg: Slice) - called when binary message of unknown type is sent to the contract
  • bounced(msg: Slice) - called when outgoing message bounced


There are two getters in this contract counter and owner that returns current counter value and owner of a contract. Getters are not accessible from other contracts and exported only to off-chain world.