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The WEBGL_compressed_texture_s3tc extension is part of the WebGL API and exposes four S3TC compressed texture formats.

Compressed textures reduce the amount of memory needed to store a texture on the GPU, allowing for higher resolution textures or more of the same resolution textures.

WebGL extensions are available using the WebGLRenderingContext.getExtension() method. For more information, see also Using Extensions in the WebGL tutorial.

Availability: This extension is available to both, WebGL1 and WebGL2 contexts.


The compressed texture formats are exposed by four constants and can be used in two functions: compressedTexImage2D() and compressedTexSubImage2D().

A DXT1-compressed image in an RGB image format.
A DXT1-compressed image in an RGB image format with a simple on/off alpha value.
A DXT3-compressed image in an RGBA image format. Compared to a 32-bit RGBA texture, it offers 4:1 compression.
A DXT5-compressed image in an RGBA image format. It also provides a 4:1 compression, but differs to the DXT3 compression in how the alpha compression is done.


var ext = (
  gl.getExtension('WEBGL_compressed_texture_s3tc') ||
  gl.getExtension('MOZ_WEBGL_compressed_texture_s3tc') ||

var texture = gl.createTexture();
gl.bindTexture(gl.TEXTURE_2D, texture);

gl.compressedTexImage2D(gl.TEXTURE_2D, 0, ext.COMPRESSED_RGBA_S3TC_DXT5_EXT, 512, 512, 0, textureData); 

gl.texParameteri(gl.TEXTURE_2D, gl.TEXTURE_MAG_FILTER, gl.LINEAR);
gl.texParameteri(gl.TEXTURE_2D, gl.TEXTURE_MIN_FILTER, gl.LINEAR);


Specification Status Comment
The definition of 'WEBGL_compressed_texture_s3tc' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge MobileFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung Internet
Basic supportChrome ? Edge Full support YesFirefox Full support 22
Full support 22
No support 15 — 58
Prefixed Implemented with the vendor prefix: MOZ_
IE ? Opera ? Safari ? WebView Android ? Chrome Android ? Edge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android ? Opera Android ? Safari iOS ? Samsung Internet Android ?


Full support  
Full support
Compatibility unknown  
Compatibility unknown
Requires a vendor prefix or different name for use.
Requires a vendor prefix or different name for use.

See also


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