When using the lower-level address.call(data) to call an external contract, can you retrieve an exception that the external contract throws? Is it part of the return data that’s returned with the success boolean?

1 Answer 1


Yes, in solidity the revert reason is passed as the return data of the call.

So, if the call failed with:

revert CustomError(uint256(100))

the return data will be abi.encodeWithSelector(CustomError.selector, uint256(100)). If the revert reason is a string, the return data will be the string abi-encoded.

I've made this example on how to get data out of a custom error.

pragma solidity ^0.8.0;

contract TestError {
    error TimeError(uint256 time);

    event LogTime(uint256 time);

    function getTimestampAsError() external {
        revert TimeError(block.timestamp);

    function main() external {
        // make external call to this contract
        bytes memory data = abi.encodeWithSelector(this.getTimestampAsError.selector);
        (bool success, bytes memory returndata) = address(this).call(data);

        // call failed
        if (!success) {
            // decode returndata
            // we need assembly cause there's no 'decodeWithSelector'
            uint256 time;
            assembly {
                // mload(returndata) -> length of bytes
                // mload(returndata + 0x20) -> start of body
                //    first 4 bytes are TimeError.selector
                time := mload(add(returndata,0x24))

            // return time using logs
            emit LogTime(time);

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