Code style guidelines

When contributing to Godot’s source code, you will be expected to follow the style guidelines outlined below. Some of them are checked via the Continuous Integration process and reviewers will ask you to fix potential issues, so best setup your system as outlined below to ensure all your commits follow the guidelines.

C++ and Objective-C

There are no written guidelines, but the code style agreed upon by the developers is enforced via the clang-format code beautifier, which takes care for you of all our conventions. To name a few:

  • Indentation and alignment are both tab based (respectively one and two tabs)
  • One space around math and assignments operators as well as after commas
  • Pointer and reference operators are affixed to the variable identifier, not to the type name

The rules used by clang-format are outlined in the .clang-format file of the Godot repository.

As long as you ensure that your style matches the surrounding code and that you not introducing trailing whitespace or space-based indentation, you should be fine. If you plan to contribute regularly however, we strongly advise that you setup clang-format locally to check and automatically fix all your commits.


Godot’s code style should not be applied to thirdparty code, i.e. that is included in Godot’s source tree but was not written specifically for our project. Such code usually come from different upstream projects with their own style guides (or lack thereof), and don’t want to introduce differences that would make syncing with upstream repositories harder.

Thirdparty code is usually included in the thirdparty/ folder and can thus easily be excluded from formatting scripts. For the rare cases where a thirdparty code snippet needs to be included directly within a Godot file, you can use /* clang-format off */ and /* clang-format on */ to tell clang-format to ignore a chunk of code.

Using clang-format locally

First of all, you will need to install clang-format. As of now, you need to use clang-format 5.x to be compatible with Godot’s format. The upcoming 6.x branch has not been tested yet and my cause inconsistencies; the previous 3.x branch is incompatible with the style definitions and will error out.


Here’s how to install clang-format:

  • Linux: It will usually be available out-of-the-box with the clang toolchain packaged by your distribution. If your distro version is not the required one, you can download a pre-compiled version from the LLVM website, or if you are on a Debian derivative, use the upstream repos.
  • macOS and Windows: You can download precompiled binaries from the LLVM website. You may need to add the path to the binary’s folder to your system’s PATH environment variable to be able to call clang-format out of the box.

You then have different possibilities to apply clang-format to your changes:

Manual usage

You can apply clang-format manually one or more files with the following command:

clang-format -i -style=file <path/to/file(s)>
  • -i means that the changes should be written directly to the file (by default clang-format would only output the fixed version to the terminal).
  • -style=file tells clang-format to use the .clang-format file of Godot’s repository as a style guide. Note that the file part is the actual “file” word, not a path to a file.
  • The path can point to several files, either one after the other or using wildcards like in a typical Unix shell. Be careful when globbing so that you don’t run clang-format on compiled objects (.o and .a files) that are in Godot’s tree. So better use core/*.{cpp,h} than core/*.

Pre-commit hook

For ease of use, we provide a pre-commit hook for Git that will run clang-format automatically on all your commits to check them, and let you apply its changes in the final commit.

This “hook” is a script which can be found in misc/hooks, refer to that folder’s for installation instructions.

If your clang-format is not in the PATH, you may have to edit the pre-commit-clang-format to point to the correct binary for it to work. The hook was tested on Linux and macOS, but should also work in the Git Shell on Windows.

IDE plugin

Most IDEs or code editors have beautifier plugins that can be configured to run clang-format automatically, for example each time you save a file.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of beautifier plugins for some IDEs:

(Pull requests welcome to extend this list with tested plugins.)


For Godot’s Java code (mostly in platform/android), there is currently no style guide, so for now try to stay consistent with the existing code.

Once a style is decided upon, it could also be enforced via clang-format.


Godot’s SCons buildsystem is written in Python 2, and various scripts included in the source tree are either in Python 2 or Python 3.

For those, we follow the PEP-8 style guide, this is however not as strongly enforced as for the C++ code. If you are so enclined, you can check and format your Python changes using autopep8.