A tilemap is a grid of tiles used to create a game’s layout. There are several benefits to using TileMap nodes to design your levels. First, they make it possible to draw the layout by “painting’ the tiles onto a grid, which is much faster than placing individual Sprite nodes one by one. Second, they allow for much larger levels because they are optimized for drawing large numbers of tiles. Finally, you can add collision, occlusion, and navigation shapes to tiles, adding additional functionality to the TileMap.
This demo we’ll use the following tiles taken from Kenney’s “Abstract Platformer” art pack. You can find the complete set here but for this demo we’ll stick to this small set.
Create a new project and place the above image in the project folder.
When using a tileset, it’s important that adjacent tiles match up. Godot’s default
is to import 2D images using an interpolated “filter” mode, which will result in
ugly borders between the tiles. Select the image and click the Import tab. Turn
Filter and click “Reimport”. See Importing images for details.
Add a new TileMap node to the scene. By default, a TileMap uses a square grid of tiles. You can also use a perspective-based “Isometric” mode or define your own custom tile shape.
Under the “Cell” section in the Inspector are many properties you can adjust to customize your tilemap’s behavior:
- This defines the size of the grid. This should match the pixel size
of your tiles. The default value is
- This causes tiles to be drawn in order of their
Yposition, so that “lower” tiles are drawn on top of “higher” ones.
- These properties affect the position of the tile relative to the grid position.
- Defines the chunk size used for batched drawing. This can negatively affect performance. Don’t change it unless you know what you’re doing.
- Used to alter the tile’s shape. Use this if you have non-square tiles.
All of these options can be left at their defaults for this demo.
Creating a TileSet¶
Once you’ve configured your tilemap, it’s time to add a TileSet. A TileSet is a Resource that contains the data about your tiles - their textures, collision shapes, and other properties. When the game runs, the TileMap combines the individual tiles into a single object.
To add a new TileSet, click on the “Tile Set” property and select “New TileSet”.
When you do this, the “TileSet” panel will open at the bottom of the editor window:
First, you need to add the texture(s) that you’ll use for the tiles. Click the
“Add Texture(s) to TileSet” button and select the
Next, click “New Single Tile” and drag in the image to select the tile you want. Click the “Enable Snap” button to make it easier to select the entire tile. A yellow rectangle appears around the selected tile.
Click on the TileMap in the scene tree, and you’ll see that the newly created tile now appears on the right side. Click in the viewport and you can place tiles. Right-click to remove them.
It’s easy to accidentally select and move the tilemap node. To avoid this, use the node’s lock button:
If you’re making a map that needs collisions - walls, floor, or other obstacles, for example - then you’ll need to add collision shapes to any tiles that you want to be considered “solid”.
Click “TileSet” at the bottom of the editor window to return to the tileset tool. Click the tile you previously defined (outlined in yellow). Select the “Collision” tab and click the “Create a new rectangle” button. Make sure you still have grid snap enabled, then click and drag in the tile. A square collision shape appears in light blue:
You can add occlusion and navigation shapes to the tile in the same way.
Rather than adding individual tiles one at a time, you can define a group of tiles all at once using an atlas. Click “New Atlas” and drag to select the entire tile sheet.
If you haven’t already, make sure to change the “Step” in the snap settings to (64, 64), or your tiles may be chopped into smaller pieces. You can find this in the Inspector:
Once you’ve defined the atlas you can add collision shapes to the individual tiles as before. You can also click “Icon” to select one of the tiles to represent the atlas.
Back in the TileMap, you can select the atlas tile and you’ll see all of the tiles it contains:
In addition to saving time when defining the tiles, this can help by grouping similar tiles together when you’re working with a large number of tiles.
Tips and tricks¶
- If you’re using a Camera2D to scroll your level, you may notice lines appearing between your tiles. To fix this, open Project Settings and enable “Use Pixel Snap” in the “Rendering/Quality” section.
- You can flip and rotate tiles using the icons at the top right of the editor.
- To draw straight lines, hold <Shift> while clicking and dragging a tile.
- Tools such as copy, paste, and bucket fill, can be found in the “TileMap” menu in the upper-right.