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Multiple resolutions

The problem of multiple resolutions

Developers often have trouble understanding how to best support multiple resolutions in their games. For desktop and console games, this is more or less straightforward, as most screen aspect ratios are 16:9 and resolutions are standard (720p, 1080p, 1440p, 4K, …).

For mobile games, at first, it was easy. For many years, the iPhone and iPad used the same resolution. When Retina was implemented, they just doubled the pixel density; most developers had to supply assets in default and double resolutions.

Nowadays, this is no longer the case, as there are plenty of different screen sizes, densities, and aspect ratios. Non-conventional sizes are also becoming increasingly popular, such as ultrawide displays.

For 3D games, there is not much of a need to support multiple resolutions (from the aesthetic point of view). The 3D geometry will just fill the screen based on the field of view, disregarding the aspect ratio. The main reason one may want to support this, in this case, is for performance reasons (running in lower resolution to increase frames per second).

For 2D and game UIs, this is a different matter, as art needs to be created using specific pixel sizes in software such as Photoshop, GIMP or Krita.

Since layouts, aspect ratios, resolutions, and pixel densities can change so much, it is no longer possible to design UIs for every specific screen. Another method must be used.

One size fits all

The most common approach is to use a single base resolution and then fit it to everything else. This resolution is how most players are expected to play the game (given their hardware). For mobile, Google has useful stats online, and for desktop, Steam also does.

As an example, Steam shows that the most common primary display resolution is 1920×1080, so a sensible approach is to develop a game for this resolution, then handle scaling for different sizes and aspect ratios.

Godot provides several useful tools to do this easily.

See also

You can see how Godot's support for multiple resolutions works in action using the Multiple Resolutions and Aspect Ratios demo project.

Base size

A base size for the window can be specified in the Project Settings under Display → Window.


However, what it does is not completely obvious; the engine will not attempt to switch the monitor to this resolution. Rather, think of this setting as the "design size", i.e. the size of the area that you work with in the editor. This setting corresponds directly to the size of the blue rectangle in the 2D editor.

There is often a need to support devices with screen and window sizes that are different from this base size. Godot offers many ways to control how the viewport will be resized and stretched to different screen sizes.

To configure the stretch base size at runtime from a script, use the get_tree().root.content_scale_size property (see Window.content_scale_size). Changing this value can indirectly change the size of 2D elements. However, to provide an user-accessible scaling option, using Stretch Scale is recommended as it's easier to adjust.


Godot follows a modern approach to multiple resolutions. The engine will never change the monitor's resolution on its own. While changing the monitor's resolution is the most efficient approach, it's also the least reliable approach as it can leave the monitor stuck on a low resolution if the game crashes. This is especially common on macOS or Linux which don't handle resolution changes as well as Windows.

Changing the monitor's resolution also removes any control from the game developer over filtering and aspect ratio stretching, which can be important to ensure correct display for pixel art games.

On top of that, changing the monitor's resolution makes alt-tabbing in and out of a game much slower since the monitor has to change resolutions every time this is done.


There are several types of devices, with several types of screens, which in turn have different pixel density and resolutions. Handling all of them can be a lot of work, so Godot tries to make the developer's life a little easier. The Viewport node has several functions to handle resizing, and the root node of the sce