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Nodes and resources

Up to this tutorial, we focused on the Node class in Godot as that's the one you use to code behavior and most of the engine's features rely on it. There is another datatype that is just as important: Resource.

Nodes give you functionality: they draw sprites, 3D models, simulate physics, arrange user interfaces, etc. Resources are data containers. They don't do anything on their own: instead, nodes use the data contained in resources.

Anything Godot saves or loads from disk is a resource. Be it a scene (a .tscn or an .scn file), an image, a script... Here are some Resource examples:

When the engine loads a resource from disk, it only loads it once. If a copy of that resource is already in memory, trying to load the resource again will return the same copy every time. As resources only contain data, there is no need to duplicate them.

Every object, be it a Node or a Resource, can export properties. There are many types of Properties, like String, integer, Vector2, etc., and any of these types can become a resource. This means that both nodes and resources can contain resources as properties:


External vs built-in

There are two ways to save resources. They can be:

  1. External to a scene, saved on the disk as individual files.

  2. Built-in, saved inside the .tscn or the .scn file they're attached to.

To be more specific, here's a Texture2D in a Sprite2D node:


Clicking the resource preview allows us to view the resource's properties.


The path property tells us where the resource comes from. In this case, it comes from a PNG image called robi.png. When the resource comes from a file like this, it is an external resource. If you erase the path or this path is empty, it becomes a built-in resource.

The switch between built-in and external resources happens when you save the scene. In the example above, if you erase the path "res://robi.png" and save, Godot will save the image inside the .tscn scene file.


Even if you save a built-in resource, when you instance a scene multiple times, the engine will only load one copy of it.

Loading resources from code

There are two ways to load resources from code. First, you can use the load() function anytime:

func _ready():
    # Godot loads the Resource when it reads this very line.
    var imported_resource = load("res://robi.png")