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Using CharacterBody2D/3D


Godot offers several collision objects to provide both collision detection and response. Trying to decide which one to use for your project can be confusing. You can avoid problems and simplify development if you understand how each of them works and what their pros and cons are. In this tutorial, we'll look at the CharacterBody2D node and show some examples of how to use it.


While this document uses CharacterBody2D in its examples, the same concepts apply in 3D as well.

What is a character body?

CharacterBody2D is for implementing bodies that are controlled via code. Character bodies detect collisions with other bodies when moving, but are not affected by engine physics properties, like gravity or friction. While this means that you have to write some code to create their behavior, it also means you have more precise control over how they move and react.


This document assumes you're familiar with Godot's various physics bodies. Please read Physics introduction first, for an overview of the physics options.


A CharacterBody2D can be affected by gravity and other forces, but you must calculate the movement in code. The physics engine will not move a CharacterBody2D.

Movement and collision

When moving a CharacterBody2D, you should not set its position property directly. Instead, you use the move_and_collide() or move_and_slide() methods. These methods move the body along a given vector and detect collisions.


You should handle physics body movement in the _physics_process() callback.

The two movement methods serve different purposes, and later in this tutorial, you'll see examples of how they work.


This method takes one required parameter: a Vector2 indicating the body's relative movement. Typically, this is your velocity vector multiplied by the frame timestep (delta). If the engine detects a collision anywhere along this vector, the body will immediately stop moving. If this happens, the method will return a KinematicCollision2D object.

KinematicCollision2D is an object containing data about the collision and the colliding object. Using this data, you can calculate your collision response.

move_and_collide is most useful when you just want to move the body and detect collision, but don't need any automatic collision response. For example, if you need a bullet that ricochets off a wall, you can directly change the angle of the velocity when you detect a collision. See below for an example.


The move_and_slide() method is intended to simplify the collision response in the common case where you want one body to slide along the other. It is especially useful in platformers or top-down games, for example.

When calling move_and_slide(), the function uses a number of node properties to calculate its slide behavior. These properties can be found in the Inspector, or set in code.

  • velocity - default value: Vector2( 0, 0 )

    This property represents the body's velocity vector in pixels per second. move_and_slide() will modify this value automatically when colliding.

  • motion_mode - default value: MOTION_MODE_GROUNDED

    This property is typically used to distinguish between side-scrolling and top-down movement. When using the default value, you can use the is_on_floor(), is_on_wall(), and is_on_ceiling() methods to detect what type of surface the body is in contact with, and the body will interact with slopes. When using MOTION_MODE_FLOATING, all collisions will be considered "walls".

  • up_direction - default value: Vector2( 0, -1 )

    This property allows you to define what surfaces the engine should consider being the floor. Its value lets you use the is_on_floor(), is_on_wall(), and is_on_ceiling() methods to detect what type of surface the body is in contact with. The default value means that the top side of horizontal surfaces will be considered "ground".

  • floor_stop_on_slope - default value: true

    This parameter prevents a body from sliding down slopes when standing still.

  • wall_min_slide_angle - default value: 0.261799 (in radians, equivalent to 15 degrees)

    This is the minimum angle where the body is allowed to slide when it hits a slope.

  • floor_max_angle - default value: 0.785398 (in radians, equivalent to 45 degrees)

    This parameter is the maximum angle before a surface is no longer considered a "floor."

There are many other properties that can be used to modify the body's behavior under specific circumstances. See the CharacterBody2D docs for full details.

Detecting collisions

When using move_and_collide() the function returns a KinematicCollision2D directly, and you can use this in your code.

When using move_and_slide() it's possible to have multiple collisions occur, as the slide response is calculated. To process these collisions, use get_slide_collision_count() and get_slide_collision():

# Using move_and_collide.
var collision = move_and_collide(velocity * delta)
if collision:
    print("I collided with ", collision.get_collider().name)

# Using move_and_slide.
for i in get_slide_collision_count():
    var collision = get_slide_collision(i)
    print("I collided with ", collision.get_collider().name)


get_slide_collision_count() only counts times the body has collided and changed direction.

See KinematicCollision2D for details on what collision data is returned.

Which movement method to use?

A common question from new Godot users is: "How do you decide which movement function to use?" Often, the response is to use move_and_slide() because it seems simpler, but this is not necessarily the case. One way to think of it is that move_and_slide() is a special case, and move_and_collide() is more general. For example, the following two code snippets result in the same collision response:

# using move_and_collide
var collision = move_and_collide(velocity * delta)
if collision:
    velocity = velocity.slide(collision.get_normal())

# using move_and_slide

Anything you do with move_and_slide() can also be done with move_and_collide(), but it might take a little more code. However, as we'll see in the examples below, there are cases where move_and_slide() doesn't provide the response you want.

In the example above, move_and_slide() automatically alters the velocity variable. This is because when the character collides with the environment, the function recalculates the speed internally to reflect the slowdown.

For example, if your character fell on the floor, you don't want it to accumulate vertical speed due to the effect of gravity. Instead, you want its vertical speed to reset to zero.

move_and_slide() may also recalculate the kinematic body's velocity several times in a loop as, to produce a smooth motion, it moves the character and collides up to five times by default. At the end of the process, the character's new velocity is available for use on the next frame.


To see these examples in action, download the sample project: character_body_2d_starter.zip

Movement and walls

If you've downloaded the sample project, this example is in "basic_movement.tscn".

For this example, add a CharacterBody2D with two children: a Sprite2D and a CollisionShape2D. Use the Godot "icon.png" as the Sprite2D's texture (drag it from the Filesystem dock to the Texture property of the Sprite2D). In the CollisionShape2D's Shape property, select "New RectangleShape2D" and size the rectangle to fit over the sprite image.


See 2D movement overview for examples of implementing 2D movement schemes.

Attach a script to the CharacterBody2D and add the following code:

extends CharacterBody2D

var speed = 300

func get_input():
    var input_dir = Input.get_vector("ui_left", "ui_right", "ui_up", "ui_down")
    velocity = input_dir * speed

func _physics_process(delta):
    move_and_collide(velocity * delta)

Run this scene and you'll see that move_and_collide() works as expected, moving the body along the velocity vector. Now let's see what happens when you add some obstacles. Add a StaticBody2D with a rectangular collision shape. For visibility, you can use a sprite, a Polygon2D, or turn on "Visible Collision Shapes" from the "Debug" menu.

Run the scene again and try moving into the obstacle. You'll see that the CharacterBody2D can't penetrate the obstacle. However, try moving into the obstacle at an angle and you'll find that the obstacle acts like glue - it feels like the body gets stuck.

This happens because there is no collision response. move_and_collide() stops the body's movement when a collision occurs. We need to code whatever response we want from the collision.

Try changing the function to move_and_slide() and running again.

move_and_slide() provides a default collision response of sliding the body along the collision object. This is useful for a great many game types, and may be all you need to get the behavior you want.


What if you don't want a sliding collision response? For this example ("bounce_and_collide.tscn" in the sample project), we have a character shooting bullets and we want the bullets to bounce off the walls.

This example uses three scenes. The main scene contains the Player and Walls. The Bullet and Wall are separate scenes so that they can be instanced.

The Player is controlled by the w and s keys for forward and back. Aiming uses the mouse pointer. Here is the code for the Player, using move_and_slide():

extends CharacterBody2D

var Bullet = preload("res://bullet.tscn")
var speed = 200

func get_input():
    # Add these actions in Project Settings -> Input Map.
    var input_dir = Input.get_axis("backward", "forward")
    velocity = transform.x * input_dir * speed
    if Input.is_action_just_pressed("shoot"):

func shoot():
    # "Muzzle" is a Marker2D placed at the barrel of the gun.
    var b = Bullet.instantiate()
    b.start($Muzzle.global_position, rotation)

func _physics_process(delta):
    var dir = get_global_mouse_position() - global_position
    # Don't move if too close to the mouse pointer.
    if dir.length() > 5:
        rotation = dir.angle()