2D movement overview

Introduction

Every beginner has been there: "How do I move my character?" Depending on the style of game you're making, you may have special requirements, but in general the movement in most 2D games is based on a small number of designs.

We'll use CharacterBody2D for these examples, but the principles will apply to other node types (Area2D, RigidBody2D) as well.

Setup

Each example below uses the same scene setup. Start with a CharacterBody2D with two children: Sprite2D and CollisionShape2D. You can use the Godot icon ("icon.png") for the Sprite2D's texture or use any other 2D image you have.

Open Project -> Project Settings and select the "Input Map" tab. Add the following input actions (see InputEvent for details):

../../_images/movement_inputs.webp

8-way movement

In this scenario, you want the user to press the four directional keys (up/left/down/right or W/A/S/D) and move in the selected direction. The name "8-way movement" comes from the fact that the player can move diagonally by pressing two keys at the same time.

../../_images/movement_8way.gif

Add a script to the character body and add the following code:

extends CharacterBody2D

@export var speed = 400

func get_input():
    var input_direction = Input.get_vector("left", "right", "up", "down")
    velocity = input_direction * speed

func _physics_process(delta):
    get_input()
    move_and_slide()

In the get_input() function, we use Input get_vector() to check for the four key events and sum return a direction vector.

We can then set our velocity by multiplying this direction vector, which has a length of 1, by our desired speed.

Tip

If you've never used vector math before, or need a refresher, you can see an explanation of vector usage in Godot at Vector math.

Note

If the code above does nothing when you press the keys, double-check that you've set up input actions correctly as described in the Setup part of this tutorial.

Rotation + movement

This type of movement is sometimes called "Asteroids-style" because it resembles how that classic arcade game worked. Pressing left/right rotates the character, while up/down moves it forward or backward in whatever direction it's facing.

../../_images/movement_rotate1.gif
extends CharacterBody2D

@export var speed = 400
@export var rotation_speed = 1.5

var rotation_direction = 0

func get_input():
    rotation_direction = Input.get_axis("left", "right")
    velocity = transform.x * Input.get_axis("down", "up") * speed

func _physics_process(delta):
    get_input()
    rotation += rotation_direction * rotation_speed * delta
    move_and_slide()