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Godot 4: Getting Began | Kodeco

Godot is an open-source recreation engine that helps the creation of 2D, 3D, and combined tasks that runs on Home windows, macOS, Linux and even Android. First launched in 2014, it has gained recognition as a viable different to bigger engines like Unity and Unreal Engine. Some well-known undertaking created with Godot embody Dungeondraft, Brotato, Dome Keeper and Sonic Colours: Final.

One of many strengths of Godot is its user-friendly interface and intuitive design. The engine makes use of a node-based system and a Python-like programming language known as GDScript, making it straightforward to create video games and purposes. It additionally has built-in nodes for 2D, 3D, and UI, which permits for minimal boilerplate code. Godot is a good selection for recreation improvement, particularly for newbies.

A GIF of a roguelike game|One of my 2D projects running in Godot

The newest model of Godot, model 4, gives vital enhancements over its predecessor, model 3.5. Godot 4 supplies a extra highly effective and versatile recreation improvement platform with a wealth of latest options and enhancements to reinforce the sport improvement expertise.
A number of the key options of Godot 4 embody:

  • A contemporary Vulkan renderer for improved graphics and efficiency
  • Assist for .NET 6, permitting builders to write down scripts utilizing C#
  • An upgraded GDScript, the engine’s major scripting language, with improved efficiency and syntax
  • A high-performance physics engine
  • Enhancements to multiplayer performance
  • A brand new 3D importer that helps glTF and Blender
  • Numerous different options and enhancements

Be aware: Right here be dragons! On the time of writing, Godot 4 is just not steady but so that you may encounter a bizarre bug right here and there. The steady launch is deliberate for someplace in 2023. From my very own expertise, Godot 4 is greater than steady sufficient already, so that you shouldn’t run into many points.

This tutorial focuses on getting you launched to Godot 4. It touches calmly on some key facets of the engine so that you’ll have the ability to delver deeper in future tutorials. Listed below are a few of the subjects lined:

  • Downloading and opening Godot
  • Attending to know the consumer interface
  • Creating nodes and scenes
  • Operating and instancing scenes
  • Creating scripts

You’ll be able to obtain the supplies for this undertaking by utilizing the hyperlink on the prime or backside of this tutorial. It solely consists of the ultimate undertaking as you’ll be creating a brand new undertaking from scratch your self.
Time to get began with Godot!

Getting Began

Whereas the steady model of Godot could be downloaded from the official obtain web page, you will get the most recent model of Godot 4 by way of this tuxfamily hyperlink. Click on on the most recent folder to open it, rc1 for instance.

A directory listing, with rc1 highlighted

From there, click on the zip that corresponds to your OS to obtain it. For the rc1 model of Godot for Home windows, that might be Godot_v4.0-rc1_win64.exe.zip.

Godot_v4.0-rc1_win64.exe.zip is highlighted in a list

After the zip has completed downloading, unzip the file and transfer the folder someplace protected. Godot’s editor doesn’t should be put in, so you’ll be able to even put it on a USB stick or an exterior drive if you’d like. The following step is definitely operating the editor for the primary time, how thrilling!

Making a Undertaking

Open the Godot 4 folder and run the executable. Relying in your OS, this can be a .exe, .app or .x86_64 file. If that is the primary time you’ve ever ran Godot 4 in your system, you’ll get a dialog window asking you should you want to discover the instance tasks. Click on the Cancel button to say no and proceed to the Undertaking Supervisor.

A window asking if you'd like to explore example projects

The Undertaking Supervisor permits you to open and create Godot tasks. It has two tabs:

  • Native Tasks: These are tasks which might be saved in your system. Any new tasks you create will present up right here. It’s also possible to import present tasks so as to add them to the listing.
  • Asset Library Tasks: This can be a listing of templates, tasks and demos pulled from AssetLib, Godot’s official repository of user-submitted property. You should utilize these as a place to begin or for studying use sure engine options.

To create a brand-new undertaking, click on the New Undertaking button on the prime proper.

The New Project button

This can open up the Create New Undertaking dialog window. By default, the undertaking listing shall be someplace in your consumer listing. This can act as the basis folder of all of your tasks. You’ll be able to change it by clicking the Browse button to the on the proper. I modified mine to C:/GodotProjects for instance.

Browse button is highlighted

The following step is making a folder for the undertaking itself. To do that, fill within the title for the undertaking title, “GettingStarted” and click on the Create Folder button. This can create a brand new subfolder on the undertaking path’s location you arrange within the earlier step.

GettingStarted is filled in as the name, the Create Folder button is highlighted

Subsequent, depart the opposite choices at their default values and click on the Create & Edit button on the backside to generate a clean undertaking and open the principle editor.

Create & Edit button

Interface Tour

If every thing went nicely with the undertaking creation, you’ll be greeted by Godot’s essential interface. It could look daunting at first, however no worries, you’ll be navigating it like a champ very quickly!

Godot 4 full interface


Godot’s editor is cut up up into areas, one for each cardinal path and a middle display screen. I’ll give an outline of those within the following sections.

High Edge

Top bar

The highest accommodates the next options from left to proper:

  • Menus: These comprise project-wide settings and let you save scenes, set debug choices and open the documentation simply to call a couple of options.
  • Display screen tabs: This switches the content material of the middle display screen to a unique essential display screen. Extra on that under.
  • Playtest buttons: These buttons let you run and cease the undertaking or a particular scene.
  • Renderer dropdown: This switches what renderer is used to show graphics, from the full-featured Ahead+ on the prime to the light-weight Efficiency mode.

Heart Display screen

Center of the window, with the viewport

The content material of the middle display screen relies upon closely on the chosen display screen mode within the display screen tabs. All screens in addition to AssetLib have the next options in widespread:

  • Scene tabs: This allows you to swap between scenes or create a brand new empty one utilizing the plus button. By default an empty one is energetic. On the finish is a maximize button to fill the applying window with the middle display screen.
  • Toolbar: A set of buttons, toggles and menus that apply to the viewport. Right here you’ll be able to swap between deciding on, transferring, rotating and scaling chosen nodes with the primary 4 buttons for instance.
  • Viewport: The primary view of the scene generally. This can be a flat airplane in 2D mode, a 3D surroundings in 3D mode and an built-in improvement surroundings (IDE) in Script mode.

Left Docks

Left side of the window

The Scene dock on the prime exhibits a hierarchy of the nodes within the energetic scene. When you have got an empty scene open such as you do now, it exhibits buttons to allow you to select the basis node sort. I’ll clarify what nodes and scenes are in Godot within the subsequent part. For now, consider them as any objects utilized in your recreation, from sprites and 3D meshes to buttons and audio gamers.
The FileSystem dock on the backside exhibits all information in your undertaking like pictures, scripts and 3D fashions. The basis of the undertaking folder is res://, which stands for sources. By default, Godot comes with a single picture: the Godot brand. You’ll get conversant in it quickly. :]

Proper Dock

Right side of the window

The dock on the correct holds the Inspector, which lets you view and edit the properties of any chosen node or useful resource. Moreover the Inspector, there are two extra tabs: Node and Historical past. The Node tab accommodates an outline of the chosen node’s alerts and teams whereas the Historical past tab exhibits a listing of the final actions you carried out within the undertaking, like transferring a node or adjusting a setting for instance.

Backside Panel

Bottom side of the window

The underside panel hides the output window, debug console, audio mixer, animation editor and the shader editor. Any context-sensitive editors just like the tilemap editor may also seem right here when wanted. The panel could be folded out by clicking any of the buttons.
Attempt clicking on the Output button for instance to see Godot’s preliminary output.

Output button at the bottom is highlighted

Important Screens

The final space of the UI I need to present right here is likely to be crucial as nicely: the screens. As a substitute of blending 2D parts and 3D meshes in a single view like most recreation engines, Godot opts to separate them to make them simpler to work with.
As talked about earlier than, while you create a brand new undertaking in Godot, it opens the 3D display screen by default.

A 3D model is visible in the viewport

Right here you’ll be able to manipulate meshes within the viewport and get a preview of the node placement, lightning and different results.

Subsequent up is the 2D display screen, which you’ll swap to by clicking the 2D display screen tab on the prime of the window.

Blue colored tiles and a button are visible in the viewport

This the place you’ll be able to place sprites and create a consumer interface on a flat airplane. Additionally discover that the toolbar is now exhibiting a bunch of various buttons than earlier than. In Godot, this toolbar will usually change relying on the context.

The Script display screen shall be empty for you for the time being, as you haven’t created any scripts but. This a built-in code editor with a collection of helpful options, together with syntax highlighting, wealthy auto-completion and a debugger.

The code editor

This can be a godsend, as you’ll be able to select to solely use this editor to develop your video games, with out the necessity for any exterior script editor.
The final display screen is Godot’s AssetLib.

Window showing a list of assets and a search box at the top

As I’ve talked about earlier than when discussing the Undertaking Supervisor, it is a repository of property like demos, scripts and plugins. In contrast to the filtered view of the Undertaking Supervisor, you’ll be able to view and import all forms of property right here.

Nodes and Scenes

Whereas providing you with a tour round Godot’s interface I usually talked about the phrases nodes and scenes. These are your most necessary instruments, and also you’ll be continually utilizing them to construct up your recreation. Time to take a better have a look at create them!

Your First Scene

Click on the 2D Scene button within the Scene dock on the left. This can create a brand new Node2D node on the root of your scene.

GIF of clicking 2D Scene button

A node is the smallest constructing block in Godot and it may possibly are available all kinds of various flavors. A node can show a sprite, draw a line, play audio, present a checkbox, make an internet request and a ton extra. You’ll be able to even create your individual customized nodes!
What you created here’s a Node2D node, a 2D recreation object that doesn’t do something by itself, however does present a place, rotation and scale. You’ll be utilizing this node as a mother or father so as to add different nodes to as its youngsters.

To make its function extra clear, rename Node2D to GameRoot. You are able to do this by clicking the node once more whereas it’s chosen, urgent F2 or proper clicking the node and deciding on Rename within the context menu. Now sort the title “GameRoot” and hit Enter to verify.

GIF of renaming Node2D

To save lots of this scene, press CTRL/CMD + S or navigate to Scene ▸ Save Scene within the menu on the prime left. This can open Godot’s save dialog.

The save dialog window

What you’re seeing right here is the basis of the undertaking, as indicated by the res:// path on the prime. To maintain your information neatly organized, it’s finest to create folders for every sort of asset you’ll be utilizing. Click on the Create Folder button on the prime proper and title this new folder “scenes”.

Be aware: Right here’s a enjoyable truth! Godot’s model information and neighborhood suggest utilizing snake_case for file and folder names to keep away from attainable conflicts on case-sensitive working programs.

GIF of clicking the Create Folder button and adding the scenes folder

You’ll be able to see the trail modified to res://scenes to indicate you’re now within the new folder you created. Title this scene recreation.tscn and click on the Save button to retailer it.

Save button

Now you can discover this new scene within the FileSystem dock on the backside left.

game.tscn is highlighted

In Godot, a scene is a hierarchical group of nodes that serves because the constructing blocks for creating video games and purposes. Scenes can be utilized as blueprints, permitting you to create cases of them in different scenes. For instance, you may need a “world” scene that features an occasion of a “participant avatar” scene and a “consumer interface” scene, which shows info such because the variety of gems collected by the participant.

The flexibility to reuse scenes promotes a modular design strategy, encouraging the event of smaller, reusable components that may be mixed to create bigger, extra advanced tasks.

Scene dock showing a World node, with a PlayerAvatar and a UserInterface as its children

Each undertaking in Godot has a essential scene, which is the primary scene that’s loaded when beginning the sport. In most video games, it is a title display screen, an intro or credit. The primary scene on this tutorial is the essential scene. To set it up like that, right-click the recreation.tscn scene file and choose Set As Important Scene within the context menu.

Set As Main Scene is highlighted

To run the principle scene, press F5 or click on the Run Undertaking button on the prime proper, which appears like a play button.

Play button

After a short time Godot will run the scene in a brand new window.

An empty window

It could look easy, however pat your self on the again as that is your first scene run of many to return! You’ll be able to shut the window by urgent F8, clicking the Cease Operating Undertaking button within the editor or by urgent the window’s shut button.

Stop button

Instancing Scenes

Now you understand the fundamentals of how scenes work, it’s time to take a better have a look at scene instancing, additionally generally known as scene instantiating. An occasion is a duplicate of a scene that exists withing one other scene. The unique scene is used as a template or blueprint to create that duplicate.

To get began, create a brand new empty scene by clicking the + button subsequent to the recreation scene tab.

Plus button next to game tab

This scene will comprise a single sprite to have one thing visible to indicate. It’s been a long-standing custom within the Godot neighborhood to make use of the Godot brand as a placeholder for every kind of objects, so I believe it’s becoming to make use of it on this introduction as nicely!
You could find the icon on the root of the undertaking within the FileSystem dock. Drag it inside the empty scene’s viewport so as to add create a brand new Sprite2D with the icon as its texture.

GIF of dragging in an icon to the viewport

In the event you check out the Scene dock, you’ll discover a brand new root node named Icon has been added.

Icon is highlighted

The coloured strains within the 2D display screen’s viewport are known as the x and y axis, with the horizontal line operating from left to proper being the x-axis and the vertical line operating from prime to backside being the y-axis. Each x-position left from the middle is damaging, whereas each x-position proper from the middle is optimistic. Similar with the y-axis: each y-position above the middle is damaging, whereas each y-position under the middle is optimistic.

A green and red axis

Each 2D place is mapped someplace on these axes. The sprite node must be centered within the viewport to make it simpler to occasion this new scene and place it afterward, so its place must be (X:0, Y:0). Whilst you may place the icon by eye and hope for one of the best, a extra appropriate means of manipulating the place of a node is by utilizing the Inspector.

First, choose the Icon node by clicking on it, both within the viewport or within the Scene dock . This can spotlight the icon with a orange define and pink handles will seem surrounding it.

An icon with an orange border

Subsequent, check out the Inspector on the correct, which is now populated with the nodes’s properties.

A list of properties, including a Texture and other Properties are folded

From right here, you’ll be able to change the feel, arrange animation frames, change the colour and rather more. To alter the node’s place to (X:0, Y:0), unfold the Remodel property and reset the Place property by clicking the round arrow button subsequent to the property title.

A circular arrow button is highlighted

That ought to’ve completely centered the icon.

The x and y axes are running through the center of the icon

Now save this scene by urgent CTRL/CMD+S, naming it icon.tscn and inserting it within the scenes folder subsequent to recreation.tscn.

icon.tscn is saved to the scenes folder

To test if every thing is working as anticipated, you must run this scene. Press F6 or click on the Run Present Scene button (clapperboard icon with a play icon in it) on the prime proper to run the energetic scene, icon.

A clapperboard icon is highlighted

The highest left location of the sport window is at place (X:0, Y:0), that why this leads to a cut-off icon. In the event you get the identical outcome as within the screenshot under, every thing is working as supposed.

Only the bottom right part of the icon can be seen at the top left

Go forward and shut this window. The following step is the precise instancing of the icon scene within the essential scene. To try this, open the recreation scene by clicking its scene tab on the prime and drag icon.tscn from the FileSystem dock onto the viewport.

GIF of switching scenes and dragging icon.tscn to the viewport

The blue rectangle within the viewport visualize the display screen borders, you may need to zoom out a bit to see them. Drag three extra icon scene cases to the recreation scene and unfold the icons out a bit by dragging them round within the viewport.

Four icons on a gray background, with a blue border

Time for an additional take a look at, press CTRL/CMD+S to save lots of the scene adopted by F5 to run the sport. It is best to see the icons fortunately sitting there.

Four icons on a gray background

Within the subsequent part, you’ll spruce issues up a bit with some easy scripting.


Scripting is a elementary talent when working with any recreation engine, together with Godot. A script is a set of instructions that inform the engine what to do and may lengthen its performance. In Godot, scripts could be hooked up to nodes so as to add new options and behaviors to them.
For instance, a Sprite2D node by itself can solely show a texture, however with a script, it may possibly comply with the cursor, soar, or fade away. Scripts like these can be utilized to name internet APIs, calculate formulation, and carry out different actions needed for making a recreation or software.

Godot helps two essential programming languages for scripts: GDScript and C#. Moreover, Godot permits for the usage of GDExtension, a high-performance technique for increasing the engine with libraries written in C or C++. This tutorial will focus solely on GDScript, because it’s an object-oriented language particularly designed for Godot. Its syntax is much like Python and is broadly utilized in Godot documentation and tutorials.

Your First Script

It’s custom to begin each introduction to a programming language with a “Good day World”, however for this instance the nodes will inform you their title as an alternative to greet you into the world of Godot.

To start out with, open the icon scene once more by clicking its tab on the prime or by clicking its scene file within the FileSystem dock. Now choose the Icon node by way of the Scene dock and click on the script button on the prime proper of the Scene dock, it appears like a scroll with a inexperienced plus.

A button of a scroll is highlighted

This opens the Connect Node Script window.

Attach Node Script window

By default, a brand new GDScript shall be created that builds upon the chosen node sort, Sprite2D. The trail the place the script shall be locations must be modified, so click on the folder button subsequent to the Path property. Within the window that opens, go up one listing with the up arrow on the prime left and create a brand new folder named “scripts” within the undertaking root listing.

GIF of creating a new scripts folder

Now click on the Open button on the backside to decide on the scripts folder as the situation to your new script. Again within the Connect Node Script window, click on the Create button on the backside to create a brand new script named icon.gd. This can open up the script in Godot’s built-in code editor mechanically:

extends Sprite2D

# Known as when the node enters the scene tree for the primary time.
func _ready():
    cross # Exchange with operate physique.

# Known as each body. 'delta' is the elapsed time for the reason that earlier body.
func _process(delta):

With out delving too deep into scripting, right here’s what you must learn about this code:

  • The extends Sprite2D half on the prime makes it so this script can entry all Sprite2D node properties, like its texture and rework.
  • func _ready() is a operate that will get known as by the engine as soon as at the beginning of the node’s lifetime.
  • The _process operate will get known as each body by the engine.
  • The cross key phrase doesn’t do something right here aside from exiting the capabilities. They act as placeholders to your personal code.

GDScript makes use of tabs to group capabilities and statements collectively. These present up within the code editor as >|.

A symbol is highlighted

That is necessary to notice as you may get an error saying one thing much like “Anticipated indented block after operate declaration.” should you forgot so as to add a tab or take away one accidentally.

An error is displayed, the selected line is red colored

With that small disclaimer out of the best way, it’s time to lastly add your individual code. Exchange the cross within the _ready operate with this print name:

print("Good day, I am ", title)

The print technique takes a number of arguments and prints them to the output console. The title variable is a part of each node; it’s the title that you just gave it by way of the Scene dock earlier: Icon.

Be aware: Right here’s a helpful tip! You’ll be able to open the documentation for the built-in capabilities, strategies and variables by holding the CTRL/CMD key and clicking on the phrase within the code editor.

Now save the script by urgent CTRL/CMD+S and run the icon scene by urgent F6. Subsequent, decrease or drag away the the sport window so you’ll be able to see Godot’s editor and try the output window on the backside. There must be a brand new textual content entry in there saying “Good day, I’m Icon”.

Hello, I'm Icon text

Nice work! You simply added and ran your first script in Godot. Press the Cease Operating Undertaking button on the prime proper to shut the sport window
So as to add one thing to take a look at within the essential scene, you’re going to make the icons rotate. To try this, take away the cross key phrase from the _process operate and substitute it with the next:


The rotate technique is a part of Node2D (the mother or father node class of Sprite2D) and applies rotation to a node. The delta variable is handed to the _process operate by the engine, it’s the time in seconds between the earlier and present body. Through the use of a delta time because the rotation worth as an alternative of a continuing worth like 5 for instance, the rotation shall be easy and framerate-independent.

Within the video games of yore, the velocity of a recreation was tied to the CPU velocity, which meant that some video games are hardly playable as a result of every thing whizzes by so quick. In the meantime, that very same recreation on a gradual CPU would lead to every thing transferring in slow-motion. Utilizing the delta time ensures a dependable, fixed change in worth primarily based on time as an alternative of processor velocity. Don’t fear if this idea remains to be imprecise to you at this level, simply bear in mind to make use of the delta while you want one thing to continually change over time.

Now save the script utilizing the now acquainted CTRL/CMD+S shortcut and press F5 to run the principle scene, recreation. If all went nicely, you’ll see the icons you added earlier rotating.

GIF of four icons rotating

In the meantime, should you check out the output window within the editor, you’ll see that the icons are telling you their title.

Hello text times four

That concludes this tutorial! I hope you had enjoyable whereas taking your first steps with Godot as I’m wanting ahead to writing extra about it sooner or later.

The place to Go From Right here?

Thanks for studying this tutorial to the tip! You’ll be able to obtain the ultimate undertaking utilizing the hyperlink on the prime or backside of this web page.
On this tutorial, you discovered probably the most essential components of Godot to get began with creating your individual video games. After all, there’s much more to find and grasp, so listed below are some helpful sources to proceed your journey:

This tutorial marks the beginning of a group of Godot articles coming quickly, so control the web site for extra future content material. When you’ve got any subjects in thoughts you need us to cowl, make sure that to depart a remark under.



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