AnimatableBody2D in Godot – Complete Guide

Welcome to our comprehensive tutorial on Godot 4’s AnimatableBody2D class. Whether you’re just beginning your journey in game development or you’re looking to expand your knowledge of Godot 4’s powerful features, this tutorial provides detailed insights into the mechanics and applications of AnimatableBody2D. Stick around as we delve into this intriguing topic, illustrating its value with clear explanations and practical examples. Your foray into the world of game physics and animation in Godot 4 starts here!

What is AnimatableBody2D?

AnimatableBody2D is a class in the Godot game engine that represents a two-dimensional physics body which remains impervious to external forces like collisions or gravity. However, unlike traditional static bodies in physics simulations, an AnimatableBody2D can be moved programmatically through code or animation tools, and can still interact with other physics bodies by affecting their velocity as it moves.

What is it for?

The primary purpose of AnimatableBody2D is to create objects that move in a physics-enabled environment without being directly influenced by the environment itself. This allows for controlled motions, such as the steady glide of a moving platform or the predictable swing of a door within a game, which are essential for certain game mechanics.

Why Should I Learn About AnimatableBody2D?

Understanding how to use the AnimatableBody2D class is crucial for creating dynamic and responsive game environments. It unlocks the potential for intricate game elements that players can interact with, laying the foundation for engaging and interactive experiences. Learning how to implement and utilize AnimatableBody2D will broaden your game development skills and give you greater creative control over your game’s physics interactions.

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Creating an AnimatableBody2D Object

First things first, we need to create an AnimatableBody2D object in our Godot project. This is done by adding a new object to the scene and setting its type to AnimatableBody2D. Let’s see how this is done in code:

var animatable_body =

Alternatively, you can add an AnimatableBody2D to your scene through the Godot editor by selecting ‘Add Node’ and searching for AnimatableBody2D.

Setting Up an Animation

To animate our AnimatableBody2D, we’ll need to create a new AnimationPlayer node and design an animation. Here’s how you do this:

var animation_player =

var animation =
animation_player.add_animation("move", animation)

Within the animation, we can define various properties of the AnimatableBody2D to change over time, such as position, rotation, and scale:

animation.set_length(1.0) # The animation will last for 1 second
animation.track_insert_key(0, 0.0, Vector2()) # Starting position
animation.track_insert_key(0, 1.0, Vector2(100, 100)) # Ending position after 1 second

We can now play this animation via the AnimationPlayer:"move")

Interacting with Other Physics Bodies

While AnimatableBody2D can move programmatically, it can still initiate interactions with other physics bodies. For this example, let’s make a ball bounce off of our moving object:

# Assuming you have a ball represented by a RigidBody2D named 'ball'
animatable_body.connect("body_entered", self, "_on_AnimatableBody2D_body_entered")

func _on_AnimatableBody2D_body_entered(body):
    if body == ball:
        ball.apply_impulse(Vector2(), Vector2(150, -150)) # Apply an upward left force

This code would be connected to a signal emitted when another physics body enters the AnimatableBody2D object, causing the ‘ball’ to bounce away when it makes contact.

Scripting Custom Movement Patterns

For more complex movement patterns, we can script them in the AnimatableBody2D’s attached script. Here’s an example of creating a hover effect where the object moves up and down:

extends AnimatableBody2D

var amplitude = 10.0
var speed = 2.0

func _process(delta):
    var hover = Vector2(0, sin(get_tree().time * speed) * amplitude)
    position += hover * delta

With this script, the AnimatableBody2D hovers up and down smoothly, leveraging the sine curve for natural movement. The ‘_process’ function is called every frame and updates the position, creating the hover effect.

Use these examples as building blocks for your own projects. You can modify and expand upon them to achieve intricate behaviors for your AnimatableBody2D objects. With a solid grasp of these fundamentals, we’ll move on to more advanced techniques in the next part of our tutorial.

With the basics covered, let’s deepen our understanding of the AnimatableBody2D class by exploring more advanced techniques and features. This will enable you to craft more complex and engaging behaviors in your Godot projects. Here we’ll explore how to integrate collisions, utilize signals, and fine-tune animations for smooth gameplay experiences.

Integrating Collisions with Animation

Animations with AnimatableBody2D can be integrated with collision shapes to create solid objects that animate and interact with the environment physically. Defining a collision shape and animating it alongside the node ensures precise interactions:

var collision_shape =
collision_shape.shape =
collision_shape.shape.extents = Vector2(50, 20) # Change extents to match your object size

Each time we change the position of the AnimatableBody2D within an animation, we should update the collision shape to match the object’s current position:

animation.track_insert_key(1, 0.0, collision_shape.position) # Frame 0
animation.track_insert_key(1, 1.0, collision_shape.position + Vector2(100, 100)) # Frame last

To ensure a seamless interaction between the animation and physical collision, attach the collision shape to the AnimatableBody2D and animate their movement synchronously.

Utilizing Signals for Interactions

AnimatableBody2D objects emit signals which can be used for player interactions, triggers, and other game mechanics. You can make a character jump when they step onto a moving platform by connecting the ‘body_entered’ signal to a function:

animatable_body.connect("body_entered", self, "_on_moving_platform_body_entered")

func _on_moving_platform_body_entered(body):
    if == "Player":

In this code, we check if the body that entered the AnimatableBody2D is the player and, if so, call the jump method of the player.

Creating Looping Animations

For continual movement such as a patrolling enemy or a rotating gear, we can set animations to loop:

animation.loop = true"patrol")

This will cause the given ‘patrol’ animation to repeat indefinitely, creating a looped pattern until we programmatically stop it or change to another animation.

Syncing Animation with Physics

If you want your animation to remain in sync with the physics frame rate, you can update it using the ‘_physics_process’ function instead of ‘_process’:

func _physics_process(delta):
    position += Vector2(100, 0) * delta # Move 100 pixels per second to the right

In this example, the object will move to the right, with the motion updated every physics frame, ensuring that the movement is in sync with the rest of the physics simulation.

Controlling Animations via Code

Beyond the GUI-based animation editor, we can control the animations precisely through code. Let us see how we can change animation speed or reverse an animation:

animation_player.playback_speed = 0.5 # Slow down the animation to half-speed
animation_player.playback_speed = -1   # Reverse the animation

Such control allows AnimatableBody2D objects to respond dynamically to game events and player actions.

Understanding and mastering the AnimatableBody2D class provides the tools to create more lifelike and engaging game experiences. By blending animations with physics and leveraging Godot’s powerful signal system, your games will gain an extra layer of polish and professionalism.

Experiment with these techniques to see how they can enhance your game’s design and keep an eye out for the final part of our tutorial series where we’ll put all these elements together to create a complete game feature using AnimatableBody2D.

Building upon our growing understanding of Godot 4’s AnimatableBody2D, it’s time to explore more nuanced features and functionalities. Through practical code examples, we will look at techniques such as integrating physics properties, responding to user input, transitioning between animations, and debugging tips to ensure your animations are performing as expected.

Integrating Physics Properties

Although AnimatableBody2D isn’t directly affected by physics forces, we can still give it physical characteristics like mass, which can influence other physics bodies upon interaction:

animatable_body.mass = 5 # Set the mass for the body

By adjusting the mass property, we can simulate a heavier or lighter body, affecting how it pushes or interacts with dynamic Rigidbody2D objects in the scene.

Let’s control the bounce of other bodies upon collision by setting the ‘bounce’ property:

var collision_shape = animatable_body.get_node("CollisionShape2D")
collision_shape.shape.set_bounce(0.5) # Set the bounce factor for the collision shape

With a ‘bounce’ value set, the AnimatableBody2D can now cause other objects to bounce off it with a specific restitution factor.

Responding to User Input

To make AnimatableBody2D respond to user inputs, we can start or change animations based on player actions. Here’s how we can trigger an animation when the player hits a specific key:

func _input(event):
    if event.is_action_pressed("ui_right"): # Check if the right arrow key or 'D' is pressed"move_right") # Play the "move_right" animation

This input check can be included in the ‘_input’ function, which handles all user input events, playing an animation when the specified key or button is pressed.

Transitioning Between Animations

Creating smooth transitions between animations is crucial for a professional look. With AnimationPlayer, you can queue animations to play after the current one finishes:"move_right")
animation_player.queue("idle") # Queue the "idle" animation to play after "move_right"

Alternatively, you can also control the transition using ‘advance_condition’ which lets you specify a condition for the animation to change:

animation_player.get_animation("move_right").advance_condition = "is_on_floor()" # Custom method to check the condition

This script sets the “move_right” animation to transition only when the ‘is_on_floor()’ condition is true, such as when the animateable body is grounded, adding believability to the character’s movement.

Code-Controlled Properties and Methods

Animating properties directly within code, we can combine physics and property changes for some interesting effects. If we want our object to change its color as it moves, we can animate the ‘modulate’ property:

animation.track_insert_key(0, 0.0, animatable_body.modulate) # Initial color
animation.track_insert_key(0, 1.0, Color(1.0, 0.5, 0.5, 1.0)) # Change color over the duration of 1 second

This snippet demonstrates adding keys to an animation track that can gradually change the AnimatableBody2D’s color modulate property, visually indicating, for example, that the object is becoming dangerous.

Debugging Animations

To ensure our animations are working correctly, Godot 4 provides powerful debugging tools. Use the ‘print’ method to debug motion or state changes:

func _process(delta):
    print("Current position: %s" % position)

By frequently printing position or other properties to the console, you can track how they change with time and diagnose any unexpected behavior.

With these more intricate concepts and actionable code snippets, we’ve seen how to add richness and complexity to the movement of your game entities using AnimatableBody2D. This knowledge allows for the creation of dynamic, interactive, and physically consistent game elements, bringing your virtual worlds to life.

As we continue to explore Godot 4 and its animation system, you’re encouraged to experiment with the examples provided and tailor them to fit the unique requirements of your game project. Strive to understand not just ‘how’ to implement these features but also ‘why’ they can make a difference to the player’s experience.

Continuing Your Godot Game Development Journey

If you’ve enjoyed learning about Godot 4’s AnimatableBody2D and feel invigorated to dive deeper into game development, the knowledge you’ve gained serves as the perfect springboard for further exploration. Your path to mastery in Godot and game creation needn’t stop here.

We at Zenva encourage you to continue growing your skills and building upon the foundation you’ve laid. Check out our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree, which offers a broad curriculum to advance your expertise. You’ll find a wealth of knowledge that covers building games with 2D and 3D assets, mastering GDScript, and creating engaging gameplay elements across various game genres.

For a wider array of options, our comprehensive range of Godot courses is suited for all skill levels. From beginner to professional, you can learn at your own pace, building practical skills through project-based learning and tackling quick challenges to solidify your knowledge.

Your game development journey is unique, and with our high-quality content by your side, there’s no limit to the worlds you can create. Continue learning, keep coding, and may your passion for game development thrive with every step forward!


Embarking on the adventure of learning Godot 4 and its AnimatableBody2D has hopefully ignited a creative spark within you. As you move forward, remember that the knowledge you’ve obtained is a mere fraction of the vast creative potential you hold as a game developer. We trust that these tutorials have not only broadened your understanding of Godot’s robust features but also inspired you to think innovatively about how to bring your game ideas to life.

The journey doesn’t end here; it evolves with every line of code you write and every lesson you learn. So why stop? Let your curiosity lead you to our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree where every course is another step towards becoming the game developer you aspire to be. Join us at Zenva, where learning never stops, and together, let’s turn the games of your imagination into reality.

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