GPUParticlesCollision3D in Godot – Complete Guide

Welcome to our tutorial on the “GPUParticlesCollision3D” class in Godot 4. If you’re fascinated by the visual splendor of particle systems and want to elevate your game development skills, embracing particle collisions is your next exciting challenge! Integrating these elements in your 3D worlds enhances realism and interactivity, making your game environments feel alive. Stick with us, and we’ll explore how to use GPUParticlesCollision3D to create mesmerizing effects that react to the environment around them.

What is GPUParticlesCollision3D?

The GPUParticlesCollision3D class is an integral part of the Godot Engine, renowned for delivering sophisticated real-time 3D game experiences. This class serves as a foundation for various collision shapes, specifically designed for particle systems rendered with the GPU. It allows developers to define boundaries and interactions for particles in 3D space—think of it as giving physical presence to the normally ethereal particles.

What is GPUParticlesCollision3D Used For?

Particle collision shapes are essential for creating interactive particle effects that can stop, bounce, or react in other ways when reaching certain areas in a game scene. This capability is paramount when simulating natural phenomena like smoke dissipating against a wall or sparks flying off a grinding tool and bouncing on surrounding surfaces. Collision shapes also help in crafting immersive gameplay mechanics, such as magical effects that respond to the in-game environment.

Why Should I Learn GPUParticlesCollision3D?

Learning how to implement GPUParticlesCollision3D is an excellent way to push your Godot development skills further. It’s not just about the visual flair; understanding these concepts deepens your grasp of physics in virtual environments and opens a new avenue for creativity. When you know how to make your particles interact with 3D objects, you’ll enhance your player’s gaming experience exponentially, adding that extra touch of authenticity and polish that makes games stand out.

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Setting Up a Basic Particle System with GPUParticlesCollision3D

To get started with GPUParticlesCollision3D, first, you’ll need a particle system. Here’s how you can set up a simple particle system in Godot 4:

var particles =
particles.one_shot = true
particles.amount = 100
particles.lifetime = 1.0
particles.direction = Vector3(0, 1, 0)
particles.speed_scale = 1.0

This code snippet creates a particle system that emits 100 particles in a single burst, each particle lasting for a duration of 1 second, and moving upwards.

Applying a Collision Shape

Next, add a collision shape to your particle system. This will let your particles interact with the 3D environment:

var collision_shape =
collision_shape.scale = Vector3(2, 2, 2)

Here, we’ve added a GPUParticlesCollisionSpheres shape to our particle system and scaled it to ensure that it influences the particles effectively within the 3D space.

Configuring Particles to React to Collisions

To make the particles respond to collisions, you’ll need to adjust properties such as bounce, friction, and damping:

collision_shape.bounce = 0.5
collision_shape.friction = 1.0
collision_shape.damping = 0.5

In this example, we set the bounce factor to 0.5, allowing particles to lose some energy upon impact. The friction is at a maximum, slowing down the particles drastically on contact, and damping affects how quickly particles lose velocity over time.

Adding Interactivity with Collisions

To simulate interactivity, the collision shape can be embedded within an existing mesh or object in the scene. Here’s how:

var mesh_instance =
mesh_instance.mesh = preload("res://path_to_your_mesh.obj")

collision_shape.transform.origin = mesh_instance.global_transform.origin

By aligning the origin of the collision shape with that of a mesh instance, we ensure that particles will interact with the actual mesh geometry in the scene.

Keep in mind that for the particles to visually reflect the collision effects, the emitter must be positioned correctly in relation to the collision shapes.

particles.emission_shape =
particles.emission_shape.radius = 1.0
particles.emission_shape.transform = Transform(Basis(), Vector3(0, 10, 0))

With these code snippets, your particles will emit from a spherical shape above the mesh instance and visibly react upon collision.

Stay tuned for the next part of our tutorial where we’ll dive even deeper into making your 3D particle collisions shine with advanced settings and techniques!

In the previous section, we set up our particle system and collision shape to make our particles react to collisions. Now, let’s take a closer look at some advanced settings and techniques to add complexity and realism to your particle effects using GPUParticlesCollision3D.

One feature we can utilize is altering the collision shape dynamically during runtime. Let’s say you have a scenario where a character casts a spell that alters the environment. You can update the collision shape to reflect these world changes:

// Assume spellCast is a signal that fires when a spell is cast
func _on_spellCast(new_shape_params):
    collision_shape.scale = new_shape_params.scale
    collision_shape.transform.origin = new_shape_params.origin

This snippet demonstrates how to listen for a signal (like a spell being cast) and adjust the collision shape’s properties based on the event.

Fine-tuning the visibility of the particles upon collision adds another level of immersion. For instance, when particles hit a surface, you might want them to spread out. Here’s how to tweak the spread on collision:

collision_shape.spread = 0.5 // Values range from 0.0 to 1.0

The “spread” property determines how much particles will disperse after a collision, with higher values causing a wider distribution.

Animating particles upon collision is another engaging feature. We can change colors, size or even fade them out:

var color_ramp =
color_ramp.add_point(0.0, Color(1, 0, 0))     // Start with red
color_ramp.add_point(0.5, Color(1, 1, 0))     // Transition to yellow
color_ramp.add_point(1.0, Color(0, 1, 0))     // End with green

particles.color_ramp = color_ramp
particles.scale_amount = 0.5
particles.scale_curve = Curve().interpolate_baked(0, 1, 10) // Adjust the scale curve as needed

In this example, we define how particles’ color and size will transition over their lifespan. Starting with red, they blend to yellow and finally to green before they fade away.

Interacting collisions with other systems can introduce even more dynamism into your scene:

// Suppose there is a weather system that changes the wind direction
func _on_weatherChange(new_wind_direction):
    particles.angular_velocity_curve = new_wind_direction

With this logic, particles can be influenced by external factors like wind, altering their trajectory to emulate a more dynamic environment.

Lastly, it’s crucial to optimize your particle system for performance:

particles.visibility_aabb = AABB(Vector3(-10, 0, -10), Vector3(20, 20, 20))

Setting a proper AABB (Axis-Aligned Bounding Box) ensures that particles are processed only when necessary, improving performance by culling off-screen particles.

By mastering these advanced capabilities, you’re further polishing your skills in crafting breathtaking particle effects. This not only reinforces the ambience of your games but also underlines the meticulous attention to detail—a hallmark of a proficient game developer.

Remember that experimentation is key. Tweaking parameters, combining effects, and witnessing the results firsthand will give you the intuitive understanding necessary to bring your visions to life.

Interested in mastering these concepts and many others? Join us at Zenva, where we provide a comprehensive learning platform to equip you with the expertise to develop cutting-edge games. Let’s turn these technical skills into stunning gameplay experiences together!

Now that we’ve covered some advanced settings, let’s delve into implementing environmental interactivity with GPUParticlesCollision3D.

Imagine a scenario where a spaceship thrusts through a dusty asteroid belt. We can mimic this by having particles collide and react to the ship’s movement:

func _process(delta):
    collision_shape.global_transform = spaceship.global_transform

This code snippet updates the collision shape’s transform to follow the spaceship’s movement every frame, ensuring that particles will collide with the ship realistically.

For a more subtle effect, you might want your particle system to respond to the day-night cycle in your game. Here’s how you can adjust the particle emission rate over time:

var day_time_factor = sin(time_of_day * 2 * PI)
particles.emission_rate = lerp(min_emission_rate, max_emission_rate, day_time_factor)

As the ‘time_of_day’ progresses, the ’emission_rate’ smoothly transitions from its minimum to its maximum value and back, simulating a more or less intense effect based on the time of day.

Let’s introduce gravitational forces, which can elevate your collision effects. With Godot 4, applying gravity is straightforward:

var gravity_vec = Vector3(0, -9.81, 0) // Simulating Earth's gravity
particles.gravity = gravity_vec

In this snippet, particles are influenced by a gravity vector that points downwards, pulling them toward the ground unless they collide with something else.

Playing with the emission shapes adds variety to your particles’ initial conditions. For a flame thrower effect, we might use a Box Emission Shape:

var box_emission_shape =
box_emission_shape.extents = Vector3(0.5, 0.5, 0.5)
particles.emission_shape = box_emission_shape

A box with small extents serves as the source of the particles, creating a tight, focused blast of flame-like particles emanating from the emitter.

For a more dynamic interplay between particles and the world, we can also update the collision response based on scenario changes. Suppose your game’s environment experiences an explosion:

func _on_explosion(center_of_explosion, explosion_radius):
    for shape in particles.get_collision_shapes():
        if shape.global_transform.origin.distance_to(center_of_explosion) < explosion_radius:

This function iterates through collision shapes associated with your particle system, disables those within the explosion’s radius, and thus allows particles to move unimpeded through the affected area.

Finally, consider adding a layer of complexity by combining emission shapes. You can have multiple emission points for more intricate particle systems:

var additional_collision_shape =
additional_collision_shape.radius = 1
additional_collision_shape.transform.origin = Vector3(5, 0, 0)

Here, we add another collision sphere, positioned away from the original emitter. Particles will now also emit from this new point, simulating multiple sources or interactions within your scene.

By incorporating these techniques into your Godot 4 projects, you’re not just making your games look better—you’re creating living systems that players can interact with and which respond dynamically to the game world.

Consistent practice with these examples and exploration of Godot’s robust particle system features will enable you to craft visually compelling and interactive game environments. And if you’re eager to deepen your learning and become a master of game development, we at Zenva are ready to guide you on this journey with our structured courses and expert instructors. Level up with us, and let’s create incredible gaming experiences together!

Continuing Your Game Development Journey with Zenva

Now that you’ve gained an understanding of GPUParticlesCollision3D and the fascinating realm of particle effects in Godot 4, the next step is to keep building on your newfound knowledge. The world of game development is vast and full of opportunities to create, innovate, and bring your wildest game concepts to life. So, what’s next in your game development adventure?

We at Zenva encourage you to explore our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree, where you can expand your skills further with courses that cover a broad range of topics within Godot. While this Mini-Degree doesn’t specifically focus on GPUParticlesCollision3D, it comprehensively addresses game development with Godot 4. You’ll engage in projects and experiments that polish your abilities in 2D and 3D game creation, mastering everything from GDScript to complex gameplay mechanics.

For those eager to dive into a wider array of possibilities, our varied collection of Godot courses awaits you at Zenva’s Godot courses. Our curriculum is designed to cater to both budding novices and seasoned game developers. With over 250 supported courses, flexible learning schedules, and a trove of hands-on projects, Zenva is your springboard to turning game development dreams into reality, from the comfort of your learning space, anytime.

Seize the chance to elevate your game development prowess to professional heights with Zenva. Your journey is just beginning, and we’re here to support you every step of the way. Continue learning, keep coding, and let’s craft the future of gaming together!


The realm of game development is both expansive and exhilarating, and mastering the art of particle collisions with GPUParticlesCollision3D in Godot 4 marks just one of the many milestones in this creative journey. Take pride in every line of code you write, every particle effect you animate, and every gameplay experience you enrich. With each new skill, you’re not just crafting games—you’re breathing life into worlds yet to be explored by eager players.

Remember, this is but a small glimpse into the vibrant universe of game development that awaits you. Let the knowledge you’ve gained here be the spark that ignites a lifetime of learning and creation. We at Zenva invite you to continue discovering, experimenting, and growing with our expertly crafted courses. Together, we’ll transform your aspiration into achievement and turn your gaming visions into virtual victories.

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