InputEventAction in Godot – Complete Guide

Navigating the world of game development can be an exciting journey, filled with moments of creativity and technical strategy. For those venturing into the realm of Godot Engine, understanding the InputEventAction can be a transformative tool. This is where virtual meets reality – where players’ touches, clicks, and presses become movements, selections, and commands within your digital creation. Grasping the power behind Godot’s InputEventAction isn’t just about making your game functional; it’s about refining player interaction to move beyond mere functionality and into the realm of seamless, intuitive gaming experiences.

What is InputEventAction?

The InputEventAction in Godot 4 is a class that represents an action triggered through user input. Unlike other InputEvent subclasses, InputEventAction doesn’t correspond to a single physical event, making it incredibly flexible and powerful for game developers.

What is it for?

InputEventAction allows Godot developers to create versatile input actions that can be tied to a variety of physical inputs. This means that actions in your game, from jumping and running to more complex inventory management or puzzle mechanics, can be mapped across different devices and input methods with ease.

Why Should I Learn It?

Mastering InputEventAction equips you with the ability to craft responsive controls that feel natural to the player. In the world of game development, player experience is king. Well-implemented input handling can help your game stand out and keep players engaged longer. Learning how to use Godot’s InputEventAction is therefore essential for building games that are not just playable, but enjoyably interactive.

CTA Small Image
FREE COURSES AT ZENVA
LEARN GAME DEVELOPMENT, PYTHON AND MORE
ACCESS FOR FREE
AVAILABLE FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY

Setting Up Input Actions in Godot 4

Before diving into using InputEventActions, we first need to set up input actions within the Godot project. These ‘actions’ are like containers for different types of inputs across various devices. Here’s how you set them up:

func _ready():
    # Define an input action "jump" and assign a key event to it
    var input_event = InputEventKey.new()
    input_event.set_physical_keycode(KEY_SPACE)
    InputMap.action_add_event("jump", input_event)

The above example demonstrates how to add a ‘jump’ action to the InputMap, and assign the spacebar key as the triggering input.

Binding InputEventAction to Script

Once you’ve set up input actions in Godot 4, you’ll need to bind them to the game’s script to make them functional.

func _input(event):
    if event is InputEventAction:
        if event.action == "jump" and event.pressed:
            _jump()
        elif event.action == "shoot" and event.pressed:
            _shoot()
            
func _jump():
    print("Player is jumping!")
    
func _shoot():
    print("Player is shooting!")

This code snippet shows how to respond to the ‘jump’ and ‘shoot’ actions within the _input() function of your game’s script. If the action is detected and the pressed property is true, the corresponding function is called.

Creating a Joystick Input

Godot’s InputEventAction isn’t limited to keyboard keys; you can assign joystick buttons as well. This is especially useful for ensuring your game can be enjoyed with a gamepad.

func _ready():
    # Define a joystick button action "boost" and assign a button event to it
    var input_event_joystick = InputEventJoypadButton.new()
    input_event_joystick.button_index = JOY_BUTTON_0
    InputMap.action_add_event("boost", input_event_joystick)

With the example above, we’ve set up an action called ‘boost’ which will be triggered by the first button (index 0) of a connected joystick.

Handling Touch Input

For games that may also be deployed on mobile devices, multitouch inputs can be handled similarly:

func _ready():
    # Define a multitouch action "move" and assign a touch event to it
    var input_event_touch = InputEventScreenTouch.new()
    input_event_touch.index = 0 # First finger touch
    InputMap.action_add_event("move", input_event_touch)

func _input(event):
    if event is InputEventAction:
        if event.action == "move" and event.pressed:
            _move_player_to(event.position)

This code sets up a ‘move’ action mapped to the first touch event. The _input() function determines if the action occurs and moves the player accordingly. Here you would replace _move_player_to() with the actual logic to move your player to the touch’s position on the screen.

Understanding and manipulating InputEventActions allows for a tailored experience across multiple platforms, making your games more accessible and enjoyable for a wider audience. In the next part, we’ll explore more advanced techniques to fully leverage the power of the InputEventAction in Godot 4.

Enhancing your game’s controls through InputEventAction in Godot can further refine gameplay, making it not only accessible but intuitive. Let’s delve into more advanced uses of InputEventAction with additional code examples.

Using InputEventAction for Gameplay Mechanics

Suppose your game has a mechanic where the character charges an attack while a button is held down. You can detect the ‘pressed’ and ‘released’ states of an action to control this behavior.

func _input(event):
    if event is InputEventAction and event.action == "charge_attack":
        if event.pressed:
            start_charging_attack()
        elif !event.pressed:
            release_attack()

Activating an event only when a specific condition, like character state, is met can lead to intricate gameplay dynamics. Here’s an example where the player can only jump if they are not already airborne:

var is_airborne = false

func _input(event):
    if event is InputEventAction and event.action == "jump" and event.pressed and !is_airborne:
        _jump()

func _jump():
    is_airborne = true
    # Perform jump mechanics
    # e.g., apply upward force to character's physics body.

Combining Multiple Inputs for Complex Actions

In games, complex actions may require a combination of inputs. With InputEventAction, you can check for multiple active actions to trigger unique game mechanics:

func _input(event):
    if event is InputEventAction:
        if Input.is_action_pressed("run") and event.action == "jump" and event.pressed:
            perform_long_jump()

In this example, holding down a ‘run’ action while pressing ‘jump’ performs a long jump, which demonstrates how to layer input for more complex interactions.

Adjusting Game Controls in Real-Time

Changing game controls on-the-fly can be a great feature for accessibility or player preferences. Here’s how you can remap an action during runtime:

func remap_action(action_name, new_input_event):
    InputMap.action_erase_events(action_name)
    InputMap.action_add_event(action_name, new_input_event)

This function first erases the current events mapped to an action and then adds a new InputEvent to that action. It could be called when the player sets a new key in the game’s options menu, for example.

Managing Input for Menu Navigation

InputEventAction isn’t just for in-game mechanics; it’s perfect for UI interactions as well:

func _input(event):
    if event is InputEventAction and event.action == "navigate_menu":
        if event.pressed:
            navigate_to_next_item()
        elif !event.pressed:
            navigate_to_previous_item()

Here, the InputEventAction is used to navigate through a menu system, showing that these actions can be as vital for menus and UI as they are for gameplay.

As the examples illustrate, InputEventAction in Godot 4 can be a dynamic and multifaceted tool for creating rich and responsive game controls. Utilizing InputEventAction effectively can make your game mechanics feel more natural and engaging, allowing players to deeply immerse themselves in the world you’ve created. At Zenva, we always aim to empower you with these technical insights to help craft games that captivate and thrill your audience.

Let’s go even further and explore advanced input handling techniques in Godot 4, complete with practical code examples that demonstrate the versatility of InputEventAction. We’ll look at how to implement custom input buffering, handle double-tap actions, create input-based animations, and manage player input during cutscenes or gameplay pauses.

Input Buffering

Input buffering allows players to input commands slightly before they need to be executed, offering a more forgiving control scheme, especially useful in action and rhythm games:

var input_buffer = []

func _process(delta):
    for i in range(input_buffer.size() - 1, -1, -1):
        input_buffer[i].duration -= delta
        if input_buffer[i].duration <= 0:
            input_buffer.remove(i)

func _input(event):
    if event is InputEventAction and event.pressed:
        input_buffer.append({"action": event.action, "duration": 0.2})

func _physics_process(delta):
    if is_ready_to_attack() and has_buffered_input("attack"):
        execute_attack()

func has_buffered_input(action_name):
    for input in input_buffer:
        if input.action == action_name:
            return true
    return false

Double-Tap Actions

Double-tap inputs can add a dynamic element to gameplay, allowing for quick dashes or special moves:

var last_tap_time = 0

func _input(event):
    if event is InputEventAction and event.action == "dash" and event.pressed:
        var current_time = OS.get_ticks_msec()
        if current_time - last_tap_time < 300:
            perform_dash()
        last_tap_time = current_time

Input-driven Animations

For a more responsive and visually appealing game, triggering animations based on input creates a seamless experience:

func _input(event):
    if event is InputEventAction:
        if event.action == "move_left" and event.pressed:
            $PlayerSprite.play("run_left")
        elif event.action == "move_right" and event.pressed:
            $PlayerSprite.play("run_right")
        elif event.action == "stop" and !event.pressed:
            $PlayerSprite.play("idle")

Disabling Player Input During Cutscenes

To control the flow of a game, especially during story-driven sequences, you might need to disable player input temporarily:

var is_cutscene_active = false

func _input(event):
    if is_cutscene_active:
        return

    # Regular input handling
    if event is InputEventAction and event.action == "jump" and event.pressed:
        _jump()

func _trigger_cutscene():
    is_cutscene_active = true
    # Start the cutscene

func _end_cutscene():
    is_cutscene_active = false
    # Resume normal gameplay

These advanced input handling techniques demonstrate the potential of Godot’s InputEventAction system. With the ability to add layers to your game’s control scheme, every keystroke or button press becomes a direct communication line between your players and the virtual worlds they inhabit. Functional and intuitive controls are what make games not just playable but also compelling and memorable. At Zenva, we strive to equip our students with these game development skills to build interactive experiences that truly resonate with gamers everywhere.

Where to Go Next with Your Godot Skills

You’ve taken an important step in mastering InputEventAction within Godot 4, but your learning journey doesn’t have to stop here. If you’re eager to continue building upon your newfound skills and delve deeper into the world of game development, then we have just the resources to guide you further.

Consider exploring our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree, where you’ll find a series of comprehensive courses dedicated to teaching you the ins and outs of game creation with Godot 4. This program covers a variety of essential topics, going from the basics of 2D and 3D development, all the way to advanced gameplay mechanisms. Each course is project-based, ensuring that by the end, you’ll not only have gained a wealth of knowledge but also a portfolio of your own custom games.

Additionally, for a broader view and selection of learning materials, browse through our array of Godot courses. Zenva’s courses are designed to accommodate your learning pace, allowing you to jump into segments that match your current skill level. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to polish specific game development skills — we’re here to support your growth every step of the way.

As you progress, remember that game development is a journey of continuous learning and creativity. With each new skill you acquire, a world of possibilities opens up for you to explore and create. So keep coding, keep creating, and let Zenva be a part of your transformation into a skilled and passionate game developer.

Conclusion

By harnessing the power of InputEventAction in Godot 4, you’ve unlocked a new level of interaction within your games, setting the stage for an immersive player experience that truly stands out. Remember, these tools are just the beginning. There’s a whole spectrum of possibilities awaiting you in the world of game development, and we at Zenva are thrilled to be part of your journey. Dream big, start small, and keep building your skills one game at a time.

Ready to take the next step? Our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree is the perfect pathway to elevate your game creation journey. With our expert guidance and your unwavering passion, there’s no limit to the incredible gaming experiences you can design. Let’s turn those ideas into reality — together, we can make games that resonate with hearts and minds across the globe!

FREE COURSES
Python Blog Image

FINAL DAYS: Unlock coding courses in Unity, Godot, Unreal, Python and more.