PhysicsDirectSpaceState3DExtension in Godot – Complete Guide

Diving into the realm of game development can be an electrifying experience, especially when it comes to crafting intricate and realistic physics for your games. One of the tools at the forefront of this adventure is Godot Engine’s PhysicsDirectSpaceState3DExtension class, which after its recent update in Godot 4, offers more flexibility than ever. In this tutorial, we’re going to demystify PhysicsDirectSpaceState3DExtension by exploring its potential and understanding how it can be the key to unlocking sophisticated physics calculations in your game projects.

What is PhysicsDirectSpaceState3DExtension?

PhysicsDirectSpaceState3DExtension is a class in Godot 4 that inherits from PhysicsDirectSpaceState3D. It provides programmers with the ability to extend and customize the functionality of physics space state queries. This feature is particularly important for those looking to create more complex physics behaviors that are beyond the default capabilities of Godot’s built-in physics engine.

What is it for?

This extension is designed to supercharge the native physics functionality of the game engine. By overriding its virtual methods, developers can tailor the physics space state calculations to meet their specific game’s needs. It opens the door to:
– Custom collision detection.
– Specialized movement and interaction handling.
– Advanced querying of the physics space for things like ray casting and shape intersection.

Why should I learn it?

Unlocking the power of PhysicsDirectSpaceState3DExtension can significantly elevate the quality of your game’s interaction model. Here’s why you should consider learning about this class:
– **Gain More Control**: You’ll have more detailed control over how objects in your game interact with the world and each other.
– **Create Unique Mechanics**: Customizing the physics allows for unique game mechanics that can set your game apart.
– **Improve Performance**: Tailoring physics to your needs can optimize performance, crucial for creating a smooth gaming experience.

Understanding PhysicsDirectSpaceState3DExtension ensures that you are not limited by the default physics behaviors and can create more immersive and responsive game worlds. Let’s move on to the first coding examples to see how we can begin to wield this powerful class.

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Basic Usage of PhysicsDirectSpaceState3DExtension

Before diving deep into the customized implementation of PhysicsDirectSpaceState3DExtension, let’s have a quick look at some foundational examples to understand the basic usage of physics in Godot 4.

Setting Up a Simple RayCast

Let’s start by creating a simple RayCast. Here’s how you would set up a RayCast and check for collisions with the environment:

var space_state = get_world_3d().direct_space_state
var ray_start = Vector3()
var ray_end = Vector3(0, -10, 0)
var ray_result = space_state.intersect_ray(ray_start, ray_end)

if ray_result:
    print("Collision with: ",

Physics Queries with Intersect Shape

Now, let’s advance to performing physics queries using the `intersect_shape` method to check for overlapping shapes in the physics space:

var space_state = get_world_3d().direct_space_state
var shape =
shape.radius = 1
var transform = Transform()

var shape_query = space_state.intersect_shape(shape, transform, 10)
for query_result in shape_query:
    print("Overlapping with: ", query_result.collider)

Overriding DirectSpaceState Methods

Now that we’ve covered some of the basics, let’s see how we can start extending the functionality of Godot’s physics by overriding methods in PhysicsDirectSpaceState3DExtension.

Custom RayCast Implementation

extends PhysicsDirectSpaceState3DExtension

func custom_intersect_ray(ray_start, ray_end, exclude = []):
    var result = PhysicsDirectSpaceState3D.raycast(space_state, ray_start, ray_end, exclude)
    # Process the result according to your game's logic
    return result

Custom Shape Intersection Check

extends PhysicsDirectSpaceState3DExtension

func custom_intersect_shape(transform, query_max_results = 32):
    var shape =
    shape.radius = 1
    var result = PhysicsDirectSpaceState3D.intersect_shape(space_state, shape, transform, query_max_results)
    # Process the result to fit your game's requirements
    return result

Each of these examples showcases how to use the default functionality provided by Godot’s physics system as well as illustrating how we might start extending these capabilities. By understanding these basic implementations, we can begin to imagine the possibilities of customized physics behaviors that better suit complex game designs and mechanics. In the next section, we’ll delve further into creating more nuanced and dynamic physics interactions.Continuing from where we left off, it’s important to grasp how to handle more intricate physics conditions. Implementing custom collision detection and response is often necessary for unique gameplay elements. Let’s explore this through additional examples that build on the Godot PhysicsDirectSpaceState3DExtension.

Custom Collision Detection

Suppose we want to have a custom collision detection method for our game characters. Here’s a simple example of how you could approach this challenge:

extends PhysicsDirectSpaceState3DExtension

func detect_custom_collision(shape_type, transform):
    var detection_shape = create_shape_for_type(shape_type)
    var intersect_results = PhysicsDirectSpaceState3D.intersect_shape(space_state, detection_shape, transform, 100)

    for result in intersect_results:
        # Process each collision here
        if result.collider is KinematicBody:

func create_shape_for_type(shape_type):
    if shape_type == "box":
        var box_shape =
        box_shape.extents = Vector3(1, 1, 1)
        return box_shape
    elif shape_type == "sphere":
        var sphere_shape =
        sphere_shape.radius = 1
        return sphere_shape
    # Add additional shape_type conditions as needed

func react_to_kinematic_body_collision(body):
    # Custom reaction to KenimaticBody collision
    body.apply_impulse(Vector3.ZERO, Vector3(0, 10, 0))

Overriding Methods with Area Detection

You might need to override physics methods for special area-based interactions:

extends PhysicsDirectSpaceState3DExtension

func _intersect_point_with_areas(point):
    var result = PhysicsDirectSpaceState3D.intersect_point(space_state, point)
    var areas = []
    for collision in result:
        if "area" in collision.collider.get_groups():
    return areas

Deeper Physics Customization

Taking customization further, Godot allows you to implement behaviors that can handle specific in-game physics scenarios. Below, we represent a few potential cases.

Custom Gravity for Special Objects

Maybe you want certain objects in your game to have a different gravity than the global setting. Here’s a simplified way of doing that:

extends PhysicsDirectSpaceState3DExtension

func apply_custom_gravity(body, custom_gravity_vector, delta):
    if body.has_method("set_applied_force"):
        body.set_applied_force(custom_gravity_vector * body.mass * delta)

Dynamic Collision Layers

Dynamic collision layers can be useful in games where you need to change which layers objects collide with on the fly.

extends PhysicsDirectSpaceState3DExtension

func set_dynamic_collision_layer(body, layer):
    var collision_mask = convert_layer_to_mask(layer)
    body.collision_layer = collision_mask

func convert_layer_to_mask(layer):
    # Assuming 'layer' is an integer representing the layer number
    return 1 << layer

Custom Ray Reflection Logic

Perhaps your game requires reflecting rays off surfaces, such as in a pool game or a light reflection puzzle. Here’s how you might set that up:

extends PhysicsDirectSpaceState3DExtension

func cast_reflective_ray(origin, direction, max_reflections):
    var current_origin = origin
    var current_direction = direction.normalized()
    for i in range(max_reflections):
        var result = PhysicsDirectSpaceState3D.intersect_ray(space_state, current_origin, current_origin + current_direction * 1000)
        if result.empty():
        current_origin = result.position
        # Reflect the direction vector based on the result normal
        current_direction = current_direction.reflect(result.normal)
        # Here you could add functionality to affect the reflected surface or create visual effects!

By experimenting with and extending these examples, you can craft physics behaviors that are not just realistic but also contribute to the unique gameplay elements that will captivate your players.

We at Zenva believe that mastering techniques like these can make all the difference in creating professional-quality games that resonate with audiences. Approach these examples as springboards for your creativity and remember to adapt the code to suit your game’s specifics. Keep exploring, and your efforts will pay off in the physics-rich, engaging games you’ll develop!Delving further into the realm of custom physics with the Godot PhysicsDirectSpaceState3DExtension, let’s focus on more complex scenarios that you might encounter while developing a game. We aim to provide a broad range of examples to cover various game mechanics that developers can use and adapt to their own game projects.

Handling Slope Sliding

For games with terrains that include slopes, managing how characters slide or grip these inclines is crucial. Here is a code snippet that demonstrates custom slope handling logic:

extends PhysicsDirectSpaceState3DExtension

func handle_slope_sliding(motion, body, slope_stop_angle):
    var result = PhysicsDirectSpaceState3D.intersect_ray(space_state, body.translation, body.translation + Vector3.DOWN * 10)
    if result:
        var slope_angle = Vector3.UP.angle_to(result.normal)
        if rad2deg(slope_angle) > slope_stop_angle:
            # Modify the motion vector based on the slope's normal
            motion = motion.slide(result.normal)
    return motion

Custom Physics Interactions for Puzzle Games

In a puzzle game, you might want objects that interact with each other under specific conditions. The following snippet shows how to check for these conditions and trigger a custom interaction:

extends PhysicsDirectSpaceState3DExtension

func check_for_interaction(activation_shape, signal_strength):
    var body_set = PhysicsDirectSpaceState3D.intersect_shape(space_state, activation_shape, 50)
    for body in body_set:
        if body.has_method("receive_signal"):

Environmental Effects on Physics Bodies

To simulate environmental effects such as wind or flowing water, we might apply a force to physics bodies within a certain area. Below is an example of a method that applies such an external force:

extends PhysicsDirectSpaceState3DExtension

func apply_environmental_effects(area_shape, force_vector):
    var bodies = PhysicsDirectSpaceState3D.intersect_shape(space_state, area_shape, 100)
    for body in bodies:
        if "affected_by_wind" in body.get_groups():
            # Apply the force only to bodies that have a specific group

Detecting Objects Entering a Trigger Zone

Trigger zones are commonly used in games to detect when an object enters a specific area. Here’s a sample function that can be used to trigger events when this occurs:

extends PhysicsDirectSpaceState3DExtension

func detect_trigger_zone_enter(zone_shape, zone_transform):
    var intersect_results = PhysicsDirectSpaceState3D.intersect_shape(space_state, zone_shape, zone_transform, 10)
    for result in intersect_results:
        if "trigger" in result.collider.get_groups():
            # Fire a custom event or signal
            emit_signal("object_entered_trigger_zone", result.collider)

Custom Projectile Trajectories

For games involving projectiles or thrown objects, calculating custom trajectories can be beneficial. You can extend the physics system to account for factors like drag and wind:

extends PhysicsDirectSpaceState3DExtension

func calculate_custom_projectile_trajectory(start_point, initial_velocity, gravity_vector, drag_coefficient, wind_vector, delta):
    var position = start_point
    var velocity = initial_velocity

    while position.y > 0:  # Assuming we want to calculate until the projectile hits the ground (y = 0)
        velocity += gravity_vector * delta

        # Apply wind and drag
        velocity += wind_vector * delta
        velocity -= velocity * drag_coefficient * delta

        position += velocity * delta
        yield(position, velocity)  # Can yield each step of the calculation for real-time updates

These examples showcase the versatility and power of the PhysicsDirectSpaceState3DExtension class—allowing you to manipulalate and extend Godot’s physics capabilities to suit your game’s specific needs. Remember, the key to a high-quality game is how well it implements the physical interactions that provide a compelling, believable, and fun experience. With these examples in your toolkit, we look forward to seeing the innovative gameplay mechanics you’ll create!

Continuing Your Godot Development Journey

Embarking on the exciting path of game development with Godot Engine opens up a universe of creative possibilities. We’ve touched on the advanced aspects of physics with PhysicsDirectSpaceState3DExtension, and if this has sparked your interest, your next steps are crucial for advancing your skills and knowledge.

To continue honing your Godot game development expertise and to dive deeper into a myriad of topics ranging from 2D and 3D game creation to mastering GDScript, we encourage you to explore our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree. This collection of courses is carefully crafted to take you from beginner to professional, providing you with hands-on experience through engaging projects that you can proudly showcase in your portfolio.

For those interested in an even broader spectrum of Godot-related content, our full catalogue of Godot courses includes a variety of learning materials to suit different levels of expertise. With Zenva, you have the flexibility to learn at your own pace, ensuring that every step you take is aligned with your learning goals and schedule.

So, whether you’re starting your journey or looking to sharpen your existing skills, Zenva Academy is with you every step of the way with cutting-edge courses that are sure to boost your game development career. Let’s continue building, learning, and creating amazing game experiences together!


Embarking on the journey of mastering Godot’s PhysicsDirectSpaceState3DExtension can be as rewarding as it is challenging. Armed with the knowledge from this guide—and with continuous learning and experimentation—you’ll be well on your way to creating physics-based mechanics that can truly distinguish your games. Remember that each line of code is a step towards building more immersive and dynamic game worlds that players can’t wait to explore.

We at Zenva Academy are excited to see the amazing games our students will devise using these advanced physics features. If you’re ready to propel your Godot skills to new heights, delve into our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree, and unlock the full potential of your game development journey. Happy coding, and may your games come to life in ways only you can imagine!

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