PinJoint2D in Godot – Complete Guide

Welcome to our exploration of the PinJoint2D class in Godot 4! Understanding physics joints can dramatically elevate your game development skills, bringing your interactive worlds to life with realistic and engaging movements. This tutorial will delve into how the PinJoint2D class enables objects in your games to interact with each other through physics-based connections. Whether you’re a hobbyist looking to add some spice to your game’s mechanics or an aspiring game developer keen to grasp the fundamentals of physics in game design, this article promises to provide both enlightenment and excitement in your development journey.

What is PinJoint2D?

The PinJoint2D is a pivotal class in the Godot Engine, particularly within its 2D physics system. It allows for two physics bodies to be linked at a single point, granting them the freedom to rotate around that pivot. This joint has a multitude of uses in game creation, from simulating the movement of a pendulum to crafting the hinge of a treasure chest lid.

What is PinJoint2D Used For?

Employing PinJoint2D in a game can add an extra layer of realism and complexity to the movement of objects. It is ideal for mechanics that require a rotating movement around a fixed point, such as:

– Swinging doors or gates in puzzle games
– Spinning wheels in platformers
– Balance beams in physics puzzles

Why Should I Learn About PinJoint2D?

Mastering PinJoint2D opens up a myriad of possibilities for adding depth to your games. By learning how to use this joint, you can:

– Create more dynamic and believable game environments
– Implement varied mechanics that hinge on rotational physics
– Enhance user experience through intuitive and responsive controls

Understanding PinJoint2D will give you the confidence to experiment with physics in Godot and apply it creatively in your projects, which is a tremendous asset for any game developer’s skillset. Let’s get started and learn how to harness the power of PinJoint2D in your own game creation endeavors!

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Setting Up a Basic PinJoint2D Scene

Before diving into the actual code, we’ll start by setting up a basic scene in Godot that will incorporate a PinJoint2D. Imagine we’re building a simple seesaw. For this setup, we need two RigidBody2D objects: one for the plank of the seesaw and one to act as the base or fulcrum.

First, let’s add our plank as a RigidBody2D:

var plank =
plank.position = Vector2(400, 300)

Next, we’ll create the base, which our plank will rotate around:

var base =
base.position = Vector2(400, 350)

With the fundamental parts added, it’s time to connect them with a PinJoint2D.

Connecting Objects with PinJoint2D

Here’s how you create a PinJoint2D and connect our plank and base:

var joint =
joint.position = Vector2(400, 325) # Positioned exactly between the plank and base

It’s important to note that the `position` of the joint is set precisely between the plank and base, which will act as our pivot point.

Adjusting Joint Properties

By default, a PinJoint2D will work with Godot’s physics engine out-of-the-box. However, there are several properties that can be adjusted to tweak the joint’s behavior. For instance, we can change the softness of the joint, which affects how rigidly the bodies are held together:

joint.softness = 0.5

A higher softness value means the joint will have some elasticity, allowing the bodies to move slightly apart from each other.

Limiting Joint Movement

In certain scenarios, you might want to limit the movement around the joint. While PinJoint2D itself doesn’t provide angle limits, you can implement limiting behavior by combining it with other nodes, such as RigidBody2D’s `limit_angular_velocity`.

To limit our seesaw’s plank to typical seesaw behavior, you can do the following:

plank.limit_angular_velocity = true
plank.angular_velocity_limit = 1.0

This ensures the plank won’t spin around wildly but will instead move back and forth in a controlled manner, similar to an actual seesaw.

By successfully setting up and adjusting the properties of your PinJoint2D, you’re now able to simulate basic mechanical physics in your game. This not only adds a layer of realism but also offers an engaging interactive experience for the player. In the next part of this tutorial, we will explore more complex uses of PinJoint2D and how to integrate them into game logic. Stay tuned as we continue to expand the horizons of our game development capabilities with Godot 4!Continuing from where we left off, let’s delve deeper into the utilization of the PinJoint2D class by examining more intricate examples that can elevate your game design.

Creating a Simple Pendulum

A common use for the PinJoint2D joint is to create a pendulum. Here’s how you can accomplish this in Godot:

First, create the pendulum arm and attach it to a static body which will act as the pivot point:

var pendulum_arm =
var pivot =
pivot.position = Vector2(400, 100) # The static point of suspension
pendulum_arm.position = pivot.position + Vector2(0, 100) # Positioned below the pivot

Next, create the PinJoint2D to connect the arm and the pivot:

var pendulum_joint =
pendulum_joint.position = pivot.position

The pendulum arm will now swing back and forth around the point of suspension created by the pin joint.

Configuring Joint Breaking

You might want your joint to break under certain conditions, such as when a heavy object impacts the pendulum. Here’s how you configure a break force:

pendulum_joint.break_force = 1000

This property determines the maximum force the joint can withstand before breaking. You can set it to -1 if you want an unbreakable joint. To handle the event when the joint breaks, you can connect to the ‘joint_breaking’ signal:

pendulum_joint.connect("joint_breaking", self, "_on_joint_breaking")

func _on_joint_breaking():
    # Handle logic for when the joint breaks
    print("The joint has broken!")

Moving a Character with a PinJoint2D Rope

Imagine you have a character that swings on a rope, like in a platformer game. You can create a rope using multiple PinJoint2D nodes connecting several RigidBody2D segments.

Firstly, you would create the rope segments and joints dynamically:

var previous_body = character # Assume a character body is already defined

for i in range(SEGMENT_COUNT):
    var segment =
    segment.position = Vector2(400, 150 + i * 20)

    var joint =
    joint.position = segment.position

    previous_body = segment

Each segment connects to the previous one, and the first segment connects to the character, creating a chain that acts like a rope.

Applying Impulses to Joint-Connected Bodies

For a more interactive experience, you might want the character to swing when the player presses a key. Here’s how you could apply an impulse to the bottom segment of the rope:

func _input(event):
    if event is InputEventKey and event.pressed:
        if event.scancode == KEY_SPACE:
            # Apply an impulse to the right
            previous_body.apply_impulse(Vector2.ZERO, Vector2(100, 0))

The `apply_impulse()` method applies a force to the body, making the character swing.

Final Words

As you can see, PinJoint2D is an incredibly versatile class that can be utilized in various creative ways to build engaging mechanics for your games. From swinging pendulums to characters traversing with ropes, the possibilities are limited only by imagination. Remember, understanding both the properties and behaviors of the PinJoint2D is essential to unlock its full potential in game design. Experiment with these examples, tweak them, and watch as your game worlds come alive with captivating physics-based interactions. Happy developing!Continuing with the dynamic nature of the PinJoint2D, let’s explore some additional applications and code examples to further enhance your game mechanics.

Advanced Mechanics with PinJoint2D

Beyond basic pendulums and ropes, PinJoint2D can simulate complex behaviors. For instance, you might want a character to be able to detach and reattach to certain objects or dynamic elements in your game.

Detaching and Reattaching Joints

Imagine a scenario where the player can grab onto and let go of a swinging rope. This requires the ability to detach and reattach the rope from the character:

var rope_attached = true

func _input(event):
    if event is InputEventKey and event.pressed and event.scancode == KEY_SPACE:
        if rope_attached:

func detach_rope():
    rope_joint.set_node_a(null) # Disconnect the character
    rope_attached = false

func attach_rope():
    rope_joint.set_node_a(character.get_path()) # Reconnect to the character
    rope_attached = true

This allows the player to interact with the rope dynamically.

Variable Joint Length

You may also want a joint that changes length, like a winch or a retracting cable. While PinJoint2D itself doesn’t support variable length, you can simulate this behavior by manipulating the connected bodies:

func shorten_rope(delta):
    for segment in rope_segments:
        segment.global_position.y -= delta # Move each segment upwards

func lengthen_rope(delta):
    for segment in rope_segments:
        segment.global_position.y += delta # Move each segment downwards

By moving the segments closer or further apart, you simulate the effect of a retracting and extending rope.

Impacting Joined Bodies with Forces

To demonstrate the effects of forces on joint-connected bodies, let’s simulate wind affecting a hanging sign. We’ll apply a force to the sign periodically to make it swing like it’s in the wind:

func _process(delta):
    var wind_force = Vector2(rand_range(-50, 50), 0)

Applying forces at the center of mass with `apply_central_force` results in more natural swinging movements.

Combining Joint Types

Sometimes, using just one type of joint isn’t enough. For example, you may want a character to use a grappling hook, which requires both a PinJoint2D for spinning and an additional joint to simulate the cable’s tension. Here, we could use a DampedSpringJoint2D in combination with the PinJoint2D:

var grappling_hook =
var spring_joint =

spring_joint.length = 100 # Length of the rope
spring_joint.stiffness = 4.0 # Spring stiffness
spring_joint.damping = 1.0 # Damping


By combining different joint properties and forces, you can design a grappling hook that exhibits springiness and rotational motion characteristic of such an item.

Physics Layers and Masks

It’s essential to consider how joints interact with other physics bodies. In Godot, you can use physics layers and masks for fine-tuned control over these interactions. Let’s say you want a character swinging on a rope to be able to pass through certain platforms:

for segment in rope_segments:
    segment.collision_layer = 1
    segment.collision_mask = 0 # The rope will not collide with anything

character.collision_layer = 1
character.collision_mask = 2 # The character collides only with platforms

By manipulating the `collision_layer` and `collision_mask`, you control which bodies the rope and character will interact with.

Through these examples, you can appreciate the versatility and depth that PinJoint2D adds to your game. Each of these scenarios showcases the importance of understanding how PinJoint2D functions, allowing you to craft engaging and responsive game elements. Keep experimenting and integrating these techniques to bring new dimensions to your game’s physics interactions!

Continuing Your Game Development Journey

Your adventure into the world of game development doesn’t have to end here! If you’ve enjoyed delving into the mechanics of PinJoint2D within Godot and are eager to expand your knowledge further, we wholeheartedly encourage you to continue exploring and building upon your newfound skills. One fantastic way to do so is through our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree, which is designed to guide you through the process of creating cross-platform games using the powerful Godot 4 engine.
Our comprehensive Mini-Degree covers a wide spectrum of game development topics. Whether you’re starting fresh or looking to refine your expertise, you’ll find invaluable resources through our courses that address various genres and mechanics, from RPGs to RTS and platformers. The content is structured to cater to both beginners and experienced developers, offering step-by-step instructions and the ability to skip to the most relevant topics for your learning path.
Furthermore, to broaden your horizons and access a more diverse set of tutorials and courses on Godot, take a peek at our array of Godot courses. Zenva Academy is here to support you throughout your journey, providing you with the tools and knowledge to go from novice to seasoned game developer. With our on-demand online learning platform, you can continue to learn and create at your own pace, from the comfort of your home. Let’s keep the momentum going and turn your game development dreams into reality!


As you’ve seen, the PinJoint2D node in Godot is a potent tool in the game developer’s kit, offering a multitude of ways to infuse physics-based interactions that can transform a good game into a great one. With the concepts and examples we’ve discussed, you’re now better equipped to tackle the challenges of 2D game development and bring to life the dynamic, immersive worlds that exist in your imagination.
We at Zenva understand the thrill of creating something interactive and fun, which is why we’re committed to providing high-quality education that empowers you to make your game development dreams a reality. The journey doesn’t end here; it’s just getting started. Continue leveling up your skills with our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree and join a community of learners who, like you, are passionate about crafting incredible gaming experiences. Let’s build the future of games together, one node at a time!
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