Godot C# — Get the Reference of a Node and Attached Components

A beginner tutorial to get the reference of a Node in the scene.

Raheel Yawar
3 min readJul 9, 2022

It is a two-step process: get the NodePath of the Node and then cast the NodePath into the required type, which could be a Sprite, Node, RigidBody etc.

Fetching the NodePath

This can be done by creating an editor-exposed variable (Unity Engine equivalent of SerializeField) and dragging the Node to the exposed property. It is also possible to search a Node by its name.

Fetching the NodePath via a String Name

Simply use the GetNode function. If this is all you’re after, you can skip the next section and move directly to the Type Conversion section.

var spriteNodePath = GetNode("MySprite");

However, we want to get the Node using an Editor Property.

Fetching NodePath via Editor Property

In this example, I have a CharacterCamera class, and I am trying to get the reference of my player character Node (a KinematicBody) so that I can move the camera based on the character’s position.

public class CharacterCamera : Camera
[Export] private NodePath _characterNodePath = null;

Build your solution. Then in the Editor, select the Node which carries the above script. Click the “Assign…” button on the exposed property, which is called “Character Node Path”.

This will bring up a “Select a Node” window. Click on the Node which you want to assign to the exposed property. In our case, it’s called “character”.

And now the Inspect should look like the following image.

Type Conversion

Now, we have the NodePath of our character Node, but we want to get the type we need. In this case, our node is a KinematicBody. The following code snippet shows how to accomplish that. There are other ways to make the conversion. Please refer to the documentation for more information.

private KinematicBody _characterKinematicBody = default;

public override void _Ready()
_characterKinematicBody = GetNodeOrNull<KinematicBody>(_characterNodePath);

And that's it; now we can use the _characterKinematicBody variable to get the character position.

Find Reference of an Attached Script

Continuing the example, next, we can get the reference of a CharacterController script attached to the KinematicBody. The as operator will make the conversion or return null if it can’t find the specified script.

public override void _Ready()
_characterController = GetNodeOrNull<CharacterController>(_characterNodePath);




Raheel Yawar

I am a Game Engineer. I write about programming, game development and ML/AI.