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Creating a Physics Based Character Controller in Unity


The exercise here demonstrates implementing a customized physics controller in Unity.

For moving a 3D object, the required data is as followed.

  • Direction
  • Velocity
  • Gravity

The direction input shall give left or right signal for movement. The velocity input shall accelerate the movement at a certain speed. The gravity input shall mimic real world physics.

So, create a C# script component on the player object and add the following code.

First of all, a proper handle to the character controller object is required and therefore use the Start method to get the handle.

private CharacterController _characterController;void Start()
_characterController = GetComponent<CharacterController>();
  1. Direction
  • In the Update method, create a private variable for holding the horizontal axis value.
float _horizontalInput = Input.GetAxis("Horizontal");
  • Create a vector3 variable named direction to use the input received from the user.
Vector3 _direction = new Vector3(_horizontalInput, 0, 0);

2. Velocity

  • Create a private speed variable with a value as per choice.
private int _speed = 5;
  • In the Update method, create a vector3 variable for calculating the velocity.
Vector3 _velocity = _direction * _speed;

3. Gravity

  • Create a private gravity variable with a value as per choice.
private int _gravity = 1;
  • In the Update method, check for the bool value to see whether the player is grounded or in the air.
  • If grounded, there can be another act done. If in the air, the velocity vector’s Y value shall be reduced.
if (_characterController.isGrounded == true)

_velocity.y -= _gravity;

Finally, use all the results to make the player move using the character controller.

_characterController.Move(_velocity * Time.deltaTime);

That should be it :)

Here is the final result.



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