Raycast Detection

Raycast detection is a intersection determination of one ray and another shape, as shown in the figure below.


Construct Rays

A ray consists of a starting point and a direction. There are several more common ways to construct a ray, as follows:

  1. via the constructor of start + direction, ray or the static interface create.

     import { geometry } from 'cc';
     // Construct a ray starting from (0, -1, 0) and pointing to the Y-axis
     // the first three arguments are the starting point, the last three arguments are the direction
     const outRay = new geometry.Ray(0, -1, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0);
     // or by static method 'create'
     const outRay2 = geometry.Ray.create(0, -1, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0);
  2. via the static interface fromPoints of start point + another point on ray, ray:

     import { geometry, math } from "cc";
     // Construct a ray that points to the Z-axis from the origin
     const outRay = new geometry.Ray();
     geometry.Ray.fromPoints(outRay, math.Vec3.ZERO, math.Vec3.UNIT_Z);
  3. Use the camera to construct a ray emitted from the camera origin to a point on the screen.

     import { geometry, Camera } from "cc";
     // Take the example of a script mounted under Camera
     const camera = this.node.getComponent(Camera);
     // Get a ray emitted from the screen at (0, 0)
     const outRay = new geometry;
     camera?.screenPointToRay(0, 0, outRay);


    1. First you need to get a reference to a camera component or camera instance.
    2. The order of the interface parameters exposed by the camera component and the camera instance are different.

Interface Introduction

Cocos Creator provides a set of raycast detection functions based on the physics engine.

The interface is currently provided by PhysicsSystem and has the following two classes.

  • raycast : Detects all colliders and records all detected results, obtained via PhysicsSystem.instance.raycastResults. The interface returns a boolean value indicating whether if the ray intersects with any collider or not.
  • raycastClosest: detects all colliders and records the result of the detection with the shortest distance to the ray, obtained via PhysicsSystem.instance.raycastClosestResult. Also returns a boolean value same as raycast method.


  1. The detected object is a physical collider, and the corresponding collider component in the scene panel is a collider component, e.g. BoxCollider.
  2. The object returned by the detection result is read-only and reused, and the corresponding result is updated after each call to the detection interface.

Common examples of raycast detection of nearest objects based on camera position and screen coordinates.

let ray = new geometry.Ray();
this.camera.screenPointToRay(eventMouse.getLocationX(), eventMouse.getLocationY(), ray);
// The following parameters are optional
const mask = 0xffffffff;
const maxDistance = 10000000;
const queryTrigger = true;

if (PhysicsSystem.instance.raycastClosest(ray, mask, maxDistance, queryTrigger)) {
    const raycastClosestResult = PhysicsSystem.instance.raycastClosestResult;
    const hitPoint = raycastClosestResult.hitPoint
    const hitNormal = raycastClosestResult.hitNormal;
    const collider = raycastClosestResult.collider;
    const distance = raycastClosestResult;            

The following code demonstrates how multiple objects can be detected:

const worldRay = new geometry.Ray(0, -1, 0, 0, 1, 0);
// The following parameters are optional
const mask = 0xffffffff;
const maxDistance = 10000000;
const queryTrigger = true;

const bResult = PhysicsSystem.instance.raycast(worldRay, mask, maxDistance, queryTrigger);
    const results = PhysicsSystem.instance.raycastResults;

    for (let i = 0; i < results.length; i++) {
        const result = results[i];
        const collider = result.collider;
        const distance = result.distance;
        const hitPoint = result.hitPoint;
        const hitNormal = result.hitNormal;

Parameter Description

  • worldRay: the ray in the world space
  • mask: mask for filtering, you can pass in the group to be detected, default is 0xffffffff
  • maxDistance: the maximum detection distance, default is 10000000, do not pass Infinity or Number.MAX_VALUE at this time
  • queryTrigger: whether to detect the trigger

Result Description

The result of the ray detection is stored by PhysicsRayResult, mainly with the following information.

  • collider: the collider that hit
  • distance: the distance between the hit point and the start of the ray
  • hitPoint: the hit point (in the world coordinate)
  • hitNormal: the normal of the face where the hit point is located (in the world coordinate)

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