Corona SDK and other Game Development Tutorials

Creating a Horizontal Scrolling Background

In today’s post, we will explain how to create a horizontal scrolling background in Corona SDK. This is a great and easy way to make your game more interesting. So let’s get started!

Our first step is to add the images to our game. We do that by using Corona’s display.newImageRect to add 3 background images to the game.


Here’s the code.

-- Add First Background
local bg1 = display.newImageRect("images/bg1.png", 482, 320)
bg1.x = -50; bg1.y = _H/2;

-- Add Second Background
local bg2 = display.newImageRect("images/bg2.png", 480, 320)
bg2.x = 430; bg2.y = _H/2;

-- Add Third Background
local bg3 = display.newImageRect("images/bg1.png", 480, 320)
bg3.x = 910; bg3.y = _H/2;

In the first line of every background, we add the background to the game with display.newImageRect. The next line sets the Reference Point. In this case, we are setting the Reference Point to be the Center Left point. This means that when we position the graphic, the Center Left point will be used for the positioning. Finally, we set the x an y values of the background image.

Next, we’ll actually make the backgrounds move. We’ll use a Runtime listener to make our background move with Corona SDK.

local function move(event)

    -- move backgrounds to the left by scrollSpeed, default is 8
    bg1.x = bg1.x - scrollSpeed
    bg2.x = bg2.x - scrollSpeed
    bg3.x = bg3.x - scrollSpeed

    -- Set up listeners so when backgrounds hits a certain point off the screen,
    -- move the background to the right off screen
    if (bg1.x + bg1.contentWidth) < -480 then
        bg1:translate( 480*3, 0 )
    if (bg2.x + bg2.contentWidth) < -480 then
            bg2:translate( 480*3, 0 )
    if (bg3.x + bg3.contentWidth) < -480 then
            bg3:translate( 480*3, 0 )

-- Create a runtime event to move backgrounds
Runtime:addEventListener( "enterFrame", move )

This isn’t as complicated as it looks. Before we used the code above, we position our backgrounds by placing bg1 on the center of the screen, bg2 to the right of bg1 and bg3 to the right of bg1. When we utilize the Runtime listener, we move all backgrounds to the left according to the scroll speed. (This variable was initialized before the backgrounds and you can download the full source below).

When bg1, bg2 or bg3 hits a certain point (-480), the Runtime listener will move that background to the right of the screen. This is essentially resetting the position of the image. Once it’s reset, the background continues to move left. The effect is a horizontally scrolling background with Corona SDK!

As always, you can download the full source code below! If you have questions or comments, please leave them below!

Download Source Code

  1. Hi
    very useful, thanks you

    Could you please show me how to scroll vertical?

    thanks you

  2. very helpful! thnx panda :))
    anyways, why did u choose bg1.x = -50 ?? why -50 ??
    is there a principle behind this?? or just a Trial and Error thingy XD

    • Hello, I set the x position of bg1 just to start off the scrolling backgrounds. It was a little bit of trial and error to get it placed just right.

Leave a Reply