Corona SDK and other Game Development Tutorials

Dragging an Object in Corona SDK

Welcome to another post from That’s So Panda! Today’s post will cover a topic that may seem difficult, but it’s actually really simple: dragging objects in Corona SDK. Dragging objects can be used for a lot of things in games such as shape matching games, top person shooters, puzzle games, and so much more. Before we dive into the code, let’s discuss how we will be accomplishing this.

Inside the touch event listener of an object, we set the focus on the object that is being touched and store the original x and y position of the object. Then, as the player drags their finger (or stylus) around the screen, you subtract the location of the new location from the start location of the event and add the original location. When the player is no longer touching the object, because they have removed their finger from the screen or another interruption has happened, we then remove the focus from the object.

I know this sounds like a lot, but it’s actually pretty easy! Here’s the code in action.

-- hide the status bar, shouldnt this just be on by default?

-- create a circle and put it in the center of the screen
local circle = display.newCircle( display.contentWidth*0.5,display.contentHeight*0.5, 75)
circle:setFillColor( 255 )

-- touch listener function
function circle:touch( event )
  if event.phase == "began" then
    -- first we set the focus on the object
    display.getCurrentStage():setFocus( self, )
    self.isFocus = true

    -- then we store the original x and y position
    self.markX = self.x
    self.markY = self.y

  elseif self.isFocus then

    if event.phase == "moved" then
      -- then drag our object
      self.x = event.x - event.xStart + self.markX
      self.y = event.y - event.yStart + self.markY
    elseif event.phase == "ended" or event.phase == "cancelled" then
      -- we end the movement by removing the focus from the object
      display.getCurrentStage():setFocus( self, nil )
      self.isFocus = false


-- return true so Corona knows that the touch event was handled propertly
 return true

-- finally, add an event listener to our circle to allow it to be dragged
circle:addEventListener( "touch", circle )


And that’s it to dragging objects using Corona SDK! I told you it wasn’t that bad. If you have questions or comments, please leave them below!

  1. your tutorials are really fantastic .
    I’ve serched. evrrywhere on google but I just couldn’t find anything
    ultimately I found your website .
    By the way good tutorials .
    Please add email subscribe option

  2. Thank you so much for making this easy!! I am trying to make a game for kids where they have to move letters to make words. How do I code for a specific answer? (i.e. they are supposed to make the word “car” not “tar”) I was thinking of doing if/then but am unsure how to go about it. I hope this makes sense!

  3. Thank you so much! been searching EVEVRYWHERE for some decent free corona tutorials, and finally I found yours! Keep up da good work m8!

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