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Working with entities

An entity is some thing in your game. If that sounds vague, it's because practically anything can be an entity -- the player, the enemies, a projectile, a high score counter, or a menu item.

Entities are made up of components, which you can think of as bundles of functionality. Crafty provides several built-in components, and you can also define your own with Crafty.c().

Creating entities

You create an entity with Crafty.e(). In most cases you'll pass in a list of the components you want to start with:

var square = Crafty.e("2D, Canvas, Color");

Typically you'll need to write some more code to actually do something with the entity, but the above is all you need to create it. In fact, you don't even need to assign the entity to a variable -- just calling Crafty.e is enough, and we'll learn later how to manipulate entities without a direct reference.

Core properties and methods

There are certain properties and methods that every entity shares, even if no components have been added. You'll find these documented under Crafty Core.

Component methods

You can add and remove components to an entity after it has been created. So instead of our previous code, we could have written:

var square = Crafty.e("2D, Canvas");

If we no longer wanted our component to appear as a colored square, we could remove that component later:

square.removeComponent("Color", false)

We pass in false to removeComponent() because we want to actually remove all properties and methods associated with the component.

To learn whether an entity has a particular component, you can use the has() method. For instance, perhaps we want to check if an entity might explode:

if (e.has("Explode"))

Setting properties

A component such as 2D might interact with certain properties of an entity. You can set them directly, or use attr as a shorthand for setting several at once. So this:

square.x = 5;
square.y = 10;

is equivalent to

square.attr({x:5, y:10})


Crafty uses both global and local events for communication amongst entities and components. To create an event listener, you can use the .bind() method. Let's make our previous square switch colors in response to an event.

// Bind a function to the event
square.bind("ChangeColor", function(eventData){
        // `this` refers to the entity
// Trigger that event directly on the entity
square.trigger("ChangeColor", {color:"blue"});

In the above code, we directly trigger the effect on the entity. You can also trigger an effect globally, which means all entities will receive it. Events are often used for communication between components -- you can find information about such events in the component's documentation.

If a function should only be triggered once, you can bind with the one() method instead of bind(). To remove a bound event, use unbind().

See the section on events for more discussion of the event system.


Calling the destroy() method of an entity will destroy it.

Selecting entities

When an entity is created, it's given a unique ID. To find this id, you can call the getId() method.

If you know the id of an entity, you can get a reference to it like this:

var secondEntity = Crafty(2);

Crafty is both an object and a function. This might be familiar to you from working with jQuery. And as in jQuery, you can select multiple entities at once, typically based on what components they have:

// Select all entities with the 2D components
// select all entities with both 2D and DOM
Crafty("2D DOM");
// select entities with either DOM or Canvas
Crafty("DOM, Canvas");
// Select all entities

Once you have a selection, you can call event-related methods directly:

// Bind a function to *every* entity with the Keyboard component
Crafty("Keyboard").bind("KeyDown", function(){
    // Do something on keydown

// Explode all the things!

You can run a function in the context of every entity:

// Move every 2D entity 5 pixels to the right
Crafty("2D").each(function() {
    this.x += 5;

If you need to know how many entities are in the selection, you can check the length property.

You can use get() to either obtain an array containing every entity in the selection, or the entity at a particular index:

// Get the first Canvas entity
var first_entity = Crafty("Canvas").get(0);
// Get an array of all 2D entities
var array_of_entities = Crafty("2D").get();
// Convert to an array of ids, rather than entities
var array_of_ids = Crafty("2D").toArray();