I'm building a tank in my game and I was hoping to have moving wheels with rotation and shocks. I can get the wheels to bounce and rotate but they do not actually propel the car forward.

Should I not be trying to apply a force to the wheels and instead just show the wheel rotating as I apply a force to the body of the tank?

EDIT: ALRIGHT! I did it! I rigged the tank! But the question still remains, is vehicle movement with spinning wheels usually just an animation with a force applied to the car or is it not ridiculous to apply a force to the wheels?


1 Answer 1


It depends on the design of the game. And the time that you have to implement your simulation.

If you need a realistic simulation, you'll want to model the wheels, the engine, the weight, the feedback forces, etc. along with their interaction. This is more complex. And requires much more time to tweak all the parts.

If you're looking for a more simple looking simulation, you can simply use the rigid body for the whole vehicle and compute the wheels movement out of it. This is more simple.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Will it significantly impact the game if i go the first route? I'm planning to have multiple tanks loaded in each level. \$\endgroup\$
    – user393454
    Aug 1, 2017 at 19:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user393454 "impact the game" in what way? From my experience, rigid body simulation is not what takes up the most CPU resources. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vaillancourt
    Aug 1, 2017 at 19:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ I just don't want to build a realistic simulation and not have a playable game. I guess I'll just have to find out from experience. \$\endgroup\$
    – user393454
    Aug 1, 2017 at 19:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user393454 I suggest you start with what you have now, and profile your game once in a while to see if it becomes a bottleneck. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vaillancourt
    Aug 1, 2017 at 19:55

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