I'm making a start on a 2d top-down game in Godot, using a TileMap and OpenSimplex Noise to generate the terrain. It works pretty well, creating decent contiguous regions of different types of terrain. So far I have been using a simple "one tile per terrain type" but now want to extend it to use AutoTiles, so that I can have it look better, however I don't know how to get the procedural generation to use more than just the first tile in the AutoTile set.

I have got it so that I can hand-draw the AutoTiles in the editor and they work, but is there a way to get a programmatically-set tile to obey the AutoTile layout? Or do I have to check all 8 surrounding tiles for every instance where this type of tile appears and set to the appropriate tile index? Surely there is a better way...?

Thanks in advance. :-)

  • \$\begingroup\$ I followed this tutorial to get autotiles in one of my hobby projects: m.youtube.com/watch?v=uV5WKocIycY It's a little old by now though, and I haven't used Godot in a while, so I'm not sure how much of it still applies. \$\endgroup\$
    – flesk
    Jan 16, 2020 at 6:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the link, but that video only sets up the basic autotiles (which I have working already), there's nothing there that actually answers my question on how to get it to do the autotiling for programmatically-added tiles. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 24, 2020 at 2:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Did you happen to get this working? I'm having a similar problem at the moment... \$\endgroup\$
    – erik
    Aug 17, 2020 at 15:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ In the end, I was finding performance issues with what I was trying to do with the tilemaps on this project (nothing to do with generation), so took it in a different direction. So, no, I didn't get it working, but I'd suggest trying some of the suggested fixes below to see if they work for you. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 18, 2020 at 22:25

3 Answers 3


This can be achieved with the update_bitmask_region() function in the TileMap class. Calling it with no parameters will update the whole tilemap, which is probably what you want.

  • \$\begingroup\$ this sounds like an engine specific version of what I suggested, if the docs are to go by. Nice that it is built in. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 8, 2020 at 11:32

There are roughly two ways of doing autotiling - either the autotiles are counted as separate tiles and are then edited/inserted "offline", with the game rendering the required pieces straight off the map, or the tiles are stored without the information and it is only calculated and stored in memory (think how Minecraft fences work - the level files only store the fact that a block is a fence, not what is connected to).

The editor likely does the autotiling which is then rendered as is in the actual game.

So you either want your autotiling happen at generation, or afterwards when the map is loaded.

It is a lot simpler for the generator to place the "dumb" tiles - that way it is not concerned about all these details, not to mention if it screws up the generation (that happens a lot) it won't look horribly out of place.

Here's more or less the step-by-step approach:

First, you generate/load/otherwise create your map with "dumb" tiles. In addition, each tile has an extra field associated with it (whether it is an extra field in a Tile struct or just an extra [x,y] array is an implementation detail and is not important). Call this field the AutoTile code. It needs at most a byte of space, technically fitting into 48 distinct values.

Afterwards, once you need to render the map, you iterate over every tile and check each of its 8 neigbours whether it should "link up" to that tile or not. It might only link up to itself (wall tiles connecting to other walls) or to any tile your game considers "solid" (like fences in Minecraft).

This is the algorithm I use in a project of mine, while it is specific to my platform/framework (C#, Windows, MonoGame), it should give the general idea:

public void DoAutoTile(int X,int Y)
            //bounds checking
            if (X >= this.Width || X < 0 || Y >= this.Height || Y < 0)
                int code = 0;

            int left, right, top, bottom, tl, tr, bl, br;
            left = GetWall(X - 1, Y);
            right = GetWall(X + 1, Y);
            top = GetWall(X, Y-1);
            bottom = GetWall(X,Y+1);

            tr = GetWall(X + 1, Y-1);
            bl = GetWall(X - 1, Y+1);
            br = GetWall(X + 1, Y+1);
        //some cases look identical, ignore these
            if (top == 0)
                tl = 0; tr = 0;
            if (bottom == 0)
                bl = 0; br = 0;
            if (right == 0)
                br = 0; tr = 0;
            if (left == 0)
                tl = 0; bl = 0;

            code = tl + top * 2 + tr * 4 + left *8 + right * 16 + bl * 32 + bottom * 64 + br * 128;
            //not part of algorithm
            Tiles[X, Y].WallAutoTileCode = code;


In my case the GetWall function returns a 0 or a 1 answering the question whether the tile at that spot is a "wall" (solid).

The AutoTileCode now uniquely refers to a sprite in a spritesheet corresponding to how the tile is supposed to look like.

For the purpose of this being a self-contained answer, I will also include the Dictionary (associative array) that maps the AutoTileCodes to offsets into a spritesheet (before multiplication by whatever actual sprite width is in pixels), the spritesheet being 10 sprites wide and 5 sprites tall (nearly optimal packing for 48 states while still being "readable").

public static Dictionary<int, Vector2> BlobIndices=new Dictionary<int, Vector2>()
            #region BlobMappings
            {0, new Vector2(5,1)},
            {2, new Vector2(0,2)},
            {8, new Vector2(3,3)},
            {10, new Vector2(6,2)},
            {11, new Vector2(3,2)},
            {16, new Vector2(1,3)},
            {18, new Vector2(4,2)},
            {22, new Vector2(1,2)},
            {24, new Vector2(2,3)},
            {26, new Vector2(5,2)},
            {27, new Vector2(6,4)},
            {30, new Vector2(5,4)},
            {31, new Vector2(2,2)},
            {64, new Vector2(0,0)},
            {66, new Vector2(0,1)},
            {72, new Vector2(6,0)},
            {74, new Vector2(6,1)},
            {75, new Vector2(5,3)},
            {80, new Vector2(4,0)},
            {82, new Vector2(4,1)},
            {86, new Vector2(6,3)},
            {88, new Vector2(5,0)},
            {90, new Vector2(8,1)},
            {91, new Vector2(8,3)},
            {94, new Vector2(9,3)},
            {95, new Vector2(8,0)},
            {104, new Vector2(3,0)},
            {106, new Vector2(7,4)},
            {107, new Vector2(3,1)},
            {120, new Vector2(4,3)},
            {122, new Vector2(8,4)},
            {123, new Vector2(7,1)},
            {126, new Vector2(3,4)},
            {127, new Vector2(7,0)},
            {208, new Vector2(1,0)},
            {210, new Vector2(4,4)},
            {214, new Vector2(1,1)},
            {216, new Vector2(7,3)},
            {218, new Vector2(9,4)},
            {219, new Vector2(2,4)},
            {222, new Vector2(9,1)},
            {223, new Vector2(9,0)},
            {248, new Vector2(2,0)},
            {250, new Vector2(8,2)},
            {251, new Vector2(7,2)},
            {254, new Vector2(9,2)},
            {255, new Vector2(2,1)}

A simple Search and Replace is likely sufficient to convert this to whatever data types your framework would prefer.

These values map to a spritesheet with this layout:

A spritesheet of a plain wall

(feel free to use this image as a placeholder or to check implementation or even in your finished game, it's very simplistic and zero effort went into it).

The last step is to tell the renderer to use this data when drawing the tiles - have it refer to the tile's AutoTileCode, consult BlobIndices (the Dictionary from earlier) for the corresponding X,Y offset, multiply to get actual pixel values if needed (or straight UVs or whatever), perhaps some other offsets if you combine multiple AutoTiles in one sheet, and render the resulting tile.

For example, the value 0 (nothing connected) will correspond to sprite [5,1] in the sheet, which is indeed an "isolated" single wall. The value 2 (only the top connected) corresponds to [0,2], which indeed looks like a wall connected to something at the top, and so on.

If you want more information on this, check out the articles on "Tile Bitmasking" (not super technically correct, but the name stuck) that got me in the right direction a while ago, and the first one even contains a version of the Dictionary I created, but with numerical indices instead).

How To Use Tile Bitmasking to Autotile Your Level Layouts

Adventures In Bitmasking - Angry Fish Game Studios

This link contains another explanation, and I think that's where the layout I am using came from originally, it also shows the simpler sets when you don't need arbitrary shapes.

Mechanic #166 - PGC: View-Tile Rulesets

This code file on one of my projects contains the autotiling code as well as rendering code, so it can be seen in action:

Map.cs on GitHub


I have the exact same question! The only thing I can find about it is in the docs for the tilemap class:


Under the description for set_tile it reads:

"Optionally, the tile can also be flipped over the X and Y coordinates, transposed, or be given autotile coordinates."

I'm not sure what it means by giving a tile autotile coordinates but maybe it's relevant?

Let me know if you ever figure it out.


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