I'm creating a C++ script and I want to get a reference to a component instance.

For example, imagine that I want to get the player camera, which is a UCameraComponent. I would create a UPROPERTY like this:

 UPROPERTY(EditAnywhere, meta = (AllowPrivateAccess = "true"))
 class UCameraComponent* PlayerCamera;

However, I can't assign it in the editor details panel like I would in Unity. I would expect to be able to drag and drop a Component from an Actor on the World Outline to this property but it seems that's not possible. Moreover, when clicking on the dropdown in the details panel, I don't have any available to choose from.

Editor details for component reference

From what I learned, it just isn't possible to do it this way and the Unreal way is to create a UPROPERTY to store a reference to the Actor and then get the component in runtime. Although this might work for most cases, it's still a bit memory inefficient since you might not need the Actor reference after getting the Component (yes, I know it's just a pointer, but still...). Plus, how would you handle multiple components of the same class in the same actor? I assume you have to loop over them and try to find the one you want, based on a priori knowledge of their order in the hierarchy or based on some of their known properties (maybe with tags)...

Editor details for actor reference

All of this seems kind of messy, so I ask you to please shed some light on what's the (best) Unreal workflow for setting component references.


2 Answers 2


To do this in Unreal C++, inside the CPP file you need to do the following:

Make sure to include the header component:

#include "Camera/CameraComponent.h"

Then in the class constructor:

CameraComponent = CreateDefaultSubobject <UCameraComponent>("CameraComponent");

From here you need to set up the attachment which is usually to the mesh if it's a character but can be attached to anything.



I come from Unity as well. The best I've come up with so far is to assign the variable in the construction script of the blueprint.


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