I am making a simple game in Phaser (but the library doesn't really matter).

I have an enemy that is moving towards the player on a 2 dimensional grid. I have written some code that makes the enemy move towards the player:

    var playerX = getPlayerX(); // a number
    var playerY = getPlayerY(); // a number 

    // if the enemy X or Y coordinate is smaller or larger than the players,
    // increase or decrease the enemy X or Y to move closer. 
    var newX = enemy.x > playerX ? enemy.x - 0.2 : enemy.x + 0.2;
    var newY = enemy.y > playerY ? enemy.y - 0.2 : enemy.y + 0.2;
    enemy.setPosition(newX, newY);

I expected this code to move the enemy towards the player in the shortest route possible. However, I get the following situation:

enter image description here

The green route is what I expected the enemy to take. In reality, the enemy follows the red line: first it goes down in a 45 degree angle, before going towards the player in a straight horizontal line. I'm at a loss how to make my enemies move along the green line.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the wonderful world of vectors. The library actually does matter here, because Phaser already has a vector class which is probably going to make this a lot easier.But I never used Phaser before, so I will leave the answer to this question to someone more familiar with the library. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philipp
    Sep 19, 2022 at 8:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks Philipp, this helps me out a bit already. I'm a backend developer with zero experience in game development, so I got my homework cut out for me. \$\endgroup\$
    – yesman
    Sep 19, 2022 at 8:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks @Philipp, it took some reading but I figured it out. It's literally 2 lines of code in the Phaser library! \$\endgroup\$
    – yesman
    Sep 19, 2022 at 17:38
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ When you figured it out, then please post an answer to your own question so others can benefit from your knowledge. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philipp
    Sep 20, 2022 at 6:47

1 Answer 1


Your code makes him move vertical and horizontal if needed.

He moves the same speed both vertical and horizontal, that's why you only get a 45 degree angle.

He moves like this until there is no need to move vertical, and he only moves horizontal the last bit.

To solve this you need first to calculate deltaX = enemy.x - playerX and deltaY between the two points, and move the portion of distance in each direction, and he will move directly from A to B.

You'll need to know the distance to set constant speed. Find it with theDistance = Math.sqrt(dX*dX+dY*dY) with the squareroot-method.

I suggest unifying the direction by dividing deltaX/theDistance over the distance to get your direction, then you can just multiply this with the speed you want on the enemy.


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