Initial release February 29, 2008 (2008-02-29)
Stable release
0.6.3[1] / April 26, 2015 (2015-04-26)
Written in Python
Platform Cross-platform
License MIT License

Cocos2d is an open source software framework. It can be used to build games, apps and other cross platform GUI based interactive programs. Cocos2d contains many branches with the best known being Cocos2d-objc, Cocos2d-x, Cocos2d-html5 and Cocos2d-XNA. There are some independent editors in the cocos2d community, such as those contributing in the areas of SpriteSheet editing, particle editing, font editing and Tilemap editing as well as world editors including SpriteBuilder and CocoStudio.

Initial release June 25, 2008 (2008-06-25)
Stable release
3.4.9[2] / August 27, 2015 (2015-08-27)
Written in Objective-C
Platform Cross-platform
License MIT License
Initial release November 29, 2010 (2010-11-29)
Stable release
3.9[3] / November 16, 2015 (2015-11-16)
Written in C++
Platform Cross-platform
License MIT License

Sprites and scenes

All versions of Cocos2d work using the basic primitive known as a sprite. A sprite can be thought of a simple 2D image, but can also be a container for other sprites. In Cocos2D, sprites are arranged together to form a scene, like a game level or a menu. Sprites can be manipulated in code based on events or actions or as part of animations. The sprites can be moved, rotated, scaled, have their image changed, etc.


Cocos2D provides basic animation primitives that can work on sprites using a set of actions and timers. They can be chained and composed together to form more complex animations. Most Cocos2D implementations let you manipulate the size, scale, position, and other effects of the sprite. Some versions of Cocos2D let you also animate particle effects, image filtering effects via shaders (warp, ripple, etc.).


Cocos2D provides primitives to representing common GUI elements in your game scene. This includes things like text boxes, labels, menus, buttons, and other common elements.

Physics system

Many Cocos2D implementations come with support for common 2D physics engines like Box2D and Chipmunk.


Various versions of Cocos2D have audio libraries that wrap OpenAL or other libraries to provide full audio capabilities. Features are dependent on the implementation of Cocos2D.

Scripting support

Support binding to JavaScript, Lua, and other engines exist for Cocos2D. For example, Cocos2d JavaScript Binding (JSB) for C/C++/Objective-C is the wrapper code that sits between native code and JavaScript code using Mozilla's SpiderMonkey. With JSB, you can accelerate your development process by writing your game using easy and flexible JavaScript.

Editor support

Supported platforms and languages

Branch Target Platform API Language
Cocos2d Windows, OS X, Linux Python 2.6, 2.7 or 3.3+,Objective-C
Cocos2d-x iOS, Android, Tizen, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Linux, Mac OS X C++, Lua, JavaScript
Cocos2d-ObjC iOS, Mac OS X, Android Objective-C, Swift
Cocos2d-html5 HTML5-ready browsers JavaScript
Cocos2d-xna Windows Phone 7 & 8, Windows 7 & 8, Xbox 360 C#

History and branches

February 2008, in a town called "Los Cocos" near Córdoba in Argentina, Ricardo Quesada, a game developer, created a 2D game engine with several of his developer friends. They named it "Los Cocos" after its birthplace. A month later, the group released the version 0.1 and changed its name to "Cocos2d".

Shortly after, AppStore was officially founded and Apple released related SDK, a big number of developers were attracted and various apps and games got on iOS platform. In this year, Ricardo rewrote Cocos2d in Objective-C and released "Cocos2d for iPhone" v0.1, and that's the predecessor of the later Cocos2d family.

Cocos2d has been ported into various programming languages and to all kinds of platforms. Among them there were:

Also, the well-known designer from England Michael Heald designed a new logo for Cocos2d as shown (before it was a running coconut).

At the same time, Cocos2d developers accomplished the earliest peripheral tools - Zwoptex and Particle Designer. The latter allows developers to get the effect that used to cost them two hours within 15 minutes.

November 2010, a developer from China named Zhe Wang branched Cocos2d-x based on Cocos2d. Cocos2d-x is also an open source engine under MIT License, and it allows for compiling and running on multiple platform with one code base.

In 2013, Ricardo Quesada left cocos2d-iPhone and joined in cocos2d-x team. In 2015, there are 4 cocos2d branches being actively maintained.

See also


Further reading

External links

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