Code Quality Rank: L2
Programming language: C++
License: MIT License
Tags: Physics    
Latest version: v2.4.1

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Build Status

Build Status


Box2D is a 2D physics engine for games.


Please do not submit pull requests with new features or core library changes. Instead, please file an issue first for discussion. For bugs, I prefer detailed bug reports over pull requests.



  • Continuous collision detection
  • Contact callbacks: begin, end, pre-solve, post-solve
  • Convex polygons and circles
  • Multiple shapes per body
  • One-shot contact manifolds
  • Dynamic tree broadphase
  • Efficient pair management
  • Fast broadphase AABB queries
  • Collision groups and categories


  • Continuous physics with time of impact solver
  • Persistent body-joint-contact graph
  • Island solution and sleep management
  • Contact, friction, and restitution
  • Stable stacking with a linear-time solver
  • Revolute, prismatic, distance, pulley, gear, mouse joint, and other joint types
  • Joint limits, motors, and friction
  • Momentum decoupled position correction
  • Fairly accurate reaction forces/impulses


  • Small block and stack allocators
  • Centralized tuning parameters
  • Highly portable C++ with no use of STL containers


  • OpenGL with GLFW
  • Graphical user interface with imgui
  • Extensible test framework
  • Support for loading world dumps


  • Install CMake
  • Ensure CMake is in the user PATH
  • Visual Studio: run build.bat from the command prompt
  • Otherwise: run build.sh from a bash shell
  • Results are in the build sub-folder
  • On Windows you can open box2d.sln

Building Box2D - Using vcpkg

You can download and install Box2D using the vcpkg dependency manager:

The Box2D port in vcpkg is kept up to date by Microsoft team members and community contributors. If the version is out of date, please create an issue or pull request on the vcpkg repository.

Note: vcpkg support is not provided by the Box2D project

Building for Xcode

  • Install CMake
  • Add Cmake to the path in .zprofile (the default Terminal shell is zsh)
    • export PATH="/Applications/CMake.app/Contents/bin:$PATH"
  • mkdir build
  • cd build
  • cmake -G Xcode ..
  • open box2d.xcodeproj
  • Select the testbed scheme
  • Edit the scheme to set a custom working directory, make this be in box2d/testbed
  • You can now build and run the testbed

Installing using CMake

You can build and install the library and docs using this command sequence (requires Doxygen):

mkdir build
cd build
cmake --build .
cmake --build . --target INSTALL

On Windows this tries to install in Program Files and thus requires admin privileges. Alternatively you can target another directory using something like this:

mkdir build
cd build
cmake --build .
cmake --build . --target INSTALL



Box2D is developed by Erin Catto, and uses the MIT license.


Support development of Box2D through Github Sponsors

*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the Box2D README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.