Positioning GameObjects

When building your games, you'll place lots of different objects in your game world.


It can be useful to focus the Scene View Camera on an object before manipulating it. Select any GameObject and press the F key. This will center the Scene View and pivot point on the selection. This is also known as Frame Selection.

Translate, Rotate, and Scale

Use the Transform Tools in the Toolbar to Translate, Rotate, and Scale individual GameObjects. Each has a corresponding Gizmo that appears around the selected GameObject in the Scene View. You can use the mouse and manipulate any Gizmo axis to alter the Transform Component of the GameObject, or you can type values directly into the number fields of the Transform Component in the Inspector. Each of the three transform modes can be selected with a hotkey - W for Translate, E for Rotate and R for Scale.

You can click and drag in the center of the Gizmo to manipulate the object on all axes at once. At the center of the Translate gizmo, there are three small squares that can be used to drag the object within a single plane (ie, two axes can be moved at once while the third is kept still). If you have a three button mouse, you can click the middle button and drag to adjust the axis that was most recently moved (the arrow for this axis will change to yellow).

With the rotation tool selected, you can change the object's rotation by clicking and dragging the axes of the wireframe sphere gizmo that appears around it. As with the translation tool, the last axis you changed will be colored yellow and can be further adjusted by clicking the middle mouse button and dragging.

The scaling tool lets you rescale the object evenly on all axes at once by clicking and dragging on the cube at the center of the gizmo. You can also scale the axes individually, but you should take care if you do this when there are child objects since the effect can look quite strange. Again, the last axis changed appears in yellow and can be adjusted by dragging with the middle mouse button.

Note that in 2D mode, the Z axis can't be changed in the scene using the gizmos. However, it is useful for certain scripting techniques to use the Z axis for other purposes; you can still set the Z axis from the inspector in such cases.

For more information on transforming GameObjects, please view the Transform Component page.

Gizmo Display Toggles

The Gizmo Display Toggles are used to define the location of any Transform Gizmo.

Gizmo Display Toggles

For Position:

For Rotation:

Unit Snapping

While dragging any Gizmo Axis using the Translate Tool, you can hold the Control key (Command on Mac) to snap to increments defined in the Snap Settings.

You can change the unit distance that is used for the unit snapping using the menu Edit->Snap Settings...

Scene View Unit Snapping settings.

Surface Snapping

While dragging in the center using the Translate Tool, you can hold Shift and Control (Command on Mac) to snap the object to the intersection of any Collider. This makes precise positioning of objects incredibly fast.

Look-At Rotation

While using the Rotate Tool, you can hold Shift and Control (Command on Mac) to rotate the object towards a point on the surface of any Collider. This makes orientation of objects relative to one another simple.

Vertex Snapping

You can assemble your worlds more easily with a feature called Vertex Snapping. This feature is a really simple but powerful tool in Unity. It lets you take any vertex from a given mesh and with your mouse place that vertex in the same position as any vertex from any other mesh you choose.

With this you can assemble your worlds really fast. For example, you could align road sections precisely in a racing game or position power up items at the vertices of a mesh.

Using vertex snapping in Unity is simple. Just follow these steps:

Page last updated: 2013-09-24