Playing music or sounds is an essential part of any game. GDevelop provides you with several conditions and actions to play audio files.

Playing a sound or a music file

Before a sound/music can be played, you have to first ensure that the player interacted with your game (a simple click/touch on the screen is ok to unlock audio). This is a limitation of browsers and can not be worked around. In your final game, it's recommended to have on your first scene a “Press any key or touch the screen to continue” message.

The easiest way to play an audio file is to use the action “Play a sound” or “Play a music file”. Choose the file to be played for the first parameter of both actions.

The difference between a sound and music is that music files are usually longer and larger audio files. Sounds are generally only a few seconds long. The audio file formats recommended for GDevelop are:

  • wav for sounds
  • mp3 for music.

If you distribute your game on the web, some browsers also support other file formats, for example ogg. ogg is a superior alternative to mp3 for music. Unfortunately, it's not supported by all browsers. See more information on Wikipedia.

When you choose an audio file, it is added to the resources of the game, to be loaded during game startup. In an effort to minimize your game's size, be sure to remove audio files that are no longer in use by your game actions.

Keep music and sounds playing between scenes

By default, sounds and music are stopped when a new scene is started. If you want to keep them playing, open the properties of the scene (right-click on the scene, in the scene editor) and uncheck the checkbox:

Using channels

When using “Play a sound” or “Play a music file” action, audio files are played immediately. On completion, they are removed from memory. Looping is an exception. When you set the action to loop the audio file, it will be played forever (Endless Loop). You must use an action to stop all sounds and/or music.

If you want more control over sounds, use the action “Play a sound on a channel” or “Play a music file on a channel”. The action is used in the same way, except that you have to enter a channel number. This channel number can then be reused in other actions or conditions. A “channel number” can be used to check to see if a sound is being played on a channel, or it can be used to modify some properties of the music being played. For example, you could use a “channel number” to update the music volume dynamically according to the presence of enemies around the player.


Sounds and music are by default played with a volume of 100%, which is the maximum. When starting a new sound/music, you can enter a different value (between 0 and 100).

You can also use the action “Game global volume” to change the audio volume of the whole game. A value of 0 means that no sounds and or music can be heard. This action is convenient when allowing the player to mute or change the game's volume. For instance, you might have a settings screen in your game that accesses the volume control for the game. Mobile games usually have a button to mute the sounds of the game too.

Performance considerations

The first time music or sound is played, there can be a lag while the audio file is being prepared. If it's important for you to avoid any lag, you can play the audio or music file at the beginning of the scene where it's used. Set the initial volume 0. This will force the game to load the sound or music. The audio will be cached in memory. It will quickly load when called using your action.

More about the state of a sound/music

When you use the action to play a sound or music on a channel, it's put in the state “playing”, even if still loading in memory.

The condition “A sound is being played” (on this channel) is then true, while “A sound is stopped” (on this channel) will be false, as well as “A sound is paused” (on this channel again). When the sound is fully loaded, it will start to be really played on your device (so you will hear the audio).

The sound will be stopped when:

  • It reaches its end and is not configured to loop.
  • There is an error during the loading (in which case it will be considered as playing for a few milliseconds, then will be considered as stopped as it was unable to load).
  • Or you used the action to stop a sound or music on the channel.