A library to traverse and query the Unity scene to find particular objects, uses something similar to CSS selectors to identify game objects.
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Example Unity Project
dlls Upgraded UnityEngine.dll to Unity 5.3.4f1. Jul 27, 2016
packages Removed the dependency on RSG.Toolkit. Aug 8, 2016
Unity-Scene-Query.sln Updated tests and build configuration. Feb 10, 2015


Unity Scene Query


A library to traverse and query the Unity scene to find particular game objects.

A query language is used to identify game objects, it looks something similar to CSS selectors.

For in depth coverage please read the article on What Could Possibly Go Wrong.


This repo contains some examples.

More examples of scene traversal: https://github.com/Real-Serious-Games/Unity-Scene-Traversal-Examples.

More examples of scene query: https://github.com/Real-Serious-Games/Unity-Scene-Query-Examples.

Setup in Unity

Include the DLL or source code in your Unity project.

Include the namespace in your code:

using RSG.Scene.Query;

Instantiate SceneTraversal and/or SceneQuery depending on what you want to use:

var sceneTraversal = new SceneTraversal();

var sceneQuery = new SceneQuery();

Scene Traversal

Enumerate root objects in the hierarchy:

foreach (var gameObject in sceneTraversal.RootNodes())
	// ...

Enumerate all objects using a pre-order tree traveral:

foreach (var gameObject in sceneTraversal.PreOrderHierarchy())
	// ...

There are also functions for bread-first (BreadthFirst), post-order (PostOrderHierarchy) and just leaf nodes (HierarchyLeafNodes).

Enumerate children of a particular game object:

GameObject someGameObject = ...
foreach (var childGameObject in sceneTraversal.Children(someGameObject)) 
	// ..

Enumerate all descendents (children, grand-children, etc) of a particular game object:

GameObject someGameObject = ...
foreach (var descendentGameObject in sceneTraversal.Descendents(someGameObject)) 
	// ..

Enumerate all ancestors (parent, grand-parent, etc) of a particular game object:

GameObject someGameObject = ...
foreach (var ancestorGameObject in sceneTraversal.Ancestors(someGameObject)) 
	// ..

Game Object Selectors

The query language allows you to identify the game objects to find.

If you are a language nerd please see the EBNF(-ish) grammar at the of the readme, otherwise I'll try and explain it in simpler terms here.

Game object(s) can be queried by name simply by specifying the name, for example to query for all objects named pickup-truck use:


Note that the queries are case-insensitive.

A question mark activates the regular expression matching. You can use this to for partial name matching, for example to query for all objects that contain truck:


The question mark is much more powerful than just partial name matching. It can match using the full power of .NET regular expressions. For example to patch all game objects whose names start with pickup and end in truck (with anything in between):


A leading slash matches objects that are at the root of the hierarchy, for example to query for a game object pickup-truck that is a root object:


Slashes can also be used, like a file-system path, to specify a path through the Unity hierarchy to particular game object(s), for instance to find all game objects named pickup-truck that are under active which is under vehicles:


The greater-than symbol can be used in place of slashes to find particular game object(s) that are nested somewhere under other game objects, for example to find game objects named pickup-truck anywhere in the hierarchy under objects called vehicles:


We can query for game object(s) by Unity layer or tag by placing a fullstop before the layer/tag name:


Layers and tags can be combined for a more restrictive query:


The game object name can be also be combined with layers and tags for an even more restrictive query:


An exclamation mark can be added to invert the query, for example this will query for anything that is not a vehicle:


A hash character can be used to query for a single object by unique-id, this could be more useful but Unity game object IDs seem to change arbitrarily when you aren't expecting it:


Note that only a single name, partial name or id can be used in any compound selector. The following is illegal:

pickup-truck sports-coupe

However name/id can be combined with tags and layers as previously illustrated.

Multiple names can be used with the slash or greater-than operators so these will denote a parent-child relation between different objects.

Query for Single Game Object

SelectOne returns the first game object that matches your specified selector.

Example of getting a game object by name:

var myTruck = sceneQuery.SelectOne("pickup-truck");
if (myTruck != null) 
	// found it!

Query for Multiple Game Objects

SelectAll is used to enumerate the collection of game objects that matches your specified selector.

Example of getting a game object by name and layers:

var myTrucks = sceneQuery.SelectAll("pickup-truck.vehicle.driveable");
foreach (var truck in myTrucks)
	// got a truck!


The grammar for the query language specified in EBNF(-ish) format.

   = descendents_selector

   = ['/'] compound_selector { ('/' | '>') compound_selector }

   = selector { selector }

   = '.' matcher            -> Match by layer or tag.
   | UNIQUE_ID              -> Match by unique id.
   | '!' selector           -> Invert query and matching everything except...
   |  matcher               -> Match a game object.

   = name                   -> Match exact name.
   | '?' name               -> Match partial name/regular expression.

   = character_sequence
   | quoted_character_sequence

   = '"' character_sequence_with_spaces '"'

   = '#' character_sequence

Road map

  • Operators for AND and OR.
  • Possibly need parenthesis to resolve precedence.