Actions can be chained together and can be set to repeat, or can be interrupted to change.

Actor actions are available off of Actor.actions.

Actions will not function properly if you override Actor.update() without calling the super.update()

Chaining Actions

You can chain actions to create a script because the action methods return the context, allowing you to build a queue of actions that get executed as part of an ActionQueue.

class Enemy extends ex.Actor {
  public patrol() {
    // clear existing queue
    // guard a choke point
    // move to 100, 100 and take 1.2s
    // wait for 3s
    // move back to 0, 100 and take 1.2s
    // wait for 3s
    // repeat
    this.actions.repeatForever((ctx) => {
      ctx.moveTo(100, 100, 1200).delay(3000).moveTo(0, 100, 1200).delay(3000)

Example: Follow a Path

You can use Actor.actions.moveTo to move to a specific point, allowing you to chain together actions to form a path.

This example has a Ship follow a path that it guards by spawning at the start point, moving to the end, then reversing itself and repeating that forever.

public Ship extends ex.Actor {
  public onInitialize() {
    const path = [
      new ex.Vector(20, 20),
      new ex.Vector(50, 40),
      new ex.Vector(25, 30),
      new ex.Vector(75, 80)
    // spawn at start point
    this.repeatForever(ctx => {
      this.x = path[0].x;
      this.y = path[0].y;
      // create action queue
      // forward path (skip first spawn point)
      for (let i = 1; i < path.length; i++) {
        ctx.moveTo(path[i].x, path[i].y, 300);

      // reverse path (skip last point)
      for (let i = path.length - 2; i >= 0; i--) {
        ctx.moveTo(path[i].x, path[i].y, 300);

While this is a trivial example, the Action API allows complex routines to be programmed for Actors. For example, using the Tiled Map Editor you can create a map that uses polylines to create paths, load in the JSON using a Generic Resource, create a TileMap, and spawn ships programmatically while utilizing the polylines to automatically generate the actions needed to do pathing.

Custom Actions

The API does allow you to implement new actions by implementing the Action interface, but this will be improved in future versions as right now it is meant for the Excalibur team and can be advanced to implement.

You can manually manipulate an Actor's ActionQueue using Actor.actionQueue. For example, using ActionQueue.add for custom actions.

Future Plans

The Excalibur team is working on extending and rebuilding the Action API in future versions to support multiple timelines/scripts, better eventing, and a more robust API to allow for complex and customized actions.