Create a physics explosion effect in Phaser

In this tutorial, we will create an explosion effect in phaser game engine. We are not making any particle effects or any visual fx here. Instead, we are going to create a nice physics explosion effect which can be used along with your existing particle effects.

Before we begin, let us look what we are going to create. In the below screen, you can see some dot like things in the center. I call it dust or debris. Tap anywhere to initiate an explosion at that position.

How to do it?

Well, it is nothing more than phaser arcade physics working behind the scenes. We just take the tap position and find the angle. Then from that angle we can calculate the repel velocity for each one of the debris.

Algorithm to do this will be like,

  1. When tapped, loop through all the objects.
  2. Subtract object position from tapped position to get the direction vector.
  3. Get the angle of that vector using atan2.
  4. Calculate the velocity from the angle.

Phaser already has a method to find the angle so we can merge the steps 2 and 3.

Real Code

Full commented code for the above scene is,

        <title>Explosion effect</title>
                width: 100%;
                height: 100%;
        <div id="container"></div>
        <script src="phaser.min.js"></script>
            var crateGroup,dustGroup;
            var force = 500;
            var game = new Phaser.Game(480,480,Phaser.AUTO,'container',{
            function preload(){
            function create(){
                //Expand our world bounds so that our camera can move
      , -20, game.width+40, game.height+40);
       = 2; //Set our camera slightly moved into the game, so when shaking no black borders appear
       = 2;
                var bg = game.add.sprite(240,240,"bg");
                bg.scale.setTo(1.1); //Scale the bg to overflow the game world, so when shaking the camera, no black borders are appeared
                crateGroup =; //Create a group for crates
                crateGroup.enableBody = true;
                crateGroup.physicsBodyType = Phaser.Physics.ARCADE;
                //Add all crates to the crate group
                crateGroup.setAll('body.immovable', true); //Set all crates to not movable
                dustGroup =; //Create group for dust 
                dustGroup.enableBody = true;
                dustGroup.physicsBodyType = Phaser.Physics.ARCADE;
                //Create dust objects
                for(var i=0;i<50;i++){
                    var dust = dustGroup.create(240+game.rnd.integerInRange(-20,20),240+game.rnd.integerInRange(-20,20),'dust');
                    dust.scale.setTo(game.rnd.frac()); //Randomize the scale
                    dust.body.mass = dust.scale.x; //Set mass according to the scale
                    dust.body.drag = new Phaser.Point(100*dust.body.mass,100*dust.body.mass); //We set the drag according to the mass of the body
                dustGroup.setAll('body.bounce', new Phaser.Point(0.1,0.1)); //Set the bounciness of all dusts
                game.input.onTap.add(onTap, this);
            function onTap(pointer,doubleTap){
                for(var i=0;i<dustGroup.children.length;i++){
                    var dust = dustGroup.children[i];
                    var angle = new Phaser.Point(pointer.x,pointer.y).angle(dust); //Find the angle between tap position and the dust
                    //Set the velocity to the angle multiplied by force and the mass
                    //We can also check the distance and multiply with that factor, so near objects have greater velocity
                    //and farther objects have lower velocity
                //Additional logic for moving the crates can be applied here if required..
                //For screen shake
                var t = game.time.create(true)
            function resetCam(){
                //Reset camera after shake
       = 2;
       = 2;
            function shake(){
                var min = -2;
                var max = 2;
       Math.floor(Math.random() * (max - min + 1)) + min;
       Math.floor(Math.random() * (max - min + 1)) + min;
            function update(){
                game.physics.arcade.collide(dustGroup,crateGroup);//Collide dust and crates		

Thanks for reading. Now create some nice explosion effects in your game.