My name is Composite Task Decorator. You killed my father. Prepare to die!

Before getting hands on, we'll first overview how a standard Behavior Tree system works and then we'll break down each node one by node and explain what they do.

Behavior Trees

A Behavior Tree is a tree-like structure that is executed from top to bottom, left to right. Each node can in one (and only one) of the follow states:

  • Ready: The Node is yet to be executed. This is the default state

  • Running: The Node is being executed

  • Success: The Node has been executed and has successfully finished

  • Failure: The Node has been executed but has failed

A common misconception is that a Failed state is due to an error, which is not true. A Fail state could be due to a character not being able to see the Player and moving on to checking another condition.

The example from above shows a very simple Behavior Tree that outputs a message if it sees the player. Otherwise, it just waits 5 seconds.

Notice that the Selector children have a number above their connection. This number indicates who's going to be executed first. In the previous example, the Task will be executed before Task 2.

To change the order in which two nodes are executed, simply drag the highest priority one on the left side and the order will be automatically updated.

In a Behavior Tree there are 3 types of nodes:

  • Tasks: Which do one single action and return success or failure

  • Composites: Which branch the execution of Tasks or other Composites

  • Decorators: Which manage the state of lower nodes.

Our implementation includes a couple more: The Entry node and a node that executes another Behavior Graph.

Types of Nodes

There are 5 types of nodes which can be used in a Behavior Graph.

Users who have no prior experience with Behavior Trees might find it a bit daunting all these concepts. In that case, just know that the most used ones are Composites (Selectors and Sequences) and Tasks.

IMPORTANT! A Behavior Graph does not have access to Scene objects and thus, can't directly reference them. Use the Blackboard to communicate input data from the scene to the Behavior Graph.

EVEN MORE IMPORTANT! The Invoker property in a Behavior Graph always references the scene object that is executing the Behavior.

Example: if you want to make a Guard follow the Player when he sees it, use the Follow Character Action with the Character property set as Invoker and the Target as the Player.

Root / Entry

This node marks the beginning where the Behavior Graph will start executing. There can only be one per Behavior Graph. It does nothing more than start executing what's below it and returns the state of the executed node.


A Task node executes zero or more Conditions. If these Conditions are met, it will execute zero or more Actions (which will return a state of Running) and will finish with a Successful state. If these Conditions did not succeed, the Task will return Failure.


Composite Nodes are the most complex ones. There are different subtypes of Composites, but they all have in common that there are multiple branches hanging and them.


Selector Composites tries executing the left-most child. If it's successful, the Composite returns Success. Otherwise, tries to execute the next node. If all children return failure, then the Composite also returns Failure.

Selector nodes can be seen as an OR of its children.


Sequence Composites start executing the left-most child. If it's successful, it tries executing the next node. If a child returns failure, the Composite stops and returns Failure. if all children have returned success, the Composite returns Success.

Sequence nodes can be seen as an AND of its children.


Parallel Composites start executing all children at the same time and its state will be Running until all its children have finished (with either success or failure). A Parallel composite will return Success if at least one child was successful. Otherwise it will return Failure.

Beware of Parallel Node conflicts. If the first child of a Parallel composite tells the a character to follow an object and a sibling tells it to move somewhere else, it is not guaranteed which one will prevail since both are executed at the same time.

Random Selector & Random Sequence

These special composites work the same way as their homologous, but the order in which its children nodes are executed is randomized every time the Composite is restarted.


Decorators are a special kind of nodes that don't do anything, but change the behavior of the Behavior Graph through the manipulation of other node states. A Decorator can only have one child.

For example, the Invert decorator will transform the output of is child and invert the result; If it was Successful, it will return Failure, and if the child returned Failure, it will return Success.

Sub-Behavior Graph

This node isn't part of the standard Behavior Tree specification (if there is one), but we felt it was really worth adding it. It allows you to execute an entire Behavior Graph as a node.

This is very useful when creating large trees or you want to share functionality between different behavior objects.

For example, let's say we have two agents: An Archer and a Guard. These two will attack the player on spot and they will do it using their own behavior (the Archer will keep the distance while the Guard will rush head on). These two behaviors might have in common that, when the player is not on sight, they wander around the scene. You can use a separate Behavior Graph asset called "Wander Behavior" and reuse it on both the Guard and Archer Behavior Graphs.

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