Bevy Version:0.14(upcoming / release candidate)

Events

Relevant official examples: event.


Send data between systems! Let your systems communicate with each other!

Like resources or components, events are simple Rust structs or enums. When creating a new event type, derive the Event trait.

Then, any system can send (broadcast) values of that type, and any system can receive those events.

Every reader tracks the events it has read independently, so you can handle the same events from multiple systems.

#[derive(Event)]
struct LevelUpEvent(Entity);

fn player_level_up(
    mut ev_levelup: EventWriter<LevelUpEvent>,
    query: Query<(Entity, &PlayerXp)>,
) {
    for (entity, xp) in query.iter() {
        if xp.0 > 1000 {
            ev_levelup.send(LevelUpEvent(entity));
        }
    }
}

fn debug_levelups(
    mut ev_levelup: EventReader<LevelUpEvent>,
) {
    for ev in ev_levelup.read() {
        eprintln!("Entity {:?} leveled up!", ev.0);
    }
}

You need to register your custom event types via the app builder:

app.add_event::<LevelUpEvent>();

Usage Advice

Events should be your go-to data flow tool. As events can be sent from any system and received by multiple systems, they are extremely versatile.

Events can be a very useful layer of abstraction. They allow you to decouple things, so you can separate different functionality and more easily reason about which system is responsible for what.

You can imagine how, even in the simple "player level up" example shown above, using events would allow us to easily extend our hypothetical game with more functionality. If we wanted to display a fancy level-up effect or animation, update UI, or anything else, we can just add more systems that read the events and do their respective things. If the player_level_up system had simply checked the player XP and managed the player level directly, without going via events, it would be unwieldy for future development of the game.

How it all works

When you register an event type, Bevy will create an Events<T> resource, which acts as the backing storage for the event queue. Bevy also adds an "event maintenance" system to clear events periodically, preventing them from accumulating and using up memory.

Bevy ensures that events are kept around for at least two frame update cycles, or two fixed timestep cycles, whichever is longer. After that, they are silently dropped. This gives your systems enough opportunity to handle them, assuming your systems are running all the time. Beware when adding run conditions to your systems, as you might miss some events when your systems are not running!

If you don't like this, you can have manual control over when events are cleared (at the risk of leaking / wasting memory if you forget to clear them).

The EventWriter<T> system parameter is just syntax sugar for mutably accessing the Events<T> resource to add events to the queue. The EventReader<T> is a little more complex: it accesses the events storage immutably, but also stores an integer counter to keep track of how many events you have read. This is why it also needs the mut keyword.

Events<T> itself is internally implemented using simple Vecs. Sending events is equivalent to just pushing to a Vec. It is very fast, low overhead. Events are often the most performant way to implement things in Bevy, better than using change detection.

Possible Pitfalls

Beware of frame delay / 1-frame-lag. This can occur if Bevy runs the receiving system before the sending system. The receiving system will only get a chance to receive the events the next time it runs. If you need to ensure that events are handled on the same frame, you can use explicit system ordering.

If your systems have run conditions, beware that they might miss some events when they are not running! If your system does not check for events at least once every other frame or fixed timestep, the events will be lost.

If you want events to persist for longer than that, you can implement a custom cleanup/management strategy. However, you can only do this for your own event types. There is no solution for Bevy's built-in types.