Version: 2022.3
Language : English
Mobile device input

Input Manager

The Input Manager window allows you to define input axes and their associated actions for your Project. To access it, from Unity’s main menu, go to Edit > Project Settings, then select Input Manager from the navigation on the right.

The Input Manager uses the following types of controls:

  • Key refers to any key on a physical keyboard, such as W, Shift, or the space bar.
  • Button refers to any button on a physical controller (for example, gamepads), such as the X button on a remote control.
  • A virtual axis (plural: axes) is mapped to a control, such as a button or a key. When the user activates the control, the axis receives a value in the range of [–1..1]. You can use this value in your scriptsA piece of code that allows you to create your own Components, trigger game events, modify Component properties over time and respond to user input in any way you like. More info
    See in Glossary

Physical keys

The Physical keys option allows you to map key codes to the physical keyboard layout, rather than to the language-specific layout that may vary between users in different regions.

For example, on some keyboards the first row of letters reads “QWERTY”, and on others it reads “AZERTY”. This means if you scripted specific controls to use the well known “WASD” keys for movement, they would not be in the correct physical arrangement (like the arrow-key arrangement) on an AZERTY-layout keyboard.

With Physical Keys enabled, Unity uses a generic ANSI/ISO “Qwerty” layout to represent the physical location of the keys regardless of the user’s actual layout. This means if you specify the “Q” key, it will always be the left-most letter on the first row of letter keys, even if the user’s keyboard has a different letter in that position.

Note, you should not read key input for in-game text input, because this will not allow users to enter non-Latin characters. Instead, use Input.compositionString.

Virtual axes

Every Project you create has a number of input axes created by default. These axes enable you to use keyboard, mouse, and joystick input in your Project straight away.

To see more about these axes, open the Input Manager window, and click the arrow next to any axis name to expand its properties.

Each input axis has the following properties:

Property Function
Name Axis name. You can use this to access the axis from scripts.
Descriptive Name, Descriptive Negative Name These values are deprecated and do not work. Previously, they displayed for the user on the Rebind Controls screen at startup, but this screen has also been deprecated.
Negative Button, Positive Button The controls to push the axis in the negative and positive direction respectively. These can be keys on a keyboard, or buttons on a joystick or mouse.
Alt Negative Button, Alt Positive Button Alternative controls to push the axis in the negative and positive direction respectively.
Gravity Speed in units per second that the axis falls toward neutral when no input is present.
Dead How far the user needs to move an analog stick before your application registers the movement. At runtime, input from all analog devices that falls within this range will be considered null.
Sensitivity Speed in units per second that the axis will move toward the target value. This is for digital devices only.
Snap If enabled, the axis value will reset to zero when pressing a button that corresponds to the opposite direction.
Type The type of input that controls the axis. Select from these values:

- Key or Mouse button
- Mouse Movement
- Joystick Axis
Axis The axis of a connected device that controls this axis.
JoyNum The connected Joystick that controls this axis. You can select a specific joystick, or query input from all joysticks.

Axis values can be:

  • Between –1 and 1 for joystick and keyboard input. The neutral position for these axes is 0. Some types of controls, such as buttons on a keyboard, aren’t sensitive to input intensity, so they can’t produce values other than –1, 0, or 1.
  • Mouse delta (how much the mouse has moved during the last frame) for mouse input. The values for mouse input axes can be larger than 1 or smaller than –1 when the user moves the mouse quickly.

Adding, removing, and copying virtual axes

To add a virtual axis, increase the number in the Size field. This creates a new axis at the bottom of the list. The new axis copies the properties of the previous axis in the list.

To remove a virtual axis, you can either:

  • Decrease the number in the Size field. This removes the last axis in the list.
  • Right-click any axis, and select Delete Array Element.
    Note: You can’t undo this action.

To copy a virtual axis, right-click it and select Duplicate Array Element.

Mapping virtual axes to controls

To map a key or button to an axis, enter its name in the Positive Button or Negative Button property in the Input Manager.

Key names follow these naming conventions:

Key family Naming convention
Letter keys a, b, c
Number keys 1, 2, 3
Arrow keys up, down, left, right
Numpad keys [1], [2], [3], [+], [equals]
Modifier keys right shift, left shift, right ctrl, left ctrl, right alt, left alt, right cmd, left cmd
Special keys backspace, tab, return, escape, space, delete, enter, insert, home, end, page up, page down
Function keys f1, f2, f3

Mouse buttons are named mouse 0, mouse 1, mouse 2, and so on.

Joystick buttons follow these naming conventions:

Button origin Naming convention
A specific button on any joystick joystick button 0, joystick button 1, joystick button 2
A specific button on a specific joystick joystick 1 button 0, joystick 1 button 1, joystick 2 button 0

You can also query input for a specific key or button with Input.GetKey and the naming conventions specified above. For example:


Another way to access keys is to use the KeyCode enumeration.

Using virtual axes in scripts

To access virtual axes from scripts, you can use the axis name.

For example, to query the current value of the Horizontal axis and store it in a variable, you can use Input.GetAxis like this:

float horizontalInput = Input.GetAxis ("Horizontal"); 

For axes that describe an event rather than a movement (for example, firing a weapon in a game), use Input.GetButtonDown instead.

If two or more axes have the same name, the query returns the axis with the largest absolute value. This makes it possible to assign more than one input device to an axis name.

For example, you can create two axes named Horizontal and assign one to keyboard input and the other to joystick input. If the user is using the joystick, input comes from the joystick and keyboard input is null. Otherwise, input comes from the keyboard and joystick input is null. This enables you to write a single script that covers input from multiple controllers.


You can use input from the Horizontal and Vertical axes and the transform.Translate method to move a GameObjectThe fundamental object in Unity scenes, which can represent characters, props, scenery, cameras, waypoints, and more. A GameObject’s functionality is defined by the Components attached to it. More info
See in Glossary
in XZ space (forward, back, left, or right). Add the following code to the update() method on a script attached to the GameObject you want to move:

float moveSpeed = 10;
//Define the speed at which the object moves.

float horizontalInput = Input.GetAxis("Horizontal");
//Get the value of the Horizontal input axis.

float verticalInput = Input.GetAxis("Vertical");
//Get the value of the Vertical input axis.

transform.Translate(new Vector3(horizontalInput, verticalInput, 0) * moveSpeed * Time.deltaTime);
//Move the object to XYZ coordinates defined as horizontalInput, 0, and verticalInput respectively.

Time.deltaTime represents the time that passed since the last frame. Multiplying the moveSpeed variable by Time.deltaTime ensures that the GameObject moves at a constant speed every frame.


Mobile device input