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How to make one sprite draw in front of another using zPosition

Paul Hudson       @twostraws

All nodes in SpriteKit have a zPosition property that dictates its depth on the screen. If you’re using Xcode’s default SpriteKit template then the view you’re rendering into has its ignoresSiblingOrder property set to true, which means zPosition is the only factor that decides whether one node is drawn above or below another.

All Z positions default to 0, but if you use negative values (-1, -2, etc) it forces those nodes to be drawn behind nodes that have higher Z positions (1, 2, etc). These numbers don’t have any absolute meaning – all that matters is that one number is higher or lower than another. That is, setting a Z position to 10,000 doesn’t make a sprite any larger or more prominent than setting it to 1,000.

Here’s some example code:

// place the background behind other things
background.zPosition = -1

// place the player in front
player.zPosition = 1

// make the score go above everything
score.zPosition = 10

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