main loop

Basic game loop

This is an example of how to create a basic game loop with Android. Before following this basic game loop example, you might wish to check out our Android Game Development Tutorials series.

To create a basic game loop in Android one should perform the following steps:

  • Create an Android activity (here called DroidzActivity)
  • Implement the onCreate method
  • Create a class that extends SurfaceView (here called MainGamePanel)
  • Extend the Thread class (class here called MainThread)
  • Implement the desired functionality inside the thread’s run method
  • Start the thread from inside the SurfaceView class

These are demonstrated in the code snippet(s) below:

package net.obviam.droidz;

import android.os.Bundle;
import android.util.Log;
import android.view.Window;
import android.view.WindowManager;

public class DroidzActivity extends Activity {
    /** Called when the activity is first created. */

 private static final String TAG = DroidzActivity.class.getSimpleName();

    public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {


  // requesting to turn the title OFF


  // making it full screen

  getWindow().setFlags(WindowManager.LayoutParams.FLAG_FULLSCREEN, WindowManager.LayoutParams.FLAG_FULLSCREEN);

  // set our MainGamePanel as the View

  setContentView(new MainGamePanel(this));

  Log.d(TAG, "View added");

 protected void onDestroy() {
  Log.d(TAG, "Destroying...");

 protected void onStop() {
  Log.d(TAG, "Stopping...");
package net.obviam.droidz;

import android.util.Log;
import android.view.SurfaceHolder;

public class MainThread extends Thread {

 private static final String TAG = MainThread.class.getSimpleName();

 private SurfaceHolder surfaceHolder;
 private MainGamePanel gamePanel;
 private boolean running;
 public void setRunning(boolean running) {
  this.running = running;

 public MainThread(SurfaceHolder surfaceHolder, MainGamePanel gamePanel) {
  this.surfaceHolder = surfaceHolder;
  this.gamePanel = gamePanel;

 public void run() {
  long tickCount = 0L;
  Log.d(TAG, "Starting game loop");
  while (running) {
   // update game state
   // render state to the screen
  Log.d(TAG, "Game loop executed " + tickCount + " times");
package net.obviam.droidz;

import android.content.Context;
import android.view.MotionEvent;
import android.view.SurfaceHolder;
import android.view.SurfaceView;

public class MainGamePanel extends SurfaceView implements
  SurfaceHolder.Callback {

 private MainThread thread;

 public MainGamePanel(Context context) {

  // create the game loop thread
  thread = new MainThread();


 public void surfaceChanged(SurfaceHolder holder, int format, int width, int height) {

 public void surfaceCreated(SurfaceHolder holder) {

 public void surfaceDestroyed(SurfaceHolder holder) {
  boolean retry = true;
  while (retry) {
   try {
    retry = false;
   } catch (InterruptedException e) {
    // try again shutting down the thread

 public boolean onTouchEvent(MotionEvent event) {
  return super.onTouchEvent(event);

 protected void onDraw(Canvas canvas) {

This was an example of how to create a basic game loop with Android.

Related Article:

Reference: A Basic Game Loop from our JCG partner Tamas Jano at the “Against The Grain” blog.

Want to know how to develop your skillset to become a Java Rockstar?

Join our newsletter to start rocking!

To get you started we give you our best selling eBooks for FREE!


1. JPA Mini Book

2. JVM Troubleshooting Guide

3. JUnit Tutorial for Unit Testing

4. Java Annotations Tutorial

5. Java Interview Questions

6. Spring Interview Questions

7. Android UI Design


and many more ....


Receive Java & Developer job alerts in your Area

I have read and agree to the terms & conditions


Byron Kiourtzoglou

Byron is a master software engineer working in the IT and Telecom domains. He is an applications developer in a wide variety of applications/services. He is currently acting as the team leader and technical architect for a proprietary service creation and integration platform for both the IT and Telecom industries in addition to a in-house big data real-time analytics solution. He is always fascinated by SOA, middleware services and mobile development. Byron is co-founder and Executive Editor at Java Code Geeks.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Back to top button