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Unity how to get parent object

Parent in Unity: The Full Guide

The concept of parent in Unity enables the hierarchical organization of game objects in our scene.

In this article, we’ll explore the different ways of modifying this element.

Table of Contents

Get the Parent Object

To retrieve the parent of an object, access its “transform” component and then call the “parent” property:

Unity parent

using UnityEngine;

public class Parent : MonoBehaviour
{
    public GameObject gameObjectRef;

    private void Start()
    {
        var root = gameObjectRef.transform.parent;
    }
}
    

Get the Parent Root

The root is the topmost object in the hierarchy.

To retrieve the root of an object, call the “root” property:

Unity root

using UnityEngine;

public class Root : MonoBehaviour
{
    public GameObject gameObjectRef;

    private void Start()
    {
        var root = gameObjectRef.transform.root;
    }
}
    

Set Parent

To assign a parent to an object, use the “SetParent” property.

If you want to assign a parent without modifying the scale, position, and rotation of your object, you can add “true” as the second parameter:

using UnityEngine;

public class ParentMonoBehaviour : MonoBehaviour
{
    [SerializeField]
    private Transform _transform;

    private void ChangeParent()
    {
        transform.SetParent(_transform);

        // child stays at world position
        transform.SetParent(_transform, true);
    }
}
    

Remove Parent

To remove the parent of an object and make it the root, use the “SetParent” function with “null” as the parameter:

using UnityEngine;

public class ParentMonoBehaviour : MonoBehaviour
{
    private void RemoveParent()
    {
        transform.SetParent(null);
        // or
        transform.parent = null;
    }
}
    

Key Points

  • Parenting/hierarchy manipulations in Unity are always performed using the transform component.
  • Use the “root” property to retrieve the first element in the hierarchy.
  • Use the “SetParent” method to associate or remove a parent.
  • Use the “parent” property to retrieve a parent.

Find out more

Check our other articles about Unity:

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