Unity: Get Child by Name

On this page


    In Unity, beginner game developers frequently try to set up interactions between game objects by identifying these objects by name. Getting the object by name is a beginner-friendly approach that is straightforward for newcomers. So, this guide will explain how to find children by name.

    However, I recommend against finding children by name. 

    Instead, you should use a Component to identify specific types of objects and then use GetComponentsInChildren to find things with that component. This approach is more reliable and robust. If you rename the child, the method still works. If you rename the component, the method still works.

    Sometimes, you will want to get a child by name for quick prototyping or debugging. Fortunately, it is easy to do. In this guide, I'll explain how to do it.

    How do I find a child by name?

    Use Unity's Transform.Find method. As the parameter, pass in the exact name of the child you want to find.


    Transform child = transform.Find(“childName”);


    `Transform.Find()` only looks at the first level in the hierarchy. Sometimes, you want to find children in lower levels of the hierarchy. In the next section, I'll explain how.

    How do I find a grandchild by name?

    You have two options. Specify an exact path or iterate through the list of all children.

    For example, assume your hierarchy looks like this:


    - Parent


     └─ Child


     └─ Grandchild


    Now imagine that you call transform.Find("Grandchild") from the Parent. This call will return null.

    Method 1: Specify the exact child path

    In this method, you can specify the exact child path. As you can see, we use a "folder-like" slash to distinguish each path. You can use this as many times as you want.




    In this method, you become dependent on more than one name. The immediate child as well as the grandchild. Specifying the exact child path is error-prone - even more so than using transform.Find() alone. I recommend against this approach.

    Method 2: Get all children, then match by name

    The second method is more complex, but more robust. For that reason, I recommend it. In this approach, you get all children, then match them by name.


    Transform[] transforms = GetComponentsInChildren<Transform>();

    foreach (Transform t in transforms)


     if (t.name == "Grandchild")


     Debug.Log(t, t.gameObject);




    Learn more about how to get all children of a transform.


    As you can see, getting a child by name in Unity is straightforward. To reinforce what I mentioned earlier, you should generally avoid this method. Instead, use components to identify GameObjects and filter with those components.

    Continue brushing up your Unity skills with our Unity basics series:

    Join our newsletter to get the latest updates
    Sign Up
    Michael Sacco
    Founder & CEO

    Michael Sacco is the Founder and CEO of OccaSoftware where he specializes in developing game assets for Unity game developers. With a background ranging from startups to American Express, he's been building great products for more than 10 years.

    Unity Basics