# Starting PathFinding

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Can someone out there point me towards how I can start learning pathfinding. I know there exists algorithms like A* and all but its the implementation thats bugging me..
Any help would be appreciated!! (Links to tutorials and useful materials are welcome)

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A* does pathfinding. If you want to learn pathfinding, you learn A*. There are approximately 14 billion places to learn A* on the internet. If "the implementation" of A* is bugging you such that you don't want to learn A*, you are certainly going to fail.

That's like saying you want to learn how to do math but using numbers and symbols bugs you.

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In my opinion A* is one of those things that take a lot of understanding to get it to work how you want but once you do it feels great. When I built my A* implementation I used this http://www.policyalmanac.org/games/aStarTutorial.htm website as a guide. I haven't looked at the code because personally I wanted to figure it out on my own but he does provide some code. You really just need to keep at it, and you will get it. I literally had to go back and read the steps the algorithm should work in about 6 times to feel like I understood what it needed to do and than another 15 times when I was debugging issues.

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Yes that link is good for us noobs, I read it half but I find it easy to understand if I can literally see what they mean
So I googled for a demo.

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one question before I start studying A* algorithm is that can this algorithm be used to implement path finding for objects whose movements are not tile based?? What i mean is that if one object moves only with respect to time and not with respect to the tiles (which is how the map is loaded) then can A* algorithm still be used for pathfinding??

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Sure, but you need something to handle the details - look into navigation meshes and steering behaviors. They are complementary technologies that fit nicely with A* in a pathing solution.

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Here's a little app I wrote awhile back that demostrates A-Star pathfinding using nodes. The cool thing is you can watch the A-Star algorithm visually so you can see how the algorthim works. The zip includes the exe, source files (C++) and a supporting image file and data files. The map included in the zip has around 1000 nodes. You can click on any 2 nodes and watch as the app finds the quickest path between the two.

A-Star Path Finding Demo

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