Add Firebase to your C++ project

Power up your C++ games with our Firebase C++ SDKs which provide a C++ interface on top of Firebase SDKs.

Access Firebase entirely from your C++ code, without having to write any platform-native code. The Firebase SDK also translates many language-specific idioms used by Firebase into an interface more familiar to C++ developers.

Find out more information about powering up your games with Firebase at our Firebase games page.

Already added Firebase to your C++ project? Make sure that you're using the latest version of the Firebase C++ SDK.


  • Install the following:

    • Xcode 13.3.1 or later
    • CocoaPods 1.12.0 or later
  • Make sure that your project targets the following platform versions or later:

    • iOS 11
    • tvOS 12
  • Set up a physical device or use the simulator to run your app.

  • Sign into Firebase using your Google account.

Step 2: Create a Firebase project

Before you can add Firebase to your C++ project, you need to create a Firebase project to connect to your C++ project. Visit Understand Firebase Projects to learn more about Firebase projects.

Step 3: Register your app with Firebase

To use Firebase in your Apple app, you need to register your app with your Firebase project. Registering your app is often called "adding" your app to your project.

  1. Go to the Firebase console.

  2. In the center of the project overview page, click the iOS+ icon to launch the setup workflow.

    If you've already added an app to your Firebase project, click Add app to display the platform options.

  3. Enter your app's bundle ID in the bundle ID field.

  4. (Optional) Enter other app information: App nickname and App Store ID.

  5. Click Register app.

Step 4: Add the Firebase configuration file

  1. Click Download GoogleService-Info.plist to obtain your Firebase Apple platforms config file.

  2. Open your C++ project in an IDE, then drag your config file into the root of your C++ project.

  3. If prompted, select to add the config file to all targets.

You're done with set up tasks in the Firebase console. Continue to Add Firebase C++ SDKs below.

Step 5: Add Firebase C++ SDKs

The steps in this section are an example of how to add supported Firebase products to your Firebase C++ project.

  1. Download the Firebase C++ SDK, then unzip the SDK somewhere convenient.

    The Firebase C++ SDK is not platform-specific, but it does contain platform-specific libraries.

  2. Add Firebase pods from the unzipped SDK.

    1. Create a Podfile if you don't already have one:

      cd your-app-directory
      pod init

    2. To your Podfile, add the Firebase pods that you want to use in your app.

      Analytics enabled

      # Add the Firebase pod for Google Analytics
      pod 'FirebaseAnalytics'
      # Add the pods for any other Firebase products you want to use in your app # For example, to use Firebase Authentication and Firebase Realtime Database pod 'FirebaseAuth' pod 'FirebaseDatabase'

      Analytics not enabled

      # Add the pods for the Firebase products you want to use in your app
      # For example, to use Firebase Authentication and Firebase Realtime Database
      pod 'FirebaseAuth'
      pod 'FirebaseDatabase'
    3. Install the pods, then open the .xcworkspace file in Xcode.

      pod install
      open your-app.xcworkspace

  3. Add Firebase frameworks from the unzipped SDK.

    The easiest way to add these frameworks is usually to drag them from a Finder window directly into Xcode's Project Navigator pane (the far-left pane, by default; or click the file icon in the top-left of Xcode).

    1. Add the Firebase C++ framework firebase.framework, which is required to use any Firebase product.

    2. Add the framework for each Firebase product that you want to use. For example, to use Firebase Authentication, add firebase_auth.framework.

  4. Back in the Firebase console, in the setup workflow, click Next.

  5. If you added Analytics, run your app to send verification to Firebase that you've successfully integrated Firebase. Otherwise, you can skip this verification step.

    Your device logs will display the Firebase verification that initialization is complete. If you ran your app on an emulator that has network access, the Firebase console notifies you that your app connection is complete.

You’re all set! Your C++ app is registered and configured to use Firebase products.

Available libraries

Learn more about the C++ Firebase libraries in the reference documentation and in our open-source SDK release on GitHub.

Available libraries for Apple platforms

Note that C++ libraries for Android are listed on the Android version of this setup page.

Each Firebase product has different dependencies. Be sure to add all the listed dependencies for the desired Firebase product to your Podfile and C++ project.

Each Firebase product may only support a selection of Apple OS platforms (iOS, tvOS, etc.). Check which platforms are supported by each library in Learn more about C++ and Firebase.

Firebase product Frameworks and Pods
AdMob (required) firebase.framework
(required) firebase_analytics.framework

pod 'FirebaseAdMob', '10.28.1'
(required) pod 'FirebaseAnalytics', '10.28.1'
Analytics (required) firebase.framework

pod 'FirebaseAnalytics', '10.28.1'
App Check (required) firebase.framework

pod 'FirebaseAppCheck', '10.28.1'
Authentication (required) firebase.framework

pod 'FirebaseAuth', '10.28.1'
Cloud Firestore (required) firebase.framework

pod 'FirebaseFirestore', '10.28.1'
pod 'FirebaseAuth', '10.28.1'
Cloud Functions (required) firebase.framework

pod 'FirebaseFunctions', '10.28.1'
Cloud Messaging (required) firebase.framework
(recommended) firebase_analytics.framework

pod 'FirebaseMessaging', '10.28.1'
(recommended) pod 'FirebaseAnalytics', '10.28.1'
Cloud Storage (required) firebase.framework

pod 'FirebaseStorage', '10.28.1'
Dynamic Links (required) firebase.framework
(recommended) firebase_analytics.framework

pod 'FirebaseDynamicLinks', '10.28.1'
(recommended) pod 'FirebaseAnalytics', '10.28.1'
Realtime Database (required) firebase.framework

pod 'FirebaseDatabase', '10.28.1'
Remote Config (required) firebase.framework
(recommended) firebase_analytics.framework

pod 'FirebaseRemoteConfig', '10.28.1'
(recommended) pod 'FirebaseAnalytics', '10.28.1'

Additional information for mobile setup

Method swizzling

On iOS, some application events (such as opening URLs and receiving notifications) require your application delegate to implement specific methods. For example, receiving a notification might require your application delegate to implement application:didReceiveRemoteNotification:. Because each iOS application has its own app delegate, Firebase uses method swizzling, which allows the replacement of one method with another, to attach its own handlers in addition to any that you might have implemented.

The Dynamic Links and Cloud Messaging libraries need to attach handlers to the application delegate using method swizzling. If you're using any of these Firebase products, at load time, Firebase will identify your AppDelegate class and swizzle the required methods onto it, chaining a call back to your existing method implementation.

Set up a desktop workflow (beta)

When you're creating a game, it's often much easier to test your game on desktop platforms first, then deploy and test on mobile devices later in development. To support this workflow, we provide a subset of the Firebase C++ SDKs which can run on Windows, macOS, Linux, and from within the C++ editor.

  1. For desktop workflows, you need to complete the following:

    1. Configure your C++ project for CMake.
    2. Create a Firebase project
    3. Register your app (iOS or Android) with Firebase
    4. Add a mobile-platform Firebase configuration file
  2. Create a desktop version of the Firebase configuration file:

    • If you added the Android google-services.json file — When you run your app, Firebase locates this mobile file, then automatically generates a desktop Firebase config file (google-services-desktop.json).

    • If you added the iOS GoogleService-Info.plist file — Before you run your app, you need to convert this mobile file to a desktop Firebase config file. To convert the file, run the following command from the same directory as your GoogleService-Info.plist file: --plist -i GoogleService-Info.plist

    This desktop config file contains the C++ project ID that you entered in the Firebase console setup workflow. Visit Understand Firebase Projects to learn more about config files.

  3. Add Firebase SDKs to your C++ project.

    The steps below serve as an example of how to add any supported Firebase product to your C++ project. In this example, we walk through adding Firebase Authentication and Firebase Realtime Database.

    1. Set your FIREBASE_CPP_SDK_DIR environment variable to the location of the unzipped Firebase C++ SDK.

    2. To your project's CMakeLists.txt file, add the following content, including the libraries for the Firebase products that you want to use. For example, to use Firebase Authentication and Firebase Realtime Database:

      # Add Firebase libraries to the target using the function from the SDK.
      add_subdirectory(${FIREBASE_CPP_SDK_DIR} bin/ EXCLUDE_FROM_ALL)
      # The Firebase C++ library `firebase_app` is required,
      # and it must always be listed last.
      # Add the Firebase SDKs for the products you want to use in your app
      # For example, to use Firebase Authentication and Firebase Realtime Database
      set(firebase_libs firebase_auth firebase_database firebase_app)
      target_link_libraries(${target_name} "${firebase_libs}")
  4. Run your C++ app.

Available libraries (desktop)

The Firebase C++ SDK includes desktop workflow support for a subset of features, enabling certain parts of Firebase to be used in standalone desktop builds on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Firebase product Library references (using CMake)
App Check firebase_app_check
(required) firebase_app
Authentication firebase_auth
(required) firebase_app
Cloud Firestore firebase_firestore
Cloud Functions firebase_functions
(required) firebase_app
Cloud Storage firebase_storage
(required) firebase_app
Realtime Database firebase_database
(required) firebase_app
Remote Config firebase_remote_config
(required) firebase_app

Firebase provides the remaining desktop libraries as stub (non-functional) implementations for convenience when building for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Therefore, you don't need to conditionally compile code to target the desktop.

Realtime Database desktop

The Realtime Database SDK for desktop uses REST to access your database, so you must declare the indexes that you use with Query::OrderByChild() on desktop or your listeners will fail.

Additional information for desktop setup

Windows libraries

For Windows, library versions are provided based on the following:

  • Build platform: 32-bit (x86) vs 64-bit (x64) mode
  • Windows runtime environment: Multithreaded / MT vs Multithreaded DLL /MD
  • Target: Release vs Debug

Note that the following libraries were tested using Visual Studio 2015 and 2017.

When building C++ desktop apps on Windows, link the following Windows SDK libraries to your project. Consult your compiler documentation for more information.

Firebase C++ Library Windows SDK library dependencies
App Check advapi32, ws2_32, crypt32
Authentication advapi32, ws2_32, crypt32
Cloud Firestore advapi32, ws2_32, crypt32, rpcrt4, ole32, shell32
Cloud Functions advapi32, ws2_32, crypt32, rpcrt4, ole32
Cloud Storage advapi32, ws2_32, crypt32
Realtime Database advapi32, ws2_32, crypt32, iphlpapi, psapi, userenv
Remote Config advapi32, ws2_32, crypt32, rpcrt4, ole32

macOS libraries

For macOS (Darwin), library versions are provided for the 64-bit (x86_64) platform. Frameworks are also provided for your convenience.

Note that the macOS libraries have been tested using Xcode 13.3.1.

When building C++ desktop apps on macOS, link the following to your project:

  • pthread system library
  • CoreFoundation macOS system framework
  • Foundation macOS system framework
  • Security macOS system framework
  • GSS macOS system framework
  • Kerberos macOS system framework
  • SystemConfiguration macOS system framework

Consult your compiler documentation for more information.

Linux libraries

For Linux, library versions are provided for 32-bit (i386) and 64-bit (x86_64) platforms.

Note that the Linux libraries were tested using GCC 4.8.0, GCC 7.2.0, and Clang 5.0 on Ubuntu.

When building C++ desktop apps on Linux, link the pthread system library to your project. Consult your compiler documentation for more information. If you're building with GCC 5 or later, define -D_GLIBCXX_USE_CXX11_ABI=0.

Next steps