Before starting to develop your application with the Navigation SDK, you'll need to configure your credentials and add the SDK as a dependency.

Configure credentials

Before installing the SDK, you will need to gather the appropriate credentials. The SDK requires two pieces of sensitive information from your Mapbox account. If you don't have a Mapbox account: sign up and navigate to your Account page. You'll need:

  • A public access token: From your account's tokens page, you can either copy your default public token or click the Create a token button to create a new public token.
  • A secret access token with the Downloads:Read scope.
    1. From your account's tokens page, click the Create a token button.
    2. From the token creation page, give your token a name and make sure the box next to the Downloads:Read scope is checked.
    3. Click the Create token button at the bottom of the page to create your token.
    4. The token you've created is a secret token, which means you will only have one opportunity to copy it somewhere secure.

You should not expose these access tokens in publicly-accessible source code where unauthorized users might find them. Instead, you should store them somewhere safe on your computer and take advantage of Gradle properties to make sure they're only added when your app is compiled. Once this configuration step has been completed, you will be able to reference your credentials in other parts of your app.

Configure your secret token

To avoid exposing your secret token, add it as an environment variable:

  1. Find or create a file in your Gradle user home folder. The folder can be found at «USER_HOME»/.gradle. Once you have found or created the file, its path should be «USER_HOME»/.gradle/ You can read more about Gradle properties in the official Gradle documentation.
  2. Add your secret token your file:

Configure your public token

There are many ways to configure your public access token. Many of the examples and code snippets on this site assume your token is stored in a file in your project with other string values. If you would like to manage your public access token this way, open your project's R.strings.xml file and add the following string resource:

<string name="mapbox_access_token">MAPBOX_ACCESS_TOKEN</string>

If you ever need to rotate your access token, you will need to update the token value in your R.strings.xml file.

Configure permissions

You can use the Manifest merge feature to reduce the need to include any SDK requirements in your application's manifest file. You'll need to add either the Fine or Coarse location permission if you plan to display a user's location on the map or get the user's location information. The user location permission should also be checked during runtime using the PermissionsManager.

<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION" />
Access token best practices

Learn how to keep access tokens private in mobile apps.

Handle location permissions

The Navigation SDK makes use of the Android manifest merge feature. The Navigation SDK's manifest file already has both the course and fine location permission lines, which means you don't have to declare any location permissions inside your project's manifest file or in some other way.

If your project targets Android API 23 or higher, make sure to check the user location permission in runtime using the Mapbox Core Library for Android's PermissionsManager interface.

Add the dependency

Mapbox provides the Navigation SDK via Maven.

To add the Mapbox Navigation SDK as a dependency, you will need to configure your build to download the Navigation SDK from Mapbox directly. This requires a valid username and password.

  1. Open your project in Android Studio.

  2. Open up your project-level build.gradle file. Declare the Mapbox Downloads API's releases/maven endpoint in the repositories block. To download the Navigation SDK dependency, you must authenticate your request with a valid username and password. In the previous section, you added the password to a file in your Gradle user home folder. The username field should always be "mapbox". It should not be your personal username used to create the secret token.

    allprojects {
        repositories {
            maven {
                url ''
                authentication {
                credentials {
                    // Do not change the username below.
                    // This should always be `mapbox` (not your username).
                    username = "mapbox"
                    // Use the secret token you stored in as the password
                    password =['MAPBOX_DOWNLOADS_TOKEN'] ?: ""
  3. Open up your module-level build.gradle file.

  4. The Navigation SDK uses Java 8 features. To enable Java 8 in your project, add the following compileOptions.

    android {
        compileOptions {
            sourceCompatibility JavaVersion.VERSION_1_8
            targetCompatibility JavaVersion.VERSION_1_8
        // Add the block below if you're using Kotlin
        kotlinOptions {
            jvmTarget = "1.8"
  5. Make sure that your project's minSdkVersion is at API 21 or higher.

    android {
        defaultConfig {
            minSdkVersion 21
  6. Add the dependency under dependencies.

    dependencies {
      implementation "com.mapbox.navigation:android:2.0.0-rc.7"
  7. If your project declares dependencyResolutionManagement in settings.gradle, and you have added the Mapbox Maven repository reference to the top-level build.gradle file, you need to remove the repositoriesMode.set(RepositoriesMode.FAIL_ON_PROJECT_REPOS) flag.

  8. Because you've edited your Gradle files, Android Studio will ask you whether you want to sync the Gradle files. You can sync now.

Use nightly builds and beta versions

You can also use a SNAPSHOT version of the Navigation SDK if you want access to bug fixes or features that have not been packaged in an official release yet. Find more information about how to do this inside the Navigation SDK's GitHub repository.

Method limit

If you've added the Navigation SDK, finished all of the installation steps above, and encounter an Android Studio error saying that you've reached maximum method count, try enabling Multidex following the official Android guides to using multidex and optimizing your code.

Display a navigation UI

To simulate your first navigation experience using our UI components, use the Add a complete turn-by-turn experience example.

Add a complete turn-by-turn experience

Render a complete turn-by-turn experience using all relevant Navigation SDK APIs and pre-built UI components.