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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. You can sign up if you do not have an account.

  • 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 make sure they're only added when your app is compiled (see next section).

Configure your secret token

Your secret token enables you to download the SDK directly from Mapbox. To use your secret token, you will need to store it in a .netrc file in your home directory (not your project folder). This approach helps avoid accidentally exposing your secret token by keeping it out of your application's source code. Depending on your environment, you may have this file already, so check first before creating a new one.

Be sure .netrc has the correct filesystem permissions

The .netrc file needs 0600 permissions in order to work properly.

The .netrc file is a plain text file that is used in certain development environments to store credentials used to access remote servers. The login should always be mapbox. It should not be your personal username used to create the secret token. To set up the credentials required to download the SDK, add the following entry to your .netrc file:

login mapbox

Configure your public token

To configure your public access token, open your project's Info.plist file and add a MBXAccessToken key whose value is your public access token.

If you ever need to rotate your access token, you will need to update the token value in your Info.plist file.

Access token best practices

Learn how to keep access tokens private in mobile apps.


Set permissions

Users expect the SDK to continue to track the user’s location and deliver audible instructions even while a different application is visible or the device is locked. To do this, go to the Signing & Capabilities tab. Under the Background Modes section, enable “Audio, AirPlay, and Picture in Picture” and “Location updates”. (Or, add the audio and location values to the UIBackgroundModes array in the Info tab.)

Add the dependency

Installing MapboxNavigation versus MapboxCoreNavigation

MapboxCoreNavigation is a dependency of MapboxNavigation. If you install MapboxNavigation you will also have access to all MapboxCoreNavigation's classes and methods. If you do not plan to use the drop-in UI, you can replace MapboxNavigation with MapboxCoreNavigation in your Podfile or when selecting a library in Swift Package Manager.

Mapbox provides the Navigation SDK via CocoaPods and Swift Package Manager.

The Mapbox Navigation SDK can be consumed via Swift Package Manager (SPM). To add the Navigation SDK with SPM, you will need to configure your environment to download it from Mapbox. This requires a Mapbox access token with the Downloads:Read scope. In a previous step, you added this token to your .netrc file.

You can add the dependency to either an application or another package.

Option 1: Add to an application

  1. Open your Xcode project or workspace, then go to File > > Add Packages.
  2. Enter as the URL and press Enter to pull in the package.
  3. Set Dependency Rule to Up to Next Major Version and enter 2.18.0 as the minimum version. Click Add Package.
  4. Once Xcode finishes fetching and checking out all the dependencies, select the MapboxNavigation library (or MapboxCoreNavigation if you don’t need any UI components). Click Next.
  5. In your code, you can now import MapboxNavigation as well as any of the other packages that were downloaded as dependencies.

Option 2: Add to an another package

To install the MapboxNavigation framework in another package rather than in an application, run swift package init to create a Package.swift, or click File > New > Package. Then, add the following dependency:

.package(name: "MapboxNavigation", url: "", from: "2.18.0")


  • If you need to update your packages, you can click on File > Swift Packages > Update To Latest Package Versions.
  • Sometimes, artifacts cannot be resolved or errors can occur, in this case select File > Swift Packages > Reset Package Cache.
  • If your Xcode crashes, delete your derived data folder.
Running into problems installing?

Read more about common installation issues in our troubleshooting guide.


Request a route

Request your first route and simulate a navigation experience using our drop-in UI, NavigationViewController.

Insert the following code snippets into your ViewController.

import UIKit
import MapboxDirections
import MapboxCoreNavigation
import MapboxNavigation
import CoreLocation

class ViewController: UIViewController {
override func viewDidLoad() {

// Define two waypoints to travel between
let origin = Waypoint(coordinate: CLLocationCoordinate2D(latitude: 38.9131752, longitude: -77.0324047), name: "Mapbox")
let destination = Waypoint(coordinate: CLLocationCoordinate2D(latitude: 38.8977, longitude: -77.0365), name: "White House")

// Set options
let routeOptions = NavigationRouteOptions(waypoints: [origin, destination])

// Request a route using MapboxDirections.swift
Directions.shared.calculate(routeOptions) { [weak self] (session, result) in
switch result {
case .failure(let error):
case .success(let response):
guard let self = self else { return }
// Pass the first generated route to the the NavigationViewController
let viewController = NavigationViewController(for: response, routeIndex: 0, routeOptions: routeOptions)
viewController.modalPresentationStyle = .fullScreen
self.present(viewController, animated: true, completion: nil)

Run the application and you will see a simulated navigation experience along a route.

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