Methods are a powerful concept in Go that allow you to associate functions with custom data types, enabling you to perform actions specific to those types. In this guide, we'll explore what methods are, how to define them, and provide sample code to demonstrate their usage.

What Are Methods?

In Go, methods are functions associated with a particular data type. These methods can be called on instances of that data type and operate on the data within those instances. They allow you to encapsulate behavior that is specific to a type, providing a more organized and object-oriented approach to programming.

Defining Methods

To define a method in Go, you specify the receiver type before the function name. The receiver type is the data type on which the method is defined. Here's an example:

package main
import "fmt"
// Define a struct type "Rectangle" with width and height fields.
type Rectangle struct {
Width float64
Height float64
// Define a method "Area" for the "Rectangle" type.
func (r Rectangle) Area() float64 {
return r.Width * r.Height
func main() {
// Create an instance of the "Rectangle" struct.
rect := Rectangle{Width: 5, Height: 3}
// Call the "Area" method on the "rect" instance.
area := rect.Area()
fmt.Printf("Area of the rectangle: %f\n", area)

In this code, we define a method "Area" for the "Rectangle" type, allowing us to calculate the area of a rectangle instance.

Pointer Receivers

In addition to value receivers, Go allows you to define methods with pointer receivers. Pointer receivers are useful when you want to modify the original instance within the method. Here's an example:

package main
import "fmt"
type Counter struct {
Value int
// Define a method "Increment" with a pointer receiver for "Counter".
func (c *Counter) Increment() {
func main() {
counter := Counter{Value: 0}
// Call the "Increment" method on the "counter" instance.
fmt.Printf("Counter Value: %d\n", counter.Value)

In this code, we define a method "Increment" for the "Counter" type with a pointer receiver, allowing us to modify the counter's value directly within the method.

Further Resources

To continue learning about methods in Go, consider these resources: