Solution guide

Unity for 2D games

A practical guide to help you get started and gain the most value developing 2D games with Unity.

Welcome to Unity

Unity is not just a 3D platform; Unity is a complete platform for building beautiful and engaging 3D, and 2D, games. In fact, more 2D games are made with Unity than with any other game technology, and companies such as Disney, Electronic Arts, LEGO, Microsoft, NASA, Nickelodeon, Square Enix, Ubisoft, Obsidian, Insomniac, and Warner Bros rely on our tools and features to drive their business.

A complete platform for 2D game development

Unity is a complete platform for 2D. It enables you to deploy to all the major and emerging mobile operating systems, speed up your development process, optimize your game, connect with an audience, and achieve commercial success.

Hollow Knight caracter

How this guide will help you

This guide will take you through some of the most important steps of getting started and up to speed in Unity, finding key learning resources, and planning out the lifecycle of producing a 2D game. It’s based on best practice principles that will make sense for you, regardless of your previous experience.

If you are interested in developing mobile games, we have also provided a “Unity for mobile” solution guide. The information in the Unity for mobile guide overlaps with this guide, however it contains more details specifically for the mobile platform.

Ok, now let’s get started.

1. Get Unity

Choose the edition that’s right for you at store.unity.com.

Start creating

With tons of tutorials and ready-made assets, move efficiently from prototyping to full production with intuitive workflows that support your development every step of the way.

If you run into issues or need help installing Unity, check this part of our manual, which will guide you through the process step-by-step.

Unity Editor and 2D Game

2. Get up to speed

If you’re new to Unity, here are our recommended learning resources for getting started.

Once you’ve completed the material below, you’ll be ready to explore the wide range of tutorials in our learn section. We also offer extensive documentation about both scripting and the editor interface.

The Unity community also offers an extremely rich and diverse source of material. Just search for “Unity tutorial [Add the Topic of your interest]” and you’ll find lots of great resources.

You should also consider commercial training like the Complete Unity Course on Udemy, which offers a mix of 2D and 3D elements.

2D UFO tutorial

Start out by creating a simple 2D UFO game, which introduces many of the principles of working with Unity and creating 2D games, including Game Objects, Components, Prefabs, Physics and Scripting.

2D Roguelike tutorial

Get an introduction to more advanced techniques, including how to create procedural tile-based levels, implement turn-based movement, and add a hunger system, audio, and mobile touch controls.

Dedicated 2D game creation section

Find tutorials on specific features, 2D physics, and videos of live training sessions.

Sorting and 9-slicing in Unity 2D

In this live training session we will learn a workflow for laying out a simple 2D scene using 2D sorting groups, sprite meshes and 9-Slice sprites introduced in Unity 5.6. We will use these tools to create a simple 2D game. In this episode we introduce our goals and demonstrate our minimap system.

The Ultimate Guide to Game Development with Unity

This course introduces you to the Unity Engine and to the fundamentals of C# programming and then dives into developing your first 2D and 3D games.

Get involved in our community

Need Help? You can always ask the Unity community, or check out the forums for the latest community discussions.

Answers

If you get stuck, there is always help to be found in the Unity community. Answers is where our developers help each other with concrete answers to specific questions.

Unity Forums

The forums are the central hub of our community discussions and chatter. Here you can voice your opinion, show what you’re working on, and check out the cool things others are doing.

External community sites

External community and forum sites are also worth exploring for questions/discussions. Two particularly worthwhile forums to visit are Stack Overflow and Reddit.

Unity User groups

There are Unity User groups all over the world where you can get together with people in local groups to exchange ideas, work together on Unity projects and to socialize. Some groups also offer introductory seminars for new users.

3. Plan out the lifecycle of making a 2D game

Designing characters and gameplay mechanics and developing the logic are not the only aspects that matter in the lifecycle of making a game. Here are some other important actions you can take, including descriptions and how Unity helps for each.

Unity Collaborate

Sync your project across the team to enable your team to work together efficiently. Unity Collaborate makes it easy to share your project online, invite participants, and back up your projects.

Unity Cloud Build

Create continuous platform-specific builds on the relevant platforms as often as possible in order to detect early technical issues and distribute faster to your testers. Unity Cloud Build eliminates the burden of asking a developer or build engineer to make a binary version that testers can load on devices. You can simultaneously and effortlessly build for iOS and Android (and other platforms) in the cloud. And since Cloud Build is integrated with Collaborate, it works seamlessly for your entire team.

Unity Performance Reporting

Understand the health of your game in order to fix any problems and avoid bad ratings. As soon as your game is live, it’s important to capture issues in real time. Unity Performance Reporting offers a complete crash reporting and analysis system to support that process.

Unity Analytics

Understand your audience and how they interact with your content in order to ensure retention and success. Unity Analytics, which is natively integrated with the Unity engine, provides invaluable insight into your audience's behavior. This insight helps you optimize your gameplay experiences and monetization strategies based on real-time game data.

Monetization

Choose the right monetization model at an early stage in order to make sure it is well integrated with your game mechanics. For free-to-play games, Unity has a built-in ads platform and offers codeless IAP integration. Combine our plug and play Unity Ads, IAP, and Analytics to improve your ARPDAU (Average Revenue Per Daily Active User) and user retention.

4. More support resources

Unity certifications

Gain a competitive edge in the job market by demonstrating your mastery of core Unity skills.

Male coding on laptop

Best practices in Unity

Unity is a complex, feature-rich platform offering many solutions to various problems you are likely to encounter in game development. As such, there are many opinions on what the best practices are for organizing your projects, building game logic and object-oriented programming patterns, and for various techniques when working in the editor.

Nevertheless, there are certain basic principles which, if followed, will save you time and help you focus more on the creative aspects of game development. We’ve collected a few of these basic best practices from our Enterprise Support engineers and the Unity R&D Content team.

Need help with C# scripting in Unity?

If you are new to C# programming, we suggest that you visit our dedicated scripting section, which offers learning material on both beginner and advanced topics. If you’re already familiar with programming but need help with specific coding questions, we recommend using our answers section, where you can post and find answers to your coding questions from the community. We also have an extensive scripting reference guide, which offers guidance on the scripting API that Unity provides.

C# lines of code
Teach Unity

Are you a teacher?

We offer a whole range of support options for teaching, including free licenses for students and academic institutions and a Curricular Framework for developing a relevant set of courses.

Read case studies

Twimler

Learn how a hobbyist went from developing games in his spare time to growing into a thriving mobile game studio with seven full-time employees and games with more than 10 million downloads.

Next Games
Compass Point: West by Next Games

Next Games is among the first to successfully monetize a battle builder mobile game using rewarded video ads. Download their case study to find out how they created well integrated rewarded video ads that have a high opt-in rate and drive $0.06 average revenue per player per day.

Mindstorm
Lord of Crime by Mindstorm Studios

Learn how Mindstorm, one of Pakistan’s leading game developers, is using Unity’s built-in analytics to anticipate player needs and continually improve their games.

Where to go next?

We hope this solution guide has helped you get a great start on your Unity development project. Remember, when you choose Unity you’re never alone. Our community pages are a great place to connect and find solutions to the issues you may encounter. We also encourage you to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and on the Unity blog, where you’ll find tips and guides to various facets of the Unity features, as well as product news, updates and inspirational case studies.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Visit our cookie policy page for more information.

Got it