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Programming in Unity

Unity tools help programmers of all experience levels deliver engaging and high-performing interactive experiences to over 20 platforms.

Why Unity

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Deploy high-performing C# to 20+ platforms

Unity uses implementations of the .NET runtime, making C# the most popular game development language. The engine compiles your C# code for each target device, so you can deploy to desktop, mobile, consoles, AR, and VR platforms.

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Iterate faster with the IDE of your choice

Leverage the productivity boosts of today’s integrated development environments (IDE) such as Visual Studio and Rider. Write and debug code to power your project or even the Unity Editor itself, perform quality and performance analytics, and more.

Unity editor with fantasy character
Enable your team to achieve more in the Editor

Empower designers and artists to be more creative, right in Unity. Offload repetitive tasks such as tweaking values or integrating assets, and extend the Editor to better suit your team’s needs.

Deliver quality code to your players

Find issues and optimize your code with Unity’s profiling and testing tools. Monitor automated crash and exception capture from every platform with Backtrace for Unity. Release game updates effortlessly with content delivery via the cloud.

Programming in Unity
C# lines of code

Program gameplay with C#

“Unity’s fast iteration time is one of its most important features for the programmers – being able to make a code change of any size and not needing to worry about compile or link times.” – Keith O’Conor, Technical Director, Romero Games 

In Unity, you don’t need to create a real-time 3D framework for your application, because the Unity platform does it for you. Stay focused on creating interactive gameplay in your scripts, then test it out right in the Editor. Unity uses C#, which automatically handles memory management for you: allocating and deallocating memory, using garbage collection to help you avoid memory leaks, and more.

About scripting in Unity
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Design scalable systems

“The Unity Addressable Asset System got us over the line. It squared away our memory issues, and we simply wouldn’t be shipping on Switch anytime soon without it.” – Max McGuire, Technical Director, Unknown Worlds

The Unity platform offers multiple tools for organizing your projects’ code and assets for maximum performance. For example, the Addressables package handles asset management overhead by simplifying content pack creation and deployment. ScriptableObjects are excellent for projects that handle a lot of data that might change throughout production.

Addressable Asset System ScriptableObjects
Screenshot of Plastic SCM

Leverage version control in Unity

“Where Plastic excels for us is branches and merging. We’ve done some really really huge merges over the years. It is very easy to correct your mistakes too. It just works.” – Garry Newman, Owner and Developer, Facepunch Studios

Plastic SCM is the recommended version control system for Unity game development, offering the best experience when dealing with large binary files, fast workflows, and a simplified interface for non-coders on your team. In-Editor integration is also available for Perforce, and you can choose many other solutions, such as Git.

Learn about Plastic SCM
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Customize Editor workflows

“With Unity, our artists are more autonomous and less dependent on programmers. On the previous engine, we needed our programmers to do a large part of the visual integration and now the artists can do more on their own. I noticed that programmers are no longer being asked to move things two pixels to the left or do other trivial things like that.” – Catherine Barbeau, Coretech Director, Ludia

Instead of being limited to manipulating values and assets through code, a programmer in Unity can easily edit the Editor interface so artists and designers can tweak gameplay and build scenes directly in the engine. If a designer wants to turn off a behavior, they can just uncheck a box instead of asking you to rewrite code.

Learn productivity tips Customize Unity Editor
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Build for multiple platforms

“With Arena of Valor, we’re supporting many different hardware configurations in a lot of different countries, and Unity makes it much easier to get the consistency we expect across them all.” – Mellow Yue, Technical Director, Tencent Games

Unity has deep partnerships with all of the major platforms, so you can squeeze the maximum performance out of each of the 20+ deployment options available without the headache of keeping up with the latest device releases. Unity Input System helps you set up controls in one place across platform deployment options and devices, right out of the box.

Learn more Documentation
Screenshot of Unity Profiler

Optimize performance and quality

Once you’ve designed a great game, Unity can help you make it fast and stable. The Unity Editor includes a suite of profiling and optimization tools to help you maximize the available resources for your target platform. 

The Unity Profiler gives you performance information about the application, while the Memory Profiler helps you reduce memory usage. The Unity Test Framework allows you to create automated tests to make sure your code runs as intended. Backtrace takes all the hands-on work out of cross-platform crash and exception management, so you can focus on shipping your game.

Learn about Backtrace Debugging in Unity

What’s new

See the improvements for programmers we’ve been delivering in recent Unity releases.

Programming in Unity 2020 LTS and 2021.2

Create optimized, high-performing games by leveraging our newest releases’ under-the-hood enhancements to streamline your coding experience and create with confidence.

Behind the scenes: Speeding up Unity workflows

Learn how we’re optimizing the core of the Unity Editor so you can iterate quickly through the entire lifetime of your productions, from importing assets to building and deploying a playable game.

What’s new in Burst 1.5

Burst is a compiler that translates IL/.NET bytecode into optimized native code. Version 1.5 of the Burst package added Arm Neon hardware intrinsics, Direct Call methods, and plenty of other new options to speed up your projects.

Learn Unity your own way

We offer training for professionals in a variety of formats designed to fit into your schedule.

Frequently asked questions

Does Unity use C++ or C#?

The core of the Unity platform is written in C++, with a C# API layer that your code can interact with. However, many recent systems are coded completely in C#, for example the Unity Input System. Learn more about the architecture of Unity code in the documentation.

Can I access Unity’s source code?

We license Unity source code on a per-case and per-title basis via our business development team. Whether you can license or use Unity’s source code can depend on many things. For example, we do not license to companies in countries which do not have adequate legal intellectual property protection. Get in touch with a sales representative to learn more.

Which platforms are supported for Unity development?

The Unity Editor is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux. See documentation for more information on installing Unity, system requirements and more.

Where can I see the Unity roadmap?

You can get insights into the future plans for features and functionality in the Unity platform on our Unity Platform Roadmap page. You can also use it to submit new ideas and vote for priority features.

Which Unity version should I use?

If you are in production or close to launch, we recommend the latest Long Term Support (LTS) release. If you want to use the latest Unity features in your project or are just getting started with production, the Tech Stream is recommended. Learn more about our different releases here.

Which IDE can I use with Unity?

Unity supports opening scripts in many different IDEs. Visual Studio is included by default when you install Unity on Windows and macOS. To open scripts in Visual Studio Code or JetBrains Rider, select them as the External Script Editor in Unity > Preferences menu.

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