A practical guide to help you get started and gain the most value when developing mobile games using Unity.
Welcome to Unity
Unity is not just a 3D engine; 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 mobile game development
Unity 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.
How this guide will help you
Scroll down to learn 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 mobile game. It’s based on best practice principles that will make sense for you, regardless of your previous experience. Ok, now let’s get started.
Steps to Success
Choose the edition of Unity that’s right for you at store.unity.com.
Get up to speed with working in Unity
If you’re new to Unity, here are our recommended learning resources for getting started:
Everything you need to know to get started using Unity, from basic concepts to extending the interface.
This tutorial introduces you to Unity development by guiding you through creating a simple rolling ball game. It teaches you many of the principles of working with Game Objects, Components, Prefabs, Physics and Scripting.
Essential information when creating content for mobile & touch devices.
Once you’ve completed the material above, 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, as well as a list of best practice guides from our support engineers and R&D content team.
The Unity community also offers an extremely rich and diverse source of material. Just search the web 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.
Get involved in our community
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.
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.
There are also 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 offers introductory seminars for new users.
Finally, if you need to find freelancers to help out, or when you are ready build your team, you’ll find the right talent on Unity Connect.
Learning resources & development boosters
Learn from complete mobile games
The R&D Content Team at Unity create complete projects, which can be downloaded on the Asset Store, and accompanying learning material. You can use these projects to discover and learn about new features and improve your Unity skills. The following is a project you can download.
Trash Dash Reference Project
Download and learn from this complete demo game
Trash Dash, a cartoon-style infinite runner for iOS & Android, is a complete demo game available for download. You can use it to learn how to get the most out of Unity features right from the start of a project and all the way through the pipeline.
The demo game includes ready-to-use examples of how to:
Use Unity Cloud Build and Collaborate to make and share changes with your team, and to quickly implement them on different devices
Use Unity Ads and IAP to make money with free-to-play games
Use Unity Analytics to monitor and adjust the IAPs and Ads for best results, and tweak the game itself to increase player engagement
Tanks!!! Reference Project
The Tanks!!! Reference Project shows how Unity Multiplayer can be implemented in a real world environment, addressing common challenges like network latency and cheating.
This package has everything you need to understand and build the live multi-platform game including code, assets, and walkthrough documentation. You can try the game now, on iOS, Android, MacOS, or Windows Store, and you can download the sample project for free on the Asset Store. We also offer a tutorial series teaching the game architecture and game mechanics.
Basic principles of working with Unity(approximately 2 hours)
If you’re new to building mobile games with Unity, this simple UFO-game tutorial will teach you the basic principles of working with Game Objects, Components, Prefabs, Physics and Scripting.
Build your first complete project from A-Z
This comprehensive course introduces you to the Unity Engine, and to the fundamentals of C# programming, and then gets you started dives into developing your first 2D and 3D games.
An intermediate adventure-game tutorial
Over the course of the project, you’ll learn how to create procedural tile-based levels, implement turn-based movement, and add a hunger system, audio, and mobile touch-controls.
Isometric survival-shooter game
Learn how to make an isometric 3D survival-shooter game with this project from Unite training day 2014.
Other support resources
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.
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.
Why not get a certificate to validate your knowledge?
Unity offers an official certification program
The courseware focuses on the foundational skills essential to game production with Unity and directly maps to preparation for the Unity Certified Developer Exam. It’s also a great solution if you are looking for a structured, selfstudy program to help you learn to make games with Unity.
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.
The lifecycle of making a mobile game
Designing characters, 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.
Sync your project across the team to enable your team to create work together efficiently. Unity Collaborate makes it easy to share your project online, invite participants and back up your projects
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.
IAP & Ads
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 & play Unity Ads, IAP and Analytics to improve your ARPDAU (Average Revenue Per Daily Active User) and user retention.Learn more: 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. Read the Next Games case study
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 & Android (and other platforms) in the cloud. And since Cloud Build is integrated with Collaborate, it works seamlessly for your entire team
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.Learn more: 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. Read the Mindstorm case study Learn more: 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. Read the Twimler case study