When I talk to our partners, customers, and those of you who work day to day with Unity’s Editor and runtime, one thing that keeps popping up is the desire to be more ambitious with your game design. You want tools that enable you to create with fewer constraints, delivering player experiences that wow and cause wonder.
Unity 2022 LTS is designed to give you that power. You’ll discover that you can rely on the new LTS release to create sophisticated DOTS-powered games, multiplayer experiences, immersive HD environments, and visuals that perform great on any platform you target. And we remain committed to ensuring you have wide platform support with amazing tools for any device in this release.
So, I couldn’t wait any longer to tell you about the Unity 2022 LTS release, which is just around the corner.
On June 22, 2023, we’ll host a multi-hour livestream diving into some of our favorite features, so be sure to join us then by signing up to get notified. But if you’re like me and are waiting with bated breath to hear about the new features, I’ve got some inside knowledge for you right here.
Let’s dive into some of the highlights from this release that I’m particularly excited about.
Build more ambitious games with DOTS
Yes, DOTS is here! The team, led by Laurent Gibert and Joe Valenzuela, has delivered the first fully supported-for-production version of our Entity Component System (ECS), so you can now build with the full Data-Oriented Technology Stack (DOTS) solution – Burst compiler, C# Jobs System, and now ECS for Unity.
Your most challenging projects require a game engine that provides power and flexibility. ECS for Unity offers the ability to gain greater control and determinism over data in memory and better runtime process scheduling. ECS is integrated into the Editor, so you can leverage your existing GameObject-based experience and use the power of Entities-based code when it’s beneficial.
We’ll have more information about how you can harness the power of DOTS when Unity 2022 LTS is released, but you can engage with the team who actively participate in our forums here.
Deliver a seamless multiplayer experience
With Unity 2022 LTS, we’re excited to support multiplayer games with a rapidly growing end-to-end ecosystem of creation workflows and cloud services. This is possible by tight integration between the Unity game engine and multiplayer services provided through Unity Gaming Services (UGS).
We’re shipping the Netcode for Entities package with Unity 2022 LTS, fully supported for production. Netcode for Entities is a powerful networking feature to boost a game’s performance and capabilities. You’ll be able to increase the number of players, interactable objects, and backend server-side entities in competitive action games like first-person shooters and massive multiplayer online games.
More than any other genre, multiplayer games rely on successful ongoing operations for live titles. That’s why we have a suite of multiplayer-specific services as part of UGS. Matchmaker, Friends, Leaderboards, and User-Generated Content are designed to simplify the implementation of multiplayer capabilities, while services like Relay, Lobby, Game Server Hosting (Multiplay), and Voice and Text Chat (Vivox) round out capabilities for your live game.
To see our multiplayer functionality in action, we will also be releasing our new Megacity multiplayer sample in June, which is built on ECS for Unity and features UGS tools for hosting, matchmaking, authentication, and voice chat between players. This demo demonstrates how you can bring our powerful tools together in a fast-paced, competitive, third-person shooter that supports 64+ players.
Create high-definition natural environments
Immerse your players in beautiful, physically based environments with High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP). Unity LTS 2022 includes numerous features to enhance your game worlds for an even richer player experience.
Introduce advanced procedural fog and volumetric effects using Volumetric Materials and Shader Graph to create atmospheric game environments such as haunted forests, desolate landscapes, or misty valleys.
The new Water System enables you to add oceans, rivers, and underwater effects to your game environments. You can create realistic waves, ripples, foam, and more, as well as simulate underwater environments with advanced caustics, refraction, and reflection effects.
Improvements to Cloud Layers with dynamic lighting and Volumetric clouds allow you to create even more realistic skies with clouds that change and move based on weather conditions, simply blending between different weather effects such as sunny and cloudy skies.
A new update to the Spline package helps you procedurally generate paths, roads, or fences in your environments with greater precision for more organic and varied game environments with less manual work.
Bring quality lighting and enhanced visuals to any device
The Universal Render Pipeline (URP) provides a scalable solution for high-quality graphics across platforms. Upgrades in this release allow you to create more realistic lighting in your scenes and achieve higher-quality visuals that scale across devices.
Forward+ Rendering eliminates the light limit count so you can use more lights in a scene while maintaining performance. This feature is particularly useful if you want to achieve high-quality real-time lighting in your scenes.
LOD crossfade which produces smoother graphic transitions as objects move closer or further away from the camera. Temporal Anti-aliasing (TAA) reduces aliasing problems such as pixelated and flickering edges to improve the overall visual quality of game scenes.
Decal Layers allow you to add extra texture details in your scenes with control. You can use Decal Layers to filter and configure how different objects get affected by different Decal Projectors in a Scene.
Customize your rendering experience with features like Shader Graph Full Screen Master Node and custom screen space effects. These allow you to create unique visual effects in games such as distortion or other types of post-processing, and they’re available in both URP and HDRP.
Shader Variant Prefiltering significantly improves build time and memory optimization, reducing the build time and improving games’ overall performance.
Finally, the Built-in Converter helps you to move existing projects from the Built-in Render Pipeline to URP, making it easier for you to take advantage of URP’s performance and scalability benefits.
Maximize platform potential and iteration speed
With Unity 2022 LTS, you can optimize your games for the latest platforms across mobile, console, desktop, and XR, with added performance and stability for key features.
Maximize platform potential with increased performance and stability using the DirectX 12 graphics API on Windows and Xbox®. You can also experiment with the latest ray tracing support for Xbox® Series X|S and PlayStation®5, which allows for more realistic real-time lighting and reflections in game scenes.
Iterate faster with the latest incremental player build process for Xbox®, iOS, PlayStation®5, and Nintendo Switch™*, which improves deployment efficiency, reducing time to market and improving overall game quality.
Dig deeper into the performance of Android games with access to low-level data through the System Metrics Mali package from ARM. Games on Samsung devices can now take advantage of Adaptive Performance 4.0 with support for visual scripting. Better manage WebGL memory usage and gain native C++ multithreading along with support for touch controls and texture compression on web builds for mobile devices.
Unity 2022 LTS expands your reach in XR with an updated XR Interaction toolkit (XRI) to enhance build times for PlayStation®VR2 and Meta Quest 2. Ensure your VR games run well across a variety of performant devices with late latching and motion vectors and improved graphics performance for games using Vulkan. These updated tools enable you to build immersive, high-fidelity XR experiences that can be deployed across multiple platforms.
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Celebrate the launch of PlayStation®VR2 with some of the Made with Unity Creators, and learn more about the latest tools in Unity to help you develop for the PS VR2.
Depend on the most stable Unity release
With a minimum of two years development and testing, Unity 2022 LTS has relied on user feedback and testing. Many of you have joined us on the journey through beta and Tech Stream releases, and I want to personally thank you for partnering with us to deliver the most stable Unity release in the 2022 cycle. And remember, LTS releases are supported for at least two years through biweekly updates, so we have you covered.
Learn more about our 2022 LTS and the 2023.1 Tech Stream release in our GDC 2023 roadmap session.
Wherever you are in your production process, Unity 2022 LTS offers resources to help you bring your project to the finish line and beyond. Get notified when LTS 2022 is available on release day by signing up for email updates.
We hope this overview of the Unity 2022 LTS has given you a good idea of the powerful features and tools available in this release. We’re always eager to hear your feedback, questions, and ideas, so please keep the conversation going.
Interact with other Unity creators and experts in our forums or directly through our platform roadmap. Catch our live streams on Twitch, and be sure to follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on the latest news and announcements. We look forward to hearing what you think.
*Nintendo Switch is a registered trademark of Nintendo.