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UNet Deprecation FAQ

Feedback about Unity's plans for Connected Games?

Post here in the Connected Games sticky posts.

Why is UNet being deprecated?

UNet, Unity’s legacy multiplayer solution, does not meet the needs of many multiplayer game creators. To reach the performance, scale, and security goals of Unity creators, completely new technology is required, including lightweight/fast networking and Game Server Hosting services.

What is being deprecated?

1) The High Level API (HLAPI) and the Low Level API (LLAPI) that work with the Editor, 2) the P2P Relay Service, and 3) the legacy Matchmaker service.  

What will the deprecated UNet features be replaced with?

The HLAPI and LLAPI will be replaced with a new networking layer, with development focused first on a fast and minimal transport layer. The P2P Relay Server will be replaced with a Game Server Hosting service, enabling server-authoritative games. A new Matchmaker service will replace the legacy Matchmaker and work seamlessly with the Game Server Hosting service.

What is the deprecation plan for UNet features?

The HLAPI and LLAPI will no longer be shipped after 2018.4 (LTS). They will be supported for two years after this release. The Relay Server and legacy Matchmaker services will operate for at least three years following 2018.4 (LTS) (expected 2022).


plan.png

 

Will I still be able to use the High Level and Low Level APIs?

Yes, but they will no longer work with Unity after 2018.4 (LTS).

Is there a migration path from the existing HLAPI and LLAPI, and the new networking layer?

The LLAPI functions similarly to the new transport layer, and the migration will be intuitive if you are using this API. The capabilities provided in the HLAPI will move from a generalized API to more-specific game archetypes. For example, we will soon release an FPS sample that will include open-source implementations of lag compensation, forward prediction, etc., that can be reused for similar games.

Will a “self-service” version of the P2P Relay Server or Matchmaker service be made available?

We do not have plans to do so at this time. Well before 2022, we will provide a clear transition plan to new technology.

What should I use if I am making a multiplayer game today or have already shipped a multiplayer game?

  • Already launched: If your game has shipped and uses our Relay service, it will continue to run as expected until at least Spring 2022. By that time, we will either extend the Relay service or provide a clear transition plan to new technologies.
  • To be shipped in the next 0-6 months: If you’ve already completed most of the work on your multiplayer game using the LLAPI or HLAPI, it is okay to ship it using the 2018.4 (LTS) or prior versions of Unity. However, P2P architectures of all forms struggle with scalability, inconsistent connection quality, and hackable clients, so we recommend most games move to a dedicated server model if possible.
  • To be shipped in 6+ months: You should immediately consider moving to dedicated servers to determine what it will take to create a server-authoritative version of your game. Stay tuned for more details soon about the upcoming Preview packages to build your game with the new networking, dedicated servers, and matchmaker.
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6 Comments

  • 1
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    Sweaty Chair Studio

    That's sad Unity abandoning UNet. Although it's not the best multiplayer solution with many missing features, I still find that it's easy to learn and best fit for fast-pace multiplayer games, and hoping Unity can complete it by adding features like Host Migration in relay server.

    Seems like the only solution in the market is Photon in the future.

    EDIT: Well they just added the new dedicated server product to replace UNet, at least they not abandoning multiplayer features... We will see how the new product compete with Photon...

    Edited by Sweaty Chair Studio
  • -1
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    334499p

    Wow this is pitiful.

  • 1
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    James McGhee

    Anti-P2P?
    my answer is no thank you

    While yes a dedicated server will basicly always be the better option tech wise. For indies being dependent on dedicated servers will nearly always be a pain point for your community. You need to support a simple, zero cost lay man can set it up connection method at the very least as a fall back option.

    Steam, Discord (soon so I hear), etc. know this and have relay servers, matchmaking services, lobbies, chat services, etc. as do consoles all available all the time for zero cost in most cases on the PC anyway. Thus dedicated server only makes since if your game deals with large populations and or is competative and has some way to monitize over the life of it. Otherwise its a nice to have and can be a hendrance to your project if its the only option you make available as your community will expect that you wont be able to maintain the servers for as long as they would want and thus wont give you a chance.

    Now if part of this is that Unity is going to provide some basic level of server hosting free of charge (or damn near) along with the assurance that it will be there tomarow then please disregard the above and take my money till then provide support for direct conneciton please otherwise I will just have to build it my self and ignore all your hard work.

    Edited by James McGhee
  • 1
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    Ian Crossan

    No p2p is a shame.

    Unet's only advantage was that it could be P2P, something many developers want for LAN only or for serverless multiplayer (big advantage for indie titles)

    If you drop that then why not just use photon or some other third party that's going to be consistently supported unlike unet is?

    Makes no sense to use Unet anymore.

  • 1
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    Ken Vernon

    As an aspiring indie developer, I am saddened to hear that Unity is abandoning P2P.

     

    As a gamer, I have always hated when game developers shut down their hosted services, thus making their game effectively dead in the water.  In contrast, I have always appreciated when games had self-hosted peer to peer architecture, thus extending the life span of the game until no one actually wants to play it anymore.

     

    For my games, I wanted to make sure that the decision to no longer be able to play the game rested on the end user rather than me.  They bought it, so they should be able to determine how long they can use it.

     

    I was stressed about having to write my own network code, but was overjoyed when I learned about uNet.  Now to discover that it's being dropped with no P2P replacement is very unfortunate.  Learning the entire development pipeline for game design has been difficult enough.  Now I will need to learn network architecture, design and security as well?

     

    I hope the Unity dev team can look towards a P2P replacement instead of just dropping it entirely.  Especially if they wish to continue to be one of the top game engines for indie developers that don't have access to all of the same resources as established game studios.

  • 0
    Avatar
    Brandi House

    Hi All - thanks for the feedback. As a heads-up, we primarily monitor and respond to questions and feedback in sticky forums posts here:
    https://forum.unity.com/forums/connected-games.26/

    With respect to P2P, we certainly will never block developers from using this topology, and there's no reason the new transport will be incompatible.

    However, we are focused first on hosted dedicated servers because they provide consistent connection quality, server authority, no host advantage, and much greater scale potential. In short, we learned that most devs were unable to succeed with P2P (even when their game was popular), and it was the underlying P2P topology that ultimately limited their success. 

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