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 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).
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.
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.