Unity is a powerful engine for creating games on multiple platforms. While the Unity Editor runs on the C# programming language, it is even possible to develop games without coding.
Rust, Hearthstone and Kerbal Space Program are all Unity games. These tutorials will teach you everything you need to build your dream game! First, a note about the name.
Unity 3D or Unity?
When searching for information about Unity, you may have seen it referred to as Unity 3D or simply as Unity. Things don’t get any simpler when you visit the official website, which has the URL unity3d.com, but refers to the engine as Unity.
Unity dropped the 3D from their name as it isn’t only a 3D engine. It works in 2D and 3D and has tools for both. While the branding has changed everywhere else, it was presumably not worth changing the official website URL.
In short, Unity 3D is Unity, and we’ll stick to calling it Unity for this article.
Best Overall Beginner Tutorial for Unity
For a comprehensive Unity beginner course in basic game design, Unity3d College have you covered. This tutorial assumes no knowledge and takes you through opening Unity for the first time. It introduces the Unity Editor, game objects, and basic functionality with C# code.
The Unity3d.College website has a collection of content including links to videos, podcasts on game development, and written tutorials. This site has something for the total beginner and seasoned Unity user alike.
Best Interactive Tutorial for Unity
Many tutorials provide project files to help you get hands-on experience with Unity projects. The official interactive tutorial projects from Unity take it one step further.
These projects take beginners through game building and testing. The tutorial windows highlight different parts of the Unity Editor and give a step by step guide of how it works. There are several interactive tutorials available for free through the Unity Hub launcher, which comes with Unity.
Best Beginner C# Tutorial for Unity
Brackeys is a well respected YouTube teacher, who creates Unity tutorials for all levels. His introduction to C# leaves Unity aside and concentrates purely on the code which underpins the engine. This tutorial requires no previous coding knowledge.
It’s good stuff to learn as Unity’s libraries are all built on C#, but there are many other great reasons to learn C#!
Game Kits are template projects which allows beginners to design games in the Unity Editor. You can download the 2D Game Kit from the Unity website, which provides a step by step guide for using it.
While keeping everything beginner friendly, this guide introduces some core concepts for 2D game development. By the end of the tutorial, you’ll be familiar with Tile Maps, event-based behavior, and basic game testing. Unity also offer a 3D game kit, with more planned for the future.
Best No Coding Tutorial for Unity
Playmaker, available on the Unity Asset Store, allows non-coders to create games. The makers of Inside used it to enable artists and level designers to implement game content. YouTuber Jayanam explains the fundamentals of visual logic with Playmaker in his video tutorial.
As a visual Finite State Machine (FSM), Playmaker makes complex behavior and game mechanics easy to create. You can make whole games with complex behaviors and mechanics using the system. If you are brimming with ideas but don’t want to learn to code, Playmaker is perfect for you.
Best Platformer Tutorial for Unity
Thomas Brush, developer of Pinstripe and the highly anticipated Once Upon A Coma shares his knowledge in this comprehensive tutorial for creating a platformer in Unity. Drawing on ten years of experience, he breaks down every element into easy to understand language, perfect for beginners.
The tutorial covers importing layers from Photoshop into Unity and creating a parallax effect bringing it to life. He shows you how to render the scene correctly, import a player character, and give the game functionality through code. Thomas has created a wealth of tutorials on his YouTube channel, along with quick tips about life as a game developer.
Best Quick Tutorial for Unity
If you are looking for a quick overview of building basic game mechanics, the Android Authority YouTube channel has the answer. Using the Unity engine and the Android Software Development Kit (SDK), you can make a functional game in just seven minutes.
The video covers making pixel art and importing it into Unity, along with some basic behavior through code. If this is enough to get you interested in developing Android games, the process is also covered in much more detail in a series of posts by the creator of the YouTube tutorial.
Best Long Form Tutorial for Unity
Long form tutorials often create full games and cover topics of game design in a much deeper way than basic tutorials. YouTuber quill18creates creates accessible tutorial series which usually cover whole projects in detail.
The current tutorial covers creating a 4X Space Strategy game, in a similar style to Civilization. The entire game is open sourced, and each video features clear instructions which are suitable for beginners. There are multiple similar projects on the quill18creates channel, along with standalone videos on Unity game development.
Best Shader Tutorials for Unity
While not specific to Unity, shaders are essential to making any game look good. Every breath-taking image effect in games relies on them. Writing shaders can be a complicated task. They have a different syntax to C#, and even understanding basic terms can be confusing.
Enter Makin’ Stuff Look Good. This channel is among the best in explaining how shaders work and how to write shader code. The videos on deconstructing and recreating graphics from popular games are perfect for seeing how these concepts work in action.
Best Lighting Tutorial for Unity
This tutorial from YouTuber LMHPoly covers the fundamentals of lighting in Unity. You require no prior knowledge of Unity to build the project, and each step is explained with on-screen prompts.
Lighting is the difference between a good looking game and a great one. If you are more geared towards aesthetics than coding, learning about lighting might be for you.
Best CAD Tutorial for Unity
While the majority of Unity users are creating games, the engine is also perfect for architects and 3D modelers to show their work. YouTuber ArquMania takes you through the whole process of exporting a CAD model from Rhino and importing it into Unity.
Once imported, the model is textured and placed in a scene. By adding a player character, people can then walk around the model in the scene. This process works for any CAD software and would be perfect for architects and interior designers.
Game On… With Unity!
Unity is a powerful all in one tool for game development. You can learn the fundamentals in a day, but learning game development is an on-going process. While powerful, Unity might not be for you. Luckily there are many different game development engines to choose from, and one might fit you better than another.
If you do decide to learn Unity, it’s best to dive right in and get some experience of what game development is like. A beginner Unity tutorial which teaches you how to make a full game is a great place to start!