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Netcode for GameObjects (Netcode) uses Unity’s UNet Transport Layer API by default and can support the Unity Transport Package (UTP) or custom transports with the UTP wrapper as alternatives. UNet is a deprecated solution, so we recommend considering UTP or custom alternatives.

So what is a transport layer?#

The transport layer establishes communication between your application and different hosts in a network.

A transport layer can provide:

  • Connection-oriented communication to ensure a robust connection before exchanging data with a handshake protocol.
  • Maintain order delivery for your packets to fix any discrepancies from the network layer in case of packet drops or device interruption.
  • Ensure data integrity by requesting retransmission of missing or corrupted data through using checksums.
  • Control the data flow in a network connection to avoid buffer overflow or underflow--causing unnecessary network performance issues.
  • Manage network congestion by mediating flow rates and node overloads.
  • Adjust data streams to transmit as byte streams or packets.

Unity’s UNet Transport Layer API#

Although it is deprecated, UNet is the current default transport solution for Netcode. As UTP continues to become more robust, it will be the future default transport solution for Netcode.

Unity Transport Package (UTP)#

The Unity Transport Package (UTP) is an entire transport layer (unlike the UTP wrapper) that you can use to add multiplayer and network features to your project with or without Netcode. See the Transport documentation for more information and how to install.

The UTP Wrapper and Custom Transports#

The UTP wrapper is a transport adapter that enables any networking transport to work with Netcode. It is the skeleton other transport libraries need to become compatible with the Netcode Transport Interface by using the Unity.Netcode.NetworkTransport abstract class.

The UTP wrapper has it's own API reference to incorporate with your transport solution.

To install the UTP wrapper for your transport solution, follow these steps:

  1. Open your Unity Hub and select the Project you are presently working on.
  2. From the menu bar, navigate to Window > Package Manager.
  3. Click the plus sign Add in the Package Manager status bar and select Add pack from git URL...
  4. Copy and paste the following in the pop-up window:
How to Copy

We recommend that you use the Copy function in the code block above to copy the URL as other methods may result in errors. Just hover and click.

  1. Click Add. The package installs as Unity Transport for Netcode for GameObjects.
The UTP wrapper vs UTP in the Package Manager

The UTP wrapper is not the Unity Transport Package (UTP). The UTP wrapper is an adapter and skeleton for your transport method to plug into Netcode.

UTP is a network transport layer that can function without Netcode and a completely separate package listed in the Package Manager as Unity Transport.

Community Transports or Writing Your Own#

You can use any of the community contributed custom transport implementations or write your own.

The community transports are interchangeable transport layers for Netcode and can be installed with the Unity Package Manager. After installation, the transport package will appear in the Select Transport dropdown of the NetworkManager. Check out the Netcode community contributed transports for more information.

To start writing your own and contributing to the community, check out the Netcode community contribution repository for starting points and how to add your content.