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Object Visibility

What Is NetworkObject Visibility?#

Object (NetworkObject) visibility is a Netcode for GameObjects term used to describe whether a NetworkObject is visible to one or more clients as it pertains to a netcode/network perspective. When a NetworkObject is visible to a client, the server will assure the client has a spawned version (a clone) of the NetworkObject. This also means that all network traffic generated by the server for the visible NetworkObject will be sent to all clients that are aware (i.e. it is "visible to the clients") of it. Likewise, when a NetworkObject is "hidden" (i.e. not visible) from a client, then the client will despawn and destroy the NetworkObject if it was previously visible and no network traffic generated by the hidden NetworkObject will be received by the client(s) it is hidden from.

Using Visibility#

One way to determine visibility is to assign a callback to NetworkObject.CheckObjectVisibility. This callback is invoked when new clients connect or just before the associated NetworkObject is spawned. Looking at the example below, we can see the callback includes a client identifier (clientId) value as a parameter which is used to determine whether the NetworkObject is visible to the client. If NetworkObject.CheckObjectVisibility is not assigned, then Netcode for GameObjects assumes it is visible to all clients.

CheckObjectVisibility Callback Example#

NetworkObject netObject = GetComponent<NetworkObject>();
netObject.CheckObjectVisibility = ((clientId) => {
// return true to show the object, return false to hide it
if (Vector3.Distance(NetworkManager.Singleton.ConnectedClients[clientId].PlayerObject.transform.position, transform.position) < 5)
{
// Only show the object to players that are within 5 meters. Note that this has to be rechecked by your own code
// If you want it to update as the client and objects distance change.
// This callback is usually only called once per client
return true;
}
else
{
// Hide this NetworkObject
return false;
}
});

Additional Visibility Methods:#

The CheckObjectVisibility callback helps you determine if a NetworkObject is visible to a specific client when the NetworkObject is spawned. However, you might have the need to change a NetworkObject's visibility after it is spawned. To change the visibility of a NetworkObject that is already spawned, you can use the following methods:

Make a NetworkObject visible to a single client:

NetworkObject netObject = GetComponent<NetworkObject>();
netObject.NetworkShow(clientIdToShowTo);

Make a NetworkObject invisible/hidden from a single client:

NetworkObject netObject = GetComponent<NetworkObject>();
netObject.NetworkHide(clientIdToHideFrom);

Make several NetworkObjects visible to a single client (static method):

/// networkObjects is of type List<NetworkObject>
NetworkObject.NetworkShow(networkObjects, clientId);

Make several NetworkObjects invisible/hidden to a single client (static method):

/// networkObjects is of type List<NetworkObject>
NetworkObject.NetworkHide(networkObjects, clientId);