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Connection Approval

With every new connection, Netcode for GameObjects (Netcode) performs a handshake in addition to handshakes done by the transport. This ensures the NetworkConfig on the Client matches the Server's NetworkConfig. You can enable ConnectionApproval in the NetworkManager or via code by setting NetworkManager.NetworkConfig.ConnectionApproval to true.

Connection approval allows you to decide, on a per connection basis, if the connection should be allowed. Connection approval also enables you to specify the player Prefab to be created, allowing you to override the default NetworkManager defined player Prefab on a per player basis. By setting ConnectionApproval property of the NetworkManager to true Netcode will then check to make sure the NetworkManager.ConnectionApprovalCallback has been assigned. If it has been assigned, then Netcode will use the connection approval process for connecting clients.


If it isn't assigned even with the NetworkManager.ConnectionApprovalCallback set to true, then the basic authentication will be used for the user! (that is, automatically authorizes and assigns the default player prefab)


This class represents the client-to-server request which contains:

  • ClientNetworkId: the connecting client identifier
  • Payload: any additional user defined connection data


This is how the connection approval response is formed by server-side specific user code in the handler assigned to 'NetworkManager.ConnectionApprovalCallback'. On the server side, this class has all of the connection approval response information required to either authorize or reject a player attempting to connect. It also has the following properties:

  • Approved: When true the player is approved and false the player is denied.
  • CreatePlayerObject: When true the server will spawn a player Prefab for the connecting player. The default player Prefab is defined in NetworkManager. to specify a player Prefab other than the default use the PlayerPrefabHash property.
  • PlayerPrefabHash: The type of player Prefab to use for the authorized player (if this is null it uses the default NetworkManager defined player prefab)
  • Position and Rotation: The position and rotation of the player when spawned
  • Pending: Provides the ability to mark the approval "pending" to delay the authorization until other user-specific code finishes the approval process.
  • Reason: If Approved is false you can populate this with a string based message (or json) to send the reason why the client wasn't approved.

Unlike previous versions of Netcode for GameObjects where users were provided a callback to be invoked within the connection approval handler method, users now only need to set the appropriate properties of the NetworkManager.ConnectionApprovalResponse class. Part of this update allows users to set their ConnectionApprovalResponse to Pending which provides users additional time to process any other tasks involved with the player approval process.

Server Side Connection Approval Example

using Unity.Netcode;

private void Setup()
NetworkManager.Singleton.ConnectionApprovalCallback = ApprovalCheck;

private void ApprovalCheck(NetworkManager.ConnectionApprovalRequest request, NetworkManager.ConnectionApprovalResponse response)
// The client identifier to be authenticated
var clientId = request.ClientNetworkId;

// Additional connection data defined by user code
var connectionData = request.Payload;

// Your approval logic determines the following values
response.Approved = true;
response.CreatePlayerObject = true;

// The Prefab hash value of the NetworkPrefab, if null the default NetworkManager player Prefab is used
response.PlayerPrefabHash = null;

// Position to spawn the player object (if null it uses default of
response.Position =;

// Rotation to spawn the player object (if null it uses the default of Quaternion.identity)
response.Rotation = Quaternion.identity;

// If response.Approved is false, you can provide a message that explains the reason why via ConnectionApprovalResponse.Reason
// On the client-side, NetworkManager.DisconnectReason will be populated with this message via DisconnectReasonMessage
response.Reason = "Some reason for not approving the client";

// If additional approval steps are needed, set this to true until the additional steps are complete
// once it transitions from true to false the connection approval response will be processed.
response.Pending = false;

Sending An Approval Declined Reason (NetworkManager.ConnectionApprovalResponse.Reason)

Under the condition that you need to deny a player from connecting for any particular reason (reached maximum number of connections, invalid authorization, etc.), the NetworkManager.ConnectionApprovalResponse structure provides you with the optional NetworkManager.ConnectionApprovalResponse.Reason property. When NetworkManager.ConnectionApprovalResponse.Approved is false and NetworkManager.ConnectionApprovalResponse.Reason has been populated with the reason for denying the player's request to connect, then the server will send the client a DisconnectReasonMessage. Upon the client side receiving the DisconnectReasonMessage, the NetworkManager.DisconnectReason property will be populated with the NetworkManager.ConnectionApprovalResponse.Reason message. The example provided below shows how this works:

using UnityEngine;
using Unity.Netcode;

/// <summary>
/// Connection Approval Handler Component
/// </summary>
/// <remarks>
/// This should be placed on the same GameObject as the NetworkManager.
/// It automatically declines the client connection for example purposes.
/// </remarks>
public class ConnectionApprovalHandler : MonoBehaviour
private NetworkManager m_NetworkManager;

private void Start()
m_NetworkManager = GetComponent<NetworkManager>();
if (m_NetworkManager != null)
m_NetworkManager.OnClientDisconnectCallback += OnClientDisconnectCallback;
m_NetworkManager.ConnectionApprovalCallback = ApprovalCheck;

private void ApprovalCheck(NetworkManager.ConnectionApprovalRequest request, NetworkManager.ConnectionApprovalResponse response)
response.Approved = false;
response.Reason = "Testing the declined approval message";

private void OnClientDisconnectCallback(ulong obj)
if (!m_NetworkManager.IsServer && m_NetworkManager.DisconnectReason != string.Empty)
Debug.Log($"Approval Declined Reason: {m_NetworkManager.DisconnectReason}");

Connection data (NetworkManager.ConnectionApprovalRequest.Payload)

The ConnectionApprovalRequest.Payload parameter takes any custom data of your choice that the client should send to the server. Usually, this data should be some sort of ticket, room password, or similar that will decide if a connection should be approved or not. The connectionData is specified on the Client-side in the NetworkingConfig supplied when connecting.


using Unity.Netcode;

NetworkManager.Singleton.NetworkConfig.ConnectionData = System.Text.Encoding.ASCII.GetBytes("room password");

The Payload, defined by the client-side NetworkConfig.ConnectionData, will be sent to the server as part of the Payload of the connection request message that will be used on the server-side to determine if the client is approved or not. The connetion data is completely optional and the connection approval process can be used to simply assign player's unique prefabs, other than the default, as well as facilitates the ability to spawn players at various locations (without requiring the client to send any form of connection data).


Netcode uses a callback system to allow for external validation. For example, you might have a steam authentication ticket sent as the ConnectionData that you want to validate against steam servers. This can take some time, so you will want to set the NetworkManager.ConnectionApprovalResponse.Pending to true while the steam server(or other third party authentication service) occurs. However, if the third party authentication process (that is, steam servers, etc) takes longer than the time specified by the NetworkConfig.ClientConnectionBufferTimeout, then the connection will be dropped. The timer for this starts when the server notified of the new inbound client connection. The "Client Connection Buffer Timeout" value can be set via the NetworkManager in the inspector view or accessed via the NetworkManager.NetworkConfig.ClientConnectionBufferTimeout property.


If connection approval is enabled. Any messages sent before a connection is setup are silently ignored.

Connection data security

The connection data isn't encrypted or authenticated.


A man in the middle attack can be done. it's strongly suggested to not send authentication tokens such as steam tickets or user passwords over connection approval.

Changing the Player Prefab

There might be times when you want to specify an alternate player Prefab to use for a player connecting. The connection approval process provides you with the ability to accomplish this task.

Step 1: Modify/Create an In-Scene Placed Connection Approval Component

    public class ClientConnectionHandler : NetworkBehaviour
public List<uint> AlternatePlayerPrefabs;

public void SetClientPlayerPrefab(int index)
if (index > AlternatePlayerPrefabs.Count)
Debug.LogError($"Trying to assign player Prefab index of {index} when there are only {AlternatePlayerPrefabs.Count} entries!");
if (NetworkManager.IsListening || IsSpawned)
Debug.LogError("This needs to be set this before connecting!");
NetworkManager.NetworkConfig.ConnectionData = System.BitConverter.GetBytes(index);

public override void OnNetworkSpawn()
if (IsServer)
NetworkManager.ConnectionApprovalCallback = ConnectionApprovalCallback;

private void ConnectionApprovalCallback(NetworkManager.ConnectionApprovalRequest request, NetworkManager.ConnectionApprovalResponse response)
var playerPrefabIndex = System.BitConverter.ToInt32(request.Payload);
if (AlternatePlayerPrefabs.Count < playerPrefabIndex)
response.PlayerPrefabHash = AlternatePlayerPrefabs[playerPrefabIndex];
Debug.LogError($"Client provided player Prefab index of {playerPrefabIndex} when there are only {AlternatePlayerPrefabs.Count} entries!");
// Continue filling out the response

In the above example, we created a list of unsigned integers to store our alternate player Prefab GlobalObjectIdHash values (AlternatePlayerPrefabs). For example purposes, we added a public method that a client can invoke to set their selected player prefab's index that is relative to AlternatePlayerPrefabs (you can do this in some other component). The general idea for this approach is that the client provides the server with the alternate player Prefab index that the player whishes to use.

The server assigns the ConnectionApprovalCallback when it spawns the in-scene placed NetworkObject that the ClientConnectionHandler is attached to. When a connection request is handled, the server grabs the alternate player Prefab index from the request's Payload field and then obtains the GlobalObjectIdHash value from the AlternatePlayerPrefabs list and assigns that to the response.PlayerPrefabHash.

Step 2: Copy the Alternate Player Prefab's GlobalObjectIdHash Value


In order to populate the AlternatePlayerPrefabs list:

  • Open the scene containing the in-scene placed NetworkObject that the ConnectionApprovalCallback is attached to.
  • Find each alternate player Prefab you wish to add to the list, select the Prefab (but don't open it), and copy the GlobalObjectIdHash value by right-clicking and selecting "copy".
  • Paste the copied GlobalObjectIdHash value into a new list item entry in the AlternatePlayerPrefabs list.

Step 3: Assign Client's Selected Player Prefab Index

This part is up to your project's design. We did include a method that can be invoked by the client, but that also requires the client to have that scene loaded. You can choose to have a ScriptableObject that has the list of alternate player Prefab GlobalObjectIdHash values and share that between components (this would require you to change the AlternatePlayerPrefabs to a reference of the ScriptableObject). The general idea is to have the client populate the NetworkConfig.ConnectionData before starting.


An alternate way to handle this is by using a generic player Prefab that is used as the parent to the actual player's character and allowing the player to select their player once they're connected. This would involve dynamically spawning the player's selected character with the client as the owner and parenting that under the player's generic player Prefab instance.
Suggested Reading:
NetworkObject Parenting
Session Management