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Get started with NGO

Use this guide to learn how to create your first NGO project. It walks you through creating a simple Hello World project that implements the basic features of Netcode for GameObjects (NGO).

See Testing the command line helper to learn how to test your builds with a command line helper.

Prerequisites#

Before you start, ensure you have the following prerequisites:

  • An active Unity account with a valid license.
  • The Unity Hub.
  • A NGO-supported version of the Unity Editor. See NGO requirements.

Before continuing, create a new project using Unity Editor version 2021.3 or later.

Install Netcode for GameObjects#

See Install Netcode for GameObjects

Add the basic components#

This section guides you through adding the essential components of a networked game:

Create the NetworkManager component#

This section guides you through creating a NetworkManager component.

First, create the NetworkManager component:

  1. Right-click in the Hierarchy tab, then select Create Empty to create an empty GameObject.

  1. Rename the empty GameObject NetworkManager.

  1. Select NetworkManager, then select Add Component from the Inspector tab.

  1. Select Netcode > NetworkManager from the component list.

  1. In the Inspector tab, locate the Unity Transport section, then select UnityTransport as the Protocol type.
  2. Save the scene by pressing Ctrl/Cmd + S (or by selecting File > Save).

Create an object to spawn for each connected player#

important

When you drop the Prefab into the PlayerPrefab slot, you are telling the library that when a client connects to the game, it should automatically spawn this Prefab as the character for the connecting client. NGO won’t spawn a player object if you don't have any Prefab set as the PlayerPrefab. See Player Objects.

This section guides you through creating an object that spawns for each connected player.

  1. In the Unity Editor, right-click within the Hierarchy tab, then select 3D Object > Capsule.
  2. Name the Capsule Object Player.
  3. With Player selected, add a NetworkObject component in the Inspector tab by selecting Add Component > NetworkObject.
  4. Right-click within the Assets folder under the Project tab, then select Create > Folder.
  5. Name the folder Prefabs.
  6. Make the Player object you created earlier into a Prefab by dragging it from the Hierarchy tab into the Prefabs folder.

  1. Delete the Player from the scene by selecting the Player capsule within the Scene tab, then pressing the Delete key.
tip

You can remove the Player object from the scene because you assign this network Prefab to the Player Prefab property in the NetworkManager component. The library doesn't support defining a player object as an in-scene placed NetworkObject.

  1. Select NetworkManager.
  2. With NetworkManager selected, locate the PlayerPrefabs field in the Inspector tab.

  1. Drag the Player Prefab from the Project tab into the PlayerPrefab slot you created in the Inspector tab.

  1. Add a 3D Plane (centered at 0,0,0) to the scene by right-clicking in the Hierarchy tab, then selecting 3D Object > Plane.
note

Adding the Plane adds a visual reference point to visualize the Player prefab’s position, but it isn’t necessary.

  1. Save the scene by pressing Ctrl/Cmd + S (selecting File > Save).

Add your scene to the build#

This section guides you through adding your scene to the build.

The Enable Scene Management for the NetworkManager setting allows the server to control which scenes should load for the clients. However, you must add the current scene to the build to enter Play mode.

note

The Enable Scene Management option for the NetworkManager is enabled by default.

  1. Open the Build Settings window by selecting File > Build Settings.
  2. Select Add Open Scenes.

You should see Scenes/SampleScene listed under Scenes In Build. You can close the Build Settings window.

Add RPCs#

This section guides you through adding basic RPCs to the project.

Create a script named RpcTest.cs:

  1. In the Project tab, select Assets > Scripts.
  2. Right-click in the Scripts folder and select Create > C# Script.
  3. Name the script RpcTest.

Add the RpcTest.cs script to the Player prefab:

  1. Select the Player Prefab in Assets > Prefabs.
  2. In the Inspector tab (with the Player Prefab selected), select Add Component.
  3. Select Scripts > Rpc Test.

Edit the RpcTest.cs script:

  1. In the Project tab, select Assets > Scripts > RpcTest.
  2. In the Inspector tab (with the script selected), select Open. This opens this script in the default local text editor.
  3. Edit the RpcTest.cs script to match the following:
using Unity.Netcode;
using UnityEngine;
public class RpcTest : NetworkBehaviour
{
public override void OnNetworkSpawn()
{
if (!IsServer && IsOwner) //Only send an RPC to the server on the client that owns the NetworkObject that owns this NetworkBehaviour instance
{
TestServerRpc(0, NetworkObjectId);
}
}
[ClientRpc]
void TestClientRpc(int value, ulong sourceNetworkObjectId)
{
Debug.Log($"Client Received the RPC #{value} on NetworkObject #{sourceNetworkObjectId}");
if (IsOwner) //Only send an RPC to the server on the client that owns the NetworkObject that owns this NetworkBehaviour instance
{
TestServerRpc(value + 1, sourceNetworkObjectId);
}
}
[ServerRpc]
void TestServerRpc(int value, ulong sourceNetworkObjectId)
{
Debug.Log($"Server Received the RPC #{value} on NetworkObject #{sourceNetworkObjectId}");
TestClientRpc(value, sourceNetworkObjectId);
}
}
  1. Save the Scene by pressing Ctrl/Cmd + S (or by selecting File > Save).

Test the RPCs#

This section guides you through testing the RPCs you added in the earlier section.

  1. Select File > Build And Run.
  2. Stop the player.
  3. Launch the client and server together in a terminal, as shown in Testing the command line helper.
tip

Instead of using the command line helper script, you can use Multiplayer Play Mode (MMPM) package, which lets you run multiple instances of the Unity Editor to test multiplayer functionality. See MPPM to learn more.

Note: MPPM is only supported in Unity Editor version 2023.1 and later.

After the client and server spawn, you should see a log in the Console of the client and server sending RPC messages to each other.

The client kicks off the exchange in its Update call for the first time with a counter value of 0. It then makes an RPC call to the server with the next value. The server receives this and calls the client. You should see the following in the Console of the server and client respectively.

Server Received the RPC #0 on NetworkObject #1
Server Received the RPC #1 on NetworkObject #1
Server Received the RPC #2 on NetworkObject #1
Server Received the RPC #3 on NetworkObject #1
...
Client Received the RPC #0 on NetworkObject #1
Client Received the RPC #1 on NetworkObject #1
Client Received the RPC #2 on NetworkObject #1
Client Received the RPC #3 on NetworkObject #1
...

Only the client owning the NetworkObject owning the RpcTest script will send RPCs on the server, but they will all receive RPCs from the server. This means that if you test with multiple clients the consoles will log Rpcs being received once per NetworkObject per iteration on the server and all clients. If testing with a host and a client, you will see the following on the host's Console. This is because as a server it will receive the other client's server RPCs and as a client it will also receive its own client RPCs.

Server Received the RPC #0 on NetworkObject #2
Client Received the RPC #0 on NetworkObject #2
Server Received the RPC #1 on NetworkObject #2
Client Received the RPC #1 on NetworkObject #2
Server Received the RPC #2 on NetworkObject #2
Client Received the RPC #2 on NetworkObject #2
Server Received the RPC #3 on NetworkObject #2
Client Received the RPC #3 on NetworkObject #2
...

:::Note

The NetworkObjectId here is 2 because the host will also have a NetworkObject with the RpcTest script spawned for it, but it won't be sending the initial RPC starting the chain because it's a server.

:::

Extend the functionality with scripts#

The section shows how to extend the functionality of the Hello World project with two scripts: HelloWorldPlayer.cs and HelloWorldManager.cs.

The HelloWorldManager.cs script#

  1. Create a new script in the Scripts folder named HelloWorldManager.cs.
  2. Create a new empty object, HelloWorldManager, in the scene and attach the script as a component.
  3. Copy the following code into the HelloWorldManager.cs script:
using Unity.Netcode;
using UnityEngine;
namespace HelloWorld
{
public class HelloWorldManager : MonoBehaviour
{
void OnGUI()
{
GUILayout.BeginArea(new Rect(10, 10, 300, 300));
if (!NetworkManager.Singleton.IsClient && !NetworkManager.Singleton.IsServer)
{
StartButtons();
}
else
{
StatusLabels();
SubmitNewPosition();
}
GUILayout.EndArea();
}
static void StartButtons()
{
if (GUILayout.Button("Host")) NetworkManager.Singleton.StartHost();
if (GUILayout.Button("Client")) NetworkManager.Singleton.StartClient();
if (GUILayout.Button("Server")) NetworkManager.Singleton.StartServer();
}
static void StatusLabels()
{
var mode = NetworkManager.Singleton.IsHost ?
"Host" : NetworkManager.Singleton.IsServer ? "Server" : "Client";
GUILayout.Label("Transport: " +
NetworkManager.Singleton.NetworkConfig.NetworkTransport.GetType().Name);
GUILayout.Label("Mode: " + mode);
}
static void SubmitNewPosition()
{
if (GUILayout.Button(NetworkManager.Singleton.IsServer ? "Move" : "Request Position Change"))
{
if (NetworkManager.Singleton.IsServer && !NetworkManager.Singleton.IsClient )
{
foreach (ulong uid in NetworkManager.Singleton.ConnectedClientsIds)
NetworkManager.Singleton.SpawnManager.GetPlayerNetworkObject(uid).GetComponent<HelloWorldPlayer>().Move();
}
else
{
var playerObject = NetworkManager.Singleton.SpawnManager.GetLocalPlayerObject();
var player = playerObject.GetComponent<HelloWorldPlayer>();
player.Move();
}
}
}
}
}
  1. Continue reading to understand what the example code means:

In the Hello World project from earlier), you created a NetworkManager by adding the pre-created NetworkManager component. This component allows you to start a Host, Client, or Server in Play mode by inspecting the component. The HelloWorldManager.cs script simplifies this slightly by creating an on-screen UI button menu upon entering Play mode.

::tip

  • The Host starts the server and joins as a client.
  • The Client is joining the server as a client player.
  • The Server starts the game as a server without instantiating a player.

The HelloWorldManager.cs script accomplishes this menu within the StartButtons(). After you select a button, the StatusLabels()method adds a label on-screen to display which mode you have selected. This helps distinguish game view windows from each other when testing your multiplayer game.

static void StartButtons()
{
if (GUILayout.Button("Host")) NetworkManager.Singleton.StartHost();
if (GUILayout.Button("Client")) NetworkManager.Singleton.StartClient();
if (GUILayout.Button("Server")) NetworkManager.Singleton.StartServer();
}
static void StatusLabels()
{
var mode = NetworkManager.Singleton.IsHost ?
"Host" : NetworkManager.Singleton.IsServer ? "Server" : "Client";
GUILayout.Label("Transport: " +
NetworkManager.Singleton.NetworkConfig.NetworkTransport.GetType().Name);
GUILayout.Label("Mode: " + mode);
}

As seen in the earlier code snippet, the HelloWorldManager.cs script also utilizes the NetworkManager ‘s instance via its singleton to grab useful properties like the IsClient, IsServer, and IsLocalClient. The IsClient and IsServer properties dictate the established connection state.

note

The HelloWorldManager.cs script introduces a new method called SubmitNewPosition() that the HelloWorldPlayer script uses to create a simple RPC call.

The HelloWorldPlayer.cs Script#

  1. Create a new script in the Scripts folder named HelloWorldPlayer.cs.
  2. Add the script as a component to your Player prefab.
  3. Copy the following code into the HelloWorldPlayer.cs script:
using Unity.Netcode;
using UnityEngine;
namespace HelloWorld
{
public class HelloWorldPlayer : NetworkBehaviour
{
public NetworkVariable<Vector3> Position = new NetworkVariable<Vector3>();
public override void OnNetworkSpawn()
{
if (IsOwner)
{
Move();
}
}
public void Move()
{
if (NetworkManager.Singleton.IsServer)
{
var randomPosition = GetRandomPositionOnPlane();
transform.position = randomPosition;
Position.Value = randomPosition;
}
else
{
SubmitPositionRequestServerRpc();
}
}
[ServerRpc]
void SubmitPositionRequestServerRpc(ServerRpcParams rpcParams = default)
{
Position.Value = GetRandomPositionOnPlane();
}
static Vector3 GetRandomPositionOnPlane()
{
return new Vector3(Random.Range(-3f, 3f), 1f, Random.Range(-3f, 3f));
}
void Update()
{
transform.position = Position.Value;
}
}
}
  1. Continue reading to understand what the code means:

The HelloWorldPlayer.cs script adds some basic movement to the Hello World project player. Both the server player and the client player can start player movement. However, the movement occurs through the server’s position NetworkVariable, which means the server player can move immediately, but the client player must request a movement from the server, wait for the server to update the position NetworkVariable, then replicate the change locally.

The HelloWorldPlayer class inherits from Unity.Netcode‘s NetworkBehaviour instead of MonoBehaviour. This allows you to customize the networking code as you override what happens when the Player spawns.

public class HelloWorldPlayer : NetworkBehaviour

For multiplayer games, every object runs on at least two machines: player one and player two. Because of this, you need to ensure both machines see the same behavior and have the correct information about the object. One of the instances that come into play then is to understand how the Player moves. Only one player should control how the Player object moves. The following code enforces this by validating if the machine running the code is the player's owner.

public override void OnNetworkSpawn()
{
if (IsOwner)
{
Move();
}
}

Any MonoBehaviour implementing NetworkBehaviour can override the Netcode method OnNetworkSpawn(). The OnNetworkSpawn() method fires in response to the NetworkObject spawning. The HelloWorldPlayer class overrides OnNetworkSpawn since clients and the server run different logic.

note

You can override this behavior on any NetworkBehaviour.

Since the server and client can be the same machine and the Player's owner (aka Host), you want further to differentiate the two and have different Move behavior for each.

If the current player is the server, the code determines a random position to spawn the Player. You can’t determine the spawn location if the current player is the client; you have to get it from the server.

public void Move()
{
if (NetworkManager.Singleton.IsServer)
{
var randomPosition = GetRandomPositionOnPlane();
transform.position = randomPosition;
Position.Value = randomPosition;
}
else
{
SubmitPositionRequestServerRpc();
}
}
[ServerRpc]
void SubmitPositionRequestServerRpc(ServerRpcParams rpcParams = default)
{
Position.Value = GetRandomPositionOnPlane();
}
void Update()
{
transform.position = Position.Value;
}

Add the HelloWorldPlayer.cs script to the Player prefab#

This section guides you through adding the HelloWorldPlayer.cs script to the Player prefab.

Select the Player prefab:

  1. From the Project tab, select Assets > Prefabs.
  2. Select Player.

Add the HelloWorldPlayer.cs script to the Player Prefab as a component:

  1. With the Player Prefab selected, select Add Component from the Inspector tab.
  2. Select Scripts > Hello World > Hello World Player.

About the HelloWorldPlayer script#

The HelloWorldPlayer class inherits from NetworkBehaviour instead of MonoBehaviour.

public class HelloWorldPlayer : NetworkBehaviour

The HelloWorldPlayer class defines a NetworkVariable to represent the player's networked position.

public NetworkVariable<Vector3> Position = new NetworkVariable<Vector3>();

The HelloWorldPlayer class overrides OnNetworkSpawn.

public override void OnNetworkSpawn()
{
if (IsOwner)
{
Move();
}
}

The script calls the Move() method on both client and server instances of the player. The Move() script does the following:

public void Move()
{
if (NetworkManager.Singleton.IsServer)
{
var randomPosition = GetRandomPositionOnPlane();
transform.position = randomPosition;
Position.Value = randomPosition;
}
else
{
SubmitPositionRequestServerRpc();
}
}

Add simple RPC use#

This section walks you through the sample code that adds a simple RPC.

If the player is a server-owned player at OnNetworkSpawn(), you can immediately move this player, as suggested in the following code.

if (NetworkManager.Singleton.IsServer)
{
var randomPosition = GetRandomPositionOnPlane();
transform.position = randomPosition;
Position.Value = randomPosition;
}

If the player is a client, the script calls a ServerRpc. Clients can invoke a ServerRpc to execute on the server.

else
{
SubmitPositionRequestServerRpc();
}

The ServerRpc sets the position NetworkVariable on the server's instance of the player by just picking a random point on the plane.

[ServerRpc]
void SubmitPositionRequestServerRpc(ServerRpcParams rpcParams = default)
{
Position.Value = GetRandomPositionOnPlane();
}

The server instance of the player modifies the Position NetworkVariable through the ServerRpc. If the player is a client, it must apply the position locally inside the Update loop.

void Update()
{
transform.position = Position.Value;
}

Since the HelloWorldPlayer.cs script handles the position NetworkVariable, the HelloWorldManager.cs script can define the contents of SubmitNewPosition().

static void SubmitNewPosition()
{
if (GUILayout.Button(NetworkManager.Singleton.IsServer ? "Move" : "Request Position Change"))
{
var playerObject = NetworkManager.Singleton.SpawnManager.GetLocalPlayerObject();
var player = playerObject.GetComponent<HelloWorldPlayer>();
player.Move();
}
}

The method in the code block above adds a contextual button that changes depending on whether the client is a server or a client. When you press the button this method creates, it finds your local player and calls Move().

You can now create a build that shows the concepts outlined above.

Create two build instances: one for the host and the other for the client (to join the host's game).

Both build instances can move the player with the GUI button. The server moves the player immediately and replicates the movement on the client.

The client can request a new position, instructing the server to change that instance's position NetworkVariable. After the server updates the position NetworkVariable, the client applies that NetworkVariable position inside its Update() method.

Add a NetworkTransform#

This section guides you through adding a NetworkTransform component that moves the player.

Add a NetworkTransform component to the Player prefab:

  1. Select the Player Prefab in Assets > Prefabs.
  2. In the Inspector tab (with the Player Prefab selected), select Add Component.
  3. Select Netcode > NetworkTransform.

Create a script named NetworkTransformTest.cs.

  1. In the Project tab, go to Assets > Scripts.
  2. Right-click, then select Create > C# Script.
  3. Name it NetworkTransformTest.

Add the NetworkTransformTest script to the Player prefab:

  1. Select the Player Prefab in Assets > Prefabs.
  2. In the Inspector tab (with the Player Prefab selected), select Add Component.
  3. Select Scripts > Network Transform Test.

Edit the NetworkTransformTest.cs script:

  1. In the Project tab, select Assets > Scripts > NetworkTransformTest.
  2. In the Inspector tab (with the script selected), select Open. This opens this script in the default local text editor.
  3. Edit the NetworkTransformTest.cs script to match the following:
using System;
using Unity.Netcode;
using UnityEngine;
public class NetworkTransformTest : NetworkBehaviour
{
void Update()
{
if (IsServer)
{
float theta = Time.frameCount / 10.0f;
transform.position = new Vector3((float) Math.Cos(theta), 0.0f, (float) Math.Sin(theta));
}
}
}
  1. Save the scene by pressing Ctrl/Cmd + S (or by selecting File > Save).

Test the NetworkTransform#

This section guides you through testing the NetworkTransform you added in the earlier section.

  1. Select File > Build And Run.
  2. Stop the player.
  3. Launch the client and server together in a terminal as shown in Test the command line helper.

After the client and server spawn, you should see the player capsule moving in a circle on both the client and the server.

Test Hello World#

To see if everything works as expected, test starting a host in the Unity Editor. A host plays the role of a server and a client at the same time.

You can test your Hello World project through the Unity Editor or a command line helper. If you choose the latter, see Create a command line helper. Otherwise, see the following instructions to test through the Unity Editor.

  1. Select Play from the top of the Unity Editor to start the scene.

  1. Select NetworkManager from the Hierarchy list.

  1. With NetworkManager selected (in the Hierarchy tab), select Start Host from the Inspector tab. Alternatively, you can use the in-game GUI buttons.

If it works correctly, you should see the option to Stop Host in the Inspector tab.