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Introducing Unity 2021 LTS

April 12, 2022 in Engine & platform | 9 min. read
Unity 2021 LTS release header
Unity 2021 LTS release header

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Unity 2021 LTS delivers powerful improvements to workflows, rendering capabilities, and platform support to help you realize your creative ambitions. New enhancements prioritize quality, productivity, and performance for any platform, genre, or artistic style.

Today, we’re excited to announce that Unity 2021 LTS is available to download and use. This release represents more than a year of focused development across the entire Unity Editor and underlying foundational features. In 2021, we continued our commitment to putting quality first in order to make your experience working in Unity more stable, productive, and efficient than ever before. 

The LTS release combines the features we rolled up in our Unity 2021.1 and Unity 2021.2 Tech Stream releases with an additional six months of quality polish. This means you can choose the Long Term Support version with confidence that you’ll experience highly dependable workflows and incredibly stable games that hum on any platform you target. 

LTS releases are published annually, with two full years of support and biweekly updates to ensure you have the absolute latest fixes when you need them.

Want to know more? Check out the Unity 2021 LTS feature pages for programmers and artists, or watch the GDC Developer Summit Roadmap session.

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We focused Unity 2021 LTS development on four key areas.

Workflows for all

First, we focused on offering more accessible workflows for all creators, regardless of their role in the project. This enables you to build immersive experiences more quickly by taking advantage of the improvements we’ve made on how you work in-Editor. 

Integrated visual scripting is available in Unity 2021 LTS. Easily the most exciting feature in the release, this approach can benefit anyone, from non-coders who want more autonomy to seasoned programmers quickly prototyping new functionality. Most Unity scripting processes can be replicated through a visual drag-and-drop interface that allows you to create and prototype without having to write a line of code.

We’ve also improved how quickly assets are imported into the Editor and made it easier to manage PSD imports for 2D game components. Get through your worldbuilding phase faster with updates to Terrain Tools, and discover improvements to VFX Graph, Shader Graph, and Cinemachine.

Faster to quality

Next, we wanted to give you the ability to iterate faster and produce higher-quality experiences for your players. We’ve upgraded workflows across the board, provided better Editor usability, and enhanced our testing tools. 

Minimize time from design to hands-on creation by leveraging Feature Sets, which gather all the packages you need to start a project in a one-click bundle. Find what you’re looking for faster with improved search capability, and experience an added zippiness in common operations you use regularly.

Make sure your code is clean, performant, and high-quality with a new Mono upgrade, improved C# 8 support, and incremental builds that compile your project as you create it. A comprehensive Memory Profiler allows you to profile with multiple Players simultaneously. 

Follow up that quality coding experience with tools that facilitate an equally high-quality output. In Unity 2021 LTS, you’ll find a mobile Device Simulator to check for compatibility on multiple devices. Use the production-ready Code Coverage package with the Test Runner to export code coverage data and reports from your automated tests. Additionally, the Code Coverage package offers a Coverage Recording feature that allows you to capture coverage data on demand for manual testing or when there are no automated tests in the project.

Graphics capabilities

Our third area of development was to couple all the work on the Editor with an equal focus on improving graphics capabilities for your projects. Craft stunning visuals with a collection of powerful rendering solutions, all supported by a comprehensive ecosystem of graphical tools.

Our Universal Render Pipeline (URP) is optimized for maximum platform reach so your players can enjoy fantastic graphic fidelity regardless of their device. In Unity 2021 LTS, you’ll find upgrades to URP for Point Light shadows, Lens Flares, and decals. 

If you’re looking to get the maximum performance for a specific platform, the improvements we’ve made to the High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP) include realistic cloud definition with Volumetric Clouds and Static Shadow Casting.

Craft stunning visuals with powerful rendering solutions supported by an ecosystem of tools. Push the limits of high fidelity with HDRP performance upgrades and features like NVIDIA DLSS for desktop and AMD FSR native support in URP.

Reach new generations of players

Be where your players are with support for innovative new platforms and technologies. Expand your development capabilities with ChromeOS and macOS-based Apple silicon support, and achieve even more impressive results on the latest generation of PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles. Develop for augmented and virtual reality worlds with OpenXR and Oculus enhancements, or create for mobile by optimizing with Samsung Adaptive Performance 3.0 and tap into seamless publishing with Android asset bundling.

Get started

Wherever you are in your production process, we offer the resources to help you bring your project to the finish line and beyond with Unity 2021 LTS. See all the news in the release notes and in the Unity Manual, and then download Unity 2021 LTS from the Unity Hub.

We also prepared a series of upgrade guides to help you transition from Unity 2020 LTS or Unity 2019 LTS to Unity 2021 LTS. For complex productions with a high number of dependencies, contact Unity Support and Services for help to make the upgrade process smoother.

Unity 2021 LTS support and updates timeline
Unity 2021 LTS will be supported with regular updates until mid-2024.

Unity 2020 LTS is now the legacy version. It will be updated monthly until it reaches the end of its support cycle in mid-2023. Please note that Unity 2019 LTS is approaching its end of life, and the last supported update is scheduled for release in the beginning of June.

We need you

We work with the belief that the world is a better place with more creators in it. That drives us to always look for ways to make the platform better for you. Give us feedback on how we’re doing, what you think of the Unity 2021 LTS release, and what you’d love to see next in our forums. 

We can’t wait to see what you create next.

April 12, 2022 in Engine & platform | 9 min. read

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