The Unity 2021.1 beta kicks off this year’s Tech Stream with a continued focus on quality and productivity, plus integrated visual scripting. Read on to learn what’s available for you to try out today.
Unity 2020.1 and 2020.2 included many improvements to existing functionality that make Unity workflows even more intuitive to boost your productivity. With the 2021.1 beta, we’re building on this foundation while also introducing the first iteration of the new key features announced in our 2020 roadmap blog post.
Some of highlights in 2021.1 are ready to be tested – and we’d love to hear your feedback:
You can get the latest beta from the Unity Hub or on our download page. As of today, it includes over 1700 fixes and more than 240 features and changes. Remember, the beta is not intended for use in production-stage projects, and you should also make sure to back up your existing projects if you plan to use them with the beta, as always. That said, we would love to know how Unity 2021.1 works for you – submit a bug report to qualify for your chance to win one of four ultrawide IPS 34” 144 Hz monitors. Also, don’t hesitate to visit and post in the beta forum, where Unity staff across teams are monitoring and considering your valuable feedback.
Finally, make sure to sign up for the webinar on February 25, where the Creator Advocacy team will demo many of the new features in Unity 2021.1 beta. You can learn more about the webinar and sweepstakes below.
Unity 2021.1 integrates visual scripting as part of its core functionality. Visual scripting helps all team members create scripting logic with visual, drag-and-drop graphs instead of writing code by hand. Artists and designers can now get more done in the Editor without requiring help from programmers, while programmers can quickly implement ideas for faster prototyping and iteration.
You can learn more about visual scripting, discuss and share your feedback in the forum, or get started with this Unite Now session.
In 2021, we are continuing to mature our Universal Render Pipeline (URP) and High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP) solutions alongside authoring tools like Shader Graph or Terrain. In 2021.1, the Graphics R&D team is focused on stability and bug fixes.
Workflows and usability continue to be the highest priority for us in 2021. This release includes over thirty quality-of-life and performance improvements in the Editor.
In this beta webinar, the team offers a look at the new features and how they work.
We’re focusing on improving your team’s productivity across the development lifecycle, from asset import, build and deployment to in-Editor iteration. The following features are ready to try in the 2021.1 beta.
This release includes many improvements to our existing toolset, as well as several new features that will be particularly useful for our users working in the media and entertainment industry.
This release includes usability and stability improvements for all the 2D tools introduced in recent years, with a focus on Sprite Swap workflows and 2D graphics for the end of this cycle.
Platform reach has always been at the heart of Unity, and that includes platform support and launch-day content for next-generation consoles, Apple Silicon, and continued optimization and support for mobile architecture and AR/VR platforms. In the Unity 2021.1 beta you will find:
UnityEngine.Device.Screen; UnityEngine.Device.Application; UnityEngine.Device.SystemInfo;
You can easily switch to the UnityEngine.Device by adding the following to each script you want to work with in the simulator:
using Screen = UnityEngine.Device.Screen; using Application = UnityEngine.Device.Application; using SystemInfo = UnityEngine.Device.SystemInfo;
The new namespace UnityEngine.Device will transition smoothly from the simulator (when in the Editor) to the actual device API with a runtime build.
Starting in 2021.1, we are changing the way we publish, show and label packages in the Package Manager. This new iteration is meant to provide clearer guidance regarding a package’s stability, anticipated support level, Unity’s long-term commitment, and the expected release date. This new lifecycle is the result of many rounds of feedback with the community and should ultimately make the Package Manager experience better. You can read the details and comment in our forum thread.
Beta users who want to discover and try Pre-release and Experimental packages can continue to do so by visiting the new dedicated forum space or by subscribing to our newsletter at the bottom of this blog post.
We want to share a 30-minute hands-on overview of some of the new features and improvements you might find interesting in this release. The webinar also features a few R&D team members, who will answer your questions live. Sign up here to take part.
By participating in the 2021.1 beta, you can qualify for a chance to win one of four ultrawide 34” IPS 144 Hz Acer NitroXV0 monitors.
To enter the draw, all you have to do is identify and report at least one original bug in a 2021.1 version while the submission period is open. The contest opens at 00:01 am PT from January 27, 2021, and the submission period ends at 23:59 pm PT on March 18, 2021.
An original bug is one that has not yet been reported at the time of submission and has been reproduced and acknowledged by Unity as a bug. Make sure to add #Beta2021Win_MONITOR in your bug report submission. Every additional valid submission increases your odds of winning, but no participant can win more than one prize.
No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. See the full rules here. We will contact the winners directly.
If you want to stay up to date with new Unity betas, Pre-Release packages, or other activities that we have lined up for the beta community, subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest information delivered directly to your inbox.
As always, we look forward to sharing more updates and digging deeper into the Unity 2021.1 features in blog posts, Unite Now talks, and more. If you want to learn about what our teams are working on and get a glimpse behind the scenes, check out our Road to 2021 dev diaries for 2D, performance optimization and quality of life enhancements, and stay tuned for an upcoming post on visual scripting, which will be the fourth in this series.
Both the Unity 2020 LTS and full release of Unity 2021.1 are scheduled for the spring. The second and last Tech Stream of the year, 2021.2, is expected to launch in autumn of 2021.
The following is intended for informational purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. No purchasing decisions should be made based on the following materials. Unity is not committing to deliver any functionality, features or code. The development, timing and release of all products, functionality and features are at the sole discretion of Unity, and are subject to change.