Unity 2019 Splash Image

The definitive guide to installing Unity

Unity has seen growth in leaps and bounds over the last decade, having completed its IPO this September for a whooping US$1.3 billion. Alongside all this growth, the Unity Engine has also changed tremendously over the past few years, so much so that it has become difficult to set up and use, especially for new users.

Hence, if you’re having trouble getting Unity installed and working, here is a guide to help.

  1. Getting started: Installing Unity Hub
    1. What is Unity Hub?
  2. Signing in with a Unity account
  3. Activate a Unity License
  4. Installing Unity

1. Getting started: Installing Unity Hub

To begin, head to this URL and click on Download Unity Hub (to download Unity Hub):

unity3d.com/get-unity/download

This should download an installer called UnityHubSetup.exe. Run it to install Unity Hub on your computer.

What is Unity Hub?

Unity Hub is Unity’s install manager. It helps you manage, download and install different versions of Unity, and its accompanying sub-modules on your computer.

If you’re wondering why you’ll need different versions of Unity on your computer, it’s because upgrading Unity during the development of a game project can be disruptive β€” game projects usually involve multiple people working together, and if one person upgrades their Unity version, everyone will have to do the same to maintain compatibility with the project files. Due to this, people who work on multiple game projects simultaneously often have multiple versions of Unity installed on their computer, as each project will often use a different version of Unity.

2. Signing in with a Unity account

Once Unity Hub is installed, you’ll want to open it and sign in with a Unity account before doing anything else.

Sign in to Unity Hub
You can’t do much without a Unity account.

This will open a pop-up, prompting you to enter your email and password to sign in to your Unity account.

Sign into your Unity ID
If you don’t have a Unity account, you’ll have to create one.

Once you have signed in, you will be able to…


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3. Activate a Unity License

Without a Unity license, you won’t be able to use any of the versions of Unity you download. To activate a Unity license, click on your account profile, and select Manage license.

Manage license - Unity Hub
You’ll need to get at least a free license to use Unity.

Once on the license management page, click on Activate New License. Answer all the subsequent prompts from Unity, and you’ll get yourself a Unity license that will enable the full set of features on the Unity Hub.

Unity Hub License Activation
If you are using Unity as a hobbyist developer, select the options as shown on the GIF.

4. Installing Unity

With a license activated, you can now install Unity on your computer. Exit the license management page, and head to the Installs tab.

Unity Hub - To the Installs tab
Head to the Installs tab.

Here, click on the Add button, and follow the prompts from Unity Hub to start installing Unity.

Installing Unity
We’re finally making the installation.

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A few things to note about the installation:

  1. You can install any of the listed versions of Unity, but the version under the Recommended Release header is, for obvious reasons, the most recommended one.
  2. When inside the Add modules to your install prompt, you can uncheck all of the modules except the Microsoft Visual Studio one, which allows you to write scripts for Unity. Technically, you can also write Unity scripts without Visual Studio, but Unity’s integration into Visual Studio’s IntelliSense is very helpful, especially for new coders.

Once installation starts, you will see your chosen version of Unity appear on your Installs tab.

Unity installation progress
The installation will take some time to complete.

Midway through, you should also see the Visual Studio Installer pop up, if you’ve chosen to install it.

Unity Visual Studio Installer progress
This will also take some time to complete.

Once the installer runs its course, you should be able to open your projects using the newly-installed Unity Editor version.


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