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The first public beta for Unity 2018.1 is available; download it now to get a sneak peek of what’s coming.

This beta introduces many new and improved features across the board like Tessellation for Metal, GPU Instancing support for GI, editor Presets for import settings and components, Dynamic Resolution for PS4,  Stereoscopic 360 image and video recording (experimental), experimental sprite animation API,  FBX import improvements, new Particle System improvements, and much more.

Get the beta here, and be sure to check the release notes to get the complete list.

We’ll be posting detailed feature previews on our blog as we progress in the beta cycle, so stay tuned.

New rendering architecture: Scriptable Render Pipeline (aka SRP)

As part of the Unity 2018.1 release, we will introduce a new real-time rendering architecture option known as Scriptable Render Pipeline (SRP). We will roll out SRP iteratively adding new functions and improvements with each new release. SRP places the power of modern hardware and GPUs directly into the hands of developers and technical artists, without having to digest millions of lines of C++ engine code. SRP is an extensible and powerful option that makes it easy to customize the rendering pipeline via C# code and material shaders.

We will provide out-of-the-box templates that take advantage of SRP and are optimized for different scenarios, starting with Lightweight and High-Definition pipelines. The Lightweight one targets general cross-platform scenarios, and the High-Definition one is for a scenario with ambitious graphical goals aimed at the most powerful platforms like high-end PC/consoles.

SRP is in the experimental stage, and you can, of course, continue to use the built-in rendering pipeline and its various configuration options.

New Shader Graph tool for artists: visual shader creation

The new Shader Graph, which is designed to work with the SRP, enables you to build shaders visually. Instead of hand-writing code, you can create and connect nodes in a graph network with previews at every step to help you design and debug your shaders.

How to get your hands on SRP and the Shader Graph

In the next iterations of the beta, we will integrate these elements in a friendly user workflow for creating and using projects. But if you can’t wait to try them out, we made a simple sample that uses SRP, built on the Lightweight pipeline, and also includes the Shader Graph tool.

To get started, download the sample project, open it with Unity 2018.1 beta, and start exploring!
We have a forum post with basic instructions, share your feedback there. 

Coming soon: the C# Job System

During the beta 2018.1 cycle, we will also make the C# Job System & the experimental Entity Component System available. These will make it easier to write safe, multithreaded code and increase performance.

Download the Unity 2018.1 beta now.

Changes to System Requirements

  • We are removing built-in support for import of Substance Designer materials in the editor, however, you will still be able to import and use Substance Designer materials in your projects using an external importer provided by Allegorithmic. Read more about the background for this decision.
  • Wii U support removed
  • Removed support for Windows XP in standalone player builds. Windows Vista is now the earliest supported OS for Windows standalone player.
  • We have also deprecated support for MonoDevelop meaning that Visual Studio is now the recommended and supported C# editor on both macOS and Windows.
  • Unity Editor macOS system requirements have changed to macOS 10.11, as this is required for Visual Studio for Mac, and thus we now also require that for the editor.

Legacy Particle System retirement

Unity 2018.1 marks the beginning of the removal of the Legacy Particle System. Our target is to fully remove the Legacy Particle System in Unity 2018.2. It was replaced by a new system (Shuriken) in Unity 3.5 and has been fully deprecated since Unity 5.4. Our analytics show almost non-existent usage, which prompted us to take the step of removing the Legacy Particle System.
If this affects you, you have some options:

You can see some examples on the latest particle system improvements from 2017.3 here.

What to expect

As with any beta program, you’ll have early access to features that are still under development. That means you’ll experience Unity as less stable than the final version. The beta test is currently expected to run until March and several beta versions will be made available in that time.

Info on the Mixed Reality 17.3 beta sweepstake winners

We have contacted the three lucky beta participant winners to tell them that their Acer Mixed Reality Headset and motion controller prize, which was sponsored by Microsoft, is on its way. Stay tuned for more info on upcoming beta sweepstakes!

Get early access now

It’s simple to get started and participate in the beta process. Simply head over to our beta testing section, read our guide and download the installer to get access to the 2018.1 beta.

We also encourage you to sign up for the optional beta tester email list below. Signing up will enable us to send you notifications when new versions are available, as well as tips on how to be an effective beta tester.

The beta release is available for free to all Unity users, including Personal Edition users. In the release notes section, you’ll find a complete list of all the new features, improvements and bug fixes included in the release.

Sign up for the beta newsletter

48 replies on “Get early access to Unity 2018.1: the beta is out”

Very nice features! A bit sad about Windows XP, in 3rd world many players still use it. But it is necessary moving ahead!
I cannot wait for improvements in floating point precision to large worlds, you will NEVER create something like a “native floating origin” which is integrated with physics?! It’s a huge pain making a driving simulator where we need a smooth experience for many kilometers… Please come on guys, consider something for truly open world maps, we need this for many years :(

I am sorry but where C# shader language? watch?v=hJZwaaXMfUA&list=FLvPyouAQeJaLs-IseeU0jbA&index=14
I was waiting for this, not another mouse programming

I was disappointed also but both can coexist well
I think that a good autocomplete and error redlining far surpasses the usefulness of node graph shader, at least for anything more complex than combine texture or warp uv

Hi there!

I’m about to record a course about Unity3D… and people could get confused as soon as Unity 2018.1 gets released.
I need to record all the lessons before the end of January.
When 2018.1 could, potentially, be released? My course I doomed to be obsolete as soon as I end up recording it?
Even a hint about the release date could help me in the decision.

Thank you :)

Well they said that beta versions will roll out until March whitch gets me to believe that the release could be late March or April.

Disappointed by the ongoing lack of proper 4k hidpi support in the Windows editor. It is never even mentioned by the development team on this blog or in public, even though it is one of the top-rated issues in the feedback system, and it seems like such an essential thing in 2018.

Ahh when is terrain core update coming :(
Fix Terrain System and environment stuff

Agree. Current terrain system and prefab workflow is a huge bottleneck for people who creating open-world or large-wide areas.

for the shader graph it would be great if you could make it extendable to support any kind of editor or runtime system when we create new classes, like a state machine, a dialogue system …

I can’t wait for the shader node editor. I was just looking for something like this and a week later it’s an official thing??? YES!

Where is the netstandard 2.0 runtime upgrade? Is it coming to the final release of 2018.1 or it will lapse indefinitely?

Support for .NET Standard 2.0 exists in 2018.1. You can use .NET Standard assemblies in your Unity project when targeting the new scripting runtime.

Ah, nice! Thought this would’ve been something exciting for many ppl worth mentioning in the release notes? Or is it just me?

So, if .NET Standard 2.0 is supported, that means that C# 7.1 is supported too?

And I join voices about proper support for 4k monitors in Editor.

C# language is currently limited to C# 4 with legacy scripting runtime and C# 6 with new/experimental scripting runtime.

It is still January, but Christmas is already here! :D This will be great year for Unity, so much good stuff coming :)

I can’t wait for the visual shader creator. I hated hand-coding shaders. <3

The Particle System also sounds fantastic.

Shader graph is really great feature! I also saw a flat theme in graph. This theme is amazing. Please change editor theme with this flat theme. I think 3D gradient theme is boring.

I hope we will see a visual scripting tool like UE4 blueprints in 2018.2. :)

Still no 4k scaling fix? Could you atleast give us some estimations for this, because it has been problem for 5 years now…

New Shader Graph tool for artists: visual shader creation
That’s a killer feature. well done guys

“We have also deprecated support for MonoDevelop meaning that Visual Studio is now the recommended and supported C# editor on both macOS and Windows.” nooooo , why? i personally dont like visual studio very much. Also im pretty much a fulltime linux user, how will this affect the linux version of unity?

Well, VS has a lot of useful cool features. And there is a linux version of VS. Also, keep in mind you can just go to Edit > Preferences > External and change it from VS to some other editor.

“New Shader Graph tool for artists”. What about programmers who want a visual tool?!
But seriously, will it create optimised shaders that negate the need to hand code them?

No info about Multiplayer dev on the release notes and the blog. How is the work going on with the multiplayer, it would be nice to get a review on it.

In my opinion, the Unet LLAPI is very well made and is all you’ll ever need to make proper networking for your games. Just forget about the Unet HLAPI, or all high-level networking systems in general. They don’t give you all the control you really need when you’re making a serious networked game

The LLAPI is really nice, but we use the HLAPI at work when we build demos for customers. We don’t make actual video games at work but we do work in 3D simulation and it’s nice for prototyping small things to show so I don’t think it should go away. Of course all those things can be done without it but still a nice thing to have since it exists. It has its uses.

I disagree, the HLAPI provides a very maintainable and as far as I can see performant enough interface. Doing it any other way could create a mess, and doing it extactly like that would be a hell of a waste of time, because it already exists ;) Yea, sure, could be an overhead or 2 here and there, but not by much and not any that you can largely avoid with that kind of a generic solution. But trashing the HLAPI seems to be hip so go on and have at it.

It is in 2018.1. You should be able to use .NET Standard based assemblies when target the new scripting runtime. Additionally, the new smaller profile is exposed as the .NET Standard 2.0 API surface.

As a scripter… which Player settings are most cutting edge that I should be using? .NET Standard 2.0 and the 4.6 Runtime?

Ideally, you would target the minimal profile surface area that you need. .NET Standard 2.0 is noticeably smaller and better designed for portable code. That said, if you have a lot of existing code you may need to start with .NET 4.6.

What is the recommended editor for Linux? I guess I could use Visual Studio Code, but I’m not a huge fan of MS software, so would it be possible to also use Sublime Text 3?

Jetbrains rider is also an excellent cross platform c# editor with Unity support. Much better than plain visual studio (about the same as vs with resharper plugin)

Agreed. I’m not a fan of Visual Studio (though it is not without its charms) and we already use the Jetbrains suite for EVERYTHING.

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