Unity 2019.1, 2019.2, and 2019.3 have brought lots of improvements in rendering, Editor UI, node-based authoring tools, and more. Today, we’re releasing Unity 2019 LTS, which includes all of these features, as well as additional fixes for maximum stability.
As part of our commitment to improving the development process for users, Unity is now shifting to offering LTS as the default version of the platform, and we have committed to doing fewer releases per year. You have been incredible in helping us understand your needs and we’re grateful for your feedback. In response to this we have improved, and will continue to improve, workflows and modernize Unity to be more flexible, focusing on delivering stability and interoperability of features.
Beginning today with the release of 2019 LTS, the LTS versions of Unity will become the default available for download from the Unity Hub. Moving forward, Unity will issue up to two TECH stream releases per year followed by the annual LTS release. The TECH Stream is for creators who demand to be on the cutting edge as technologies and workflows are evolving, while LTS is suggested for creators aiming to ship their projects in the near future, or for those who have everything they need in 2019 LTS. This shift in release philosophy will ensure that you are installing the most stable version for projects in production.
What’s in the 2019 LTS?
The new Long-Term Support (LTS) version of Unity contains everything from the previous three TECH stream releases with all the fixes and improvements we added to Unity 2019.3.0 since it was released. Similar to our previous LTS releases the focus for 2019 LTS isn’t new features, API changes or enhancements, but defect rectification and usability upgrades aimed at improving the stability of the product. In short, it’s a continuation of the 2019 TECH stream without new features which is why we also call it Unity 2019.4.0.
How the different versions impact you
If your project is shipping soon you’ll want to lock in on 2019 LTS to ensure maximum stability. If you are in the pre-production phase the Unity 2020.1 TECH stream release is recommended as a great fit for those who want to explore bleeding-edge technologies and will be coming out of beta in a few weeks.
- For users currently building on 2017 LTS we also highly recommend upgrading to the new 2019 LTS, keeping in mind that the two-year support stream for this version ended in April 2020. You’ll find more info and links to the upgrade guides in our blog post from April.
- If you are coming from Unity 2018.4 LTS you’ve already heard about tools like the Scriptable Render Pipeline (SRP), the Visual Effect Graph, the Shader Graph, Nested Prefabs, Addressables and new 2D tools. All of these tools are now verified for the 2019 LTS release and are recommended for use in productions.
- For those adopting 2019 LTS you will benefit from all the features released in Unity 2019.1, 2019.2 and 2019.3. Here is a quick overview of some of those features:
Editor and team workflows
The Editor UI got a major overhaul in 2019 with a look and feel with new icons, a new font, visual feedback, and much more to improve usability, legibility and performance, as well as to support high-DPI display resolutions. The 2019 LTS also has a number of new features to make your daily life easier and more efficient such as Quick Search, a Shortcut Manager and Presets which allow you to customize your editor experience to your specific workflow needs.
Other upgrades to workflows include the new Asset Import Pipeline v2 which in combination with the Accelerator saves you time with faster platform switching and lays the foundation for faster imports as we continue to optimize how large projects are supported in Unity. The Addressable Asset System also provides an easy way to load assets by “name” while automatically handling asset management overhead by simplifying content pack creation and deployment. Additionally, UIElements helps you make Editor tools with reusable styling, create complex layouts with ease and achieve better performance.
Improved tooling and workflows for programmers
You will experience significantly reduced waiting times when testing your scenes by configuring the Domain and Scene Reload actions. You will also see fewer performance stutters caused by garbage collection with the new Incremental Garbage Collector. IDE support and development have moved to packages, and we upgraded from a 3.5 to a .NET 4.x Scripting Runtime. Additionally, 2019 LTS offers a physics upgrade to PhysX 4.1 giving higher quality simulation and improved performance and several Profiling improvements to help identify potential performance gains and much more.
Improvements for artists and best-in-class visuals
Shader Graph is now our production-ready solution for building shaders visually. Visual Effect Graph empowers you to create beautiful VFX in real-time without coding and is now compatible with Shader Graph. Unity 2019 LTS also helps artists achieve more straight in the Unity editor with new and improved terrain tools and ProBuilder, our unique hybrid of 3D modeling and level design tools.
Unity’s Scriptable Render Pipeline allows you to control and customize graphics rendering via C# scripts with both Universal Render Pipeline and High Definition Render Pipeline verified with Unity 2019 LTS. Also our suite of 2D tools from 2D Animation along with worldbuilding tools such as 2D Sprite Shape and 2D Tilemap Editor gives you everything you need to create 2D games.
Unity 2019 LTS will allow you to reach broad audiences with best-in-class visuals and performance on Unity’s growing number of supported platforms. With AR Foundation you can build robust AR experiences with core features from ARKit, ARCore, Magic Leap and HoloLens, as well as unique Unity features, then deploy across multiple mobile and wearable AR devices. Updates to tools for mobile app development include the Device Simulator (Preview) which allows you to simulate what your content will look like, as well as preview the behaviors and physical characteristics of your app on a broad range of devices. With Unity as a Library you can also insert features powered by Unity directly into your native mobile applications.
With improvements to the new Input System you can now integrate device controls in your projects and take advantage of a new workflow designed around Input Actions. This comes with an extendable, customizable interface that allows for separating controls binding from the code logic.
Starting today, you can download Unity 2019 LTS from the Unity Hub or from the Unity LTS download archive. To learn more check out some of the highlights in the video below and learn more on our 2019 LTS page.
Unity 2020 release plans
We are reducing the number of TECH stream releases from three to two per year in order to enable more stable use of the platform. More and more features are being distributed as packages and are being continuously updated and the longer release cycle provides the extended stabilization phase needed to validate and improve the stability and quality of our tools in between releases. As a result you will have fewer major releases to upgrade between updates.
In a few weeks we’re also shipping the first TECH stream release of this year – Unity 2020.1, which will bring even more usability improvements and stabilized workflows to features introduced in previous releases. These improvements are part of our renewed focus and investment in better workflows, stability, quality and interoperability for all of Unity’s features in upcoming releases. If you’re eager to learn and try out what the latest features offer, check out our beta blog post.
Let us know what you think!
Source: Unity Technologies Blog