Unity Standard Assets: The Essential Guide

by Michael Sacco Published August 30, 2023
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Are you starting with Unity and want to jump-start your game? Unity offers a bunch of free assets that can help. Unity refers to their free assets as their Standard Assets.

This guide will show you how to use them to improve your games. Unity has published dozens of Standard Assets. Examples include sample projects, characters, environments, and scripts.

It doesn’t matter if you’re making a shooting or adventure game. Unity’s Standard Assets are a great tool to make your games awesome. Let’s learn how to use them!

What you need to know

  • Unity offers free assets to help you get started with Unity.
  • These assets include characters, environments, and demo projects.
  • Using Standard Assets saves you time and enables you to begin your game.
  • You can download them from the Unity Asset Store.

What is a Standard Asset?

A “Standard Asset” is one of Unity’s pre-built assets or scripts. Standard Assets help developers create familiar game mechanics, functionalities, or visual elements. Unity designed these assets to make it easy to start with Unity.

What Standard Assets does Unity offer?

Standard Assets cover a wide range of functionalities. These tools include character controllers, cameras, vehicles, particle effects, and more.

Who are Standard Assets for?

Unity’s Standard Assets are most helpful for beginner game developers. Unity often uses Standard Assets in their public tutorials. You can explore these Standard Assets to see how to approach common early challenges.

Standard Assets are also significant for intermediate developers. You may need more time or expertise to create these elements from scratch. So, you can borrow them from Unity’s examples to get going.

Why should I use a Standard Asset?

By using Standard Assets, you can focus more on the unique aspects of your game. Without Standard Assets, you may spend much time creating simple components. With Standard Assets, you can focus on building out a full-featured project.

Where can I download Unity’s Standard Assets?

You can download these assets from Unity’s publisher page on the Unity 3D Asset Store.

What are the best Standard Assets?

In this section, I’ll break down the list of my favorite Standard Assets for Unity. These assets are all completely free. This section will cover the best character controllers, environments, models, and microgames.

Character Controllers

In your game, you need character controllers if you have a hero, a creature, or an explorer. These controllers help characters move and do things in the game. Unity has created demo controllers for both first-person and third-person controllers:

Environments

Creating an environment in your game takes a long time. But with Standard Assets, you can use Unity’s ready-made scenes. Their pre-built settings let you focus on making the game fun. Here are some links for Unity’s Standard Asset environments:

Characters and Props

Starting with some characters and set-dressing can help you visualize your project. Unity includes several character and prop standard assets.

Microgames and Demos

A starter project to model your game on can kick-start your progress. You will build your game faster. Unity’s standard assets include several starter projects for different types of games. Examples include a roguelike, FPS, farming simulation, endless runner, tower defense, and more.

Here are some links you can look at:

How do I import a Standard Asset to my project?

  • Get the asset you want by clicking “Add to my Assets.”
  • In Unity, use the Package Manager to download the package.
  • Click “Import” for that package in the Package Manager.

We’ve also published detailed guides on how to import assets into Unity as well as how to install a unity package

Scriptable Render Pipeline Compatibility

Unity introduced two new Scriptable Render Pipelines: URP and HDRP. Some Standard Assets are compatible with the legacy Built-In Render Pipeline. But other assets are compatible with either URP or HDRP.

When you get things from the store, you must ensure your project is compatible with the asset.

Learn more about URP and HDRP in my comprehensive guide to URP, HDRP, and Built-In.

Customization and Learning Opportunities

Standard Assets offer a great starting point for your project. But you don’t need to stop there. You can customize them to fit your game better. You can change the scripts, the scenes, and the models.

Apply yourself

I put together a fun challenge to apply what you’ve learned.

Download and import the First Person Controller asset from the Unity Asset Store. Open the First-Person Character Controller URP script and play around with the settings. See if you can change these things in the code:

  • Increase or decrease the movement speed.
  • Change how high you can jump.
  • Adjust the mouse movement speed until it feels right.
  • Create a simple path with obstacles for the player to go through.

Did your changes make the game better? What do you want to change next?

Conclusion

Unity’s Standard Assets are a great way to start game development. They offer a wide range of pre-built assets and scripts. And you can customize these assets to fit your project requirements.

Remember, leveraging all the tools you have is essential. Building a game is hard work. Take advantage of free assets for Unity to get a step up.

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