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Is Unity Free? The Ultimate Guide to Using Unity for Free

The quick answer is yes, Unity is free! You can download and use the full Unity engine at no cost with the Personal license. I‘ll explain all the details in this comprehensive guide.

Unity‘s Free Personal License

Unity offers a completely free Personal edition for hobbyists and small studios. With Unity Personal, you get:

  • The full-featured Unity engine
  • All core tools like the editor, scripting, lighting, etc.
  • Access to all platforms – mobile, desktop, console, VR, etc.
  • Ability to publish commercially with no royalties
  • Free access to the Asset Store
  • Ongoing updates and new features

The only limitation is that your revenue or funding must be less than $100K in the last 12 months. But otherwise, you can build and sell games with no restrictions using Unity for free.

Who Can Use the Free License?

Unity Personal is intended for the following users:

  • Hobbyists and students
  • Indie developers and small studios
  • Anyone learning game development
  • Teams working on early prototypes

Essentially if you‘re making less than $100K, you qualify for the free Unity license. This allows individuals and small teams to access the engine at no cost to build and publish their games.

What If I Go Over $100K?

If your revenue or funding exceeds $100K, then you can no longer use the Personal license. At that point Unity requires you to upgrade to a Plus license or higher based on your team size and needs.

Why Does Unity Offer a Free License?

Unity wants to provide an entry point for creators to access their tools for free. By removing the cost barrier, they enable more developers to try out real-time 3D and gain experience.

Some key benefits of the free Personal license include:

  • Learning – New developers can learn game creation at no cost
  • Prototyping – Test game concepts quickly
  • Indie Access – Enables small studios to use a professional engine
  • Teaching – Allows educators to provide Unity training

According to Unity‘s estimates, their free license has enabled over 5 million developers globally to access their tools.

What Can You Do with Unity Personal?

Unity‘s core capabilities are available in the free Personal edition. Here are some of the key things you can do:

  • Create 2D, 3D and VR/AR games
  • Script gameplay mechanics, UI, visuals, etc.
  • Craft stunning graphics and animations
  • Add physics, navigation, AI, particle systems
  • Build games for mobile, desktop, consoles
  • Publish commercially with no revenue share

Essentially everything you need to develop great games across platforms is included for free. The only limitations are some advanced professional tools available in Unity Pro.

Platform Publishing

One of Unity‘s main benefits is its multi-platform support. You can publish to the following platforms with the free Personal license:

  • PC/Mac
  • Linux
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Consoles (with platform approval)
  • WebGL

This allows developers to make their games widely available on many devices and operating systems using the free tools.

Asset Store Access

Unity has a massive asset store with tools, art assets, code, and more. Personal license holders get full access to this resource. The Asset Store can save huge amounts of development time and enables importing high quality assets into projects.

Limitations of Unity Personal

While fully-featured, there are some limitations to Unity‘s free license compared to Unity Pro:

  • No cloud building services
  • Limited to $100K revenue
  • No reselling assets on Asset Store
  • Minimal custom rendering features
  • No team management tools
  • Limited priority support

So Unity Personal lacks some advanced services and customizations available in Pro. But you still get the core engine and features.

Upgrading from Free to Paid

Once you exceed $100K in funding or revenue, you‘ll need to upgrade from the free Personal license. Unity‘s paid licenses include:

  • Plus – For individuals or small teams above $100K. $40/month.
  • Pro – For larger professional teams. $125-185/month.
  • Enterprise – For large organizations. Custom quote.

Upgrades unlock additional features, services, and customizations like cloud building, team management, professional support and more.

Pricing is based on both team size and organizational revenue. Published games incur no royalties or additional fees.

Why Choose Unity vs. Other Engines?

When it comes to free game engines, Unity is one of the most popular choices. Here are some key reasons why developers choose Unity:

  • Ease of use – Unity has a user-friendly workflow for designing, building, and publishing games.
  • C# scripting – Uses an easy to learn programming language.
  • Cross-platform – Build once, publish anywhere to all major desktop and mobile platforms.
  • Asset Store – Enormous selection of tools, art assets, scripts, plugins, etc.
  • Scalable – Works great for both 2D and 3D games of all sizes and complexity.

In addition to its robust features, Unity‘s large developer community provides tons of support, tutorials, assets, and helpful resources to new users.

FAQ – Unity Free License

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about using Unity Personal:

Does the free license expire?

No, Unity Personal does not expire. You can use it indefinitely as long as your revenue remains under $100K.

Can I use Unity for commercial projects?

Yes, you can release commercial games and apps with Unity Personal. There are no restrictions on releasing or monetizing content.

Is there a revenue share for published games?

No, unlike some engines Unity does not take a revenue share. You keep 100% of sales from any published content.

What happens if I go over $100K revenue?

If your revenue exceeds $100K, then you must upgrade to a Plus license or higher. You cannot continue using Personal.

Can I get Unity Personal if my company already makes more than $100K?

No, you can only use Personal if your revenue is currently under $100K. For existing companies over that threshold, you must purchase Plus or Pro.

Final Thoughts on Unity Free

From hobbyists to professionals, Unity Personal provides everything needed to create great games. The full editor, engine capabilities, and multi-platform support make it an extremely compelling free offering.

For new developers, Unity is a great way to get into game creation without cost. And the skills translate well across many industries and development roles.

With plenty of learning resources available as well, now is a great time to download Unity and explore everything it has to offer at no cost.