Legacy Documentation: Version 5.3
Getting started with Android development
Unity Remote 4

Android SDK Setup

Whether you’re building an Android application in Unity or programming it from scratch, you need to set up the Android SDK (software development kit) before you can build and run any code on your Android device.

1. Download the Android SDK

On your PC, go to the Android Developer SDK website. Download and unpack the latest Android SDK.

2. Install the Android SDK

Follow the instructions in Installing the SDK. You can skip the optional sections relating to Eclipse. In step 4 of Installing the SDK, be sure to add at least one Android platform with API level equal to or higher than 9 (Platform 2.3 or greater), the Platform Tools, and the USB drivers if you’re using Windows.

3. Enable USB debugging on your device

USB debugging is a useful way to debug while connecting your Android device to the SDK, so get this set up before moving on to the next step.

To enable USB debugging, you first need to enable Developer options. To do this, navigate your phone to the “Build number” portion in your device’s Settings. Finding it can be different depending on the device:

  • Stock Android: Settings > About phone > Build number
  • Samsung Galaxy S5: Settings > About device > Build number
  • LG G3: Settings > About phone > Software information > Build number
  • HTC One (M8): Settings > About > Software information > More > Build number

Note: On operating systems older than version 4.2 (Jelly Bean), the Developer options aren’t hidden. Go to Settings > Developer options, then enable USB debugging.

Navigate to Build number using the instructions above. Tap on the build number 7 times. A small pop-up notification appears saying “you are now X steps away from being a developer” with a number that counts down with every additional tap. On the 7th tap, Developer options are unlocked. Go to Settings > Developer options, and check the USB debugging checkbox to enable debug mode when the device is connected to a computer via USB.

4. Connect your Android device to the SDK

This can be tricky, especially under Windows-based systems where drivers tend to be a problem. Your device may come with additional information or specific drivers from the manufacturer.

  • Windows: If the Android device is automatically recognized by the system you still might need to update the drivers with the ones that came with the Android SDK. You can do this through the Windows Device Manager. If the device is not recognized automatically, use the drivers from the Android SDK, or any specific drivers provided by the manufacturer. Find further information regarding USB Drivers for Windows on the Android Developer page.
  • Mac: If you’re developing on macOS, you usually don’t need any additional drivers.

If you are unsure whether your device is properly installed on your system, please read the Android development troubleshooting page for details.

5. Add the Android SDK path to Unity

The first time you build a project for Android (or if Unity later fails to locate the SDK), you will be asked to locate the folder where you installed the Android SDK. Select the root folder of the SDK installation. If you wish to change the location of the Android SDK, in the menu bar go to Unity > Preferences, then click External Tools.

Getting started with Android development
Unity Remote 4