Version: 2019.3
The Game view
The Inspector window

The Hierarchy window

The default Hierarchy window view when you open a new Unity project
The default Hierarchy window view when you open a new Unity project

The Hierarchy window contains a list of every GameObjectThe fundamental object in Unity scenes, which can represent characters, props, scenery, cameras, waypoints, and more. A GameObject’s functionality is defined by the Components attached to it. More info
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in the current Scene. Some of these are direct instances of Asset files (like 3D models), and others are instances of PrefabsAn asset type that allows you to store a GameObject complete with components and properties. The prefab acts as a template from which you can create new object instances in the scene. More info
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, which are custom GameObjects that make up most of your game. When you add or remove GameObjects the Scene (or when your gameplay mechanic adds and removes them), they appear and disappear from the Hierarchy as well.

By default, the Hierarchy window lists GameObjects by order of creatin, with the most recently created GameObjects at the the bottom. You can re-order the GameObjects by dragging them up or down, or by making them “child” or “parent” GameObjects (see below).

Parenting

Unity uses a concept called Parenting. When you create a group of GameObjects, the topmost GameObject or SceneA Scene contains the environments and menus of your game. Think of each unique Scene file as a unique level. In each Scene, you place your environments, obstacles, and decorations, essentially designing and building your game in pieces. More info
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is called the “parent GameObject”, and all GameObjects grouped underneath it are called “child GameObjects” or “children”. You can also create nested parent-child GameObjects (called “descendants” of the top-level parent GameObject).

In this image, Child and Child 2 are the child GameObjects of Parent. Child 3 is a child GameObject of Child 2, and a descendant GameObject of Parent.
In this image, Child and Child 2 are the child GameObjects of Parent. Child 3 is a child GameObject of Child 2, and a descendant GameObject of Parent.

Click a parent GameObject’s drop-down arrow (on the left-hand side of its name) to show or hide its children. Hold down the Alt key while clicking the drop-down arrow to toggle visibility of all descendant GameObjects of the parent, in addition to the immediate child GameObject.

Making a child GameObject

To make any GameObject the “child” of another, drag and drop the intended child GameObject onto the intended parent GameObject in the Hierarchy.

In this image, Object 4 (selected) is being dragged onto the intended parent GameObject, Object 1 (highlighted in a blue capsule).
In this image, Object 4 (selected) is being dragged onto the intended parent GameObject, Object 1 (highlighted in a blue capsule).

You can also drag-and-drop an GameObject alongside other GameObjects to make them “siblings” - that is, child GameObjects under the same parent GameObject. Drag the GameObject above or below an existing GameObject until a horizontal blue line appears, and drop it there to place it alongside the existing GameObject.

In this image, Object 4 (selected) is being dragged between Object 2 and Object 3 (indicated by the blue horizontal line), to be placed here as a sibling of these two GameObjects under the parent GameObject Object 1 (highlighted in a blue capsule).
In this image, Object 4 (selected) is being dragged between Object 2 and Object 3 (indicated by the blue horizontal line), to be placed here as a sibling of these two GameObjects under the parent GameObject Object 1 (highlighted in a blue capsule).

Child GameObjects inherit the movement and rotation of the parent GameObject. To learn more about this, see documentation on the Transform componentA Transform component determines the Position, Rotation, and Scale of each object in the scene. Every GameObject has a Transform. More info
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.

Alphanumeric sorting

The order of GameObjects in the Hierarchy window can be changed to alphanumeric order. In the menu bar, select Edit > Preferences in Windows or Unity > Preferences in OS X to launch the Preferences window. Check Enable Alpha Numeric Sorting.

When you check this, an icon appears in the top-right of the Hierarchy window, allowing you to toggle between Transform sorting (the default value) or Alphabetic sorting.

Setting GameObject visibility and pickability

The Scene visibility controls in the Hierarchy window allow you to quickly hide and show GameObjects in the Scene viewAn interactive view into the world you are creating. You use the Scene View to select and position scenery, characters, cameras, lights, and all other types of Game Object. More info
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without changing their in-game visibility. Beside the visibility controls are the Scene picking controls, which toggle between blocking and allowing you to select GameObjects in the Scene view while you are editing.

These controls are useful for working with large or complex Scenes where it can be difficult to view and select specific GameObjects.

Scene visibility icons/toggles
Scene visibility icons/toggles

For more information, see the documentation on Scene visibility and Scene picking.

Multi-Scene editing

It is possible to have more than one Scene open in the Hierarchy window at the same time. To find out more about this, see the Multi Scene Editing page.


  • Toggling Scene visibility added in 2019.1 NewIn20191
  • Toggling Scene pickability added in 2019.3 NewIn20193

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The Game view
The Inspector window