Version: 2020.3
Render pipelines
Switching render pipelines

Render pipelines introduction

A render pipeline performs a series of operations that take the contents of a 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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, and displays them on a screen. At a high level, these operations are:

  • Culling
  • Rendering
  • Post-processing

Different render pipelines have different capabilities and performance characteristics, and are suitable for different games, applications, and platforms.

It can be difficult to switch a Project from one render pipeline to another, because different render pipelines use different shaderA program that runs on the GPU. More info
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outputs, and might not have the same features. It is therefore important to understand the different render pipelines that Unity provides, so that you can make the right decision for your project early in development.

Choosing which render pipeline to use

Unity offers the following render pipelines:

  • The Built-in Render Pipeline is Unity’s default render pipeline. It is a general-purpose render pipeline that has limited options for customization.
  • The Universal Render Pipeline (URP) is a Scriptable Render Pipeline that is quick and easy to customize, and lets you create optimized graphics across a wide range of platforms.
  • The High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP) is a Scriptable Render Pipeline that lets you create cutting-edge, high-fidelity graphics on high-end platforms.
  • You can create your own custom render pipeline using Unity’s Scriptable Render Pipeline API.
Render pipelines
Switching render pipelines