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Unity calls Awake when an enabled script instance is being loaded.

Unity calls Awake on scripts derived from MonoBehaviour in the following scenarios:

  • The parent GameObject is active and initializes on Scene load
  • The parent GameObject goes from inactive to active
  • After initialization of a parent GameObject created with Object.Instantiate

Use Awake to initialize variables or states before the application starts.

Unity calls Awake only once during the lifetime of the script instance. A script's lifetime lasts until the Scene that contains it is unloaded. If the Scene is loaded again, Unity loads the script instance again and calls Awake again. If the Scene is loaded multiple times additively, Unity loads several script instances, and Awake is called once for each instance.

For active GameObjects placed in a Scene, Unity calls Awake after all active GameObjects in the Scene are initialized, so you can safely use methods such as GameObject.FindWithTag to query other GameObjects.

The order in which Unity calls each GameObject's Awake is not deterministic. Because of this, you should not rely on Awake being called on one GameObject before or after another. For example, you should not assume that a reference set up by one GameObject's Awake will be usable in another GameObject's Awake. Instead, you should use Awake to set up references between scripts, and use Start, which is called after all Awake calls are finished, to pass any information back and forth.

Awake is always called before any Start functions. This allows you to order initialization of scripts. Awake is called even if the script is a disabled component of an active GameObject. If a script component's Awake throws an exception, Unity disables the component. Awake cannot act as a coroutine.

Use Awake instead of the constructor for initialization, as the serialized state of the component is undefined at construction time. Awake is called once, just like the constructor.

using UnityEngine;

public class ExampleClass : MonoBehaviour { private GameObject target;

void Awake() { target = GameObject.FindWithTag("Player"); } }

An inactive GameObject can be activated when GameObject.SetActive is called on it.

The following two example scripts Example1 and Example2 work together, and illustrate two timings when Awake() is called.
To reproduce the example, create a scene with two GameObjects Cube1 and Cube2. Assign Example1 as a script component to Cube1, and set Cube1 as inactive, by unchecking the Inspector top-left check box (Cube1 will become invisible). Assign Example2 as a script component to Cube2, and set Cube1 as its GO variable.
Enter Play mode: pressing the space key will execute code in Example2.Update that activates Cube1, and causes Example1.Awake() to be called.

using UnityEngine;

// Make sure that Cube1 is assigned this script and is inactive at the start of the game.

public class Example1 : MonoBehaviour { void Awake() { // Prints first Debug.Log("Example1.Awake() was called"); }

void Start() { // Prints second Debug.Log("Example1.Start() was called"); }

void Update() { if (Input.GetKeyDown("b")) { // Prints Last if "b" is pressed Debug.Log("b key was pressed"); } } }

Example2. This causes Example1.Awake() to be called. The Space key is used to perform this:

using UnityEngine;

public class Example2 : MonoBehaviour { // Assign Cube1 to this variable GO before running the example public GameObject GO;

void Awake() { Debug.Log("Example2.Awake() was called"); }

void Start() { Debug.Log("Example2.Start() was called"); }

// track if Cube1 was already activated private bool activateGO = true;

void Update() { if (activateGO == true) { if (Input.GetKeyDown("space")) { Debug.Log("space key was pressed"); GO.SetActive(true); activateGO = false; } } } }