Important note: The AssetBundle Manager is deprecated for Unity versions 2018.2 and higher. It is no longer available from the Asset Store, but you can still download it from the AssetBundleDemo Bitbucket repository. If you use Unity version 2018.2 or higher, see documentation for Addressable Assets.
An AssetBundle is an archive file that contains platform-specific non-code Assets (such as Models, Textures, Prefabs, Audio clips, and even entire Scenes) that Unity can load at run time. AssetBundles can express dependencies between each other; for example, a Material in one AssetBundle can reference a Texture in another AssetBundle. For efficient delivery over networks, you can compress AssetBundles with a choice of built-in algorithms depending on use case requirements (LZMA and LZ4).
AssetBundles can be useful for downloadable content (DLC), reducing initial install size, loading assets optimized for the end-user’s platform, and reduce runtime memory pressure.
“AssetBundle” can refer to two different, but related things.
First is the actual file on disk. This is called the AssetBundle archive. The AssetBundle archive is a container, like a folder, that holds additional files inside it. These additional files consist of two types:
“AssetBundle” can also refer to the actual AssetBundle object you interact with via code to load Assets from a specific AssetBundle archive. This object contains a map of all the file paths of the Assets you added to this archive.
For more information, see the tutorial on Assets, Resources and AssetBundles.