Can I make a MMORPG with unity?

Is it possible to make a mmorpg on the scale of star wars gallaxies or WoW and all the other big names with any of the unity engines. If so which ones would be capable and is there help out there for networking and server setup and such things, Thanks for the time.

James P

Short answer is yes. You can basically create whatever you like with Unity. If you have the manpower and motivation to put into such a project, Unity is surely capable of doing just that. Search the forum and you will find more details there. Check out for an example of a successful large-scale project.

Some forum threads with more information:

Forumlink 1

Forumlink 2

What it seems to boil down to (according to opinions in the forum): Have a look at middleware for your server technology and Unity should suffice for the interface which your clients will use (see Forumlink 2). You should be able to go pretty far without touching any source code. People have pulled it off before and there's no reason that with the right attitude and resources, you or anybody else shouldn't be able to create a large-scale MMORPG with Unity.

There's also a tutorial on how to set up an MMO with SmartFoxServer on the Wiki. See this link

As for your question of "Unity engines", I suppose going for Unity Pro would make sense. Iphone deployment creates additional restraints which you could look up in the forums.

Discouraging reply: probably, but if you need to ask that, you likely don't have the resources to make anything of that scale; otherwise you would pull two or three guys from your team to evaluate the various engines and give you a conclusive breakdown of how they fare against your requirements.

(I guess this will be a chance for me to see what happens to my account when an answer gets downvoted into oblivion)

Yes it is very much possible to make your own MMORPG using unity, both as a Server(using the mono version of .NET and run the server in something that looks like a cmd on windows) and as a client...

If you would like to start to make your own MMORPG, then you shouldn't start the project as a single player project, because when you then are ready to go multiplayer then you will need to change almost all of your code, and when you do this, you will find new problems that you never seen before. Myrecomendations would be that if you start making an MMORPG and isn't very experienced with programming, use the builtin unitys networking system, especially the RPC calls and then keeping the game to a LAN game, this way you learn how to think when programming a multiplayer game. However if you have a little programming knowledge, and you could use Smartfox for the server part. If you again on the other hand, does have more programming knowledge and like to jump down into what it's all really about the computer bytes, you could make your own Server on a TCP or UDP protocol.

Hope this clarify what all the others have said, otherwise here is a little summary of it:

Yes, it is very much possible to make an MMORPG using Unity Recommended technologies to work with based on your programming experience

Level Technologi -Beginner Use Unitys builtin network support especially RPC's -Intermediate Use SmartFoxServer,Photon or someother kind of Middleware -Expert You don't need this answer, you are already an expert, Program your own Server side, and use Unity for the client

using a MMO middleware is the best solution for creating an MMORPG game but those engine's have high prices. if you want to create an MMO. you need to choose a server technology. (mono programming [.net], photon, netdog). you don't have automatic weather system or any other MMO special features. there is a good avatar customization example in example projects of unity. you have database connectivity and XML and .net sockets and any basic feature that you need. you can download your world part by part and load them without intrupting the game. i think unity is the best engine for creating MMO clients in engines in this class. one of the other engines has built in VOIP support and a better server side technology but they don't have nvidia's physx and some of other features that unity has.

Just keep in mind, WoW's initial art budget was something on the order of $50 million - spent mostly to create insanely optimized art that still looks great.

Not to mention, the hardest part of an MMO aside from building it is ensuring that people will play once you have built it - typically that is a result of great IP.

Warcraft and Star Wars are probably the best IP you could hope for in that regard.

Given the art assets and IP, I think the client technology is actually fairly unimportant in an MMO. With a $50 million dollar art budget, rolling your own client (or licensing the source to an existing one) isn't too bad. When WoW came out, it really wasn't particularly impressive looking from an engine perspective, just highly optimized (and if you ever visited Ironforge in WoW 1.0, you'll remember it wasn't even THAT optimized, either).

All that said, Unity is a great place to start (and when you get the IP and art sorted, I believe you can license the Unity source, if need be - and if you are building WoW, you will need it eventually). Long reply short, if I were building WoW without a $50 million art budget, I'd definitely use Unity.

For networking, it will be .NET sockets, and server of your choice, or creation.

For license, it will be Unity Pro, or iPhone Advanced, specifically for plug-in support - and further down the development road toward WoW, a source license.

I agree with everything that has been said so far, except when they said "NO".

You could design a MMO game client using any of unity3d players. The server side is another story.

A basic MMO client doesn't have to do much compared to the server. All it really needs to do is have a chat client and basic networking to synchronize the game state of the single local world sector to a single server.

The server on the other hand has much more to synchronize with many clients connecting and the entire game universe.

I wonder how things like incremental client upgrades and hacking prevention would be achieved. These things are optional for an working MMO game yet critically important for real world success.

The answer is Yes, but I recommend you start with creating a single player version of your game and adding networking and multiplayer elements into the game after it has some content in it. ( dont drown yourself in networking issues before you have something to take online).

Check out this video: [Unity3D RPG] Ninelives 2013 - YouTube and their channel, pretty inspirational. These guys had been working in their MMORPG for the past 3-4 years, so i guess anything’s possible with Unity.

If you want to create a multiplayer game you don’t have to deal immediatly with network: stuff like NAT or setting up a server is complicate.

However you should NOT neglect the network aspect, because depending on how you program your game you may come to a point where adding network becomes impossible later (unless changin much stuff, which is basically re-doing everything from scratch which is always bad idea). So you should include that from start into your game.

Just create your multiplayer game without yet using TCP/UDP. you just create a “network simulator” class which task is to receive/send packets to your game (eventually you can add random delays to simulate network problems). This way you can create your multiplayer and test your code without the burden of adding a server (of course you need 2 players playing locally or a AI to simulate other players).

When you are comfortable your game is working you just have to replace the fakenetwork (which anyway can be unvaluable to test stuff later anyway) with a real connection, but now you just have to focus on that or eventually hire someone competent to do that and that is when your game is already ready. @JamesP

Encouraging reply:

you can't blah blah blah,

thats what some people says...

Maybe you can't do it now, BUT things change if you it want to. This question is just the beginning, why lost my time learning something that didn't do what i want it to do.

Why learn this engine if can't do mmo games, that's why this question had been asked.

Now that he know that is possible, i'm sure he'll find a way to do it, of course if that is what he realy want to do...

at least that what i'm gonna do :).

You can't tell me what i can't do. (John Locke - LOST)

Honestly, for MMO development, you may wish to review the Hero Engine. They now offer what is called the Hero Cloud, which is the Hero Engine, but you can get it for $5000 US for up to 25 developer seats.

This is the same game engine being used by BioWare for SWTOR. A few new upcoming MMO companies are using it now along with many "Indy" companies looking to utilize this top end technology for future MMO projects.

It is possible to create an MMORPG using Unity. As a matter of fact 3DBuzz offers training in doing such a thing. Myself and a few others are currently involved in creating our own MMORPG. We are using Photo Socket Server for our server and are currently evaluating Raven DB for our database system. I am also awaiting the release of Legion for Unity which is specifically design for MMORPG development and includes features which will make MMORPG development much easier.

Short answer is yes. You can basically create whatever you like with Unity. If you have the manpower and motivation to put into such a project, Unity is surely capable of doing just that. Search the forum and you will find more details there. Check out for an example of a successful large-scale project.

Lots of pages of answers, :slight_smile: Let me add mine as an indie who is trying to make a MMO.

We’ve written an article answering this question which can be found here.

We also have an article talking about the way that you should choose your networking middleware for your MMO here

The short answer is that there is possibility available much more than before but it’s not that easy.

From what i have heard it is possible but sounds like it would be a smarter choice to buy unity pro first. However if you are like me and inexperienced then i recommend creating a single player version (or rough draft) of the game and expand from that. Hope your programming goes well!

Of course, everything you can imagine. Here is a link with a ton of RPG tutorials:

Indeed you can build an MMO with unity as we have so with Para Ora - an educationally focus MMO for children. Check out

Short Answer: No.

Long answer:
You can make PART of an MMORPG with Unity. In specific, the client part.

But the client part of an MMORPG like SWTOR is like the part of an iceberg that shows above the surface.
The heavy lifting is really done by the back-end. That is where you locate any game logic that requires security and that is where the scaling and persistence dwells.

Unity’s out of the box server solution is a slightly mis-designed FPS solution. It is not built for and could not handle the scale and logic of a game like SWTOR.

The answer that said "hook it up to your server solution’ is correct… but that to do that server solution right is probably 70% of the effort
and there are no “out of the box” solutions for that.

It’s doable! Here’s one example: