Instantiate with and without casting as GameObject

Hey, I’m having a tough time getting my head around what is going on when I Instantiate.

If I do the following:

public GameObject prefab;
public GameObject prefabClone;

void Start()
{
     prefabClone = Instantiate(prefab, transform.position, transform.rotation);
     Debug.Log(prefabClone);
}

I get the output: prefab(Clone) (UnityEngine.GameObject)

Visual studio also gives me all of the functionality of a GameObject without explicitly casting it like this:

prefabClone = Instantiate(prefab, transform.position, transform.rotation) as GameObject;

Alternatively, if I load the object dynamically from the Resource folder like so:

public GameObject prefab;
public GameObject prefabClone;
        
void Start()
{
     prefabClone = Instantiate(Resources.Load("awsomePrefab"));
     Debug.Log(prefabClone);
}

Then the methods and properties are hidden from me (until I explicitly cast “as GameObject”). However, the output is the same regardless (of type GameObject).

In the first example when I am referencing a prefab of type GameObject, and storing it in the variable of type GameObject is the cast made implicitly now? What is the need to cast “as GameObject” if all of the GameObject methods and properties are exposed to me. Thanks for your help.

Resources.Load("awsomePrefab") will load a UnityEngine.Object because it doesn’t know the type of the item you want to load. You could use the same method to load a texture or anything but it doesn’t know what you want unless you specify it like Resources.Load<GameObject>("awsomePrefab").

Same goes for Instantiate which could also take the type parameter like Instantiate(prefab), but you don’t have to specify it because “prefab” is a GameObject so it is done implicitly. Now if you use Instantiate and Resources.Load together, you are loading an Object and Instantiating an Object.

Resources.Load("awsomePrefab"); //returns Object
Resources.Load<GameObject>("awsomePrefab"); //returns GameObject
Resources.Load("awsomePrefab") as GameObject; //returns GameObject

Instantiate(Resources.Load("awsomePrefab")); //returns Object
Instantiate(Resources.Load<GameObject>("awsomePrefab")); //returns GameObject
Instantiate(Resources.Load("awsomePrefab") as GameObject); //returns GameObject
Instantiate(Resources.Load("awsomePrefab")) as GameObject; //returns GameObject