Unity 2022.2 beta - feature highlights

Hi everybody,

We’re excited to share ** Unity 2022.2.0b1 ** with you and kick off the beta phase for our second Tech release of this year. Get hands-on with the features listed below, and experience the improvements we’ve made for your user experience and iteration speed. We can’t wait to hear what you think and are looking forward to your feedback.

The start of the beta also marks the beginning of our Unity 2022.2 Beta Sweepstakes, giving you the chance to win a year of Unity Pro by submitting bug reports for 2022.2 tagged with #Beta2022Win_Unity. You can find more information and the full rules in the dedicated sweepstakes forum thread .

Table of contents


Scalable graphics
Unity 2022.2 continues to bring additional features to enhance your workflows in both HDRP and URP render pipelines.

URP Forward+ Rendering
With the availability of Forward+ in URP, you can now incorporate a larger number of lights than the current limit of 8 lights per object in your scenes. Simultaneously, the performance of rendering in your projects will scale better as the number of lights and objects increases. You will also be able to select the Forward+ as a renderer of choice the same way you toggle between the current Forward and Deferred renderer.

URP Forward+ Rendering

URP Rendering Layers allow you to filter and configure how different objects get rendered and are affected by various rendering options in a Scene. Unity Layer Masks are shared and used for various purposes in a project, including physics and application logic. Rendering Layers allow for a better workflow of configuring rendering by separating rendering masking concerns from other masking behaviors in a project.

URP Rendering Layer support for Decals allows you to filter and configure how different objects get affected by different Decal Projectors in a Scene. Decals are useful for adding extra texture details to a Scene, especially to break the repetitiveness of materials and their detail patterns. A Decal Projector affects all Meshes in a scene by default, which might not always be desired. Decal layers allow you to decouple Meshes from specific Decal Projectors in your Scene.
energeticplasticchrysomelidURP Rendering Layer support for Decals; Assets used in the video: Multistory Dungeons, Medieval Cartoon Warriors

URP Level of Details (LOD) Cross Fade Support performs a smoother transition blending between the current mesh LOD and the next LOD based on the object’s distance to the camera.
LOD is a technique to reduce the GPU cost needed to render distant meshes. As the Camera moves, different LODs will be swapped to provide the right level of quality. Cross-fading allows smoother transitions of different LOD geometries and avoids the harsh snapping and popping that occurs during a swap.
unluckylikablefieldspanielURP Level of Details (LOD) Cross Fade Support

URP Built-in Converter Improvements provides tooling to assist you with upgrading your existing project(s) from the Built-in render pipeline. We are making various improvements to make the upgrade tooling more robust and useful to you. For 22.2 we have further improved the usability and performance of the converter based on the feedback we have received for projects with a larger number of assets.

HDRP Water System allows you to enhance your worlds by easily creating oceans, seas, lakes, or rivers with refractions, reflections, underwater effects, caustics, waves, and foam.
remorsefuldefensiveemuHDRP Water System

HDRP Path Tracing Denoising will provide users the choice between NVIDIA Optix™ AI accelerated denoiser and Intel® Open Image Denoise to achieve noise-free path-traced images, in situations where it simply wasn't possible before or would have taken a lot more time with natural convergence of sample accumulation. Note that this is related to denoising for offline/interactive rendering, it does not make path tracing real-time for game experiences. You can find samples of the denoiser in action and share your feedback in the Denoiser for HDRP path tracing discussion thread.

Adaptive Probe Volumes, continued development of this experimental feature delivers an initial implementation of light leaking prevention. This represents a step toward enabling probe-lit static geometry which makes it possible for Light Probes to replace some lightmaps for static objects. Additionally, GPU memory streaming is now supported which enables creators to build and run Scenes where lighting data assets don’t fit entirely in GPU memory. Finally we provide an experimental offering for baking multiple lighting scenarios, enabling creators to author and bake multiple lighting data sets, with the ability to blend between them during authoring and runtime.
8271141--1083582--APV-Enemies1.jpgAdaptive Probe Volumes

Volumetric Materials allow you to create procedural local fog using Shader Graph and HDRP.
Create advanced procedural fog and volumetric effects authored with Shader Graph and applied to any local volumetric fog component. This allows the creation of custom noise, fractals, ground fog effects, custom clouds, aurora borealis, sand storms, gas orbs, or volumetric ghosts. Local volumetric fog now offers different blending modes allowing to remove fog, for example in buildings or inside a vehicle.
heartfeltharmlessgreyhounddogVolumetric Materials

Full-Screen Master Node available for URP or HDRP allows Shader Graph to be used to create materials for full-screen effects, inside a custom pass or a custom post-process. You can easily retrieve scene color and buffer data to freely change colors, add highlights, or any other custom-made filters. Samples have been added to the HDRP package with different use cases of full-screen Shader Graph such as edge detection, night vision, or colorblindness filters.

Shadergraph can also now be used as well for Custom Render Texture. This allows easy authoring of dynamic textures that are key in the rendering of effects such as TV screens, dynamic snow or sand deformation, or even water interaction.

The high-end cinematic eye shader with caustics and high-quality PCSS area light shadows developed by our demo team and used in the Enemies short film are now integrated with HDRP.
"For area light shadows we needed both extra-large penumbrae and precise and sharp contacts. Getting these wrong is one of the worst artifacts you can introduce on a face."
Rob Cupisz, Senior Graphics Developer on the short film Enemies
graytimelyarabianoryxEye shader with caustics

8271141--1083588--PCSS-Enemies1.jpgPCSS shadow

8271141--1083594--enemies-unity.jpgEnemies image showing the cinematic eye shader with caustics and high-quality PCSS area light shadows

To showcase and onboard users to set up and use transparency, hair, full-screen shaders, or volumetric materials, our team of Technical Artists has built various sample scenes and shaders available in the HDRP package.

8271141--1083597--HDRP-MaterialSample-StackingTransparency.pngTransparency Samples

8271141--1083603--hairsamples2.jpgHair Samples

For 2D graphics, the new Light Batching Debugger is now available to help creators identify problematic lights or sorting layers and have more control over performance. We also added VFX Graph integration with Shadergraph Sprite Lit and Custom Lit targets and support for Alpha Clipping with Shadergraph Sprite Lit, Unlit, and Custom Lit targets.


Powerful productivity
Building upon the Spline Authoring Framework from 2022.1, we’ve improved tooling specifically around knot placement, branching, and handles to help boost productivity. This includes auto-smooth tangents and per-knot tangent modes for knot placement. Knots can also be shared between any number of Splines. Branching now allows multiple splines to be created in a single SplineContainer and Handles sees a number of improvements to help with usability.

For those creating environments, the built-in detail brush in the Terrain Tools package is replaced with a new UI widget that allows artists to select multiple detail prototypes with settings to paint on terrain. The density of a scattered detail is now relative to size and defined directly, giving artists more precise control on adding grass and other details to their terrain.

A new AI Navigation package is available for developers and technical artists to easily add intelligence to their meshes and 3D characters to allow them to move around game worlds without having to code these rules manually. This will replace the legacy workflow for Navigation in Unity.

To improve the productivity of 2D creators, Sprite Atlas now works in the Editor without having to enter Play Mode or make a build. Creators can now work faster with the benefits and results of atlassing sprites right in the Editor. The 2D PSD Importer also sees improvements with the ability to add padding to sprites imported from PSD Layers. This provides the space outside the sprite for special effects like outlines and glows to draw pixels into.

The Sprite Library Editor is a dedicated space for working with Sprite Libraries more efficiently. The Sprite Library Editor now provides a better overview of the Sprite Library’s content. It includes improved drag and drop functionality, to more quickly set up and update Sprite Libraries, and improved performance for larger sets of Categories, Labels, and Sprites.

Finally, for 2D physics, Rigidbody2D and Collider2D now provide per-object overrides to the Layer Collision Matrix. Also, you can control if collision forces are sent and/or received and configure which contacts Unity captures for specific layers and reports as callbacks which will improve performance.

We’ve also added a ton of small UX improvements, like selection logs that enable you to easily go back through previously active objects, or new options in the Shortcut Manager.

We continue to focus on iteration time, especially C# script change and enter play mode speed. In our tests, we’re seeing 5-22% improvement depending on project size - please let us know here on the forum what your experience with the new version is!


Extensible editor
Our goal for UI Toolkit continues to be to deliver a single solution for producing UI that will meet the needs of creators working on Editor tools or runtime experiences.

For those working on editor tools, default inspectors are now drawn using UI Toolkit, so Property Drawers can be used without having to write custom inspectors. Let us know your experience particularly when it comes to stability and performance.

In UI Builder, the inspector now brings clarity on the origin of the value for a given property when inspecting an element and provides a sticky header for the current selection, allowing for quick name editing. We'd love to hear your feedback on whether this offers you sufficient information for value sources and editing styles.

The Vector Drawing API sees a 5x performance gain, gradients rendering, and the ability to build instructions outside the UI render loop. Background Tiling now allows for different repeat pattern positions and sizes to be used to render the background of a Visual Element, Emojis are available through the TextMeshPro package and backported to 2021 for UI Toolkit, and the Localization package is now verified.

Lastly, to make migrations from IMGUI even easier, we’ve now added several new pages of documentation. Let us know what topics you’d like to see us add next.


Performance insights
Memory Profiler 1.0
Improvements have been made to the Memory Profiler in our 1.0.0 version, with detailed profiling available for both C# and C++, speedier location of where memory is being used, and highlighting of specific objects. The profiling team is particularly interested in the user experience of the new release, including letting us know if the additional insight included in the Profiler is helpful in its current form .

Unity Profiler
You can now more easily find the insights you need with asset names displayed on rendering and loading threads and details on how CPU activity relates to a specific asset or object.


Platform optimizations
In the previous release, we added Incremental Build support for iOS and Xbox and in this 2022.2 release we expect to further improve your console build pipeline with support for PlayStation®5 and Nintendo Switch™ platforms.

DirectX12 Out Of Preview
Significant improvements have been made to the graphics backend, in order to increase CPU performance and stability of editors and runtime players targeting DirectX12. Learn more in our forum thread Official - DX12 is out of experimental since 2022.2.0a17 , and let us know what you think.

DirectX ray tracing support for Xbox Series X|S will be made available with the release of this beta. Your feedback on the performance and stability of the ray-tracing API and HDRP effects will help further enhance the feature across all raytracing-capable console platforms.

XR tools and features
Additionally, you will see further enhancements around our mixed reality features in the core engine. XR Interaction Toolkit (XRI) is a framework for building AR & VR applications that makes it easier to translate input into interactions with 3D and UI objects. XRI supports devices that implement a Unity XR SDK, including OpenXR, providing a common set of interactions across devices and platforms. XRI v2.0.1 provides improvements to locomotion and updates to interactions/interactors. AR Foundation Simulation enables developers to iterate faster by allowing them to do more, faster by bringing simulated real-world environments directly into the Unity Editor and reducing how often developers need to test AR content on devices.

We’d appreciate your input and feedback on subsystems for AR Foundation Simulation as well as general bug reporting for all of the new platform functionality.


DOTS development
Unity’s data-oriented tech stack (DOTS) makes it possible to build more ambitious games, and we are in the final stretches of preparing the first pre-release version of Entities 1.0 for launch. Entities 1.0 will bring compatibility with 2022.2, and will be available at a later point during the beta. The full release of Entities 1.0 is planned for 2022 LTS. You can learn more about what to expect from Entities 1.0, provide feedback, and engage with our DOTS community in the DOTS forums.