Can You Use Python In Unity?

Okay so let’s set the scene! You’re looking to develop a game but the only skills you have are within the Python Programming Language.

You love the simplicity of its syntax like many other programmers, and you fell in love with this language.

Perhaps it’s one of the first languages you learned. But here’s the thing – a lot of the game engines available to developers don’t use it!

Can yous use Python in Unity Cover Image

Let’s say you’re taking a look at unity!

It’s a great game engine, and you have seen some of the incredible games that have been made with it.

But it uses C++ and C# and you’re not so familiar with them.

Do you really have to learn a whole new set of languages in order to use Unity? Or can you just use Python?

If you find yourself wondering these questions, below is a guide that will tell you everything you need to know.

What Is Unity?

The Unity Engine is a 2D/3D engine that is commonly used within the Game Development industry that is used to create game environments with cross-platform support.

If you’ve never heard the term ‘Game Engine’ what this basically means is a software framework (think of it as scaffolding), that lays the framework for anything that goes on in a game.

Game engines have sky-rocketed in terms of complexity and capability, and Unity is a perfect example!

The Unity Engine was first released in 2005 and developed by Unity Technologies.

It was first created as a MAC OS X-exclusive game engine, but through time it has become supportive of all kinds of different platforms such as console, desktop, mobile and virtual reality.

If you’re into video games, it’s likely you’ve played something that has been built with the Unity Engine, as it can create a wide range of different 3D and 2D environments.

Some of the most popular games built with Unity include:

  • Cuphead
  • Ori and The Blind Forest
  • Hearthstone
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Dead Frontier
  • Endless space
  • Valheim

What Is Python?

So now we’ve defined what Unity is, let’s take a look at python. Python is a high-level programming language with a lot of complexity.

With simplistic syntax and readability, it is a favorite for programmers who are looking to optimize their productivity and is used to build websites and software, to automate difficult tasks, and to analyze data.

Python is what is known as a versatile language, meaning that it can be used to create programs that will solve unique problems.

Can You Use Python In Unity?

So now let’s get to the main question of our article. Are you able to use python in unity?

Well, this is a complicated question that has a few answers.

It’s first important to understand that Unity primarily uses C++ programming language and C# for Unity Scripting API.

This means that it doesn’t use Python as its primary programming language.

If you’re not so food at C++ but have some skills in Python, you might be wondering if you can just use Python instead?

At the moment, there is no way to directly used python within the Unity Engine.

There are however ways for you to use interpreters that will call functions for you.

So if you’re looking to use Python as the main code for your game (or for certain elements) there is no real way for you to do this.

Generally, we would suggest adjusting your expectations if you’re looking at using Unity as the Engine for your game.

If you want to make a game with Unity, then you’re going to need to learn at least a basic amount of C++ and C#.

If for some reason you feel like you need to use Python code within Unity, there are a few ways you can do this which we will explore below.

Third Party Interpreters And Plugins

The main way you can use Python Code within Unity is to use third-party interpreters and plugins.

Third-Party here refers to programs and applications created by (often) independent developers who, like you, are looking to find a way to do this.

An example here is UniPython, a package created to script Unity3D games using IronPython.

It’s not perfect and is still in development, but it’s a way in which you can begin to use

It’s worth noting that this is currently a sub-optimal way to use Unity, and will probably give you more hassle than just learning C++ or C#.

Python Game Engines

As an alternative, you can simply develop a game using a Python Game Engine.

These are often not as complex or well designed as Engines that run on other programming languages, but you do have a few options available to you.

These include:

  • Pygame
  • Panda3D
  • Ren’Py
  • Python-Ogre
  • Blender Game Engine

If you’re looking to find the perfect engine for what you hope to develop, then check out these and see if any of them are right for you.

If you want to make a game that has been written in Python, one encouraging thing to note is that there are some very famous examples, for example, Space Invaders and Tetris.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, you won’t be able to use Python within Unity without use of third party software.

Generally, Unity users suggest just learning to code in C# and C++ if you want to use it as your game engine.

However, that’s not to say you can’t use Python to create games, as there are a variety of python-based game engines and some examples of previous famous games that have used it.

We hope that this article has given you some insight into this issue and that you now feel a lot more confident about the choices you have before you!

Both Python and Unity are great tools to create incredible applications or games, and they are both researching a little more if you find yourself interested in them!