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Kiran Jodhani
Kiran Jodhani

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How to convert a single-player game to Multiplayer in Unity?

This post describes steps to converting a single player game to a multiplayer game, using the new Unity Multiplayer networking system. The process described here is a simplified, higher level version of the actual process for a real game; it doesn’t always work exactly like this, but it provides a basic recipe for the process.

NetworkManager set-up

  • Add a new GameObject to the Scene and rename it “NetworkManager”.
  • Add the NetworkManager component to the “NetworkManager” GameObject.
  • Add the NetworkManagerHUD component to the GameObject. This provides the default UI for managing the network game state.

Player Prefab set-up

  • Find the Prefab for the player GameObject in the game, or create a Prefab from the player GameObject
  • Add the NetworkIdentity component to the player Prefab
  • Check the LocalPlayerAuthority box on the NetworkIdentity
  • Set the playerPrefab in the NetworkManager’s Spawn Info section to the player Prefab
  • Remove the player GameObject instance from the Scene if it exists in the Scene

Player movement

  • Add a NetworkTransform component to the player Prefab
  • Update input and control scripts to respect isLocalPlayer
  • Fix Camera to use spawned player and isLocalPlayer

For example, this script only processes input for the local player:

using UnityEngine;
using UnityEngine.Networking;

public class Controls : NetworkBehaviour
    void Update()
        if (!isLocalPlayer)
            // exit from update if this is not the local player

        // handle player input for movement
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Basic player game state

  • Make scripts that contain important data into NetworkBehaviours instead of MonoBehaviours
  • Make important member variables into SyncVars

Networked actions

  • Make scripts that perform important actions into NetworkBehaviours instead of MonoBehaviours
  • Update functions that perform important player actions to be commands

*Non-player GameObjects *

Fix non-player prefabs such as enemies:

  • Add the NetworkIdentify component
  • Add the NetworkTransform component
  • Register spawnable Prefabs with the NetworkManager
  • Update scripts with game state and actions


  • Potentially change spawner scripts to be NetworkBehaviours
  • Modify spawners to only run on the server (use isServer property or the OnStartServer() function)
  • Call NetworkServer.Spawn() for created GameObjects

Spawn positions for players

  • Add a new GameObject and place it at player’s start location
  • Add the NetworkStartPosition component to the new GameObject


  • Create Lobby Scene
  • Add a new GameObject to the Scene and rename it to “NetworkLobbyManager”.
  • Add the NetworkLobbyManager component to the new GameObject.
  • Configure the Manager: Scenes Prefabs Spawners

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