Best Books For Learning Unity and Game Development

Unity is an excellent development platform for anyone new to building games. You can use it to create and run both 2D and 3D games on multiple platforms. This provides a lot of freedom to explore the creative process. It is the direct competitor of the Unreal Engine and has a lot of respectable features that set it apart. These include portability for over twenty-five different gaming platforms, fast prototyping, Unity ads for monetization, and more. Unity is a great game development engine for new and veteran designers, and it is free for individual users making it accessible to everyone.

Below I’ve listed several great books that will be able to help you use Unity as you create. There are options for anyone hoping to create games in 2D, 3D, or both. If you are truly serious about turning your idea into a great game, then these books are the perfect starting place to learn how to master the Unity game engine.

Unity Game Development Cookbook: Essentials for Every Game

Unity Game Development Cookbook Book Cover

This book has ‘recipes’ that teach features and scripting to learn Unity, and also includes pre-built snippets for typical gameplay elements.

Each section follows the format of presenting a problem that needs to be solved and then providing the solution in a cookbook format. This book covers 2D and 3D graphics, character physics and movement, AI behavior, scripting, user interface, gameplay, and sound. A perfect book for someone new to Unity.

Two authors of the book: Jon Manning and Paris Buttfield-Addison were actually the programmers on the award-winning game – Night In the Woods.

Developing 2D Games with Unity: Independent Game Programming with C#

Developing 2D Games with Unity Book Cover

This book is perfect for anyone who chooses to focus on 2D game creation. It covers scripting, animations, cameras, and collision detection, among other aspects of 2D game building.

It goes into great detail and is excellent for both people brand new to programming and those who are more experienced. With this book, you will be able to build and deploy a 2D game of your design so that it can be played by people around the world.

Game Programming Patterns

Game Programming Patterns Book Cover

Programming patterns are a more advanced topic, but it will allow you to make the code more readable, easier to maintain and a lot more extensible.

There are other books on programming patterns that target general programming, but this book is amazing especially for games because it lists patterns that are most commonly used specifically in gamedev and some that will not be found elsewhere. The book not only covers how to implement each pattern but also when and why to use them.

It was written by Bob Nystrom, a programmer with over 20 years of experience including working at Electronic Arts for eight years. The book is also available on his website for free.

Learning C# by Developing Games with Unity 2019: Code in C# and build 3D games with Unity

Learning C# by Developing Games with Unity Book Cover

This book is for developers choosing to focus on the 3D game aspect of Unity. A real beginner guide that goes over understanding the fundamentals of coding, game mechanics, and game development, including teaching C# programming syntax from scratch.

It starts you out learning variables, methods and conditions, moving to classes, generics and application architecture. If you are new to the process and want to create a 3D game, then this book is a must-own.

Mastering UI Development with Unity

Mastering UI Development with Unity Book Cover

This book has everything you could want to know about user interface creation and optimization. Providing instructionals for understanding and implementing the best choices for both technical and decorative considerations.

It explains how to make your user interface behave successfully on various platforms and resolutions. Truly an exhaustive resource on learning to create a user interface in Unity.

Unity in Action

Unity in Action Book Cover

This book provides a truly remarkable resource for anyone building games in Unity, regardless of their experience level with Unity and is a great book overall. Although it expects some prior knowledge of C#.

Through this book you will build a few 3D and 2D demo games, making AI, adding user interfaces and sound, and then deploying them to devices.


If you think some great book is missing from the list, please leave it in the comments below.

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