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Akhil Bhadwal | 22 Mar, 2023
Maya Maceka | Co-author
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The 10 Best Unity Books to Learn Game Development in 2024


Did you know that the Unity game engine is behind some of the most popular games of all time, including Pokémon Go, Angry Birds, and Temple Run? With over 1.5 million active developers and 70% of mobile games made with Unity, it's clear that this engine has become a staple in the game development industry.

And with Unity game developers earning salaries in excess of $70K, it makes a lot of sense if you want to join the ranks of successful Unity game developers. But to get started, you’ll need the right resources, whether that's the best Unity courses or one of the 10 best Unity books that we've handpicked for game development in 2024.

Each book is designed to help you learn Unity fundamentals and become proficient in game development. So let's dive in and explore the world of Unity game development, starting with our top three picks based on different levels of experience.

Featured Unity Books [Editor’s Picks]

Unity in Action

Unity in Action

Author: Joe Hocking

Publisher: Manning

Edition: 3rd

Pages: 416

Formats: Paperback and Kindle

Key Topics: Unity basics, C# scripts, game development concepts

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Unity Game Development Cookbook: Essentials for Every Game

Unity Game Development Cookbook

Author: Paris Buttfield-Addison, Jon Manning, and Tim Nugent

Publisher: O'Reilly Media

Edition: 1st

Pages: 408

Formats: Paperback and Kindle

Key Topics: Intermediate scripting techniques, multiplayer, VR/AR, optimization

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Game Development With Unity for .NET Developers

Game Development With Unity for .NET Developers

Author: Jiadong Chen

Publisher: Packt Publishing

Edition: 1st

Pages: 584

Formats: Paperback and kindle

Key Topics: C# scripts, render pipelines, DOTS, Microsoft Game Dev, Azure Cloud, and PlayFab

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How to Pick a Great Unity Book?

Here are three tips for picking a great Unity book:

  1. Determine your skill level: If you're a beginner, you'll want a book that covers the basics of Unity and C#. If you're more experienced, you may want a book that focuses on more advanced topics, such as multiplayer or optimization.
  2. Consider your goals: Think about what type of game or project you want to create. If you're interested in mastering Unity 2D games, for example, look for a book that focuses on 2D game development. If you want to create VR/AR experiences, find a book that covers those topics.
  3. Read reviews and check ratings: Look for reviews and ratings from other readers to get an idea of the book's quality and relevance. 

By considering these factors, you can find a Unity book that's tailored to your specific needs and goals and that will help you advance your skills in game development.

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The 10 Best Unity Books to Read in 2024

Book Name

Author

Pages

Why You Need to Read It

Unity in Action

Joe Hocking

416

Practical overview of 2D, 3D, and AR/VR game development using Unity. 

Introduction to Game Design, Prototyping, and Development

Jeremy Gibson Bond

1296

Comprehensive guide to game design theory, rapid iterative prototyping, and practical game programming.

Unity Game Development Cookbook: Essentials for Every Game

Paris Buttfield-Addison, Jon Manning, Tim Nugent

408

Contains a collection of recipes that teach specific features of the Unity game engine

Learning C# by Developing Games With Unity

Harrison Ferrone

458

Has readers create a working first-person shooter game prototype using Unity fundamentals

Unity Game Development in 24 Hours

Mike Geig

464

Step-by-step approach to learning the Unity game engine in 24 lessons of one hour or less

C#: 3 Books in 1

Mark Reed

344

Each chapter builds on the last, making it easy to follow along regardless of your level of expertise.

Unity From Zero to Proficiency (Foundations)

Patrick Felicia

240

Simple yet detailed introduction for 2D and 3D game development using Unity.

Hands-On Unity 2022 Game Development

Nicolas Alejandro Borromeo

712

Interactive guide to multiplatform game development using Unity’s AR tools

Game Development With Unity for .NET Developers

Jiadong Chen

584

Intermediate guide to Unity’s built-in modules, coding techniques, and service integration. 

Unity Certified Programmer: Exam Guide

Philip Walker

762

Includes a full Unity programmer mock exam to help readers prepare for the official certification.

1. Unity in Action

Unity in Action

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Key Information

Author: Joe Hocking

Publisher: Manning

Pages: 416

Edition: 3rd 

Publish Date: February 2022

Level: Beginner

Rating: 4.9/5

Formats: Paperback and Kindle

Why we chose this book

If you’re looking for the best book to learn Unity, this practical and hands-on beginner's guide to Unity game development is designed for programmers who are new to Unity but have previous experience with object-oriented programming.

Expect to learn about 2D, 3D, and AR/VR game creation using C# along with a wide range of topics like character creation, 3D first-person shooters, 2D card games, and online play. The third edition has also been updated to include augmented and virtual reality toolkits. 

Features

  • Comprehensive overview of game development using Unity and C#
  • Offers a variety of game projects for hands-on experience
  • Covers 2D, 3D, and AR/VR game creation 

2. Introduction to Game Design, Prototyping, and Development

Introduction to Game Design, Prototyping, and Development

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Key Information

Author: Jeremy Gibson Bond

Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional

Pages: 1296 

Edition: 3rd

Publish Date: September 2022

Level: Intermediate

Rating: 5/5

Formats: Paperback and Kindle

Why we chose this book

A comprehensive guide for aspiring game developers who are interested in learning the ins and outs of game design theory, prototyping, and programming using Unity 2020.3 LTS (Long Term Support).

The book covers topics like game mechanics, narrative design, user experience, and rapid iterative prototyping — a crucial aspect of game development. It also features a chapter on Data-Oriented Tech Stack (DOTS) and coding challenges to help readers apply their knowledge. By the end of this book, you’ll be well on your way to mastering Unity 2D game and 3D prototypes.

Features

  • Covers game design theory, rapid iterative prototyping, and practical programming
  • Built-in game tutorials and coding challenges 
  • Includes a chapter on Unity's high-performance Data-Oriented Tech Stack (DOTS)

3. Unity Game Development Cookbook

Unity Game Development Cookbook

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Key Information

Author: Paris Buttfield-Addison, Jon Manning, and Tim Nugent

Publisher: O'Reilly Media

Pages: 408

Edition: 1st

Publish Date: April 2019

Level: Intermediate

Rating: 4.6/5

Formats: Paperback and Kindle

Why we chose this book

A valuable resource for intermediate game developers who want to take their Unity skills to the next level. It’s best suited for those who have some knowledge of C# programming and want to learn how to use Unity to its full potential.

The book is a collection of recipes that provide practical solutions to common gameplay scenarios while teaching specific features of the Unity game engine. It covers a wide range of topics, including gameplay mechanics, character behavior, and animation. The recipes also cover advanced topics such as artificial intelligence, multiplayer networking, and virtual reality.

Features

  • Collection of recipes that teach specific features of the Unity game engine
  • Solutions to common gameplay scenarios, such as keeping score
  • Coverage of 2D and 3D graphics, animation, behavior, sound, and scripting

4. Learning C# by Developing Games With Unity

Learning C# by Developing Games With Unity

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Key Information

Author: Harrison Ferrone

Publisher: Packt Publishing

Pages: 458

Edition: 7th

Publish Date: November 2022

Level: Beginner

Rating: 4.6/5

Formats: Paperback and Kindle

Why we chose this book

This is an engaging introduction to Unity game development using C# programming. It's designed to help readers create a playable game prototype from scratch and is suitable for anyone who wants to learn Unity.

The book covers a wide range of Unity fundamentals, including game objects, components, and scripting. It also delves into more advanced topics such as character movement, shooting mechanics, and AI. By the end of the book, readers will have the knowledge and skills to create their own first-person shooter game prototype using Unity.

Features

  • Covers the fundamentals of game programming concepts, including collision detection
  • Has readers build a working first-person shooter game prototype
  • Contains an invitation to join the online Unity Game Development community

5. Unity Game Development in 24 Hours

Unity Game Development in 24 Hours

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Key Information

Author: Mike Geig

Publisher: Sams Publishing

Pages: 464

Edition: 4th

Publish Date: November 2021

Level: Beginner

Rating: 4.8/5

Formats: Paperback and Kindle

Why we chose this book

This is a straightforward and easy-to-follow approach to learning the Unity game engine. It consists of 24 lessons of one hour or less, covering everything from the basics to advanced topics. It’s designed for complete beginners who want to learn Unity game development. 

The book includes tutorials on creating 2D games, using graphical asset pipelines, and leveraging mobile device accelerometers for gameplay. By the end, readers will have a solid understanding of Unity’s features and be able to create their own games.

Features

  • Step-by-step instructions to walk you through common Unity game development tasks
  • Four sample game projects to illustrate the concepts covered in the book
  • Quickly create game objects with prefabs

6. C#: 3 Books in 1

C#: 3 Books in 1

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Key Information

Author: Mark Reed

Publisher: Independently published

Pages: 344

Edition: 1st

Publish Date: September 2022

Level: Beginner to Advanced

Rating: 4.5/5

Formats: Paperback and Kindle

Why we chose this book

An interactive guide to learning C# programming that is broken down into three books, making it easy to follow along regardless of your level of expertise. It's designed for developers of all levels who want to improve their programming skills and learn C# in a practical, hands-on way.

If you want to develop games with Unity, this book covers everything from the basics of C# to more advanced concepts and strategies such as asynchronous programming and type reflection. So while it’s focused on C# programming, it's a great resource for learning C# fundamentals for Unity game development. 

Features

  • Contains three books, covering beginner, intermediate, and advanced C# programming 
  • Offers practical experience using essential tools and strategies

7. Unity From Zero to Proficiency (Foundations)

Unity From Zero to Proficiency (Foundations)

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Key Information

Author: Patrick Felicia

Publisher: Independently published

Pages: 240

Edition: 1st

Publish Date: February 2019

Level: Beginner

Rating: 4.5/5

Formats: Paperback, Kindle, and Audiobook

Why we chose this book

An easy-to-follow introduction to game development in C# using Unity, perfect for those who have no prior knowledge of programming. It's designed for parents or teachers who want to introduce young learners to game development and hobbyists just getting started with Unity.

The book teaches readers the best practices for creating realistic 2D and 3D environments, starting with the basics of Unity and working up to more advanced techniques. It contains lessons on creating a 3D maze, designing various landscapes, and exporting games to the web.

Features

  • Designed for beginners who want to learn skills over time
  • Motivates readers by providing challenges at the end of each chapter
  • Provides detailed explanations and instructions on each concept 

8. Hands-On Unity 2022 Game Development

Hands-On Unity 2022 Game Development

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Key Information

Author: Nicolas Alejandro Borromeo

Publisher: Packt Publishing

Pages: 712

Edition: 3rd

Publish Date: October 2022

Level: Beginner 

Rating: 4.6/5

Formats: Paperback and kindle

Why we chose this book

This is a comprehensive guide to multiplatform game development with Unity for those who are interested in building commercial-quality games. It’s designed for developers who want to migrate or start building 3D games in Unity.

The book covers all aspects of game development, from the fundamentals of the Unity editor to creating visual effects, improving game graphics, and using Unity’s AR tools. It includes hands-on tutorials and projects, which allow readers to build a game prototype while learning the basics of Unity.

Features

  • Covers Unity’s AR tools for 3D apps and games
  • Hands-on tutorials and projects on C# and visual scripting
  • Learn to create both mobile and console games

9. Game Development With Unity for .NET Developers

Game Development With Unity for .NET Developers

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Key Information

Author: Jiadong Chen

Publisher: Packt Publishing

Pages: 584

Edition: 1st

Publish Date: May 2022

Level: Advanced

Rating: 4.8/5

Formats: Paperback and kindle

Why we chose this book

An intermediate-level guide to using Unity's built-in modules to create impressive games. It’s designed for developers who want to learn game development with Unity and have some prior experience with the engine.

The book covers topics ranging from the basics of using the editor and C# coding concepts to more advanced topics, like computer graphics math and developing a custom render pipeline using the Scriptable Render Pipeline. It also features lessons on integrating various services into Unity games, such as Unity Ads, Unity Analytics, and Unity IAP.

Features

  • Contains solutions to common problems faced by .NET developers
  • Covers advanced Unity coding techniques
  • Introduces the integration of Microsoft Game Dev, Azure Cloud, and PlayFab

10. Unity Certified Programmer: Exam Guide

Unity Certified Programmer: Exam Guide

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Key Information

Author: Philip Walker

Publisher: Packt Publishing

Pages: 762

Edition: 1st

Publish Date: June 2020

Level: Advanced

Rating: 4.6/5

Formats: Paperback and kindle

Why we chose this book

This is designed to prepare readers for the Unity Certified Programmer exam by providing a comprehensive guide to game scripting. It's an ideal resource for aspiring game developers who want to obtain the Unity certification and demonstrate their expertise to potential employers.

The guide covers the basics of C# programming and Unity, as well as more advanced topics such as writing maintainable Unity applications, animation, and debugging. It includes a full Unity programmer mock exam to help readers prepare for the official certification exam.

Features

  • Contains mock tests, exam tips, and self-assessment questions to help readers pass the Unity certification
  • Covers the essentials of game scripting with Unity and C#

These Remote Jobs Need Unity Developers and Artists

Conclusion

If you're looking to start your game development journey, a great Unity book can be a valuable resource for learning the fundamentals and gaining hands-on experience. From our handpicked list of the top Unity books of 2024 to our tips on choosing the right book for you, we hope this article has provided you with valuable insights and resources.

Remember, the key to success in game development is practice and perseverance, so don't be discouraged if you encounter obstacles along the way. With the right Unity book and a passion for game development, you can bring your ideas to life and create your own amazing games.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can a 12-Year-Old Learn Unity?

Yes, a 12-year-old can learn Unity, although the level of difficulty may vary depending on their experience with game programming. Some online courses and books are designed specifically for young learners, such as Unity From Zero to Proficiency

2. Is Unity Better Than C++?

Unity and C++ are two very different things that serve different purposes. Unity is a game engine that provides a visual editor, scripting system, and tools for creating 2D and 3D games with C#. On the other hand, C++ is a programming language that can be used to create a wide range of software, including games. In fact, Unity’s main competitor, Unreal Engine, uses C++ as its development language. 

3. What Is the Best Way to Learn Unity?

The best way to learn Unity depends on your personal learning style and goals. It may be helpful to start with official tutorials and learn the basics of programming, as Unity uses C#. You can also enroll in online courses or read books about Unity, such as the Unity Game Development Cookbook to get a better understanding of how things work. 

4. Is C# Best for Unity?

C# is the primary language used in Unity and is widely considered the best language for developing Unity games. C# is a modern, high-level language that is easy to learn and use, making it great for beginners to game development.

5. Which Book Is the Best to Start With?

Choosing the right Unity book can be challenging, as the best one for you depends on your skill level and learning style. To help you get started, we've compiled a list of our top 10 Unity books, each suited for different levels of experience. If you’re new to Unity and unsure of where to begin, we recommend Unity in Action, as it covers all aspects of Unity game development.

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By Akhil Bhadwal

A Computer Science graduate interested in mixing up imagination and knowledge into enticing words. Been in the big bad world of content writing since 2014. In his free time, Akhil likes to play cards, do guitar jam, and write weird fiction.

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