Search Unity

  1. Unity support for visionOS is now available. Learn more in our blog post.
    Dismiss Notice

BEST Editor pick for new Project... 2021 vs 2022 vs 2023?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AcidSheep, Feb 6, 2023.

  1. AcidSheep

    AcidSheep

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2015
    Posts:
    19
    Hi!

    I have a problem picking the right Unity Editor for a new project I am starting at work, but also the current state of Editor releases in general :)
    Our company is using Unity for an interactive installation (Windows) + Android Companion App that's gonna be available via Google Play.
    The production time will be around ~10 months starting in Feb.

    I have had problems in the past in regards to LTS becoming deprecated and massive issues with Android Support and not being able to make new releases on the Play Store, so I want to be extra careful.
    LTS is supposed to be supported for 2 years but I am unsure when that 2 year counter starts.

    1. The current official LTS Version is 2021.3.15f1. But it is already 2023.
      So will this version receive updates till at least Feb 2025 or is the 2-year timer already counting down?
      (If so, what is the best version to pick for longest possible support from now on)

    2. I am confused about the term "Tech Stream" in 2022? Is 2022.2 stable and will there be a proper 2022 LTS as well?

    3. Are the newest Unity features coming to 2022 TechStream first, or is 2023 Beta the way to go for new development?

    Thanks & Cheers!
     
    DungDajHjep likes this.
  2. CodeSmile

    CodeSmile

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Posts:
    5,085
    My thoughts:
    1. 2021.3 will be supported for two years and it was released Q1/2022 => EOL is Q2/2024 according to this statement.
    2. "Teach stream" is any release that is not an LTS. But also not an alpha/beta of course. Sure there will be a 2022.3 LTS and 2023.3 LTS and so on. Whether it is "stable" is subjective - the idea of LTS is that it only gets bugfixes but not new features so there's less chance of an existing feature breaking (either technically or simply due to changing workflows and the devs crying because they have to get used to it on top of a tight schedule).
    3. New features are added to any non-LTS release. Whether you want to use beta at this point is up to you but for a commercial project with a deadline I would generally be conservative and use 2021.3 LTS at this point but since we're in February now and your project hasn't started yet you should be okay with 2022.2 and upgrade to 2022.3 LTS in about 2-3 months. It really depends on how conservative you need to be at this point looking forward. I'd say if you don't need any of the 2022.x features for this project just go for 2021.3 (ie "latest LTS") and at any time you can consider upgrading to a newer LTS.
    And generally speaking if the project's lifetime expectancy (ie the time you're making updates to it) is more than 2 years you will almost certainly be looking at upgrading Unity throughout the project's life. That's just normal. And the reasons for doing that can be some changes of external SDKs (specifically mobile) so you may be required to upgrade either to meet Google's/Apple's SDK requirements or to be able to use the latest features of their devices.
     
    Ryiah and jonathanpaullin like this.
  3. DEEnvironment

    DEEnvironment

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2018
    Posts:
    437
    First let’s look at how unity works for releasing API versions and the relationship with Unity versions.
    unity release cycle has 3 main stages.

    Unity xxxx_0 = Alpha/Beta
    Unity xxxx_1 = Tech-release
    Unity xxxx_2 = Tech-release
    Unity xxxx_3 = LTS - Official-release


    xxxx_1 Tech-release
    this cycle commonly uses the api mostly based on the last official release LTS plus new features added. however, from experience is usually missing some chucks of code and developers should fully understand it’s not yet intended for production use. this cycle is a good starting point to asking what’s new. Almost ready for production however may still have small bugs.

    xxxx_2 Tech-release
    this cycle is sort of a battle testing ground to flush out any final problems I suspect it’s so sort of milestone for unity.

    xxxx_3 Official release
    this is the more stable cycle and suggested by Unity for production use.

    Note
    working in BIRP aka Built-In / Standard we don’t care much about “API” versions however if our workflow will be in SRP aka URP/HDRP the api version 10x/12/14x/15x becomes a lot more important than the unity version numbers. Example LTS 2021.3 uses api 12x. within the 12x cycle unity makes code changes that result in 12.1.6 no longer compatible with 12.1.7 and or higher even within LTS versions. the idea of LTS does not have changes is not fully correct and the idea it is the most stable is more for marketing.

    In short, I suggest look at what your project needs and pick a version that works best for your team and its project goals. Be flexible prepared for changes along the way
     
  4. DEEnvironment

    DEEnvironment

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2018
    Posts:
    437
    this can be helpful for better understanding the relationship between unity version an api version.
    upload_2023-2-6_10-25-20.png
     
  5. AcidSheep

    AcidSheep

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2015
    Posts:
    19
    Thank you for the information! I had no idea about the release number conventions

    That is super interesting! We will use URP and the top priority is having support for External APIs (Ads & IAP & everything Google Play Related) for as long as possible before having to do a major Project Upgrade to a new Editor Release.

    I think I will go with 2022.2 and hope the switch to 2022.3 later down the line will not be manageable.
     
  6. EnigmaFactory

    EnigmaFactory

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2011
    Posts:
    98
    What I'm curious about is people's experiences on 2021.3 vs 2022.3 as both are LTS and viable choices right now. Of course 2021 is a more mature LTS, but I'm having a myriad of issues and disappointments with each project I upgrade. Wild editor bugs, longer loading times, and larger builds are all things I've experienced in 2022 that's making me hesitant to push anything up. That said, I haven't been quantifying or tracking these issues well. Love to hear about anyone else's experiences.
     
  7. PanthenEye

    PanthenEye

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    Posts:
    2,018
    If you need to keep up with APIs, there's not much of a choice. For Steam I'm sticking with 2021 LTS for now. 2022LTS needs a few more months to mature per previous experience. 2023 tech stream is a no go, since packages also stop getting bug fixes once a new tech stream is out so you're continuously on the upgrade treadmill, which inevitably leads to development delays.
     
  8. CodeSmile

    CodeSmile

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Posts:
    5,085
    @EnigmaFactory give 2023.1 a try. It isn‘t LTS but in my tests it actually halved (!) the script recompile time, and other timings are also noticably faster.

    I am currently in the process of analyzing speed of various editor versions and thus far, in my test project, the timings are getting consecutively faster from 2019 onwards when using each editor version‘s default settings (i copied the contents of Assets to each new project rather than upgrading).
    I know the experiences are different so I will try to find out why that is the case. It could be related to upgrading the entire project as is and something you carry along causes degradation. Perhaps it may be as simple as deleting the Library before opening the project in a new editor version - personally I find this is good practice anyway.
     
    CodeRonnie and Ryiah like this.
  9. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Posts:
    9,026
    My opinion on this has changed significantly over the last few years. In the past, I (and my team/studio) typically picked started the most solid version available at the start and avoided upgrading unless it was absolutely necessary. This was largely because new versions of Unity were so focused on new features. So chasing new features wasn't critical.

    But, In the last several years, this had become very problematic, we have changed our approach. There are many more platforms and more significant changes to hardware. (and we now ship on many more platforms). Upgrades to Unity for us still aren't about chasing features, but maintaining hardware/os compatibility. We now try to keep up to the most current LTS version and have an upgrade stream that we upgrade/test/merge back into regularly. It takes time, but has just become part of the process so not so much of pain.

    (though there are some times that we have to use older versions of Unity because some of Unity's new tools aren't supported by the latest version... heh)

    I would recommend starting with the newest LTS version you can.
     
  10. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Posts:
    11,520
    If you’re starting in Feb that’s enough time for 2022 LTS to get pretty decent and pretty good by the time you are done.
     
    CodeSmile and zombiegorilla like this.
  11. impheris

    impheris

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Posts:
    1,588
    Always stay with LTS versions, in my case, i prefer to work with 2021 LTS because is balanced between old/stable (bug fixes and changes) and supported with some "new" useful features...
    2022 LTS is the latest LTS but is too new to be stable IMO
    2023 is more like a beta for experimental stuffs
     
  12. andyz

    andyz

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Posts:
    2,235
    Definitely unsure about some of the advice in this thread! non-LTS versions?!
    LTS versions are specifically there to use for stability

    2021 LTS fine - but if starting now, are there any specific reasons not to go with 2022 LTS or just a hunch? Any issues should be quickly fixed
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2023
  13. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Posts:
    11,520
    Right now 2022 has been very buggy for me, I think it’s too early, I expect it to get better by February though.
     
    kevindaluz and impheris like this.
  14. Ryiah

    Ryiah

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Posts:
    20,742
    I've tried starting with an LTS and I've tried starting with a non-LTS, and I like the latter more than the former as it's not the bugs that I find being the most obnoxious to deal with. It's the features that are coming down the road and platform support.

    Besides if no one uses the TECH releases how are you expecting them to become stable as LTS? Unity isn't going to find all of those problems on their own, and they certainly won't be able to come up with all of the workarounds on their own.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2023
  15. impheris

    impheris

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Posts:
    1,588
    Even unity recommends LTS versions for productions which has sense...

    They do not need users to create and release games with tech releases, there are many users who are going to try those features and provide feedback, that is the way it has to be.
    Of course there are people creating games with tech releases too, but is not recommended if you are taking this seriously
     
    andyz likes this.
  16. PanthenEye

    PanthenEye

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    Posts:
    2,018
    For us it's not about liking or disliking one over the other, or contributing to Unity's QA efforts. It's about reducing risk of development delays by ensuring the most stable multiplatform releases possible within Unity platform. That typically is LTS with at least 6-8 months of bug fixing.

    But a lot also depends on the type of project. If a project is years away from release with no early access planned then starting with Tech Stream is more than reasonable. Our development timelines are typically a year and a half give or take, with early access being available very early on so tech stream is out of the question.
     
  17. Ryiah

    Ryiah

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Posts:
    20,742
    To be precise they've said it's "recommended for creators who are about to lock in production on a specific version of Unity" whereas the non-LTS releases are for "preproduction, discovery, and prototyping phases of development, but they can be used to get ready for the next LTS by enabling earlier feature adoption".

    That last part of the non-LTS statement has been most of my use case.

    https://unity.com/releases/lts-vs-tech-stream
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2023
  18. impheris

    impheris

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Posts:
    1,588
    that is a good point
     
  19. juan_poder_azure

    juan_poder_azure

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2016
    Posts:
    4
    i have used allways tech releases and i found bugs, but the force closes was on and .4.26 LTS version, i think if you need something of 2023, you should install it, you maybe will have to fix some errors when you reimport all but, if you are very good you will fix them and you will can use it withouth problems, only in the case you want something of 2023, feature or somithing, if you dont need nothing of 2023 then install the LTS version and avoid some problems.