What are the advantages of using 3D in Unity that you don't get with 2D?

I am creating a 2D game like Hollow Knight and Ori. When would I use 3D Unity and when do I use 2D?

Would the graphics be clearer or more realistic if 3D was used instead of 2D in making a 2D game?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ There are no such things as "2d Unity" and "3d Unity". There is only the Unity game engine. Which has some features more useful for 2d and some features more useful for 3d. But it's very much possible to combine both of them in the same scene. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philipp
    May 2 at 7:14

1 Answer 1


Someone literally asked the same question a few years ago on Reddit.

Basically, there's no real 2D environment in Unity. It's the same 3D engine but with a different perspective (to this day, it seems that Unity still doesn't have a true 2D environment). Also, the Parallax effect (the 'moving backgrounds') it's easier to achieve on a 3D scene due to the depth (Z axis).

Edit: Oh, forgot about your other question, oops!

when do I use 3d unity and when do I use 2d?

Again, there's no difference in the way Unity renders your game, however, there IS a difference in the components you use in your game. By components, I mean: colliders, physics, camera settings, etc.

Basically, if you're going to make a 2D game, choose 2D mode (even though the game will be rendered as 3D). 2D components are optimized for, well, 2D. If you're going to a 3D game, then choose 3D.

In fact, these modes (3D and 2D) are just pre-configured settings for different environments. This means that you could create a 3D project, and turn it to 2D if you wanted to, or vice versa.

  • \$\begingroup\$ To add: the main advantage in using the 2D editor mode for a 2D game is that, when you add an image to your Assets folder, it will be imported as a Sprite type by default instead of a Texture, saving you 2-3 clicks to convert it when you want to use it in a Sprite Renderer or UI Image. The only other differences are the default camera view in the Scene window, which you can toggle anytime you want, and which objects are in a new scene by default (perspective camera + directional light for 3D, orthographic camera + no light for 2D), which you can always replace with any other objects you want. \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    May 2 at 11:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you all this helped me a lot \$\endgroup\$ May 2 at 19:39

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .