How Do You Use Scripting Symbols in Unity?


Heather Bennett

Scripting symbols play a crucial role in Unity game development. They allow you to conditionally compile specific parts of your code based on certain conditions or platforms. In this article, we will explore how to effectively use scripting symbols in Unity.

What are Scripting Symbols?

Scripting symbols, also known as compiler directives or conditional compilation symbols, are predefined identifiers that influence the compilation process of your code. These symbols enable you to include or exclude specific sections of code during compilation.

Scripting symbols are commonly used for platform-specific code, debugging purposes, or feature toggles. They help you optimize your game by removing unnecessary code and assets for specific platforms, reducing build sizes and improving performance.

Using Scripting Symbols

To use scripting symbols in Unity, you need to define them either through the Unity Editor or directly in your script files using conditional compilation directives.

Defining Scripting Symbols in the Unity Editor

To define scripting symbols using the Unity Editor:

  1. Open your Unity project and navigate to Player Settings. You can find this option under Edit > Project Settings > Player.
  2. In the Inspector window, scroll down to the Other Settings section.
  3. You will see a field called Scripting Define Symbols.
  4. Add your desired scripting symbol(s) separated by semicolons (;).

Note: Make sure to separate multiple scripting symbols with semicolons (;) and avoid any spaces between them.

Defining Scripting Symbols in Code

If you prefer defining scripting symbols directly in your code, you can use conditional compilation directives. These directives are preprocessor instructions that conditionally include or exclude sections of code during compilation.

To define scripting symbols in your code, you can use the following syntax:


For example, if you want to define a scripting symbol called “DEBUG_MODE” in your script file, you would write:

#define DEBUG_MODE

Using Scripting Symbols in Code

Once you have defined your scripting symbols, you can use them to conditionally compile specific sections of code. This allows you to create platform-specific functionality or enable/disable certain features during development.

To utilize scripting symbols in code, you can use conditional compilation directives such as #if, #elif, #else, and #endif.

Here’s an example that demonstrates how to use scripting symbols:

    Debug.Log("Debug mode enabled!");

    // Code specific to Android platform
    // Code specific to iOS platform
    // Code for other platforms


In conclusion, scripting symbols are powerful tools that allow you to conditionally compile code based on specific conditions or platforms. By using scripting symbols effectively, you can optimize your game’s performance and create platform-specific functionality. Whether it’s for debugging purposes or feature toggles, mastering the usage of scripting symbols will greatly enhance your Unity game development experience.

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