What Is Scripting Backend in Unity?


Heather Bennett

In Unity, scripting backends are an essential aspect of game development that allows developers to create interactive and dynamic experiences. It is the backbone of the game, responsible for handling logic, behavior, and functionality.

What is a Scripting Backend?

A scripting backend refers to the technology or programming language used to write scripts that control the behavior of objects and characters within a Unity game. It determines how these scripts are executed and processed by the game engine.

Unity provides different options for scripting backends:

  • Mono: Mono is a cross-platform open-source implementation of the .NET framework. It enables developers to write scripts in C# (C Sharp) programming language, which is one of the primary languages used in Unity. Mono offers excellent performance and flexibility.
  • IL2CPP: IL2CPP (Intermediate Language to C++) is a Unity technology that converts scripts written in high-level languages like C# into C++ code. This conversion process enhances performance by allowing direct compilation to machine code.

    IL2CPP is particularly useful for deploying games on platforms where Just-In-Time (JIT) compilation is not available.

  • DotNet: DotNet scripting backend allows developers to use .NET assemblies compiled with Visual Studio or other compatible tools directly in Unity projects. It offers compatibility with existing .NET libraries and makes it easier to reuse code from other projects.
  • IL2CPP+Mono: This option combines both IL2CPP and Mono scripting backends, allowing developers to leverage the benefits of both technologies. By using this hybrid approach, you can use IL2CPP for platform-specific optimizations while still benefiting from Mono’s flexibility.

Choosing the Right Scripting Backend

When deciding which scripting backend to use in your Unity project, consider the following factors:

  • Performance: The choice of scripting backend can significantly impact the performance of your game. IL2CPP generally offers better performance due to its direct compilation to machine code. However, Mono can still be a viable option for many projects.
  • Platform Support: Different scripting backends have varying levels of support for different platforms.

    Ensure that the backend you choose supports your Target platform(s).

  • Compatibility: Consider the compatibility with existing code and libraries. If you have pre-existing .NET assemblies or want to reuse code from other projects, using DotNet as a scripting backend might be the best option.
  • Development Experience: Consider your familiarity with programming languages like C# or C++. Choosing a scripting backend that aligns with your expertise can make development more efficient.

Changing Scripting Backend in Unity

To change the scripting backend in Unity, follow these steps:

  1. Open Unity Editor: Launch the Unity editor and open your project.
  2. Navigate to Player Settings: Go to “Edit” > “Project Settings” > “Player”.
  3. Select Scripting Backend: In the Player settings window, you will find a drop-down menu labeled “Scripting Backend.” Choose your desired backend from the available options: Mono, IL2CPP, DotNet, or IL2CPP+Mono.
  4. Apply Changes: Once you have selected the scripting backend, click on the “Apply” or “Apply and Close” button to apply the changes to your project.

It is important to note that changing the scripting backend may require additional setup or adjustments in your project. Unity might prompt you to download necessary modules or update dependencies accordingly.


The scripting backend in Unity plays a crucial role in game development, allowing developers to write scripts that control the behavior and functionality of objects and characters. Understanding the different options available, such as Mono, IL2CPP, DotNet, and IL2CPP+Mono, helps you make informed decisions based on performance requirements, platform support, compatibility, and development experience.

By choosing the right scripting backend for your Unity project and utilizing its full potential, you can create engaging and immersive experiences for players.

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