Six engaging and easy-to-follow Unity 2D tutorials
There are lots of Unity tutorials available online, so much so that it’s hard to find the right one for you. With different game styles, experience levels, and teachers to choose from, the choice can feel overwhelming.
So, we’ve taken some of the guesswork out of finding that perfect tutorial. Below you’ll find six tutorials that are engaging and easy-to-follow, with each one building upon a skill you might use in future if your dream is to become a video game developer.
Before we start, please note that this list includes Unity 2D tutorials only and is for people with a basic understanding of Unity. If you’re looking for a different type of tutorial, then check out these links:
With that said, let’s begin!
1. "2D Melee Combo System Tutorial" by Sean Masai Hill
This first tutorial is from a creator who has only recently started uploading, but provides some excellent, in-depth knowledge in the areas of game development and design.
The production value of this video also shines, with a chapter breakdown, diagrams, examples, and complete explanations of everything you need to know about creating a 2D melee system. Sean even provides links to the assets used and the GitHub repo for you to download what he created in the video if you wish to try it for yourself.
Be sure to follow his Twitter to keep up with his latest uploads.
2. "Sorting Layers and Sorting Order Explained" by Code Monkey
In this tutorial, Code Monkey talks about sorting layers in 2D games, which is the mechanism that decides which sprites appear on top of others — sort of like how layers work in Photoshop.
Nothing in this tutorial is too complex, and it can absolutely be taken by someone who’s new to 2D development, but it’s such a good explanation of a fundamental skill that we had to include it.
You won’t find many special effects or additional editing in this tutorial, but if you want to learn or brush up on how to structure your layers then this is worth checking out.
Code Monkey creates tutorials on all things Unity, especially for beginners, and has even won a Unity Award for their work. You can find many more tutorials on their channel or follow their Twitter to stay up to date.
3. "TOP DOWN MOVEMENT in Unity!" by Brackeys
If you’re looking to add top-down movement to your 2D game, then this is the tutorial for you.
Here, Brackeys provides a clear explanation of top-down movement in games, from the movement itself to how to add animations to flesh out your character. This is an alternative to side-scroller movement which is a more basic type used in 2D games.
Brackeys is a great channel with tutorials covering both Unity 2D and Unity 3D. They’re inactive now, unfortunately, but their content remains and is a stocked library of tutorials and resources.
You can still follow them on Twitter, though, where they regularly announce game jams that they’re hosting. Game jams are an unmatched way to build experience in game development, so it’s worth keeping your eyes peeled!
4. "Making enemy AI detect the player in Unity 2D" by Sunny Valley Studio
Looking for a more advanced tutorial? Sunny Valley Studio has you covered with this walkthrough of adding AI to your game. It does require an existing knowledge of Unity, though, so start off with one of the tutorials we’ve already listed if you’re not quite there yet.
The tutorial is rather code-heavy, as is to be expected with AI, but covers everything from basic detection to adding multiple detectors, to even allowing enemies to attack you should you move too close.
You can follow Peter from Sunny Valley Studio’s Twitter here.
5. "Pixel Perfect Lights and Particles in Unity!" by Unity
Sometimes the best help comes straight from the source. In this tutorial, a developer at Unity runs us through how to create pixel-perfect lights and particles for games in a 2D pixel art style.
The tutorial is straight to the point and covers the entire process in under 10 minutes. This, along with the clean editing throughout, comfortably places it among the best tutorials available for Unity 2D.
Unity has also provided all of the assets from the project in the video description if you wish to follow along whilst you watch (which is always a smart idea).
Follow Unity on Twitter here.
6. "The Perfect Pixel Art Parallax Tutorial" by AdamCYounis
Parallax scrolling is when layers of a background scroll at varying speeds. This is utilized in almost every 2D game nowadays, as it gives much-needed depth to the player’s world.
In this tutorial, Adam delivers a detailed explanation of what parallax scrolling actually is, the full creation process, and how to implement it into your game.
It’s a bit longer than the other tutorials listed but is still under an hour. It’s easy to follow and well segmented, which is especially useful if there’s anything you want to skip or revisit.
That’s our list! Six excellent tutorials to help you find your footing in Unity.
Good luck out there, and be sure to check the below links for additional support or even job openings if you’re ready to put that knowledge into practice.