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URP vs. HDRP: What to Choose?

Updated: Mar 5

Get to know in-depth details about the two Unity templates and what you should choose before starting your project.

With the Unity 2019.3 Update Unity has evolved the formerly Light Weight Render Pipeline to all-new Universal Render Pipeline. Empowering the support for the multi-platforms, Universal Render Pipeline has the ability to render quickly at high quality without computing the shader technology. On the other hand, High Definition Render Pipeline focuses on high-quality rendering leading to uncompromised GPU performance and realistic visuals. With the introduction of Real-time Ray Tracing, HDRP has now become a game-changer for Unity. But, it has always been a concern to choose between HDRP and URP. In this blog, we will discuss the usage of both and further, we will get to know the suitable package for our project!


Universal Render Pipeline

By the use of Single-pass forward rendering, Universal render Pipeline helps in getting optimized real-time performance on multi-platforms. It is solely dedicated to improving the quality of graphics while tackling the time and giving all the power to the artist to manipulate. Now you also get the Post Processing stack as an integrated part of it, which means you don’t require to download the Post Processing as an external package. This also boosts up the performance as you get the post-processing as a prebuilt component in the tool itself. It has all the basic features that you need for your game, however, it lacks the custom effects which was an essential part of it. Further, it doesn’t support flare layer, depth, volumetric fog, lens flare, surface shader, height maps, auto exposure, etc. But with the recent release of the Unity 2d Lights, Universal Render Pipeline has been geared up to support the most essential features of 2D. It eases out the 2D Game Development with the seamless workflow and now you can build a more dynamic and organic environment for the 2D games. Universal Render Pipeline is centered towards the Mobile Game Development and it backs well all the GPU performance for mobile devices. It primarily focuses on a rule of,

“Build once and deploy on any platform”

So now you can use highly optimized graphics for the development of mobile games.


High Definition Render Pipeline

High Definition Render Pipeline uses Multi-pass Shader rendering which helps in achieving high-quality graphics and realistic environments. That means it supports both forward and deferred rendering, also it uses Shader computing technology to optimize the overall scene. Being the most powerful tool for an artist it holds the ability to compute all the shader complexity easily. Completely centered towards the development for PC / Console games, it has been built to support the better scalability and the HD Post-processing stack. However, you can now have real-life inputs to your scene which means you can manipulate any object based on the real-life scenario. Set up your scene with the help of shaders to get the realistic visuals without any performance drop. With the Real-Time Ray Tracing now you can get real-time light behavior with the physical elements in your environment. This, however, ensures real-time reflections and extremely photorealistic effects with optimized performance. But this is all that you get to develop for high hardware performance devices only. It restricts itself for the use in Mobile development as the performance degrades instantly if the HDRP is not optimized perfectly.


So we can clearly analyze that it purely depends on the project type which decides which Render pipeline you should go with. If you primarily build for the Mobile Platform then Universal Render Pipeline could get you all that you need. However, if you require high-fidelity graphics for the development of high-end devices then you can always opt for High Definition Render Pipeline.


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