Unity game development with Visual Studio for Mac

In 2014, we released the first version of the Visual Studio Tools for Unity (VSTU). Since then, we’ve successfully released multiple versions of the Tools for Unity on Windows, but never had the opportunity to bring our tools to Unity developers running macOS.

Today at the Microsoft Build conference, we announced the general availability of Visual Studio 2017 for Mac. This is a full-featured IDE built for the Mac, to help you create anything from mobile and web apps to games.

We’re excited to include the Tools for Unity in this release, and give the opportunity to Unity developers on macOS to use Visual Studio for Mac.

VSTU in VSForMac - Intro

Setup

You’ll need at least Unity 5.6.1, the first version of Unity to support Visual Studio for Mac and the Tools for Unity. Getting started could not be easier: In Unity, simply set Visual Studio for Mac to be the external script editor.

VSTU in VSForMac - Setup

Opening any C# script from Unity will now launch Visual Studio for Mac.

Features Highlights

One click debugging

Simply click the start button in Visual Studio for Mac to attach the debugger to the Unity Editor. Even faster, press Command + Enter.

VSTU in VSForMac - Debugging

You can put breakpoints and step through your scripts. You can browse the local variables, analyze the call stack, and evaluate expressions.

Unity solution pad

Visual Studio for Mac will display the solution the same way it is displayed in Unity, making it much easier to navigate and find your scripts. You can see it in the screenshot above.

IntelliSense for Unity messages.

Unity messages are methods that are called by the Unity game engine. Previously you needed to learn their signature, now Visual Studio for Mac provides code completion for them when writing scripts for Unity.

VSTU in VSForMac - Intellisense

Miscellaneous

Visual Studio for Mac also provides:

  • Code coloration for shaders. Visual Studio for Mac supports syntax highlighting for ShaderLab, Unity’s shader format.
  • Access to the Unity documentation by searching types and members in Unity’s documentation from the IDE. Simply select the text you want to search and press Command + ‘ to read their documentation.

Wrapping up

If you already have Visual Studio for Mac Preview installed, make sure you update to the latest version from within the app, otherwise head on over to VisualStudio.com to download the latest release and checkout the release notes.

We want to hear what you think – please, send us your feedback! You can use Visual Studio for Mac’s “Report a Problem” or “Provide a Suggestion” dialog (within the Help menu) to provide feedback. Or join the conversation in the Visual Studio for Mac community forums.

Jb Evain, Principal Software Engineer Manager
@jbevain

Jb runs the Visual Studio Tools for Unity experience He has a passion for developer tools and programming languages, and has been working in developer technologies for over a decade.