Unity Fundamentals — Reflections

There are three ways to implement reflections within your Unity Games is via Screen Space Reflection, Reflection Probes and Sky Reflection. Based on a hierarchy, Unity will select one over the other depending on the scene conditions and your settings.

Reflection Hierarchy

Be default; Unity will choose the best reflection technique available for a given pixel if the following order

  1. Screen Space Reflection
  2. Reflection Probes
  3. Sky Reflection

The High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP) will evaluate the lighting techniques until it reaches a weight of 1. If the Screen Space Reflection does not have the weight of 1, HDRP will default to Reflection Probes and then Sky Reflection.

Screen Space Reflection

By default, the HDRP will use Screen Space Reflection as it will produce the best results. This is a high resource-intensive process and not recommended for mobile games. For more information

Refection Probes

A Reflection Probe captures a view of its surroundings and stores the results. Materials with reflective surfaces use these results to produce accurate reflections of their surroundings. These reflections change with the camera’s viewing angle. Not as impressive as Screen Space Reflection, the process is not as resource-intensive and recommended for Mobile games.

Sky Reflection

Sky Reflection is used as the last option, but it does not provide any useful reflective information for a pixel.

Which way do you implement reflections in your games?

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Jose Gil

Jose Gil

Unity Developer at Mooski Games