Feature Overview

Shaders and Materials

Both PBR Materials and Custom shaders created with Shader Graph or other systems can be exported.

Use the node based ShaderGraphopen in new window to create shaders for the web. ShaderGraph makes it easy for artists to keep creating without having to worry about syntax.

Read more about PBR MaterialsCustom Shaders

Crossplatform: VR, AR, Mobile, Desktop

Needle Engine runs everywhere web technology does: run the same application on desktop, mobile, AR or VR. We build Needle Engine with XR in mind and consider this as and integral part of responsive webdesign!

Use Everywhere Actions for Interactive AR on both Android and iOS.



Lightmaps can be baked in Unity or Blender to easily add beautiful static light to your 3d content. Lightbaking for the web was never as easy. Just mark objects that you want to lightmap as static in Unity, add one or many lights to your scene (or use emissive materials) and click bake. Needle Engine will export your lightmaps per scene and automatically load and display them just as you see it in the Editor!

Note: There is no technical limitation on which lightmapper to use, as long as they end up in Unity's lightmapping data structures. Third party lightmappers such as Bakeryopen in new window thus are also supported.

Multiplayer and Networking

Networking is built into the core runtime. Needle Engine deployments to Glitch come with a tiny server that allows you to deploy a multiplayer 3D environment in seconds. The built-in networked components make it easy to get started, and you can create your own synchronized components. Synchronizing variables and state is super easy!

Animations and Sequencing

Needle Engine brings powerful animations, state control and sequencing to the web — from just playing a single animation to orchestrating and blending complex animations and character controllers. The Exporter can translate Unity components like Animator and Timeline into a web-ready format.
We even added this functionality to our Blender addon so you can craft compatible animation state machines and export nla tracks as timelines to the web from within Blender too.


The Animator and AnimatorControlleropen in new window components in Unity let you setup animations and define conditions for when and how to blend between them. We support exporting state machines, StateMachineBehaviours, transitions and layers. StateMachineBehaviours are also supported with OnStateEnter, OnStateUpdate and OnStateExit events.

Note: Sub-states and Blend Trees are not supported.



We're also translating Unity's Timelineopen in new window setup and tracks into a web-ready format.
Supported tracks include: AnimationTrack, AudioTrack, ActivationTrack, ControlTrack, SignalTrack.

Note: Sub-Timelines are currently not supported.

Note: It's possible to export custom timeline tracksopen in new window.


Use Rigidbodies, Mesh Colliders, Box Colliders and SphereColliders to add some juicy physics to your world.


Building UI using Unity's UI canvas system is in development. Features currently include exporting Text (including fonts), Images, Buttons.

See the ui component reference for supported component.


Export of Unity ParticleSystem (Shuriken) is in development. Features currently include world/local space simulation, box and sphere emitter shapes, emission over time as well as burst emission, velocity- and color over time, emission by velocity, texturesheet animation, basic trails.
See a live sampleopen in new window of supported features below:


Builtin effects include Bloom, Screenspace Ambient Occlusion, Depth of Field, Color Correction. You can also create your own custom effects. See the component reference for a complete list.

Editor Integrations

Needle Engine comes with powerful integrations into the Unity Editor and Blender.
It allows you to setup and export complex scenes in a visual way providing easy and flexible collaboration between artists and developers.


Needle Engine uses as component based workflow. Create custom scripts in typescript or javascript. Use our modular npm-based package workflowopen in new window integrated into Unity. A typescript to C# component compileropen in new window produces Unity components magically on the fly.

And there is more

  • PostProcessing → Bloom, Screenspace Ambient Occlusion, Depth of Field, Color Correction...
  • EditorSync → Live synchronize editing in Unity to the running three.js application for local development
  • Interactive AR on iOS and Android → Use our Everywhere Actions feature set or build your own

Where to go next

See our Getting Started Guide to learn about how to download and set up Needle Engine.
Learn about our vision or dive deeper into some of the technical background and glTF powering it all.