Feature Overview

Fast Iteration ⚡

Needle Engine together with Needle Exporter for Unity provide a flexible integration into a world-class 3D editor. You can keep using your workflows and we take care of bringing your content to the web in seconds. We embrace modern web technologies, so all your code is written in TypeScript and JavaScript. This allows for almost instant reloads. Paired with a powerful editor and asset management you get the best of both worlds!

Read more about Getting StartedScriptingAssets and Export

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!

Read more about VR and ARCustom Shaders

Lightmaps 💡


Lightmaps baked in Unityopen in new window to easily bake static light for 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.

Read more about Exporting Lightmapsopen in new window

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!

Read more about Networkingopen in new windowScriptingopen in new window

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.

Read more about Animation Components


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.

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

Note: StateMachineBehaviours support OnStateEnter, OnStateUpdate and OnStateExit



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.

Read more about Animation Components

Physics 🏓

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

Note: MeshColliders are currently not supported

Read more about Physics Components

UI 🍀

Building UI using Unity's UI canvas system is in development. Features currently include exporting Text (including fonts), Images, Buttons (static layouts only right now)
See the ui component reference for supported component.

Particles ✨

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:

Scripting 🧩

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.

Read more about Scripting ReferenceNpm Definition Filesopen in new window

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.