Bolt Overview

Photon Bolt is a very powerful networking solution for Unity, being very popular among its community. The recipe for its success resides in the abstraction of complex networking features behind simple and easy interfaces.

Photon Bolt helps you to focus on making great experiences, by solving most of the main concerns around multiplayer games.

You can join Bolt Forum and Discord.

You can also checkout this publicly curated Cheat Sheet and the WiP docs. Feel free to suggest changes or add comments to the document, just edit away.

Photon Bolt Editions

Photon Bolt is released into two formats:

  Main Features Download
Bolt Pro
  • Direct IP connection without Photon Cloud
  • Dedicated Servers/Custom Setups
  • Turnkey orchestration via zeuz.io
Only available directly through us to select customers. Access to SDK via subscription.
Bolt Free
  • All connections mediated via Photon Cloud
  • No manual direct connection (has punchthrough capabilities)
  • Photon Cloud CCU pricing
Free on Asset Store.

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Features Overview

Photon Bolt is a tool that contains a variety of features, letting you start with a solid ground for your game. Here we list the main elements that make Bolt standout:

Authoritative Movement - Photon Bolt offers truly unique support for authoritative games: Authoritative movement with client-side prediction and lag compensated ray-casting are both built in. Support for input and player controller state synchronization allows you to easily implement custom authoritative movement that suits your game. A feature that no other product on the market is offering.

Powerful Event System - Bolt has a built-in event system which distributes the event to the correct receivers. Highly configurable and automatically, of course. Events can also be targeted at a specific game object or raised globally. Finetune delivery of events in three modes: Unreliable, Unreliable Synced and Reliable.

State Replication - Replicate game object transforms and user-definable properties automatically without the need for any code. Everything is neatly accessible through a visual editor which lets you define and customize properties at a detailed level.

Mecanim Replication - Mecanim animations replicate automatically over the network. Find all your character animations perfectly synchronized without any custom code being required.

Prioritization and Scoping - Bolt supports both scoping of entities (which entities should a player be aware of) and prioritization of scoped entities (of two entities A and B that are scoped, which one is the most important for a player).

Lag Compensation / Hitbox Recording - Bolt has built-in support for recording hitboxes and rewinding and ray-casting against them, allowing you to implement complex techniques like lag compensation in first person shooters with just a few lines of code.

Dedicated Server & Listen Server - Bolt supports the classic DEDICATED SERVER and LISTEN SERVER where the server is just another player. Session discovery allows your game to automatically find servers running on a local LAN or WiFi.

Networked Scene Loading - Networked scene-loading gives you an easy way to load scenes in Unity over the network and assures that you know when all players are loaded into the map.

Cloud Matchmaking - Match players into games randomly or by parameterized searches. Create a list of open rooms and let players pick one.

Cloud Relay - No player will be left behind with Bolt's Cloud Relay. Whenever a game client cannot connect directly, the connection will be established seamlessly via the Cloud Relay. Guaranteed.

Direct IP Connection & Server Orchestration - Bolt Pro additionally provides features such as direct IP connections, server orchestration via Zeuz.io - or any other provider - and special licenses for offline installs, e.g. in arcades or casinos.

Supports all major unity platforms - Bolt runs on Windows, OSX, iOS, Android, GNU/Linux, and Xbox One. PS4 and Nintendo Switch are being worked on.

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