This document is about: QUANTUM 3

Photon Async Extensions

Realtime Async Extensions

The Photon Realtime Async extensions are built as an optional model on top of the well-known Photon Realtime callback based API.

It's based on C# async/await and Tasks (TAP) which are supported on Unity for a while now (for more information, read the TAP documentation from Microsoft). The integration is not optimized for performance rather for easy usage, because it only covers establishing a connection and is not used during the runtime of the Quantum simulation.

Establishing a connection and sending operations is, by itself, an asynchronous process and Task-based asynchronous patterns produce much more readable and maintainable code.


var appSettings = new new AppSettings();
var client = new RealtimeClient();

await client.ConnectUsingSettingsAsync(appSettings);

var joinRandomRoomParams = new JoinRandomRoomArgs();
var enterRoomArgs = new EnterRoomArgs();

var result = await client.JoinRandomOrCreateRoomAsync(joinRandomRoomParams, enterRoomArgs);

An Async-version of most Realtime API is already implemented. When something is missing it should be easy to add locally or talk to the Photon team with a request. The code can be found in the AsyncExtensions.cs file.

None of the async methods will start processing or sending before being awaited.

The RealtimeClient does not need to be updated (RealtimeClient.Service()) while waiting for an async operation method to complete.

Error Handling

All Async-methods will throw exceptions when encountering errors. Different types of exceptions are thrown to improve further error handling (see the related method summary).

It's a bit unfortunate to pollute the code with try/catch blocks but it makes the API much simpler.


try {
  await client.ConnectUsingSettingsAsync(appSettings);
} catch (Exception e) {


try {
  // Disconnecting can also fail
  await client.DisconnectAsync();
} catch (Exception e) {

Unity And Async

When working with async/await in Unity there are a few specialties to consider:

Contrary to .Net, using await from the Unity thread will always resume execution on the Unity thread.

  • This makes using await for our purpose quite harmless in Unity. But it will cause multi-threading issues when used outside of Unity.

New Tasks are ran on the thread pool (which in most cases is very undesirable in Unity) if not created with a custom TaskFactory based on the Unity SynchronizationContext.

  • The global default AsyncConfig creates a TaskFactory that is internally used to create and continue the task.
  • Follow the trail of AsyncConfig.InitForUnity().


var taskFactory = new TaskFactory(
  TaskContinuationOptions.DenyChildAttach | TaskContinuationOptions.ExecuteSynchronously,

Unity does not stop running Tasks when switching play mode.

  • This is a headache. We solve this by using a global CancellationTokenSource inside the AsyncSetup class that gets triggered on play mode change callbacks (see AsyncSetup.Startup()).
  • All task and continuations created internally use either an explicit AsyncConfig passed as an argument or AsyncConfig.Global.

Exceptions in Tasks can be suppressed by Unity under some circumstances.

  • In short, use this pattern:

public async void Update() {}


// Does NOT log exception.
// Why? Because Unity does not handle exception inside tasks by design.
public Task Update1() {
  return Task.Run(() => throw new Exception("peng"));
// Does NOT log exception.
// Why? Because we return at await and continue as a task object and Unity swallows the exception.
public async Task Update3() {
  await Task.Delay(100);
  throw new Exception("peng");
// Logs exception.
// Why? because we unwrap the task and run it synchronously with .Wait().
public void Update2() {
  Task.Run(() => throw new Exception("peng")).Wait();

// Logs exception.
// Why? Because we resume the execution in this method and not return a task.
public async void Update4() {
  await Task.Delay(100);
  throw new Exception("peng");
// Logs exception.
// Why? We add a continuation task that logs (in any thread) when the task faulted.
public Task Update5() {
  var task = Task.Run(() => throw new Exception("peng")).ContinueWith(t => {
    if (t.IsFaulted) {
  return task;

WebGL Requirements

The Realtime Async extensions are supported for WebGL. Because of threading restrictions in the browsers, multi-threading code can not be used:

e.g. Task.Delay()

Matchmaking Async Extensions

The Realtime Matchmaking extensions are combining the most common connection and reconnection logic into two comfortable extension methods for the RealtimeClient class.



public Task<RealtimeClient> ConnectToRoomAsync(MatchmakingArguments arguments)

ConnectToRoomAsync will perform a couple things:

  • Connect to the Photon Cloud using provided the PhotonSettings and AuthValues
  • Perform simple matchmaking based on the configuration
    • Random matchmaking: RoomName:null, CanOnlyJoin:false
    • Join an existing room: RoomName:"room-name", CanOnlyJoin:false
    • Join or create a room: RoomName:"room-name", CanOnlyJoin:true
    • Use a typed lobby: Lobby:MyLobby
    • Use lobby properties: CustomLobbyProperties:MyLobbyProperties

These values have to be set: PhotonSettings, MaxPlayer, PluginName, AuthValues / UserId


Property Type Description
PhotonSettings AppSettings The Photon AppSetting class containing information about the AppId and Photon server addresses.
PlayerTtlInSeconds int Player TTL, in seconds.
EmptyRoomTtlInSeconds int Empty room TTL, in seconds.
RoomName string Set a desired room name to create or join. If the RoomName is null, random matchmaking is used instead.
MaxPlayers int Max clients for the Photon room. 0 = unlimited.
CanOnlyJoin bool Configure if the connect request can also create rooms or if it only tries to join.
CustomProperties Hashtable Custom room properties that are configured as EnterRoomArgs.RoomOptions.CustomRoomProperties.
CustomLobbyProperties string[] List of room properties that are used for lobby matchmaking. Will be configured as EnterRoomArgs.RoomOptions.CustomRoomPropertiesForLobby.
AsyncConfig AsyncConfig Async configuration that include TaskFactory and global cancellation support. If null, then AsyncConfig.Global is used.
NetworkClient RealtimeClient Optionally provide a client object. If null, a new client object is created during the matchmaking process.
AuthValues AuthenticationValues Provide authentication values for the Photon server connection. Use this in conjunction with custom authentication. This field is created when UserId is set.
PluginName string Photon server plugin to connect to.
ReconnectInformation MatchmakingReconnectInformation Optional object to save and load reconnect information.
Lobby TypedLobby Optional Realtime lobby to use for matchmaking.



public Task<RealtimeClient> ReconnectToRoomAsync(MatchmakingArguments arguments)

ReconnectToRoomAsync will try to return to the previous room.

It will attempt to fast reconnect to a room (skipping master server) when the client object is in a reusable state. Otherwise, a complete connection sequence runs and attempts to rejoin the room. If this happens before the 10 seconds server timeout removed the still "connected" client from the room, it will retry a couple times before finally failing.

This logic can also be run after restarting the application or with a new client object. Then a ReconnectInformation object is required. This object saves information required to re-join into the previous room.

The object needs to be filled out. Or the derived QuantumReconnectInformation object can be used, which automatically saves that information on the PlayerPrefs.

Caveat: Saving the UserId to PlayerPrefs is likely a security risk and should always be replaced with Custom Authentication before going into the reconnection logic after restarting the app.

The virtual method Set(client) can be overwritten if needed. It is automatically triggered from the matchmaking extension methods after a successful connection or re-connection.

Set(client) needs to be triggered repeatedly during the online game to refresh it's timeout.

The demo menu can be configured to check the ReconnectInformation automatically by toggling on QuantumMenuUIMain.IsReconnectionCheckEnabled.


virtual void Set(RealtimeClient client)


Property Type Description
Room string The room name that the client was connected to.
Region string The region the client was connected to.
AppVersion string The app version used in the former connection.
UserId string The user id the client used to connect to the server.
TimeoutInTicks long The timeout after this information is considered to be unusable. Use the Timeout property to set and get this value.
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