Visual Studio Code Unity Intellisense

  1. Visual Studio Code Unity Intellisense
  2. Vscode Intellisense
  3. Vs Code C# Intellisense
  4. Vs Code With Unity

Unity3d Visual Studio Code is the best combo when it comes to productivity and speed. In this video, I am going to help you setup Visual Studio Code in Unity. In Unity Editor Go to Menu, Click on Edit - Preferences - External Tools - External Script Editor. Set it to Visual Studio (your installed version of VS). Now in Menubar go to Edit - Project Settings - Player Settings - Other Settings - Under Configuration - Check API Compatibility Level - Change it to your installed.Net version. This has been bugging me for years. I finally sat down and settled things by staring Unity and vscode deep in its eyes. Also giving them blue eyes. The reason that this occurs is because Visual Studio can't find the dll files for Unity without opening a specialized solution file. This file can be created using UnityVS, which can be found as 'Visual Studio Tools for Unity' in the Visual Studio gallery.After installing this (make sure you have Unity closed when you do), open Unity, and a new tab will be present called 'Visual Studio Tools'.

Visual Studio Code can be a great companion to Unity for editing and debugging C# files. All of the C# features are supported and more. In the screen below, you can see code colorization, bracket matching, IntelliSense, CodeLens and that's just the start.

Read on to find out how to configure Unity and your project to get the best possible experience.

Setup VS Code as Unity Script Editor

Open up Unity Preferences, External Tools, then browse for the Visual Studio Code executable as External Script Editor.

The Visual Studio Code executable can be found at /Applications/Visual Studio on OSX, C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft VS CodeCode.exe on Windows by default.


Unity has built-in support for opening scripts in Visual Studio Code as an external script editor on Windows and OSX. Unity will detect when Visual Studio Code is selected as an external script editor and pass the correct arguments to it when opening scripts from Unity. Unity will also set up a default .vscode/settings.json with file excludes, if it does not already exist (from Unity 5.5 Release notes).

Editing Evolved

With the solution file selected, you are now ready to start editing with VS Code. Here is a list of some of the things you can expect:

  • Syntax Highlighting
  • Bracket matching
  • IntelliSense
  • Snippets
  • CodeLens
  • Peek
  • Go-to Definition
  • Code Actions/Lightbulbs
  • Go to symbol
  • Hover

Two topics that will help you are Basic Editing and C#. In the image below, you can see VS Code showing hover context, peeking references and more.

Unity Extensions

The community is continually developing more and more valuable extensions for Unity. Here are some popular extensions that you might find useful. You can search for more extensions in the VS Code Extension Marketplace.

The extensions shown above are dynamically queried. Click on an extension tile above to read the description and reviews to decide which extension is best for you. See more in the Marketplace.

Next Steps

Read on to learn more about:

  • Basic Editing - Learn about the powerful VS Code editor.
  • Code Navigation - Move quickly through your source code.
  • Debugging - how to use the debugger with your project
  • C# - learn about the C# support in VS Code

Common Questions

Visual Studio Code Unity Intellisense

Q: I don't have IntelliSense.

A: You need to ensure that your solution is open in VS Code (not just a single file). Open the folder with your solution and you usually will not need to do anything else. If for some reason VS Code has not selected the right solution context, you can change the selected project by clicking on the OmniSharp flame icon on the status bar.

Choose the -CSharp version of the solution file and VS Code will light up.

Q: How can I change the file exclusions?

A: Unity creates a number of additional files that can clutter your workspace in VS Code. You can easily hide these so that you can focus on the files you actually want to edit.

To do this, add the following JSON to your workspace settings.

As you can see below this will clean things up a lot...


Q: How can I debug Unity?

A: Install the Debugger for Unity extension.

19 April 2020: We’ve updated this article with a contributed solution from one of our readers in the comments section.

One of the biggest perks of using Microsoft’s Visual Studio to write your Unity scripts is IntelliSense — a code completion aid in Visual Studio that offers suggestions as you write your code, and contextually presents you with information about classes, properties and methods that you are working with.

Given Unity’s enormous scripting API, IntelliSense is a tremendously helpful feature, especially for coders who are beginning their foray into developing games and software with Unity; and while we’d love to say that IntelliSense is automatically set up and linked to Unity’s API when you install it with the Unity Editor, sometimes that’s just not the case. So, if you’ve got both Unity and Visual Studio set up, but find that IntelliSense is still not offering Unity API suggestions, then this guide is for you.

There can be many reasons why IntelliSense is failing to work properly on your device, and we are assuming that you’ve already scoured the Internet a fair bit before stumbling on our article. Hence, we’ve put together a table of contents of sorts below, so if you’ve already tried some of the solutions we have, you can skip right through them.

  1. Getting IntelliSense working

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Vscode intellisense

1. Is my IntelliSense not working?

For IntelliSense to detect and work with Unity’s API, Visual Studio needs to:

  1. Be linked to the Unity Editor, and;
  2. Have the appropriate extensions installed (read further to find out what they are)

If you’ve installed Visual Studio via Unity Hub, this can have been automatically set up, but not always. Due to the bevy of ways which you can install Unity and Visual Studio, misconfigurations can happen, and you might end up with Visual Studio not integrating itself into Unity, and an IntelliSense feature that is not properly linked to Unity’s API.

We’ve found that, when installing some versions of Unity 2019 and 2020, Visual Studio does not always integrate with Unity’s API by default. So if things are not working properly, it might not be caused by misconfiguration on your end.

To check if IntelliSense is properly set up, open any script from the Unity Editor, and look out for 2 things:

  1. Whether the top-left dropdown says Miscellaneous Files. If it does, then IntelliSense is not set up.
  2. Try declaring a Unity variable, like a GameObject. If IntelliSense is properly set up, Visual Studio should have an auto-complete suggestion for you before you finish typing.

2. Getting IntelliSense working

So if IntelliSense isn’t working for you, what should you do?

a. Open your scripts from Unity

Before you try anything else from here, first make sure that your scripts are opened from within Unity, i.e. whenever you want to edit your scripts, double-click on them in the Unity Editor so that Visual Studio is opened by Unity.

If IntelliSense still doesn’t work when you do this, then continue onto the steps below:

b. Setting Unity’s External Script Editor

From the Unity Editor, access the Preferences window from Edit > Preferences. Then, click on the External Tools tab.

Set the External Script Editor to the version of Visual Studio that you installed alongside Unity. Then, restart Visual Studio and see if IntelliSense now works. If it still doesn’t, then you might be missing…

If Visual Studio doesn’t appear on the dropdown, you will have to use the Browse… option (pictured above) to find it. It’s typically under C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft Visual Studio2019CommunityCommon7IDEdevenv.exe for Windows devices.

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c. Visual Studio Tools for Unity

Visual Studio Code Unity Intellisense

To install this, open Visual Studio and go to Tools > Get Tools and Features.

Note: You’ll need administrator permissions to open this window, as it makes changes to the Visual Studio installation on your computer.

Once the installer is open, go to Workloads and find Game development with Unity. Check the box, and then click on the Modify button on the bottom-right corner to begin installation.

A popup may ask you to close certain processes before beginning installation. If this happens, close your Visual Studio project and the Unity Editor application.

When installation completes, restart both Unity and Visual Studio, then check to see if IntelliSense now works.

The Games development with Unity workload actually installs 2 additional Visual Studio components — Visual Studio Tools for Unity and C# and Visual Basic. You can install both modules individually by going to the Individual components tab, and checking both components in the list that is shown.

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d. Check your .NET API compatibility level

If IntelliSense still refuses to work, you can open the Unity Editor and head to Edit > Project Settings and access the Player (or Player Settings) tab. Scroll down to the Other Settings sub-tab, and find the Api Compatibility Level dropdown under the Configuration heading.

You want to set the Api Compatibility Level to a different option, and see which is the one that works for your device.

e. Regenerating your Unity project files

If the above solutions we’ve proposed did not work for you, you can also try this solution from one of our comment contributions.

Visual Studio Code Unity Intellisense

Note: Back up your Unity project before trying this, as we are deleting some essential project files and letting Unity regenerate them.

  1. Close both Visual Studio and Unity on your device.
  2. Remove all .sln and .csproj files in your Unity project folder.
  3. Remove the .vs and Library folders in your Unity project folder.
  4. Re-open the project in Unity, then go to Assets > Open C# Project to open Visual Studio.

Vscode Intellisense

3. Conclusion

Vs Code C# Intellisense

As with the other articles on the blog, we’d love if you leave a comment below, especially if you:

  1. Find any errors in this article, or;
  2. Find an IntelliSense fix that is not listed in this article

Your comments will add on to the information that is already here, and help other future readers!

Vs Code With Unity

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