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Top AR Engines for Unity

Are you planning to create amazing Top AR Game with Best AR Engine, choosing between AR Foundation (ARKit, ARCore), Unity MARS, Vuforia and other Augmented Reality Engines?

In this article, I will present the most notable, modern and top AR Engines for Unity, so you can make the right choice for your needs.

What the top AR engine for Unity?

There is no “super” top AR engine for all cases of life and for all mobile devices.

If you want to make an AR-application or AR-game that will work on all devices, then you need to combine several AR-engines for different cases in one application.

ARCore and ARKit: AR Foundation

These are AR Engines by Apple & Google for marker & markerless Augmented Reality:

  • ARCore for Android;
  • ARKit for iOS.

They can react to the lighting of the real environment.

These are complex and progressive Augmented Reality Engines, and therefore it supports even less mobile devices than Vuforia, and also requires more resources.

Unity 2018.1 and higher provides Native Cross-Platform AR API called AR Foundation: an abstraction layer consisting of APIs and built-in components for building AR apps across ARKit (iOS) and ARCore (Android).

Learn more about AR Foundation.

Check ARKit Features.

Check ARCore Features.

Unity Assets with AR Foundation

  1. AR Masks (docs) — Face Tracking & Mask Creating.
  2. AR Menu (AR Business Card) (docs)— 3D Menu for AR Gaming and interactive tool for communication with customers on business negotiations or just for fun.
    AR Business Card or AR Menu (Unity Asset)


MARS (Mixed and Augmented Reality Studio) — new development environment by Unity Technologies that uses AR Foundation and provides convenient ways to interact with real world with no coding.

Can I Switch between MARS Layer & Pure AR Foundation Implementation?

There is a distinction between a MARS scene and an AR Foundation scene. Although they use the same underlying API to get AR data, a MARS scene in Unity provides higher level abstractions for the content you want to create in AR.

There is not a way currently to switch between the implementations because the overarching abstractions are different. On the other hand, it is certainly possible to have one scene in your project use AR Foundation, while another uses MARS.


Simple, inexpensive and most universal markerless solution.
These two Unity Assets suitable for most mobile devices.

They do not provide surface recognition & marker features, but consume few resources and cover many devices.

Different devices have different gyroscopes and accelerometers, and therefore different deviations and drifts.

Gyro vs. Accelerometer

20% of all modern mobile devices have a gyroscope.
90% of all mobile devices have an accelerometer and video camera.

If you want greater accuracy and stability, use AR Camera GYRO (docs) with Pokemon GO mechanics for AR.

If you want greater coverage of devices, but less accuracy and stability, use AR Camera ACCELEROMETER (docs).

You can also try to use both cameras for different cases.

Unity Assets with AR Camera GYRO

  1. AR Toss Boss (docs).
  2. AR Survival Shooter (docs).
  3. AR Basketball GO (docs).
  4. AR Throwing (docs).

AR + VR: Mixed Reality

VR + AR: Mixed Reality (MR) (docs) — Unity Asset that uses AR Camera GYRO (docs) and Google VR SDK to display 2D or 3D objects as though they were in the real world mixing Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.

Unity Asset Store | Download Button

Vuforia AR

Vuforia is a top marker AR for Unity.
Since recently it also provides surface recognition and some VR features for Unity AR.

It works somewhat differently, requires more resources & covers less mobile devices than AR Camera GYRO. Here is used a more complex Augmented Reality.

Check Vuforia Features & FAQ for my clients.

Unity AR Assets with Vuforia

AR Menu (docs).

AR Space Shooter (docs).


EasyAR — worthy competitor for Vuforia with support of Desktop Apps.

Check EasyAR Features.

AR Shadow

AR Shadow (docs) implements simple real-time shadows for apps with Augmented Reality (Vuforia, Gyro, Accelerometer, any AR). This is Unity shader for transparent surfaces.

Unity Assets with AR Shadow

3 Reasons Your Game needs to contain AR mode

  • Acceleration of everyday activities;
  • Viewing objects from the inside;
  • The materialization of abstract concepts that can be felt.

Bring the enchanting Power of Augmented Reality into your App.

Where can you use an Augmented Reality Engine?

You can use Unity AR in Video Games, Promotions, Demonstration of real estate objects, education, industry, entertainment (quests in reality), expositions and events, etc. In short, interactivity and gamification.

This allows people to engage in a fascinating insight into your business or game. This is a powerful technique to attract attention, so you need to use it in full:

  • Surprise your customers with WOW-effect.
  • Leave a positive impression of your brand.
  • Provide the information here and now.
  • Let your client tell their friends and relatives about your products.

So, choose the best AR Engine for your needs and create amazing games!

Support for Unity Assets

I am Andrew Sirota, Founder at Makaka Games and full-time Publisher on Unity Asset Store. First of all, read the latest docs online. If it didn’t help, get the support.

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