Unity is a well-known cross-platform gaming engine that serves as the foundation for many current games. Unity began with Apple in 2005, and by 2018, it has spread to over 25 other platforms. It is used to build end-game mechanisms like 3D, VR, augmented reality, and simulations, among other things.
However, since 2017, there have been several reports from both end-users and developers that the Unity Web Player has ceased working in various web browsers. This catastrophe was felt all around the world and touched everyone.
What caused this to happen? In this post, we will go through all of the reasons behind the problem as well as remedies that you may use to get around it.
Cause for Unity Web Player not Working
As of 2019, the majority of browsers no longer supported Unity Web Player. Google Chrome, Firefox, and other browsers fall within this category. With time, several browsers have begun to phase off support for NPAPI plugins such as Unity 3D Web Player and Java.
NPAPI (Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface) is an API that facilitates the development of browser extensions. It was initially introduced for Netscape browsers in 1995. As HTML5 gains popularity and support in newer browser versions, plugins that use NPAPI are being phased away.
For anyone interested in further information, the Unity Web Player ceased operating in 2015 when browsers disabled something called NPAPI (Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface). It used to be a means for a plugin to gain more access to your system (and run arbitrary code).
Browser vendors unanimously concluded that this form of access was insecure and, as a result, only supported standards-based HTML.
Unity (the firm) replied by abandoning the Unity Web Player and developing a WebGL exporter based on industry standards.
How to get Unity Web Player to Work?
Even though the Unity Web Player has been officially deprecated and there are no options to activate it in newer browsers, there are various workarounds you may use to get the web player up and running.
We’ve mentioned some of the strategies you may use below, but keep in mind that there’s no assurance that everything will go well (this is obvious since there is no official support).
Make sure, to begin with, the first solution and work your way down. They are arranged in order of usefulness and complexity.
- Using Internet Explorer 11 and Safari
- Installing Older version of Browsers in Virtual Box
- Installing Firefox Extended Support Release
- Enabling NPAPI Chrome Flag
Let us go through each solution one by one:
Solution 1: Using Internet Explorer 11 and Safari
Although the most popular browsers have dropped support for Unity Web Player, the default browsers that come with Windows and Mac operating systems do.
This indicates that ‘official’ support is still available on these systems, although it may be phased out shortly, or the browsers themselves (IE11) may degrade.
Before executing the solution, ensure that you are logged in as an administrator on your computer.
- Go to the Unity Web Player official website and download the Web Player for Windows or macOS.
- Restart your computer after installing the installation package. Press Windows + S, type ‘internet explorer,’ and launch the program.
If you have an Apple laptop or computer, you can use it to run Safari. Now, try opening the material that was generating the error to see whether the problem has been addressed.
Solution 2: Installing Older version of Browsers in Virtual Box
If you are unable to obtain the required experience on Internet Explorer or Safari, the only method to make Unity Web Player operate in popular browsers is to download an earlier version of each and install it inside a Virtual Box.
We cannot install them directly in our primary operating system image since the most recent version will already be installed (in most cases), and an older version cannot replace the most recent version without causing problems.
A virtual box is a program that allows users to build a sandbox (separate independent zone) within the operating system so that other operating systems may be readily installed in it. Before you begin, ensure that you have VirtualBox installed on your computer.
- In your Virtual Box, start Windows 10. You must now install the browser versions listed below in your Virtual Box.
- Version 45 of Chrome
- Version 50 of Firefox
- Version 37 of Opera
- After installing the browsers, proceed to the content that requires Unity Web Player and attempts to start it. Check to see whether it works properly and without any problems.
Solution 3: Installing Firefox Extended Support Release
Firefox ESR (Prolonged Support Release) is a version of Firefox used by organizations or businesses that require extended support for large-scale deployment.
In comparison to the original Firefox application’s ‘rapid’ updates, Firefox ESR is not updated with new features every 6 weeks. Instead, only updates that are known to be critical or contain significant security upgrades are released.
Firefox ESR appears to still support NPAPI, including Unity Web Player. You can try launching the content after downloading this version of Firefox. In the majority of situations, everything will operate as intended.
- Navigate to the official Firefox ESR website and download the 32-bit version for your language.
- Select Run as administrator from the context menu when you right-click on the program.
- After installing the program, restart your computer and try to view the material to see whether the problem has been repaired.
Solution 4: Enabling NPAPI Chrome Flag
If you installed an older version of Chrome in your virtual box but still cannot get Unity Web Player to run, the NPAPI Chrome Flag may be deactivated in your browser settings.
This feature will be accessible to alter in experimental settings if it is not activated by default. According to the experimental settings, these features might get your things moving, but they will have their downsides.
- Start the earlier version of Google Chrome you downloaded in Solution 2.
- Type “
chrome:/flags/#enable-npapi” into the browser’s address bar.
- NPAPI control settings will now be shown. Relaunch the browser after clicking the Enable button.
- After relaunching, see whether visiting the game/platform via the browser solves the problem.
If you’re a developer wondering if Unity Web Player will ever make a comeback, the answer is probably no. Unity Web Player has genuinely depreciated since better technologies that are more streamlined and provide more functionality are now accessible.
You should think about converting your game/content to WebGL technology. Almost every company promotes these technologies (including Unity). You may go to Unity’s help page to learn how to create and operate a WebGL project. There will also be a plethora of instructions on how to move your game from one technology to another.
How Do I Enable Unity In Chrome?
Open a new tab and type about: flags into it. F3 and enter NPAPI to discover the necessary flag, “Enable NPAPI Mac, Windows.” Click the Enable button. Relaunch the browser.
Does Unity Web Player Still Work?
The Unity Web Player is no longer supported by the Unity team, and is now only accessible for IE11 and Safari, with no official player for Chrome or Firefox.
What Happened To Unity Web Player?
Eliminating support for NPAPI plug-ins also means dropping support for Unity Web Player, which Unity has said would be deprecated. “Unity 5.2 and 5.3 will continue to be able to publish Web Player content,” says Unity, “but Unity 5.4 (due out in March 2016) will no longer ship with Web Player support.”
Why Is Unity Web Player Not Working?
Unity Web Player is no longer supported if you are using Chrome. It will work if you try it with another browser, such as Firefox or Opera. If you are still experiencing this issue, you may need to download and reinstall the Web Player directly from Unity’s website.