Unity Android App deployment

Here is the (roughly 52-step) process for testing your Unity game on an Android device.

In Unity Hub, go to Installs -> Settings -> Add Modules -> Android Build Support and make sure Android SDK & NDK Tools and OpenJDK are installed. If you need to install them, you’ll have to restart Unity afterwards to pick up on the change.

In Unity, go to File -> Build Settings and select Android. Make sure all of your scenes are included and select Build. This will pop up a naming dialog, which will have “.apk” added as an extension when built. In this example, I’m going to call it “game_dev”.

Once the build is finished, you should have a file, game_dev.apk, ready to be installed on your phone!

Now you need to explain to your computer how to get an APK onto your phone. Install adb and connect your phone for debugging: under Developer Options on your phone, enable Wireless debugging. Then select “Pair device with pairing code”:

adb pair $IP:$PORT
<put in the 6-digit code from phone>

You only have to do this once… until your phone’s IP address changes. On my home wifi, this seems to happen pretty regularly, but YMMV.

Above the options for getting a code, your phone will display “Wifi Address”. This port is different from the one you just typed in and you need to use this one to actually connect to the phone:

adb connect $IP:$PORT_FROM_PHONE

Now your phone will doodle-doop to let you know it’s connected. You have to run the connect command every time your computer loses connection to your phone (e.g., you turn off your machine).

Now we can move the APK from your computer to your phone wirelessly. If you’re just running a one-off test, you can select “Build and Run” in Unity and it’ll load the APK in some temporary way onto your phone. This is nice for quick turnaround, but if you want to keep your game around a while, you might want to actually install the APK. To do that, run:

adb devices

If you have more than one device, you’ll have to specify which one you want to deploy your APK to:

adb -s 192.168.12.34:12345 install /path/to/game_dev.apk

This will install the game under the name listed in Unity’s Edit -> Project Settings -> Player -> Product Name field.

Now you can “quickly” try out your game on your phone!

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