How to Use New HDRP Water System in Unity

The new Water System in Unity 2022 LTS and 2023.1.

Unity's introduction of the new water system in HDRP as part of the 2022.2 Tech Stream is a significant step forward in simplifying the process of creating realistic water surfaces in high-end environments. The system aims to offer a coherent and physically based solution for rendering oceans, lakes, rivers, and pools seamlessly integrated into HDRP.

Getting Started with Unity's Water System


  1. HDRP and Unity Version:

    • Ensure you are working with the High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP) and Unity version 2022.2 or above. The Water System is specifically designed for HDRP.

Getting Started:

  1. Upgrade to 2023.1:

    • While some functionalities are available in Unity 2022.2, it is recommended to start with Unity version 2023.1 or above. This ensures access to multiple improvements and features, including API changes that enhance the overall experience.
  2. Download Water Samples:

    • Access the water samples directly from the Package Manager within Unity. This allows you to quickly integrate sample code and systems into your project, making it easier to get started with the Water System.
  3. Explore WaterScenes Demo Project on GitHub:

    • For more complex examples and a deeper understanding of how different water systems can be integrated, check out Unity's WaterScenes demo project on GitHub. This provides additional resources and insights into advanced use cases for the Water System.

Learning Resources:

  1. Watch GDC 2023 Deep Dive:

    • Unity offers a deep dive into the Water System through a presentation by Rémi and Adrien at GDC 2023. Watching this presentation can provide valuable insights into the system's capabilities and best practices for implementation.
  2. Read Documentation:

    • Explore the official documentation for Unity's Water System. The documentation serves as a comprehensive resource, offering detailed information on system functionalities, API changes, and guidelines for effective implementation.

Additional Tips:

  1. Community Engagement:

    • Join Unity's community forums or relevant online communities to connect with other developers using the Water System. This provides an avenue for sharing experiences, troubleshooting, and gaining insights from the broader Unity community.
  2. Experiment and Iterate:

    • The Water System offers a range of features and customization options. Experiment with different settings, explore sample scenes and iterate on your implementation to achieve the desired water effects for your specific project.


By following these steps and leveraging the provided resources, you can efficiently get started with Unity's Water System, creating realistic water surfaces for your HDRP projects.