BOLT

Client-hosted Networking for Unity that Always Connects Your Players

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Photon Bolt Features

Count on a feature-rich peer-2-peer networking engine that includes a global matchmaking and relay service for your Unity multiplayer game. Launch on all major platforms including VR/AR.

State Replication

Replicate game object transforms and user-definable properties automatically without the need for any code. Everything is neatly accessible through a visual editor which lets you define and customize properties at a detailed level.

Mecanim Replication

Mecanim animations replicate automatically over the network. Find all your character animations perfectly synchronized without any custom code being required.

Authoritative Movement

If you are building an authoritative game you will enjoy the built in solutions. Look for both authoritative movement with client-side prediction and lag compensated ray-casting. You won't find this feature anywhere else.

Powerful Event System

Bolt has a built-in event system which distributes the event to the correct receivers, highly configurable and automatically, of course. Events can also be targeted at a specific game object or raised globally. Finetune delivery of events in three modes: Unreliable, Unreliable Synced and Reliable.

Runs On All Platforms

Easily build Unity multiplayer games with Bolt and launch on PC, Mac, Mobile, VR/AR or consoles. Want to use Steamworks? Get it with our Steam Add-On for Bolt.

Master Client & Listen Server

Bolt supports the classic dedicated server and listen servers where the server is just another player aka Master Client. Sweet: session discovery allows your game to automatically find servers running on a local LAN or WiFi.

Networked Scene Loading

Networked scene-loading gives you an easy way to load scenes in Unity over the network and assures that you know when all players are loaded into the map.

Cloud Matchmaking

Match players into games randomly or by parameterized searches. Create a list of open rooms and let players pick one.

Cloud Relay

No player will get lost with Bolt's Cloud Relay. Whenever a game client cannot connect directly, the connection will be established seamlessly via the Cloud Relay. Guaranteed.

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Photon Bolt Unity Asset Store Package

Photon Bolt UNITY Asset Bolt is our peer2peer networking engine that comes with smart features you won't find with other. Enjoy a powerful event system, authoritative movement with client-side prediction, mecanim replication and a global matchmaking and relay service.
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Photon Bolt Architecture

Bolt is a so called 'listen server'. A listen server works like a dedicated server, but runs in the same process as the game client (Master Client). Any communication is routed via the Master Client.

Doing so provides similar advantages (no costs for dedicated servers, low latency) and avoids typical disadvantages (difficult synchronization of peers, player with worst connection sets latency for all players) of a peer-2-peer architecture.

Photon Bolt is perfectly suited for room based games with dozens of players. The Master Client's internet connection is a bottle-neck for e.g. an MMO - see Photon Server instead.

The first game client that connects becomes the Master Client for a game session and creates a game room. Additional players are then matched into the room.

While connecting and matching clients is easy in a local network, it becomes extremely complex for online games. Photon Bolt's integrated matchmaking and relay service eliminates connection issues and matches players easily.


Zeus' punchthrough technolgy connects the Master Client to all game clients within the room.

In case a client cannot be connected with the Master Client directly, a relay service is needed. Bolt's global relay servers make sure that all your players can connect and enjoy a low latency experience.


Photon Bolt for Steam

Our Bolt for Steam SDK leverages Steamwork' feature-set to any developer whether you are a pro or beginner. Access to Steamworks API is granted to greenlit games only, but you can develop multiplayer features and test these with Bolt any time.
'Bolt for Steam' is used by Steam's top seller 'The Forest,' which sold over 2.9 million copies.


Relay Service

In case a game client cannot be connected to the master client, the connection is created via Bolt's relay service powered by the Photon Cloud. This is crucial especially in mobile networks as direct connections between clients often cannot be established and a relay is the only option to guarantee your users can actually connect.

In case punchthrough fails, the connection is relayed via the Photon Cloud or via Steamworks' relay service.

LAN & WiFi Games Love Photon Bolt

Listen servers do not require any special infrastructure or forward planning to set up, which makes them perfect for LAN games. Photon Bolt's session discovery finds servers running on a local LAN or WiFi automatically, so connecting & matching players is a breeze.

Bolt detects any clients with an active session in a LAN/WiFi.

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