Configure a New Unity project for Windows Mixed Reality


Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) is a Microsoft platform introduced as part of the Windows 10 operating system. The WMR platform lets you build applications that render digital content on holographic and VR display devices.

When setting up for WMR, there are two paths you can take. Your first option is to install the Mixed Reality Toolkit (MRTK), which will automatically set up the WMR environment. The second option is to manually change a few Unity settings to get rolling with WMR.


You can always import MRTK later on, so there's no penalty for going the manual route first.

If you choose the WMR manual setup, the settings you need to change are broken-down into two categories: per-project and per-scene.

Per-project settings

The first setting you need to change for WMR is the project platform:

  1. Select File > Build Settings...
  2. Select Universal Windows Platform in the Platform list and click Switch Platform
  3. Set SDK to Universal 10
  4. Set Target device to Any Device to support immersive headsets or switch to HoloLens
  5. Set Build Type to D3D
  6. Set UWP SDK to Latest installed
Unity XR Settings *Unity XR settings*

After the platform is configured correctly, you need to let Unity know that your app should create an immersive view instead of a 2D view when exported:

  1. From the Build Settings... window, open Player Settings...
  2. Select the Settings for Universal Windows Platform tab and expand the XR Settings group
  3. In the XR Settings section, check the Virtual Reality Supported checkbox to add the Virtual Reality Devices list.
  4. In the XR Settings group, confirm that "Windows Mixed Reality" is listed as a supported device. (this option may appear as Windows Holographic in older versions of Unity)

Unity UWP settings
Unity XR settings

Updating the manifest

Your app can now handle holographic rendering and spatial input. However, your app needs to declare the appropriate capabilities in its manifest to take advantage of certain functionality. You can find your projects capabilities by going to Player Settings > Settings for Universal Windows Platform > Publishing Settings > Capabilities.

It's recommended that you make the manifest declarations in Unity to include them in all future projects that you export. The applicable capabilities for enabling commonly used Unity APIs for Mixed Reality are:

Capability APIs requiring capability
SpatialPerception SurfaceObserver (access to spatial mapping meshes on HoloLens)—No capability needed for general spatial tracking of the headset
WebCam PhotoCapture and VideoCapture
PicturesLibrary / VideosLibrary PhotoCapture or VideoCapture, respectively (when storing the captured content)
Microphone VideoCapture (when capturing audio), DictationRecognizer, GrammarRecognizer, and KeywordRecognizer
InternetClient DictationRecognizer (and to use the Unity Profiler)

Quality settings

HoloLens has a mobile-class GPU. If your app is targeting HoloLens, you'll want the quality settings in your app tuned for fastest performance to ensure it maintains full frame-rate:

  1. Select Edit > Project Settings > Quality
  2. Select the dropdown under the Windows Store logo and select Very Low. You'll know the setting is applied correctly when the box in the Windows Store column and Very Low row is green.

Unity quality settings
Unity quality settings

Per-scene settings

Unity camera settings

With Virtual Reality Supported checked, the Unity Camera component handles head tracking and stereoscopic rendering. That means there's no need for you to replace the Main Camera object with a custom camera.

If your app is targeting HoloLens specifically, you need to change a few settings to optimize for the device's transparent displays. These settings allow your holographic content to show through to the physical world:

  1. In the Hierarchy, select the Main Camera
  2. In the Inspector panel, set the transform position to 0, 0, 0 so the location of the user's head starts at the Unity world origin.
  3. Change Clear Flags to Solid Color.
  4. Change the Background color to RGBA 0,0,0,0. Black renders as transparent in HoloLens.
  5. Change Clipping Planes - Near to the HoloLens recommended 0.85 (meters).

Unity camera settings
Unity camera settings


If you delete and create a new camera, make sure your new camera is tagged as MainCamera.

See also