How is Playroom different?
If you are shopping for a multiplayer stack, you might be wondering how Playroom is different from other services. Here is a quick comparison of Playroom with other popular multiplayer stacks.
✅ Great for: Games that are made in Unity and require low-level custom networking.
❌ Not great for: Games that are simple and don't require a complex multiplayer stack.
"Unity" stacks: These are popular multiplayer stacks that have been around for a long time. All are great choice for games that are somewhat complex and are made in Unity. Photon/Fishnet are a bit low-level than Playroom and require you to write network code. You also need to manage rooms and lobbies yourself.
Playroom: A higher-level stack that is designed to be easy to use and requires no network code. It also includes a lobby UI that you can use out of the box. Playroom is also optimized for web games but also has support for Unity.
✅ Great for: Games that require an authoritative custom server.
❌ Not great for: Games that don't need server logic.
Hathora (and Hathora Cloud) is a newer multiplayer stack that hosts your game server; running in a container, on a VM. Hathora's job is "hosting" your server. You still need to write your own server code, websocket code, and manage rooms and lobbies yourself.
Hathora does offer BuildKits, that are pre-built game servers that you can use. But you still need to write server code. Hathora is a great choice for games that require an authoritative server.
Playroom: If you can use a client-authoritative / p2p model and can live without a server, Playroom is a better choice. Because there is no custom server code:
- You can get started quickly and drop-in Playroom into your game.
- We can scale your game to millions of players without your server code breaking or needing to be deployed in multiple regions.
✅ Great for: Games that need to self-host their server and require an authoritative custom server.
❌ Not great for: Games that don't need any server logic.
Nakama (and Heroic Cloud) is a popular open-source multiplayer stack that you can self-host. It provides a lot of features and a dashboard for better visibility into your games. Nakama runs your server code in a distributed cluster and either you manage yourself or pay Heroic Cloud to manage it for you.
Playroom: If you can use a client-authoritative / p2p model and can live without a server, Playroom is a better choice. Because there is no custom server code. No clusters to manage.