Welcome to the Unity Meta File Guide

In our work helping Unity teams to develop effectively at scale, we keep seeing one issue coming up repeatedly.

Meta files, .meta files, dot meta files.

What do they do?

Do we need them?

How should we work with them?

To help development teams learn about this common cause of confusion and anguish, we wrote this guide. We hope you find it useful.

 Please help us to improve this guide

Doubtless there will be things we’ve missed or things that we could explain better so please send us your feedback both good and bad.

That way we can improve the guide to help more developers spend less time being confused by meta files and more time developing great games.

Where to start?

Each page in the guide was written for a different purpose. Here are a few pointers to find the most appropriate one for your use-case.

Got an error message or need a quick fix?

Start with the FAQ. It contains answers and advice for the questions we see most often. You’ll find explanations and resolutions for error messages in there too.

Want to learn the details?

We suggest you start out with Understanding .meta files & GUIDs and then move on to Meta File Deep Dive if you really want to grok how the Unity Editor uses meta files.

Looking for best practices?

If you are time constrained, check out the Checklist for committing Assets for something your team can adopt today to improve their workflow.

To understand the motivation behind the best practices you should head over to Avoiding Broken References and Forgotten a .meta file? Stop the line!