Low Poly is an art style all you animators out there have no doubt encountered in the last few years. If you’re unfamiliar with it, the term refers to a simplistic and minimalist design style using only simple ‘polygons’ or flat shapes, with straight sides.
It’s become incredibly popular, with the help of a number of Unity-made games such as the VR award-winning action fest Superhot, or the deep and story-driven Virginia. It’s a style that’s here to last, as we see more and more indie games, emulating similar design principles, announced each month. Low Poly is also not very resource-heavy, meaning it’s an easy way to boost performance, especially on tablets or mobile gaming systems.
We’ve put together this list to help set you up with the essential low poly model packs on the Unity Asset Store so that you can start creating your own in-game world. We’ve picked these so that when you combine them, you’ll have everything you need. From characters to textures, props, scenes and more! We’ve even added a handy ‘what to look for’ section so that you can add assets of your own to this collection and start to customize your world.
Now, let’s get a little deeper into some of the details of these model packs.
Here are our top three picks from this list – they’re some essential items that will give you a lot to work with, and more than enough to get started on designing your own in-game world.
The PolyPerfect Ultimate Low Poly Pack is a great starter-kit for prototyping and creating your own low poly games. It comes complete with animals, nature, people, props, buildings and more, allowing you to create and design an immersive world to start you out. It also has free monthly updates, a really nice added bonus which gives you just that more bang for your buck.
The Low Poly Animated Animals Pack is a great way to start creating simple live scenes, or animal NPCs in your in-game world. It comes with Wander Script v4.2, allowing you to drag and drop animals into your scene, bringing your game to life. It comes with demo scenes, unique sounds, and a whole host of animals from giraffes to starfish.
The Low Poly Mesh Generator Tool is a handy tool to have on-hand when designing a low-poly game. It allows you to generate meshes for any assets, from props to entire terrains, turning them into a simple low poly approximation with preserved colour. This means no late night searching ‘how to make low poly models’ on YouTube. This tool is a real help, allowing you to turn any model you’re working with into a low poly style version.
Here’s our round up of the best low poly models available on the Unity Asset Store. We’ve labeled each one with three points of interest such as a $-$$$ rating, cool features, or extra requirements. We’ve also added a list of pros and cons for each one so that you can compare at a glance, and see which is going to work best for you.
While Unity is free, if you’re interested in upgrading to the hobbyist or enterprise plans, you can take a look at Unity pricing here.
- Free Updates
- Drag-and-drop living animals into scenes
If you’re looking for a low poly model pack containing a variety of animals, with the least headache, then the PolyPerfect Low Poly Animated Animals Pack is the one for you. Each animal comes rigged, with beautiful animations and demo scenes, unique sounds, illustrated environment textures and a few low poly nature elements for each habitat.
The pack includes a range of animal species like bears, penguins, spiders, dogs, sharks, wolves and more – making it a versatile model pack, which can be used whether you’re making an arctic exploration game, or a desert survival battle royale.
Finally, one of the best features of this pack is the ‘free updates’ feature, whereby any changes or updates to the pack are available to buyers for free. This includes requests for changes / additions to specific animals, as well as bug fixes and more features.
Bottom line: this pack’s bark is most certainly not worse than its bite.
- Includes random character generator script
- Comes with some simple fantasy weapon assets
When you’re designing characters for your game, whether they’re NPCs, companions, or protagonists, it’s extremely important that they’re varied. We all remember playing those CD-ROM games in the early 2000s, where the NPCs were all just copies of each other with different colour clothes – and it wasn’t fun.
This Fantasy Hero Low Poly Characters Pack from Synty Studios fixes all that, and makes character generation a breeze. All characters are modular, meaning different body parts, clothes and accessories can be swapped out. This comes together to make a whole host of individual and unique characters to populate your game world.
The pack is made up of 720 modular pieces with custom shaders for changing colours, made up of modular character assets like hair, heads, hands, bags, capes, and more. There are male and female versions of each body part, and the pack also comes with 120 pre-made characters for you to try out. It also has a random character generator script, which is great for creating non-essential NPCs.
Bottom line: Get ready to meet your new group of friends who just about put Borderlands’ random gun generation to shame.
- 11 Individual Monsters
- Comes with great animations
Boss fights always seem to cause headaches, whether you’re a developer or a gamer. They’re built up, intense, and often pivotal in terms of theme and story – and that’s a lot of pressure! So why not spend some time focusing on mini-boss fights?
This (surprisingly cute) Micro Monster pack from Bitgem is a wonderful little pack for adding some much-needed evil into your world. Whether you’re using them as creeps, mobs, mini-bosses or companions, these 11 hand-painted micro monsters might be just what you need to bring some challenge into your in-game world.
The animations are solid and versatile, and the creators of this pack are experts in 3d model and asset design, meaning it’s very unlikely you’ll be running into any errors or compatibility issues when using the micro monsters.
Bottom line: They might be micro, but they bring the atmosphere.
- Versatile visual styles
- All models are outlined
If you’ve played Firewatch, you’ll know how much difference vistas can make in turning your skybox and in-game world from something lively, to something living. This, frankly, gorgeous low poly vista pack from Polybox is the perfect addition to bring a little extra flair to your in-game world without sacrificing performance or compatibility issues.
VR and Mobile-ready, this pack of vista-cutouts is heavily customizable and seamless, great for use in a variety of game styles (ie. not just the artsy ones). These super low-performance vistas mimic different natural environments such as mountains, deserts, cliffs, and hills; making them adaptable to a multitude of visual styles.
The cards snap together allowing you to alter and create your own custom vistas, and easily achieve those fancy parallax effects which just look so good. All cards can be UV unwrapped and are texture-ready, and the cards are optimized, as we mentioned, for use in mobile or tablet gaming devices, meaning you’re gonna save a whole lot of performance points.
Bottom line: Sit back and enjoy the view.
- 1UP Magic Shadow Unlit Shader
- Very tweak-friendly
Up to this point, we’ve got a game with roaming animals, fantasy characters, beautiful landscapes and angry little monsters – all we’re missing is guns! This low poly Gun model pack from 1UP is simply one of the best in the Unity Asset Store, and is going to work perfectly for most games that require a finger on the trigger.
In this pack, you’ll find all your common guns from your favourite games (Think CS:GO, Fornite, TF2). There are 18 unique weapons, with unlimited alternative colour, and 35 skin tone variations in this pack – all perfect for a low-poly fps. They’re really well-designed within the low poly style, and the textures are super small (4KB / 256px) which means you’re not going to run into any performance issues having everyone in-game running around with a rifle.
The package comes with an example scene, and is quite easy to tweak and edit to your own specifications, even for a beginner. Honestly, no low poly FPS or battle royale game is complete without a great set of weapon choices, and this is the perfect pack for just that.
Bottom line: This pack hits the target in the bullseye
- Endless source of ideas / inspiration
- All-round essential pack for low poly
While it’s great fun picking all your assets and models individually, it can become a headache, and is a lot easier to do when you’ve got a solid base on which to build, metaphorically. This Ultimate Low Poly Models pack from PolyPerfect is just that, and is a great all-in-one tool for laying out the framework and getting a step ahead in your game design process.
This all-in-one pack features over 500 prefabs, with colliders and various textures, so that you can design large low poly environments with ease, and all your assets in one place. The pack includes things like animals, a castle, nature, people, props, and more. Everything you need to build a truly immersive word from the ground up.
The design itself is beautiful, with none of the assets seeming rushed or not up-to-standard. The assets are also one material and true low poly mesh, meaning that mobile or tablet performance won’t take a dip compared to using other more complex assets. The pack also has the added bonus of offering free updates, meaning any requests you have can be seen to by the creators.
Bottom line: Seamless world building, polygon by polygon.
- No sample scene included
- Simple and effective style
Whether you’re at a camp in an RPG or a survival game, or visiting a nearby town in an adventure game, villages are an important part of any in-game world. This simple low poly village pack from Addixon makes for the perfect pack to achieve a village feel.
The pack includes boxes, barrels and 8 hut styles, as well as some landscapes, trees, boats and more. They’re all designed with an island-style theme, which works pretty well in any context (as long as you leave out the palm trees).
While this pack is small and basic, with the right variation and placement it can really offer you a lot of freedom in designing villages, and making different villages feel unique and just that – different.
Bottom line: Don’t be the village idiot – this pack is going to make your life a lot easier.
- Easy to paint
- Active discord for 24/7 support
As we’ve already mentioned, nothing brings immersion to an in-game world like real-world reference. Therefore, it makes a huge difference when you’re able to really bring nature to life, with a varied and realistic palette of plants, shrubs, trees, bushes and terrain.
That’s why we chose this Synty Polygon Nature Pack – it’s got everything you need to start creating a wilderness, like low poly trees and plants, terrain and rocks, props and extra FX assets. This pack also includes a new addition to the Polygon series – their Hybrid Style Trees sets, allowing for a little bit of blurring between the lines of low poly and not low poly (think Fortnite).
The pack also comes with detailed terrain textures, with tiling maps ready for dynamic lighting making them compatible with static mesh ground pieces from other polygon packs. There’s also a custom stylized water shader, as well as animations for the trees and plants so that they feel living, and not made of rubber.
Finally, there are some truly awesome effects such as a nifty rock shader for moss and snow coverage, particle effects like butterflies, falling leaves, blowing grass, fireflies and more. This is truly a great model pack when it comes to 3d low poly models, and one you’ll want to be sure not to miss.
Bottom line: Become one with nature in one handy Unity Asset Store pack.
- Great price point
- Sleek design
- Now, we’ve been mostly on a more fantasy / RPG trend in terms of the Unity Asset Store packs reviewed in this article (except for the guns), but no video game is complete without a good set of vehicles. This car low poly model pack from Synty gives us just what we need, providing a number of cars of different shapes and sizes, for all uses. While there are some free low poly models of cars on the Asset Store, this one is worth every cent.
Each car comes with 1-4 variants, and these vehicles include everything from regular cars to tow trucks, logging trucks, milk vans, limousines and even a forklift. They’re all created with love, as most of the Synty packs appear to be, and while there’s not too much else to say about this pack it looks great, works great, and runs fantastically on mobile and tablets.
Bottom line: Get your game from A to B with this pack
- Make your own Low Poly Models
- Requires one license per seat
This last low poly asset pack from Davit Naskidashvili is a great handy tool to have when working on a low-poly game. Despite the number of options on the Unity Asset Store, and the list of great packs we’ve put together here, there’s always going to be one model that you just can’t find in the right style. Breaking the immersiveness of your game is just out of the question, but so is leaving out that really cool sword model you found on the Asset Store – and that’s where this tool comes in handy (especially if you’re not into low poly modeling yourself).
The Low Poly Mesh Generator tool allows you to use classic methods of generating “low poly” or “flat shaded” meshes, baking low poly texture inside vertex colour, and averaging face normal. The tool works with all types of meshes from solid to skinned, and event terrains and complex meshes. It works really fast, and doesn’t take a lot of extra computing power to actually generate the low poly versions of each model. There’s also a Terrain to Mesh algorithm, which is some of the fastest terrain conversion around today.
The tool is optimized to be as user-friendly, and effective as possible, needing no preparation, combining final meshes into one, supporting substance material baking into vertex colour, and two texture baking. One thing, however, to be aware of is that the plugin doesn’t reduce triangle count – for that, you’ll need a decimation tool. That’s very important to keep in mind if you’re thinking about tablet and mobile optimization.
All in all, this is a real essential tool to have when working on a low poly project, no matter how big or small. It’ll save you a lot of headaches, make your life a lot easier, and bring a little wonderment and joy when you see your favourite regular models come to life in a low poly form.
Bottom line: Low Poly Everything. All the time.
There are two reasons that low poly models and aesthetic are popular with game developers and animators.
Firstly, it’s a simple way to limit your design abilities and focus on creating a game or scene with a strong aesthetic theme, where everything feels like it’s part of the same world. This can take a lot longer to get right when you’re using photorealistic assets, or even creating your own models per your own design specifications.
The second reason is that low poly assets, being simple, minimal and light on rendering resources, often help increase performance. This means that games like Superhot have a much easier time running on a low-end rig when compared to something like Battlefield V – no graphics card upgrade needed!
Now, here are a few things to consider when looking for more packs to add to your in-game world:
- Visual Style
- Free Updates
Now, let’s take a closer look at these points so that you know what to look out for, and how to get the best low poly Unity assets for your projects.
While the ‘style guide’ for lowpoly assets is a pretty rigid one, there still are some differences. While most low-poly style packs from different creators work together visually, there are always going to be some small differences that come from the style of whichever artist created them.
The first and most important point to consider when shopping for new assets is whether or not they fit in with the visual theme and aesthetic you’ve created in-game. Small differences can really throw off the immersion, and you ultimately want all your in-game assets to appear as if they come from the same source.
This is where tools like the Low Poly Mesh Generator come especially in handy, allowing you to edit and tweak styles to get everything meshing together nicely (please excuse the pun).
A great way to tell whether or not the pack you’re inspecting does what you want it to do is by looking at the reviews. A simple Ctrl+F “animation”, for example, will help you check whether the animals / characters in your pack come with their own animations, or if you’ll have to create your own.
Once you’ve purchased the low poly models of your choice, the Unity Asset Store review section is also a great way to troubleshoot errors or issues you’re having, as it’s the easiest way for others who own the pack to contact its creators for support. This is great to remember when you get your next stack overflow error.
Free updates are a very cool feature of the Unity Asset Store, and allow creators to update their packs with new models, assets and features at no extra cost to you, once you’ve purchased the pack. Packs with this option will give you way more bang for your buck, and really help bring that community-driven aspect to the Unity Asset Store, when it comes to requests and modifications.
Well, now you’ve got just about everything you need from the Unity Asset Store to begin work (or finish work) on your next Low Poly style AAA Indie Title. We wish you the best of luck in your game creation endeavours, and would love to hear what you’re working on, so don’t be shy – drop us a line!
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