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Realtime Intro

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Photon Realtime is a fully managed service (SaaS) of Photon onpremise servers running in regions worldwide, ready for low latency multiplayer gaming around the globe, anytime.

Use the multiplayer API from Photon Realtime to join many players together in a shared game session and transfer data and messages synchronously, in real-time, between connected players across platforms. All client SDKs can interact with each other, no matter if iOS, Android, Web or standalone.

Connect

Photon Realtime applications need a distinct application and AppId to connect to. Get your AppId from the Realtime Dashboard after free signup.

With an AppId at hand you are ready to Connect your LoadBalancingPeer instance.

You pass Connect the application ID and region you would like to connect to. Click here for a list of available regions.

Call Service

The LoadBalancing API is built to integrate well with your game logic. You can fine-control when you want to handle incoming messages and how often you send anything. Internally, both directions are buffered until your game calls LoadBalancingClient.Service().

Service() internally calls DispatchIncomingCommands() until it returns false to disaptch all received incoming messages into your game logic. Calling Service() triggers the callbacks OnEvent, OnOperationResponse, etc.. Service() also calls SendOutgoingCommands which actually sends operations that your client called since the last SendOutgoingCommands.

Games often use a game loop which calculates updates and then refreshes the screen. Call Service() 10 to 20 times per second. If you don't call it, no "network progress" gets done at all.

Matchmaking

Create a Game

To create a new room, aka game, invoke OpCreateRoom on your connected LoadBalancingPeer.

Pass OpCreateRoom the room name and amount of players to start with. The newly created room is entered immediately and exists until the last player has left.

Custom values are attached to a room as custom properties, optionally passed when connecting. Common examples for room properties include the map name, level or the round duration.

Select any of your custom properties to be shown in the lobby handing in an optional array with their names. Properties showing in the lobby can be used for matchmaking and as filter for random matches.

Find a Game

Clients join games by name or ask Photon to find a perfect match.

Find rooms ...

  • by Random: Matches players randomly. Optionally fills rooms or distributes players evenly.
  • Filters can be used for better matching.
    • by Listing: The lobby lists visible rooms to let players pick and join manually.
    • that are Private: Join hidden rooms that you know the name of.
    • or Parameterized: Customize random matching by defining expected properties.

Gameplay

Sending Events

Whatever happens on one client can be sent as event to update everyone in the same room. Update your players with stats, positions or your current turn. Photon will send it as fast as possible via, optionally reliable, UDP, TCP or Websockets.

  • Send messages/events: Send any type of data to other players.
  • Player/Room properties: Photon updates and syncs these, even to players who join in later.

Receiving Events

Whenever an event is dispatched the OnEvent handler is called.

Each event carries its specific content in its EventData parameters. Your application knows which content to expect by the Code passed with the EventData.

For an up-to-date list of default event codes look for the EventCode constants in your SDK, e.g. within ExitGames.Client.Photon.LoadBalancing.EventCode for C#.

Custom or Authorative Server Logic

As is, without authorative logic, Photon Cloud products already allow for a broad range of game types.

  • First Person Shooters
  • Racing Games
  • Minecraft type of games
  • Casual real-time games
  • Asynchronous and synchronous games
  • ...

Use Photon Server to implement your own custom logic.

Get in contact for early access on custom logic with Photon Turnbased, Photon Chat or Photon Realtime using Webhooks, Web RPC or Plugins.

Get Support

We, the Photon Team ( sometimes referred to as Photonians :), are dedicated to help you. If you've got questions, curiosities, ... or your app doesn't work but you really wish it would, try any of these:

Get It Faster

For quick turn-arounds please include, together with reproducible steps:

  • Photon Client SDK version
    • This is part of the SDK zip file name.
    • In case of PUN send us the value of: PhotonNetwork.versionPun.
  • Photon Cloud
    • Drop us the AppId and the Game Version which is set via Connect*() call.
    • If you have trouble with some room, send us the RoomName and the Server Address of it. In C#, log client.CurrentServerAddress while in the room
    • Let us know the Region and the Server Address.
  • Photon Server
    • Hosting a Server? Let us know the Server SDK Version. Again, this is part of the SDK zip file name.
    • Add your logs.

Get in Touch

We'd love to know what you want to read and see in our docs, whether that is more demos, specific documentation, an FAQ or example applications. If there's something you'd like to see that's not already in drop us your suggestion to developer@exitgames.com.

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