Installing Unity ML-Agents

⚠️ At OSCON, attending our tutorial? 🔗 Also open the docs!

Want to explore the Unity Machine Learning Agents Toolkit (“ML-Agents”)? Here’s the easiest way to get up and running on Windows or macOS.

Unity ML-Agents is a great way to explore machine learning, whether you’re interested in building AI for games, or simulating an environment to solve a broader ML problem, why not try Unity’s ML-Agents?

We’ll be posting a variety of guides and material covering various aspects of Unity’s ML-Agents, but we thought we’d start with an installation guide!


Interested in a quick introduction to Unity and ML-Agents? Check out the video of the talk we delivered at The AI Conference in New York City!


To use ML-Agents, you’ll need to install three things:

  1. Unity
  2. Python and ML-Agents (and associated environment and support)
  3. The ML-Agents Unity project

Unity

Installing Unity is the easiest bit. We recommend downloading and using the official Unity Hub to manage your installs of Unity.

➡️ Download the Unity Hub for Windows or macOS

The Unity Hub allows you to manage multiple installs of different versions of Unity, and lets you select which version of Unity you open and create projects with.

If you don’t want to use the Unity Hub, you can download different versions of Unity for your platform manually:

➡️ Download a specific version of Unity for Windows or macOS

We strongly recommend that you use the Unity Hub to manage your Unity installs, as it’s the easiest way to stick to a specific version of Windows, and manage your installs. It really makes things easier.

If you like using command line tools, you can also try the U3d tool to download and manage Unity install’s from the terminal.

Python and ML-Agents

Our preferred way of installing and managing Python, particularly for machine learning tasks, is to use the Anaconda Environment.

⚠️ Anaconda’s environments don’t quite work like virtualenv, or other Python environment systems that you might be familiar with. They don’t store things in the location you specify, they store things in the system-wide Anaconda directory (e.g. on macOS in “/Users/USER/anaconda3/envs/”). Just remember that once you activate them, all commands are inside the environment.

Anaconda bundles a package manager, an environment manager, and a variety of other tools that make using and managing Python environments easier.

➡️ Download the Anaconda installer for Windows or macOS

Once you’ve installed Anaconda, following these instructions to make an Anaconda Environment to use with Unity ML-Agents.

➡️ First, download 🔗 this yaml file, and execute the following command (pointing to the yaml file you just downloaded):

conda env create -f /path/to/unity_ml.yaml

➡️ Once the new Anaconda Environment (named UnityML) has been created, activate it using the following command in your terminal:

conda activate UnityML

The yaml file we provided specifies all the Python packages, from both Anaconda’s package manager, as well pip, the Python package manager, that you need to make an environment that will work with ML-Agents.

Doing it manually

You can also do this manually (instead of asking Anaconda to create an environment based on our environment file).

⚠️ You do not need to do this if you created the environment with the yaml file, as above. If you did that go straight to “Testing the environment”, below.

➡️ Create a new Anaconda Environment named UnityML and running Python 3.6 (the version of Python you need to be running to work with TensorFlow at the moment):

conda create -n UnityML python=3.6

➡️ Activate the Conda environment:

conda activate UnityML

➡️ Install TensorFlow 1.7.1 (the version of TensorFlow you need to be running to work with ML-Agents):

pip install tensorflow==1.7.1

➡️ Once TensorFlow is installed, installing the Unity ML-Agents:

pip install mlagents

Testing the environment

➡️ To check everything is installed properly, run the following command:

mlagents-learn --help

You should see something that looks like the following image. This shows that everything is installed properly.

The ML-Agents Unity Project

The best way to start exploring ML-Agents is to use their provided Unity project. To get it, you’ll need a copy of the Unity ML-Agents repository.

➡️ Clone the Unity ML-Agents repository to your system (see the note below if you’re coming to our OSCON tutorial!):

git clone https://github.com/Unity-Technologies/ml-agents.git

⚠️ If you’re coming to our OSCON session, please clone this repository instead: https://github.com/thesecretlab/OSCON-2019-Unity-ML-Agents

You should now have a directory called ml-agents. This directory contains the source code for ML-Agents, a whole of lot useful configuration files, as well starting point Unity projects for you to use.

➡️ You’re ready to go! If you’re coming to our OSCON tutorial, you’ll need a slightly different project which we’ll help you out with on the day!

We’ll have another article on getting started (now that you’ve got it installed) next week!


In Portland? At OSCON?
Attend our OSCON 2019 session on 15 July 2019 to learn more!

📚 Unity Game Development Cookbook (1st Edition)

Our latest book covers everything you need to know about building games with Unity.

The book is available online, and in good bookstores. It was originally released in April 2019, and we consider it to still be current.

We really hope that you enjoy it! Please contact us if you have any questions or need a little help. We’ll try our best to get back to you.

It might take a few days sometimes, but if you get stuck get in touch. We also try and keep the code that’s available up to date.

Buy the book

Download code

You can download the resources for the Unity Game Development Cookbook (1st Edition) from GitHub: