The SpatialOS Runtime

A SpatialOS Runtime instance manages the SpatialOS world of each local and cloud deployment by storing data about Actors. Server-worker and client-worker instances interact with the SpatialOS Runtime to read and modify Actor data, as well as to send messages between each other.

For local deployments, the SpatialOS Runtime is called runtime.exe (on Windows) or runtime (on macOS).

For cloud deployments, we use a Linux version of the Runtime. Networking service instances automatically operate the Runtime. For more information on networking services in a cloud deployment, see Managed networking services.

On Windows, when you run the Unreal Editor for the first time, you might see a Windows Defender Firewall message stating that it has blocked some features of the runtime.exe file. Select Allow access to continue and open the Unreal Editor.

Runtime variants

The GDK for Unreal has two Runtime variants: Standard and Compatibility Mode. Standard is the default, but you must change to Compatibility Mode to access some SpatialOS features (see Change your Runtime variant).

Note that within each variant, there are different Runtime versions.

Standard Runtime variant limitations

If you are using the Standard Runtime variant, note the following compatibility issues:

  • The Standard Runtime does not support the Legacy Inspector.
  • In the Platform SDK in C#, you can’t set capacity limits or use the remote interaction service. You also can’t use the Platform SDK to take snapshots of cloud deployments, but we’ll fix this snapshot issue in a future release.
  • You can't generate a snapshot of a cloud deployment. We'll fix this in a future release.
  • In the CLI, the following commands don’t work:
    • spatial local worker-flag set
    • spatial cloud runtime flags set

We’ll improve debug tooling in future releases.

Change your Runtime variant

If you need any of the functionality listed above, change your Runtime variant to Compatibility Mode.

To do this:

  1. In the Unreal Editor, navigate to the SpatialOS Editor Settings panel.
  2. Expand the section labelled Runtime.
  3. From the drop-down menu next to Runtime Variant, select Compatibility Mode.

Runtime variants and game templates

The Runtime variant that you use determines which game templates you can use for your deployments. To find out which game templates are compatible with each Runtime variant, see Game templates.

Runtime versions

Each GDK version has a SpatialOS Runtime version pinned to it, for each Runtime variant. We recommend that you use this pinned Runtime version, unless one of our support engineers advises you to use a different version.

If you need to unpin the pinned Runtime version and enter a different version, you do this in the Cloud Deployment Configuration dialog box (from the GDK toolbar, select Cloud).


2020-10-06 Page updated with editorial review: updated Standard Runtime variant limitations
2020-09-03 Page updated with editorial review: added note about Linux Runtime
2020-07-31 Page updated as Windows and macOS both support Standard mode, with editorial review
2020-06-27 Page added with editorial review.

Updated 5 months ago


The SpatialOS Runtime


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