Unity Texture Compression Cheat Sheet

There are over 40 different texture compression formats available in Unity 2021, and each has been designed to support a particular set of use cases. With so many options, picking the right one for you can sometimes feel overwhelming.

This quick-reference cheat sheet contains every single texture compression format available in Unity 2021, and will allow you to compare and contrast them to find the right compression settings for your project.

This page is intended to be used as a companion to Your Guide to Texture Compression in Unity, an article which explores the principles of texture compression in greater depth and provides recommendations for a range of common applications.

This information was gathered from an installation of Unity 2021.1.7f1.

Color/Bit depth

8-bit RGB256
16-bit RGBA256 + alpha
16-bit RGB65,536
24-bit RGBA65,536 + alpha
24-bit RGB16,777,216
32-bit RGB16,777,216 + alpha

Uncompressed formats

FormatColor DepthDistributionsRGB support
R 88R8No
Alpha 88A8No
R 16 bit16R16No
RGBA 16 bit16R3 G3 B2 A8No
RGB 16 bit16R5 G6 B5No
RGB 24 bit24R8 G8 B8Yes
RGBA 32 bit32R8 G8 B8 A8Yes
RGB 48 bit48R16 G16 B16No
RG 32 bit32R16 G16Yes
RGB9e5 32 bit
Shared Exponent Float
RGBA Half64R16 G16 B16 A16No

* RGB9e5 is a little more complicated than a straightforward division of bits into a series of color channels. For more information, check out the Unity Documentation on the format here.

Compressed formats

FormatChannelsBits per pixelsRGB supportCompression ratio*
ETC 4 bitsRGB4Yes6:1
ETC2 8 bitsRGBA8Yes4:1
ETC2 4 bitsRGB4Yes6:1
RGB + 1-bit Alpha
ETC2 4 bits
EAC 4 bitR4No2:1
EAC 8 bitRG8No2:1
PVRTC 4 bitsRGBA4Yes8:1
PVRTC 2 bitsRGBA2Yes16:1
ASTC 12×12 blockRGBA0.89Yes36:1 app.
ASTC 10×10 blockRGBA1.28Yes25:1 app.
ASTC 8×8 blockRGBA2Yes16:1
ASTC 6×6 blockRGBA3.56Yes9:1 app.
ASTC 5×5 blockRGBA5.12Yes7:1 app.
ASTC 4×4 blockRGBA8Yes4:1
ASTC HDR 12×12 blockRGBA0.89No36:1 app.
ASTC HDR 10×10 blockRGBA1.28No25:1 app.
ASTC HDR 8×8 blockRGBA2No16:1
ASTC HDR 6×6 blockRGBA3.56No9:1 app.
ASTC HDR 5×5 blockRGBA5.12No7:1 app.
ASTC HDR 4×4 blockRGBA8No4:1

* Depending on the number of channels in the compression format, ratios were calculated by the comparison to an uncompressed R8, RGB 24-bit, or RGBA 32-bit texture.

** As its name suggests, the RGB+ 1-bit Alpha format uses a 1-bit alpha channel.

Further reading

Thanks for checking out my breakdown of the compression formats available in Unity 2021. I hope you found what you were looking for!

The art of texture compression (and more broadly speaking, graphics programming as a whole) is a wonderful rabbit hole of which I’ve only just scratched the surface. The information on this page reflects my best attempt to simplify sometimes very complex systems to provide practical answers to your questions.

If you’d like to explore this world further, the Unity Documentation has a wealth of additional information which should point you in the right direction.

Good luck!

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