Code Quality Rank: L2
Programming language: C#
License: MIT License
Tags: Game    
Latest version: v0.10.0

Nez alternatives and similar packages

Based on the "Game" category.
Alternatively, view Nez alternatives based on common mentions on social networks and blogs.

Do you think we are missing an alternative of Nez or a related project?

Add another 'Game' Package



Build status NuGet version NuGet downloads Join the chat Website

Nez aims to be a feature-rich 2D framework that sits on top of MonoGame/FNA. It provides a solid base for you to build a 2D game on. Some of the many features it includes are:

  • Scene/Entity/Component system with Component render layer tracking
  • SpatialHash for super fast broadphase physics lookups. You won't ever see it since it works behind the scenes but you'll love it nonetheless since it makes finding everything in your proximity crazy fast via raycasts or overlap checks.
  • AABB, circle and polygon collision/trigger detection
  • Farseer Physics (based on Box2D) integration for when you need a full physics simulation
  • efficient coroutines for breaking up large tasks across multiple frames or animation timing (Core.startCoroutine)
  • in-game debug console extendable by adding an attribute to any static method. Just press the tilde key like in the old days with Quake. Out of the box, it includes a visual physics debugging system, asset tracker, basic profiler and more. Just type 'help' to see all the commands or type 'help COMMAND' to see specific hints.
  • Dear ImGui in-game debug panels with the ability to wire up your own ImGui windows via attributes
  • in-game Component inspector. Open the debug console and use the command inspect ENTITY_NAME to display and edit fields/properties and call methods with a button click.
  • Nez.Persistence JSON, NSON (strongly typed, human readable JSON-like syntax) and binary serialization. JSON/NSON includes the ability to automatically resolve references and deal with polymorphic classes
  • extensible rendering system. Add/remove Renderers and PostProcessors as needed. Renderables are sorted by render layer first then layer depth for maximum flexibility out of the box with the ability to add your own custom sorter.
  • pathfinding support via Astar and Breadth First Search for tilemaps or your own custom format
  • deferred lighting engine with normal map support and both runtime and offline normal map generation
  • tween system. Tween any int/float/Vector/quaternion/color/rectangle field or property.
  • sprites with sprite animations, scrolling sprites, repeating sprites and sprite trails
  • flexible line renderer with configurable end caps including super smooth rounded edges or lightning bolt-like sharp edges
  • powerful particle system with added support for importing Particle Designer files at runtime
  • optimized event emitter (Emitter class) for core events that you can also add to any class of your own
  • scheduler for delayed and repeating tasks (Core.schedule method)
  • per-Scene content managers. Load your scene-specific content then forget about it. Nez will unload it for you when you change scenes.
  • customizable Scene transition system with several built in transitions
  • Verlet physics bodies for super fun, constraint-to-particle squishy physics
  • tons more stuff

Nez Systems

  • [Nez-Core](FAQs/Nez-Core.md)
  • [Scene-Entity-Component](FAQs/Scene-Entity-Component.md)
  • [Rendering](FAQs/Rendering.md)
  • [Content Management](FAQs/ContentManagement.md)
  • [Dear IMGUI](FAQs/DearImGui.md)
  • [Nez Physics/Collisions](FAQs/Physics.md)
  • [Farseer Physics](FAQs/FarseerPhysics.md)
  • [Scene Transitions](FAQs/SceneTransitions.md)
  • [Pathfinding](FAQs/Pathfinding.md)
  • [Runtime Inspector](FAQs/RuntimeInspector.md)
  • [Verlet Physics](FAQs/Verlet.md)
  • [Entity Processing Systems](FAQs/EntitySystems.md)
  • [Nez.UI](FAQs/UI.md)
  • [Nez.Persistence](Nez.Persistence/README.md)
  • [Nez.ImGui](Nez.ImGui/README.md)
  • [SVG Support](FAQs/SVG.md)
  • [AI (FSM, Behavior Tree, GOAP, Utility AI)](FAQs/AI.md)
  • [Deferred Lighting](FAQs/DeferredLighting.md)
  • [Samples](FAQs/Samples.md)


Install as a submodule:

  • create a Monogame Cross Platform Desktop Project
  • clone or download the Nez repository
  • add the Nez.Portable/Nez.csproj project to your solution and add a reference to it in your main project
  • make your main Game class (Game1.cs in a default project) subclass Nez.Core

If you intend to use any of the built in Effects or PostProcessors you should also copy or link the DefaultContent/effects folder into your projects Content/nez/effects folder and the DefaultContent/textures folder into Content/nez/textures. Be sure to set the Build Action to Content and enable the "Copy to output directory" property so they get copied into your compiled game. See the Nez.Samples csproj for an example on how to do this.

Note: if you get compile errors referencing a missing project.assets.json file run msbuild Nez.sln /t:restore in the root Nez folder to restore them.

Install through NuGet:

The NuGet packages are long since deprecated. The source code has been carefully commented and contains a wealth of useful information. Use the source.

All Nez shaders are compiled for OpenGL so be sure to use the DesktopGL template, not DirectX! Nez only supports OpenGL out of the box to keep things compatible across Android/iOS/Mac/Linux/Windows.

If you are developing a mobile application you will need to enable touch input by calling Input.Touch.EnableTouchSupport().

Samples Repository

You can find the samples repo here. It contains a variety of sample scenes that demonstrate the basics of getting stuff done with Nez. This YouTube playlist also has a few relevant videos.

Using Nez with FNA

Note that you have to install the required FNA native libs per the FNA documentation. Here is what you need to do to get up and running with Nez + FNA:

  • clone this repo recursively
  • open the Nez solution (Nez/Nez.sln) and build it. This will cause the NuGet packages to refresh.
  • download/clone FNA
  • open your game's project and add a reference to FNA and Nez.FNA
  • (optionally) add references to Nez.FNA.ImGui or Nez.FNA.FarseerPhysics if you need them

The folder structure the cscproj files expect is something like this:

  • TopLevelFolderHousingEverything
    • FNA
    • YourGameProject
    • Nez

Alternatively, you can use the Nez + FNA template which works for Visual Studio and VS Code available here.


Bits and pieces of Nez were cherry-picked from various places around the internet. If you see something in Nez that looks familiar open an issue with the details so that we can properly attribute the code.

I want to extend a special thanks to three people and their repos listed below. The Monocle Engine and MonoGame.Extended allowed me to get up and running with MonoGame nearly instantly when I was first evaluating if it would be a good alternative to use for making games. libGDX scene2D UI was ported over to Nez to get a jump start on a UI as well. Nez uses a bunch of concepts and code from all three of these repos.

Maddy Thorson's fantastic Monocle Engine

Dylan Wilson's excellent MonoGame.Extended and his initial work on converted Farseer Physics Engine to a Portable Class Library. Farseer is Microsoft Permissive v1.1 licensed.

Nathan Sweet's libGDX Scene2D UI libGDX. Nez UI is based on libGDX Scene2D which is [Apache licensed](UI_LICENSE).

*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the Nez README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.