iOS Support - Lumberyard User Guide

iOS Support

Open 3D Engine (O3DE), the successor to Lumberyard, is now available in Developer Preview. Download O3DE or visit the AWS Game Tech blog, O3DE Discord, or O3DE GitHub to learn more. The Lumberyard forums have been deprecated. You may view past forum discussions in the archive.

You can use Lumberyard to create applications for iOS devices. The topics in this section will teach you how to generate assets that your app can load, and how to build and debug code. You will also learn about the different types of apps that you can generate for development purposes or to release publicly.

Lumberyard includes four iOS-supported sample projects that you can use to learn how to build assets for iOS games using Asset Processor, build shaders using the remote shader compiler, and build and deploy iOS apps using the Lumberyard build tools. For more information, see Using Lumberyard sample projects and levels.

Lumberyard has the following minimum requirements for iOS:

CPU ARM v8 or newer
GPU A8 or newer

Supports Metal

OS iOS 13 or newer
Example devices iPhone 6 and newer


To build apps for iOS devices, you must have the following:

  • Xcode 11 or later

  • iOS 13 SDK or later

  • Lumberyard Mac Support Files

  • Lumberyard installed on a Windows computer

  • Lumberyard installed on a macOS computer

  • Familiarity with Lumberyard Editor, the Shader Compiler, and Asset Processor

  • Ability to build from a command line tool

  • Previously built the macOS code and optionally the PC code

To set up your environment, use the Lumberyard Setup Assistant (located in the lumberyard_version\dev\Tools\LmbrSetup\Mac directory) to select the following:

  • Create, Modify and Build projects

  • Compile for iOS devices

The Setup Assistant will install the required third-party software and SDKs.

Lumberyard Binaries

During installation, Lumberyard creates the following directories for its binaries:


  • BinMac64


  • Bin64vc142 (for binaries generated with Visual Studio 2019)

Anatomy of a Lumberyard iOS App

The Lumberyard build system can generate the following types of applications:

  • Development app

  • VFS app

  • Release app


Lumberyard Editor is currently supported on Windows only. You must export each level of your game project prior to using Asset Processor for your assets.

Development App

You will use a Development app throughout most of your development cycle. Your app must connect to the Remote Shader Compiler in order to compile the shaders into a format that the iOS device can read. Your app connects to the shader compiler over WiFi or through Asset Processor. Asset Processor generates the Development app executable and its assets, which can be loose files or PAK files.

The Development app contains the Lumberyard executable and assets.
The Development app connects to the remote shader compiler.


You can use the VFS app with the Virtual Filing System (VFS). While similar to a Development app, the VFS app also contains the bootstrap.cfg and game.xml configuration files in your build. After reading these configuration files, the app connects to your macOS or Windows computer and uses the assets from the local Cache directory. This allows you to iterate content and see the changes on your device in real time.

Your app must also connect to the Remote Shader Compiler in order to compile the shaders into a format that the iOS device can read. Your app connects to the shader compiler over WiFi or through Asset Processor on startup. You can optionally choose to direct traffic to and from the Remote Compiler through Asset Processor.

The Virtual Filing System (VFS) app contains the Lumberyard executable, bootstrap.cfg file, and the game.xml file.
The VFS app connects to the Asset Processor on startup.

Release App

The Release app contains the executable and all binaries and assets that are required for your app to run. The assets and shaders must be PAK files because the app will not connect to the Remote Shader Compiler or Asset Processor.

The Release app contains the Lumberyard binaries, asset .pak files, and shader .pak files.