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A minimal Unity dependency injection solution.
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What it is and what it is not

Nanoject is a minimal solution for providing dependency injection for your Unity projects. Minimal really is the keyword here. I deliberately do not call it a framework because it really is just a single class with less than 300 lines of code and some attributes.

Nanoject allows you to use the dependency injection pattern without creating a ton of cognitive overhead and using arcane magic behind the scenes. It may not have all the features that other frameworks like zenject have, but its workable for many scenarios and it is very easy to reason about what it is doing.


In order to install this package to your Unity project, open Packages\manifest.json and add the following dependency:

"dependencies" : {
    "com.ancientlightstudios.nanoject": ""

Basic Usage

Create a dependency context, declare your dependencies and resolve the context.

// new context
var context = new DependencyContext();

// declare the objects that have dependencies
// to each other, so the dependency context
// will know what classes exist and what dependencies
// they have on each other. Declaration order does
// not matter because dependencies are resolved
// later when all objects are declared


// this will instantiate all declared dependencies
// and inject required dependencies into all objects
// using constructor injection 


How can I ...

Tell Nanoject what dependencies my class has?

You declare dependencies by putting them as constructor arguments. This allows you to see at a glance what dependencies an object has and also has the advantage that you cannot actually construct an object without supplying all of its dependencies. It also simplifies unit testing.

class MyClass {
    // MyClass needs an object of MyOtherClass to be constructed.
    public MyClass(MyOtherClass otherClass) {

Declare dependencies to/of objects where I have no control over the lifecycle?

Some objects like MonoBehaviours may be created by the runtime and you have no control over their lifecycle. I this case letting Nanoject create the object will not work. Therefore you can declare an actual instance of an object instead of just its type.

// MyOtherClass is a MonoBehaviour so grab the instance from Unity
var myOtherClassInstance = (MyOtherClass) FindObjectOfType(typeof(MyOtherClass));

// manually declare the object that was constructed elsewhere

// will inject myOtherClassInstance into a new instance of MyClass

If this object has dependencies you will need to create a late init method, because constructor injection will not work in this scenario because the object has already been created. A late init method works similar to a constructor, so you declare all dependencies as parameters of the late init method. Finally you add the [LateInit] attribute to let DependencyContext know that this object needs late initialization:

class MyOtherClass : MonoBehaviour {
    private PlayerService _playerService;
    // this method will be called when the context is resolved. You can name it
    // however you like, just be sure to add the [LateInit] attribute.
    public void MyLateInitMethod(PlayerService playerService) {
       _playerService = playerService;

If you have a lot of MonoBehaviours in your scene that you want to quickly add to a dependency context, have a look at the nanoject-unity-monobehaviours extension, which can help with this.

Avoid having to declare a bazillion objects?

There is a facility for scanning for objects. Simply put the DependencyComponent attribute on your class, to mark it as a component that should be declared automatically. Then call DeclareAnnotatedComponents which will scan the loaded assemblies for components with this attribute and declare them.

// annotate as component to be scanned
class MyClass {
    public MyClass(MyOtherClass otherClass) {

// declare all annotated instead of calling Declare a thousand times
// resolve the context

Have multiple objects of the same class?

You will need to use a qualifier to let Nanoject know which object is required.

// this is a house
class House {
    public House(string name) {

// this is a peasant, he should live in the "hut" house
class Peasant {
    public House House {get;}
    public Peasant([Qualifier("hut")] House house) {
        House = house;

// this is a king, he should live in the "palace" house.
class King {
    public House House {get;}
    public King([Qualifier("palace")] House house) {
        House = house;

var palace = new House("Palace");
// declare the palace under the "palace" qualifier
context.Declare(palace, "palace"); 

var hut = new House("hut");
// declare the hut under the "hut" qualifier
context.Declare(hut, "hut");

// now declare the peasant and the king


// now the king has the "palace" house
var thePalace = context.Get<King>().House;

// and the peasant has the "hut" house
var theHut = context.Get<Peasant>().House;

Get an object out of the dependency context?

You should avoid this if you can but especially in bootstrapping situations you sometimes need it.

// make sure the context is resolved

var myClassInstance = context.Get<MyClass>();

In addition there is also a function that lets you get all objects of a certain type.

// get all houses
var houses = context.GetAll<House>();

Don't use this facility to implement some kind of service locator pattern, this is going to bite you hard.

Resolve cyclic dependencies?

You don't. Cyclic dependencies just make things very very complicated so avoid having them.

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