How To Download And Implement Free 3D Character Animations For Your Game In Unity

Adam Reed
4 min readJun 30, 2021

If you haven't seen my previous article on downloading assets off of the Unity Asset Store, I would highly recommend you do so before continuing on…

(see link below)

Once you have a humanoid 3D character model downloaded and imported into your project you can add animations to it for FREE and with little to no effort at all!

There are a number of different sources for you to browse online for access to things like this. Unity’s asset store has all kinds of both paid and free stuff. GameDevHQ offers a nice assortment of project assets through filebase. And Adobe offers an amazing, and FREE assortment of both character models and animations for you to use while prototyping your game/project.

For today, we will be focusing on Adobe’s services through “Mixamo”.

To start, click on the link above and go to the Mixamo website. Next, create a free account and log in.

Browse through the available animations and find one that you want. I’m going to use an “Idle” animation.


You can upload your character’s model to see the animations live before downloading.

Adjust the settings to fit your needs for your character…

Then hit “Download”!

Change your “Format” to “FBX for Unity” and make sure you have “Skin” set to “With Skin”. Then hit download again!


[Side Note]

If the model you are using does not have the proper humanoid rigging, then there may be issues with using certain animations.

Drag and drop the downloaded asset into your Unity Project files “Assets” folder.

Then, you’ll need to select the “FBX” file that you just dropped in and under the “Rig” tab, change the setting to “Humanoid”.

Hit “Apply”.

Next, you’ll need to access the animation. It should be located directly within the file you just edited. Once you find it, notice that you cannot adjust any of the animations settings such as “loop time” and “cycle offset”.

Simply select the animation and type “Ctrl+D” to duplicate the animation.

The new duplicate should be fully accessible. This is the one you will be using for your character. If you are adding an animation such as “Idle” you may want to turn “Loop Time” on so as to loop the animation.

Now you will need an “Animator Controller” to trigger and play your animations. To do this, just right-click inside the project folder and select “Create>Animator Controller”

Next, you’ll need to add an “Animator” component to your character model within the “Hierarchy”. After you have that, drag and drop your “Animator Controller” into the “Controller” reference slot in the “ Animator” component.

And lastly, open up the “Animator Controller” and drag and drop your new “Idle Animation” in. Right-click on it, and select “Set As Default State”. Since this is an “Idle” animation, this will be the default state that the player will be in when nothing is happening.

For more information on using the “Animator” to trigger various animations such as running or jumping, check out my previous article!

(see link below)



Adam Reed

Hi, my name is Adam Reed and I am a software engineer specializing in Unity and C# development. Feel free to scroll through and check out some of my work!