A game engine is an architecture that game developers use to make a game. Game engines make the process of making games simple by incorporating the basic needs of game development. In simpler terms, a game engine is dedicated software for creating and designing games. Unity vs Unreal is the most searched term when it comes to game engine battles, as they are the industry standards in game development. That doesn’t mean that these two are the only game engines that you can use but these engines have evolved along with game development technology and now are the best available.
There are many game engine making companies. Different engines have different strengths and weaknesses as each of them has its own style and user base. Some are more geared toward non-programmers and beginners. Whereas, some are designed for programmers to unleash their potential.
Choosing a Game engine can be difficult for a new game developer. Without the experience of working on the game engines, it is not possible to decide that. Unity and Unreal are the two most commonly used game engines. They are both simple and have been developed with both a newbie developer and a pro in mind. Because of this, they are considered great for beginners. They are both easy to use and navigate. This makes them the top two choices for any beginner out there. The following section describes each of these game engines and some of their key features.
The most crucial requirement for a new developer is the support community and learning curve. If a game engine has a good support community, then it makes the learning more fun and interesting. Choosing an engine with steep learning curve might lead you to lose interest in game development.
We have listed some key points for Unity and Unreal engine which will help you decide which one to use. If you are totally new to game development, check out our post on How to make a game?
UNITY VS UNREAL- basic points
|COST||Free, Till your Total revenue grosses $100000 in last fiscal year||Free, Royalties applicable if product revenue crosses $3000.|
|SETUP SIZE||Component based installation, Software is only 750MB, Rest of the components can be installed as required.||6.8gb installation file. 20GB disk space after installation|
|System requirement||OS: Windows 7 SP1+, 8, 10, 64-bit versions only; macOS 10.12+ |
CPU: SSE2 instruction set support.
Memory :8GB RAM
GPU: Graphics card with DX10 (shader model 4.0) capabilities.
|OS: Windows 10 64-bit |
CPU: Quad-core Intel or AMD, 2.5 GHz or faster
Memory:8 GB RAM
GPU/DirectX Version: DirectX 11 or DirectX 12 compatible graphics card
|User Interface||Easy to navigate for beginners||Steep learning curve|
|Platforms available||IOS, Android , Windows Universal Windows Platform ,Mac ,Oculus Rift ,Steam VR PC & Mac ,PlayStation VR, Gear VR, Windows Mixed Reality ,Daydream ,Android TV , tvOS, Nintendo Switch ,Apple ARKit ,Google ARCore||Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, AR, VR, Linux, SteamOS, and HTML5.|
|Support||Well-developed documentation with a support community,Unity assets store for free game assets.||Well-developed documentation with a support community,though the support community is not as big as Unity.Unreal market place is getting better with time.|
|Tutorials||Free learning tutorial in the Unity website, lot of third-party websites available, infinite number of YouTube tutorial, special certified course by Unity.||Free learning tutorial in Unreal academy, lot of third-party websites available, infinite number of YouTube tutorial. Learn Unreal|
|For whom||Best for beginners, equally good for PRO.||Steep learning curve for beginners, really good for pro developers.|
|Download||Unity Website||Unreal website|
UNITY5 VS Unreal engine- advance points
- Both Unity and Unreal engine allow you to change the code to have a customized game engine. But you need to pay to get access to the source code in case of unity.
- If you are someone who works on more 2d games. Then unity tools are much better than Unreal engine.
- The graphics of games made with Unreal engine looks better.
- Unity asset store is a great place to get assets for your game. The Unreal marketplace is not as resourceful as Unity but they are catching up fast.
- Default project build times for Unreal are much slower than Unity.
FAQ On Unity vs Unreal engine
- Should I Learn Unity Or Unreal?
You should learn unity if you are looking for step by step instructions for developing games and need a lot of support. Unity is easier to learn compared to Unreal and the support community is too good. Also in the job environment, Unity skills are in more demand than Unreal.
Unreal is for people who want to experiment with stuff and are ready to do it alone without much support. Even unreal has improved in the area of tutorials but it is not able to match the level of Unity. Unreal is good if you want more control over your game engine but that's for advanced users.
- Which Is Easier To Learn Unity Or Unreal?
When it comes to game development, persistence is the key. No matter which game engine you select, it's how much effort you put in matters. For a beginner, Unity has a less steep curve when it comes to learning. Unity uses C# which is easier to learn and also simpler compared to Unreal which uses C++. You can check out some best courses to learn Unity and Unreal.
- Is Unreal Better Than Unity?
Both yes and no. Unreal has better graphics for 3D games and has more control for pro users. Access to source code is really a boon for advanced developers. But for hobbyists and 2D developers, Unity is better suited. Also, the royalty structure for people making money with games is better in Unity. Unity has developed a lot in the area of 3D in recent years. So, you can't choose a winner based on features.
As you can see in the basic comparison Unity is free until you make $100000/yr. After that you need to buy Pro version which costs $1800/yr. In the case of Unreal engine, you need to pay 5% royalty fee if you start making $100000/yr. Now let’s make a comparison based on income.
|Per yr Income||Gross Income (total income made till now)||Unity Cost||Unreal Cost|
If your income drops from $300000/yr to $50000/yr then, you need not renew the Unity pro subscription. In the case of Unreal engine, you need to keep paying 5% royalty after your gross income crosses $100000. That means you need to pay 5% of $50000. Unity is the clear winner in this case.
Support for 2D game development
Both Unreal Engine and Unity excel in the field of 3D game development. As per the graphics comparison done by Sykoo both are almost equal in terms of visual effects with Unreal taking the lead with better lighting.
But when it comes to 2D game development Unreal is nowhere near Unity’s capability. Unity has put in much effort to make 2D game developers feel happy. The new Unity 2D development kit is really a blessing for 2D game developers. With this kit, you can make a 2D game with zero coding skills. Unreal also has the blueprint to compete, but the learning curve of 2D game development is really steep and 2D game making is not as comfortable as Unity.
The Options available in Unity for a 2D game developer is much more than in UE. Then go with Unity.
Mobile game development Comparison
Both Unity and Unreal offer export to mobile game development. You can easily change your game platform to mobile with a click of a button. But as we all know a game build for desktop needs to be optimized for mobile or there are going to be performance issue. Also, we cannot have game with very large build size as in desktop due to the App store/Play store limitations.
This is where Unity seems to have an Upper edge with the Universal Render pipeline (URP) which allows your game graphics to be optimized for all platforms. Unreal has a lot of options to Optimize for mobile too but the ease of use that Unity’s URP has introduced is definitely an advantage. The build size of mobile games is much smaller in Unity than in Unreal.
Unless you are looking to make a high graphics game that looks stunning in mobile, Unity wins the mobile game development segment.
Final Verdict: Unity or Unreal
Whether to use the Unity 3d or Unreal Engine really depends on the developer. There are many factors that make both engines advantageous to beginners, but Unity 3D’s extensive asset store is truly more beneficial for them. However, the Unreal engine’s source code access is preferred by a lot of developers as well.
All of that said, it should be noted that both engines are always evolving and changing at a rapid pace. This can make it difficult to accurately say which one is better. If you are a beginner, then choosing Unity which is easier and has a less steeper learning curve, is the better choice.