Choosing a Game engine can be difficult for a new game developer. Without the experience of working on one, it is impossible to decide that. Unity game engine and Epic games Unreal Engine are the two most commonly used game engines in the gaming industry. They are both simple and have been developed with all levels of developers in mind. Because of this, they are considered great for beginners and Pro developers. They are both easy to use and navigate. This makes them the best game engines for any beginner game developer.
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 a steep learning curve might make you lose interest in development.
UNITY VS UNREAL- Basic Comparison
|Features||UNITY 2021||UNREAL ENGINE 5|
|COST||Free, Till your Total revenue grosses $100000 in last fiscal year||Free, Royalties applicable if product revenue crosses $1M.|
|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||A bit complicated for new users|
|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, Switch, Apple ARKit, Google ARCore||IOS, Android, Windows Universal Windows Platform, Mac, Oculus Rift, Steam VR PC & Mac, PlayStation VR, Gear VR, Windows Mixed Reality, Daydream, Android TV, tvOS, Switch, Apple ARKit, Google ARCore|
|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. The unreal market place is getting better with time.|
|Tutorials||Free learning tutorial on the Unity website, lots of third-party online courses, infinite number of YouTube tutorials, special certified course by Unity. You can also learn Unity from our Website.||Free learning tutorial in Unreal academy, lot of third-party online courses, infinite number of YouTube channels. 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|
|Tutors||Unity tutor||Unreal Engine Tutor|
Unity 2021 VS Unreal engine 5- 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 game engine.
- If you are someone who works on more 2d games. Then Unity tools are much better than Unreal engine.
- The visual quality of video games made with Unreal engine look better. Check out this breathtaking graphics in one of the indie games called Unrecord.
- 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.
- Unity has more market share compared to Unreal. You can read more about it on our blog post on best game engine for beginners.
- Unreal Nanites, Which is a feature in the latest version Unreal 5.2, allows the game engine to generate LODs automatically and there by improving the performance.
There are 7 clips in the video below to show case the graphics power of Unity vs Unreal.
1). ArchVizPro Vol. 8-Unity
2). Realistic Bodrum House-Unreal Engine
3). Inirror Office ArchViz-Unity
4). Virtual Production Studio –Unity
5). R2 House Pack-Unreal Engine
6). ArchVizPro Vol. 6- Unity
7). Smart ArchViz Interior- Unreal Engine
Both engines offer free version with complete features. As you can see from the basic comparison Unity is Completely free until you make $100000/yr. After that you need to buy the Pro version which costs $1800/yr. You can read our post on “How much does Unity game engine cost?” for more details. Epic games updated their royalty terms for Unreal Engine and now you need to pay 5% of a project income if you make more than 1M USD from that project. This new term is also effective for Unreal Engine 4. If you have two projects that have made 600k USD then you don’t need to pay the royalty. Now let’s make a comparison based on income.
|Per yr. Income||Gross Income per project||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 $1M. Unreal is best if you have a video game that makes decent amount of money but the cost goes up as you earn money over 1M. If you think you video game revenue will cross 1M USD then it’s better to go with Unity.
Which is better for 2D game development? Unity vs Unreal engine?
Both Unreal Engine and Unity excel in the field of 3D game development. Based on the graphics comparison video above, both are almost equal in terms of visual effects, with Unreal taking the lead with better lighting.
But when it comes to 2D game design Unreal is nowhere near Unity’s capability. Unity has put in much effort to make 2D game designers 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 of 2D game design is really steep and 2D game making is not as comfortable as Unity.
The Options available in Unity for a 2D game designer is much more than in UE. Then go with Unity.
Unity vs Unreal for mobile games
Both Unity and Unreal offer export to mobile platforms. You can easily change your game platform to mobile with a click of a button. But as we all know a game built for desktop needs to be optimized for mobile or there are going to be performance issues. Also, we cannot have games 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 different platforms. Unreal has a lot of options to Optimize for mobile devices too but the ease of use that Unity’s URP has introduced is definitely an advantage. The build size of mobile platforms 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 segment.
3D modelling in Unity vs Unreal Engine
Well, it’s not fair to compare a gaming engine to a 3D modelling software. It’s recommended to use 3D modelling software like Blender rather than using Unity or Unreal for modelling from scratch.
Unity has support for Pro builder which covers all the basic 3D modelling requirements. Similarly Unreal engine has a 3D model mode. With Unreal engine 5 the 3D modelling capabilities have gone up a notch but they haven’t matched Pro builder.
Visual Scripting tool in Unreal Engine vs Unity
Not everyone can code as good as a professional coder. Especially artists who want to create a game find it easier to work with visual scripting tools. Unreal engine comes with a feature called Blueprint for visual coding. Earlier versions of Unity didn’t have this feature. You had to buy a plugin to use visual scripting. Unity acquired Bolt and Unity 2020 or later has a package inbuild and is as good as Unreal’s Blueprint. You can check out our making an endless runner game with visual scripting for more details.
Cross Platform Support
Both Epic games’ Unreal engine and Unity Technologies’ Unity Engine support cross platform game publishing. Unity had an upper hand before the release of Unreal engine 5, but now both support all major platforms.
Unreal Engine 5 enables you to deploy projects to Windows PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia, macOS, iOS, Android, ARKit, ARCore, OpenXR, SteamVR, Oculus, Linux.
Unity enables you to deploy projects to Windows PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia, macOS, iOS, Android, ARKit, ARCore, OpenXR, SteamVR, Oculus, Linux.
Unity or Unreal for XR game Development
Both Unity and Unreal engine provide a unified platform to work with Augmented reality. You can write your code once and publish your AR app to both Android and IOS.
When it comes to Virtual Reality the technology is device specific. Every VR device uses different types of inputs and the hardware is still evolving. Both Unity and Unreal require you to decide on the target device before proceeding with the development.
Both Unity and Unreal support all major XR devices.
Which is easier to learn for beginners? Unity or Unreal?
If you are someone with a programming background and you already know C++ then Unreal will be easier to learn. In all other cases Unity has an easier learning path. As a beginner I would always choose Unity over Unreal.
Which is more popular Unity vs Unreal?
Unity wins this segment. Its reported that more than 60% of new mobile games published are made with Unity. The main reason for Unity’s popularity is the community and help available when someone is facing a problem. Also, the Unity asset store is the largest asset store of game assets that you can find.
Popular games made with Unity and Unreal
|Unity Game Engine||Unreal Engine|
|Cup Head||Tomb Raider|
|Pokemon Go||The Witcher|
|Pillars Of Eternity||Redfall|
Final Verdict: Unity vs Unreal
Whether to use 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 indie 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 an easier learning curve, is the better choice.