Unity 2021 vs Unreal engine 5 for Beginners

Choosing a Game engine can be difficult for a new game developer. Without the experience of working on one, 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 and Pro developers. They are both easy to use and navigate. This makes them the top two choices for any beginner out there.

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 lead you to lose interest in development.

Unity vs Unreal

UNITY VS UNREAL- Basic Comparison

We have listed some key points for Unity vs 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?

Features UNITY 2021 UNREAL ENGINE 5
COSTFree, 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
Works offline YESYES
Programming Language C#C++
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 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
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 in the Unity website, lot of third-party websites available, infinite number of YouTube tutorials, special certified course by Unity. Free learning tutorial in Unreal academy, lot of third-party websites available, infinite number of YouTube tutorials. Learn Unreal.
For whom Best for beginners, equally good for PRO. Steep learning curve for beginners, really good for pro developers.
DownloadUnity WebsiteUnreal website
TutorsUnity tutorUnreal Engine Tutor
New customer offer! Top courses from $10.99 when you first visit Udemy

UNITY 2021 VS Unreal engine 5- advance points

  1. 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.
  2. If you are someone who works on more 2d games. Then unity tools are much better than Unreal engine.
  3. The graphics of games made with Unreal engine look better.
  4. 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.
  5. Default project build times for Unreal are much slower than Unity.

Graphics comparison

There are 7 clips in the video below to show case the graphics power of Unity and Unreal.

Free Unity asset banner

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

Price Comparison

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. 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. IncomeGross Income (total income made till now)Unity CostUnreal Cost
<100000<100000FreeFree
<100000150000Free$7500
150000300000$399/yr.$15000
300000500000$1800/yr.$25000

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 the $50000. Unity is the clear winner in this case.

Support for 2D game design

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 curve 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.

Mobile game development

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 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 segment.

3D modelling in Unity and Unreal Engine

Well, it’s not fair to compare a game 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 ability

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.

Cross Platform Support

Both Epic games Unreal engine and Unity support cross platform game publishing. Unity had an upper hand before the release of Unreal engine 5.

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.

Support for Virtual reality and Augmented reality

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 VR 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.

FAQ On Unity vs Unreal engine

  1. 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.

  2. Which Is Easier to Learn Unity or Unreal?

    When it comes to 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 of the best courses to learn Unity and Unreal.

  3. 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.

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 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.

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