Unreal, Unity, and Godot are the most used game engines in the market today. Unreal and Unity are also one of the oldest and have paved the way for nearly anyone with a computer to create their own games. Godot is not as old as Unreal or Unity but is catching up fast in terms of features.
Even though Godot’s user base is nowhere near Unity and Unreal, Godot is a very good choice for indie game developers who are more proficient with coding.
In this article, we will compare the features of Unity and Godot, and give you a complete picture on which game engine is better for you.
GODOT Game Engine
Godot is considered the underdog in game engines. This is because it is powerful yet open source, meaning that the developer does not have to pay anything to use the tool. Godot started as a 2D game engine and now its capable for creating AAA 3D games. With the launch of Godot 4, it has improved a lot.
Godot has a dedicated scripting language
Godot game engine comes with a uniquely written programming language called GDScript. GDScript was developed by the Godot team as a result of testing other languages and failing. GDScript came about as a result of mixing and iterating multiple programming languages such as Python and Lua. Since none of these languages worked for them in the way they wanted, they decided to merge the two. This is why GDScript is as readable as Python.
It retains some of the features of Python language such as strict typing. The language is quick to learn and this is why many developers love Godot.
GDScript also includes visual scripting. Visual scripting is important when it comes to game developers who are artist. It makes coding much more intuitive and allows the easy making of prototypes. However, it is important to note that Visual scripting tends to become more complex with large games.
Supports both 2D and 3D development
The Godot game engine provides robust support for both 2D and 3D game development, making it a versatile and powerful choice for game creators.
For 2D games, Godot offers a wide array of features and tools to facilitate the creation of compelling 2D games. It provides a user-friendly interface for creating and manipulating sprites, animations, and tilemaps, allowing developers to bring their 2D worlds to life. Additionally, Godot supports various 2D physics systems, enabling realistic object interactions and movement.
On the other hand, when it comes to 3D game development, Godot supports a variety of 3D model formats, including popular ones like OBJ and FBX, allowing developers to import and integrate 3D assets seamlessly.
The engine offers a powerful 3D editor with a wide range of features, such as a flexible node-based system for building complex scenes, a robust visual shader editor for creating stunning materials, and a fully-integrated animation system for animating characters and objects. Godot also includes a capable physics engine specifically designed for 3D games, enabling realistic physics simulations and interactions.
It is an open-source game engine
Godot is well known for being an open-source software. All its features and tools are registered under the MIT license. This means that it is free and you own everything that you create from it. Because of its open-source nature, it is very flexible.
If you are a developer and you find something that does not work for you, then you can change it. Also, you are free to create a custom game engine with Godot as the base.
Through its online community, more and more tools and features are added and availed freely to users. It, therefore, allows them to add unique elements to their games.
It is light for systems
Godot does not consume a lot of memory in the system. It also does not need installation. After you download it, all you need to do is to unzip it and get started. It is preferred by many because on top of its small file size, the engine is perfect for lower-powered systems.
Godot is difficult to learn, due to the lack of support communities. But the documentation is so well written, that you will find everything inside it.
Godot is an open source and this means that the online community is involved in documentation. With around 100k active users, Godot has one of the best manuals. As time goes by, Godot users will continue to grow and the manual will continue to get better and better.
Unity can be said to be the most used game engine in the world. It is so common that half of the world’s mobile games are created using Unity. Unity was started in Denmark but later moved to San Francisco and now has more than 2 billion end users as per Unity report 2021.
While Unity is more geared towards developers who can code, it also accommodates beginners, with its own virtual scripting tool and assets in the asset store. In fact, Unity is the most beginner friendly game engine.
Unity game engine was launched at Apple’s Developers Conference and since then, developing 2D and 3D game apps for different platforms, has been made easier. This powerful cross-platform supports 27 platforms and unique devices. Unity supports both 2D and 3D game development. Unity is free to use for every individual or company. If you’re looking to learn Unity, there are more than enough resources offered by the community.
Great tool for Indie developers
Indie game developers create innovative games and mostly work alone or as a small team. Unity is one of the best tools for this. Due to the huge amount of expertise that has gone into making Unity, it can support everyone including small budget developers.
The Unity assets store has all the resources needed to make a AAA game which would otherwise require a large team.
Unity supports development for almost all platform
Unity is loved by many game developers because it supports a lot of platforms. This means that the game can easily be shared for PC, web, mobile platforms, and game consoles. It does this with incredible ease.
The Unity engine supports Android, Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox, and Steam. It also supports web plugins which is an amazing little perk. Being cross-platform, developers can easily create games for all platforms and widen their market in this way.
Unity also supports major XR platform and is the first choice for developers when it comes to AR or VR games.
Unity has a special kit for 2D games
Although Unity is primarily considered as a 3D game development engine, it can also be used to build 2D games. From Unity 5.0, there is an inbuilt 2D engine with all the necessary tools and features needed for 2D game development.
It allows the developer to create 2D games with lots of ease and still allows multiple support on different platforms. Unity even allows the developer to use both 2D and 3D together in one game.
Supports multiplayer gaming
Due to Unity’s versatile features, creating multiplayer games has been made quite easy. Unity game engine has a package called Netcode for game objects to build multiplayer games.
Unity also has services to run multiplayer games made with Unity across the globe through their servers.
Unity is free until you make money
Unlike Godot, Unity is not open source. This is one of the main points to be considered in the Godot vs Unity comparison. Unity 3D comes with a free version for people who want to learn game development.
This free version has all the game development features of the engine, which are all meant to help amateur game developers improve their skills and make their games.
If the person or company makes over $100K in sales per year, they have to purchase the plus or pro version of the game engine. The Pro Version offers a lot more features than the free version. Some of these features include analytics, priority support, and a custom splash screen. Unity has plus and pro versions depending on the level of usage.
Unity has a rich asset store
Think of the asset store as an app store in your phone. The asset store is where all extra features, game assets, extensions and solutions regarding Unity are found. Unity has a wide variety of assets in its store, which is one of the largest for game engines.
This has helped the online Unity community which has over 2 billion active users, to assist each other with scripts and problems throughout the development process. Currently, there are over 15k asset packages in the asset store including 3D models, music, sound effects and IDE extensions.
Has an easy-to-understand IDE
Unity has a relatively easy-to-understand IDE or editor. It allows the developer to build logic around an object and set the codes simply by dragging the codes in the IDE. It also uses logical conditioning of the objects to allow quick testing, prototyping, and balancing during game development.
Unity has support for C#
When Unity game engine was launched, it came with a uniquely written programming language called Boo. Boo is now discontinued by Unity, so you have the only option of C# if you want to code. Unity also offers an option to go codeless with visual scripting.
Apart from the inbuild visual scripting tool, Unity asset store offers tons of visual scripting tools which you can use to develop simple games.
Conclusion: Godot vs Unity summarized
|Cost||Free till you earn $100000/yr with your game. You need to buy the Plus or Pro subscription based on the money you make with your games||Totally free. No royalty and no subscription. Anything you make is yours to keep and distribute.|
|Usability||Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux||Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Also has an online server version|
|Platform Supported||Can deploy build to all major platforms||Can deploy build to all major platforms|
|Games supported||Easy to use for most games. Best for 3D and 2D vector art games.||Most suitable for pixel art games. Support to 3D games not as good as other major engines. But they have improved a lot.|
|Source Code||Not available||Available for free. You can make your own custom game engine.|
|For Beginners||Easy to learn. A lot of resources and support community||Easy to learn. Not many resources and communities compared to Unity|
|Asset store||Very rich and suitable for all budgets.||Very small asset store.|
|Best course||Top Unity courses, Hire Unity tutors||Learn Godot with GDscript|
Both of these game engines are considered great. However, they both stand out in their respective fields. Unity is known for mobile game development and is rated highly in the 3D games field. This is because of its rich features, affordability, and great tools. Godot on the other hand is known for the superb workflow with nodes.
The answer to Godot vs Unity is simple. If you are looking to get a job in the gaming industry or you want to focus mainly on 3D, VR, and AR games then Unity is the best choice for you. If you want to go full indie with 2D games and are very good with codes then Godot is best. Godot 3D support may improve in the future but it might never be able to match with Unity standards.