If you’re into the gaming culture, you have probably heard the term ‘game engine’ being thrown around somewhere. A game engine is a software that provides game developers with the required set of tools to build and develop games fast and efficiently. A game engine can be thought of as a framework for game development that includes all the major areas in game development.
Godot is a new contender in the game engine world. Unreal has been around for a long time. In this post we will compare Godot vs Unreal and see why one is better than the other.
Game engines provide the developers with more time to focus on the key features and elements of the game such as character looks, facial expressions, and models and how entities and objects of the game will interact. This means that before game engines, the process of designing games was a lot more difficult.
It meant that all games would have to be made from scratch making it consume a lot more time and a whole lot expensive.
There are many games engine making companies. Different engines have different strengths and weaknesses as each of them has their own style and user. 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’s not possible to decide. Godot and Unreal are the two most commonly used game engines used in game development.
They are both simple and have been developed with a newbie developer in mind. Because of this, they are considered great for beginners. They are both easy to use and navigate through which makes them the top two choices for any beginner out there.
Godot vs Unreal key features
|Cost||Free, Royalties applicable if product revenue crosses $1M.||Totally free. No royalty and no subscription. Anything you make is yours to keep and distribute.|
|Usability||Mac or Windows with Graphics card and 8GB RAM||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||Quality is good in all game formats||Most suitable for pixel art games. Support to 3D games not as good as other major engines.|
|Source Code||Available for free||Available for free. You can make your own custom game engine.|
|For Beginners||Great support community and good documentation. Steep learning curve for beginners.||Easy to learn and small support community|
|Asset store||Unreal Marketplace is well equipped||Very small asset store.|
|Best course||Learn Unreal, Hire Unreal Engine tutor||Learn Godot with GDscript|
|Languages supported||C++, visual scripting with blueprint||C#, C++,GDscript and visual scripting|
Godot vs Unreal Detailed comparison
Advantages of Godot
It is an open-source 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 and no royalty for shipping games. Godot is geared mainly toward 2D game development. However, it supports 3D but is not the best at 3D game development and rendering.
Things have changed a lot with the release of Godot 4 and Godot 4 is now very much capable of making 3D games as good as Unreal Engine. However, Unreal engine definitely has an upper hand in terms of quality.
Godot supports all major platforms including: Windows, Linux, Mac OS, and iOS, Android, PS3, HTML5, PS Vita and even the less popular Windows Phone. With Godot, it is easy for beginners to learn and make simple games without reinventing the wheel.
GDScript is easier to learn than C++
Godot game engine comes with a uniquely written programming language called GDScript. GDScript is a very similar language to Python. Its easy to learn and understand.
GDScript also includes visual scripting. Visual scripting is important when it comes to developers who are into artsy stuff. It makes coding much more intuitive and allows easy making of prototypes. However, it is important to note that Godot’s visual scripting is not as good as Unreal.
Supports multiple programming languages
As we know by now, to use a game engine, you have to have some bit of coding knowledge. The problem comes in when you know a language that is not supported by your game engine. Godot supports C++, C# and their own GDScript.
It has a node system
To understand the node system, you have to first understand how game engines work. Game engines normally use scenes to represent a level in a game. In the scene, there are objects. These objects are what identify a scene. With Unreal Engine, the objects are called Actors and for Unity they are called GameObjects.
For Godot however, scenes have a node. Each node is a single object and can inherit from any other node. Many nodes make a scene meaning that even scenes have the inheritance property as long as they have the same root node. Nodes can be difficult to master if you have never worked with them before. However, for people used to them, it is a very intuitive and great design tool
Godot has its own IDE
Godot comes with its own IDE or text editor. You are not bound to use this editor and can use any other editor you prefer. The inbuilt editor is definitely not as cool as other third-party IDEs but is great for use in Godot.
It is light for systems
Godot does not consume a lot of memory in the system. In fact, the standard Godot is executable is just over 60MB. It also does not need installation. After you download it, all you need to do it 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 a cross platform
Godot supports all major operating systems in the world today. This list includes Windows, Mac and Linux among others. It can also be supported by either 32- or 64-bit machines which makes it every convenient for many.
Godot is 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, Godot users will continue to grow and the manual will continue to get better and better.
Disadvantages of Godot
Not very Powerful
Godot may be very capable, but it is still very far from the top game engines like Unity and Unreal. With the release of Godot 4, Godot has closed the margin by a large chunk but it still has a long way before it can compete with the likes of Unreal and Unity.
Small Asset Store
Godot’s Asset store is very small and if you are dependent on assets from asset stores then you are going to have a very tough time ahead. You might not find the asset that you are looking for. But you can use AI asset generators to help you out.
Small Support Community
No game engine can beat the support community of Unity but Godot’s community is very small when compared to Unreal Engine. You might not get an answer immediately as you do with Unity and Unreal.
Godot is not widely used. Hence if you are learning Godot to get a job in the gaming industry, then it will be very difficult for you.
Advantages of Unreal Game engine
Graphics and Rendering:
Unreal Engine is renowned for its stunning graphics and advanced rendering capabilities. It offers high-quality graphics, realistic lighting, and advanced visual effects out of the box. This makes it an excellent choice for creating AAA-quality games with stunning visuals.
Unreal Engine is optimized for performance, making it suitable for demanding projects that require smooth gameplay and high frame rates. Its C++ codebase allows for fine-tuning and optimization.
Unreal Engine has a robust marketplace for assets and plugins, which can save developers a significant amount of time. You can find a wide variety of assets, from 3D models and textures to pre-made systems and tools.
Blueprint Visual Scripting:
Unreal Engine offers a powerful visual scripting system called Blueprint, which allows designers and artists to create game logic without extensive coding knowledge. This can speed up development and facilitate collaboration between team members.
VR and AR:
Unreal Engine has strong support for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) development. It provides tools and features specifically designed for creating immersive experiences, which can be advantageous for projects in these domains.
Unreal Engine is widely used in the game development industry, making it easier to find experienced developers and resources for your project. Its popularity also means a wealth of online tutorials and community support.
Disadvantages of Unreal Engine
Unreal Engine follows a royalty-based pricing model, which means you have to pay a percentage of your game’s revenue to Epic Games once it reaches a certain threshold. In contrast, Godot is open-source and completely free.
Unreal Engine’s extensive feature set and complexity can lead to a steep learning curve, especially for beginners. Godot is known for its user-friendly and approachable interface, making it a better choice for novice developers.
Unreal Engine’s powerful graphics and rendering capabilities require more hardware resources, making it less suitable for smaller indie teams or developers with limited computing power.
While Unreal Engine offers great flexibility, making significant changes to the engine or developing custom tools can be more challenging compared to Godot, which is open-source and highly customizable.
Conclusion: Godot vs Unreal
Godot is a very good game engine with lot of features. It does lack a little on the 3D side of game development. Godot, with its open-source license is still a good option for those wanting to go completely indie. Unreal on the other hand is a much powerful game engine. You may have to pay royalty if you make money with your games. But considering the industry standards, unreal is the game engine to go for, if you are looking for a job.