Unity vs. Unreal: What to Choose for Your Game?
Unity or Unreal? That’s the question! If you’ve ever wondered what the best game engine is, we invite you to figure it out with us. Let’s discover their pros and cons so it will be easier to decide which engine suits your project better.
Unity versus Unreal – this seems to be an ever-lasting battle in the game development world.
Having been the market leaders for years, these two are the main candidates for the title of the best game engine. So do they compete or co-exist peacefully?
The game development industry is booming, and it’s impossible not to notice how quickly it’s expanding. Thanks to groundbreaking technology advancements, developers can now take advantage of cutting-edge software and game engines which enable them to create fantasy worlds in video games. The immersive worlds game developers craft will get players hooked and keep them coming back for more.
Unreal is a popular choice among giant game development studios as well as indie developers. Unity is rarely picked by big studios, but is more used for smaller games, especially mobile games.
It goes without saying that when it comes to Unity vs Unreal engine, some critical differences are to be taken into account. Each engine has its specific set of features and, therefore, can perform a specific set of tasks.
Some say Unreal is better just because it’s a common choice for AAA studios. Others, however, believe that Unity is more well-rounded and, for this very reason, is a better entry into the industry.
In this article, we’ll provide you with the most comprehensive information on the Unity vs Unreal engine topic. We’ve prepared a detailed outline of the two biggest industry players so you’ll find all the answers you need.
What is Unity?
What is Unreal?
Differences Between Unreal Engine VS Unity
We should say that the capabilities of the two engines are multifold. While both engines have the ability to create a wide range of games and deploy them to various gaming platforms, each one offers a set of features that are suited to particular projects.
There are several key differences that we’re going to cover in this comparison. In the end, you’ll be able to answer the following questions yourself: is Unity better than Unreal engine for your project or vice versa? Let’s take it step by step.
As a game developer, you can’t always work with one particular game type only – you’re eager to experiment and conquer new heights! Therefore you’re more likely to opt for the flexible engine that caters to a wide range of games. Good news for you – both Unity and Unreal offer this. These are the different game types you can develop with Unreal or Unity. Take a closer look at them so it will be easier to choose the engine that suits your project best:
- 2D and 3D games. Both engines provide great capabilities to create high-quality and immersive graphics. However, Unreal is more optimal for 3D visuals. Unity lost the battle to deliver stunning visuals out of the box, but is more suitable for 2D games than unreal engine. However, if you’re making a 2d game it’s worth to consider other 2d engines as well, because both Unity and Unreal engine are mostly focused on 3d and some, even free, 2d-engines could easily beat both Unity and Unreal engine.
- VR and AR games. Both engines are capable of creating immersive worlds.
- Multiplayer. This is possible with both engines, although Unreal has integrated support and Unity doesn’t. In fact, Unity’s integrated multiplayer is abandoned but there are 3rd-party frameworks for Unity which work and save the situation for Unity, but come with additional costs.
- Mobile. Unity is considered the best solution for mobile game development. However, Unreal Engine has improved its mobile support since the release of their flagship title Fortnite on mobile devices.
The very first thing you need to know is that both engines have a visual code editor – Blueprint in Unreal Engine and Prefab in Unity. In Unity, you write code using the C# language, while in Unreal, you use C++.
When working with Unreal, users don’t require deep knowledge of codes or even a basic understanding of how to write them. Games can be developed through the tools in the integrated visual scripter called Blueprint. In other words, you can build a game using only blueprints because they are valid pieces of code. It takes just a few steps to make up nodes and connect them together to develop logic for a game. But keep in mind: the performance of blueprints is very poor and you can’t develop a complex high-performance game solely on blueprints.
Unity is more often selected by beginners as it’s easier to learn and utilize. Moreover, it features a very user-friendly interface and straightforward architecture. There are a lot of code examples in the internet and tons of plugins with sources, which can help you to learn how to code for Unity faster.
Unity or Unreal? Once you get started with game development, choosing the right engine can seem like a real challenge. You should consider all of the details in order to make the right decision.
Both engines are the two market leaders, but they’re used in different ways.
Unity is the best option for indie developers and mobile game projects.
Unreal, on the other hand, is considered to be the main player in the AAA industry.
When it comes to comprehensive learning resources, there is no winner. Unity, as well as Unreal, provide full documentation, tutorials, online courses, etc. Check out the lists of courses on Unity and Unreal that you may find useful:
- (Premium) Unity Game Development Mini-Degree
- Unity 101 – Game Development and C# Foundations
- (Premium) RPG Academy – From Zero to Creating Games
- How to Program in C# – by Brackeys
- C# Tutorial by Derek Banas
- C# Basic Series by Allan Carlos Claudino Villa
- (Premium – For Schools) Zenva Schools Unity Courses
- (Premium) Unreal Game Development Mini-Degree
- Unreal Engine 101 – 3D Game Creation
- How to Program in C++ – by The Cherno
- Beginner’s Guide to Game Development with Unreal Engine by Daniel Buckley
- Creating Games For Beginners Using UE4 by DevSquad
- (Premium – For Schools) Zenva Schools Unreal Courses
With rapidly advancing technology, game developers can enjoy numerous perks, like the easily accessed ability to download assets for a game. Luckily both engines offer asset stores that allow users to download free and paid props, shading, textures, and many more. However, if comparing Unity engine vs Unreal engine, the Unity asset store takes the main prize since the number of assets you can download is matchless. Unreal Engine assets, however, are more oriented toward finished game productions. Many of them were previously used in AAA games; therefore, they provide a higher visual quality.
Unreal Engine itself is free, but after your game is launched, UE is entitled to a 5% royalty fee on all game sales. Unity is also free, yet it offers a paid version called Unity Pro with a broader pool of advanced features.
Unreal uses C++, whereas Unity goes with C#. C# often provides faster compile and iteration times. Still, there is no perfect solution for everyone. The best scripting language for your project is one that you’re used to unless you don’t mind challenges.
Unreal is the unconditional leader in terms of superb graphics production. The engine has ready-to-use tools that can be easily customized. Game artists can enjoy volumetric lights, post-processing, lens flares, accurate lighting, and shadows with a smooth falloff and a complete aesthetic.
Unity doesn’t fall much behind Unreal. It’s also possible to achieve AAA-quality results, but it might take a bit longer. Unity still lacks the shading details. Although Unity supports normal maps, occlusion maps, base textures, and other standard shading features, it lacks the advanced material editor found in Unreal engine.
Easier to Use
Let’s talk about usability – which is better: Unity or Unreal? A majority of game developers all over the globe consider Unity to be a winner in terms of ease of use. The easy-to-learn and write C# coding language and the overall workspace layout make the difference. Unity is much simpler to “dive into” as compared to Unreal Engine, which requires stronger skills and broader experience.
Documentation & Training
Both Unity and Unreal have all-encompassing documentation on how to work with the engines, and with XR development in particular. But regular external training is still essential.
Talking about quality training courses that add up to the real educational value, Unity developers are lucky to have a wider pool of options. Just for you to compare: the Udemy education platform offers around 2,200 courses for Unreal Development, while there are 5,500 courses focused on Unity.
Business and enterprise-oriented courses also tend to utilize the Unity3D environment as it provides a well-developed infrastructure and a lower entry point for beginners.
The Development Process
Both engines allow for advanced game and app development and even share many similarities, yet each platform has its distinctive features, too. Let’s cover the most significant ones to decide which meets your project’s requirements.
If choosing the most significant difference between Unity and Unreal, we would name the different programming languages the platforms use.
Unity developers can use several languages, but C# is the primary one.
Unreal Engine, on the other hand, provides a choice between C++ programming and Blueprint visual scripting.
Debating whether C++ is better than C# or vice versa makes no sense. The choice should depend on the project’s specifics as well as the developers’ skills and experience. Needless to say that C# may be a bit easier for newcomers as C# code is simpler.
One more fact for you to consider: Unreal Engine is capable of creating big code chunks automatically. However, they may seem a little complicated if you’re just learning development. Learning Blueprints isn’t that difficult, even for new developers. But to get the most out of UE it’s still recommended to learn C++ and combine Blueprint-based solutions with code.
Unreal or Unity – the choice depends on an extensive set of factors. As the two engines utilize different programming languages, you should take your team’s expertise into account to make sure they’ll be able to work with the chosen platform.
Unreal Engine uses C++, and Unity comes with C#.
C# is considered to be more appropriate for game development as compared to C++. Additionally, C# may be an optimal solution for beginners as the language is easier to learn and work with. Well, C# brings some cool benefits. 90% of VR/AR development companies are using C#. Therefore the development community is rewarded with its largely documented code-base and a huge amount of tested solutions.
Unity vs. Unreal Engine communities is another topic for hot discussions. It goes without saying the two industry leaders have vast and active communities. Although Unity has a much larger community with about 238K members, Unreal Engine’s community which is made up of 111K followers, is growing rapidly and is expected to outpace the number of Unity supporters.
Rendering can optimize post-processing game development, so it’s worth considerable attention when selecting a gaming engine. Having compared the quality and speed of rendering, we can conclude that Unreal Engine is the winner in this category due to the industry-leading rendering speeds and exceptional quality of the rendered graphics.
To provide an accurate and comprehensive comparison of the performance of the two engines, you need to take a lot of variables into account: the quality of textures, the number of objects in the games, the in-game world scale, and so on.
Unity increases its execution time, whereas Unreal Engine does not.
The distributed compilation is another distinctive feature to highlight. Incredibuild makes Unreal Engine even better by speeding up its code builds and shader compilations. There is no such integration with Unity, so it makes UE the winner again.
Comparison Table – Unity vs. Unreal
|Mobile and video games
|Rich asset store, easier to dive into, better community support
|High performance, industry-leading rendering, higher graphics quality support
Popular Games Made In Unity
Many high-quality games available worldwide have been developed using the popular game development platform Unity. In this article, you can take a quick look at some of the highly-rated and compelling games created with Unity.
Kerbal Space Program
This is a popular simulation game developed by Squad and released in 2015. The game puts players in charge of the space program for the alien race known as the Kerbals. Players get access to an array of parts to assemble fully-functional spacecraft that can fly based on realistic aerodynamic and orbital physics. The players’ objective is to explore and conquer space by designing, building, and launching spacecraft that can safely carry Kerbals.
Praey For The Gods
This is an extreme adventure in a totemic universe where players are sent to the edge of a dying frozen land to explore and solve the secrets of a never-ending winter and defeat the enormous beasts that defend the territory.
In this game, players are challenged to deck out their Ranger squad with devastating weaponry, test the limits of their strategy skills, and bring justice to the Wasteland! The choices are yours, yet so are the consequences.
Temple Run Trilogy
The trilogy consists of fairly absorbing games with smooth and fluid gameplay. Why not take part in a marathon? Players can break it down into as many goes as they choose or do it all in one go – it’s completely up to them. They can also run, walk, cycle, or swim from the big monster.
Popular Games Made In Unreal Engine
Fortnite is an online video game developed by Epic Games and distributed as three different game modes using the same engine, so each one has similar graphics, art assets, and game mechanics. Players can use their pickaxe to knock down existing structures on the map to collect basic resources to build fortifications, such as walls, floors, and stairs.
Life is Strange
Life is Strange is an award-winning and critically acclaimed five-part episodic adventure game that allows the player to rewind time and affect the past, present, and future.
Play as one of four new vault hunters facing off against a massive new world of creatures, psychos, and the evil mastermind, Handsome Jack. Armed with a bazillion weapons, players can fight in a 4-player co-op on a relentless quest for revenge and redemption across the undiscovered and unpredictable living planet.
The year is 2052, and the world is a dangerous and chaotic place. Terrorists operate openly – killing thousands; drugs, disease, and pollution kill even more. The world’s economies are close to collapse, and the gap between the insanely wealthy and the desperately poor grows ever wider. An elite covert agent, Adam Jensen, armed with an arsenal of state-of-the-art weapons and augmentations, must unravel a vast worldwide conspiracy in the action role-playing game.
Unity vs. Unreal Pros & Cons
Even though Unity and Unreal are the game engine market’s biggest players offering a good deal of advantages, you should be aware of the drawbacks, too. Consider this: bonuses come along with challenges. It may not be critical, but before making a decision, you should gather as much information as possible and know about all of the pitfalls. We’ve done it for you. Here are the main Unreal Engine vs Unity pros and cons for you to get familiar with.
Pros of Unity Game Engine
- Advanced cross-platform interoperability allows for games to be launched on all significant mobile, VR, desktop, console, and TV platforms, besides the Web.
- Perfect for mobile and small game development.
- Fast and efficient development of mobile VR.
- A large asset store and various plugins are available, which opens up different game monetization infrastructures.
- Its programming language is C# which is easier to learn and use than C++.
- Better engine design usability and convenient launch process.
Cons of Unity Game Engine
- In terms of visual quality, Unity loses to Unreal Engine.
- The source code is only given out under certain conditions, and users still have to pay for it.
- Longer rendering time. And if modifications are required, developers have to start over again.
Pros of Unreal Engine
- UE is the perfect solution for developing first-rate AAA titles with considerable budgets.
- The engine provides blueprints that function as building blocks. This makes the platform easy to use, even for developers with little programming skills. Additionally, UE is good for prototyping.
- The game engine is open-source.
- Superior rendering technique.
- Quick post-processing due to the numerous features the engine supports.
Cons of Unreal Engine
- Due to the licensing arrangement, you need to pay a 5% royalty if money is generated with your product.
- Simple and small asset catalog.
- Unreal is perfect for large projects, while using it for small game development is rather pointless.
- Only a few Unreal specialties.
What Unity and Unreal Gaming development services does Moonmana provide?
Moonmana offers wide-ranging game development services. We’re able to step in and complete any game project, whether large or small; our company develops superior games from scratch and provides seasoned and experienced outsourcing specialists to scale up your core team and help you reach your objectives faster.
Check out our Unity and Unreal Gaming development services:
Unreal game development
Our team can do full-cycle, customer-driven, Unreal game development. Do you have an interesting idea? Our talented developers, designers, and artists will turn it into reality. We know how to create highly-rated games that appeal to the widest audience possible.
Unity game development
We provide 2D and 3D Unity game solutions in the creation of games from scratch, delivering game development services at a completely new level.
Either 2D or 3D, we can create an eye-catching and immersive gaming experience that will definitely turn random players into true fans.
We make the best out of cutting-edge technologies and apply a creative approach and out-of-the-box vision to deliver games with high-quality and aesthetic visuals.
Game design for mobile, web, console, or PC
We help our clients to reach as high as possible and expand their audience with cross-platform game development services. Do you want your game to be available across multiple platforms? No problem! We can do that. Moonmana develops games that provide unforgettable experiences on any PC configuration, console, mobile device, or in a web browser.
Let us create advanced visuals for your 3D game with Unity! The game engine’s capabilities, combined with our experts’ strong skills and creativity, will result in breathtaking 3D characters, objects, and environments.
Immersion is essential to every excellent game, and a 3D visualization is a terrific approach to creating engaging content. It enables developers to produce detailed visuals and textures, making the game look and feel more realistic.
What is the best way to reach a higher audience among players when a game is already launched? Game porting is the optimal solution. And we can assist you with it! At Moonmana, we also offer game porting services. We can port Unity or Unreal Engine games from/to consoles, mobile, and PC. Realize your project’s true potential!
Unity vs. Unreal, What's The Better Game Engine In 2023?
When choosing a game engine, consider your project’s specifications. Most coders prefer Unity, while many artists like Unreal more as it allows for the creation of excellent visuals. Unity vs. Unreal 2023 – it mostly depends on your ultimate goal and your project’s size. Unreal is a better solution for big games, and Unity is more popular among indie developers.
What Are The Pros Of The Unity Game Engine?
As a simple-to-learn and utilize engine, Unity is a good choice for beginners. Its programming language is C# which is easy to master. Unity also enables quick prototyping. Last but not least – the game engine is available for free.
What Are The Pros Of The Unreal Game Engine?
Even though it’s a little more complex, Unreal provides better graphic quality and fast production of highly realistic, striking visuals. Unreal is generally chosen for the creation of unbelievable triple-A games with photorealistic quality.
Can I use UE assets in Unity?
As a general rule, you can use UE assets within the Unity software. But bear in mind that you can’t use these assets directly in Unity without first converting them to a format that Unity can understand.
Why is Unity becoming more popular than Unreal?
There are several good reasons for the rapidly growing popularity of Unity. The first one is ease of use. It’s a versatile software that developers with varying skills can make games with. Besides, we cannot ignore the trend of indie games with great stories and gameplay that win the attention and hearts of thousands of gamers. And as you remember, Unity is the perfect game engine for indie game development.
Unity game engine vs Unreal? It seems to be an eternal topic for discussion. And there’s no hard and fast answer to this question. Well, unless there’s context. What we mean is that the choice depends on numerous critical factors, such as the project’s scope, budget, requirements, expectations, game type, target platforms, etc. You need to take all of these and more into account before you decide on what you will use – Unreal or Unity.
These are the basic recommendations, but you shouldn’t only rely on them.
- If you’re a beginner developer – go with Unity.
- If your goal is achieving groundbreaking and extremely realistic visuals – go with Unreal.
To conclude, we want to say that the “Unreal engine vs Unity” question is technically left unanswered. There’s no best one as such. There’s only the best one for you and your project. It’s a matter of picking what suits your genre, platform, and style as well as matches your general requirements.
If you find it difficult to make the right decision – reach out to us, and we will help you out! Our specialists will offer an efficient solution as per your needs and develop a top-notch game – either with Unity or Unreal.