Unity vs Unreal Engine: Which One is Best For Your Game?
The world evolves with time. Oh, how cliche this line is! However, the cliche no longer applies to the technologies. They are so up-to-date that they can just make anything realistic by putting in heavy designs and graphics (heavier than Thor’s hammer)—specifically, these two popular gaming engines, Unreal and Unity.
If we speak of choosing between any of these two, then that is dependent on a variety of things. Fortunately, we’re here to clarify the differences and serve as a guide for each, leaving it up to you to determine which engine fits your project best.
What is Unity Game Engine?
Unity is a cross-platform game engine developed by Unity Technologies that was announced and distributed in 2005 at Apple Inc.’s Worldwide Developer Conference.
Many users choose the Unity game engine because it allows them to develop and play games in 2D, 3D, and virtual reality. Other sectors that gaming utilizes it, including architecture, engineering, cinema, automotive, and construction. In 2021, Unity was the choice of 61% of developers.
Pros of Unity Game Engine
Unity is a free and simple-to-use program, but there is a lot more than this. Let’s explore some more of its pros!!
Unity Engine currently includes two types of visual pipelines: built-in and scriptable render pipelines. Unity’s old rendering method is the built-in render pipeline. It is nothing exceptional other than the fact that it has been around for a very long time.
SRP, on the other hand, is a relatively recent technology. The key advantages are modularity, customization, and improved performance. The C# script is used to customise the render loop.
As of now, there are two default SRP implementation options: Universal Render Pipeline and High Definition Render Pipeline.
URP focuses on high performance and device mobility. This is the ideal option for games that target a small number of devices or require less power.
HDRP, on the other hand, is aimed at high-performance devices. This pipeline provides the best detalization and supports high-performance graphics effects.
URP and HDRP both provide a diverse set of rendering post-processing technologies.
SPR, on the other hand, is not confined to URP and HDRP. Custom pipelines might be built if necessary, or any of the existing ones could be changed to meet specific requirements.
The unity team works hard to make unity useful for individuals with little programming abilities or none at all. Visual scripting is one such capability. This functionality allows you to create login and scripts without having to write any code.
Nodes are combined to form scripts. One disadvantage of this feature is that it performs worse than C#; however, this is improving, and a new visual scripting execution engine is planned, that will make visual scripts execute virtually identically to C# scripts.
.Net Compatibility C#
The major scripting language in Unity Engine is C#. This language offers a wonderful community, a low entry level, and a gentle learning curve. However, it is rather rigid and has many strong capabilities for writing reliable and successful code.
All of this makes it ideal for both novice and experienced programmers. There are many C# IDEs with excellent Unity compatibility, such as Visual Studio, Visual Studio for Mac, and Rider.
To run all of your scripts, Unity employs a slightly modified version of the Mono runtime. The most recent Unity release provides programmers with access to .NET Standard 2.1 capabilities and APIs.
Assets Store and Package Manager
Assets Store is a platform that allows developers to share their assets or libraries. They might do it for free or at a cost. Some games might be built from the ground up, utilizing solely Asset Store components. All assets from the asset store are transferred into the project and may be customised as needed.
A package manager is a distinct tool for sharing and reusing code since it works in a different way. The fundamental idea behind package management is to insert a package from another source into your project without directly copying it into it. There are several sources:
- Any git repository, for example, GitHub or GitLab. Many developers offer their libraries in this manner since it is the simplest and does not necessitate many formalities.
- Upm repository that is self-hosted. Some businesses established their own repository for bespoke tools that could be shared. There is also an open-source free repository openupm, where many developers share their libraries.
- The default UPM repository in Unity. This repository contains certain Unity plugins that are not by default included in the project.
- Archive that too specially packaged.
What is Unreal Engine?
The Unreal Engine was initially released in 1998. It was created by Tim Sweeney and the Epic Games team. It provides access to a variety of games during the course of these twenty years. This engine has powered games such as the original Deus Ex, Splinter Cell, and the Unreal Tournament Series.
In terms of accessibility, while Unity is more accessible (a beginner’s engine), Unreal’s blueprints make it easier to code. Unreal, on the other hand, is more sophisticated; the architecture is different, and C++, well… it’s C++, not the easiest programming language on the planet.
Pros of Unreal Engine
Unreal is more sophisticated than Unity, but it offers superior graphic quality and generates more realistic, stunning graphics faster. However, there is a lot in the bag of Pros of Unreal Engine.
The Unreal Engine’s best feature is that it is free and open-source software (FOSS). Developers may quickly have access to the engine source code by just joining up. The Unreal Engine facilitates developers’ contributions to the engine. This allows developers to freely edit and share the source code with other engine licensees.
The visual impression of pictures is an important consideration while using the Unreal engine. The game developer may interest consumers by using realistic graphics and effects. Using this technology, developers may relate their game pictures as if they were recorded in real life.
This is why games created using the Unreal engine are in great demand in the market. Thus, Unreal Engine redefines game production in order to create photorealistic games for customers.
Unreal Engine Marketplace has strict criteria for developers to follow in order to ensure the quality of accessible content is not compromised. This game engine gives you access to a large range of pre-existing assets on the market. To generate photo-realistic rendering graphics for the game, it is more effective to use pre-made materials.
Friendliness to External Software
The Unreal Engine is industry-compliant with a wide range of external software. As a result, developers may create more familiar game apps. Aside from that, the Unreal Engine supports standard file formats as well as a direct interface with some other software.
Differences Between Unity and Unreal Game Engine
|Developed By||Unity Technologies||Epic Games|
|Popular Games||Pokémon GO, Monument Valley, The Fall Guys||Fortnite, Street Fighter 5, Sea Of Thieves|
|Graphics||Good quality||AAA quality|
|Target Audience||Generally indies, coders||Artists, indies, AAA game studios|
|Coding||C#, Bolt, Prefab||Blueprints, C++|
|Community||317k members on the subreddit||196k members on the subreddit|
|Learning Curve||Easy and fun to learn||Hard to learn|
|Performance||Unlike Unreal Engine, it does not scale well.||Has distributed execution support|
|Unique Features||Rich 2D support||AI, network support|
Now, let’s take a deeper look at some factors to decide the winner of the game engine battle between Unity and Unreal Engine:
Unity vs Unreal Engine: Graphics
Unreal Engine 4 allows you to create better graphics much faster. Many visual tools (such as volumetric fog and post-processing) are accessible out of the box in Unreal Engine 4, whereas they are free components that must be installed separately in Unity.
Material Editor and other tools in Unreal Engine are useful and on par with node editors in 3D modeling applications like Maya and Blender. In terms of richness, the Unity Material Editor API is not quite there yet.
Unity vs Unreal Engine: Target Audience
When it comes to AAA studios, Unreal is far more scalable than Unity, in addition to the graphic quality. Big environments and large projects, which are typical of AAA games, are a bottleneck for Unity.
Another reason why large developers use UE4 is that it is open-source. You can add to the engine to improve the implementation of desired features, or you can entirely deviate from it. Dice accomplished something similar with Unreal Engine 3.5 in Star Wars Battlefront.
Unity vs Unreal Engine: Special Features
The Behavior Tree concept in UE4 may provide astonishing effects. It allows you to easily design complicated situations using the Blackboard and Behavior Tree editors.
Another option is 2D. If you wish to create a 2D game, several developers recommend Unity. Sprite editors, animation tools, and so on make life much simpler while designing a 2D platform. However, Unreal includes the Paper2D plugin, which is worth considering.
Unity vs Unreal Engine: Coding
Both engines have this kind of visual code editor (Prefab in Unity and Blueprint in Unreal engine). They are different though: Unreal’s Blueprint is a piece of code compiled by UE4 codegen to produce a valid C++ class.
Unity’s Prefab is one of the UI tools, that helps you link different scripts together. In UE4 you could create a game using only blueprints because they are valid pieces of code. Then there is this new thing called Bolt – similar to Prefab on steroids.
It turned out so well that Unity included it in all versions for free. Unlike Unreal where blueprints are valid generated C++ classes.
Unity vs Unreal Engine: Community
Both engines have a strong presence in the game development community, thus it’s no surprise that they have enormous communities. Let’s check how many people follow the subreddits:
The Unity subreddit has 317K subscribers, whereas the Unreal Engine subreddit has 196K. These figures don’t indicate much. But it’s still a fair comparison: twice as many individuals in the Unity community implies twice as many questions and, more crucially, twice as many answers. And, of course, a more extensive information base.
Unity vs Unreal Engine: Pricing
Notably, Unity is free, and the quality it provides for free will surprise you. However, you must pay for the Unity Pro version. Their membership’s monthly plan may charge you $75.
Similarly, you would not believe that the Unreal Engine is free. The best thing is that schools get it for free in order to encourage computer software producers. This will serve to introduce students to the field of game creation, which will be beneficial to the industry’s future.
Unity vs Unreal Engine: Performance
Unreal Engine optimizes draw calls, and when a game world grows, this optimization becomes visible: Unity increases execution time continuously and proportionally, but Unreal Engine does not. Its performance dominancy hits as the game scene complexity increases.
Unity vs Unreal Engine: So Much to Learn, So Much To Develop
Unity offers a comprehensive array of learning tools. These documentations are jam-packed with detailed descriptions, illustrations, video and text lessons, and live training sessions.
Blueprint visual scripting is included in Unreal Engine 4. Non-programmers and designers may use these tools to build games without writing a single line of code. They have a more visible game logic production process, with flowcharts with links between them illustrating the program flow.
Unity is often regarded as the more intuitive and simple-to-use game engine. Unreal Engine has a simple user interface that allows you to get up and run quickly. With this, we can state that Unity and Unreal are on par in terms of usability.
Must-Answer Questions on Choosing the Game Engine
- What type of game do you want to make: mobile, web, or console; multiplayer, 2D, 3D, and so on?
- Which platforms do you intend to make it available on?
- How do you intend to monetize your game?
- How much time do you have to devote to game development?
- How essential are an engine’s graphics capabilities to you?
When it comes to the number of platforms supported, Unity comes out on top. Here is a list of platforms provided by Unity and Unreal.
|VR||Available||Available (also HoloLens)|
|Mac OS X||Available||Available|
|Xbox One||Available||Available (also Xbox 360)|
|Windows Phone 8||Not Available||Available|
|Android TV and Samsung Smart TV||Not Available||Available|
|Web Player||Not Available||Available|
|PlayStation Vita||Not Available||Available|
The Battle of Unity and Unreal Engine from Development POV
Though the two engines allow you to achieve most of the same things on a large scale, there are some key variations when it comes to development. The following are some of the quirks you or your team may encounter during the process:
Both engines allow immersive apps based on VR/MR/XR technologies, while Unity is ideal for developing and experimenting with functionality. The same is true for the evolution of the Unity metaverse.
This is the preferred option for immersive materials with a high degree of detail. It also lowers the barrier of entry into immersive creation with its Blueprints approach.
Because Unity was designed with mobile apps in mind, development for these devices is extremely efficient for both 2D and 3D projects. The majority of the improvements are intended for modest and independent games with low processing requirements.
Although using UE’s excellent graphic capabilities is overkill for most mobile apps, UE optimization for high-processing apps makes it more acceptable for AAA games and those aimed toward high-end devices.
The most basic plan (Personal) is free to use, while more extensive and business-oriented options cost $399 per account or more a year.
This tool is free to use, but there is a royalty mechanism in place that kicks in as soon as an app is monetized, giving the firm (Epic Games) 5% of revenues.
Why Lock Unity as Your Game Engine in 2024?
- The engine is constantly evolving and adding new features with each version.
- A wide range of platforms is supported, from the web and mobile devices to high-end PCs and consoles.
- A big name in the game engine world.
- There are several ready-to-use solutions and assets.
- Integration with the.NET world.
- Ease of extensibility.
Why Lock Unreal as Your Game Engine in 2024?
- Dedicated to providing the finest possible graphic quality.
- Unreal Plus enables users to change shaders without the need for coding.
- Post-processing is lightning quick.
- The source code is available to all user groups.
Final Countdown: Unity or Unreal?
According to the above discussion, Unreal and Unity both are the best gaming engines. But, in truth, it all comes down to the game creator. Choosing the correct engine is highly dependent on the sort of game you want to make, your target audience, and your choice of programming language.
Both of these engines are rapidly evolving and changing, and it is up to the developers to pick where they want to go. Whether it is Unity or Unreal, if you need the help of experts who would help you in making it big and best then you must contact the best game development company.
FAQs on Unity vs Unreal Engine
It is determined by your employment, your goal, and your purpose. The majority of developers favor Unity, whereas the majority of artists prefer Unreal. Unreal produces superior images in general and is recognized as the big engine of big studios. However, Unity is more popular among independent developers.
In terms of the tools and the learning curve, Unity is simpler to get started with. It’s significantly easier to understand because it has fewer systems and functionality than Unreal Engine. It goes without saying that it makes it more difficult for non-programmers to script anything.
Unity natively supports the C# programming language. C# is a programming language that is a bit like Java and C++.