On the surface, Unity and Unreal Engine sound like very similar game engines. They do have a lot of similarities, which make them two of the best game engines out there, but they also have some significant differences that may make one preferable for your needs over the other.
Unreal Engine is great for AAA game studios and offers stunning visuals and audio that no other game engine can compare to while still rendering quickly. Unity is easier to use and great for mobile games or just those getting into gaming design.
When comparing them, you may be looking for the one that clearly shines as the best. However, these two game engines are so similar that there’s no clear winner. It depends on what you want to do and what you’re looking for from your game engine. If you want to compare the two engines more, continue reading below.
Unreal Engine vs Unity Comparison Table
|C++ for development and Blueprint for coding
|C# for development and coding
|Free until you monetize your game and make over $3,000
|The basic plan is free, but there’s the plus version for $40 a month and a pro version for $150 a month
|AAA games and indie developers
|Hobbyists and indie developers
|Steep learning curve
|Advanced graphics with many settings built-in
|Standard graphics, with additional graphic settings available through plugins
|Challenges, First-Person Shooters (FPS), high-quality visuals, experience with C++
|New coders, 2D games, multiple platform releases, want experience with C#
|Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, Playstation, iOS, Switch, Xbox, Google Stadia
|Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, Playstation, iOS, Switch, and Xbox
|Multiplayer support built-in
|In development officially but many 3rd party plugins are available
|Supports advanced AI, limited VR features, 3D, and 2D
|Supports limited AI, advanced VR, 3D, and 2D
About Unreal Engine
Unreal Engine, often shortened to UE, is a video game development tool. It was made by Epic Games and is the same engine they use to make many of their games. In this one engine, you have the power to create simulations, edit sounds and videos, and render any animation to your heart’s content.
Check out this List of the Best Unreal Engine Tutorials
This game engine is often considered the most open and advanced real-time 3D tool in the world, especially when it comes to visuals and immersive experiences.
It was first released in 1998, as the game engine used to make the first-person shooter game known as Unreal, hence the name. Since then, it’s grown into a much larger and wide-range game engine that handles all sorts of games, and even experiences that aren’t games.
Unreal Engine Key Features
- Incredibly high graphic quality including shadows, textures, and lighting to produce photorealistic images and scenes
- Many features and necessary tools are available right upon startup
- Fast rendering speeds
- Uses C++ and Blueprint
- Simulations and effects for particles
- Open source
- Stunning audio with Audio Engine and MetaSounds
- Works with Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR)
Unreal Engine Use Cases
There are a lot of things you can do with Unreal Engine. Though it was originally designed for games, specifically FPS games, it’s also been used to make movies.
Thanks to its powerful features and details, you can get film-quality graphics and effects. These can be used for a game, but also for an actual movie.
With its accurate and extensive modeling, the game engine is used for other projects as well, including modeling financial data and designing important pharmaceuticals.
Want to learn the Basics of Unreal Engine? Check out this Course – Link Here
With its free and open-source code, you have the option to tailor Unreal Engine to best suit your needs until you have a system that works exactly like you need it for any development.
Unreal Engine Pros and Cons
|Is difficult to learn and use, thanks to the complex coding language used and extensive details
|Handles intensive graphics well
|Small user base makes it harder to get any help you may need
|Not as good at 2D games compared to Unity
|Advanced toolkits available for VR, AI, and 3D games
|Doesn’t work well with older software
|Big with AAA studios
Popular Games Made With Unreal Engine
Unreal Engine works with a mix of indie developers and AAA companies. It’s been used to create some popular and loved games including:
- ARK: Survival Evolved
- Mass Effect
- Batman Arkham Knight
- Black Myth: Wukong
- Sea of Thieves
- Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
- Kingdom Hearts IV
- Tetris Effect
- Yoshi’s Crafted World
Unity is a game engine created by the Unity Technologies company. It was first released in June 2005. Originally, it was created for Apple but later became available for almost every platform. It is often compared to Unreal Engine due to its capabilities in creating real-time 3D content, and interactive systems.
Check out this List of the Best Unity Tutorials
While Unity does create some amazing games, it’s also well-loved by smaller designers and beginners as it is easy to use and rather intuitive. Many people end up using some form of Unity at some point in their game design history and it has a large fan base to help out anyone that needs a question answered.
Unity Key Features
- Creates 2D and 3D games easily, with extensive 2D support
- Uses C# programming for games
- Easy to use for beginners
- Only need one click to start development across all platforms
- Simple workflow to make games quickly
- Precise control of all game features using Unity Scripting AI
- Large user base when you need help
- Extensive asset store
Unity Use Cases
Unity does best with game development. Though it can handle a wide range of different types of games, including 3D console games, it does best with 2D mobile games.
It also has a wide range of other uses outside of game development, including simulations, animation, and architecture.
Get Started with Unity Development with this course – Link Here
Unity is also highly desired by many studios thanks to its cross-platform functionality, which is unmatched even by Unreal Engine. If you want a game that will work on all different platforms, then Unity is a great option.
Unity Pros and Cons
|Almost tailor-made for mobile games.
|Most games created tend to be performance intensive and take up a lot of space
|Affordable, even the paid versions
|The asset store could be fixed up, as there’s a lack in supply in some areas like 3D assets
|Easy enough to use
|Can be used for cross-platform games
Popular Games Made With Unity
Unity has been used to make quite a few different games, most of them from indie developers. Some of the examples of the games you may know of that were made with Unity include:
- Untitled Goose Game
- Hollow Knight
- Genshin Impact
- Ori and the Blind Forest
- Beat Saber
- Fall Guys
- Pokemon Go
- Call of Duty: Mobile
Unreal Engine vs Unity: Which Is Better?
Both are great game engines and will likely stay the top game engines for years to come. Both are so good that neither one is able to completely out-compete the other.
Depending on what kind of games you want to build and whether you lean more toward a code-heavy game developer or an artist, you may also find that you prefer one over the other.
When to Use Unreal Engine?
Unreal Engine may be complex to learn, but it’s for a good reason. That complexity lends itself to better graphics and more realistic settings. Despite the detailed graphics, Unreal Engine tends to render faster than Unity, which is ideal for those with tight deadlines.
Unreal Engine is also preferred by many artists over coders. Unreal Engine was originally created for the design of FPS games. Though it has expanded its engine, it’s still an ideal game development tool for FPS.
It’s also an ideal game engine for small indie developers as it is free to use, even when monetizing, for a fair amount of money, and then Unreal only takes five percent.
Since Unreal doesn’t cost any money to use all the features, it’s widely used by those that are looking to create games as a hobby or want to get into game design but can’t afford monthly costs.
When to Use Unity?
Unity is more popular on the surface. This is likely because it is much easier to use. C# coding language is a lot more simple and intuitive than C++. Many people describe C++ as having a steep learning curve that might not be ideal for beginners.
Related Article: Singletons in Unity
Because of the ease of the coding language, many coders prefer to use Unity. Though both game engines work well with 3D and 2D games, Unity is better for 2D mobile games than Unreal is.
Additionally, though many indie game developers starting out may prefer the pricing of Unreal, bigger indie companies tend to prefer Unity’s pricing in the long run.