One of the most common debates in game development is choosing between Unreal Engine and Unity. There are other engines, but none are as popular as these two. It’s like choosing between Microsoft and Apple or PlayStation and Nintendo. You’ll always find supporters of both options.
Mastering one of the two has become essential for getting a job in the video games industry. Choosing between Unity or Unreal can be difficult, but it all boils down to your needs and experience level. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at both engines to help you make an informed decision.
What is Unity?
Unity is a game engine available on Windows, Mac, and Linux. It was launched in May 2005 and is cross-platform, allowing you to create projects for computers, mobile devices, consoles, and virtual reality platforms.
It works for both 3D and 2D games. You can download it for free and it’s one of the most accessible and popular engines on the market. Some of the best Unity games are Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, Cuphead, and Pokémon GO.
Why use Unity?
Unity is the most used game engine. However, why do more than 2.5 billion people use this engine? There are plenty of reasons. For example, Unity’s enormous user base. No matter your doubt, there will always be someone on the Unity forum or on Reddit who has gone through the same thing. In addition, a simple search will lead you to countless tutorials on YouTube. No other engine brings together more people than Unity, and that’s evident in one of the stores with the most content in the market.
Another reason to opt for Unity is its simplicity. Many Unity users are developers who are starting their careers. Unity suits beginners as it uses C#, a more accessible coding language than C++. Moreover, you don’t even have to code to start using it since Unity added Bolt in 2020. It’s a visual programming tool for creating game or application logic without code. Perfect for quickly creating a prototype! For all these reasons, it’s an excellent engine and highly common in 2D games and mobile applications.
What is Unreal Engine?
Unreal Engine is a game engine created by Epic Games in 1998. It was conceived for First-Person-Shooters, but has been used successfully in countless video games like Fortnite, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, Bioshock and Dragon Ball FighterZ. Cinema and architecture also exploit its possibilities in series like The Mandalorian and the cancelled WestWorld. Everyone can benefit from the best 3D engine on the market!
Why use Unreal Engine?
Precisely, the biggest reason to use Unreal Engine is its graphic capacity. Its post-processing tools, lighting, shadows and textures are unparalleled. With Lumen Dynamic, Nanite, World Partition or Metahuman, your games will be up to the latest triple-A releases.
C++ may not be as accessible a programming language as C#, but Unity isn’t the only engine with beginners in mind. Unreal Engine features Blueprints, a tool for programming without the need for code. There are projects like Tartarus entirely created without resorting to C++. Also, the industry is heading towards hyper-realism and 3D games, so Epic’s engine is becoming more and more popular. That shows in a very active community on the official Unreal forums, as well as on Reddit and Twitter. Even if the assets store isn’t as big as Unity’s, the free items in the Epic store tend to be of higher quality.
Unreal Engine isn’t completely free, but the 5% royalty fee only applies to projects that generate over 1,000,000 dollars. If you’re a student or a small studio, you have nothing to worry about. In case you bill that much money, congratulations!
Unity vs. Unreal: Which One Should You Choose?
Choosing between Unity and Unreal Engine comes down to your goals and experience level. If you’re starting to develop video games, Unity is an excellent choice. It’s simple to use, has a large community, and is free.
If you aspire to work in a triple-A studio or want to create a realistic 3D game, Unreal Engine is your best option. It has a more challenging learning curve, but the results are worth it. It’s also the quintessential 3D engine, with unparalleled graphics and post-processing tools.
At Catness Games, we’ve been using Unreal Engine for almost a decade. If you also choose Unreal Engine, contact us and we’ll help you create your project. Developing video games from scratch, managing porting to other platforms, marketing your project… If it’s Unreal, we make it real!