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Unity and Unreal Engine

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Unity vs Unreal Engine: Which Game Engine Should You Choose?

Posted in Unity, Unreal Engine

A Game engine or also known as game architecture or framework is a software development environment that is used by game developers to build interactive video games. 

Developers construct games for consoles computers, and mobile devices using gaming engines as the engine are reusable components used to build the framework of the game.

Every average game engine enables developers to add general features like physics, input, rendering, scripting, collision detection AI and more without the need to code them.

Although there are several game engines out there but we shall discuss & weigh that two titans of the gaming industry unity and unreal engine. Let us read on.

What is Unity?

Announced and released in 2005 at Apple Inc’s WDC, Unity is a cross-platform game engine developed by Unity Technologies. The game engine supports more than 25 platforms including Windows, macOS, and also consoles and virtual reality platforms like PlayStation VR Xbox One, Oculus Rift, Daydream & many more. Unity game engine is adopted by many users as it gives the users ability to create games & experience them in 2D, 3D as well as in virtual reality. Outside of the game industry, it is also used by other industries such as film, automotive, architecture, engineering, and construction.

History of Unity

  • Initially launched in 2005 for Mac OS X.
  • In 2001, Unity 2.0 was launched with 50 new features.
  • In 2008, Unity added support for the iPhone with the launch of the apple store.
  • In 2010, Unity 3.0 was launched in September.
  • Unity 3 offered android support and featured the integration of tools.
  • In 2012, Unity was declared as the top game engine in a survey by game developer magazine.
  • In 2012, Unity delivered Unity 4.0.
  • In 2013, Integration with Facebook SDK.
  • In 2015, the fifth generation of the Unity engine. Unity 5.0 was launched.
  • In 2017, Unity 5.6 was launched.
  • Unity 2018 includes ML tools.
  • In 2019, the new link to wolfram language was added.

Features of Unity

  • Creating and Destroying Game Objects
  • Access the components
  • Dedicated tools for 2D & 3D game creation.
  • Quality game creation such as AAA visuals, HD
  • Provides Already created reusable assets available on asset store, thus, reducing the development time.
  • Physics oriented events.
  • Deployment to all platforms with one click.

What is Unreal Engine?

Tim Seveeny, the founder of Epic Games developed the first generation of unreal engine and it first showcased in the 1998 first-person shooter game unreal. The Unreal game engine features a high degree of portability, supporting a wide range of platforms. The gaming engine proves to be a great foundation for creating next-generation physics and graphics and has become an industry-standard winning ton of awards from various gaming publications.

History of Unreal

Unreal Engine First generation:

  • Tim Seveeny started writing in 1995.
  • It debuted with a game’s release in 1998.
  • The engine integrated the level editor, unreal Ed in 1996.
  • By 1999 there had been 16 external projects using this technology.

Unreal Engine 2:

  • The second version of unreal made its debut in 2002 with a multiplayer shooter game America Army.
  • In late 2002, Epic released the Unreal Championship on Xbox.
  • Unreal Tournament 2003 offered support for vehicle physics.
  • Unreal Tournament 2004 successfully implemented vehicle-based tournaments.

Unreal Engine 3:

  • Screenshots of Unreal Engine 3 were presented in 2004
  • Unreal Engine 3 is designed to take advantage of fully programmable shader hardware.
  • Lightening & Shadowing calculations changed from per vertex to per pixel.
  • The first games using Unreal Engine 3 were gears of war for Xbox 360, and Robobiltz for Windows.
  • In 2011, it announced its support for Adobe flash player.
  • In 2013, Epic teamed up with Mozilla to bring Unreal Engine 3 to the web.

Unreal Engine 4:

  • The development of the engine began in 2003.
  • In 2012, Unreal Engine 4 was released to the public.
  • On March 19, 2004, Epic Games released Unreal Engine 4 through a new licensing model at GDC.

Unreal Engine 5:

  • On May 13, 2020, Unreal Engine 5 was released.
  • Support for next-generation consoles Playstation 5 and x box series X.

Features of Unreal

  • Pipeline Integration
  • World Building
  • Animation
  • Rendering, Lightening & Materials
  • Simulations & Effects
  • Gameplay & Interactivity Authoring
  • Integrated media support
  • Platform support and onset tools.
  • Developer tools

Similarities Between Unity and Unreal

  • Both tools are capable of producing AAA-quality graphics and have great bridges between most of the industry-standard software.
  • They both provide an extensive toolbox including terrain editor, animation, physics simulation, VR Support &, etc.

Differences Between Unity and Unreal

  1. Definition: Unreal engine is a source available game engine, Unity is a cross-platform game engine.
  2. Invention: Unreal engine made its debut in 1998, Unity was announced and released in 2005.
  3. Languages: Unreal engine uses C++ and Unity uses C#. C# is considered suitable for game development than C++, So unity is faster.
  4. Community: Both engines have a huge community of active uses. However, Unity 3D has been accessible in unreal 4, and also it has more clients and hence user base.
  5. Documentation: Both offer good and detailed documentation explaining their tools and features. However, Udemy offers a wider range of Unity Courses.
  6. Asset Store: Asset store allows users to download mods like textures and props. Unity has a wide range of mods in comparison to unreal. Unreal has around 10000 assets while unity has 31000 assets.
  7. Graphics: Both tools have good graphics but the unreal engine is preferred over-unity because of its graphic quality.
  8. Source Code: Unreal engine has open-source making the development process easier. Unity, on the other hand, does not provide open source code; however, it can be bought.
  9. Rendering: Unreal supports faster rendering making post-processing even faster. Rendering is slow in the case of unity thus processing of projects is also slow.
  10. Pricing: Unreal Engine comes free of cost but you own royalties to them. Unity is available for free but the complete version can be upgraded with a one-time fee of $1500 or $75/month.

Head-to-Head Comparison Between Unity and Unreal

Parameters Unreal Engine Unity
Definition Source available game engine. Cross-platform game engine.
Developed by Epic Games Unity Technologies
Programming Languages It uses C# for development. It uses C++ or Javascript for development.
Usages Used to develop games for PC, mobiles. consoles and more. Used to develop games for PC, mobiles. consoles and more.
Features A robust multiplayer framework, VFX, and particle simulation. 2D improvements, animation, creating snapshots.
Source Code The source code is open-source. The source code is not open-source.
Awards “Rookie of the year” award in 2018. The Unity award in 2018.
Pricing It is free. The basic version is free.
Learning Curve Hard to learn. Easy and fun to learn as it has an intuitive interface.
Graphics AAA quality good graphics. The graphics are good but Unreal is better here.


That concludes our comparison between Unity vs Unreal engine. Game development would be hard to imagine without these two-game development tools. Both engines have their own advantages and disadvantages so it depends on the requirement of the project to make the right choice. Unity is renowned for its huge user base & its’ user performance development support and for making 2D and 3D simulations. The unreal engine, on the other hand, is preferred for building large games as it offers beautiful graphics. Finally, what you choose for your project must be user-friendly. At the end which engine do you prefer for your game development and what makes you choose it?

Let us know in the comments below.

Simran Kaur Arora

Simran Kaur Arora

Simran works at Hackr as a technical writer. The graduate in MS Computer Science from the well known CS hub, aka Silicon Valley, is also an editor of the website. She enjoys writing about any tech topic, including programming, algorithms, cloud, data science, and AI. Traveling, sketching, and gardening are the hobbies that interest her. View all posts by the Author

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You have an error on the Head to Head comparison chart. Unity uses C# and Unreal uses C++., Unity also has VFX and Particle System. Under pricing, you should mention Unreal royalty fees.

Charles Lepine
Charles Lepine

Pretty sure Unity is written in and c#, and unreal is written exclusively in c++...

Jaime Medina
Jaime Medina

This is an absolutely useless article. And in what world is C# faster than C++. C# is a number of magnitudes SLOWER than the lower level C++. Given that C# has in intermediary language used for cross platform functionality, means that it is much much slower than any language directly compiled to a specific platform.


In the table, programming language is incorrect

Tryston Minsquero
Tryston Minsquero

I'm pretty sure you mixed up the development languages in the table. Unity uses C# while Unreal uses C++


Awesome, i think the writer gave a fantastic information about the two, but one big mistake he over looked was the fact that Unity uses C++ whiles unreal uses C# as a programming language. I think in my view that needs to be address accordingly. Thanks

Luca Christl
Luca Christl

There's an mistake in the comparison table. The used language in unity is not c++ but c#. Would you mind changing this so i can use the table for a presentation?


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