Unity vs Unreal Engine: A Comparison Guide

Guillaume Chichmanov
April 1, 2024

Unity vs Unreal Engine - The Leading Game Development Engines in 2024

Game engines are the heart and soul of the game development process. They have multiple customizations, libraries, plugins, and other tools that have helped games become more realistic and entertaining. With more than 180 AAA and AA games being released in a year, it's important to use an engine that can help you create a title that stands above the competition. 

Although several game engines are out there, the Unity vs Unreal engine debate attracts the most attention. They have become industry powerhouses and continue to impress game developers with sophisticated asset creation. But how do you know which one is the right pick for a 3D team? What's better: Unity or Unreal engine?

Before we answer that, we should also look at what a game engine actually is. Read on and find out which engine suits your game development best.

What is a Game Engine? 

A game engine, in its essence, is a software platform with several configurations and settings that make the game development process more straightforward and intuitive. It is also called  a game framework or game architecture and supports multiple programming languages.

Usually, a game engine has various elements, such as:

  • 2D or 3D rendering engine with multiple import formats.
  • A physics engine to make everything look more life-like or simulate the real world.
  • A sound engine to create realistic game sounds and music. 
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)

Game engines provide the framework within which any game developer works. An aspiring game developer should know which Engine suits their work most, as it is a major factor in the quality of their work.

Let’s now discuss Unity vs Unreal engine in detail.

Unreal - A Brief Guide 

Unreal was launched back in 1998 by Epic Games, and its first-ever game was a first-person shooter named Unreal. Game developers like Unreal support multiple platforms like Linux, Windows, macOS, gaming consoles, Android, and iOS. 

Moreover, developers can use it to generate simulations, edit sounds or video, and render whatever animations they like. It has been used to create some of the most popular titles in the gaming world, such as Quantum Error, The Witcher, Off the Grid, and many more.

Unity - A Brief Guide 

Unity is another leading game engine that lets users create stellar 2D and 3D content. It was launched in 2005 and has become a preferred choice among large gaming studios because of its high-quality content, flexibility to develop various games, seamless functionality, and more.

Another reason developers love it is its user-friendliness. It takes minimal training time, so you can start creating games with it in no time. Like Unreal, it is also compatible with all the major operating systems, from Linux to Android.

Some of the most popular titles created on this platform include Angry Birds, Wasteland 2, Pokémon Go, Among Us, and several others. 

Let’s discuss some of the most crucial features of these engines and how they help in game development.

Features of Unreal Game Engine 

1. Pipeline Integration 

Unreal uses FBX, USD, and Alembic to connect with various media production pipelines. As a result, teams can collaborate seamlessly anywhere and anytime they want. Unreal also reads files without downloading them, reducing the payload significantly. Developers can automate Python workflows, create layouts at different levels, and generate custom UIs to control the Engine.

2. Building Worlds 

Unreal has a class-leading Unreal Editor that is compatible with macOS, Linux, and Windows. It is an integrated environment that allows multiple users to edit projects simultaneously, enhancing collaborations among various teams. 

The Editor also has numerous useful features, such as world partition, asset optimization, scalable foliage, and terrain tools that help developers create hyper-realistic worlds with complex forests, skies, mountains, oceans, and whatnot.

3. Animation & Characters 

The Unreal Engine also offers sophisticated tools to create character blueprints, character targeting, animations, and the like. It can also repurpose existing animations or characters with various skeletons and proportions to create new ones. Unreal allows you to be as creative as you like with light modification and camera blocking and create multiple details in dressings.

4. Interactivity & Gameplay

Interactivity is at the core of Unreal’s game development philosophy. It has advanced AI and offers robust multiplayer support for maximum fun. Unreal also provides entire scripting and gameplay frameworks. It has a dedicated Graphics Motion Designer that lets you create editable buttons, sliders, progress bars, and much more. 

5. Virtual Production 

Unreal has an in-camera VFX Editor that helps developers create and edit light cards, which can then be color-corrected. Developers can also render their content in real-time in their preferred resolution and display it on multiple screens. Unreal Engine also allows cinematographers to film using an iPad Pro. Later, the Virtual Scouting Tool can help screen capture anything from the real world using VR and place it in the game. 

Features of Unity Game Engine 

1. VR and AR Functionality 

Unity has integrated Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) into its platform. It keeps updating its platform, so whenever there is an advancement in this technology, you will also experience it. Unity also offers ARCore and ARKit packages to create AR games for Android & iOS.

2. Rendering Pipelines 

Graphics are the central aspect of any game and can single-handedly decide its fate in a competitive market. Unity allows you to render pipelines for streamlined development. It has a specialized Scriptable Render Pipeline API that helps you create the pipeline you desire and be as creative as you like.

3. Animation Capabilities 

Quality 2D and 3D tools are crucial for any game engine, and Unity excels in this area. You can do all the animation work using the Engine itself or import elements from other programs. When you create animations with Unity, you can rotate various objects and adjust their position. This animation tool also serves as an animation state machine, meaning the animation it creates has a smooth transition between actions.

4. Versatility 

The initial purpose behind creating Unity was game development with world-class animations. However, its animation capabilities also come in handy for creating various other projects like CGI ads and films. Indie filmmakers are usually tight on the budget, so they can use Unity to create high-quality projects and connect them with different programs.

5. Quality 2D & 3D Graphics 

You can create 2D and 3D graphics with Unity according to your preferred style. It has sprite sheet cutting for 2D, and tools like customized lighting, materials, build shaders, and post-processing effects, for 3D graphics.

Unity vs Unreal Engine - Key Differences  

Let’s discuss some major areas in which Unreal and Unity differ considerably.

1. Graphics 

There are different graphical aspects to which developers might prefer one Engine over the other. Professional coders would do better with Unity, as it offers free assets and templates. Moreover, users can easily access all of these assets, which can help them complete projects quickly. 

On the other hand, those who rely more on their artistic capabilities than coding will find Unreal a better choice. It offers excellent graphics through various tools, such as Landscape, Terrain, and Material Editor, which work perfectly to generate breathtaking 3D projects.

2. VFX Quality 

Both engines produce hyper-realistic graphics and visuals that can take gameplay to the next level. However, Unity’s graphics are slightly less detailed because they’re mostly created for smaller screens. It’s not that these graphics are bad; it’s just that they’re suited to a different market. Nonetheless, you can create exceptional work with either of the two engines.

3. Coding Language 

When it comes to languages in Unity vs Unreal engine, there are considerable differences, which can impact the game development process. For instance, Unity uses C#, a more simple language that can be easily understood by those who know HTML. Even if you have shortcomings in your knowledge, the built-in code checker can highlight and help you correct your mistakes.

On the contrary, Unreal uses C++, a much more complex language that novices have difficulty understanding. It is an important aspect of the choice between Unreal Engine or Unity for beginners. 

4. Animations 

When we discuss Unreal engine or Unity, it is crucial to mention that players demand buttery smooth animations in their games. Thankfully, when it comes to Unity vs Unreal engine, both are capable of creating sophisticated and appealing animations. However, Unity stands a step ahead because of its more efficient tools.

As a result, it can help professional developers do complicated projects seamlessly. On the contrary, Unreal’s tools target users who aren’t programming wizards and want a more straightforward platform.

5. Asset Store 

Every developer wants an asset store packed with various templates and tools. Unity and Unreal have excellent asset stores that can be useful for new and experienced developers. However, the Unity store is refined and offers more paid and free assets.

Unity vs Unreal Engine: Comparison Table


Now that you know everything about the Unity vs Unreal engine debate, the question is: which one is better for you? Is Unity better than the Unreal engine? The fair answer is that both have their advantages and downsides. 

If you want to get the best of both worlds, Cominted Labs is at your service. We are a leading game art outsourcing platform that has collaborated with over 50 leading brands. We are pioneers in offering immersive experiences using Unreal and Unity engines. No wonder our clients include big names like Ethereum Towers, Baby Doge, Crossmint, MadWorld, and more. 

So, contact us today and book a demo with an intro call.

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