In the world of video games, it is the debate that won’t go away: Unity vs Unreal engine, Which is Better? Of course, this question to a certain extent is being answered with a degree of opinion, as different people will be won over by different features of either gaming engines. Having said that it can be helpful and very interesting to have a little comparison between the two.
First, off the bat, both engines can produce AAA level graphics. Interestingly, people used to say they could tell a game engine apart just by the looks of the game. Nowadays, on the other hand, it will be hard to find someone who can tell if Unity or Unreal has been used for a game.
Unreal users can expect to find lens flares, Post Processing and Volumetric lights at their disposal. They also have the advantage of having tools and presets that work right out of the box and are easy to modify, to produce great results. It is fair to say that the lighting produced by Unreal is more accurate and smoother than Unity’s offerings. The production quality looks simply stunning and has minimal graphical glitches.
When it comes to Unreal, it should also be pointed out that shadows have a well realised polished look. Impressive and this is achieved with a lot fewer draw calls then Unity. In fairness, Unity is being constantly worked on and improvements are happening, but it does lack the polish when it comes to good looking results. This could mean it is harder to reach your imagined goals, but it is possible, you’ll just need the extra effort!
But, next round to Unity! When it comes to learning curves, Unity is so much easier to pick up. Unreal on the other hand can be a struggle to get used to. Unity is so much more user-friendly and as a result ideal for beginners-anyone starting with Unreal runs the risk of being seriously frustrated, and maybe put off developing! There are so many menus and options to work through, and it is such a contrast to Unity’s clear, concise, and minimum setup.
Unity has plenty of tools for the average developer, including Physics, Animation, Lighting and Event triggers. Overall though, there is not an extensive choice to operate with, and certainly not as extensive as Unreal’s offering. Plus, many developers would point out that Unity’s tools do not operate as well as Unreal’s do.
Unreal’s have the advantage of tools that work straight out of the box. But on the other side of things, Unreal’s are so much more complicated to master. If you do master them though, you are on your way to some super-charged creations!
First up, Unity runs with three payment options Personal, Plus, and Pro. They offer a personal edition that offers all core features and is completely free. With this tier, you can make up to $100K USD in annual revenue. But you will have to put up with ‘Made in Unity’ before your game starts.
Upgrading to Plus allows you up to $200K USD in annual revenue and costs $40 per month if you sign up for a year. Plus also gets you a Custom Splash screen and a 20% discount in the asset store, as well as performance crash reporting among other benefits. Finally. Pro provides you with all the Plus benefits and no annual revenue limit. This plan will cost you $150 per month.
Unreal provides users with a full engine and all of its features for free. The makers earn their money as you would have to give them 5% of your total revenue when a game is shipped (forever). But on your first $3000 per game per calendar quarter, you will get to keep that whole amount.
Both engines are fantastic, however, they both also carry clear strengths and weaknesses’. The outcome that each difference has for each developer will be different depending on their plans, but it is definitely fair to say that Unity is more sorted for those just starting out and Unreal is best reserved for the games engine veterans!