With Unreal Engine, you can bring amazing real-time experiences to life using the world’s most advanced real-time 3D creation tool. From first projects to the most demanding challenges, our free and accessible resources and inspirational community empower everyone to realize their ambitions. Unreal Engine enables game developers and creators across industries to realize next-generation real-time 3D content and experiences with greater freedom, fidelity, and flexibility than ever before. Unreal Engine is free to use for creating linear content, custom projects, and internal projects. It's also free to get started for game development—a 5% royalty only kicks in when your title earns over $1 million USD.
Unreal Engine 5 provides the tools and assets you need to create truly expansive worlds for your players, participants, and stakeholders to explore, using content that scales. Bring incredibly immersive and realistic interactive experiences to life with groundbreaking features like Nanite and Lumen that provide a generational leap in visual fidelity, and enable worlds to be fully dynamic. Artist-friendly animation authoring, rigging, retargeting, and runtime tools—together with a continually expanding modeling toolset—reduce iteration and eliminate round-tripping, speeding up the creative process.
NANITE & VIRTUAL SHADOW MAPS
Create games and worlds with massive amounts of geometric detail with Nanite, a virtualized micropolygon geometry system, and Virtual Shadow Maps. Directly import and replicate multi-million-polygon meshes while maintaining a real-time frame rate—even at 60 fps—without any noticeable loss of fidelity. These systems intelligently stream and process only the detail you can perceive, largely removing poly count and draw call constraints.
Lumen is a fully dynamic global illumination and reflections solution that enables indirect lighting to adapt on the fly to changes to direct lighting or geometry—for example, changing the sun’s angle with the time of day or opening an exterior door.
With Lumen, you no longer have to author lightmap UVs, wait for lightmaps to bake, or place reflection captures; what you see inside the Unreal Editor is what you get on console.
CHARACTERS & ANIMATION
With UE5’s built-in artist-friendly animation authoring toolset, you can iterate faster and more accurately, with less need to round-trip with DCC tools.
Quickly create rigs in Control Rig and pose and animate your characters in Sequencer, or retarget existing animations. You can even use machine learning to achieve high-quality real-time deformations.
Then, dynamically adjust animations at runtime to compensate for different gameplay scenarios, such as varying speed or terrain.
Unreal Engine 5 includes an extensive and constantly expanding built-in modeling toolset, including mesh editing, geometry scripting, UV creation and editing, and baking and mesh attributes.
With these tools, artists can develop and iterate on assets—including dense meshes, such as those generated using photogrammetry tools or by kitbashing—directly within the Unreal Editor, saving time and reducing the potential for errors.
MetaSounds is a high-performance system that offers complete control over audio DSP graph generation of sound sources, letting you manage all aspects of audio rendering to drive next-generation procedural audio experiences.
Analogous to the Material Editor, the system is fully programmable, bringing benefits such as dynamic data-driven assets, the ability to map game parameters to sound playback, huge workflow improvements, and much more.