Unreal Engine: advantages and main features of the game engine

Unreal Engine

Game engines

Unreal Engine Game engines

Many developers of AAA titles such as Lies of P and Mortal Kombat 1 favor Epic Games’ Unreal Engine. And while UE is primarily intended for game development, it is also widely used in other areas, such as architecture, medicine, industry, and cinema.

In this article, we will break down the key features of the Unreal Engine and try to answer the question of what makes this engine so special. It is no coincidence that some major studios, such as CD Projekt, are abandoning their own developments and transferring their projects to UE.

Unreal Engine: advantages and main features of the game engine

Main features of Unreal Engine

UE Functions

Main features of Unreal Engine UE Functions

The main editor of the engine – Unreal Editor, works on the principle of “the user gets what he sees.” In other words, the final result will be exactly the same as the developers see it in the 3D viewport. In addition, the editor is very easy to use and saves most of the team’s time – all assets, such as models, visual effects, lights, and others, can be placed on the stage by simply dragging and dropping from folders. In fact, Unreal Editor is a comprehensive system aimed at providing developers with all the tools they need in one place.

To work with Unreal Engine, you can use C ++ or its own Blueprint visual programming system, making the engine “able” even for users who do not have coding skills. Of course, creating a large and complex project on blueprints alone is most likely not going to work, but they are great for designing and quickly testing new ideas.

Another important tool in the Unreal Engine arsenal is the Sequencer, designed to create cut scenes. Its functionality is in many ways similar to a regular video editor: each element has sound, animations, static meshes, etc. has its own track, in which you can add keyframes or separately edit the desired segment.

That is, Sequencer provides opportunities for full-fledged video editing, without the use of third-party services, which is quite convenient.

Unreal Engine also facilitates the development of large open world games by providing a system for streaming World Composition levels. With it, developers can create a seamless level design, with the illusion of continuous storytelling and performance optimizations. In practice, this allows players to freely move through the levels without a loading screen – all location data is preloaded into memory, and simply shown or hidden as the user moves.

UE also has a great tool for working with animations – Control Rig. It allows you to manipulate the bones of the character directly in the editor, which greatly simplifies the rigging process.

Unreal Engine is also equipped with a built-in import of ready-made plug-ins from Epic Games. With it, you can quickly add generated character models from MetaHuman Creator, high-quality Quixel Megascans assets, or assets from the Unreal Marketplace to your project.

Unreal Engine: advantages and main features of the game engine

What appeared in Unreal Engine 5

Unreal Engine 5 Overview

What appeared in Unreal Engine 5 Unreal Engine 5 Overview

Unreal Engine 5 is the latest version of the engine from Epic Games, which has features to create the most realistic graphics. We propose to consider them in more detail.


In UE5, Epic Games introduced a completely new lighting and reflection system – Lumen, which works on the principle of hardware ray tracing. At default settings, Lumen uses a software version of ray tracing based on simplified versions of the scene geometry – signed distance fields, more commonly known as Signed Distance Fields. In addition, light on large surfaces is reflected here not from triangles, as happens in similar programs, but from voxels – elements of volumetric reflection.

The combination of these factors results in very realistic lighting, and when using a graphics card that supports ray tracing, the effect is further enhanced.


Nanite is a rendered geometry system that uses an updated internal grid format and pixel-scale object rendering technology. In practice, this allows you to render a huge number of polygons, which can be measured in billions, and at the same time maintain high game performance. An extremely important feature when creating highly detailed graphics.

Modeling Tools Plugin

Required for modeling and sculpting static shallows directly in the UE5 engine. It has built-in functions for creating simple geometry, editing polygon meshes, generating UVs, and combining various objects.

Taken together, this gives great opportunities when designing a gaming environment and allows you to solve all problems in one program, without the need to export / import from third-party services.

Moreover, the geometry obtained in Modeling Tools can be easily optimized using the Nanite system, which we talked about above.


Niagara is a system for creating realistic special effects based on the physics of objects: rain, fire and other in-game elements.

It is important that in Niagara you can fine-tune any parameters – set the speed and direction of particle creation, specify their lifetime, change the reaction to a collision with the environment, and much more. This opens up almost limitless possibilities for developers to create the most amazing visual effects.

Tools for simplified creation and retargeting of animations

We have already mentioned the Control Rig tool, but starting with version 5.1 of the engine, creating animations in it has become even easier. So, the developers got the opportunity to instantly use selective groups of skeleton bones that will be used for a specific movement of the model. And improved animation redirection now allows you to transfer some of the movements from standard skeletons to more abstract player character mannequins.

Unreal Engine: advantages and main features of the game engine

Is Unreal Engine Worth It?

Pros and cons

Is Unreal Engine Worth It? Pros and cons

Like any technology, Unreal Engine has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantages of the engine include:

  • Convenient and intuitive editor.
  • Aiming at big open world games.
  • Ability to access source code.
  • The ability to create impressive games without programming skills.
  • Epic Games Studio provides support for developers and, moreover, gives grants to the most promising projects in the amount of 5 to 500 thousand dollars.

Now let’s move on to the cons:

  • Unreal Engine is designed to develop high-budget games with photorealistic graphics and an open world, so creating simple and niche projects on it will not be entirely advisable.
  • Poor optimization for mobile games, which is mainly associated with large file sizes. Most often, projects are created on the UE on the PC and console.
  • The official documentation cannot solve all the problems of developers, because of which difficulties may arise during implementation.
  • At the moment, the fifth version of Unreal Engine is not quite stable, and support for UE4 updates has been officially discontinued.

Development in AVADA MEDIA

Development in AVADA MEDIA

Unreal Engine provides everything you need to develop game projects – object physics, tools for creating animations, special effects, cutscenes, level design and much more. Together, this significantly speeds up the production process and allows you to release large games with an open world and incredible graphics in a matter of months. Therefore, most developers of AAA titles prefer to build games on this engine.

If you have an idea for an impressive game, we are ready to provide a professional team for its technical implementation on Unreal Engine and Unreal Engine 5. Our specialists have experience in developing projects of any complexity for most popular platforms – web, IOS, Android, PC and consoles.

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