Since 1998, Unreal Engine has been setting the standard for professional game engines, and has been doing so for free: the only cost to using the highly portable, C++ based engine is a 5% fee on sales when you make a successful game.
Developed with First Person Shooters in mind like Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six series and online FPS Tribes: Ascend , the engine is flexible and has been used in other industries too. From film to 3D architectural renders, it now has great documentation for mobile development, and was used to port the famous XCOM: Enemy Within to iOS and Android.
You cannot mention the Unreal Engine without pointing to its community as an integral part of what makes it so great. The community pages on the official Unreal website are teeming with discussions, home-made tools and assets, both for free and on sale, supplying any budding developer with everything they need to get started. As well as this list, you can find more app and game engines in our Development Tools Directory.
We’ve identified the following Unreal Engine resources, divided as follows:
Official Unreal Tutorial Videos – No better place to start than the official source. Unreal’s tutorial videos are extensive, in-depth and helpful, and there are plenty of them to get you started.
Shooter Tutorial – “How to create a shooter game from scratch using Unreal Engine 4.” The tagline says it all – this tutorial has constantly developed with UE and is a starting point for many game devs.
Allegorithmic – A very specific, very in-depth guide on physically-based rendering. Allegorithmic provides Substance, an industry standard for 3D rendering and creation tools.
Indie Game Tutorial – Follow Josh, a US-based programmer, as he creates a game from scratch, starting from the very basics all the way to marketing. The process will be documented through blog posts and Youtube videos.
Marmoset on PBR – An in-depth explanation of what physically-based rendering is, how it works and when it should be used.
Spissa – If you prefer text over video, this is a good place to get started on UE development – a very long and comprehensive post. The rest of the blog also has some useful articles, but the majority of them are in Spanish.
Packt Publishing – iOS-specific development tutorial for the Unreal Engine in e-book format.
iOS Device Compatibility – A very handy table on which UE features work with which iOS devices.
iOS Game Development – Unreal’s official iOS development pages hub.
Android Game Development – As above, but for Android – a bit more documentation to read through here owing to the wide variety of Android devices and software.
Launching iOS from Mac – Very specific tutorial on packaging and launching a UE game for iOS from Mac. Check out the rest of the channel for general dev videos too.
Launching iOS from Mac
Tappy Chicken Tutorial – The best way to learn UE4 (or any kind of development tool really) is creating something. This tutorial teaches you how to make a Flappy Bird clone from scratch.
Deploying a game on Android – Once you’ve made Tappy Chicken (above), this is how you deploy it to Android.
Android Development Environment – A quick walk-through of how to set up the Android development environment.
Official Unreal Development Kit Youtube channel – Straight from the source, literally hundreds of videos.
Matthew Wadstein – Constantly updated channel with mini-tutorials to very straightforward questions. Also has a “tutorial request list”.
Wazza Tutorials – UK-based tutorial channel, it was actually opened years ago but is only now concentrating on Unreal Engine 4 – on the rise and with very frequent updates.
Totally Unreal – Irregular updates but very well explained videos on specific topics like how to code explosions, music and gun-charge/power up.
Virtus Education – The channel is aimed at educational videos on game development, but there is a large amount of UE4-specific videos. Regularly updated.
VirtusEdu Learning Hub – Channel Trailer
TheRePlayer – Not updated in a while but has a fair few useful videos, some in German.
PubGames – Another channel that hasn’t been updated for some time, but with a good library of videos, specifically on development useful to FPS games like mines, explosive barrels and security cameras.
George Davidson – Various UE4 videos, with the latest covering the interaction and use of Blender with Unreal Engine 4.
Chad Reddick – Unreal Engine 4 and C++ tutorials – recently announced a new series called “Artificial Intelligence Essentials.”
Twiz – Has been quiet for a long time but the first video, “Import Real World Locations Into UE4” is extremely useful.
Keone Shyguy – Not many videos on UE4, but the ones there cover are project-specific (how to build a turret or how to change character) and quite useful.
Tesla Dev – 21,000 subscribers follow this channel and its Unreal-specific development videos, currently numbering just over seventy.
Metal Game Studios – Tutorials in both English and German. Well over 400 videos divided into various categories.
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Broad Strokes – Well designed and curated website featuring UE tutorials, news and general discussion by Indie developer Jan Kaluza.
Allar’s Blog – A blog but also a seller of projects and assets.
Michal Orzelek Blog – Collates Unreal tutorials, tips and downloadable assets.
Wraiyth – Tech director of PubGames (mentioned above), the blog is less about tutorials and more about the Unreal Engine and game development world.
IdkUdk – A little bit date but still plenty of useful text-and-video tutorials collected here.
Error454 – A question-and-answer format crash course in Unreal 4 development titled “1,000,000 Stupid Questions for UE4 Development.” Not quite reached a million yet but still good to read through.
Romero Blueprints – Doesn’t cover just Blueprints, though that is a key area to learn to get into Unreal development. Frequently updated, a number of the posts are in Portuguese.
Tools and Assets
SpeedTree – One of the industry standards when it comes to 3D renders and animation. Compatible with Unity and Unreal. Its pro tools were used to make Star Wars – The Force Awakens.
Coherent Labs – Offers a wide variety of professional solutions for User Interfaces specifically for real-time applications and games.
Houdini – An Unreal plug-in allowing you to use node-based workflows within the Unreal engine.
IKinema – A professional animation tool used to make AAA games like Guitar Hero and Scalebound. Free 14-day trials for some of their products are available.
IKinema procedural animation for the next-gen of mixed reality worlds
Blender – Blender is a 3D asset-creation software, but it has a wide user base and comes with its own store. A complex tool, it is very powerful and best of all, free.
BlendSwap – One of the largest Blender communities, features weekly challenges, requests, forums staff picks and much more. Great for finding artists too.
Open Game Art – One of the biggest online forums for free videogame art. Make sure to check the license under which the assets as published, and as ever, be nice and credit the source!
TurboSquid – “3D models for professionals”, as its tagline says, is pretty apt. High-res models of everything from animals to cave entrances, and a good search tool to find exactly what you need.
Vanishing Point – Offers both a marketplace for 3D models (not just for Unity) and bespoke creation of assets on request.
FroGames – An increasingly-stocked resource for 3D models specifically aimed at indie developers with its price range.
Rock the 3D – A bit dated, but nonetheless a good resource. This blog collated 3D models, textures and more from around the internet.
TF3DM – A simple and straightforward repository of 3D models, counting nearly 15,000 submissions so far.
An example of the TF3DM front page.
Game Icons – Any graphic designer will tell you good icons can make or break a game. This is a great resource to make sure your buttons don’t confuse your audience!
Freesound.org – Does what it says on the tin, providing you with free sounds for your games. One of the larger communities for royalty-free sounds out there, it is currently in its tenth year.
Incompetech – Less about sounds and more about royalty-free music, a great site to give your game the background music it needs.
3DRT – Both free and paid-for models, divided into characters, vehicles, environments and buildings.
arteria3d – Fairly wide-ranging model directory, it also hosts sounds, Fuse and Unreal files and has a very specific sci-fi ship section.
World Machine – Standalone world creator which can be integrated into the UE engine. Three different prices starting at $99.
Game Textures – Does what it says on the tin – a paid for library of textures for games. Very comprehensive, starts at $10/month for 30 downloads.
Substance Share – Exchange your textures with other creators, or download them for free.
xNormal – Regularly updated normal/displacement map generator. New version coming out soon (mid 2016).
Simplygon – Professional-level 3D graphics software for optimisation made by Automagic 3D. Used in AAA games like Warhammer: End Times.
Simplygon Games Intro
Make Human – Free and open source software to make 3D human models.
BFXR – In-browser free sound effect generator. Has a very 8-bit-game feel to it.
Map Editor – A free tiled map editor, also supports isometric and hexagonal maps.
Share CG – Tutorials, videos and 3D models in this online artist’s community. Free to join.
Yobi 3D – 3D model repository, bit of a strange interface but once you get the hang of it there are plenty of models there.
The Unreal Community Content Tools Forum – Endless tools produced by the very active UE community. If you have a problem, someone here has a tool to solve it.
Tom Looman – UE developer, blogger and personality extraordinnaire. If you really want to get into UE development this is one person to follow.
Kitatus – If you prefer reading to watching tutorials this site has a number of eBooks on learning UE game development.
/r/UnrealEngine – Very active subreddit and a hub of the Unreal Engine community.
Beyond Unreal – Beyond Unreal collates news and games in the UE world, and its forums are very active with developers.
Polycount – Another news and view social site, it’s worth keeping track of this it’s Unreal category.
Final Thoughts: There are thousands of resources for Unreal devs on the internet, especially in the comunity-creations forums of the official Unreal Website. We hope this list gives you enough links to last you a long time in your game development path, and you can also browse through our App Development Tools Directory for more.