Is Unity slower than Unreal?

(Note:  We may earn commissions from products/services you click on.  This is at no extra cost to you.)

Table of Contents

Both Unreal and Unity are popular game engines that were initially designed to create PC and console games. Nonetheless, with the increase in mobile phone use, these game engines have gained a cross-platform status.  

Unreal Engine is a product of Epic Games and was first showcased in 1998 in Unreal, the first first-person shooter game. The Engine has evolved to be used in many 3D games, and its adoption by the television and film industry is high. 

Unreal is written in C++ and boasts a high portability degree and support for many mobiles, consoles, desktops, and virtual reality platforms. Version 4, released in 2014, is the latest Unreal Engine in use – you can download it for free, and its source code is available on a GitHub private repository.

By contrast, Unity is a product of Unity Technologies, first released in June 2005. This cross-platform game engine also supports various desktop, console, mobile, and virtual reality platforms. However, this Engine is more famous for iOS and Android mobile game development. Remember, Unity uses C#, an object-oriented scripting language. 

That said, is Unity slower than Unreal? 

Theoretically, Unreal is faster than Unity. The time per operation is longer in C# than in C++. So, Unreal, which uses C++, will be a little quicker than Unity. However, in actual-life applications, the speed will depend on the type of C++ code you are writing and the type of C# code you are comparing it to. 

Additionally, other factors come into play to determine the speed – for instance, both Unreal and Unity feature garbage collecting technology. But the technology is much more flexible in Unreal, thanks to C++, as it allows for manual memory management. By contrast, on Unity, you have to deal with it personally. 

However, the real reason why Unreal is faster is that it gives you the source code access; so, you can optimize certain routines to fit your game better.

You can become a data scientist – click this affiliate link to register for the Data Science Certification Course using R.

Click this affiliate link now to register for Python Certification Training and boost your career to the next level.

Is Unity slower than Unreal?
jefferson-santos-9SoCnyQmkzI-unsplash (3)

Is Unity easier than Unreal?

That would much depend on your experience level. 

Developers feel that Unity is a bit harder than Unreal because Unreal has visual scripting blueprints, allowing developers to quickly write complex methods in the documentation. Further, visual scripting lets you learn by yourself, thanks to its intuitive nature. Typically, blueprints are much faster than writing codes. 

Additionally, Unreal is easier to debug since it offers visual feedback in real-time, a feature lacking in the written code. Besides, the visual codes make it easier to read them – you can easily see what a method is made of at a glance. Remember, it also offers organization tools such as comment bubbles with many colors and tooltips. 

Unity, on the other hand, lacks tools. Furthermore, you’ll have to write code for the game you are developing -some people will argue that writing code is superior to visual scripting. Another factor is you can more efficiently perform basic in C# than in C++. 

Unreal has a steeper learning curve – there is more to games than writing codes. 

Unity requires coding off the bat. However, you can buy add-ons to visualize coding to some extent. Shades available in Unity are very basic, meaning that you must learn Unity’s shader language. Unreal features a powerful visual material editor; thus, it can write very complex shades. Also, its visual programming system is powerful and can be converted to C++ with the click of a button. 

Unreal 4, the latest version in use, gives full access to the engine source, making anything possible for C++ coders. By contrast, Unity’s engine source is sealed; that makes it difficult to change unless you choose to go premium – you’ll pay vast amounts of money. 

If you are dealing with small projects, i.e., not commercial quality, Unity might be the right option. That makes it great for newbies. 

You can become a data scientist – click this affiliate link to register for the Data Science Certification Course using R

Is Unity better than Unreal?

Both Unity and Unreal engines can produce AAA-quality graphics, and they pack an extensive toolbox including terrain editor, advanced lighting, physics simulation, VR support, animation, etc. A few years ago, it was pretty easy to tell these two engines apart based on the good and the bad. However, they’ve evolved to meet the market needs; thus, making it harder to tell them apart by just looking at them. The only differences that arise between the two depending on the designer. 

Why Unity?

Unity offers multi-platform engine and development tools and has 1+ million registered developers. Besides, its community features 2+ million members, making it one of the most active and large developers. 

  • Cross-platform capabilities: Unity was first released for Mac OS X, but now it supports over 25 different platforms. So, developers can deploy on popular platforms and devices – Android, iOS, consoles, and web plugins.
  • 2D, 3D, VR, and AR: Unity dominates more than 50% of the mobile gaming market, and it’s a top choice for AR and VR. Besides, a developer can create 2-D and 3D content—70% of developed content in Unity. 
  • Great Graphics: the next-level visual effect is what makes Unity worth your buck. Besides the customizable technology, there are lots of intuitive tools to facilitate video creation. Coders love Unity for this, while artists would prefer Unreal. 

Click this affiliate link now to register for Python Certification Training and boost your career to the next level.

Other essential qualities of Unity include requiring less coding, a feature-rich asset store, and a free version to allow anyone to develop videos. 

Why Unreal?

The strong point that Unreal can offer its users is the ability to create hyper-realistic environments. Such immersive worlds make it possible to cater to the VR experience. The engine packs tools that create complex cinematics, letting developers explore newer ways of delivering stories. 

So, which is better? That would depend on your background and what you need to create. 

You can become a data scientist – click this affiliate link to register for the Data Science Certification Course using R.

Is Unity or Unreal easier for beginners?

Unreal and Unity have lots of similarities but still feature different advantages and workflows. Unity uses C# language, which is more readable and beginner-friendly. Contrastingly, Unreal uses the faster and more popular C++. Without any preference, C# is better suited for people with no coding experience than C++. 

While your programming ability comes into play, Unity is much better for a beginner than Unreal. Engineers would prefer a solid engine with a source code, and Unity refuses to give that up. This can be tough for a beginner – it will take a shorter time to create a “hello world” project and have it running in Unity before managing to install Unreal. Besides, if you are a C++ expert, you’ll have to learn C# & Unity from scratch before using Unreal.

Check this out:

  • Autocomplete and code suggestions in C# in the visual studio are 10x better than C++. Therefore, it’s effortless to learn the game-engine API for the first time. 
  • Unreal default project build times are much slower than Unity; so, fixing mistakes will take longer. Ideally, to package the QuickStart mobile projects on a decent machine takes minutes in Unreal, which will take you less than a minute in Unity. 
  • Blueprints can be a mess to learn if you aren’t a designer on a team. That will make you a loner if you are a beginner. For instance, when learning something new, it’s easier to copy-paste code from a forum than following complex and unintuitive instructions when editing blueprints.
  • Installing Unreal can mess up your entire Visual studio installation. The answer given by the Unreal support team is to Reinstall Visual studio through Unreal. It can be a mess because you’ll keep installing and reinstalling things just to set up a ‘hello world.’ In Unity, the process is pretty straightforward. 

Remember, Unity has only one actor and class, unlike Unreal, which has many. But if you want something beefier and focused on multimedia, Unreal is a better option – a beginner won’t like this. 

Click this affiliate link now to register for Python Certification Training and boost your career to the next level.

Unity vs. Unreal performance

When evaluating a game engine, performance is a salient feature. You know that Unreal uses the C++ programming language to offer developers more control over memory management. Besides, Unreal allows the developer to have full access to the C++source code. This makes it possible to edit and upgrade anything within the system quickly. 

On the other hand, Unity uses C#, a programming language whose memory management is not in the developer’s hands. The inability to control memory management means that the garbage collector can randomly trigger and ruin the performance. 

Unity can be a solid option for AAA games unless the source code is handed over to the developer as part of the package plus the mono implementation. AAA games push the hardware and software limits.

In Unreal, you’ll get an impressive range of graphic features and visual effects. Above all, you won’t require external plugins in Unreal, unlike Unity, when creating powerful FX, cinematics, terrain, animation graphs, gameplay logic, etc.

But Unreal 4 performs some functions considerably slower – for instance, opening the editor, starting the Engine, opening a project, saving projects, etc., takes longer; thus, hampering the development process. In this aspect, Unity has better performance. Again, that makes Unity a better option when creating mobile apps. 

Indie developers will find Unity ideal. Besides being relatively easy to use, its intuitive nature allows small teams to create professional, polished games. But in terms of graphic quality and performance, Unity is not as polished as Unreal; but it can produce awestriking games. Stellar games made with Unity include the Subnautica, an underwater survival game, The Long Dark, the WW1 game, and Verdun. Good news; Unity is fixing its flaws, especially those that make it less critical for big projects. The company is focusing on optimizing to manage multi-thread on multiple cores and memory management, among others. 

Why is Unity more popular than Unreal?

Remember that Unreal is more powerful than Unity, but its learning curve is much more profound. Understanding Unity I is easy because C# API is much easier than the C++ in Unreal Engine. Unreal tried to make things easier in its version 4, but most people still prefer Unity.

Click this affiliate link now to register for Python Certification Training and boost your career to the next level.

So, why is Unity more popular?

There are many reasons. As earlier indicated, Unity is very easy to use. Practically, all requirements you need to create a game are easy to follow, and you can do it on your own. Unity technologies has a store packed with lots of free assets and additional assets to make things easier. This rich ecosystem makes it not only easier to create games but also pretty straightforward to learn. 

Unity is free. Despite the richness in resources, Unity doesn’t require you to pay for anything you’ll be using until you make at least $100,000. This is a unique feature absent in Unreal Engine. 

In Unreal, you’ll be using Blueprints, shortcut drag and drop rather than linear programming. The Unreal store doesn’t aim for a self-made process in game development; you need to be a top modeler or pay to use some features. For commercial use, you’ll need to pay a monthly fee of $49 per month per license/per person. Worse, 5% of profits on a commercial game.

The programming unit offers you complete control over every aspect, and the continuous support makes game development a breeze. Better support also comes in Humble Bundle, i.e., selling Unity products at a low price. This feature is absent in Unreal, and getting into programming can be confusing. 

You can become a data scientist – click this affiliate link to register for the Data Science Certification Course using R.

Unity has all systems with the GUI and API, and it is spotless, easy to understand, and customizable. Unreal is pretty messy as it offers few explanations and tries to rush the game creation process.

Unity vs. Unreal Engine 4

Unity is a competent game development engine; its ecosystem makes it a better option for mobile developers. On the other hand, Unreal 4 is a versatile engine that features powerful tools to create the expensive AAA title. Ideally, its title is much beefier than those that Unity can make, but it depends on the developer. 

So, which one should you choose? 

The possibilities with these two game engines are diverse. So, you need to put into consideration your aims as a designer. Issues such as dimensions of the game – 2D or 3D, puzzle games, or create something crazy. 

Level of visuals

The quality of visuals is an important differentiator when it comes to choosing between Unity and Unreal. In Unreal, you’ll get high-fidelity visuals off the bat, making it easier to achieve your goal. Unity can also offer high-quality visuals, but you’ll need to do a lot of work to get your videos to resemble Unreal’s quality effortlessly. This explains why Unreal is used more for big titles and large studio productions. So, Unreal offers close to photorealistic assets more quickly and easily. 

Target device 

If your target device is mobile phones, i.e., low-powered devices, you won’t need the immense processing power that Unreal demands. In this case, Unity should be your top priority. Unity was initially designed to run on phones and consoles; so, you can easily create complex games for low-end devices. 

By contrast, use Unreal if you need more power, i.e., working on high-end devices. 

Developer vs. visual artist

Most developers prefer Unity while visual artists prefer Unreal – but still, it’s a matter of preference and difference in visuals. While both game engines offer the kind of similar functionality and capabilities, their packaging is different. 

There is an effort to eliminate the differences – Unreal is adapting to suit small projects while Unity is scaling up by adding pro-level features.

Remember, team size also matters – a large and specialist team is ideal for Unreal, while Unity is perfect for one-person bands and smaller teams.

Become a Java expert – click this affiliate link to register for Comprehensive Java Course Certification Training 

Unity vs. Unreal, which is best?

Choosing between Unreal and Unity must not be a messy thing. Mostly, the best among the two depends on what you need, or your experience. But still, your preference and interest play a considerable role. 

Many people prefer Unreal for 3D games such as The Splinter Cell series and X-COM. So, if you strictly like 3D, Unreal might be your best choice. Currently, version 4.21 offers a better foundation for creating next-gen physics and graphics. One of its standout features is the quality execution of dynamic lighting that immerses the viewer in a virtual world.

Unity, on the other hand, is known for versatility, but currently, it’s becoming a staple for mobile developers. Though not as powerful as Unreal, it can handle its fair share of the workload, including Triple-A titles. Temple Run, for instance, was built with Unity – you know how well made it is. 

Nonetheless, if your interest is mobile or flash gaming, Unity might be the best option for you. Note; its 3D Engine is mighty. Besides, if you are moving towards 2D or puzzle-based games, Unity might still offer the best ecosystem.

Unity vs. Unreal Community

A community is a place to share, discuss and learn – communities are pillars of development. Both Engines feature active communities, and a robust community is built by how ordinary people can both the engines. This covers users and creators. 

The Unreal community and forums are vast and active members helping to build the engine. Similarly, Unity boasts an extended community where developers present unique features.

Unity vs. Unreal Pricing

Unity is primarily free. However, the Unity Pro version has a monthly subscription of $75 or $1500 for a one-time purchase, and you won’t owe royalties to Unity. For first-time developers, the free version works just fine. 

Unreal 4 is free, too; however, you’ll pay royalties to Unreal technologies for any game you publish. 

Unreal vs. Unity Scripting

In Unreal, you’ll use Blueprints; so, you don’t need to know or use codes. The C# scripting in Unity, however, can be complicating.

You can become a data scientist – click this affiliate link to register for the Data Science Certification Course using R

Unity Unreal comparison

Both Unity and Unreal are prominent engines for software development. Though they began as simple tools for game building at different times, they have evolved into powerful tools to create incredible quality videos. 


Unveiled in 2005 as the first open-use engine version.

Unveiled in 1998 as the first version of Unreal Engine. Its debut was the release of the game “Unreal.”

In 2007 and 2010 it launched v 2.0 and v 3.0, respectively. 

Launched v 2.0 in 2002. 

Launched Unity 5 launches in 2015, which offered support for tens of new platforms, grand graphic improvements, HD video, and VR support

Significant improvements to graphics and scripting were made in 2014, achieving widespread use, i.e., it was adopted in creating hundreds of meaningful video and mobile games.

2017 saw the addition of top 3D design tools- addition of 3DS Max and Maya

Support for VR application development was added in 2016.

2018 saw the introduction of the first in-engine machine learning tools alongside a rendering pipeline for traditional and immersive platforms

2019 saw the addition of real-time ray tracing, plus additional rendering output options.

For massive improvements to the processing performance, an innovative data-oriented tech stack, DOTS, was introduced in 2019 

2020 saw the announcing of the Unreal Engine 5 is announced – planned release is late 2021. It’s expected to provide groundbreaking improvements to LOD, photogrammetry, optimizations, and asset creation.

2020 saw the integration for BIM 360 added; a Unity Forma was made available for easy 3D marketing content.

Unity Unreal comparison: Today

Unity mobile games account for 71% of the top 1000 titles currently on the market

Unreal powers over 2 million games 

The user base, i.e., developers + users, totals to over 2.7+ billion people while its Asset Store has 65, 000+ assets

Developer community features 7+ million people while the marketplace features have 16 000+ assets

Dive right in and never stop learning!  Click this affiliate link to register for AI and Deep Learning with TensorFlow Certification.

Conclusion: Is Unity slower than unreal? 

The debate surrounding Unity and Unreal engines is deep, and it won’t end any time soon. These two Engine remains the most prolific engines of these centuries. Each engine developer wants to offer the best features for the game developers and artists; so, they put in much effort to ensure that the Engine can practically support any level of imagination from developers and artists.

We cannot say that one Engine is superior to the other. But when you break down different aspects of game developments, each Engine will shine in one part and fall behind in another. Good thing; the latest versions of these engines are well optimized, making it easier for competent specialists to exploit them fully. But still, you can use the previous versions. 

Unity seems a little easier if you are a beginner, but that still depends on the person. Keep in mind that there is a significant level of difficulty regardless of the platform you choose. It might take you months of only learning the basics – many developers who’ve worked with both engines back the fact that Unity is much friendlier, thanks to its streamlined and understandable C# language. 

Before you select an engine, ensure that it supports the project you are envisioning. For instance, you can choose apps for Enterprise, Client-side apps, and Game & Entertainment apps. Besides, you can select apps by a platform such as Desktop, Mobile, Android TV, Console, Web, Stadia, and AR/VR/MR. 

While these two engines serve the same purposes, of course, there are some differences that users should expect. For instance, Unity was created with mobile apps in mind; so, if you develop these apps, the process is highly streamlined – for 2D and 3D. Ideally, most optimizations are for small and indie games with minimal processing requirements. 

Click this affiliate link now to register for Python Certification Training and boost your career to the next level.

Luis Gillman
Luis Gillman

Hi, I Am Luis Gillman CA (SA), ACMA
I am a Chartered Accountant (SA) and CIMA (SA) and author of Due Diligence: A strategic and Financial Approach.

The book was published by Lexis Nexis on 2001. In 2010, I wrote the second edition. Much of this website is derived from these two books.

In addition I have published an article entitled the Link Between Due Diligence and Valautions.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information published on this website is accurate, the author and owners of this website take no responsibility  for any loss or damage suffered as a result of relience upon the information contained therein.  Furthermore the bulk of the information is derived from information in 2018 and use therefore is at your on risk. In addition you should consult professional advice if required.