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What is the best game engine for your game?

In-depth guides to finding the best game engine to develop your game, including Unreal, Unity, GameMaker, and more

Unless you're a development veteran, choosing the best game engine, that's the right fit for your project, can be a challenge.

While the development scene is still largely dominated by Unreal and Unity, the number of options is on the rise, and for developers only just joining the industry, the task of choosing the right game engine can seem a bit daunting.

Before making a decision, you should ask yourself a few questions. What type of game is the engine you want to use good at making? Is your project a good fit for its strengths? If you're only aiming for a small 2D project, you probably don't need a chunky engine that's going to come with a lot of features you don't need.

What are your technical abilities? If you're new to programming, you should find an engine that won't require too much coding. What are the key features you need in your engine? What's the support like? How big is the community? If you plan to start a company, how easy is it to find recruits experienced in using this engine?

This may seem like a lot of thought to give to choosing a game engine -- particularly when most of them are free to at least try -- but the kind of games you can make will be greatly influenced by the technology that underpins them. Josh Stiksma from Polyarc, the studio behind the hit VR title Moss, explained it best when we spoke to him for these guides.

"It's a monumental commitment that changes the whole trajectory of your project," he said. “It's extremely non-trivial to do an [engine] change at any point in a project, so it's something that you should feel is definitely right for you. Not just one person should make that call, but the whole team that you imagine yourself working with, from the arts to the audio to the design to the engineering, and all of the other teams that might be involved.”

Which game engine is right for your game?

Here, we'll try to answer as many of your questions as possible to help you choose what the best engine is for you, by providing in-depth guides on all the major game engines.

We've started with the engines that are arguably the best known, but check this page frequently as we'll continue to provide game engines guides on a regular basis.

Is Unity the right game engine for you?

Is Unreal Engine the right game engine for you?

Is GameMaker the right game engine for you?

Is CryEngine the right game engine for you?

Is MonoGame the right engine for you?

Is Construct the right game engine for you?

Is Godot the right game engine for you?

Is Amazon Lumberyard the right game engine for you?

Important note: Lumberyard is no longer offered by Amazon following the announcement of Open 3D Engine in July 2021.

More Academy guides to Making Games

Our guides to making games cover various aspects of the development process, whether you're a young game developer about to start a new project or an industry veteran:

Marie Dealessandri avatar
Marie Dealessandri: Marie joined in 2019 to head its Academy section. A journalist since 2012, she started in games in 2016. She can be found (rarely) tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate and the Dead Cells soundtrack. GI resident Moomins expert.
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