Game Engine Software

Game Engine Software Overview

Game Engine Software allows users to produce video games and manage development assets from one platform. Game Engine Software provides a range of tools for designing audio, visuals, input, AI, animation, environments, and physics modeling. While Game Engine Software is most frequently used for video games, they can also be used to create immersive training content and realistic simulations.

Game Engine Software centralizes the many aspects needed to make video games by providing a platform where developers do not need to manually code game functions individually. Game Engine Software also typically provides many beginner friendly features, such as drag-and-drop or no-code development, while still allowing more experienced developers to edit source codes directly. Some products offer low-code options. The engines themselves tend to be free, which lowers the cost of entry significantly.

Game Engine Software can function as a rudimentary 3D Modeling Software or Computer-Aided (CAD) Design solution. However, Game Engine Software are more geared toward creating animated or interactive media. Products in the other categories are typically specialized for other industries, and thus are more likely to have specific tools or coding logic that game engines lack.

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What Are The Best Game Engines?
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Which game engine to use is the first major decision studios make when building a new project. There are hundreds of engines to choose from all of which support different languages, offer unique features, and vary in usability and pricing. Some game engines specialize in mak...
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Best Game Engine Software include:

Unity, Unreal Engine, GameMaker, and Godot.

Game Engine Products

(1-22 of 22) Sorted by Most Reviews

The list of products below is based purely on reviews (sorted from most to least). There is no paid placement and analyst opinions do not influence their rankings. Here is our Promise to Buyers to ensure information on our site is reliable, useful, and worthy of your trust.

Unity

Unity Technologies headquartered in San Francisco offers the Unity real-time 3D and 2D development platform.

Core Games

Developed by Manticore Games, Core is a game engine with an endless arcade of games to play and worlds to explore created by a global community. They have thousands of Unreal-powered games in every genre, and allows one to create, share, and earn from their own games. Free, high-…

UNIGINE

UNIGINE is a global company focused on real-time 3D technologies. Established in 2005, UNIGINE delivers B2B solutions for 3D visualization, simulation, scientific research, VR systems and more, and has received worldwide acclaim for pushing technology frontiers further. UNIGINE…

GDevelop

GDevelop is an open-source, cross-platform game engine designed for everyone, presented as an option that is extensible, fast and easy to learn.

GameSalad

GameSalad is game development software from the Austin-based company of the same name. For Education, GameSalad aims to bring the power of a world class game development to empower students to learn Computer Science concepts in an engaging manner. GameSalad aims to promote 21st Century…

RPG Maker

RPG Maker is a game development studio that uses the Ruby scripting language, presently available in the RPG Maker MZ edition. It is developed by Gotcha Gotcha Games, a company backed by Kadokawa Corporation.

CRYENGINE

CRYENGINE is a game development platform, from German company Crytek, downloadable for free with full source code or available in an Enteprise edition featuring bestoke custom licensing solutions to support teams of all sizes, for a range of gaming and non-gaming projects, and available…

Solar2D Game Engine (Corona SDK)

Solar2D is a Lua based game engine with focus on ease of iterations and usage. It is a fully open source project that is forked of the Corona SDK game engine, which is no longer commercially supported. Development is lead by Vlad Shcherban, former technical lead engineer at Corona…

SpriteKit

The SpriteKit framework is designed to make it easy to create high-performance, battery-efficient 2D games. With support for custom OpenGL ES shaders and lighting, integration with SceneKit, and advanced new physics effects and animations, the user can can add force fields, detect…

MonoGame

MonoGame is presented as a simple and powerful .NET library for creating games for desktop PCs, video game consoles, and mobile devices, available free and open source.

Gideros

Gideros is free and open source game development platform emphasizing mobile games, and provides the cross-platform technology to create games. Games built in Gideros can be played in Android, iOS, MacOSX, Windows, Windows RT, and Windows phones.

Defold

The Defold Foundation is the owner of the free to use, source available, game engine Defold. The foundation works with industry partners to provide developer-friendly software and services to game developers. The foundation was created in May 2020 and is registered in Stockholm, Sweden.…

Stencyl

Stencyl, from the company of the same name in Cupertino, is software providing a fast way to create a game for users of all skill levels, from the programming-phobic to the time-constrained professional. With Stencyl, over 125,000 registered developers have published 12,000 games…

Amazon Open 3D Engine (Lumberyard)

Amazon Open 3D Engine (O3DE) is the successor to the former Amazon Lumberyard. It is architected for modularity and flexibility. Users can swap subsystems or add integrations to give games and simulations the capabilities they need without the features they don’t. It is a open source.…

GameMaker

GameMaker is designed to be an accessible game engine that can be used by users with limited programming knowledge. It can be used to create 2d and 3d games.

Buildbox

Buildbox, from AppOnboard headquartered in Los Angeles, is software designed to allow anyone to create games regardless of technical skill. Boasting a unique user interface, Buildbox helps making games to become a fluid process that doesn't require any scripting, programming or…

Clickteam Fusion

Clickteam Fusion 2.5, from Clickteam USA, is a game creation software from Clickteam, and it comes in a free edition. Clickteam boasts games made with Clickteam Fusion 2.5 and its predecessors have been published on Steam, the iOS App Store, Google Play & Android stores as well as…

AppGameKit

AppGameKit is presented as an easy to learn game development engine, ideal for Beginners, Hobbyists & Indie developers. With it, anyone can code and build apps for multiple platforms and mobile devices.

Godot

Godot is an open source game engine based on C/C++. It supports making games for PC, mobile, and web environments.

Unreal Engine
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Originally designed in 1998, Unreal Engine is a game engine designed to build games of all type, with sharp graphics and control, using the C++ language.

Construct 3

Construct 3 is a 2D game engine, from Scirra, that combines working with blocks and JavaScript to build games. Construct 3 is browser based, and boasts a powerful and versatile engine that is performant. It’s capable of running intensive games and can be extended with a wide range…

Cocos Creator

Cocos is an open-source engine with 1.3 million active users from 200+ countries, from YAJI Software headquartered in Xiamen, China, who states their mission is to simplify game creation, giving content creators around the world the tools to create rich, interactive 2D, 3D, web, iOS,…

Learn More About Game Engine Software

What is Game Engine Software?

Game Engine Software allows users to produce video games and manage development assets from one platform. Game Engine Software provides a range of tools for designing audio, visuals, input, AI, animation, environments, and physics modeling. While Game Engine Software is most frequently used for video games, they can also be used to create immersive training content and realistic simulations.

Game Engine Software centralizes the many aspects needed to make video games by providing a platform where developers do not need to manually code game functions individually. Game Engine Software also typically provides many beginner friendly features, such as drag-and-drop or no-code development, while still allowing more experienced developers to edit source codes directly. Some products offer low-code options. The engines themselves tend to be free, which lowers the cost of entry significantly.

Game Engine Software can function as a rudimentary 3D Modeling Software or Computer-Aided (CAD) Design solution. However, Game Engine Software are more geared toward creating animated or interactive media. Products in the other categories are typically specialized for other industries, and thus are more likely to have specific tools or coding logic that game engines lack.

Game Engine Software Features

The most common Game Engine Software features are:

  • Customizable interfaces
  • Drag-and drop, no-code, and low code development optless
  • Audio management and editing
  • 3D and 2D rendering
  • Environment rendering
  • Physics simulation
  • Collision detection
  • AI and automation tools
  • Media store and library
  • Code library
  • Data management
  • Real-time rendering support
  • Cross-engine compatibility
  • Multiple format exporting
  • Practical experiment modeling
  • Integrated ad support for browsers and mobile platforms
  • Monitored workflows
  • Multiuser collaboration support
  • Support for major coding languages
  • Learning resource libraries
  • Scalability
  • Third party integrations
  • Multiplayer network support
  • Performance monitoring and reporting

Game Engine Software Comparison

When choosing the best Game Engine Software for you, consider the following:

2D vs. 3D. Choosing the best Game Engine Software will depend on whether you want to render 2D or 3D models. Software like YoYo GameMaker Studio 2 makes 2D visual construction simple, but it does not support 3D development. 3D design tools can theoretically be used to make 2D visuals, but the amount of tools may note be needed, and the complex interfaces could be especially overwhelming for inexperienced users.

Deployment strategy. How you plan to deploy your finished product will also determine the best Game Engine Software for you. Specifically, if you’re planning to develop for mobile devices, release to multiple retail platforms, or createVirtual Reality (VR) products, you’ll want to make sure that the engine works within those parameters. Some tools are used to develop for the iOS and macOS platforms, which is a platform that many other products in this category do not support.

System architecture. Because gane engines run many processes at once, they can be quite taxing on your devices and networks. As such, you’ll want to make sure your system can adequately handle the software you use. Generally speaking, more complex rendering with 3D models will require more power and will tax your system more than 2D engines.

Developer experience. Game Engine software can be intimidating, so developer experience should be a determinant for selecting the best product for you. Unreal Engine is designed for experienced designers on large teams, so a new developer or a small team may not find this product suitable. Unity is known to be an easy to use tool for beginning 3D developers. For 2D developers, BuildBox has a wide range of ready-made assets, including send effects, models, and animation.

Coding language. The language your developers code with may be a determinant of the best Video Game Engine for you. Most engines offer drag-and-drop or codeless development to some degree, but more complex tools require significant coding knowledge to get the most of the engine, especially to control product quality and performance

Pricing Information

Many Game Engine Software products are free for single users or for users making non-commercial products. Free plans typically do not support deployment and offer limited features. Paid plans range between $40 to $100 per month for the lowest subscription. Regardless of whether you choose a free or paid engine, you may need to pay licensing fees or royalties to the vendors once you begin selling products using these engines.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a team of strong developers to use a game engine?

While many game engines require coding, some include drag and drop interfaces that are usable for non developers, and others include pre built code chunks that can be used. That said, all game engines are less extensible without code, so you may run into some limitations without skilled developers.

Can I use multiple game engines?

While any given project will be built and completed in a single game engine, you may consider using different engines for other projects at the same company. Notably, adding another engine should be a measured decision since developers may lose productivity as they have to learn new software instead of working with what they are familiar with.

Are there free or open-source game engines?

Some of the most popular game engines are free for individual users or small companies, and there are also open source engines available for free to any user or business.