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Unity vs Unreal: Which engine is best for young coders?

Updated: 5 days ago

When you talk about professional game engines, there are two huge players in the market. Unity and Unreal 5. If you are wondering which one your teen should be looking at, here is a quick break down of the advantages of the two.

My verdict

Going by reputation, you may be led to believe that Unreal Engine is the best gaming engine on the market. And you might be right. But I would definitely encourage a teenager who is interested in game design towards Unity and here is why.

Graphics are better in Unreal

This is a generally accepted fact. The Unreal Engine can create better graphics and this is a huge advantage for Unreal. However, the graphics that Unreal can produce that Unity cannot are beyond the skills of most hobbyists and young developers anyway.

Unity users produce a wider variety of games

The reason that users can create better graphics in Unreal is simply because Unreal tends to focus on one particular genre: FPS. If you are not making a first person shooter, you are better off with Unity. It is simply a better experience to create platformers and other 2D and 2.5D on Unity.

Unreal has a steeper learning curve

Learning to use a game engine is not an easy task. For beginners in game development, you want to find tools that encourage the learning process not tools that make the job harder. Unreal is a great game engine but it is harder to use than Unity for a couple of reasons. One important one is the underlying coding language. C# used in Unity is a high-level language, which means that it is easier to use and easier to learn. Unreal uses C++ which has advantages as well but those advantages come at a cost in terms of the learning curve.

In short, both game engines are awesome and both can be used to create mind-blowing games. When I created the curriculum for my small coding school, I had to decide which tool I would use to teach teenagers to code and I choose Unity. It is easier to learn, better for creating different types of games and the graphical advantages are irrelevant for younger learners.

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