What is Unreal Engine? – Making Powerful 3D Games

If you’re new to game development, you probably want to know what is Unreal Engine – one of the biggest players in the industry.

Understanding the digital world of game development and its many facets is a thrilling journey. As a developer or a learner curious about the possibilities in the gaming technology world, you must have come across the term “Unreal Engine”. The following exploration covers a comprehensive insight into understanding what Unreal Engine is, why it’s such a popular tool in the gaming industry, and the exciting things you can create with it.

What is Unreal Engine?

Let’s dive first into the easiest way to answer what is Unreal Engine.

Developed by Epic Games, Unreal Engine is a series of powerful real-time 3D creation tools used by AAA studios to create photoreal visuals and immersive experiences. It was first showcased with the 1998 game ‘Unreal’. Since then, it became extensively renowned across various industries. Today, Unreal Engine has evolved into its latest generation, Unreal Engine 5, offering breakthrough features for high visual fidelity in real-time content production, such as Nanite and Lumen.

In addition to game development, Unreal Engine is used across a wide spectrum of industries, including architecture, automotive, animation, film, and television. The versatility of Unreal Engine comes from its robust feature set, for instance: MetaHuman Framework for digital humans creation, Twinmotion for real-time 3D visualization, and Bridge by Quixel to access a world of 3D content.

Why Learn Unreal Engine?

So we have the basis of what is Unreal Engine – but let’s talk about why you’d want to learn Unreal Engine – whether for Unreal Engine game development or something else.

Whether you’re a budding developer or a seasoned gaming enthusiast, there are several compelling reasons to learn Unreal Engine.

  • Industry demand: With its power and versatility, Unreal Engine is in high demand in the gaming industry and other fields that value immersive digital experiences.
  • Strong Community: Unreal Engine boasts a thriving global community of creators, offering a rich knowledge bank and a pool of shared resources.
  • Free Access: Interestingly, Unreal Engine 4 is free until you earn $1 million with your product, making it a cost-effective platform for experimentation and professional growth.
  • Flexible Learning: Open learning resources online, including freemium courses on Zenva Academy, offer an easy start for beginners in Unreal Engine concepts.

Applications of Unreal Engine in the Gaming Industry

Part of understanding what is Unreal Engine means understanding how we can use it.

Unreal Engine’s striking features and industry-aligned tools make it a favored choice across multiple gaming genres. Its robust capabilities have been used to develop visually immersive games that left a significant impact on the gaming world.

Some of the famous games developed using Unreal Engine include:

  • Fortnite: An Epic Games creation, this popular game showcases the design versatility of Unreal Engine. Its successful performance on multiple platforms like PC, consoles and mobile demonstrates the portability of the engine.
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake: This award-winning RPG used Unreal Engine 4 for its jaw-dropping visuals and gameplay mechanics, offering the players an immersive experience.
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum series: Unreal Engine 3 brought the iconic locales of Gotham City to life in this series, demonstrating a splendid mix of combat and story-driven elements.

Beyond these, Unreal Engine has fueled the development of various other games in genres like action-adventure, horror, indie, and puzzle games. Its adaptability to VR and AR games has also opened up a new universe of possibilities for game developers.

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How to Get Started with Unreal Engine

You’ve learned what is Unreal Engine by now (we hope), so let’s talk learning.

Starting your journey with Unreal Engine might seem daunting, given its expanse and versatility. However, we’re here to assure you that it’s not as complex as it may seem. Here is a general roadmap to get you started.

  • Understand the Basics: Start with understanding the editors and tools of Unreal Engine. Get familiar with the layout, Blueprint Visual Scripting, landscape creation, and basic physics.
  • Explore Tutorials: Unreal Engine provides a comprehensive set of tutorials that cover a wide array of topics, including materials creation, character animation, and level design.
  • Build a Simple Game: Once familiar with the basics, try to design a simple game. This will allow you to practically apply the knowledge you’ve gained and understand the development workflow.
  • Join the Community: The Unreal Engine community is a goldmine of shared experiences and valuable feedback. Participate in these discussions to learn from others’ experiences and resolve your queries.
  • Keep Practicing: Like any other skill, it takes time and practice to become proficient in Unreal Engine. With every new project, you’ll familiarize yourself with additional features and tools.

We at Zenva, value your aspirations and strive to empower you with accessible and comprehensive learning resources. That’s why we’ve curated a beginner-friendly program to guide you through the world of Unreal Engine.

Our Unreal Game Development Mini-Degree includes a step-by-step guide that takes you from the basics of game development to creating your own 3D games using Unreal Engine. Each module builds upon previous ones, gradually enhancing your skills and confidence.

These Unreal Engine courses combines theory lessons, practical exercises, and projects, catering to diverse learning styles. We’ve ensured that the content is beginner-friendly, making it accessible even if you’re just starting your journey in game development. So, fuel your aspirations and embark on your Unreal Engine journey with us!

Learning Resources

As we close out our article on what is Unreal Engine, here are some final pieces of knowledge.

Embarking on your Unreal Engine journey becomes easier when you have access to comprehensive, accessible, and in-depth learning resources. The following list is a compilation of some helpful resources that can accelerate your Unreal Engine learning path. This includes a mix of Unreal Engine 5 courses and Unreal Engine 4 courses. We’ve also included some free tutorials. This said, you can also expand by learning C++ for game development, which is a different topic entirely.

Unreal Game Development Mini-Degree (Comprehensive)

The Unreal Game Development Mini-Degree offered by Zenva Academy:

  • Is a complete package of courses teaching how to build games using Unreal Engine
  • Covers topics such as Unreal basics, game mechanics, 3D environments, enemy AIs, product monetization, and more
  • Is suitable for both beginners and experienced developers
  • Can be accessed flexibly online
  • Award completion certificates for every course

Unreal Engine 101 – 3D Game Creation Course (Free Unreal Engine course)

The Unreal Engine 101 – 3D Game Creation course by Zenva Academy:

  • Teaches the fundamentals of Unreal Engine for game development
  • Covers manipulating game objects, lighting, physics, and more
  • Is suitable for both beginners and experienced learners
  • Includes video lessons, quizzes, and completion certificates as part of a subscription package
  • Offers 24/7 access on any device

GameDev Academy

GameDev Academy hosts valuable resources and articles that guide you along your Unreal Engine journey:

Unreal Engine Official Website and Documentation

The Unreal Engine Official Website and the Unreal Engine 5.2 Documentation page:

  • Are the most relevant and authentic source of learning material on Unreal Engine
  • Offer detailed products and solutions
  • Provide extensive learning resources and tools
  • List all hardware and software specifications for developing with Unreal Engine 5 in depth


Wikipedia’s page on Unreal Engine:

  • Offers a detailed insight into the history and evolution of Unreal Engine
  • Discusses the different versions and their features
  • Elaborates on Epic Games’ commercial use royalty model

All these resources can provide a thorough and solid foundation for your Unreal Engine learning. It’s time to dive into the thrilling world of game development!


Thanks for joining us, and we hope we’ve answered what is Unreal Engine for you.

As technology progresses, the fields of game development and virtual experiences continue to provide remarkable opportunities. The Unreal Engine is undeniably a fundamental tool that can empower you to create captivating games and immersive digital atmospheres. Starting your journey with Unreal Engine today equips you with a potent skill set, opening up a world of creative and professional possibilities.

Always remember that the journey of learning is constant. Even as you achieve milestones and build impressive projects, there’s always room for growth and enhancement. The gaming industry thrives on innovation, and every new feature you master in Unreal Engine adds a new dimension to your creations.

Zenva Academy is committed to supporting you throughout your learning journey. Our Unreal Game Development Mini-Degree course has been meticulously designed for learners at various stages of their gaming development journey. It provides an in-depth exploration of Unreal Engine, from the basics to the intricacies of creating your unique games.

So fuel your passion, harness your creativity, and leap into the world of game development! Start your Unreal Engine journey with the Unreal Game Development Mini-Degree today.

We look forward to being a part of your exciting gaming development journey, helping you turn your creative visions into compelling digital realities!

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