Updated: Nov 17, 2020
Is Unity the Best Game Engine?
Many future game developers are asking themselves “is unity the best game engine?”, so I went ahead and did the research for you. Unity has many competitors, and I’m sure many of them flew below your radar.
A few of the more popular game engines include GameMaker Studio 2, Unreal Engine 4, Cocos2d, Corona, and of course, Godot. If you want the short and sweet, Unity (almost) always blows them out of the water.
Unreal Engine can sometimes be more effective depending on the type of game you want to make, but due to financial factors which I will talk about in a second, Unity is your best bet. For more posts related to Unity check here.
What Are The Considerations For The Best Game Engine?
The main factors I’m taking into account for a game engine are: Price, Ease of Use, Support, and Script Languages.
There are many more factors, but these are generally the most important. A lot of engines use similar languages and are free. This means that more often than not, the deciding factors are ease of use and support.
Corona SDK is a great game engine, but I wouldn’t put it top five. That being said, it definitely deserves to be on the list. For the positives, Corona uses Lua as the main coding language.
Lua is a specialty language that focuses on game development. This is especially good if you want to build powerful lightweight games. Corona also has a decently sized user base, with over 500,000 developers using it. The price of Corona is absolutely free, with no hidden fees or royalties.
Corona is a powerful tool, but I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone with no experience in game development or coding. It’s a fully code based engine, making it hard to pick up and go. This is the main cause that makes me rank it lower on the list.
Despite the name, you can also make 3d games with Cocos, but it is optimized for 2d titles. This game engine, is again, free. It heavily code based, but unlike corona there is an editor you can use so it isn’t all code.
I would recommend Cocos to anyone who isn’t new to game development, and plans to make 2d games. The learning curve and ease of use is more difficult than higher ranking engines, which is why Cocos sits at the number five spot.
#4 GameMaker Studio 2
GameMaker Studio is another strong competitor for best gamemaker. It uses its own coding language, which obviously boosts performance of games drastically. This also means it is only useful in gamemaker studio.
Using its own language is a double edged sword, but I think the benefits outweigh the cost in this case. On that note, game maker has a relatively low cost. The license to release on iOS and android is $200.
This is a fair price as gamemaker studio is a powerful engine. The main downside to GameMaker Studio is it’s lack of successful games on the Playstore and Appstore.
Godot is very similar to Unity, but in my opinion, ever so slightly worse. It uses C#, C++, and GDScript. It has a built in drag and drop editor, just like the other three in the top four, but really specializes in graphics.
Godot offers incredible 2d and 3d graphics. The biggest two downsides of Godot are its lack of popular games, and it’s somewhat small community size. Although I will say they make up for the smaller community very well with a dedicated community page on their site.
This makes it easy to solve problem and talk to other devs about games. If you want an engine similar to Unity, but a little more geared towards graphics and animation, then Godot is the right choice for you.
I have recently wrote another article comparing Godot to Unity more closely, which I would recommend you read.
#2 Unreal Engine
Unreal Engine is a powerhouse of an engine, and definitely a great choice depending on your goals. Unreal engine can use amazing graphics at top notch speeds. It is the same engine used to develop fortnite, and many other incredibly popular games.
Unity uses pure C++, and can even make VR games. To be honest, sometime I consider switching over but then I remember Unreal Engines huge flaw. After your initial $3,000 every quarter, unreal engine takes 5% of all profit.
This doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, until you realize that if you make $100,000 in profit, you really only make about $95,000. The more successful the game is, the more money they take. This is the reason I decided to use Unity, and why Unity is ranked above Unreal.
Is Unity The Best Game Engine? Yes.
Unity is a powerful 2d, and 3d game engine. It’s main coding language is C#, which is a medium difficulty, but nothing too bad. The user interface is pleasing to the eye, and easy to use. Of course, I am a little bias.
Unity works especially well with 3d games, but can make great 2d games too. There are 3 different priced licenses Unity has, from 0-125 dollars a month. Unity personal is free, and great for individuals who want to make solo games. Unity stays free unless you make more than 100K in revenue or funding, in which case you have to upgrade to Unity Plus.
This still comes out to be much cheaper than unreal engine at just $300 a year. At 200K in revenue or funding, you need to upgrade to pro for 1,500 a year. At this point you have no cap on earnings.
The biggest upside to using Unity is the huge community. It’s easy to find tutorials, help, or prewritten code for free. Unity also has a large amount of free assets, online and in the built-in asset store. Overall, Unity is my top choice for future game developers.