The 15 best online courses to learn Unreal Engine

Whether you want to be a game developer or master the metaverse, there’s never been a better time to learn Unreal Engine. And a lot of people are! 

In fact, students have watched over 380,000 hours of free Unreal Online Learning (UOL) courses this year, as they’ve worked to kickstart their careers and various real-time ideas. To help you join their ranks, we’ve assembled 15 of our most popular classes. 

Most of them are fundamental in nature, which should take you from real-time rookie to Unreal Engine expert pretty fast. But remember, there’s over 225 hours of content in UOL, so as you progress you can always keep expanding your skill sets until you’re exactly where you want to be.

Let’s dig in!

1. Introducing Unreal Engine

Discover the fundamentals of the Unreal Editor and its components, from its interface and functionality to the most important settings that will let you adapt the Editor to your workflow.

Duration: 1 hour 9 minutes

You will learn how to:
  • Navigate and customize the Unreal Engine Editor user interface.
  • Utilize and adjust basic tools and elements in the Unreal Engine Editor user interface. 

2. Your First Hour in Unreal Engine 4

Learn the basics of project creation, navigation, lighting, and Blueprints in this introductory course to Unreal Engine 4 and the Unreal Editor.

Duration: 55 minutes

You will learn how to:
  • Navigate the Epic Games Launcher and content browser.
  • Enhance a project created from a template by migrating in assets and creating basic levels.
  • Create an actor and implement functionality to create a lighting effect.
As a seasoned programmer, this was well done! Not too basic but not too complex that a complete beginner would have issues with. Excellent starting point.
- Michael Hobbs
Unreal Engine Online Learning Courses First Hour Ue4

3. Comprehending Projects and File Structure

This course dives into the fundamentals of the Epic Games Launcher, which will help you to create new projects, adjust current project settings, and access the most important files associated with your project.

Duration: 42 minutes

You will learn how to:
  • Navigate the Epic Games Launcher to create and access projects, files, and resources.
  • Recognize the project and file structures necessary to create a project in the Unreal Engine.
  • Differentiate between storage options for projects and files.

4. Blueprints - Essential Concepts

What are Blueprints, and how can they help speed up your development? Find out in this introduction to creating and working within the Blueprint visual scripting system, where you’ll get to explore some of the different types of Blueprints available in Unreal Engine.

Duration: 1 hour 13 minutes

You will learn how to:
  • Navigate the Blueprint Editor user interface to build and customize Blueprints.
  • Utilize the different panels of the Blueprint Editor to create and modify components and variables.
  • Use nodes and variables to add scripting to a Blueprint graph.
Excellent. Extremely well constructed. Every sentence mattered.
No wasted time. Well done.
- Edward Brookman
Unreal Engine Online Learning Courses Blueprints Essential

5. Blueprint Kickstart

In this course, you’ll get to explore the Blueprint visual scripting system in more depth. Dive into how Blueprint workflows can be applied to different facets of Unreal Engine, and get best-practice tips for using Blueprints on different types of projects.

Duration: 57 minutes

You will learn how to:
  • Review Epic Games philosophy for creating Blueprint projects and the assets which form them.
  • Apply the different types of Blueprint Actors and assets used to build out a Blueprint project.
  • Explore tips, tricks, and advice when creating Blueprint projects based on Epic Games' experiences.

6. Building Better Pipelines

Tired of having lag in your game? In this master class, you’ll learn how to ensure your Unreal Engine project will perform flawlessly no matter what platform it’s running on; as well as troubleshoot tips for performance issues and more. 

Duration: 4 hours 19 minutes

You will learn how to:
  • Relate the use of materials, textures, levels of detail, and static meshes to performance.
  • Determine impact checkpoints for lighting, shadowing, and post-processing performance.
  • Use Lightmass and Cull Distance Volumes to define calculation boundaries to improve your levels of performance.
One of the best courses on this platform.
- Αλέξανδρος Συμεωνίδης
Unreal Engine Online Learning Courses Better Pipelines

7. Blueprints and Gameplay for Game Designers

Get ready to iterate your ideas faster than ever before. In this course for aspiring game designers, you’ll explore how Blueprints can be used to prototype game elements. You’ll also start to create your own gameplay actions like sprinting and crouching, as well as use sounds, particles, and more. 

Duration: 1 hour 40 minutes

You will learn how to:
  • Explore the roles and responsibilities of a gameplay designer in a team.
  • Utilize Blueprints to prototype game elements.
  • Use Blueprint components to add functionality to Blueprint Actors.
  • Add sounds and particles to an environment and control them using Blueprints.
  • Change the overall look of a scene with a post-process volume.

8. World Building Kickstart

Learn everything you need to start creating worlds in Unreal Engine, including a breakdown on the history and design philosophy of the level-building pipeline.

Duration: 1 hour 24 minutes

You will learn how to:
  • Recognize the history and design philosophy of creating levels with Unreal Engine tools and features.
  • Locate all the Unreal Engine editor elements which can be used in the process of building and Unreal Engine based experience.
  • Explore tips, tricks and advice on World Building based on Epic Games' experiences.

9. Animation Kickstart

Calling all animators! Get the most out of Unreal Engine’s animation pipeline in this course from Sjoerd De Jong and Mario Palermo. 

Duration: 46 minutes

You will learn how to:
  • Examine Epic Games philosophy behind Unreal Engines Animation workflow.
  • Recognize the parts of the Animation workflow and the supporting features provided in the editor.
  • Explore tips, tricks and advice for Animation based on Epic Games' experiences.

10. Lighting Essential Concepts and Effects

Don’t let your work get lost in the dark. In this course, you’ll learn how to set up lighting in Unreal Engine, including the different types of lights you can use, how to use them together, and how to add special effects like fog and reflections. 

Duration: 1 hour 25 minutes

You will learn how to:
  • Light a scene using basic lighting concepts and properties in combination.
  • Build baked and real-time lighting within a scene to increase the quality of the final lighting.
  • Use lighting functions and interaction to create lighting effects such as fog and reflections.
  • Apply cascaded shadow maps and distance field shadows to cast shadows within a scene.
Excellent top level summary of lighting, fog, and reflections in Unreal Engine.
- Dinu Madau
Unreal Engine Online Learning Courses Lighting Essentials

11. Introducing Global Illumination

Take your scenes to a whole new level of realism with this course on the basics of global illumination in Unreal Engine.

Duration: 31 minutes

You will learn how to:
  • Implement dynamic global illumination into a project and identify the important settings with which it is controlled.
  • Identify which actors and settings to modify to improve Lightmass quality.
  • Apply materials to meshes to use as light sources in a scene.

12. Unreal Editor Fundamentals - Actors and Blueprints

Want to create a minigame using Blueprints? Take this course to learn how Actors and Blueprints can help craft experiences within Unreal Engine. 

Duration: 29 minutes

You will learn how to:
  • Utilize various methods to select, modify, and transform actors within the Unreal Engine viewport.
  • Locate the level Blueprint and be able to identify the differences between it and other actor class Blueprints.
  • Create a small minigame using Blueprint code.
Unreal Engine Online Learning Courses Actors Blueprints

13. Real-Time Rendering Fundamentals

Dive into the essentials of real-time rendering, including key concepts and terminology, as well as the best workflows and limitations when it comes to eliminating render time.

Duration: 29 minutes

You will learn how to:
  • Recognize that real-time rendering is a complex process that requires multiple solutions.
  • Identify common points of rendering scalability.
  • Determine rendering performance issues impacting performance.
Wow, he is knowledgeable! I learned a lot in a short amount of time.
Thank you!
- Eric Kaplan
Unreal Engine Online Learning Courses Real Time Rendering

14. Interactive Material Swaps Using Blueprints

See how easy it is to create an interactive widget for swapping materials using Blueprints—letting you interactively control the look of your designs at runtime.

Duration: 34 minutes

You will learn how to:
  • Implement a UI to the viewer's scene to allow material swapping.
  • Enable UI widgets to communicate with Blueprints and widgets.
  • Control the animation and visibility of UI elements.

15. Programming Kickstart

Learn about programming in Unreal Engine, along with tips and tricks for creating and developing C++ projects, and methods for improving workflows.

Duration: 44 minutes

You will learn how to:
  • Review Epic Games philosophy when approaching C++ projects and the assets supporting them.
  • Utilize classes, functions, macros, and other assets to build a C++ based Unreal Engine project.
  • Explore tips, tricks and advice when creating C++ projects based on Epic Games' experiences.

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