With many of Unreal Engine 5’s powerful tools and workflows at your fingertips, including custom asset import, modeling, materials and VFX, Sequencer and Control Rig, you’ll have a whole new world of options for producing and publishing games and experiences for Fortnite that can be enjoyed by millions of players.
UEFN is being launched alongside a new programming language, Verse, and Creator Economy 2.0—including a new way for Fortnite island creators and developers to earn a portion of Fortnite’s Item Shop purchases based on engagement with their published content.
These tools are where Epic’s road to an open, connected metaverse begins. We hope you’ll join us and explore how we’ll create, build, and benefit together.
What is UEFN?
Unreal Editor for Fortnite is a new way to design, develop, and publish content into Fortnite that takes advantage of the Unreal Editor’s development workflows and proven PC-based toolset.
Over time, UEFN will evolve to feature most of the same tools available in Unreal Engine 5 (and beyond) that enable the publication and distribution of experiences on a massive scale. Today's Public Beta release is the first major step towards achieving this goal.
UEFN works side-by-side and is additive to Fortnite’s existing Creative toolset. Launched in 2018, Fortnite Creative is a sandbox editing mode in Fortnite that enables creators to level edit, modify the environment and game mechanics, and publish in-game playable islands.
“Islands” are playable game experiences that, once published, are accessible to all Fortnite players. Creator-built islands, games, and experiences are incredibly popular: more than one million player-built islands have been published by their creators, and more than 40% of player game time in Fortnite is spent in creator-built content.
With Fortnite player accounts currently over 500 million, millions of players are searching for, playing, and coming back for new content beyond Battle Royale every day.
What can I do with UEFN and Verse?
With UEFN, developers and the Fortnite Creative community can now leverage a powerful collection of Unreal Engine features to build Fortnite islands. We’ve taken many of the proven tools and workflows from the Unreal Editor and combined these with the core Fortnite Creative toolset so that teams of Unreal Engine developers and skilled Fortnite creators can build and publish entirely new experiences. Check out Fortnite.com to see some examples.
In the UEFN Beta, you’ll be able to rig and animate using Control Rig and Sequencer, block out geometry directly using Unreal Engine’s modeling tools, and add visual effects using the Niagara VFX system and Post Process Volumes. You’ll also have access to Unreal Engine tools for sculpting and painting expansive terrain, as well as the Unreal Engine Material Editor for creating materials with a unique visual style.
If you’ve already explored Fortnite Creative, you’ll recognize many of the devices that power your Fortnite islands today. For those not familiar with devices, they’re the primary building blocks today for authoring game mechanics in Fortnite.
Today, Verse is aimed at getting UEFN developers and creators up and running with the ability to script alongside existing Fortnite Creative tools and teams. In its first release, Verse offers powerful customization capabilities such as manipulating or chaining together devices and the ability to easily create new game logic.
Verse is far more than just a new way to code in Fortnite, however. Verse is being designed as a programming language for the metaverse, with upcoming features to enable future scalability to open worlds with code and content that’s built in collaboration by millions of creators for billions of players.
The version of Verse available in the UEFN Public Beta is an early version of the API and framework, but we’ll expand Verse’s capabilities as the language evolves. Verse will become a fully supported programming language in Unreal Engine. It will be open source, with open API specifications for anyone to use for their own needs or to easily interface with Epic’s ecosystem.
Team editing across UEFN and Fortnite Creative
Teams can collaborate on projects in real time in UEFN using easy-to-use, built-in revision control that enables teammates to stay in sync and up to date with the latest changes. The Live Edit feature enables UEFN developers to iterate quickly on gameplay in real time and make instant changes during playtesting.
UEFN developers using Live Edit can also collaborate in real time with other team members using consoles or a controller setup to access Fortnite’s Creative toolset, making both development styles fully interoperable.
The Public Beta of UEFN you can access today is early, and we plan to improve and expand its capabilities to the point where creator and developer teams of all sizes and skillsets, ranging from hobbyists to AAA studios, can build amazing experiences and deploy directly to Fortnite.
Importing content to UEFN
Another exciting aspect of UEFN is that you can bring your own custom content into the environment, or use Epic’s Fab integration to select and import content from a curated library of high-quality assets.
Thousands of assets are currently available for UEFN users in the Fab Alpha plugin, and that’s set to grow to millions when Fab.com launches in late 2023 as a multi-platform marketplace. Fab will unify the Unreal Engine Marketplace, Sketchfab, ArtStation Marketplace, and Quixel libraries to create a single source of content for assets of all types: 3D, VFX, environments, and more.
Today your own custom assets can also be imported, everything from static and skeletal meshes to animation, textures, or sounds, and used in your islands. Original works you create, import, and publish in UEFN are owned by you and can be removed at any time.
Publishing content with UEFN
So how do you publish an island so everyone in Fortnite can play it? Join the Island Creator & Engagement Program, register a Creator Code that matches the name of your studio or brand, and press the publish button in UEFN. You’ll be guided through the process in the Creator Portal. Epic checks to ensure that your game matches up with Fortnite’s Island Creator Rules and age rating, and then your island is live.
Players can find your published island through the Fortnite in-game Discover browser. Outside of Fortnite, every creator will have a dedicated presence at Fortnite.com/@<CreatorCode> that can be customized to represent your brand and experiences within the Fortnite ecosystem. On this page, logged-in players can quickly add islands to a playlist for the next time they’re in-game.
This is also the link you can use when you promote your creations on social media. To manage your creator page, we designed the Creator Portal with tools to connect with the community, share information about yourself or your experiences, and grow your brand.
Creator Economy 2.0
Developers that publish islands can also benefit from the success of Fortnite. Announced at GDC, Creator Economy 2.0 includes engagement payouts, a new way for eligible island creators to receive money based on engagement with their published island content.
Engagement payouts proportionally distribute 40% of the net revenue from Fortnite’s Item Shop and most real-money Fortnite purchases to the creators of eligible islands and experiences, both islands from independent creators and Epic's own such as Battle Royale.
To learn more about Creator Economy 2.0 and engagement payouts, or to join the Island Creator program, please visit the Creator Portal.
Learn the ropes and explore
To further support developers who choose to transition their work to UEFN, we’re adding support for UEFN projects to the Epic MegaGrants program to help future-oriented teams learn and launch new experiences using UEFN and Verse.
Please join us on a journey to build the future of Unreal Engine and Unreal Editor for Fortnite. To learn more about how to use UEFN, check out the Epic Developer Community for documentation and tutorials.
Try out UEFN today!
Ready to start creating virtual worlds and experiences in Fortnite? Download UEFN on your desktop and drop in.