Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Unreal Engine 4 is a complete suite of game development tools made by game developers, for game developers. From mobile games to high-fidelity AR and VR experiences to console blockbusters, Unreal Engine 4 gives you everything you need to start, ship, grow and stand out from the crowd.
For more information on licensing terms, check out our EULA. Restrictions are minimal, so you can dive right into making your project without worry.
Get Unreal Engine 4 here, and with one free download access all engine features, the full suite of integrated tools, and the C++ source code for the entire engine. You’ll find documentation, tutorials and support resources, plus tons of free content, including templates, sample games and complete projects to quickly get on your way to building anything you want!
Epic regularly releases new versions which include updates, improved features, community contributions and bug fixes. We also share live changes to source code through GitHub.
Once you ship your game or application, you pay Epic 5% of gross revenue after the first $3,000 per product per calendar quarter. For a more detailed explanation of how that works, see the EULA and our product release page. We also offer custom license terms to companies who prefer to pay an upfront license fee in order to lower the royalty rate.
To access the C++ source code via GitHub, see here.
What's the Unreal Engine EULA (End User License Agreement)?
The Unreal Engine 4 EULA is a legal document which you’re agreeing to when you sign up for the Unreal Engine. It governs your use of the Unreal Engine, and also describes your rights and obligations when you build games or other products using the engine. Download the EULA as a PDF here.
I work for a game company that doesn’t use Unreal. Am I allowed to use the Unreal Engine on my personal time?
Yes, the EULA is very liberal in this regard. It doesn’t contain a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). You’re free to use, learn from, and freely discuss the Unreal Engine even if you’re developing a competing product or technology.
What are Unreal Engine 4's system requirements?
For developing with UE4, we recommend a desktop PC with Windows 7 64-bit or a Mac with Mac OS X 10.9.2 or later, 8 GB RAM and a quad-core Intel or AMD processor, and a DX11 compatible video card. UE4 will run on desktops and laptops below these recommendations, but performance may be limited.
What support resources are available?
View the Support page for the most comprehensive information regarding how you can get help and information for development with the Unreal Engine.
If you're a custom licensee (meaning you have a UE4 license agreement with Epic other than the free EULA), you should ask your questions at the Unreal Developer Network (login required).
What platforms are supported?
Unreal Engine 4 enables you to deploy projects to Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, AR, VR, Linux, SteamOS, and HTML5. You can run the Unreal Editor on Windows, OS X and Linux.
Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and NIntendo Switch console tools and code are available at no additional cost to developers who are registered developers for their respective platform(s).
How do I get started with console game development?
Please follow the sign-up instructions here in this blog post.
Does Epic really give everyone the entire C++ source code for UE4?
Yes. Access to full C++ source code for UE4 is included from the moment you create an account and install the engine. You can download source code from GitHub, and you will continue to receive regular updates, including access to live source code changes. Even if you don’t plan to modify the source, it’s super-useful to have it available to understand and debug interactions between your C++ code and the engine’s C++ code!
How do I submit Unreal Engine 4 code changes back to Epic?
GitHub is our channel through which a growing number of contributors can fork and modify the engine. Source code changes you check in at GitHub will be visible to the community. If you submit a pull request to Epic, we'll review it and consider inclusion of your code into mainline UE4. If we ship your contribution, we'll gladly add your name to the credits in the engine.
Can I create Unreal Engine 4 videos or streams and use them to generate YouTube ad revenue or Twitch donations?
Yes. You can earn advertising revenue or Twitch donations from Unreal Engine 4 videos and publish to YouTube. No royalty is owed on this revenue.
How much do I have to pay for Unreal Engine 4?
UE4 is free to use, with a 5% royalty on gross product revenue after the first $3,000 per game per calendar quarter from commercial products. Read the EULA FAQ for more details. Contact us if you require custom terms.
I’m a consultant. Do I owe royalties on consulting fees?
What's the Unreal Engine Marketplace?
The Marketplace is the e-commerce platform through which content creators connect with developers using Unreal Engine 4 by providing a wealth of game-ready content and code. Check out the Marketplace FAQ and Marketplace Guidelines for more information on obtaining and distributing products through the Unreal Engine Marketplace.
What does “Unreal Engine for enterprise” mean?
When we talk about “enterprise,” we are simply differentiating between those who use Unreal Engine for games and interactive entertainment applications, and those who use (or are looking to use) Unreal Engine for things like automotive visualization, architectural visualization, data presentations, linear entertainment, or any one of a thousand other uses that don’t fit into the wider category of games. Regardless of the industry you’re in, there is only one version of Unreal Engine.
What is Unreal Studio?
Unreal Studio provides tools and services to create stunning visuals and immersive experiences for architecture, product design, and manufacturing. It includes Datasmith, a workflow toolkit to efficiently transfer Autodesk 3ds Max and CAD data into Unreal Engine, along with learning, technical support, and assets. For further details on Unreal Studio, click here.
Unreal Studio is provided under a 100% royalty-free license that grants access to all the features of Unreal Studio and Unreal Engine 4. For further details, please consult the Unreal Studio EULA.
What is the Unreal Studio open beta?
Unreal Studio is available as a free open beta as of March 6, 2018. Anyone can register for the Unreal Studio beta until October 1st, 2018. Beta sign-up entitles you to full access to the Unreal Studio offerings for free. Sign up now.
Do I have to pay royalties if I use Unreal Studio?
No. Unreal Studio is a 100% royalty-free license.
What am I allowed to do with Unreal Studio?
Unreal Studio caters to the needs of professionals in the architecture, design visualization, product design, manufacturing and linear entertainment sectors. Other than a few specific restricted uses of Unreal Engine (e.g. live combat use), we place no restrictions on what you can do with products that you make using Unreal Studio that do not themselves include any portion of the Unreal Engine or require the Unreal Engine to run.
If your use of the Unreal Engine requires you to distribute any portion of Unreal Engine or relies on the Unreal Engine to run, under the Unreal Studio EULA, you can use Unreal Engine in many ways, including:
within your corporate group, including for customer-facing uses;
for custom consulting and work-for-hire made specifically for a particular client’s use, including customer-facing uses by the client’s corporate group;
to make, distribute, and monetize non-interactive linear media, such as movies, animated films, and cartoons; and
to make and broadly distribute products that are not themselves sold or monetized, even if you use them to help sell or monetize your other products.
That’s just some of what you can do with Unreal Studio. You can read more about the specifics here.
What happens if the Unreal Studio EULA doesn’t meet my requirements?
If you have custom needs, such as a particular use case that isn’t expressly addressed in the EULA or additional technical support requirements, please reach out to us to discuss a custom license. If you are making a game, please consult the Unreal Engine 4 EULA.
Is the open beta available for commercial and educational use?
Yes. Unreal Studio can be used for both commercial and educational use.
How do I sign up for the Unreal Studio open beta?
To register for the beta, please visit the Unreal Studio web page, create an Epic Account if you don’t already have one, and agree to the Unreal Studio EULA. From there you will be prompted to download the launcher which will give you access to both Unreal Engine 4 and Datasmith.
On which operating systems does Datasmith run?
Datasmith is available on Microsoft Windows 7, 8 and 10.
Is there technical support for Unreal Studio during the beta period?
Yes. Unreal Studio includes access to a knowledgebase, as well as 1:1 ticketed support. Support is provided for Datasmith only and does not include Unreal Engine. Support is currently provided in English only. Visit support.
What learning materials are available?
Unreal Studio includes Unreal Engine fundamentals and Datasmith online training materials. Additional learning materials will be released on an ongoing basis.
What assets are available?
Will I automatically receive product updates?
Yes. During the beta period, you will automatically get access to updated versions of Unreal Studio, including the most recent version of Datasmith, along with new additions to learning and asset content.
Is the Unreal Studio open beta available for Epic Games’ custom licensees?
Yes. If you are an existing custom licensee, you can get access to Unreal Studio by contacting an Epic Games sales representative directly. Contact us.
Can I use Unreal Studio with a custom version of Unreal Engine?
Datasmith only works with the released binary versions of Unreal Engine. We do not provide source code to Datasmith.
For how long is the Unreal Studio open beta available?
You have until October 1st, 2018 to sign up for the beta. This is when beta registrations close.
What happens when the beta period ends?
At the end of the Unreal Studio beta period, on November 1st, you will have the option to purchase Unreal Studio. Should you choose not to purchase Unreal Studio when it is commercialized, you will still be able to use those versions of Unreal Studio that were available to you during the open beta, however, older releases will not be supported and you will not continue to receive access to learning, assets or technical support.
When will I be able to purchase Unreal Studio?
We anticipate that Unreal Studio will be available for purchase starting October 1st, 2018.
How much will Unreal Studio cost?
Unreal Studio will be $49/month per license when purchased under an annual subscription.
Unreal Dev Grants
What are Unreal Dev Grants?
Epic has created a $5,000,000 development fund to provide financial grants to interesting and innovative projects built in and around Unreal Engine 4.
Awards range from $5,000 to $50,000, and there are no strings attached: you continue to own your IP, are free to publish however you wish, and can use the grant funds without any restrictions or obligations to Epic.
Why would we give away free money?
Simply put, we succeed when you succeed. Unreal Dev Grants can give you the boost you need to take your project beyond working prototype. Epic wants to help you focus more on creation and worry less about keeping the lights on.
Who are we looking for?
Anyone Making Cool Things with UE4. We like games, of course, but we also want to see animated features, architectural visualizations, Marketplace content, mods - anything that will make us say "Whoa." Please send us as much as you can. Video of working prototypes are best. If you're only at the design doc or scriptwriting stage, keep going.
Students and Educators. We'd love to see class projects, engine extentions, curricula, tutorials, or any other creative or innovative work related to UE4 and education.
Crowdsourcing Fundraisers. If you're using any of the crowdsourcing sites like Kickstarter or Indie Go-go, don't worry, you can still apply for an Unreal Dev Grant. When both work out, you'll be that much further along.
I'm in, What's next?
Apply at the Unreal Dev Grants page and tell us about your project. Send us videos, links, and any other info you think will help us see why you and your project are awesome. Remember, things in the design or idea phase are still too early, and working prototypes are best. Feel free to discuss the program with other developers on the forums.
Is there a deadline for submission?
The deadline for submission is directly dependent on the funds remaining in the program. At this point, there is no deadline.
Is this limited to just U.S. Developers?
No! If we can get funds to your country, you are eligible.
Can I apply for more than one project?
Absolutely. If you're making more than one stellar Unreal Engine product, we certainly want to know about it.
Can I apply more than once for the same project?
Sure thing. Don't think of Unreal Dev Grants as a competition, though spamming us probably isn't the best idea either.
Does it have to be a game?
Absolutely not. Anything in the engine or relating to the engine is eligible.
So it doesn't even have to be a digital product built in the engine?
Correct. Many ways exist to build something incredible in the Unreal Engine universe. Doing classes, books, etc.? Sounds awesome!
Do I have to be a legal business to receive an Unreal Dev Grant?
No. Individuals are eligible.
Do I have to pay the money back at a later date?
Absolutely not. This is not an investment on Epic's part or a loan. This is our way to give back to the incredible community and reward excellence. No strings attached means no strings attached.
Will single developer teams be treated differently than AAA studios?
We strive for fairness and treat every project equally, regardless of who you are.
When will I hear back from Epic? What can I expect?
With the overwhelming number of applications we receive each day, we simply cannot respond directly to each and every submission for Unreal Dev Grants. If we choose your project for an Unreal Dev Grant, or if we require more information, you’ll hear from us.
Is my non-UE4 project eligible?
The Unreal Dev Grants are only for Unreal Engine 4 related products and projects. If your project is built in another engine or toolset, it will need to be moved to Unreal Engine before it will be eligible for an Unreal Dev Grant.
How do I take advantage of Epic's partnerships with Valve and Oculus? I want hardware!
Simply fill out the form at the bottom of this page and give us information about how you're using Unreal Engine 4 for VR development.
What kinds of products can I release with Unreal Engine 4?
You can release any product that is allowed by law, with the exception of gambling applications and certain safety-critical control systems described in the EULA. You can release games, demos, VR projects, architectural showcases, trailers, films, and more.
The only parts of the Unreal Engine you can’t release to the general public are the source code and tools or modifications to them; these components may only be distributed to other licensees with access to the same version of the Unreal Engine.
What do I need to do when releasing a product?
You must notify Epic when you begin collecting revenue or ship your product; see here for more details.
If I release a commercial product, what royalties are due to Epic, and when?
Generally, you are obligated to pay to Epic 5% of all gross revenue after the first $3,000 per game or application per calendar quarter, regardless of what company collects the revenue. For example, if your product earns $10 from sales on the App Store, the royalty due is $0.50 (5% of $10), even though you would receive roughly $7 from Apple after they deduct their distribution fee of roughly $3 (30% of $10).
Royalty payments are due 45 days after the close of each calendar quarter. Along with the payment, you must send a royalty report on a per-product basis. For more information, see here.
What about downloadable content, in-app purchases, microtransactions, virtual currency redemption, and subscription fees, as well as in-app advertising and affiliate program revenue?
Revenue from these sources is included in the gross revenue calculation above.
Why does Epic think it’s fair to ask for a percentage of a developer’s product revenue?
Our aim is to provide powerful tools, a scalable and productive workflow, advanced features, and millions of lines of C++ source code that enables developers to achieve more than they would otherwise be able to, so that this structure works to everyone’s benefit.
In this business model, Epic succeeds only when developers succeed using UE4. Many of the industry’s leading developers and publishers have signed up to license the Unreal Engine with royalty-based terms over the years, and now this level of access is open to everyone. And, don't forget, we continue to offer custom terms.
Do I need to report royalties forever?
No, you only need to report royalties when you are making more than $3,000 per quarter from your product. If your game no longer is being sold, or no longer makes that amount of money, no royalty reports are due.
What if my project requires custom licensing terms?
If you require terms that reduce or eliminate the 5% royalty in exchange for an upfront fee, or if you need custom legal terms or dedicated Epic support to help your team reduce risk or achieve specific goals, we’re here to help. See the custom licensing page for details.
Can I ship a game that supports mods using the UE4 Editor or source?
Yes, and we have designed the UE4 Editor and launcher to accommodate this. We aim to build a unified UE4 development and modding community. Here is how this works: You’re free to release your game through any distribution channels of your choosing, however the UE4 Editor (including modified versions) and code may only be distributed through official Epic channels (e.g. the UE4 launcher for binaries, and GitHub for source), to users who have accepted the EULA.
Epic has opened up the Epic Games launcher to developers who wish to ship games supporting mods using the Unreal Editor. This is a great opportunity for games to inspire and benefit a rapidly-growing UE4 mod community. For an example of this process in action, see the Unreal Tournament tab within the UE4 launcher: it hosts the game, the editor, and a marketplace for user-created content. If you’re interested in pursuing this route for your project, contact us.
What if my product is released through a publisher or distributor?
You’re free to release Unreal Engine products through a publisher or distributor, and the EULA gives you the right to sublicense the necessary parts of the Unreal Engine to them so they can release your game.
When negotiating terms with publishers, please keep in mind that the royalty remains 5% of the product's gross revenue after the first $3,000 per game per calendar quarter from users. In this scenario, feel free to refer your publisher to Epic during discussions, as it may be advantageous to all if the publisher obtains a custom-negotiated, multi-product Unreal Engine license covering your product.
We actually covered this topic and related business and legal questions on during a Twitch broadcast [April 30, 2015].
What if my project wins cash awards?
You do not have to pay royalties on award winnings.
What if my product obtains crowdfunding via Kickstarter or another source?
Royalties are due on revenue from Kickstarter or other crowdfunding sources when the revenue is actually attributable to your product. For example, if the user is required to purchase a particular funding package to obtain access (now or later) to your product, or if that package gives the buyer benefits within the product such as in-game items or virtual currency.
Here’s an example of what we mean by “attributable”: Assume you provide two tiers of offers, a signed poster for $20, and a signed poster plus game access for $50. No royalties are due on ancillary products like posters, so no royalty is due on the $20 tier. On the $50 tier, the user is paying for the poster with a $20 value, and that implies that the remaining $30 of value is attributable to the product. So, for each $50 tier sale, you’d pay a royalty of $1.50 (5% of $30).
Are any revenue sources royalty-free?
Yes! The following revenue sources are royalty-free:
- Ancillary products, including t-shirts, CDs, plushies, action figures and books. The exception is items with embedded data or information, such as QR codes, that affect the operation of the product.
- Consulting and work-for-hire services using the engine. This applies to architects using the engine to create visualizations as well as consultants receiving a development fee.
- Non-interactive linear media, including movies, animated films and cartoons distributed as video.
- Amusement park rides and live installations.
- Truly free games and apps (with no associated revenue).
What modifications can I make to the source code?
You can extend it, modify it, fork it, or integrate it with other software or libraries, with one exception: You can’t combine the Unreal Engine code with code covered by a “Copyleft” license agreement which would directly or indirectly require the Unreal Engine to be governed by terms other than the EULA.
- Unacceptable Copyleft licenses include: Software licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), Lesser GPL (LGPL) (unless you are merely dynamically linking a shared library), or Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
- Acceptable Non-Copyleft licenses include: Software licensed under the BSD License, MIT License, Microsoft Public License, or Apache License.
Can I share the Unreal Engine source code or tools with others?
You can share the source code or tools, along with any modifications you’ve made, with anyone who is an Unreal Engine licensee who is authorized to access the same version of the engine as yours, e.g. the 4.x.x version number of your installed build.
Can I copy and paste the Unreal Engine code into my own project or engine?
If you use any Unreal Engine code in your product (even just a little), then your entire product is governed by the EULA, and royalties are due.
Can I study and learn from the Unreal Engine code, and then utilize that knowledge in writing my own game or competing engine?
Yes, as long as you don’t copy any of the code. Code is copyrighted, but knowledge is free!
Can I share code snippets online?
UE4 licensees are permitted to post engine code snippets (up to 30 lines) in a public forum, but only for the purpose of discussing the content of the snippet.
What happens when I send feedback to Epic?
Epic welcomes your feedback and code or other content submissions. If you send code and/or content to us, you need to have all the necessary rights to send it to us. However you send it, we will own it, and can (but don't have to) use it in the engine. Regardless of whether we use it, you can still use it (as long as it is in a way allowed by the EULA).
At any given time you are welcome to see our development roadmap and vote on the features you’re most interested in seeing next!
Can I teach Unreal Engine 4 in my classroom?
Epic Games enthusiastically supports educational use of Unreal Engine 4! For detailed information about the opportunities, see our Academic Use page. If you're ready to teach Unreal, please get in touch and we'll add you to our Academic Partners page.
What provisions does the Unreal Engine 4 End User License Agreement (EULA) make for educational use?
Besides all of the free, friendly, and accessible terms for general use of UE4, academic institutions are authorized to install UE4 on any of their computers (e.g. in computer labs), and all users of those computers can access the engine.
What does this mean for students who wish to release UE4 projects commercially?
Students who choose to ship their class projects as commerical games are under the same EULA terms as other UE4 developers. Successful games that make more than $3,000 per quarter are obligated to pay Epic 5% of gross revenues.
Why is Unreal Engine 4 especially well-suited for computer science programs?
Because UE4 includes full C++ source, students have 100% visibility into the workings of one of the world’s leading-edge software projects. Students can learn from the design of UE4, and carry out their research in areas such as graphics, simulation, physics, and computer vision by extending the engine, while leveraging all of its existing capabilities. This is an amazing way to build real-world experience and a strong resume!
Can I create official documentation and textbooks?
Yes. We'd love to hear about any contributions you'd like to make. Please utilize our resources and share information with the community. You can kick off discussions about this on the forums, chat with us on Twitter, add to the Wiki and attend our weekly Twitch stream.
Building Moddable Games
Does UE4 support moddable games?
Yes! Unreal Engine 4 has been designed with modding in mind. The complete source code, easy-to-use tools, modding forums, tutorials and documentation we provide for developing games are also available to your game's modding community to take full advantage of! We've also designed Unreal Engine 4's business terms to be friendly to modding.
Why are mods interesting?
An active mod community can take a game far beyond the scale and scope that a developer can achieve alone, and have a multiplicative effect on the game's community engagement and success. Many of us at Epic got our start in the mod communities surrounding early games like Quake, Unreal and Half-Life, and now we're proud to provide tools and business terms enabling game developers to take modding to the next level!
As a developer of a moddable game, what can I redistribute?
First of all, you can redistribute your game, and mods for your game, to anyone and through any channels you desire. These redistribution rights are covered in the EULA section 1a.
Second, you can redistribute your customized version of the Unreal Editor, and (if you choose) UE4 source code, freely, to the Unreal Engine 4 community through Epic's UE4 channels including GitHub and the Marketplace. These redistribution rights are covered in EULA section 1b.
Why does the Unreal Editor and source have to be released through Epic's UE4 channels?
The intent here is to keep the entire Unreal Engine developer community together, so that everyone from pros to indies and modders shares the same documentation, forums, content marketplace, and collaboration resources. Over time we'll be doing a lot to expand this and further improve the engine for moddable games here.
How should I distribute the editor to mod developers?
Create a GitHub fork of Epic's UE4 repository and place your editor binaries there, and create a tutorial page telling users how to install it into their existing installation of your game and get started. In time, we'll provide a more user-friendly means of distributing binaries.
Can I distribute C++ source to mod developers (and should I)?
You're free to redistribute all of Epic's UE4 source, and your modifications and extensions to it, to the UE4 community, through a fork of Epic's UE4 GitHub repository. Of course, you're also free to not redistribute any source, if that's what you prefer.
Generally, source code is of interest to a smaller and more hardcore developer community than the Unreal Editor and its user-friendly interface for Blueprint visual scripting and other systems. We recommend starting with a release of mod tools, and considering source later as your community gains momentum.
Are there any restrictions on how I can distribute mods for my game?
No. As a game developer, you can distribute your game's mods through any channels you like, and you can give mod makers permission to distribute their mods through whatever channels you choose. Mods can be distributed directly to your customers online, or through a publisher, or through services such as Valve's Steam Workshop.
Can mods be sold?
It is up to the developer of each moddable UE4-based game to decide whether and how mods may be sold for that game. If the game developer chooses to control the curation and sale of mods to users, then the EULA's royalty terms (section 4) apply to the game developer's revenue. If the game developer allows mod developers to sell their own mods directly to users, then those terms apply to the mod developer's revenue.
Can assets be used from the UE4 Marketplace for mod development?
Yes, mod developers are free to purchase UE4 Marketplace content for use in their mods, and to redistribute that content to the general public as part of their playable mods (in the form of object code and cooked content).
However, mod developers may only share commercial Marketplace content in source code or uncooked form within their mod development team. This content format mustn't be released to the community at large, as Marketplace developers are relying on selling it to earn their livings.
Where can I find support for making mods using UE4?
Moddable games will generally include a tutorial on the specifics of modding their game. Beyond that, all of Unreal Engine 4's documentation and tutorial videos are generally applicable to all moddable games build in UE4. There's a wealth of information in the searchable Unreal Engine documentation and video tutorials. Be sure to visit the modding resources wiki and modding forums as well.
What's a good example of a moddable UE4 game?
Check out ARK: Survival Evolved, the first moddable game for UE4, which is available on Steam. To get started with ARK modding, see http://www.playark.com/workshop/, You can access ARK's tools directly through the Epic Games launcher.