Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Unreal Engine 4 is a complete suite of game development tools made by game developers, for game developers. From 2D mobile games to high-fidelity 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 FAQ. 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, including custom terms, see the EULA and our product release page.
To access the C++ source code via GitHub, see here.
What is 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.
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?
Join the Forums and the AnswerHub Q&A site to participate in the Unreal Engine community. These are community resources, and though Epic does participate, we don't guarantee answers to individual questions.
What platforms are supported?
Unreal Engine 4 enables all developers to deploy projects to Windows PC, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, VR (including but not limited to SteamVR/HTC Vive, Morpheus, Oculus Rift and Gear VR), Linux, SteamOS, and HTML5. You can run the Unreal Editor on both Windows and OS X. Xbox One and PlayStation 4 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.
I’m a consultant. Do I owe royalties on consulting fees?
What is the Unreal Engine Marketplace?
The Marketplace provides a wealth of usable content and code, and connects content creators with developers using UE4.
What can I do with content I obtain from the Marketplace and Learn tab?
Besides using this content for learning, experimenting, and prototyping, you can also ship it in your own products, too! However, you can’t sell or sublicense Marketplace content to other developers for use in their products, e.g. via website or e-commerce mechanism built into a 3D development tool.
What forms of payment are accepted for Marketplace transactions?
We accept Paypal as well as credit and debit cards bearing the VISA, MasterCard, JCB, Discover, American Express and Diners brands. Debit cards are only accepted when they do not require PIN entry.
What billing information does Epic store?
Epic Games stores your name, billing address, and email address. Epic Games does not store credit or debit card information in our systems. We contract with Chase Paymentech, one of the largest and most trusted payment providers who stores customer payment information. That provider is a Level 1 PCI compliant company and a member of PCI.
How do I receive receipt of any transactions?
You will receive receipts for all transactions via email, and your account activities will be available to you from the website under account management.
How can I sell my own creations in the Marketplace?
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 is in the process of opening up the UE4 launcher to developers who wish to ship games supporting mods using the UE4 Editor, and we think 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 early access, 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.
- Cabinet-based arcade games and amusement park rides.
- 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?
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?