I’ve been using Unity for many years now and I know it pretty well. Out of my personal experience, here’s a subset of issues that personally affected me in Unity to check against in UE4:
- 2d text sharpness
- Prefab editing
- Prefab nesting
- Multiple tags per object
- Simple geometry building tools
- Data driven game elements
- Limited networking capabilities
- Video playback
Now, keep in mind the obvious: since I’ve been using Unity for so many years and for a lot of projects, small and mid-sized, it’s logical for me to find more annoying stuff with Unity simply for the fact I haven’t used the Unreal Engine so much.
Also, keep in mind I’m not doing a feature check here, I’m just testing the few things that annoy me on Unity.
1- 2d text sharpness
Unreal is the definite winner here. With Unity you can’t use the default font as it’s so poor it’s useless. Unreal default is crisp and works right out of the box with no issues. This has been a pain for me since the beginning with Unity.
So, Unreal wins the first check.
Unity doesn’t have it so Unreal is the winner here with its Patching
3- Prefab editing
Unity’s prefabs on the Project window only show the first level of children. So to edit a prefab you have to put it into the game, edit it there, hit Apply and delete.
In Unreal, editing is the same from the game viewport or the Content window.
Also, you edit prefabs in an isolated mode with can be very handy sometimes.
Unreal wins here.
4- Prefab nesting
Again, Unity does not have any prefab nesting built-in. If you put a prefab inside a prefab, it will simply become a fixed part of that parent prefab and be completely detached from the original one.
In Unreal, you can nest prefabs as much as you want and still keep the references.
Unreal wins here too.
5- Multiple tags per object
In Unity, you can only assign one Tag to a GameObject. In Unreal, you can assign as many tags as you want, so they work more as the word “Tag” is used nowadays.
Unreal wins here too.
6- Simple geometry modeling tools
In Unity you can’t edit geometry at all. Now, in your game modt likely all geometry will be created in a third party program such as Maya, 3ds Max, etc. but I’ve found myself with needing a simple shape other than Unity’s basic primitives and had to do it in Maya.
Unreal not only allows you to edit simple geometry, but it also allows you to perform boolean operators on them. This is an awesome feature to quickly mock up levels.
Unreal wins here.
7- Data driven game elements
Unity does not provide any sort of of data driven capabilities built-in. Unreal provides import of CSV files with is great. At this point, I’d add built-in support for cloud-based sheets such as Google Docs or Office 365.
But here Unreal beats Unity.
8- Limited networking capabilities
Both Unity and Unreal come with a built-in networking that allows you to easily make a game multiplayer with automated variable and entity synchronization. This works well for games with low number of concurrent players, but neither provide tools for a more massive approach.
9- Video Playback
In Unity, video playback is limited and always had glitches that needed to be worked around when starting, rewinding, etc. Unreal seems to handle it just fine. I didn’t do that much testing yet, so I can’t fully confirm it, but it seems Unreal handles it better as well.
Unity doesn’t have any. Unreal has a whole set of localized tools for text assets, videos, audio, etc. Unreal wins again.
Final thoughts (for now)
Now, of course this is a very small list with a few of the things that annoy me on Unity. There are plugins and/or workarounds for most of these issues so it’s not a big deal, but I’m more fond of built-in features than extensive use of plugins.
Despite what may look here, I’m not saying Unreal is better than Unity in everything, but I wanted to check a few things that have annoyed me since the beginning and more or less keep being a nuisance.
For now, I can say Unity is more of a starter engine, with fast development times, ease of use, and quick learning curve. Since the current game I’m working on (A MMORTS game in Unity) is still being developed, I’m eager to see how Unity handles that last 10% stretch for a big project.
Unreal, on the other hand, is a much more professional tool. It’s a real AAA tool that excels on computers and consoles, though may be not fully mature on mobiles (in comparison with Unity).
In reality, I’m very excited to learn the Unreal Engine and the truth is every step I move forward, I like it more and more.
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