In 2024, the landscape of VR game engines has evolved, offering diverse options for developers. So, what engine is best for VR?

Unveiling the top 8 VR game engines, this exploration delves into the features, benefits, and unique attributes that make each engine stand out. Whether you’re a seasoned developer or just stepping into the world of VR, discover the engines shaping the future of virtual reality gaming.

What Engine is Best for VR?

Besides Unity, there are many VR game engines you must try such as Unreal Engine, Lumberyard, CRYENGINE, and more. Below are the VR game engines I have tested and promise to help you create the best games.

#1. Unity

Unity
Unity

Unity is the top choice for making VR games. It’s super popular and keeps getting better.

Whether you’re a pro or just starting, Unity’s the way to go. It lets you create VR apps and games in real-time, plus you can work on 2D and 3D games too. Unity is not only for experts; beginners can learn it easily.

What’s cool about Unity is that it plays well with other tools like AppMetrica, ARCore, Daz 3D, and more. So, you can use lots of helpful stuff. Even though it’s powerful, Unity is still user-friendly, making it great for everyone.

You can get Unity and all its updates starting at $35.00 per month. With its mix of power, ease, and compatibility, Unity is hands down the best engine for diving into VR game development.

#2. Unreal Engine

Unreal Engine
Unreal Engine

Unreal Engine stands out as a powerhouse for VR enthusiasts, especially those who prioritize stunning 3D environments and top-notch graphics.

This game development engine is gaining traction in the VR industry, offering a robust platform for designers and developers alike.

What makes Unreal Engine exceptional is its integrated 3D creation tool, enabling real-time changes and updates. This capability elevates games from great to truly amazing, making it a go-to choice for those aiming to bring their VR game visions to life.

Unreal Engine 4 is particularly well-suited for VR game development, supporting a range of VR targets such as Samsung Gear VR, Google VR/Daydream, HTC Vive/SteamVR, Oculus Rift, and OSVR.

The engine’s accessibility is noteworthy, as Unreal Engine can be downloaded for free via the Epic Game Store.

With its emphasis on immersive 3D experiences and a diverse range of VR compatibility, Unreal Engine stands as one of the best choices for VR game development.

>>>Read more: Can You Make VR Games in Unreal Engine? If Yes, How To Make One?

#3. Lumberyard

Lumberyard
Lumberyard

Lumberyard, backed by Amazon, is a great choice for making VR games. It’s new to the scene, and the best part is it’s totally free, and you can even change how it works if you want. This flexibility makes it super handy.

Plus, since it’s open source, it’s a solid option for crafting online games without worrying about the heavy-duty technical stuff.

Lumberyard is all about making game development easy and cost-effective, making it a cool option for those diving into the world of virtual reality.

And did I mention, that it won’t cost you a dime? That’s right, it’s free!

#4. CRYENGINE

CRYENGINE
CRYENGINE

CRYENGINE is a newcomer in the virtual reality (VR) game engine scene, but it’s worth considering because it comes packed with lots of cool features.

You can use it for different VR and mobile devices like Android, iOS, HTC VIVE, and Oculus Rift. It works on both Windows and Linux too.

One standout feature is its ability to create super realistic natural environments with detailed plants and landscapes.

And the best part? You can get CRYENGINE for free from their official website. They use a ‘pay what you want’ model, so you can contribute if you want to support them.

If you’re a bigger developer or agency, there’s also a premium package with custom licensing and extra support. CRYENGINE’s mix of versatility, realism, and a free-entry option makes it a strong contender for VR game makers.

#5. ApertusVR

ApertusVR
ApertusVR

ApertusVR is a great choice for VR because it’s free, open-source, and works on different devices. It supports various extended realities like AR, VR, and MR.

The cool thing about ApertusVR is that it doesn’t tie you to a specific brand or device. You can use it on different operating systems and hardware, giving you more flexibility.

One standout feature is its ‘no vendor lock-in’ approach, meaning you’re not stuck with one company’s products.

This engine aims to bring unity to the VR world by allowing developers to create applications that work on any XR system and access different XR devices. ApertusVR is all about making VR development open, accessible, and collaborative.

#6. AppGameKit VR

AppGameKit VR
AppGameKit VR

AppGameKit VR is for those seeking VR collaboration tools. Supporting all Steam VR devices like Touch, Vive, and Oculus headsets, it ensures compatibility with a wide range of hardware.

The engine simplifies the process of implementing 3D examples with ready-to-use 3D-modeled hands, even supporting tools like Leap Motion.

What makes AppGameKit VR noteworthy is its emphasis on collaboration. Creatives can easily implement additional tools to work with 3D models through plugins, fostering a collaborative and dynamic development environment.

Priced at $29.99 for the full version, AppGameKit VR provides an affordable entry point for developers looking to create immersive VR experiences with built-in collaboration features.

#7. Godot

Godot
Godot

Godot is a fantastic choice for open-source projects. It’s free and open-source, which means anyone can use and modify its code. This makes Godot great for both experienced and advanced VR game developers.

Godot comes with handy features like an animation editor and tutorials for scripting languages, including ones for VR beginners.

But, since it’s open-source and free, it’s always evolving, which can lead to occasional bugs or errors.

It’s a modern and user-friendly engine, but it’s best suited for advanced programmers or those excited about diving into the world of open-source VR game development.

#8. CopperCube

CopperCube
CopperCube

CopperCube stands out as an emerging player in free 3D game engines, compatible with both macOS and Windows.

This user-friendly engine, available on Steam, is gaining popularity, particularly among newcomers to game development and VR world design.

What makes CopperCube appealing is its accessibility, even for those with limited programming experience, it facilitates 3D game and app development without requiring extensive coding.

CopperCube is equipped with an intuitive 3D editor, making it easy for users to navigate and design in the VR space.

Whether you’re a newcomer or an advanced programmer seeking a fresh approach to VR game development, CopperCube is a free download that caters to a wide spectrum of developers.

VR Game Convention & Best Practice

VR Game Convention & Best Practice
VR Game Convention & Best Practice

Currently, there aren’t many VR games, less than 100 to be exact. So, it’s too early to have a perfect convention for VR game developers and designers.

However, these creators are actively sharing what they’ve learned while working on the first batch of VR games.

They discuss things like how users interact with the games, balancing between making the VR experience feel real and still enjoyable and sticking to certain rules for things like physics, affordance, and narrative expectations.

In the future, as more VR games come out and there’s more research on how people think and feel in VR, it’s likely that conventions and best practices will emerge.

This means developers, designers, and players will all start following similar rules or ideas. It’s a work in progress, but eventually, everyone in the VR gaming community might be on the same page, making VR games better for everyone involved.

FAQs

Is Unreal or Unity better for VR?

Unity is superior since it’s more basic. With so many lessons accessible for various VR systems, learning will be simple for you.

Unreal, however, is superior for more productive development because it can generate objects with more polygons more quickly. The result is quite attractive.

Is Unreal 5 good for VR?

Yes. UE5 comes with everything a designer needs to create VR content, regardless of the industry they work in.

Nanite micro polygon geometry systems and virtual shadow mapping are two important aspects. Direct replication and import for meshes with millions of polygons.

Is VR Unity hard?

No. Because of its large user base and ease of use, Unity is a mainstay in mobile VR development. It is designed using the comparatively simple C# coding language.

The majority of well-liked VR headsets, such as Oculus Rift, Gear VR, Google Daydream, Cardboard, and Steam VR / HTC Vive, are supported and function well with Unity.

Why is VR so hard?

Because you can’t feel the weight of the virtual object, it’s challenging to toss in virtual reality.

While there are differences in approach, most games have made an effort to accurately represent the physics of the virtual object you are holding. In the game, you grab an object, give it some virtual momentum, and it takes off.

Conclusion

This list of the top 8 VR game engines in 2024 highlights the dynamic choices available to developers. Each engine offers a unique set of features, catering to a spectrum of skill levels and project requirements.

From established giants to emerging contenders, the VR game development field thrives on innovation. Ultimately, the best engine for VR depends on the specific needs and preferences of the developer. Comment down your choice!

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