The Best Game Engines For Virtual Reality Applications

There are at least 4 VR game engines currently used:

  • Unity3D
  • Unreal
  • Lumberyard
  • CryEngine.

Without doubts, Unity3D and Unreal are the most popular ones. However, which game engine to choose depends on your platform and languages your development team masters. Consider the following:

  1. The interfaces of both Unity3D and Unreal are very visual, similar to a 3d modeling program. But Unity is best with C# while Unreal is best with Blueprints and C++.
  2. CryEngine now has a C# layer to try and win over Unity devs. They also have Lua and C++ APIs.
  3. Lumberyard is one of the latest Amazon products, which integrates the use of the OculusRift, HTC Vive, and Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR).


The Bottom Line

Currently, there are 12 different languages listed for libraries related to VR development and a number of VR development tools, such as Unity3D and Unreal engines.  It’s difficult to create a robust VR product using only one language or technology; the combination of several VR technologies is highly recommended. There are options depending on your projects’ ultimate needs and prerequisites. Still, Unity with C# might be your best bet as it’s the easiest one to learn.

What about you, which VR development tools your team uses?

  1. Hmm, this leaves out the JS engines that work in WebVR and WebXR. Out of the set, Babylon.js is the most “game engine like” and has a simple model for switching between 2D, 3D, Stereo VR. I’ve used it and have been able to put up simple VR simulations (e.g. planets). I’d recommend it for anyone trying to build an actual VR game using WebVR/WebXR. THREE.js is also popular, but it is more of a visualization tool (originally an ActionScript visualization library) and the resulting web app is truly huge. Finally, both Unreal and Unity can “transpile” to WebVR, and this will get better as the WebAssembly API, which allows bursts of machine language in browser script exection, becomes standard.

    • Thank you for your comment,

      Sure THREE.js and Babylon.js, are visualization tools which worth to be mentioned. WebVR develops really fast and in a nearest future there will be created even more usefull tools for it. For example xeogl VR when it will be released. But on this article we focused on the free AAA game engines.

      We will create another article about Web VR and AR frameworks, engines and tools in future, because this theme worth it’s own article.

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