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28, Nov, 2023

Denys Kliuch

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Difference Between Unreal Engine 4 and 5

If you’re new to game development, you might feel overwhelmed by the many software options available. However, Epic Games launched Unreal Engine 5, which offers exciting new features for game developers, virtual artists, and filmmakers who use it to craft virtual worlds. Furthermore, the latest version, Unreal 5.1, includes additional tools, features, and bug fixes that enhance virtual production. Unreal Engine’s rendering capabilities consistently produce stunning and lifelike results. Whimsy Games will present a comprehensive comparison of Unreal Engine 4 vs 5.

Main Difference between Unreal Engine 4 and Unreal Engine 5

Unreal Engine 4 and Unreal Engine 5 are two game engines with a lot of potential, but UE 5 has some impressive features compared to UE 4 that can enhance the user experience. The significant difference is the amount of polygons each engine can handle. Polygons are used to create meshes within the game engine, and UE 5 can handle up to 10 billion polygons, while UE 4 can only handle a few million. With UE 5, you can create larger cityscapes and environments than before. 

UE5: New Features

If you’re interested how to develop a vr app games or creating movies, Unreal Engine is the top choice for software. UE5’s new features deliver seamless performance and remarkable outcomes due to its many appealing features. For example, the new MetaHuman tool now allows for the easy and precise creation of highly realistic characters. This tool can serve as an excellent starting point for character artists or to populate non-playable characters in extensive game environments. Additionally, it streamlines the animation stage of character creation, making the process faster and more efficient for all involved.

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Another significant difference in comparison of UE4 vs UE5 is the lighting system. In UE 4, all lighting had to be artificial and realistic-looking. However, UE 5 has a built-in lighting system called Lumen, which allows for real-time, realistic lighting just by adding lights. This system calculates the math a real light ray would follow to give off the most authentic-looking lighting possible.

Unreal Engine 5 has dynamic lighting as its default setting, which means all lighting is automatically optimized and real-time. In comparison, Unreal Engine 4 offered the raytracing feature, but it required a powerful graphics card and processor to integrate. To enable ray tracing in UE4, one had to change project settings and have lighting expertise. 

Additionally, manually adding lighting was only one step in creating realistic lighting, making ray tracing in UE4 impractical for video games due to its high CPU cost. However, with Lumen in UE5, even a new PC can operate in real-time and with highly realistic lighting, including ray tracing. 

Unfortunately, UE5’s Lumen and Nanite do not support virtual reality.

User Experience and Interface

Let’s continue our Unreal Engine 5 comparison. The Unreal Engine has undergone a significant upgrade with the release of UE5. While the previous interface of UE4 was visually appealing, it had a classic design created ten years ago. The new UE5 editor, on the other hand, is modern, sleek, and user-friendly. It features a Create tab, improved support for plugins (including Quixel and Substance), a streamlined launcher, and a more efficient content browser system. 

Despite these changes, most UE4 tutorials and documentation remain relevant for UE5, with some added features and UI improvements.

Modelling Tools

That’s another difference between Unreal Engine 4 and 5. Unreal Engine 5 now includes modeling, sculpting, and UV unwrap tools. The Modelling Mode allows for quick customization with various transformers and tools. Users can also access Landscape, Foliage, Mesh Paint, and Animation modes and a brush editing mode specifically for the Mesh Paint function.


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At Whimsy Games, our team of experts has been working with Unreal Engine 5 since its early access. We have gained extensive knowledge of its advanced features to create visually stunning, engaging, and high-performing games.

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Written by

Denys Kliuch


I'm a CEO and a Co-Founder of Whimsy Games. Before that, I advanced my expertise in engineering, management, traffic marketing, and analytics working for large game development studios with a $1M+ monthly income. With a clear vision of how game development should work, I run Whimsy Games, being responsible for the marketing and sales of our products and services.

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