Want to build your own video game with AAA-level graphics? You’ll want to learn how to develop games in Unreal Engine 4. In this guide, we’ve listed some of the best Unreal Engine tutorials, courses, and books to help your get started.
If we’re talking about the best game engines, Unreal Engine 4 is probably at the top of the list. Unreal Engine is easily one of the most well-rounded game engines currently available to aspiring game developers, both in terms of the customization options and graphics it offers and how user-friendly it is. And, if you’re considering getting into game development and you’re hoping to build big ambitious games, then UE4 is probably the engine for you.
We’ve rounded up a list of the best Unreal Engine 4 learning resources to help you get started. Whether you’re looking for a full course, some beginner tutorials, or some handy books, one or more of the options listed below should help you get your Unreal Engine development career under way.
*NOTE: Unreal Engine 4 uses the C++ programming language and it can be helpful to have at least some knowledge of the language before learning UE4. Although, UE4 is considered to be user-friendly enough to where you can learn the basics of the engine without having any coding experience. Just note that if you want to advance further into building games in UE4, you’ll likely need to become proficient in C++.
I. The Best Unreal Engine 4 Courses
If you want a structured course that will give you a complete understanding of a specific or broad topic, a course might be the best option for you. Below, we’ve listed some of the best Unreal Engine 4 courses to help you pickup the popular game engine.
Perhaps the best place to get started learnings Unreal Engine 4 is through Unreal Academy. Unreal offers a ton of courses, learning paths, and tutorials directly through Unreal Academy and all you need is an Epic account to access them (which you’ll also need if you want to run Unreal Engine 4.)
Unreal Academy offers 75 courses, including five different learning paths. The courses and tutorials range from beginner intro’s to the engine, to advanced content for more experienced developers.
Ultimately, who better to learn Unreal Engine 4 from, than the people who work on the engine every day? If you’re looking for a good place to jump in and start learning the engine, this is probably your best bet.
Length: 34 Hours
If you already have a basic understanding of the C++ programming language, then the Unreal Engine C++ The Ultimate Game Developer Course offered through Udemy is worth checking out. The course comes with nearly 34-hours of video content spread across nine different sections and will walk you through how to create a complete game in UE4.
The course covers topics like combat, adventure games, saving & loading games, and plenty more. While most Udemy courses cost $9.99, this course does cost a bit more at $18.99. And, while it does offer plenty of content, if you’re looking for free resources to lear UE4, you’d probably be better off checking out Unreal Academy and/or the YouTube tutorials listed below first.
Length: 14 Hours
If you’re looking for a more beginner-friendly UE4 course and you don’t have any prior C++ exerience, Udemy’s Unreal Engine 4: Intro to Game Design might be a better option for you. This course is great for anyone who wants a comprehensive overview on the basics and fundamentals of UE4.
The course consists of 14-hours of video content spread across 13 different sections. In this course, you’ll learn basics like, how to install UE4, where everything is in the user interface, and how to scale and move characters, as well as more advanced topics like, dressing up levels and scripting gameplay functionality. The course will also walk you through building a fully functional game.
This course also runs $18.99, so if you’re looking for a free learning resource, it’s probably not the best option for you. However, if you’re looking for a thorough beginner’s course, this is one of the better options.
Length: 16 Hours
The Unreal Engine 4: How to Develop Your First Two Games course offered through Udemy is intructed by Christopher Murphy in partnership with Epic Games. This is another great option if you want a thorough introduction to using Unreal Engine 4.
The course offers 16-hours of video content spread across three sections. The first section of the course will guide you through the basics of using Unreal Engine 4, while the second two sections will walk you through how to build two different games (a pinball game, and a survival game.)
If you’re a beginner that is feeling a little more ambitious, this is probably the course for you.
Length: 16 Hours
Yet another great course for beginners who want both an intro to Unreal Engine 4 and a bit more is Unreal Engine 4 – Learn to Make a Game Prototype in UE4 from Udemy. The course consists of 16-hours of video content spread across 20 different sections.
The course will not only cover the basics of UE4, but will also walk you through building your own side-scrolling game, as well as polishing it up afterwards. The course promises to not only teach you the basics of UE4, but the workflow associated with game development.
Length: 43 Hours
Unreal Engine C++ Developer: Learn C++ and Make Video Games is another course that you might want to check out if you’re interested in learning how to build games in Unreal Engine 4. This course comes with a ton of content, including 43-hours of video content spread across eight different sections.
The course not only focuses on how to build games in UE4, but also on the C++ programming language, which is necessary to know if you want to build complex games in Unreal Engine. This course does cost $22.99, but it is easily the most popular UE4-related course on Udemy, with over 185,000 students who have enrolled in the course. The course has received an aggregate rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Length: 30 Hours
A good follow-up course to any of the introductory courses listed below is Unreal Engine 4 : Learn How to Create a Natural Scene. As this course’s name suggests, it will walk you through how to build a natural scene in UE4.
This course is a bit more advanced in nature and, despite the fact that it focuses on a specific topic, it still has more content than a lot of the other courses/tutorials listed in this guide.
The course consists of 30-hours of video content spread across 21 sections and covers how to use SpeedTree (a group of vegetation programming and modeling software products), how to create vegetation models in your scenes, lighting a scene, and plenty more.
Ultimately, this isn’t a good place to start for absolutel beginners, but it would be worth taking once you’ve worked through some of the other courses and tutorials listed above and below.
II. The Best Unreal Engine 4 Tutorials on YouTube
If you don’t necessarily need a full course, but are looking for a solid Unreal Engine 4 beginner’s tutorial, you might want to check out some of the YouTube videos embedded below.
1. Unreal Engine Beginner Tutorial: Building Your First Game (Devslopes)
2. Unreal Engine 4 Tutorial for Beginners | Free UE4 Training (Game Dev Academy)
3. Game Development | Intro to Unreal Engine 4 | No Prior Programming Knowledge (Numerical Jungle)
4. Unreal Engine 4 Beginner Tutorial Series (Virtus Learning Hub / Creative Tutorials)
III. The Best Unreal Engine 4 Books
For those of you that prefer a “how-to” book, we’ve listed some of the best Unreal Engine 4 books below.
by Brenden Sewell
If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly book that will teach you how to build games in Unreal Engine 4, Blueprints Visual Scripting for Unreal Engine by Brenden Sewell is worth picking up. The book starts by walking you through a basic first-person shooter, and then builds on that game in the following chapters, all while teaching you the core fundamentals of building games in UE4.
by Aram Cookson
Unreal Engine 4 Game Development in 24 Hours by Aram Cookson promised to teach you the basics of UE4 through 24 lessons that will take under 1-hour each to work through. The book covers the basic fundamentals of how to use Unreal Engine 4’s interface to building actual games inside the engine. And, just like in Blueprints Visual Scripting for Unreal Engine, each lesson in this book builds on the last lesson so that by the end of the book, you’ll have a thorough understanding of the engine.
by Kevin Mack
One of the strengths of Unreal Engine 4 is how easy it is to build virtual reality applications (at least, compared to other options). And, if you’re looking to dive into virtual reality development inside UE4, Unreal Engine 4 Virtual Reality Projects: Build immersive, real-world VR applications using UE4, C++, and Unreal Blueprints by Kevin Mack is a good book to start out with. It’s suitable for both experienced developers and novices to VR-app development.
by Tom Shannon
If you’re looking to learn Unreal Engine 4 for projects other than building video games, then Unreal Engine 4 for Design Visualization: Developing Stunning Interactive Visualizations, Animations, and Renderings by Tom Shannon is worth a read. While UE4 was designed to build video games, it has turned into an engine that can create applications for all sorts of industries. And, in this book, Shannon explores how you can utilize UE4 to build those kinds of applications.
by Mitch McCaffrey
Unreal Engine VR Cookbook: Developing Virtual Reality with UE4 by Mitch McCaffrey is another VR-related UE4 book that is worth picking up. The book covers VR development extensively and goes over topics like basic terminology, implementing VR logic, creating basic VR projects, standing vs. seated VR experiences, trace interactions & teleporation, and plenty more.
Unreal Engine 4 is known for its high-end graphics, its user-friendly interface, and its moderate learning curve (at least, when compared to other game engines). If you’re looking to start learning how to build games in Unreal Engine 4, the courses, tutorials, and books listed above should help you get started.