How to make a 2D Game in Unreal Engine 5 (2023)

Building a 2D game in Unreal is easy. I haven’t even looked up how to do it yet, but I know there are some good 2D Frameworks, and I’m pretty sure you can do a lot of it natively.

Can Unreal Engine make 2D games?

Yes, Unreal Engine has Paper2D, a 2D game making system built into the engine. You can expand it with asset packs designed for it, or you can design games with just Paper2D.

Oh here, I also have an intro to game design for you to read. Enjoy it.

So let’s get right into it.

Is Unity or Unreal better for 2D games?

Unity. The 2D asset packs for Unreal Engine are rudimentary, there’s no comparison, Unity has the edge in the creation of 2D games, even if Unreal is a more stable, professional platform.

Here’s a reddit discussion on the topic.


Here we have a nice framework. I want this. I didn’t even watch the trailer, I didn’t even read the feature list. I looked at the price and it’s acceptable, it’s a discount for what it does.

Now let’s see what it does.

Ok so what does this thing do? Well it’s pretty easy, this thing lets you make Castlevania Symphony of the Night with Mario Vibes in Unreal Engine. It has cool features, it has a good quality controller, seems to move a little too sprightly for my liking, he seems fast and twitchy, I like a little more weight to my MC. It looks like, I would guess, I can replace the main character with my own sprites, would be crazy if you couldn’t, which is important, because I am good at making 2D animated sprites. Just ask my most recent Steam game. It has wall jumping, teleporters with motion preservation that you can throw grenades through and jump on through to the other side, like that terrible song. It has complex spawnable placeable AI with different attack modes and stuff, good AI, really decent AI. I would like designing my own enemies in this thing. It has spline based platforms, elevators, and bridges. It has destroyable tiles, so you can make your nightmarishly stupid minecraft/terraria clone. Oh yeah by the way the graphics look kinda like terraria had a baby with castlevania symphony of the night. It has a loot system, an XP system, an rpg system, and an inventory system.

(Video) How to make a 2D game in Unreal Engine 5 - Beginner Tutorial

Very nice.

2D Platformer Toolkit

I should also mention this, it is no longer being supported, because the developer has shifted their focus to the above system, but the benefit of this is twofold, first of all I like the artstyle better, but also this is only about 40 dollars, while the other one is closer to 120. This looks like a pretty well featured game framework, maybe a bit primitive, but still effective. I kind of want this thing….

You can build a 2D Game with this, no problem. And it costs next to nothing.


Not exactly my style, but this looks like a pretty decent maker, it reminds me of Bill the Demon, it gives you what you need to make a game, costs not too much, maybe it’s ok.

You could build a game with this, and I think putting my own sprites into this would be great.


This thing looks interesting, it has an inventory system, 4 way movement, it looks like pokemon, not sure what to say there. If you want a very basic framework to make your own pokemon, you could start here, but it’s not fully featured.

Anyway, whatever…. ok that was super underwhelming, I’m missing something here, I gotta ask boss tomorrow if how knows any better frameworks for 2D games, I only like the first two. I can’t for the life of me find anything else, I think I’m searching for the wrong words. But for now let’s get into PAPER2D.

(Video) How To Make A 2D Game In Unreal Engine 5 - (Beginner Tutorial)


So enough of these frameworks, here is paper 2D. It’s the 2D system for Unreal Engine. I don’t know the details that well, honestly, why make a 2D game in Unreal? It’s Unreal….. It can make a 3D shooter like most people can put on their socks in the morning. Unreal is perfect for 3D games, it can do everything, but if you want to make your game in 2D, specifically because you like the the art style and NOT because it’s easier, because it’s harder. Well, Paper2D is the diplomat you will be negotiating with.

Check out our subscription service,

While we’re here, you should take a look at our subscription service, It can teach you everything from Maya, Blender and 3DSMax, to Unity and Unreal Engine 5. It’s good for a beginner, or a pro to hone their skills with. We can take you step by step through how to make your own first game, as well as teach you 3D Modelling, and other more advanced skills. Give it a look if you have time, you might be surprised.

Once you get started in gamedev, you can quickly learn to become self employed, and get so many work offers coming in you have to turn them down on a regular basis. Once you’ve got your first job, you can build up your resume, slowly displace your 9-5 food service/security/retail/desk job and you can work from home instead. Be your own boss, make your own hours, decide for yourself when to work and when to take a break. You can spend more time with your family, all of it in fact, though you must work or it doesn’t work. Then when you have a year or two’s experience on the matter, you can fully transition to gamedev as your bread and butter, you can get a good paying job, and start advancing up the ladder, which exists in game dev, unlike your food service job. So in ten years you might have a high paying gamedev job, instead of being assistant manager at Mcdonalds. You can do something you love with your life, worked for me.

By the way if you want to check out our discussion on how to craft a good story in a JRPG, it might give you some ideas for your game.


So forget how you make it, what are you going to make? 2D Games like Zelda are good. Seems easy to make, not a lot of complex moving parts, The Legend of Zelda, a Link to the Past, I have no taste for the others.

Break that down a bit, what is it? What do you see?

You’ve got a really good quality character controller, you’ve got some enemies with AI controllers, you’ve got some basic ballistics, you’ve got some cute 2D sprites. You have some decent quality music you could buy anywhere. An inventory system, lots of different weapons and puzzle items with lots of different animations. Lots of moving parts.

When you walk into the level you wander around in a room full of tiles, the tiles are painted on the grid. You can have different patterns and appearances for the tiles. You fight monsters until you’re done, then you exit the map and go to the next one.

(Video) Unreal Engine 5 - Making A 2D Platformer in UE5 - Beginner Tutorial

Keep walking through map after map after map after map after map after map after map, and eventually you get to a map with the boss chararcter. You either survive or you die and respawn at the start.

There’s not a lot of romance and betrayal in this, if you catch my drift, it is just build on basic mechanics, honed to perfection. There’s some prefunctory story stuff there, a guy in his house with his family, dad walks away to try to fight the monsters, son wakes up looking for his dad, goes wandering through the dungeon, meets ganon. Game starts. Kill Ganon at the end, that’s about all the story is.

I was going to make this game myself, in a roguelike form, it’s built on really simple premises. The Binding of Issac is kind of what I was going for, but the art style is just junk compared to Zelda. What I wanted was a 2D Zelda Roguelike, with randomly generated levels. I thought that would actually be pretty easy to make.

You can also, yeah it’s got those fairies, that was a good mechanic, you catch the fairy with your net and put her in a jar, then you get an extra life if you die.

Very nice mechanic, or did it heal poison, I forget?

Maybe they had different kinds of fairies, I don’t know.
They’re easy to find but super hard to catch. Ridiculous.

I’d rather play a game like that than some modern 3D catastrophe like We Happy Few. We Happy Few is terrible. It’s so unbalanced, the combat is shameful. Those 3D games are all the same, all flash, no substance.

Zelda was perfectly built and perfectly balanced. They sat and built those mechanics for like a year before they started developing, I’m almost certain of it. When that game was done designing mechanics, and systems, it was so stupid good they barely remembered to include a story. What was the story, I don’t remember? I remember the boomerang.

Seriously do you remember the boomerang? Cause I do.

(Video) Learn How To Make A 2D Platformer Unreal Engine 5!

The boomerang was so perfectly designed, it beggars belief that it was possible. it moved so perfectly, bounced off rocks and stuff when it got stuck, you hit the enemies with that, and they got stunned. Very nice work. Hit them enough and you can kill them.

A very nicely designed ecosystem of mechanics…. That should be the goal, the model of your game, try to emulate Zelda.

First thing you need to do is learn Paper2D get a feel for the basic systems involved in making 2D games in the Unreal Engine, then when you know the mechanics of it, you shift focus to building systems, get a good controller, get some weapons, get some interactions, get some enemy AI, get some enemies, get all the things you need for a game together, then when you have it all lined up in the right place….

Final Thoughts:

Build your game.

Your game is weak now. If you run into problems, build your game, just wait. Games aren’t a math problem, they’re a painting, everything you add to your game is part of a larger whole. Once you assemble a piece of your game, it’s not like it just disappears, it stays in place along side all the others working like clockwork in tandem. Does your game crash, boohoo, fix it, then get back to work.

Don’t just build one game forever, build lots of games over the years, as they pass by, but when you’re building a game, please remember that you are building a large working machine, and each piece you build makes the machine more powerful and run better than it did before. You may be very happy with your game right now, but if you develop it for about 2 years, you’ll be shocked with the difference. What was once a good game will be a jawdroppingly good game. From space. It’s not even gone when done.

You can use all those systems and transfer them to the next game.



Is Unreal Engine 5 good for 2D games? ›

Since the 2D Side Scroller Template has been removed with Unreal Engine 5, it has become a lot harder to get started making 2D games in Unreal Engine.

Is it possible to make a 2D game in Unreal Engine? ›

Paper 2D is a sprite-based system for creating 2D and 2D/3D hybrid games entirely within Unreal Engine 4. Paper 2D in Unreal Engine 4 (UE4) is a sprite-based system for creating 2D and 2D/3D hybrid games entirely within the editor.

How hard is it to make a game in Unreal Engine 5? ›

Developing in Unreal Engine 5 is simple for beginners. Using the Blueprints Visual Scripting system, you can create entire games without writing one line of code! Combined with an easy-to-use interface, you can quickly get a prototype up and running.

What is the easiest 2D game engine? ›

Best game engines for beginners
  • Defold. ...
  • GameMaker 2. ...
  • GameSalad. ...
  • Godot. ...
  • Monogame. ...
  • Phaser. ...
  • Unity. Unity is one of the most popular and powerful game engines for designers to use. ...
  • Unreal Engine. The Unreal Engine is a free-to-use game design engine that can support 2D and 3D games.
2 Aug 2022

Can I run Unreal Engine 5 without graphics card? ›

Yes, you can run the Unreal Engine, using the mentioned specifications. However, note that, a GPU is an extremely useful device for fast and dedicated graphics rendering.

Which is better for 2D Unreal or Unity? ›

If it's 2D content you're creating, then Unity is the one for you. It has a simpler user interface and well-developed 2D tools. Unreal can be used for 2D game development, but Epic Games aren't prioritizing this feature set as much as Unity.

Is Unity or Unreal better? ›

Unity is a very versatile engine and is turning out to be a staple for mobile developers. Whereas Unreal 4 caters to more expensive Triple-A titles, Unity can handle its own share of the workload. As mentioned above, Temple Run was developed with Unity, and I can't overstate how popular and well-made that game was.

What engine should I use to make a 2D game? ›

The Godot game engine is fantastic if you're looking for something free and open-source, meaning you can alter the engine and sell your games however you would like. The engine supports both 2D and 3D capabilities, so it is well-rounded for any sort of game you're trying to make.

Is Unreal Engine overkill for 2D? ›

Using Unreal for 2D feels a bit like taking the engine out of a Ferrari / Lambo and putting it in a Beetle or something. Its overkill and the wrong tool for the job. (just 2.5c).

Can Unreal make AAA games? ›

But the preferred choice to make AAA games – those built by the biggest gaming companies – is another platform, called Unreal Engine. It was developed by Epic Games around 25 years ago.

How much does it cost to make a 2D game? ›

A 2D mobile game development cost can be between $ 5,000- $ 20,000, but it can go up to $ 50,000- $ 20,000 if the game has more functionalities. The cost of a 3D game is higher than that of one with 2D graphics. The price of such a game starts at $ 20,000 and can even go up to $ 250,000.

Is unreal harder than Unity? ›

Unity uses C# which is fairly similar to C++ but a lot simpler and easier to learn. This making it a great first step to learning how to code. Unreal is full on C++ which is arguably the hardest coding language to learn, but they do also have what they call Blueprints.

How long does it take to master Unreal Engine? ›

If you want to build a short game, about 3 - 6 months. If you want to build a large scale video game, 1 - 2 years. You need to learn about the core of a lot of things if you are going for the latter and that's the real reason it takes so long. How do I study coding by mimicking an Unreal Engine game?

What is the #1 game engine? ›

Just as gaming is an industry, so are the engines they are built off. The major game engines come at varying prices, whether it be in the form of subscription fees or license payments. The Unity engine and the Unreal Engine currently being the two most popular choices for game developers.

Are 2D games harder than 3D? ›

The ease with which players play 2D games makes them suitable for beginners, bringing more audience. Also, game developers find it easier to develop 2D games than 3D. Due to the lower level of complexity, game developers invest less time and money to create 2D games, and following updates are easier to do.

Is making 2D games hard? ›

If you're looking to make your own game from scratch, 2D games are easier to make than 3D games, but they can still take months or even years to make, depending on your circumstances.

Is 64gb RAM enough for Unreal Engine? ›

This list represents a typical system used at Epic, providing a reasonable guideline for developing games with Unreal Engine 5: Windows 10 64-bit. 64 GB RAM. 256 GB SSD (OS Drive)

Is 16GB RAM enough for Unreal Engine 5? ›

16GB is enough for UE.

Is 8GB RAM enough for Unreal Engine 5? ›

The hardware requirements for developing games and apps through Unreal Engine 5 is a good CPU with at least 6 cores and a clock higher than 3 GHz, to ensure smooth software operations and speedy compilation. Also, you need a good and compatible GPU and RAM size of at least 16 GBs.

Is UE5 easier than Unity? ›

Unity provides the advantage of having you use C# programming language by default, which as a developer is essential in production however Unreal Engine provides you graphical fidelity that is outstanding and considerably easier to obtain. If we had to select one for beginners, however, it would likely be Unity.

Is Unreal Engine 5 easier than Unity? ›

Unity is easier to start with, and has cleaner api on programmer side. Much cleaner than with unreal engine. Unreal engine has a significantly steeper learning curve, and “visual programming” Blueprints feature (which I loathed) it tries to stick everywhere.

Is Unreal or Unity faster? ›

Rendering: Unreal supports faster rendering making post-processing even faster. Rendering is slow in the case of unity thus processing of projects is also slow. Pricing: Unreal Engine comes free of cost but you own royalties to them.

Does Unreal Engine use C++? ›

Game engines such as Unreal Engine use C++ to create the game code. This code is then used to create the game graphics, sound, and gameplay. Lighting, animation, and physics are also often implemented in C++.

Which game Engine should I learn? ›

Unreal Engine is a development engine that prides itself on being one of the more advanced real-time 3D creation tools. Yet it's great for beginners and you'll even find a learning resource section on its website.

Is unreal good for beginners? ›

The great majority of our audience prefer Unreal Engine for beginners, but that's not an easy claim to make. AAA video games development studios mostly prefer to develop their games using self-designed game engines.

Do 2D games need GPU? ›

In order to render anything on a screen, you need a GPU. That includes 2D and 3D graphics. So yes, it makes sense that a 2D game uses the GPU - same with everything else on your monitor.

Do 2D games use GPU? ›

GPUs for Gaming

GPUs are capable of rendering graphics in both 2D and 3D. With better graphics performance, games can be played at higher resolution, at faster frame rates, or both.

Are 2D games better? ›

Simple controls – 2D games are more suitable for beginners, so they have a wider target audience. Easy in making – not only is it easier to develop a 2D game, it's also much cheaper and faster. The same goes for any game updates needed later on.

How much RAM do you need for Unreal? ›

Recommended Hardware
Operating SystemWindows 10 64-bit
ProcessorQuad-core Intel or AMD, 2.5 GHz or faster
Memory8 GB RAM
Video Card/DirectX VersionDirectX 11 or DirectX 12 compatible graphics card
1 more row

Is unreal good for low end PC? ›

Yes, You can. Minimum System requirements for Unreal Engine 4 are: 1.7Ghz Dual Core Intel or AMD processor.

Is 8GB enough for Unreal Engine? ›

8gb is super on edge minimum, if you can go 16gb. Prioretize memory and CPU over GPU (ofcorse not saying you should go low-end, mid rage will do), because this 2 components are what takes most heavy lifting when you use editor.

How much RAM do AAA games use? ›

For gaming, 8GB is considered the baseline for AAA titles. However, RAM demands are increasing. Red Dead Redemption 2, for example, recommends 12GB of RAM for optimal performance, while Half-Life: Alyx requires 12GB as a minimum.

What is a AAAA game studio? ›

In the video game industry, AAA (pronounced and sometimes written triple-A) is an informal classification used to categorise games produced and distributed by a mid-sized or major publisher, which typically have higher development and marketing budgets than other tiers of games.

Can a 2060 run AAA games? ›

Yes. The RTX 2060 is good for gaming if you're on a budget. If you're not on a budget and will be playing modern AAA titles on high FPS, especially with hardware-accelerated ray tracing on, then you can do better than the RTX 2060. The RTX 2060 is a high-end video card.

Can 1 person make a AAA game? ›

You don't. AAA games are made by very large teams with very large budgets. No one person can be said to make them. You can be a part of the development of a AAA game.

Is 2D cheaper than 3D? ›

That said, 2D animations are typically cheaper than 3D animations because the latter requires more experience, skill, and resources. At the lower end of the spectrum, you can expect simple animations, usually only using 2D techniques.

Should I make a 2D game before 3D? ›

I also will say that it may be a good idea to create a 2D game first so that you won't have to think about the harder things that come along with 3D games. Also, one thing to realize is that the brain will process less information with 2D games which is what you want for a more casual experience.

Is C# easier than C++? ›

Difficulty. Many professionals believe that C++ is very complex, whereas C# is easy because of its well-defined class hierarchy. Because C# is a high-level programming language , its code is easy to read. This is key for beginning developers, as they might enjoy the language's simple hierarchy.

Is Unreal Engine overkill? ›

Unreal Engine is too much engine for very small games

"Therefore the editor can run slow, and seem a bit overkill if you are making a very small and simple game -- for a phone, for example."

Should I learn Unity before Unreal? ›

Unity is easier to figure out for beginners. Unreal is easier to configure better graphics with but Unity is very beginner-friendly and you can use the more difficult features as you increase in skill. Additionally, Unity uses C# and Unreal uses C++. C# is easier to use and less complex than C++.

How hard is C++? ›

C++ is known to be one of the most difficult programming languages to learn over other popular languages like Python and Java. C++ is hard to learn because of its multi-paradigm nature and more advanced syntax.

How much C++ do I need to know for Unreal engine? ›

You don't need to learn everything about c++ by any means, as much of the language has very little use in simple games. That said though, the more you learn about programming the better off you'll be.

Do you need math for Unreal engine? ›

There is really no telling how much, as it heavily depends on what type of game you are going to make. If it's a relatively simple game, in engines like Unreal 4 (which offers visual scripting), you don't really have to use a whole lot of math.

What should I learn before Unreal Engine? ›

If you are a C++ expert, you will learn C# & Unity from scratch before you learn how to use Unreal. Examples: C# autocomplete and code suggestions (in visual studio) are ten times better then C++. This makes learning the game-engine API for the first time is a cinch.

What skills is needed for Unreal Engine? ›

What Skills Are Required to Work With Unreal Engine? Working with the UE platform will require you to know the basics of game development and designing. Prior programming or Unreal experience is not a prerequisite but familiarity with the C++ programming language will be helpful.

Which game engine is better for 2D games? ›

Godot Engine

While Godot is designed to support both 2D and 3D game development, the 2D aspect of its software performs slightly better, due in part to its pixel-based measurement system. It also offers its own programming language, known as GDScript.

What is the best 2D game engine? ›

The Godot engine is great for making both 2D and 3D games. The engine provides a huge set of common tools, so you can just focus on making your game without reinventing the wheel. Godot has a community that's constantly fixing bugs and developing new features.

How much RAM is good for Unreal Engine? ›

The hardware requirements for developing games and apps through Unreal Engine 5 is a good CPU with at least 6 cores and a clock higher than 3 GHz, to ensure smooth software operations and speedy compilation. Also, you need a good and compatible GPU and RAM size of at least 16 GBs.

Should I make my game 3D or 2D? ›

You should use whichever graphics you're more comfortable with. If you're great with sprites, do a 2D game. If you're great with models and textures, do a 3D game. If you're not great with either one, 2D is usually slightly quicker to produce (because 3D requires models AND 2D textures), but 14 months is a lot of time.

Are 2D games cheaper to make? ›

2D games are simpler and easier by design, which makes them cheaper and easier to make for indie developers.

What engine is Cuphead made in? ›

Cuphead is one of the most visually striking games ever made with Unity. All of the game's animated artwork has been drawn, penciled and inked on paper, and then colored in Photoshop.

What is the strongest game engine? ›

10 Best Game Engines for Beginners in 2022
  • Unity: Best Game Engine Overall.
  • Unreal Engine: One of the Top Game Engines.
  • Godot.
  • Phaser.
  • GameMaker Studio 2.
  • Armory.
  • CryEngine.
  • Defold.
18 Aug 2022


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