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Unreal Engine 5 Tutorial for Beginners: Getting Started (Step By Step Guide)

Updated: Sep 12, 2023


In this Unreal Engine tutorial, I will provide you with a step by step guide on how to install, navigate and get started with the Unreal Engine Interface.

 

Unreal Engine 5


So What Is Unreal Engine?


Unreal Engine is a complete suite of creation tools for game development, linear film and television content creation, broadcast and live event production, training and simulation, and other real-time applications.


Great Video Games such as : Little Nightmares, Ark Survival Evolved, FF7 remake and Hell blade: Senua's Sacrifice have been made with engine.


Why Unreal Engine Is Great?


Unreal Engine Uses A Visual Scripting language called Blueprints, this allows you to make full games without writing a line of code.


Unreal Engine 5 is free to download, and with every feature and full source code access included.


You only have to start paying a 5% royalty on your product made with Unreal Engine once it has has a lifetime gross revenue that exceeds $1million.

You can make a game and would only start having to pay royalties once you have made over $1million with it.


This tutorial will focus on helping beginners who are completely new to Unreal Engine get started and have a solid foundation.


Table Of Contents




Installing Unreal Engine 5


To start of we need to install the epic games launcher.


You can do this by heading over to there website https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US and clicking the Download button in the top right corner.


This will take you to the download page, once you are there scroll down and click the Download Launcher Button.


This will download the Epic Games Launcher. Install this application onto your PC.


Once you have done this open up the Epic Games Launcher it will ask you to sign in to your Epic Game Account. (Create and sign up if you don't have an account).


Then Sign Into the account and you should see a page like this.



Sign in to epic games


We are now ready to install Unreal Engine.


If you are brand new to Unreal Engine. In the top right corner you should see a button which says "Install Engine" click on it and it will ask where you want to install Unreal Engine.

Pick your location and then download Unreal Engine.

install unreal engine


If you already have a version of Unreal Engine click on the Library tab, from this page we can add more Engine Versions, just click the + icon and it will ask you what version of Unreal Engine you want to install.



add new unreal engine version








Creating a New Project


Now that we have installed Unreal Engine we are ready to use it.

Click the launch button in the top right corner.

launch unreal engine 5




This will open the Unreal Project Browser.


This is where you can create, open and manage all of your unreal engine projects.

It should look something like this.



unreal project browser


  1. The development category. Here you should select the category which best matches your industry I mainly work with video games so select the games tab if your following along.

  2. Templates. Here you can select a template for your project. The template will depend on what category you have selected. Select the Third Person Template if your following along.

  3. Lets you choose the location of where you want your project to be saved

  4. Project Details. Here you can configure the setting you would like your template project to start with.

It has the following options which you can decide


  • You can choose to configure your project in Blueprint or C++


  • Blueprint if you want to build you project using Unreal Engine Visual Scripting Language. C++ if you want to build your project with C++ using Visual studios


  • Target Platform. Select what type of project your platform is for : Desktop Or Mobile


  • Quality Presets. Here you can choose the maximum quality level of you project Its recommended you choose maximum if your making a project for computer or console. Scalable if you are making your project for mobile


  • Starter Content. If you check this box and leave it enabled it will make your project start with starter content such as some simple static meshes, particles and other things


  • Ray tracing select this if you want this enabled. Ray tracing are rendering methods used in computer graphics to determine the colour of the pixels that make up the image displayed on your screen, or created on your hard drive when you press the Render button.


If you are following along in the development category select the games and for template select the third person template with blueprints.


Then click the create button.


Unreal Engine Interface


Once your project loads up you should see something like this.


unreal engine viewport

The main screen you will see is the viewport which takes up most of the screen.


You can hold your right mouse button and use the WASD keys to move around the viewport.



Viewport Basics


There are two main ways you can view your viewport they are Perspective and Orthographic.


Perspective will show you the viewport from 3D View.


Orthographic will show you the viewport from 2D view there are 6 different orthographic views : Top, Bottom, Front, Back, Left and Right.


You can change how you view the viewport by clicking on the perspective button in the top left corner.


It will then show you all the different ways you can view the viewport




unreal engine camera modes

Below shows some screenshots of how the different modes look.


perspective and orthographic views unreal engine



View modes


In Unreal Engine we can view the viewport in many different ways. This can be helpful when designing levels.


You can change the view mode by clicking on the lit button in the top left corner of the viewport. An image of how it looks has been attached below.

view modes unreal engine








The main view modes are :


Lit this will show how the final result of your level will look once all the materials and lighting have been applied in your level.


Unlit this will remove all the lighting from the scene showing you only the colour. It can be helpful to leave Unreal Engine in this mode if you are using it on an old computer. As Unreal Engine will generally run faster in this mode as it does not need to calculate lighting.


Wireframe will show you all the polygon edges in a scene. This can be helpful when designing levels in Unreal Engine.



3 main view modes unreal engine

Transforming Actors


In Unreal Engine we can move, rotate or scale actors this is very important when designing levels.

There are two ways to transform Actors in the Unreal Editor.



Manual Transformation


If you select one the blue squares in the level with your mouse cursor. It should have a yellow outline around it which will let you know that this is the current actor you have selected.


In the details panel in the bottom right corner you should see a box that looks like this.


manual transformation unreal engine


We can see each transform property has a numeric value in the X,Y and Z axes. You can type in a value directly into these field and the actor will move to that exact position.


If you select multiple actors at once. The fields will say "multiple values". If you enter a value all the selected actors will move that location.


For the rotation fields they work as sliders you can click and drag with your mouse to increase or decrease the value.


On the scale button you will see a little lock button next to it.


When it is clicked and the anchor is locked the ratio of the scale will be maintained which will mean when you scale up your object it will be uniformly scaled.


Interactive Transformation


The other method of transforming actors allows us to visually see how we will do it. With this method we use are mouse to move, scale or rotate are object in the viewport. This method can be helpful as you get to see the transform of the object as you move, rotate or scale it although it is not as precise as the other method.


The transformation widget is made up of many parts that are colour coded according to the axis they affect:

  • Red means the X axis will be affected.

  • Green means the Y axis will be affected.

  • Blue means the Z axis will be affected.


You can access the three different translation methods by clicking on the buttons here



translation methods unreal engine

Translation Widget


The Translation Widget has a three different colour coded arrows pointing in the direction that you can move them in the level. Dragging and selecting one of the arrows will move that selected actor along the axis of the arrow you have selected. When you select an arrow it will turn yellow letting you know that you have selected it.


translation widget unreal engine


Rotation Widget


The Rotation Widget has three different colour coded arcs, when you select and drag one of the arcs this will make the actor rotate along that particular axis. Again the selected arc will turn yellow letting you know you have selected it.



rotation widget unreal engine


Scaling Widget


The Scaling Widget has three different colour coded handles which end in cubes. If you select one of the cubes and drag along it, it will scale up that actor in that particular axis. Again the selected arrow will turn yellow letting you know you have selected it.



scaling widget unreal engine




Snapping


If you want more precise movement when transforming your objects you can click on these little buttons below ( found in top right corner of the viewport ) and it will allow you to specify the increments in which you can translate your actor. For example the default drag grid is 10 units which means each time you move your cube in one axis it will move by 10 units.


You can adjust this value higher or lower to make it so that each time you move your object it will move by a different amount.


grids unreal engine



Camera Speed


As you use the right mouse button and the WASD keys you will move around the viewport.


You may find you self needing to adjust the camera speed of the viewport.


In the top right corner of the Unreal Editor there should be this Camera Icon.


camera speed icon unreal engine

The default value is 4. The higher you make this value the faster you will move around the viewport the lower this value the slower you will move around the viewport.


Depending on the size of your level you may need to adjust this value.


World Outliner


This will show a list of the actors within your level. You can search for specific actor using the search panel.


And you can create folders by clicking on the button on the right or just right clicking and selecting create new folder. This helps keep things organised.



world outlier unreal engine



Details Panel


The details panel is a context sensitive area that allows you to edit the properties of the actor you have selected. For example if you select one of the blue cubes in the level the details panel will allow you to change many things such as its location, rotation, scale, its material and more depending on what you select will depend what you can change.



details panel unreal engine


Content Browser


This allows you access all the project files you have in your project. You can click ctrl + spacebar to open it up.



content browser unreal engine


Main Toolbar


main toolbar unreal engine

This will be found on top of your viewport.


This allows you to quickly access commonly used tools in Unreal Engine such as adding actors to your level.


Now there are a lot of different options and some of these could have there own articles on how to fully use them so I am going to cover the main options you will use as beginner.


The save button found on the left corner use this to save you levels.


That little green add button allows you add, shapes, models, lighting and bunch of other assets to help you design your levels.


Click that green play button to to play how your project will run.



Unreal Engine Marketplace


If you open up the Epic Game Launcher and go to the marketplace tab.


Every month epic games releases free paid assets but they are only free for the month make sure to claim these, add them to your cart and checkout you never know when you may need these assets later down the line so you may as well claim them.


You can also use the marketplace to help you find assets for your game and they host sales quite frequently so it's pretty good.

unreal engine marketplace

Summary


So hopefully you know have a good basic understanding of how to use Unreal Engine.


We have covered how to install Unreal Engine, create a project based on your needs and how to use the basic controls and user interface of Unreal Engine.


To get notified of upcoming posts on Unreal Engine, I invite you to subscribe to our newsletter:




And if you are just getting started learning Unreal Engine, have a look at the Unreal Engine for Beginners Course :

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