Learn Unreal Engine 5: Create Your First Project Now!

Creating new projects in Unreal Engine is a basic skill required for many different kinds of projects such as games, movies, architecture, and more.

That is why, in this first step of this Unreal learning roadmap, I want to teach you how to work with projects.

The first thing you’ll notice when you launch the Unreal Engine 5 Launcher is a panel with projects and templates. You can select the best option for your project from the left column:

Creating a new project in Unreal Engine
Unreal Engine 5 Launcher

Unreal Engine 5 Templates

  • Recent Projects: Use it to quickly open the projects you’ve been working on in Unreal.
  • Games: If you want to start from scratch, select the “Blank” option. Other options include sample templates for creating various types of games.
    • First Person
    • Third Person
    • Top Down
    • Vehicle
    • Handheld AR
    • Virtual Reality
  • Film / Video & Live Events: In this section, you’ll find templates that can be useful when working on movies or live events.
    • Virtual Production
    • DMX
    • InCameraVFX
    • nDisplay
  • Architecture: If you need assistance in getting started with your architecture visualization projects, this is a good place to start.
    • Archvis
    • Design Configurator
    • Collab Viewer
    • Handheld AR
  • Automotive, Product Design & Manufacturing: These templates can assist automotive designers, engineers, manufacturers, and anyone involved in the development or marketing of automotive or product-related projects.
    • Photo Studio
    • Product Configurator
    • Collab Viewer
    • Handheld AR
  • Simulation: Templates designed to create virtual simulations and interactive experiences that replicate real-world scenarios.
    • Simulation Blank
    • Handheld AR
    • Virtual Reality

Visit the Unreal Engine official templates reference to learn more.

If you’re new to Unreal, I recommend opening a few templates and playing with them to get a sense of what the engine is capable of. However, for your first serious projects, I recommend starting with a blank template.

Unreal Engine is a complex engine, and while some tools are simple to use, others can be extremely difficult. Starting with a blank template will allow you to learn the engine step by step, without using any shortcuts.

When I first started creating in Unreal Engine, one of the mistakes I made was relying too heavily on the third-person template. Instead of simply modifying the template, I believe it is better to learn by replicating the third-person template in a Blank project and understanding why you do each step.

As a result, I’ll only be working with Blank projects in this article and throughout the rest of the learning roadmap. But keep in mind that templates are always available as references, I just don’t recommend use them as the starting point for a project.

Unreal Engine Project Defaults

Unreal Engine 5: Creating a Blank project

Once you’ve decided on an option, you can select the Project Defaults on the right side. Don’t worry too much about these options because you can change them later.

  • Blueprint or C++: Choose whether to use the visual programming language Blueprint or C++. If you’re new to programming or haven’t tried C++ before, Blueprint is the way to go. Simple projects in Unreal Engine don’t require any knowledge of C++.
  • Target Platform: Choose whether your project is aimed at mobile phones or computers.
  • Quality Preset: Essentially the same option as before.
    • Select Maximum if you are developing your project for a computer or game console.
    • Select Scalable if you are creating a project for mobile devices.
  • Starter Content: Adds Unreal Engine basic assets: some simple Static Meshes with basic textures and Materials. Don’t worry if you don’t check it right away, I’ll show you how to add them to your project in the Starter Content lesson.
  • Raytracing: When you want to achieve more realistic and accurate lighting, shadows, reflections, and other visual effects in your project, select Raytracing in Unreal Engine 5. It can significantly improve the overall visual quality of your scenes, especially if you’re aiming for realism. However, raytracing requires a powerful computer or graphics card, so if you have a less powerful system or are working on a simpler project, it may be better to disable raytracing to ensure smooth performance. Raytracing is a graphics technique that simulates how light behaves to make virtual scenes appear more realistic. It improves 3D graphics lighting, shadows, reflections, and other visual effects.
  • Project Location: Choose a location on your computer to save the project.
  • Project Name: Enter your project’s name here. Project names may not contain a space and must begin with an alphabetic character.

Finally, in the bottom right corner, press the create button to open your first project in Unreal Engine 5.

Unreal Engine Project Content

After you create the project, your computer will automatically create a folder containing all of your game files. To learn more, visit the Unreal Engine Directory Structure Documentation.

How can I backup my project?

Just duplicate your project folder if you ever need a simple backup.

How can I delete my Unreal Engine project?

If you want to delete an Unreal Engine project, simply delete the folder from your computer.

How can I open an Unreal Engine project?

To open an Unreal Engine project without launching the Epic Games Launcher, just double-click the .uproject file with the Unreal Engine logo.

Unreal Engine Project Structure

You are now ready to move on to the next lesson and continue learning!

Previous Lesson:

Installing Unreal Engine 5

Unreal Engine Logo