Welcome to the amazing world of Unreal Engine, let’s learn about the Unreal Engine 5 viewport navigation!
If you’re just starting out, the huge amount of possibilities offered by this game creation engine may overwhelm you. But don’t worry, I’m here to walk you through one of the most important skills you’ll need straight away: understanding viewport navigation and camera controls.
If you haven’t already downloaded Unreal Engine, please follow our step-by-step guide.
Why understanding viewport navigation in Unreal Engine 5 so important you may wonder?
Consider the viewport to be your personal window into the virtual world you’re building. It is where you will spend most of your time in the engine, especially at the beginning of your journey. So let’s get started!
Basic Navigation Controls
When you open or create a project in Unreal Engine 5, the viewport is the first thing you’ll see.
Here is a list of the most basic navigation controls. As you can see, there are many of options for navigating the viewport. Simply select the one that is most comfortable for you and your situation.
|Rotate the viewport camera (Left and Right)||a) Right or Left Mouse Button|
b) ALT + Left Mouse Button
|Forward camera movement||a) Left Mouse Button Forward|
b) Right Mouse Button + W (or Numpad8 / Up arrow)
c) ALT + Right Mouse Button
|Backward camera movement||a) Left Mouse Button Backward|
b) Right Mouse Button + S (or Numpad2 / Down arrow)
c) ALT + Right Mouse Button
|Camera moving up||a) Right + Left Mouse Button, or|
b) Right Mouse Button + E (or Numpad9 / Page Up)
c) Middle Mouse Button Up
|Camera moving down||a) Right + Left Mouse Button, or|
b) Right Mouse Button + Q (or Numpad7 / Page Dn)
c) Middle Mouse Button Down
|Camera moving left||a) Right Mouse Button + A (or Numpad4 / Left arrow)|
b) ALT + Middle Mouse Button Left
|Camera moving right||a) Right Mouse Button + D (or Numpad6 / Right arrow)|
b) ALT + Middle Mouse Button Right
|Zoom In / Out||Right Mouse Button + C (or Numpad3)|
Right Mouse Button + Z (or Numpad1)
|Camera Speed||Move while holding the right mouse button and scroll the mouse wheel up to speed up your movement or down to slow down.|
|Move Camera with object||Move an object using the Translation Tool while holding SHIFT.|
How to select objects?
|Select actor||Left Mouse Button|
|Select actors inside an area||CTRL + ALT + Left Mouse Button|
|Focus||Select an actor in the Outliner or Viewport and press F to focus the camera on it.|
Viewport Options in Unreal Engine
As you can see in the documentation, it can be overwhelming because there’s a lot of information to take in, especially at the beginning.
In the future, I’ll write more advanced articles about these topics, but for now, it’s important to focus on the basics. Below, you’ll find a list of the most important options you should learn about.
|Show FPS||CTRL + SHIFT + H|
|Default View||Perspective (ALT + G)|
Lit (ALT + 4)
Don’t be afraid to explore and try out all the different choices. And if you ever want to go back to the original settings, you can use the image below as a guide.
Being able to view a level from different perspectives, such as the front, back, left, right, up, and down, is incredibly useful in game development.
This flexibility in viewport types allows developers to fine-tune their designs, place objects more precisely, and helps identify potential issues or design flaws that may not be apparent from a single viewpoint.
|Perspective||a) ALT + G|
b) CTRL + Middle Mouse + Drag Diagonal Down Right or Left
|Top||a) ALT + J|
b) CTRL + Middle Mouse + Drag Up
|Bottom||a) ALT + SHIFT + J|
b) CTRL + Middle Mouse + Drag Down
|Left||a) ALT + K|
b) CTRL + Middle Mouse + Drag Diagonal Up Right
|Right||a) ALT + SHIFT + K|
b) CTRL + Middle Mouse + Drag Diagonal Up Left
|Front||a) ALT + H|
b) CTRL + Middle Mouse + Drag Right
|Back||a) ALT + SHIFT + H|
b) CTRL + Middle Mouse + Drag Left
Customize Viewport Controls
These options allow you to customize the controls to your liking, making interaction with the software easier and more comfortable.
To change the navigation hotkeys for navigating through the scene, go to the top main menu bar and select:
Edit 🡲 Editor Preferences 🡲 General: Keyboard Shortcuts 🡲 Viewport Navigation
Similarly, if you want to change the mouse inputs, select:
Edit 🡲 Editor Preferences 🡲 Level Editor: Viewports 🡲 Controls
I hope that this article has given you useful insights and practical knowledge to help you improve your viewport navigation skills.
Don’t forget to check our Unreal Engine Developer Roadmap to keep learning.