Unreal Engine 5 | Viewport Navigation + Camera Controls

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.

Viewport ActionControls
Rotate the viewport camera (Left and Right)a) Right or Left Mouse Button
b) ALT + Left Mouse Button
Forward camera movementa) Left Mouse Button Forward
b) Right Mouse Button + W (or Numpad8 / Up arrow)
c) ALT + Right Mouse Button
Backward camera movementa) Left Mouse Button Backward
b) Right Mouse Button + S (or Numpad2 / Down arrow)
c) ALT + Right Mouse Button
Camera moving upa) Right + Left Mouse Button, or
b) Right Mouse Button + E (or Numpad9 / Page Up)
c) Middle Mouse Button Up
Camera moving downa) Right + Left Mouse Button, or
b) Right Mouse Button + Q (or Numpad7 / Page Dn)
c) Middle Mouse Button Down
Camera moving lefta) Right Mouse Button + A (or Numpad4 / Left arrow)
b) ALT + Middle Mouse Button Left
Camera moving righta) Right Mouse Button + D (or Numpad6 / Right arrow)
b) ALT + Middle Mouse Button Right
Zoom In / OutRight Mouse Button + C (or Numpad3)
Right Mouse Button + Z (or Numpad1)
Camera SpeedMove 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 objectMove an object using the Translation Tool while holding SHIFT.
Official Documentation
Unreal Engine 5 Viewport Navigation Shortcuts
Unreal Engine 5 Viewport Navigation Shortcuts

How to select objects?

More ActionsControls
Select actorLeft Mouse Button
Select actors inside an areaCTRL + ALT + Left Mouse Button
FocusSelect an actor in the Outliner or Viewport and press F to focus the camera on it.

Viewport Options in Unreal Engine

Unreal Engine provides several choices for how you can view and display things on your screen. These options include Viewport Options, Viewport Modes, and Viewport Show Flags.

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.

Viewport OptionsShortcut
Game ViewG
Immersive ModeF11
Default ViewPerspective (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.

Viewport Types

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.

Viewport TypesShortcut
Perspectivea) ALT + G
b) CTRL + Middle Mouse + Drag Diagonal Down Right or Left
Topa) ALT + J
b) CTRL + Middle Mouse + Drag Up
Bottoma) ALT + SHIFT + J
b) CTRL + Middle Mouse + Drag Down
Lefta) ALT + K
b) CTRL + Middle Mouse + Drag Diagonal Up Right
Righta) ALT + SHIFT + K
b) CTRL + Middle Mouse + Drag Diagonal Up Left
Fronta) ALT + H
b) CTRL + Middle Mouse + Drag Right
Backa) 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.