Unreal Engine 4 is forward compatible with Unreal Engine 5, allowing developers to carry projects over between engines

Unreal Engine 5
Unreal Engine 5 (Image credit: Epic)

Unreal Engine 5

Source: Epic (Image credit: Source: Epic)

What you need to know

  • Today, Epic Games revealed Unreal Engine 5.
  • Epic has revealed that developers can begin projects in Unreal Engine 4 and carry them forward to Unreal Engine 5.
  • Unreal Engine 5 will be available in preview form in early 2021, with a full release coming in late 2021.

Today, Epic Games unveiled Unreal Engine 5, the next major evolution in the ongoing Unreal Engine. In addition to enhanced graphics features and toolsets, Epic is working to make developers' lives a lot easier. In a press release, Epic Games shared that it is designing all its features around forward compatibility, meaning developers can start making next-generation games in Unreal Engine 4.25 and port them over to Unreal Engine 5 when it becomes available.

This is completely unlike the transition between Unreal Engine 3 and Unreal Engine 4, the latter of which was not compatible with projects in the former because of how many new features were added and how much had changed. Epic Games' Tim Sweeney stated Unreal Engine 4 was around 80% different from Unreal Engine 3.

Because of this newfound ease of transition, developers will (in theory) have a simpler time adapting to Unreal Engine 5 and using it than they did with Unreal Engine 4.

Unreal Engine 5 is going to release in preview form in early 2021, with a full release coming sometime in late 2021. The engine supports the Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, current-generation consoles, PC, Mac, iOS, and Android.

Samuel Tolbert

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance gaming writer who started working for iMore and its sister sites Windows Central and Android Central in July 2019. He handles news, previews, reviews, and exclusive original reporting, and has also been featured on TechRadar.

With a background studying engineering before he shifted his focus to gaming journalism, he's skilled at identifying technical advantages and disadvantages provided by different hardware. If he’s not writing something, he’s off playing video games, spending time with his pets, exercising, or reading. He's also fond of trying to draw things with his iPad.