Epic Games launches Unreal Engine 5 for early access

Epic Games launches Unreal Engine 5 for early access

Epic Games launches Unreal Engine 5 for early access


May 26, 2021

• The Unreal Engine 5 is scheduled for general release in 2022 but Epic has announced early access for qualified developers.


Nanite is a virtualized micropolygon geometry system that enables you to create games with massive amounts of geometric detail, eliminating time-consuming and tedious work such as baking details to normal maps or manually authoring LODs.

You can directly import film-quality source art comprised of millions of polygons, including anything from ZBrush sculpts to large-scale photogrammetry scans, and duplicate them millions of times, while maintaining a real-time frame rate, and without noticeable loss of fidelity.




Lumen is a fully dynamic global illumination solution that let’s you can create dynamic scenes where indirect lighting adapts on the fly to changes to direct lighting or geometry.

With Lumen, you no longer have to author lightmap UVs, wait for lightmaps to bake, or place reflection captures; you can simply create and edit lights inside the Unreal Editor and see the same final lighting as when the game is run on console.



MetaHuman Creator is a cloud-streamed app that takes real-time digital human creation from weeks or even months to less than an hour, with an unprecedented standard of quality, fidelity, and realism. When your character is finished, you can export and download it, rigged and ready to animate in Unreal Engine.

Sign up for free Early Access program today.



MetaSounds enables control and flexibility when creating audio experiences.  With UE5, MetaSounds is a high-performance system that offers complete control over audio DSP graph generation of sound sources, letting you manage all aspects of audio rendering to drive next-generation procedural audio experiences.

MetaSounds is analogous to a fully programmable material and rendering pipeline, bringing all the benefits of procedural content creation to audio that the Material Editor brings to shaders: dynamic data-driven assets, the ability to map game parameters to sound playback, and huge workflow improvements.




Constantly stepping outside of Unreal Engine to create or edit animation is time-consuming and painful, and a barrier to iteration. In Unreal Engine 5, Epic has expanded and enhancing their animation toolset to let you author incredibly detailed characters right in context.

Artist-friendly tools like Control Rig enable you to quickly create rigs and share them across multiple characters; pose them in Sequencer, and use the new Pose Browser to save and apply the poses as assets; and use the new Full-Body IK solver to easily create natural movement. Meanwhile, Motion Warping enables you to dynamically adjust a character’s root motion to align to different targets. For example, vaulting over walls of different heights, with a single animation.



Open Worlds

Epic on an ongoing mission to make the creation of open worlds faster, easier, and more collaborative for teams of all sizes.

There is a new World Partition system that automatically divides the world into a grid and streams the necessary cells when required. There is also a new One File Per Actor system that makes collaboration easier. Team members can now work simultaneously on the same region of the same World without treading on each other’s toes.

Finally, Data Layers let you create different variations of the same World, such as daytime and nighttime versions, or specific datasets that are enabled through gameplay, as layers that exist in the same space.



Editor Workflow

In UE5, the Unreal Editor has gotten a significant upgrade, with  streamlined workflows, and optimized use of screen real estate, making it easier to use.

New features in this Early Access build include the ability to easily summon and stow the Content Browser and to dock any editor tab to the collapsible sidebar, freeing up more space for viewport interactions; a new favoriting system for quick access to frequently used properties in the Details panel; a new Create button on the main toolbar that makes it easy to place Actors into your world; and a streamlined, easier workflow for creating new projects.

You can download Unreal Engine 5 Early Access and the Valley of the Ancient sample project used in the video above from your Epic Games launcher, and visit the UE5 page on Epic website for more information, answers to frequently asked questions, and links to tutorials and documentation.



Get Unreal Engine 5 Early Access

If you’re an existing Unreal Engine user, you can get UE5 Early Access and the Valley of the Ancient sample project from the Epic Games Launcher.