When comparing Unity3D vs Godot, the Slant community recommends Godot for most people. In the question“What are the best 2D game engines?” Godot is ranked 3rd while Unity3D is ranked 9th. The most important reason people chose Godot is:
Every property can be animated.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Lots of resources to learn from
Unity3D provides an exhaustive documentation where everything is given a full description supplied by a number of examples as well as video and text tutorials and live training sessions to understand the ins and outs of the engine. In addition there's an ever-growing community that can offer advice to help resolve any situations that may arise.
Along with the official Unity resources, there are many high quality (and often free) third party tutorials available.
Pro Easy learning curve
The way the editor is structured, by setting scripts on objects, and the use of a high-level language, C#, makes it easy to learn.
Pro Lots of assets can be found in the Asset Store
For those developers who can't afford an artist, or aren't skilled enough to create their own art, Unity features an Asset Store full of a wide variety of free and paid assets that can be easily added to a game. The Asset Store has more than just music and art. It also has code and modules that can be added to games including unique lighting or GUI systems. It also has powerful asset management and attribute inspection.
Pro Allows for rapid prototyping
Unity's modular system and usability allows for quickly developing a prototype of an idea. It has features like drag & drop editing, shaders, animation and other systems already in place to allow diving right into developing a game.
Pro Very popular
Unity is a proven game engine. It is used by a wide range of developers - from small indies to triple-A companies such as Microsoft, Paradox, Square Enix and Sega.
Pro Great editor
The editor GUI is very powerful and intuitive. It allows pausing gameplay and manipulating the scene at any time as well as progress gameplay frame by frame. It also has powerful asset management and attribute inspection.
Pro Can be used for free
As long as the development company makes $100k or less, it can use the free version of Unity to release games.
Pro Works with 3rd party IDEs
You can use any C# IDE for it, but the ones tested which have Unity integration are:
- Microsoft Visual Studio
- Visual Studio Code (much faster than VS, but a bit harder to set up for Unity development)
- JetBrains Rider (very fast, has lots of functionality and best Unity integration, but it is not free)
Pro Over 20 platforms
Unity offers over 20 platforms for publishing including mobile, console, web, VR, and more.
Pro Has a great animation system
Unity provides a great state machine animation system called Mechanim allowing to separate animation from the model and assign the same animoations to different models.
Not tailored for specific types of games (like Unreal...), so it won't get in your way if you want to make something unique.
Pro Very optimized
Unity runs very smoothly even on systems that are considered "weak" by today's standards.
Pro Powerful standard shaders
The built in standard shader in Unity 5 is incredibly optimized and supports PBS/PBR.
Pro Can create custom forms and tools
Pro OUYA support
Pro Flexibility is provided by a strong component programming model
Pro Well structured
Overall, a coherent engine with a rational approach. People who complain a lot about being forced to hack around it usually dont read the docs, like the one that describe orders of execution (https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/ExecutionOrder.html), or specific functions hooks and such. Some like to say it lacks raw power where people who are used to standard optimizations have no problem. For exemple It is not uncomon to encounter users who complain about low FPS but forgot to activate occlusion, flag static elements, activate animations culling, and so on. As for complaints about C#, people who are transitioning from C++ were already bad at C++ before being bad at C#. They often come from the PC world where the sheer power of today's machines is very forgiving compared to the platforms we had to develop for in the 80s~90s. One of their errors is for exemple to never read this doc: https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/BestPracticeGuides.html.
Pro Has awesome plugins
Pro Free for mobile development
Unity allows free mobile development. There are some limitations.
Pro Integrated animation editor
Every property can be animated.
Pro Can be deployed to multiple platforms
Deploy games to desktops (Windows/OS X/Linux), smartphones (iOS/Android/BlackBerry), and the web (HTML5 via Emscripten).
Pro Unified game editor interface
All the game development work is done inside one program: the engine editor. The scripting is done in the same program. No need for Eclipse or other front-end editors.
Pro Fully dedicated 2D engine, no hacks
Godot has a mature 2D engine with many features used by modern 2D games.
Pro Built-in physics
Add physics to 2D and 3D scenes, through rigid and static bodies, characters, raycasts, vehicles and more.
Pro Under constant development
This engine barely released one year ago has more than 1000 forks on github and about 100 developers. Not only that just a bit of browsing trough issues you will quickly find out the dev community loves new esp free technology and does not shy away from completely rewriting parts of the engine. The audio engine is being completely rewritten to use threads and so forth.
The executable is portable and less than 40 MB in size.
Pro Free and open source
Godot is licensed under MIT license. Anyone can grab the source from https://github.com/godotengine/godot, and compile the engine themselves.
Pro User friendly UI for all your team
Non-programmers (musicians, artists, etc) can join the development easily.
Pro Drag & drop interface
Many parts of the editor allow you to drag & drop, which makes working with assets and scene trees a joy.
Pro Editor and runtime are fully cross-platform
You can run Godot on all 3 major operating systems (Windows/Mac/Linux) and build your game to all available platforms from each without any platform-specific work needed. All platforms including Linux are supported first class.
Pro Easy to learn scripting language
Godot has their own scripting language called GDScript. The scripting language is easy to learn with Python-like syntax, but it is not Python. It's very powerful, easy to learn, and it's free of unnecessary things because it was custom built for optimized integration with the Godot Engine.
It can be used to add custom behaviors to any object by extending it with scripting, using the built-in editor with syntax highlighting and code completion.
A built-in debugger with breakpoints and stepping can be used and graphs for possible bottlenecks can be checked.
Pro The list of supported languages is growing
Officially, Godot supported languages for now will be GDScript, C#(Mono), VisualScript and C++.
Pro Instancing and node concept makes sense
The node and the instancing concept work very well and helps developers to structure content efficiently.
Pro Internationalization of the editor
You can change the language shown in menus. Godot translations: https://hosted.weblate.org/projects/godot-engine/godot/
Pro Fun to use
An important aspect that can't be grasped without using the engine for a few days. The Interface is evolving nicely and making games is just fun.
Pro Friendly towards Version Control Systems
The engine is build not only to support version control but to really use it. Scene files for example which usually get compiled into some sort of unreadable data stay in a text format - that way you can actually see your changes in a version control system like Git.
Pro Really good community
The community is great and really cares about the engine. It is easy to get help and to be part of Godot's future.
Pro Creating editor tools is a breeze
Godot Engine is itself a Godot game. By adding the "tool" keyword to the top of a script, you can design extensions for the editor itself INSIDE the editor. Integrating these editor scripts into a bundled plugin for sharing is extremely easy to do.
Pro Built-in documentation linked to the internal ScriptEditor
The editor has a fully searchable index of class API documentation for everything the engine offers (NOT just a web interface). You can easily open the documentation for any class by Ctrl-clicking the class's name in the in-engine text editor for scripts.
Pro Simple and readable codebase
The engine's source code is easy to read and understand with a self-documenting approach to code design. You don't have to wait months or years for other people to fix an engine bug that is important to your game. Often times, you can spend an hour or two of your own time to fix whatever problems you encounter yourself.
Pro Can Be Installed On Steam
You can easily install Godot via the Steam store.
Pro Easily expanded scripting system
With 3.0's addition of NativeScript and PluginScript via GDNative, developers can easily define bindings for new scripting languages. In addition to the primarily supported C++, GDScript, VisualScript, and C# languages, the community has contributed D, Nim, and Python as well with more on the way.
Pro Scene Based editing
Godot gives you the ability to create scenes to make your life easier, with reusable objects and things you want to incorporate in your games. This makes the game making processvery streamlined and organized.
Con Very bad terrain
Native terrain creates a lot of draw calls which is bad for performance.
Con Garbage collection can't be turned off
Given the use of C#, the memory control is out of the developers control, this can be good, but not controlling memory means that the garbage collector can trigger at any time and ruin performance.
Con Hard to maintain projects due to vendor lock
Unity3D is proprietary, closed source game engine. Unity asks money for features like basic version control support, etc. It is impossible to migrate a game from Unity3D in case performance does not satisfy growing requirements of a project.
Con Weak memory management
.Net libraries are slowing it down, memory safety is compromised, classes have to be implemented to manage objects in memory, like object pooling.
Con Very self-centered engine
Unity3D uses very unique approach for doing things. Most of the knowledge acquired while using it, would be completely non transferable to other engines. Advanced Unity3D programming is really dealing with Unity3D bugs, and finding loopholes around engine issues - nothing to do with graphics, etc. Skills which would be valuable with other engines.
Con Adds too many features without fixing earlier issues, rapidly increasing number of bugs that will never get fixed
Unity continues to add many new features without fixing earlier issues. Unity is either understaffed, overambitious, or both, resulting in a continual increase of problems and degraded experience across a number of platforms. Many bugs are reported daily and never get addressed, and there are many bugs from previous versions that are never looked at or fixed.
Con Bad batching support
Draw Call Batching is done automatically and does not include Skinned Renderers (eg. characters). Also for dynamic batching, meshes need to have less than 900 vertices.
Con Encourages bad coding practices
A lot of Unity code feels like a hacked blur of arguable coding practices. C# and .Net usage in Unity is questionable. A lot of the API is done in "C Style" (public static methods, available at all times), encouraging the use of public fields for everything, a lot of questionable implicit casting. The list goes on.
Con Asset store is required to replace engine functionality
You will need to, for example, buy an input manager asset off their asset store in order to replace their own terrible inaccessible input manager.
Con Increasing number of bugs
With each new version things may stop working ,for example with Android, some bugs are never getting fixed, like the freeze bug with adb.
Con Moderators on forums are sometimes arrogant
Con Mobile builds (Android, iOS) take about 18MB at least
Even a Blank Project, Needs 18MB for the APK file (on Android).
Con Dark UI theme not available in the free version
Dark theme, which is a must for prolonged work without eye strain, is only available with one of the paid monthly plans.
Con Asset bundles can be cumbersome
Asset bundles are a way to load external resources that are not packed with the game or application and offered as a separate, optional package. However, they may not be compatible between versions or even platforms (you have to create them separately).
Asset bundles need to be loaded and unloaded, avoid concurrent loads from web or cache or a naming collision can happen. You can find workarounds with static objects (load
obj files and textures by code), but for animated game objects you are pretty much stuck with this.
Con New il2cpp script backend is show stopper to some iOS projects
Il2cpp script backend is required to build arm64 app, but it's still very buggy and not production ready.
Con Price is very high
Cost is based on Revenue:
less than $100K = Free
between $100K and 200K = $35 a month per seat
greater thank 200K = $125 a month per seat
Con Docs have inconsistent choice of scripting languages
Con Bad UI tools
Way of creating UI is uncomfortable and inconvenient.
Con Comparatively high learning curve is putting it nicely. Expect to spend days upon days researching basic functionality.
Although C#, JS, and Boo have documentation available online, it can still be difficult to understand the library and Unity's component based system.
Con Waisted resources
Slow, buggy, expensive and 1000 other problems.
Con Bad model importing
Con Bad input
Their input manager cannot be accessed via code. If you want to update controls at runtime (which any PC game should be able to do), you'll have to roll your own. Except joysticks are also not available via code.
Con Bad raycasts
Con C++ Engine API not very friendly
The base C++ code from Godot is not documented, it's hard to set it up, to compile and hard to extend, it could use better programming standards.
Con No built-in way to import atlases
Godot does not have an easy and automatic way to import atlases created by other tools. However, there are plugins that can be used to import atlases from other engines.
Con Very bad documentation
The documentation is poorly written, and has very few examples of real application and even fewer design guidelines about how to program a game in the engine. Though it has gotten better starting from version 3.0.
Con 2DPhysics is weak compared to Box2d
Box2d has much more features.
Con Strange terminology at its base
Scenes can be made up of other scenes. That makes some sense. But even the smallest object (or prefab or asset) in a scene -- such as that spoon on the table or the marble on the floor -- is still called a scene... except when it's called a node. This is a bit odd for those coming from other engines. With all the great decisions behind the basic design of this engine, the choice of this term from all the potential other terms out there seems really out of place and only serves as a constant reminder that not everything about Godot is great.
Con No console targets
Given that you can target both desktops and consoles with the same code base in other engines, the lack of support for consoles in Godot is pretty hard to get past if targeting desktops for a game. But asking for an open-source engine to target consoles is probably too much to ask. But it would be interesting to see some legacy consoles targeted even if current ones cannot be.
Con Difficult to optimize
Godot has an OOP architecture. Everything is an object internally and data is spread among many classes, thus it's difficult to optimize (i.e. not cache friendly, difficuly to vectorize or paralellize, etc).
Read about "Data Oriented Design" for more info about the problems and solutions.
Con NoAdmob or other AdNetwork support
Godot has no native support for implementing advertisements into your game.
Con OSX app is a mess
Instead of one contained folder/file with an icon per normal it is a mess of files which is not at all suitable or distributable without further work after every compilation.
Con Hard for a Unity user
Coming from a Unity background, Godot engine is hard.