When comparing Godot vs Unity 2D, the Slant community recommends Godot for most people. In the question“What are the best 2D game engines?” Godot is ranked 1st while Unity 2D is ranked 6th. The most important reason people chose Godot is:
Godot has a mature 2D engine with many features used by modern 2D games.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Fully dedicated 2D engine, no hacks
Godot has a mature 2D engine with many features used by modern 2D games.
The executable is portable and less than 40 MB in size.
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.
Pro Free and open source
Godot is licensed under MIT license. Anyone can grab the source from here, and compile the engine themselves.
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 Integrated animation editor
Every property can be animated.
Pro Built-in physics
Add physics to 2D and 3D scenes, through rigid and static bodies, characters, raycasts, vehicles and more.
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 User friendly UI for all your team
Non-programmers (musicians, artists, etc) can join the development easily.
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 Instancing and node concept makes sense
The node and the instancing concept work very well and helps developers to structure content efficiently.
Pro The list of supported languages is growing
Officially, Godot supported languages for now will be GDScript, C#(Mono), VisualScript and C++.
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 Drag & drop interface
Many parts of the editor allow you to drag & drop, which makes working with assets and scene trees a joy.
Pro Internationalization of the editor
You can change the language shown in menus. Godot translations can be found here.
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 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 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 Doesn't need to be installed into the system
Godot is very portable, you can download the file from a website then put it on a USB and run it on your other computer without any troublesome errors.
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 Incredible documentation after 3.2.2 beta
The documentation used to be weak, but now we have nathen with his help the documentation is the strongest advantage.
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.
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 Easy to get involved
No need to learn anything with node, you can build a game without typing a line of code + has visual scripting.
Pro Engine is yours
There is no royalty and the game you made + engine itself is yours.
Pro Can be installed on Steam
You can easily install Godot via the Steam store.
Pro Comprehensive tooling
In addition to the scene editor and the script editor (with debugger), the engine also provides a tile map editor, an animation editor (not just for rigs), a performance monitor, a network profiler, and an audio bus console.
Pro It has a visual scripting tool (Godot 3)
It has a great visual scripting tool. It's a great choice if you don't like to code. This was however removed in Godot 4, so you will need to use the (still supported) Godot 3 branch for visual scripting.
Pro Built into Unity 4.3+
2D game creation was a major feature request from the Unity community and was added with version 4.3. 2D is provided in both the Pro and Free distribution of Unity.
Pro Integrates with Mecanim
Mecanim brings state machines and blending to 2D bone animation. The state machine editor allows for designers and programmers to visually create a Finite State Machine (FSM) to control when animations should play. Mecanim also allows for blending so an animation can transition smoothly between two states without the need of in between frames made by an animator.
Pro Sprite Sheet and Bone based animation supported
Both types of 2D animation for game development are supported in Unity’s system and can be used interchangeably in the timeline.
Pro Easily change sprites dynamically
Usually used for character customization, programmers can change any sprite in a bone animation at runtime easily by referencing the bone and loading the new sprite from the resources folder.
Con Primarily supports own language (GD Script)
Although C# is also supported by Godot, it is only supported by a separate version, and Mono must be downloaded separately. While GDScript is very accessible, and if you know Python you'll pick it up fast, having to learn a new language to fully make use of the platform can be a bit discouraging. And for those learning to code as well as learning Godot for the first time, many would rather learn a language they can 'take with them' when they explore other platforms in the future.
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 Annoying minor bugs
Minor bugs can go unaddressed for some time, due to it being a free program.
Con GDScript is quite immature language
GDScript is copy of python and the real problem is, it is not python. Which means it cannot have all the power and new features that is available in Python or other programming language.
It does have some good features but it is not good enough for what you need if you want to deep dive into game development. You can just feel that by the godot team is solving that matter by supporting mono version. Because C# is popular in other game engine and it contains all the new features that is available from new programming language.
If i give you very simple example for why GDScript is immature, GDScript does not support asynchronous programming. Which is very efficient for performance of your game.
You may mention about multi-threading because asynchronous programming is one way of multi-threading. However If you try that in Godot, you cannot multi-threading where you want to implement asynchronous system. For example, Autoload (Fake singleton) where you want to manage data in real time. Autoload is not real singleton. It is not a separated thread that manage data. Therefore everything is synchronous in autoload. Even though you create new thread from Autoload script, your game will just stop and wait for your thread to finish its task...
Con Godot 3/4 split
The recent release of Godot 4 brings new features, but isn't yet fully documented, and performance may not be as optimized.
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 It's hard to learn
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 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 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 2DPhysics is weak compared to Box2d
Box2d has much more features.
Con NoAdmob or other AdNetwork support
Godot has no native support for implementing advertisements into your game.
Con Many buggy and half-finished features
Con Hard for a Unity user
Coming from a Unity background, Godot engine is hard.
Con Lacks critical features
- Vertices can't be animated, so you can't have ANY organic feel (like... lungs breathing).
- Parent bone can't be animated without affecting the children. This is especially impeding for organic feel, again.
- No option to show & unshow assets (or it is hidden), like for switching weapon on your character for exemple.
Con Poor script interface for texture atlases
Accessing individual sprites within an atlas texture is possible at runtime, but requires use of the Resources folder subsystem.