Deploying Unreal Engine 4 on Azure

A short tutorial describing how to set up Unreal Engine 4 on Microsoft Azure

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This tutorial provides a step-by-step guide to setting up an Unreal Engine 4 virtual machine (VM) instance on Microsoft Azure using the Azure Marketplace.


Azure Account and Subscription

You need an Azure account and at least one subscription for which you have the proper permissions to create resources. For information on creating a new subscription, see this guide. Subscriptions also require that you have a billing account set up.

While Unreal Engine is available at no cost, Azure resources do have an associated cost. If your account is linked to your employer or another party, check that they are prepared to accept responsibility for the costs involved before setting up your deployment instance. For a more accurate estimate of your cost, review the pricing information on the Virtual Machine Pricing page, filter by desired region, and search for "NV12s v3" to see the "pay as you go" pricing.

Remote Access

Accessing your Azure instance where Unreal Engine is deployed requires a remote access application. We will be using Windows Remote Desktop Connection (Windows RDP), which already comes installed on most editions of Windows 10.

Using the Azure Portal and the Azure Marketplace

  1. Log into your Azure account.

  2. The Unreal Engine VM offer is hosted on the Azure Marketplace. Navigate to the offer page here.

    Unreal Engine 4 in the Azure Marketplace

  3. Sign in to the Azure Marketplace using the button at the top right. Use the same account you use for all other Azure services.

    Sign in to the Azure Marketplace with your usual account

  4. Click Get It Now below the Unreal Engine icon.

    The Get It Now button

  5. A dialog will pop up asking you to confirm your information and add this app to your account. Fill it out and click Continue.

    Fill in your info and continue

  6. The Azure Portal will open up to the Unreal Engine product in your account. From here you click Create to begin the process of setting up the virtual machine.

    Create the virtual machine that will hold your Unreal Engine 4 instance

Configuring the Virtual Machine

  1. First, select a Subscription where the virtual machine will reside. You must select an existing subscription for which you have the permissions to create resources.

    Select a Subscription to host your virtual machine

  2. Select a Resource Group for the virtual machine. Resource groups are used to organize resources and can be re-used for other VMs. If you do not already have a resource group, click Create new. Give it a valid name and click OK.

    Create a new resource group

  3. Provide a valid name for the virtual machine itself.

    Enter a name for your virtual machine

  4. Select a region to deploy this VM in. You should select a region that is as close as possible to you to minimize latency when using the VM. It must be a region that supports the NV12s_v3 VM size, and you'll receive an error if it does not. Different regions may change the price estimation shown in Size below.

    Select a region to deploy your virtual machine in

  5. Leave the Image as "Unreal Engine" and leave the Size as "Standard_NV12s_v3". You may encounter a warning saying that you do not have enough vCPUs for this configuration. Either select a new region for which you already have the appropriate quota, or click Request quota.

    Request quota for your virtual machine

    A blade will appear with the options for increasing your quota. The NV12 needs 12 vCPUs per VM instance, so that's the minimum amount needed for this guide. Click Save and Continue.

    Select your new quota and click Save and Continue

    After a few minutes you should receive confirmation of your new quota. If it is unsuccessful you may need to select a different region or create a support ticket.

  6. Under Administrator account, create your own Username and Password for this virtual machine, and make sure to remember these later. You cannot access the machine without these credentials.

    Create the Administrator account

  7. This VM comes with a 250 GB SSD by default. If you would like to add an extra storage disk, you can configure settings with Next : Disks. Otherwise, select Review + create. If your organization has Software Assurance for Windows Server licenses, you can select this option before creating.

    Click Review and create to begin setting up your virtual machine

  8. The next page is the confirmation for the VM you're about to create. If it looks good, click Create.

    The details for the new virtual machine you are about to create

  9. A new page will appear, showing the progress of the deployment. It may take a few minutes until you receive a notification saying that the deployment is complete. Click Refresh to confirm, then click Go to resource.

    The deployment in progress

    The deployment complete

Connecting to the Instance

You should now be on the Overview page of the VM resource, where you can see or configure all the technical settings of the instance. Now you have everything you need to start a remote desktop session into this workstation and start using it.

Launch the Windows RDP client on your PC. Copy the Public IP address from the instance overview into the Computer field in the login window. Then click Connect.

Enter the virtual machine public IP address into the Computer field in the Windows RDP client

Under More choices, select Use a different account. Type in the username and password that you defined earlier. You can optionally select Remember me and then click OK.

Enter the admin account details previously set up

You will get a warning about the certificate of the VM. Select Don't ask me again for connections to this computer, and then select Yes.

The RDP connection security warning

Launch Unreal Engine 4

After a few moments, you may see a Windows boot screen at first, and then the Unreal Engine 4 EULA shows. Select the relevant option and click Verify EULA. You only need to do this on the very first connection to the instance.

The Unreal Engine End User Licence Agreement

Next, you are presented with the Epic Games log-in menu. Log in with your Epic Games account.

The Epic Games login

Once logged in, you will see a desktop with Unreal Engine 4 and the Epic Games Launcher already present. You can run Unreal Engine directly from the shortcut or run the Epic Games Launcher to login again and access content as you normally would.

Unreal Engine in the Epic Games launcher

Upon logging into the Launcher for the first time you may be presented with a prompt to update the launcher and a prompt to associate project files with the engine.

Cost Optimization

Due to the ongoing hourly cost of using an Azure VM, we recommend stopping your instance when you're not using it.

Stopping Your VM

From the VM overview page, you can hit the Stop button at the top. This is similar to shutting down your home or work computer. All running applications quit, but whatever data was stored on persistent storage is preserved. Once the instance is stopped you are no longer charged any hourly fees for its use, although you are charged a small amount to store the data on its hard drive.

Restarting Your Stopped VM

From the VM overview page, you can hit the Start button to turn a stopped instance back on. After a short time, the VM will be available to connect over RDP again, and any persistent storage volumes will be restored.

The Stop and Start buttons for your virtual machine

Deleting Your VM

If you are done using the VM indefinitely and want to clean up your resources, you can select the Delete button at the top of the overview page. You will be prompted to confirm the deletion and you can also select the associate storage and networking resources to delete along with it. Once all these resources are deleted, you will no longer be charged for them. This action cannot be undone.

You can also delete the entire Resource Group where all your created resources are stored.

  1. In your Azure portal, navigate to your Subscription, and then select Resource groups from the blade on the left.

    Resource groups under settings in the menu

  2. Select the relevant resource group from the available list.

    Selecting the correct resource group

  3. From the resource group overview page, you can choose Delete resource group from the top, or select and then Delete individual resources. You will be asked to confirm your deletion.

    Deleting a resource group

This resource group page is also the best place where you can access and manage these resources in the future.

The resources in the resource group

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