Setting Up Android SDK and NDK

How to set up your Android development environment for Unreal Engine

Choose your operating system:

Windows

macOS

Linux

Unreal Engine uses the Android Software Development Kit (SDK) distributed with Android Studio for all essential Android development components, including the Android Native Development Kit (NDK). This page provides a walkthrough for setting up Android Studio and ensuring that Unreal Engine recognizes these components correctly, and some troubleshooting tips for managing NDK installations and earlier engine builds.

Recommended Setup

You should make sure that the Unreal Editor and the Epic Games Launcher are both closed to ensure that there are no problems with either the installation of NDK components or setting your environment variables for the engine.

If you need to support an earlier installation of Unreal Engine refer to the section on Manually Targeting SDK Paths. You can find the needed NDK version for your version of Unreal Engine in the Android Development Requirements page.

1. Install Android Studio

Before setting up the required SDK and NDK components on your computer, you need to install Android Studio.

Refer to Android Development Requirements for information about which Android Studio and NDK versions are compatible with your current version of Unreal Engine.

  1. Navigate to the Android Studio Archive in your web browser. Scroll down to Android Studio 4.0, click to unfold the dropdown, and download the appropriate installer or zip file for your operating system.

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  2. Run the Android Studio installer. In the Android Studio Setup dialog, click Next to continue.

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  3. In the Choose Components dialog, click Next to continue. You can leave the default components enabled.

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  4. In the Install Locations dialog, make sure the installation location is set to the default. Click Next to continue.

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    If you choose a custom install location, SetupAndroid.bat will not be able to find files unless you edit it first. We highly recommend keeping the default installation location.

  5. In the Choose Start Menu Folder, click Install to begin the installation process.

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  6. When the installation finishes, click Next to begin setting up components.

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  7. When setup completes, make sure the Start Android Studio box is checked and click Finish to exit the installer.

2. Set Up Android Studio for First-Time Use

When you start your new install of Android Studio for the first time, follow these steps:

  1. When the Import Android Studio Settings dialog appears, select do not import settings, then click OK to continue.

    Android Studio Setup

  2. When the Data Sharing dialog appears, choose whether or not you want to send usage statistics to Google. This is an option you may choose at your discretion, and either choice will continue to the next step.

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  3. The Android Studio Setup Wizard will appear. Click Next to continue. If you are prompted for an update, click the X button to dismiss the prompt, as you need to specifically install version 4.0.

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  4. In the Install Type dialog, select Custom and click Next.

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  5. In the Select default JDK Location dialog, make sure the installation location is set to the default. Click Next to continue.

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  6. In the Select UI Theme dialog, choose your preferred theme and click Next.

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  7. In the SDK Component Setup leave the default components enabled and click Next.

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  8. If Emulator Settings window appears, adjust available settings or leave it by default.

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  9. In the Verify Settings dialog, check to make sure that you are using the default SDK path. Click Finish to finalize your setup and begin downloading components.

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    If you do not use the default SDK path, it is possible for SetupAndroid.bat to fail during a later step, as it will be unable to locate needed files.

  10. When components are finished downloading, click Finish again to end setup.

  11. In the Welcome to Android Studio dialog, you will see a prompt in the lower-right corner asking to update your Android Studio to the latest version. Hover over it and dismiss it without updating. This will reveal the Configure and Get Help dropdowns.

  12. Open the Configure dropdown and click SDK Manager.

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  13. In the Android SDK system settings, click the SDK Tools tab. This will display a list of optional components.

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  14. Check the box for Android SDK Command-line Tools (latest). Click Apply to download and install this component.

    If you do not install the command-line tools, SetupAndroid.bat will fail in a later step.

  15. Click OK to dismiss the window and close the welcome dialog.

Finalize the Android Studio Installation on Your OS

If you are on Windows, restart your computer.

If you are on Linux, close your terminal window and reopen it.

If you are on MacOS, you can either close your terminal window and reopen it, or log out and log back in.

3. Set Up Android NDK

  1. Navigate to your Unreal Engine install directory -- for example, C:/Program Files/Epic Games/UE_5.0.

  2. Open Engine/Extras/Android.

  3. Inside this directory, run the SetupAndroid script appropriate for your operating system. SetupAndroid.bat is for Windows, SetupAndroid.command is for Mac, and SetupAndroid.sh is for Linux.

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  4. You will be prompted to accept the Android SDK license agreement. Type Y and press Enter to accept.

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  5. When the installation completes, press any key to dismiss the command prompt.

  6. Restart your computer for all changes to take effect.

This script will download and install the required version of Android NDK for you in your Android home directory. The install directory for NDK should be C:/Users/[Username]/AppData/Local/Android/SDK/ndk/, where "username" is your login name for your computer. You should see a folder containing the required NDK version.

How to Manually Target SDK Paths

If you followed the instructions above without encountering problems, Unreal Engine will automatically associate the SDK paths for the Android SDK, the current Android NDK version, and the Java Development Kit (JDK). However, if you are using an earlier version of the Unreal Engine alongside Android Studio, you may need to manually target your SDK paths to be compatible. This is most likely to be the case if you have an installation of Unreal Engine alongside an earlier version that used CodeWorks.

Do not install CodeWorks and Android Studio at the same time, otherwise you will receive errors. If you need to support an earlier version of Unreal Engine alongside 4.25 or later, use the Android Studio setup in this document, then follow the instructions in this section to target the path for the version of Android Studio you need.

You can find the SDK paths by opening Edit > Project Settings, navigating to the Platforms > Android > Android SDK section.

Android Studio Setup

When these fields are left blank, they fall back on a set of default paths used by the installation process in the previous sections. If you have multiple installations of these components, or have installed them in non-standard directories, you can manually provide their paths here. Alternatively, you can open BaseEngine.ini and provide them under the [/Script/AndroidPlatformEditor.AndroidSDKSettings] section.

[/Script/AndroidPlatformEditor.AndroidSDKSettings]
SDKPath = (Path="C:\Filepath")
NDKPath = (Path="C:\Filepath")
JDKPath = (Path="C:\Filepath")

If the entries for SDKPath, NDKPath, and JDKPath do not exist in your BaseEngine.ini, they will use the default path to the Android home directory.