Programming Guide

Information for programmers developing with Unreal Engine.

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Unreal Engine 4 provides two toolsets for programmers which can also be used in tandem to accelerate development workflows. New gameplay classes, Slate and Canvas user interface elements, and editor functionality can be written with C++, and all changes will be reflected in Unreal Editor after compiling with either Visual Studio or XCode. The Blueprints visual scripting system is a robust tool which enables classes to be created in-editor through wiring together function blocks and property references.

C++ classes can be used as a base for Blueprint classes, and in this way programmers can set up fundamental gameplay classes that are then sub-classed and iterated on by level designers.

Getting Started

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Programming Quick Start

Create your first code project and add a new C++ class.

Create your first code project and add a new C++ class.

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Introduction to C++ Programming in UE4

Introductory guide for C++ programmers new to Unreal Engine

Introductory guide for C++ programmers new to Unreal Engine

Development Setup

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Programming Tools

Applications, tools, and add-ins that are useful for programmers working with Unreal Engine.

Applications, tools, and add-ins that are useful for programmers working with Unreal Engine.

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Low-Level Memory Tracker

Going over how to use the Low-Level Memory Tracker in your Unreal Engine projects.

Going over how to use the Low-Level Memory Tracker in your Unreal Engine projects.

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Console Variables in C++

Overview of the Console Manager and implementation details for creating console variables.

Overview of the Console Manager and implementation details for creating console variables.

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Sparse Class Data

The Sparse Class Data system eliminates wasted memory from redudant properties.

The Sparse Class Data system eliminates wasted memory from redudant properties.

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Coding Standard

Standards and conventions used by Epic Games in the Unreal Engine 4 codebase.

Standards and conventions used by Epic Games in the Unreal Engine 4 codebase.

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Setting Up Visual Studio for Unreal Engine

Tips, tricks, and techniques for setting up Visual Studio to work with Unreal Engine 4.

Tips, tricks, and techniques for setting up Visual Studio to work with Unreal Engine 4.

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UnrealVS Extension

Guide for installing, setting up, and using the UnrealVS extension for Visual Studio.

Guide for installing, setting up, and using the UnrealVS extension for Visual Studio.

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Compiling Game Projects

Compiling individual game projects using Visual Studio on Windows, or Xcode on Mac.

Compiling individual game projects using Visual Studio on Windows, or Xcode on Mac.

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Managing Game Code

Adding code and generating project files.

Adding code and generating project files.

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C++ Class Wizard

An overview of the C++ Class Wizard in UE4.

An overview of the C++ Class Wizard in UE4.

Unreal Engine Architecture

Whether you are programming with C++, Blueprints, or a combination of the two, the underlying Unreal architecture is the same.

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Gameplay Modules

Collections of gameplay classes belonging to a game project compiled into DLLs.

Collections of gameplay classes belonging to a game project compiled into DLLs.

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Gameplay Classes

Reference to creating and implementing gameplay classes.

Reference to creating and implementing gameplay classes.

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UFunctions

Reference to creating and implementing functions for gameplay classes.

Reference to creating and implementing functions for gameplay classes.

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Metadata Specifiers

Metadata keywords used when declaring UClasses, UFunctions, UProperties, UEnums, and UInterfaces to specify how they behave with various aspects of the Engine and Editor.

Metadata keywords used when declaring UClasses, UFunctions, UProperties, UEnums, and UInterfaces to specify how they behave with various aspects of the Engine and Editor.

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Properties

Reference for creating and implementing properties for gameplay classes.

Reference for creating and implementing properties for gameplay classes.

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Structs

Reference to creating and implementing structs for gameplay classes.

Reference to creating and implementing structs for gameplay classes.

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Interfaces

Reference to creating and implementing interfaces.

Reference to creating and implementing interfaces.

Gameplay Architecture

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Actors

Explanations of the basic gameplay elements, Actors and Objects.

Explanations of the basic gameplay elements, Actors and Objects.

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Delegates

Data types that reference and execute member functions on C++ objects.

Data types that reference and execute member functions on C++ objects.

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String Handling

An overview of the string classes available in UE4 and reference guides for FName, FText, and FString.

An overview of the string classes available in UE4 and reference guides for FName, FText, and FString.

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Gameplay Timers

Timer construct for performing actions at set intervals.

Timer construct for performing actions at set intervals.

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TMap

TMaps are primarily defined by two types — a key type and a value type — which are stored as associated pairs in the map.

TMaps are primarily defined by two types — a key type and a value type — which are stored as associated pairs in the map.

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TSet

TSets are a fast container class to store (usually) unique elements in a context where the order is irrelevant.

TSets are a fast container class to store (usually) unique elements in a context where the order is irrelevant.

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Unreal Object Handling

Overview of the features of the UObject system.

Overview of the features of the UObject system.

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Unreal Smart Pointer Library

Custom implementation of shared pointers, including weak pointers and non-nullable shared references.

Custom implementation of shared pointers, including weak pointers and non-nullable shared references.

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Versioning of Assets and Packages

Using customized serialization code and versioning to control how Objects are loaded from Assets and Packages

Using customized serialization code and versioning to control how Objects are loaded from Assets and Packages

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Objects

Explanations of the basic gameplay elements, Actors and Objects.

Explanations of the basic gameplay elements, Actors and Objects.

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UObject Instance Creation

Methods of creating new instances of Objects in gameplay code.

Methods of creating new instances of Objects in gameplay code.

Gameplay Guides

Unreal Engine API Reference

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Unreal Engine C++ API Reference

API programming reference for Unreal Engine C++ source code

API programming reference for Unreal Engine C++ source code

System Guides

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Animation Node Technical Guide

Guide to creating new nodes for use within graphs in Anim Blueprints.

Guide to creating new nodes for use within graphs in Anim Blueprints.

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Automation System Overview

Overview of the automation system used for unit testing, feature testing, and content stress testing.

Overview of the automation system used for unit testing, feature testing, and content stress testing.

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Blueprints Technical Guide

Technical guide for programmers working with Blueprints.

Technical guide for programmers working with Blueprints.

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Online Subsystem

Overview of the various systems related to the online platform.

Overview of the various systems related to the online platform.

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Online Subsystem Steam

An overview of Online Subsystem Steam, including how to set up your project for distribution on Valve's Steam platform.

An overview of Online Subsystem Steam, including how to set up your project for distribution on Valve's Steam platform.

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Graphics Programming

Information for graphics programmers working with the rendering systems and writing shaders.

Information for graphics programmers working with the rendering systems and writing shaders.

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Slate UI Framework

Cross-platform user interface framework for creating tool and in-game UIs.

Cross-platform user interface framework for creating tool and in-game UIs.

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Build Tools

Tools for compiling Unreal Engine and game projects.

Tools for compiling Unreal Engine and game projects.

Automated Builds

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BuildGraph Script Conditions

Learn syntax to write BuildGraph script conditions.

Learn syntax to write BuildGraph script conditions.

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BuildGraph Script Elements

Learn about BuildGraph Elements.

Learn about BuildGraph Elements.

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BuildGraph Script Types

Learn about valid data types for BuildGraph attributes.

Learn about valid data types for BuildGraph attributes.

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BuildGraph

Customize your builds with the BuildGraph scripting system.

Customize your builds with the BuildGraph scripting system.

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BuildGraph Usage

This page provides sample BuildGraph Script usage.

This page provides sample BuildGraph Script usage.

Asset Handling Reference Guides

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Asynchronous Asset Loading

Methods for loading and unloading assets during runtime.

Methods for loading and unloading assets during runtime.

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Asset Registry

How assets are discovered by the editor and how to make it know more about asset types before they are loaded.

How assets are discovered by the editor and how to make it know more about asset types before they are loaded.

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