Navigating the Editor | Unreal Tutorial

Unreal is a free program  you can use to make powerful 2D and 3D games. To learn how to build 6 games in Unreal, enroll in our Unreal course.

When you create a project in Unreal (like we did in the previous tutorial), your screen will look like the following image.

The left window in the Unreal editor is the Modes window. The Modes window contains a list of elements that you can drag into the game. Click and drag the right side of the window to increase the window’s width.

One object you can add to your game is a cube. Drag and drop “Cube” from the Modes window to the Viewport, which is the window in the center of the screen.

The Viewport shows the game from the developer’s point of view. In the Viewport, you can click and drag the cube to move it.

If you right-click and drag your mouse in the Viewport, you can look around the game’s world. You can also hit the W, A, S, and D buttons while holding Right Mouse Button (RMB) to move around.

The default tool selected in Unreal is the Translation tool, whose icon is pointed at in the next screenshot.

Click on the icon to the right of the Translation tool to select the Rotation tool. Your Viewport will look like the following image. You can click and drag the wheel that appears on Floor to rotate the object.

Click on the icon to the right of the Rotation tool to select the Resizing tool. Your Viewport will look like the following image. You can drag the handles to change the size of Floor.

Delete Cube from the Viewport by hitting Delete on your keyboard when Cube is selected. Another mode you can add is Empty Actor. Drag and drop “Empty Actor” from the Modes list to the Viewport.

An empty actor contains a position. It is something that you can place in a level and that you can dynamically spawn. Every object in your game needs to be an actor so that the object has a position.

In the Viewport, Empty Actor looks like a sphere. However, Empty Actor is not a 3D object. The game’s player would not see the sphere. The sphere is just there to inform you the developer that the empty actor is in the scene.

Delete Empty Actor. Another mode is Empty Pawn. Pawns are actors that can receive player input. Pawns can jump or move when the player presses a button or hits a key. Empty Character is a pawn that contains a mesh (3D mesh) that can look and move like a human.

Below the Modes window and Viewport is the Content Browser window. The Content Browser contains the files that you drag into the game. Here you can have Materials, 3D models, textures, scripts, and audio, among other assets.

The top right window is the World Outliner. The World Outliner lists the items in the game. Select the floor of the game in the Viewport by clicking on it. World Outliner will highlight its “Floor” line.

In the Viewport, you can click and drag the arrows in the center of Floor to move the object.

The bottom right window is the Details window. This window contains details about the item currently selected. Details contains a list of components of the selected item. With these components, you can change the properties of objects.

For instance, in the Transform component, change Floor’s X Location value to 500. Floor will move in the Viewport to the position you set without your having to recompile the code. Unreal is useful in this sense because you can see changes automatically.

Now you know how to navigate the Unreal editor! To learn more, consider enrolling in Mammoth Interactive’s Unreal course.

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