Building engine from source

From UE4: Community Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is a preliminary version, it is subject to change.

NOTE - This is supposed to be an updated version of the Legacy equivalent, and the plan is to split it into three pages:

  • Building the Engine from source
  • on Linux
  • on Windows
  • on Mac

Download the source code from GitHub[edit]

There are several ways to get the source code for Unreal Engine from GitHub. Regardless of which method you prefer you'll need a GitHub account, and the account needs to be linked to an Epic Games account. The official guide to linking your account can be found here!

Method A: Download as a zipped archive[edit]

To download the source code directly you can visit and press the green "Clone or download" button, and then "Download ZIP". If you want a specific version of the engine, you can select the corresponding from the leftmost drop-down list.

Method B: Clone the repository from command line[edit]

To clone the repository you launch a terminal in the location you want the source code to be, and then use the git clone command as illustrated below. If you want a specific version of the engine, you simply replace release with the version number you want (Major versions only, like 4.24, not 4.24.1).

git clone -b release

Setup source unreal engine[edit]

Open up the previously extracted folder and find a file called Setup.bat

Double click this file and it will open up a console window and begin installing unreal dependencies

Note if you receive any errors when trying to open the .bat file then just right click instead and select run as administrator


now find a file called GenerateProjectFiles.bat

double click this file or again right click and run as administrator

once it is done you will then have a visual studios solution project file in your folder


2.a Setup source unreal engine To use Visual studio 2017[edit]

If you are using visual studio 2017. Instead of clicking on the GenerateProjectFiles.bat as shown above. Open up a CMD prompt window. Navigate to the folder where source built unreal files are by using the cd (change directory) command. Once inside the correct directory you need to run the following command. "GenerateProjectFiles.bat -2017"

this will then generate visual studio 2017 project files instead. full info can be found here _______________________________________________________________________________________________

now open this solution file and it will open visual studios and begin loading the source code.

note the first time you open the solution it normally takes a long time to parse all the header files . make sure you let it completely finish until it says ready at the bottom before you continue.

next go up to where it says develop next to where it says win64 and in the drop down menu select DEVELOPMENT EDITOR


next go to the solution explorer and right click the ue4 and select build


note depending on your system this can again take quite a long time to complete

once complete you then need to right click on ue4 again in the solution explorer and go to "set as start up project"


finally go up to where it says local windows debugger and click the little green play button


you may get a warning pop up like this


just click yes and the editor will begin to open.

note again the first time it may take a while to open and can appear to be stuck on a certain percentage as if its frozen. just be patient and it will open.


it will compile all the shaders as well which can take a while the first time.

What i do now is right click and add to task bar so that next time you can just open the engine directly rather than having to open visual studio and do it that way.

Congratulations - you should have now successfully setup a source built version of unreal engine[edit]