Top 5 Free and Open Source Game Engines You Should Try

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Top 5 Free and Open Source Game Engines You Should Try

Because of continuous technological innovation, up-gradation gaming has become popular. Here are the top 5 free and open source game engines you should try out.

· Open Source Zone ·
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In recent times, because of technology and its continuous innovation and up-gradation gaming has become extremely popular. This is blessing us with some excellent 2D and 3D games to entertain ourselves that we hardly remember the time we used to play Super Mario, Adventure Island, Battle City, Contra, and much more. The new gaming experience ultimately makes us forget everything. All thanks to the hard-core game developers who maintain our joy, thrill, and excitement by developing one of the best video games in the world.

“Hope is what makes us strong. It is why we are here. It is what we fight with when all else is lost.” – God of War 3

Rapidly growing open-source evolution is not only helping the big sectors to move ahead but also helping open-source gaming to evolve and rise. In this rapid advancement, the open-source game engines helped the developer to reach skyrocketing popularity but also got their stronghold in this quick emerging industry.

What is a Game Engine?

A Game Engine is a software that provides game architecture and game framework or game-frame to game creators with the necessary set of features to build video games quickly and efficiently. A game developer can import the core functionality typically provided by a game engine which includes a rendering engine for 2D or 3D graphics, a physics engine or collision detection, lighting, audio, special effects, animations, networking, memory management, scene graph, and interactive gameplay logic; and edit, debug and optimize the content for gaming development.

Why Are Open-Source Game Engines?

Open-source game engines have their advantages compared to proprietary gaming software. Here are a few significant advantages listed below.

  • Because of the availability of the source code, it’s slowly becoming every developer’s first choice for the convenience and easy to customize features according to the user needs. Also, you can add different plugins as the way you want which is a big-time benefit.    
  • The main benefit is the free license. While using the proprietary gaming software sometimes getting a license becomes a big headache. Open-source can be a resolution because completely open-source platforms don’t require any kind of license.
  • Not only software but game development requires high-end hardware for better performance. But if you opt for an open-source game engines automatically the expense of hardware comes down. Take an example of Linux it involves low hardware configurations that cut down the pricing and have its own. Also, it has easy portability and high compression.
  • Usually, proprietary software increases the risk of becoming locked in by the vendors or technology but open-source game engines provide freedom to experiment and flexibility.

Top 5 Best Open-Source Game Engines

1. Godot

Godot game engine was released with a mission to provide an open-source solution which is considered to be one of the most powerful 2D and 3D true cross-platform game development. It is completely free and open-source under the very permissive MIT license.

Games created with Godot are either programmed in C++, C#, and GDScript(which is Godot’s coding language and also a python variant). GDScript is a high level, dynamically typed programming language that has features that allow strict typing of variables and is optimized for Godot’s scene-based architecture to create content. Godot is also easy to learn and use.

With its latest version, Godot 3.2 was released on June 26, 2020, it gives us the privilege to deploy our games everywhere, whether it is mobile platforms like iOS or Android, or desktop platforms like Windows, macOS, Linux, Haiku and also one can export the games to the web using HTML and Web assembly. Moreover, its dev community is very active and building this platform better every day by releasing new patches. The repository is available here.

2. Cocos2d-x

Cocos2d-x provides rich functions such as graphics rendering, GUI, audio, network, physics, user input, etc., and is widely used as one of the best open-source cross-platform game engines in game development. Its core is written in C++ and supports development in C++, Lua with a thin platform dependent layer and is under the MIT License.

One of the major reasons why developers opt for Cocos2d-x is that this game engine deploys to iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac systems with features focused on native mobile platforms. The repository is available here.

Unlike other cross-platform frameworks based on JavaScript/HTML5, Cocos2D-X makes use of the graphics API OpenGL ES, which improve an application’s performance on a given device. Getting an idea of the high-quality game-play achieved by the games created with Cocos2D-X is as simple as taking a look at examples such as Badland, Big Fish Casino, or Dragon City Mobile.

3. CryEngine 

CryEngine is a powerful 3D game engine admired by the developers for its reliable VR support and advanced visual effects to make the game more photorealistic or next-gen games. Moreover, this game engine mostly aims for AAA quality content with highly detailed and super realistic characters.
Talking about next-gen games CryEngine 1 was used for the first-person shooter video game Far Cry, which was originally developed by Crytek as a demo for Nvidia, and when the company saw the potential of it then they turned it into a game.
CryEngine is made mostly in C++ and Python. Its editing and design tools provide an efficient level of editing even with a semi-novice skillset, which makes it a worth picking game engine if you’re serious about high-level game design. The repository is available here.

4. Armory

Armory is one of the most popular choices among Indie game developers in the 3D open-source community. This game engine integrates with the 3D animation software Blender. Blender solves the problem of having to bounce between programs to develop games. Before learning Armory it’s better to know Blender.

This game engine is written in Python and C. The repository is available here. It also has an active community and forum which makes this game engine the best one to pick up and also if you never learned Blender it’s not a bad idea.

5. Openage

Another truly open source cross-platform RTS game engine which has been advancing recently is Openage. It uses modern technologies as C++17, OpenGL/GLSL, Python, Qt5 and CMake allows people using GNU/Linux, BSD, macOS, or Windows to play the game natively and uses an open API powered by our human-readable configuration language nyan. Openage’s repository is available here.
Openage is very popular for the games developed by this engine like the Age of Empires I and II  and Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds. They also have their own chatroom where you can easily catch up with the developers.


We have tried compiling the best open-source game engines which are famous and different from each other for their unique style of game development and gaming experience. What you like and choose will completely depend on your experience, you had while playing the games designed on that engine.

game, opensource

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