A mostly reasonable approach to Unreal Engine 4
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Every section of this style guide is numbered for both easy reference and easy linking. You can link to any section directly by simply append a hash tag and the section number to the end of http://ue4.style For
example, if you want to send someone to the first principle of this style guide you would append
#0.1, resulting in http://ue4.style#0.1.
If you have made a notable fork or translation that is not suitable for a pull request into this repo, please submit a pull request to add the fork or translation here.
- Korean Translation by ymkim50
- Russian Translation by CosmoMyzrailGorynych
- Japanese Translation by akenatsu
The word 'map' generally refers to what the average person calls a 'level' and may be used interchangeably. See this term's history here.
There are a few different ways you can name things. Here are some common casing types:
Capitalize every word and remove all spaces, e.g.
The first letter is always lowercase but every following word starts with uppercase, e.g.
Words can arbitrarily start upper or lowercase but words are separated by an underscore, e.g.
These principles have been adapted from idomatic.js style guide.
If you are working on a project or with a team that has a pre-existing style guide, it should be respected. Any inconsistency between an existing style guide and this guide should defer to the existing.
Style guides should be living documents however and you should propose style guide changes to an existing style guide as well as this guide if you feel the change benefits all usages.
0.2 All structure, assets, and code in any Unreal Engine 4 project should look like a single person created it, no matter how many people contributed.
Moving from one project to another should not cause a re-learning of style and structure. Conforming to a style guide removes unneeded guesswork and ambiguities.
It also allows for more productive creation and maintenance as one does not need to think about style, simply follow instructions. This style guide is written with best practices in mind, meaning that by following this style guide you will also minimize hard to track issues.
If you see someone working either against a style guide or no style guide, try to correct them.
When working within a team or discussing within a community such as Unreal Slackers, it is far easier to help and to ask for help when people are consistent. Nobody likes to help untangle someone's Blueprint spaghetti or deal with assets with names they can't understand.
If you are helping someone who's work conforms to a different but consistent and sane style guide, you should be able to adapt to it. If they do not conform to any style guide, please direct them here.
When joining an Unreal Engine 4 team one of your first questions should be "Do you have a style guide?". If the answer is no, you should be skeptical about their ability to work as a team.
Naming conventions should be treated as law. A project that conforms to a naming convention is able to have its assets managed, searched, parsed, and maintained with incredible ease.
Most things are prefixed with prefixes being generally an acronym of the asset type followed by an underscore.
All assets should have a Base Asset Name. A Base Asset Name represents a logical grouping of related assets. Any asset that is part of this logical group should follow the the standard of
Keeping the pattern
Prefix_BaseAssetName_Variant_Suffix and in mind and using common sense is generally enough to warrant good
asset names. Here are some detailed rules regarding each element.
to be determined by the asset type through the following Asset Name Modifier tables.
BaseAssetName should be determined by short and easily recognizable name related to the context of this group of assets. For
example, if you had a character named Bob, all of Bob's assets would have the
For unique and specific variations of assets,
Variant is either a short and easily recognizable name that represents logical
grouping of assets that are a subset of an asset's base name. For example, if Bob had multiple skins these skins should still use
BaseAssetName but include a recognizable
An 'Evil' skin would be referred to as
Bob_Evil and a 'Retro' skin would be referred to as
For unique but generic variations of assets,
Variant is a two digit number starting at
For example, if you have an environment artist generating nondescript rocks, they would be named
etc. Except for rare exceptions, you should never require a three digit variant number. If you have more than 100 assets, you should consider organizing them with different base names or using multiple variant names.
Depending on how your asset variants are made, you can chain together variant names. For example, if you are creating flooring assets for an Arch Viz project you should use the base name
chained variants such as
|Asset Type||Asset Name|
|Texture (Evil Diffuse)||T_Bob_Evil_D|
|Asset Type||Asset Name|
|Static Mesh (01)||S_Rock_01|
|Static Mesh (02)||S_Rock_02|
|Static Mesh (03)||S_Rock_03|
|Material Instance (Snow)||MI_Rock_Snow|
When naming an asset use these tables to determine the prefix and suffix to use with an asset's Base Asset Name.
1.2.1 Most Common
1.2.3 Artificial Intelligence
1.2.8 Paper 2D
1.2.11 User Interface
|Level / Map||Should be in a folder called Maps.|
|Static Mesh||S_ or SM_||Pick only one. Prefer S_.|
|Widget Blueprint||WBP_ or WB_||Pick only one. Prefer WBP_.|
|Aim Offset 1D||AO_|
|Animation Sequence||A_ or AS_||Pick only one. Prefer A_.|
|Blend Space 1D||BS_|
|Blueprint Function Library||BPFL_|
|Blueprint Macro Library||BPML_||Do not use macro libraries if possible.|
|Structure||F or S||No underscore.|
|Widget Blueprint||WBP_ or WB_||Pick only one. Prefer WBP_.|
|Material (Post Process)||PP_|
|Material Parameter Collection||MPC_|
|Subsurface Profile||SP_ or SSP_||Pick only one. Prefer SP_.|
|Texture (Diffuse/Albedo/Base Color)||T_||_D|
|Texture (Ambient Occlusion)||T_||_O or _AO||Pick only one. Prefer _O.|
|Texture (Packed)||T_||_*||See notes below about packing.|
|Render Target||RT_ or RTT_||Pick only one. Prefer RT_.|
|Cube Render Target||RTC_|
|Texture Light Profile||TLP|
It is common practice to pack multiple layers of texture data into one texture. An example of this is packing Emissive, Roughness, Ambient Occlusion together as the Red, Green, and Blue channels of a texture respectively. To determine the suffix, simply stack
the given suffix letters from above together, e.g.
It is generally acceptable to include an Alpha/Opacity layer in your Diffuse/Albedo's alpha channel and as this is common practice, adding
_Dsuffix is optional.
Packing 4 channels of data into a texture (RGBA) is not recommended except for an Alpha/Opacity mask in the Diffuse/Albedo's alpha channel as a texture with an alpha channel incurs more overhead than one without.
|Animated Vector Field||VFA_|
|Data Asset||*_||Prefix should be based on class.|
|Force Feedback Effect||FFE_|
|Landscape Grass Type||LG_|
|Redirector||These should be fixed up ASAP.|
|Static Vector Field||VF_|
|Touch Interface Setup||TI_|
|Sprite Atlas Group||SPRG_|
|Media Sound Wave||MSW_|
|Sound Class||No prefix/suffix. Should be put in a folder called SoundClasses|
|Sound Concurrency||_SC||Should be named after a SoundClass|
|Slate Widget Style||Style_|
|Widget Blueprint||WBP_ or WB_||Pick only one. Prefer WBP_.|
|Material (Post Process)||PP_|
Equally important as asset names, the directory structure style of a project should be considered law. Asset naming conventions and content directory structure go hand in hand, and a violation of either causes unneeded chaos.
There are multiple ways to lay out the content of a UE4 project. In this style, we will be using a structure that relies more on filtering and search abilities of the Content Browser for those working with assets to find assets of a specific type instead of another common structure that groups asset types with folders.
If you are using the prefix naming convention above, using folders to contain assets of similar types such as
Materialsis a redundant practice as asset types are already both sorted by prefix as well as able to be filtered in the content browser.
|-- Content |-- GenericShooter |-- Art | |-- Industrial | | |-- Ambient | | |-- Machinery | | |-- Pipes | |-- Nature | | |-- Ambient | | |-- Foliage | | |-- Rocks | | |-- Trees | |-- Office |-- Characters | |-- Bob | |-- Common | | |-- Animations | | |-- Audio | |-- Jack | |-- Steve | |-- Zoe |-- Core | |-- Characters | |-- Engine | |-- GameModes | |-- Interactables | |-- Pickups | |-- Weapons |-- Effects | |-- Electrical | |-- Fire | |-- Weather |-- Maps | |-- Campaign1 | |-- Campaign2 |-- MaterialLibrary | |-- Debug | |-- Metal | |-- Paint | |-- Utility | |-- Weathering |-- Placeables | |-- Pickups |-- Weapons |-- Common |-- Pistols | |-- DesertEagle | |-- RocketPistol |-- Rifles
The reasons for this structure are listed in the following sub-sections.
2.1 Folder Names
2.7 Large Sets
2.8 Material Library
These are common rules for naming any folder in the content structure.
2.1.1 Always Use PascalCase*
PascalCase refers to starting a name with a capital letter and then instead of using spaces, every following word also starts with a capital letter. For example,
Re-enforcing 2.1.1, never use spaces. Spaces can cause various engineering tools and batch processes
to fail. Ideally your project's root also contains no spaces and is located somewhere such as
D:\Project instead of
Name\My Documents\Unreal Projects.
If one of your game characters is named 'Zoë', its folder name should be
Zoe. Unicode characters can be worse than Spaces for
engineering tool and some parts of UE4 don't support Unicode characters in paths either.
Related to this, if your project has unexplained issues and your computer's user
name has a Unicode character (i.e. your name is
Zoë), any project located in your
Documents folder will suffer from this issue. Often simply moving your project to something like
D:\Project will fix
these mysterious issues.
Using other characters outside
0-9 such as
# can also lead to unexpected and hard to track issues on other platforms, source control, and weaker engineering tools.
All of a project's assets should exist in a folder named after the project. For example, if your project is named 'Generic Shooter',all of it's content should exist in
Developersfolder is not for assets that your project relies on and therefore is not project specific. See Developer Folders for details about this.
There are multiple reasons for this approach.
Often in code style guides it is written that you should not pollute the global namespace and this follows the same principle. When assets are allowed to exist outside of a project folder it often becomes much harder to enforce a strict structure layout as assets not in a folder encourages the bad behavior of not having to organize assets.
Every asset should have a purpose, otherwise it does not belong in a project. If an asset is an experimental test and shouldn't be used by the project it should be put in a
When working on multiple projects it is common for a team to copy assets from one project to another if they have made something useful for both. When this occurs, the easiest way to perform the copy is to use the Content Browser's Migrate functionality as it will copy over not just the selected asset but all of its dependencies.
These dependencies are what can easily get you into trouble. If two project's assets do not have a top level folder and they happen to have similarly named or already previously migrated assets, a new migration can accidentally wipe any changes to the existing assets.
This is also the primary reason why Epic's Marketplace staff enforces the same policy for submitted assets.
After a migration, safe merging of assets can be done using the 'Replace References' tool in the content browser with the added clarity of assets not belonging to a project's top level folder are clearly pending a merge. Once assets are merged and fully migrated, there shouldn't be another top level folder in your Content tree. This method is 100% guaranteed to make any migrations that occur completely safe.
For example, say you created a master material in one project that you would like to use in another project so you migrated that asset over. If this asset is not in a top level folder, it may have a name like
If the target project doesn't have a master material already, this should work without issue.
As work on one or both projects progress their respective master materials may change to be tailored for their specific projects due to the course of normal development.
The issue comes when, for example, an artist for one project created a nice generic modular set of static meshes and someone wants to include that set of static meshes in the second project. If the artist who created the assets used material instances based
Content/MaterialLibrary/M_Master as they're instructed to, when a migration is performed there is a great chance of conflict
for the previously migrated
This issue can be hard to predict and hard to account for. The person migrating the static meshes may not be the same person who is familiar with the development of both project's master material, and they may not be even aware that the static meshes in question
rely on material instances which then rely on the master material. The Migrate tool requires the entire chain of dependencies to work however, and so it will be forced to grab
it copies these assets to the other project and it will overwrite the existing asset.
It is at this point where if the master materials for both projects are incompatible in any way, you risk breaking possibly the entire material library for a project as well as any other dependencies that may have already been migrated, simply because assets were not stored in a top level folder. The simple migration of static meshes now becomes a very ugly task.
An extension to 2.2.2, if a team member decides to add sample content, template files, or assets they bought from the marketplace, it is guaranteed that these new assets will not interfere with the project in any way unless your project's top level folder is not uniquely named.
You can not trust marketplace content to fully conform to the top level folder rule. There exist many
assets that have the majority of their content in a top level folder but also have possibly modified Epic sample content as well as level files polluting the global
When adhering to 2.2, the worst marketplace conflict you can have is if two marketplace assets both have the same Epic sample content. If all your assets are in a project specific folder, including sample content you may have moved into your folder, your project will never break.
If your project plans to release DLC or has multiple sub-projects associated with it that may either be migrated out or simply not cooked in a build, assets relating to these projects should have their own separate top level content folder. This make cooking DLC separate from main project content far easier. Sub-projects can also be migrated in and out with minimal effort. If you need to change a material of an asset or add some very specific asset override behavior in a patch, you can easily put these changes in a patch folder and work safely without the chance of breaking the core project.
During a project's development, it is very common for team members to have a sort of 'sandbox' where they can experiment freely without risking the core project. Because this work may be ongoing, these team members may wish to put their assets on a project's source control server. Not all teams require use of Developer folders, but ones that do use them often run into a common problem with assets submitted to source control.
It is very easy for a team member to accidentally use assets that are not ready for use which will cause issues once those assets are removed. For example, an artist may be iterating on a modular set of static meshes and still working on getting their sizing and grid snapping correct. If a world builder sees these assets in the main project folder, they might use them all over a level not knowing they could be subject to incredible change and/or removal. This causes massive amounts of re-working by everyone on the team to resolve.
If these modular assets were placed in a Developer folder, the world builder should never of had a reason to use them and the whole issue would never happen. The Content Browser has specific View Options that will hide Developer folders (they are hidden by default) making it impossible to accidentally use Developer assets under normal use.
Once the assets are ready for use, an artist simply has to move the assets into the project specific folder and fix up redirectors. This is essentially 'promoting' the assets from experimental to production.
2.4 All Map* Files Belong In A Folder Called Maps
Map files are incredibly special and it is common for every project to have its own map naming system, especially if they work with sub-levels or streaming levels. No matter what system of map organization is in place for the specific project, all levels should
Being able to tell someone to open a specific map without having to explain where it is is a great time saver and general 'quality of life' improvement. It is common for levels to be within sub-folders of
but the most important thing here is that they all exist within
This also simplifies the job of cooking for engineers. Wrangling levels for a build process can be extremely frustrating if they have to dig through arbitrary folders for them. If a team's maps are all in one place, it is much harder to accidentally not cook a map in a build. It also simplifies lighting build scripts as well QA processes.
/Content/Project/Core folder for assets that are absolutely fundamental to a project's workings. For example, base
and related Blueprints should live here.
This creates a very clear "don't touch these" message for other team members. Non-engineers should have very little reason to enter the
Following good code structure style, designers should be making their gameplay tweaks in child classes that expose functionality. World builders should be using prefab Blueprints in designated folders instead of potentially abusing base classes.
For example if your project requires pickups that can be placed in a level, there should exist a base Pickup class in
defines base behavior for a pickup. Specific pickups such as a Health or Ammo should exist in a folder such as
Game designers can define and tweak pickups in this folder however they please, but they should not touch
Core/Pickups as they
may unintentionally break pickups project-wide.
All assets are assets.
All asset names are named with their asset type in mind. These folders offer only redundant information and the use of these folders can easily be replaced with the robust and easy to use filtering system the Content Browser provides.
Want to view only static mesh in
Environment/Rocks/? Simply turn on the Static Mesh filter. If all assets are named correctly,
they will also be sorted in alphabetical order regardless of prefixes. Want to view both static meshes and skeletal meshes? Simply turn on both filters. this eliminates the need to potentially have to
two folders in the Content Browser's tree view.
This also extends the full path name of an asset for very little benefit. The
S_prefix for a static mesh is only two characters, whereas
Meshes/is seven characters.
Not doing this also prevents the inevitability of someone putting a static mesh or a texture in a
This can be seen as a pseudo-exception to 2.6.
There are certain asset types that have a huge volume of related files where each asset has a unique purpose. The two most common are Animation and Audio assets. If you find yourself having 15+ of these assets that belong together, they should be together.
For example, animations that are shared across multiple characters should lay in
Characters/Common/Animations and may have sub-folders
This does not apply to assets like textures and materials. It is common for a
Rocksfolder to have a large amount of textures if there are a large amount of rocks, however these textures are generally only related to a few specific rocks and should be named appropriately. Even if these textures are part of a Material Library.
If your project makes use of master materials, layered materials, or any form of reusable materials or textures that do not belong to any subset of assets, these assets should be located in
This way all 'global' materials have a place to live and are easily located.
This also makes it incredibly easy to enforce a 'use material instances only' policy within a project. If all artists and assets should be using material instances, then the only regular material assets that should exist are within this folder. You can easily verify this by searching for base materials in any folder that isn't the
MaterialLibrary doesn't have to consist of purely materials. Shared utility textures, material functions, and other things
of this nature should be stored here as well within folders that designate their intended purpose. For example, generic noise textures should be located in
Any testing or debug materials should be within
MaterialLibrary/Debug. This allows debug materials to be easily stripped from
a project before shipping and makes it incredibly apparent if production assets are using them if reference errors are shown.
This section will focus on Blueprint classes and their internals. When possible, style rules conform to Epic's Coding Standard.
All blueprints should compile with zero warnings and zero errors. You should fix blueprint warnings and errors immediately as they can quickly cascade into very scary unexpected behavior.
Do not submit broken blueprints to source control. If you must store them on source control, shelve them instead.
Broken blueprints can cause problems that manifest in other ways, such as broken references, unexpected behavior, cooking failures, and frequent unneeded recompilation. A broken blueprint has the power to break your entire game.
All non-boolean variable names must be clear, unambiguous, and descriptive nouns.
All non-boolean variables should be in the form of PascalCase.
All booleans should be named in PascalCase but prefixed with a lowercase
UE4 Blueprint editors know not to include the
b in user-friendly displays of the variable.
All booleans should be named as descriptive adjectives when possible if representing general information. Do not include words that phrase the variable as a question, such as
This is reserved for functions.
Try to not use verbs such as
bRunning. Verbs tend to lead to complex states.
Do not to use booleans to represent complex and/or dependent states. This makes state adding and removing complex and no longer easily readable. Use an enumeration instead.
Example: When defining a weapon, do not use
a weapon can't be both reloading and equipping. Define an enumeration named
EWeaponState and use a variable with this type
WeaponState instead. This makes it far easier to add new states to weapons.
Example: Do not use
bRunning if you also need
This should be defined as an enumeration with clearly defined state names.
All variable names must not be redundant with their context as all variable references in Blueprint will always have context.
Consider a Blueprint called
All of these variables are named redundantly. It is implied that the variable is representative of the
belongs to because it is
BP_PlayerCharacter that is defining these variables.
Atomic or primitive variables are variables that represent data in their simplest form, such as booleans, integers, floats, and enumerations.
Strings and vectors are considered atomic in terms of style when working with Blueprints, however they are technically not atomic.
While vectors consist of three floats, vectors are often able to be manipulated as a whole, same with rotators.
Do not consider Text variables as atomic, they are secretly hiding localization functionality. The atomic type of a string of characters is
Atomic variables should not have their type name in their name.
The only exception to this rule is when a variable represents 'a number of' something to be counted and when using a name without a variable type is not easy to read.
Example: A fence generator needs to generate X number of posts. Store X in
potentially read as an Array of a variable type named
Non-atomic or complex variables are variables that represent data as a collection of atomic variables. Structs, Classes, Interfaces, and primitives with hidden behavior such as
qualify under this rule.
While an Array of an atomic variable type is a list of variables, Arrays do not change the 'atomicness' of a variable type.
These variables should include their type name while still considering their context.
If a class owns an instance of a complex variable, i.e. if a
BP_PlayerCharacter owns a
it should be stored as the variable type as without any name modifications.
If a class does not own the value a complex variable represents, you should use a noun along with the variable type.
Example: If a
BP_Turret has the ability to target a
it should store its target as
TargetPlayer as when in the context of
should be clear that it is a reference to another complex variable type that it does not own.
Arrays follow the same naming rules as above, but should be named as a plural noun.
All variables that are safe to change the value of in order to configure behavior of a blueprint should be marked as
Conversely, all variables that are not safe to change or should not be exposed to designers should not be marked as editable, unless for engineering reasons the variable must be marked as
Do not arbitrarily mark variables as
Editable variables, including those marked editable just so they can be marked as
On Spawn, should have a description in their
Tooltip fields that explains how changing this value affects the behavior
of the blueprint.
Editable variables should make use of slider and value ranges if there is ever a value that a variable should not be
Example: A blueprint that generates fence posts might have an editable variable named
PostsCount and a value of -1 would not
make any sense. Use the range fields to mark 0 as a minimum.
If an editable variable is used in a Construction Script, it should have a reasonable Slider Range defined so that someone can not accidentally assign it a large value that could crash the editor.
A Value Range only needs to be defined if the bounds of a value are known. While a Slider Range prevents accidental large number inputs, an undefined Value Range allows a user to specify a value outside the Slider Range that may be considered 'dangerous' but still valid.
If a class has only a small number of variables, categories are not required.
If a class has a moderate amount of variables (5-10), all
Editable variables should have a non-default category assigned. A
common category is
If a class has a large amount of variables, all
Editable variables should be categorized into sub-categories using the category
the base category. Non-editable variables should be categorized into descriptive categories describing their usage.
You can define sub-categories by using the pipe character
Config | Animations.
Example: A weapon class set of variables might be organized as:
|-- Config | |-- Animations | |-- Effects | |-- Audio | |-- Recoil | |-- Timings |-- Animations |-- State |-- Visuals
In C++, variables have a concept of access level. Public means any code outside the class can access the variable. Protected means only the class and any child classes can access this variable internally. Private means only this class and no child classes can access this variable.
Blueprints do not have a defined concept of protected access currently.
Editable variables as public variables. Treat non-editable variables as protected variables.
Unless it is known that a variable should only be accessed within the class it is defined and never a child class, do not mark variables as private. Until variables are able to be marked
reserve private for when you absolutely know you want to restrict child class usage.
If a variable should be editable but often untouched, mark it as
Advanced Display. This makes the variable hidden unless the
advanced display arrow is clicked.
To find the
Advanced Display option, it is listed as an advanced displayed variable in the variable details list.
All variables that are not editable and have a initial value of zero or null should be marked as
Transient variables are variables that do not need to have their value saved and loaded and have an initial value of zero or null. This is useful for references to other objects and actors who's value isn't known until run-time.
This forces the variable to always initialize as zero or null, prevents the editor from ever saving a reference to it, and speeds up saving and loading of the blueprint class.
Only use the SaveGame property of variables when inside a class derived from
SaveGame. Use this property only if the
should save this value.
Do not mix
this does not make any sense.
Do not use the
Config Variable flag. This makes it harder for designers to control blueprint behavior. Config variables should
only be used in C++ for rarely changed variables. Think of them as
Advanced Advanced Display variables.
Copyright (c) 2016 Gamemakin LLC
We encourage you to fork this guide and change the rules to fit your team's style guide. Below, you may list some amendments to the style guide. This allows you to periodically update your style guide without having to deal with merge conflicts.