Everything to Know about Unreal Editor for Fortnite — UEFN

industry unreal engine vfx Jul 25, 2023
Everything to Know about Unreal Editor for Fortnite — UEFN Featured

Epic Games has unveiled their unbelievable foray into player-design collaboration with Unreal Editor for Fortnite and we're going to talk about it! 


The idea is simple: give players and developers the ability to combine their own designs from Unreal Engine with a seamless pipeline straight to the Fortnite platform. Thus, Unreal Editor for Fortnite (UEFN) was born.

While there was already access to Fortnite Creative, which allowed players to create their own island and experience, they were only able to create within the Fortnite game itself. So this new UEFN allows everyone to create within the infrastructure of Unreal. There’s simply more possibilities and capabilities to create your own gaming experience. Epic Games truly delivered on their promise of innovation. Let’s talk about what to expect.


Straight from Epic Games, here are a few of the key features that make up this release: 

  • Create custom content with Modeling and Material tools
  • Import meshes, textures, animations, and audio.
  • Use Niagara to create VFX (more on this later, of course)
  • Animate with Control Rig and Sequencer 
  • Design gameplay with Verse
  • Build Landscapes to create the environment
  • Create larger experiences with world partition
  • Use Fab (Alpha) to discover and import assets
  • Use Live Edit to collaborate with others
  • Integrate collaboration with Unreal Revision Control

So let’s take a look at what is possible with this new release and what the future of video game creation and video game design looks like. 


Imagine, adding and modifying landscapes and obstacles however you’d like. This concept of a “map editor” isn’t exactly a new idea as these types of features have been around for years inside tons of platform games. Personally, I have extremely fond memories building and designing my map in Far Cry: Instincts on the original Xbox. 

A great example of creators and brands putting this new tool to practice comes from none other than Nike. The release of “Airphoria” demonstrated the capabilities of UEFN and introduced the idea of future brand-collaborations with this new platform. Check it out below. 



The idea of creating your environments for Fortnite in real time while others play through your map (no matter the platform they’re playing off of) is a game-changer. 



Working with Assets


Inside UEFN you’ll find the content drawer which is basically a library of assets already built, ready for you to alter, re-size, move around and customize however you’d like. This is insane and one of the biggest reasons UEFN is going to open the door to so many new creators and aspiring VFX artists looking to start designing their own experience.

Also, it's worth noting there are literally thousands of assets available to you. If you can’t find whatever asset you’re looking for, simply import your own custom assets. This is part of Epic’s pitch that your creation isn’t limited to the Fortnite visuals. You can actually make it look and feel like whatever you want. 

Lumen, the real-time global illumination system, allows users to create complex, realistically rendered scenes and settings that differ from the typical cartoon-ish nature of a traditional Fortnite environment. So as an artist, I say again, you’re not limited to the framework and aesthetic of a traditional Fortnite design. The sky is literally the limit!  



You can find Quixel Megascans and sketchfab models in the Fab Alpha plugin for UEFN, which is amazing. The full version of Fab will apparently be released later this year.

But for designers wondering if this is just Unreal Engine 5 with a Fortnite colored bow tie on it, it's not. There are some limitations compared to the normal Unreal workflow.


Using Niagara for VFX



If you're interested in working on the VFX for your UEFN project, Niagara has been integrated into the program for you to use. Whether you're trying to create some simple particle effects to realistic fluid simulations.

If you want to take a deeper dive into UE5, Niagara, particle systems and more VFX skills, check out VFX Apprentice All Access, which includes over 200 hours of stylized effects training. 



If you have some of your own VFX that you want to play with inside of Fortnite, check out our Importing VFX into UEFN lesson in our Free Training.



Because this is Unreal Editor for Fortnite you have to use the creation tools from Fortnite Creative called devices that act as the key building block for directing game mechanics and they can be used in tandem with a new programming language called Verse. Epic Games has stated that UEFN will continue to evolve through the Beta to add more functionality creators are used to from Unreal Editor as well as expand the capabilities of the Verse API and framework. 

If you want an amazing example of what all of this looks like put into practice, check out Fortnite Sensei’s tutorial below! 


This is a quantum leap in creative freedom and revolutionizes the idea of what video games can truly be. The only people who really know what gamers want are fellow gamers, and this new tool actually honors that fact. We can’t wait to see what comes next!


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