mobile app development

Mobile Game Engines and Development Platforms for Beginners and Experts

These mobile game engines are equipped with all the necessary tools to smoothen the development process for game developers of different expertise levels.

mobile game engines

Currently, there are billions of smartphone users existing across the globe. And, these smartphones are being used for shopping, entertainment, news, and much more. To specifically focus on the entertainment part of these use cases, games have become the most preferred medium for the same. Thus, the demand for mobile games has drastically increased and has seen continuous evolutions in quality, technology, and development practices.

These growth trends have made mobile game engines a crucial part of the mobile gaming industry. A game engine for mobile phones is used to create games with the help of resources given with the tool. But these features vary depending on the mobile game platform you have picked for the development part. So, without further ado, let’s discuss a few popular best mobile game engines, and let’s see what they have to offer.

Which mobile game engines are leading the market?

Well, the answer to this question keeps changing. However, for you, the perfect option will be the one that delivers all of your requirements. So, further, we have shortlisted some of the leading game development platforms that will help you in building your high-quality games. However, the ranking of these engines does not represent their worthiness. So, you can pick any of the options you like and start working on your project.

1. Unreal Engine

mobile game engines

One of the leading game development companies for various platforms such as smartphones, PlayStation, Xbox, PCs, etc, Unreal Engine also has an amazing iOS and Android game engine. This Android game development engine is known for making the game development process much easier for even new developers. To build games on this best mobile game development software, you do not even need to have programming knowledge. You can simply build amazing games with the help of features and tools given by the app.

Features of Unreal Engine

  • Supports the creation of AAA games
  • Can build games for Android, iOS, PlayStation, Xbox, VR/AR, and PCs
  • Suitable for game developers with no coding knowledge
  • Best pick for 3D game development

2. Unity

mobile game platform

This best game engine for mobile games is a popular choice to build 2D and 3D games. The mobile game development tools included in this product are helpful in creating ultra high-quality game content even for portable devices like Android or iOS smartphones. As per the website, more than 50% of existing games today across the world are built on Unity and there is no stopping its popularity even now. 

The best thing about this one of the most popular game development platforms is that it does not limit itself to the mobile gaming world only. You can create stunning 2D and 3D animations and video effects in the engine as well to get your creativity to the next stage.

Features of Unity

  • Support for 2D and 3D game creation
  • Allows you to design with a real-time preview
  • Everything you create on Unity is royalty-free
  • Comes with Asset Store, an in-built learning module, and more

3. Buildbox

best software for mobile game development

The best software for mobile game development, Builbox is a free engine you can use to build games without coding. The engine lets you develop 2D or 3D games. You can also preview your game in real-time to ensure the development of your game is on the right track. Without knowing to code, you can just use its templates of features, game environments, characters, etc to design your own game and put life into it.

Features of Buildbox

  • Free to use
  • Requires no coding knowledge
  • Includes templates, Smart Assets, and Brainboxes
  • Designed to empower the creation of your own games

4. O3DE 21.11

best mobile game engine

The developer preview of this iOS and Android game development engine was announced in July by Amazon. If you are aware of Amazon Lumberyard, O3DE is a successor of the same engine. One of the top game engines, O3DE is an open-source game engine with an Apache 2.0 license. Right now, the stable release of O3DE comes with many features. It comes with a multiplayer game development engine, cloud storage, real-time data sources, no subscription fees, etc. Suitable for game developers of multiple expertise, this game engine for Android and iOS is a perfect pick for rendering high-quality 3D games.

Features of O3DE 21.11

  • Supports multiplayer scaling, analytics, cloud storage, etc
  • Licensed under Apache 2.0
  • Lets you build AAA games, cinematic quality of environments, etc
  • Comes with a step-by-step setup and beginners’ guide

5. Solar2D

best engine for mobile games

One of the leading Android and iOS game engines, Solar2D is an open-source project based on Lua. The best mobile game development software is known for its high-quality support for building cross-platform games. The mobile game platform is designed for a faster development process. You can modify codes, save changes, and instantly review changes that you have made in the project. The best mobile game engine also comes with an in-built game tester that lets you deploy apps to see assets automatically.

Features of Solar2D

  • The engine is completely free
  • Offers strict game user privacy protocols
  • Lua-based development environment
  • Comes with plenty of plugins

6. MonoGame

best mobile game development software

This game engine for mobile is an open-source project that allows you to build fast and for free. You can use C# and plenty of other .NET languages to write game codes faster. Users of this best engine for mobile games build games that are entertaining and earn through games as well. In the end, the opportunity varies depending on the imagination. 

On this mobile game platform, you can create 2D and 3D games. Additionally, you get support for sound effects and game music, gaming frameworks, content building and modifications, libraries optimized for games, and much more. As MonoGame is an open-source project, it also gets supported by community members via Patreon and content contributions. 

Features of MonoGame

  • MonoGame Content Builder is used to building the pipeline of the game
  • The project is open source and supported by its community members
  • Allows you to render 2D and 3D game environments smoothly
  • Design, develop, customize, and deploy through a single best engine for mobile games

7. GameMaker Studio 2

best game engine

Loved by the top mobile gaming companies, GameMaker Studio 2 is a platform for 2D game development. The engine supports game development for platforms such as Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, HTML5, Xbox, and PlayStation among others. The best mobile game developer engine also comes with a tutorial to help beginners and experienced developers in kickstarting the journey with GameMaker Studio 2. Some titles that have been built on this best game engine for mobile games are Samurai Gunn 2, Notebook Artillery, Webbed, and Post Void among others.

Features of GameMaker Studio 2

  • Suitable for 2D game development
  • Can choose between GML codes or GML visuals
  • Supports in-app purchase features
  • Automated network management support by GameMaker


game engine Android

The best mobile game development software, CryENGINE is known for its amazing features that empower developers to build games with stunning quality. The best game engine includes amazing visuals for 3D games to make them look as realistic as possible. Not only that, its AI and Animation features make this best game engine a perfect pick for your story-rich games with smart characters. You can use CryENGINE to build AAA games for smartphones that users love.

Features of CryENGINE

  • Includes AI and Animation features
  • It offers complete control over audio customizations
  • Comes with sandbox features so you can build anything
  • Includes graphically enriched environments

9. Godot

iOS game engines

The best software for mobile game development is an open-source engine licensed by MIT. The gaming engine does not require you to pay any hidden fees, royalties, or any other charges for its services. You can use this game engine for Android and iOS to build games using its own GDScript, #C, C++, or more. You can use this best engine for mobile games to build 2D and 3D games. From designing and developing, to rendering and testing, Godot includes features to support all stages of the development process.

Features of Godot

  • Open-source software to build royalty-free games
  • Write codes in #C, C++, or use your own codes in GDNative
  • Deploy games in seconds across platforms of your choice
  • Huge community support

10. SpriteKit

top game engines

The best mobile game engine for iOS devices, SpriteKit is popular for 2D game creations. The official product of Apple, SpriteKit offers support for custom OpenGL ES shaders and lighting, new effects and animations, enhanced physics, integration with SceneKit, and more. To make your games look more realistic, you can use it to generate lighting effects as well. Its engine is smart enough to detect collisions to provide your game more realistic touch. SpriteKit is suitable for creating games and graphically rich app UIs as well. Its ability to leverage Metal for achieving high-quality rendering makes the game a perfect pick for building high-quality 2D games.

Features of SpriteKit

  • Includes a rich set of animations and realistic physics behavior
  • Supports collision detection for creating more realistic games
  • Draw shapes, particles, texts, images, and much more for your games
  • Create animations with given nodes or customize them

11. Cocos2d-x

game development platforms

This one of the top game engines has been used to create over 25k games. The platform has 1.4 million registered developers on it with 1.6 billion players playing games created on Cocos. The platform is open-source and thus, anything you create on Cocos is entirely royalty-free and you own it. The Cocos framework is used to develop games not only for smartphones but also for PCs and web players. The simple yet powerful game builder engine of Cocos is useful for high-quality graphics rendering, GUI, audio, physics, network, etc. Cocos supports development in C++, Lua, and JavaScript. 

Features of Cocos2d-x

  • Supports C++, Lua, and JavaScript for game building
  • Its functions include graphic rendering, GUI, audio rendering, network management, etc
  • The core of Cocos2d-x is written in C++
  • Suitable for new game developers as well

12. Construct 3

Android game engine

This one of the top Android and iOS game engines is designed to let users build games without needing codes. The engine can be used to make games that will run on even browsers of your smart devices. Also, among all of its amazing features, Construct 3 does not require you to have an internet connection once it is downloaded and installed on your computer. You can simply create fun games offline. Creating games on Construct 3 is a fast process. You can add 3D elements instantly and with the Z elevation support, move any 2D objects around. 

Features of Construct 3

  • Supports instant preview of your game
  • The timeline bar makes it easier to create movement sequences and animations
  • A convenient editor to help you in making hierarchical graphics
  • Thousands of tutorials are included to help you out

13. Haxe 4

Android game development engine

This best software for mobile game development is popular for building high-quality games and APIs. The game engine for Android and iOS is an open-source and fast optimizing cross-compiler that developers from all over the world love. You can build cross-platform games on Haxe 4 by leveraging the technologies like Flash, Java, JVM, Python, PHP, Lua, etc. Some top games like Northgard, Dead Cells, Defender’s Quest, etc were built using Haxe. 

Features of Haxe 4

  • Uses Kha to build low-level SDK for high-quality games
  • Powered by Armory3D open-source game engine
  • Suitable for developing cross-platform 3D games
  • Multiple free libraries to support game development

14. Phaser

best game engine for mobile games

This best game engine is a desktop and HTML5 framework that lets you develop Canvas and WebGL-powered games. You can build game physics, sprites, animations, particles, and much more on Phaser without any hassle. The engine is fast, open-source, and royalty-free. Thus, you have the ownership of your games protected from any fees or hidden charges. 

After installing Phaser on your PC, you can choose to either develop games offline or on the cloud. There are support guides too that will let you understand this best development framework better. You can also create and share your games with a huge community of Phaser users to get support.

Features of Phaser

  • An open-source game development engine
  • Supports JavaScript and TypeScript (VS)
  • Work offline or with cloud storage
  • Can modify camera features, actions, physics, sound, and more

15. Defold

mobile game development tools

You can use Defold to build the best action games or games of any genre for smartphones. The game engine supports 2D and 3D game development. It comes with 3D models and animations that are ready to load for you to integrate into your games. Not only that, but the game engine also supports modifications of graphics and geometries to give your games the environment you want. There are plenty of other things you can do in this game engine for Android and iOS like modifying keyframes, customizing animation scripts, customizing model animations, and more.

Features of Defold

  • Automated GUI layout that supports orientation changes
  • Assemble and layout assets with the Scene Editor
  • Integrate 2D and 3D physics in simply steps
  • Its editors and tools support running on MacOS X, Windows, and Linux

16. AppGameKit

best mobile game developer

A perfect game development engine for beginners, AppGameKit is suitable for building games and apps for multiple platforms. The game engine also comes with a trial version so you can find out if it is worth investing in or not. Tools accompanying this one of the top game development platforms are known for empowering indie game developers, hobbyists, and beginners alike. Additionally, the tool also supports drag and drop elements to an extent to fasten up your game development projects.

Features of AppGameKit

  • Suitable for cross-platform projects
  • Includes guides for beginners and hobby developers
  • Get quick previews of modifications you make in codes
  • The kit comes with a limited free trial

17. Gideros Mobile

what are the best game engines

This best mobile game development software supports the development of cross-platform games that you can play on multiple platforms. With the help of Wi-fi features, you can also test your games instantly on a real device to ensure if your game runs as you desired or not. Gideros is free and does not include any hidden fees or charges on any part of the development. On top of that, by using C++/C and openGL, you get to give your games a native touch in terms of performance. There are dozens of open-source plugins as well that you just need to integrate into your games and they’re ready to use. 

Features of Gideros Mobile

  • Support for cross-platform game development
  • Instant game testing on real devices with wifi
  • Plenty of ready-to-use plugins
  • Supports multiple platforms including Android, iOS, Windows, etc

18. Fusion 2.5

mobile game engines

Another best engine for mobile games this product of Clickteam is designed to ease the game development process. The engine uses the advantages of the Box2d physics engine by integrating it into the movement tabs of objects you are using in the game. Moreover, the game engine comes with a guide that includes all learning resources to make it easy to understand Fusion within an hour. You can build stunning 2D games or static games by leveraging the features of this amazing engine suitable for beginners and experts.

Features of Fusion 2.5

  • Leverages hardware features to accelerate the game development process
  • Allows you to develop and publish games for multiple platforms
  • Requires no command over complex programming languages
  • Suitable for 2D and static game development

19. Starling Framework

game engine for mobile

Another top name in the list of Android and iOS game engines, Starling Framework is an open-source project. You pay nothing for developing your games and for every game that you build, you completely own it. The engine lets you build games for Android, iOS, and web browsers with one single code base. On top of that, the framework does not even require a heavy configuration to run so even with normal memory, CPU, and GPU, you can run the tool and build games.

Features of Starling Framework

  • Works fine on medium CPUs, GPUs, and memory
  • Write games once and deploy them across multiple screen resolutions
  • Includes multiple filters to help you in modifying the looks of your in-game objects
  • The blend mode helps in creating various effects in the environment

20. GameSalad

mobile game platform

The game engine is designed to help you in building games without needing to code. You can start with GameSalad for free and put life into your imagination. To create games, you can just drag and drop objects including characters, elements, and behaviors. There’s a pro version of the tool as well that lets you create and publish games on iOS, Android, and HTML5 platforms. If you are a student, you are eligible to get a special education discount on its packages as well. 

Features of GameSalad

  • Free to use but offers a Pro version as well
  • Supports no code development
  • Suitable for learning and professional development
  • Includes educational discount on the pro package

Wrapping Up

Well, these were all of the options that deserved your attention in this report on the best mobile game engines. These options that we listed above come with unique features. And, their sequences are random and do not represent any kind of rankings. Thus, you can pick any of the above-mentioned mobile game platforms you prefer and start your game development journey without any delays. 

In the end, we would also like to let you know that we continuously publish blogs and reports on various app development trends. You can explore our reports to know more about leading development companies from all over the world as well. 

Aparna <span>Growth Strategist</span>
Written By
Aparna Growth Strategist

Aparna is a growth specialist with handsful knowledge in business development. She values marketing as key a driver for sales, keeping up with the latest in the Mobile App industry. Her getting things done attitude makes her a magnet for the trickiest of tasks. In free times, which are few and far between, you can catch up with her at a game of Fussball.

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