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

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?

Developers often ask how to develop a game app. 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, but 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 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. Many mobile game development companies use Phaser for game development. Thus, making it a go-to choice for many. 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 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 desire. 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

How To Choose the Best Mobile Game Engine?

1. Platform Compatibility

Platform compatibility is a big factor that should be considered while looking for a game engine. Mobile game development platforms need to determine which platforms you want your game to support. 

Some engines are specialized for iOS or Android, while others can handle both, plus additional platforms like Windows Phone, web, or even desktop. Engines like Unity and Unreal Engine offer extensive cross-platform support, making them popular choices for developers who aim for a wide audience.

2. Programming Languages

Programming languages are yet another essential factor in selecting a gaming engine for your development. The programming language used by the game engine should match your team's skills and preferences. 

For example, Unity uses C#, while Unreal Engine mainly utilizes C++ but also supports visual scripting through Blueprints. There are engines like Godot, which uses a Python-like scripting language, GDScript, making it more accessible for beginners.

3. Graphics and Performance

Graphics capabilities are crucial, especially when it comes to game engines for mobile. The quality of graphics and performance can make or break your development process and product. High-end engines like Unreal Engine are known for their superior graphics and are suitable for more graphically intensive games. 

Unity provides a balance of good graphics and performance, with plenty of room for optimization. For simpler 2D games, engines like GameMaker Studio or Cocos2d might be sufficient and more resource-efficient.

4. Community and Support

A strong community and robust support can greatly ease the game development process. An active community means more tutorials, forums, and third-party resources that can help solve problems and improve your game. To take an example, game engines for mobile like Unity and Unreal Engine boast large communities with extensive documentation and active forums.

5. Cost and Licensing

Consider the cost and the licensing terms of the game engine. Some engines are free until you hit a certain revenue threshold, like Unity and Unreal Engine, after which royalties or fees apply. Others might require a one-time purchase or a subscription. Ensure the cost aligns with your budget and the potential revenue from your game.

6. Ease of Use and Learning Curve

The ease of use and the learning curve associated with the game engine are important, especially for smaller teams or solo developers. Engines like Unity are praised for their user-friendly interfaces and manageable learning curves. Unreal Engine, while powerful, can be more complex and might require more time to master.

7. Tools and Features

Look for specific tools and features that can aid your development process. This includes physics engines, particle systems, AI functionalities, and more. The availability of these tools can significantly impact the development time and the quality of the final product.

8. Testimonials and Case Studies

Research other games developed using the engine. Look at testimonials and case studies to see the types of games that have been successfully developed and launched. This can give you insights into the engine's capabilities and potential fit for your project.

Comparing the Top 5 Mobile Gaming Engines 

Feature Unreal Engine Unity Buildbox O3DE 21.11 Solar2D
Primary Language C++ C# Drag-and-drop C++, Lua, Python Lua
Graphics High-end 3D High-quality 3D & 2D Mainly 2D High-quality 3D 2D
Platform Support Cross-platform Cross-platform Cross-platform Cross-platform Cross-platform
License Cost Free until revenue reaches $1 million, then 5% royalty Free personal plan, subscriptions for pro features Subscription-based Open-source (Free) Open-source (Free)
Ease of Use Complex, steep learning curve User-friendly, moderate learning curve Very user-friendly, minimal coding Moderate, some complexity Very user-friendly, minimal coding
Community & Support Large Very large Moderate Growing Moderate
Special Features Advanced physics, high-fidelity visuals, Blueprints visual scripting Comprehensive asset store, strong multiplatform tools, Unity ML-Agents No-code development, simple game creation Advanced 3D features, customizable engine Lightweight, quick deployment for 2D games

How to Integrate Engines with Platforms?

1. Understanding Platform Requirements

It's no secret that each platform has specific requirements and limitations. These limitations include hardware capabilities, operating systems, and user interface standards. So, developers must familiarize themselves with these requirements to ensure optimal performance and compliance. 

To take an example, if a game is developed for iOS, developers need to adhere to Apple’s App Store guidelines. On the other hand, if the game is developed for Android, it should be tailored for Google Play Store standards.

2. Choosing the Right Game Engine

Select a game engine that supports the platforms you intend to target. Engines like Unity and Unreal Engine offer extensive cross-platform support. Thus simplifying the development process. Unity, for example, allows you to build games for over 25 platforms. This includes iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Linux, and various game consoles. Unreal Engine is known for its high-fidelity graphics and performance on platforms ranging from mobile to console.

3. Using Platform-Specific SDKs and APIs

Integrating platform-specific Software Development Kits (SDKs) and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) is essential. These tools provide libraries and functions that streamline the development process for a particular platform. For example, using the PlayStation SDK for game development on Sony’s console allows developers to utilize platform-specific features such as controller inputs and network functionalities.

4. Testing on Actual Hardware

Simulators and emulators can mimic hardware conditions, but testing your game on actual devices is crucial. This helps in identifying real-world performance issues and bugs that may not appear during emulator testing. Regular testing on target devices ensures that the game performs well under various hardware conditions.

5. Optimizing for Performance

Optimization is key when integrating game engines with different platforms. This involves adjusting graphics quality, load times, and overall performance to match the hardware capabilities of each platform. Tools within the game engine, like Unity’s Profiler or Unreal’s Visual Studio integration, can help in identifying performance bottlenecks and optimizing them.

6. Adhering to Platform Guidelines

Each platform has its own set of development guidelines that must be followed to publish your game. These guidelines cover various aspects such as content, privacy, data usage, and security. Ensuring compliance with these guidelines is essential to avoid rejection during the review process.

7. Utilizing Cloud Services

For games that require online integration, using cloud services can aid in seamless platform integration. Services like Google Firebase or Amazon Web Services offer cross-platform solutions for online multiplayer, databases, analytics, and more, which can be integrated directly into your game engine.

8. Continuous Updates and Support

After the initial release, continually updating the game to fix bugs and improve performance on all platforms is important. Regular updates keep the game functional and relevant, and can also help in adhering to updated platform guidelines and technologies.

Top App Monetization Strategies

In-App Purchases (IAP)

probably the primary source of revenue in many mobile games, In-app purchases help businesses gather money via the game. This strategy allows players to buy virtual goods or benefits in the game. this can be special items, coins, skins, or power-ups. However, one should not make every other feature or item paid. The key here is to balance the gameplay. So that purchases feel optional or beneficial without making the game feel pay-to-win.


Yet another great way to earn money from your game is through advertisements. in mobile games, advertisements can take various forms. They can work as interstitial ads, rewarded videos, and banner ads. 

  • Interstitial ads are full-screen ads shown at natural transition points in the game. Like the ads, you see when you’re between levels. 
  • Rewarded videos provide players with incentives. This can be in-game currency or boosts in exchange for watching ads. 
  • Banner ads are less intrusive and are displayed at the edges of the screen during gameplay.

To minimize disruptions to the player experience and maximize income possibilities, each ad type needs to be carefully integrated. Frequency and strategic ad placements can guarantee a consistent revenue stream without lowering player enjoyment.


Subscription models in mobile games offer players a bundle of benefits, such as an ad-free experience, exclusive content, or special bonuses, for a recurring fee. This approach can help developers stabilize their revenue flow and build a loyal user base. 

Subscriptions work well in games that are regularly updated with new content, encouraging long-term engagement. Developers should provide clear value to justify the ongoing cost, such as continuous updates, exclusive features, or special events that are exclusive to subscribers.

Paid Apps

Selling your game as a paid app involves charging users upfront before downloading. This model can be effective for games that offer unique, high-quality experiences or for those with an established brand. 

It tends to attract serious gamers who are willing to pay for an immediate, full-featured experience without interruptions. Developers must ensure that the initial gameplay experience justifies the upfront cost, offering depth, polished content, and a compelling hook right from the start.

Sponsorships and Partnerships

Engaging in sponsorships and partnerships can provide additional revenue streams and marketing opportunities. This strategy allows developers can receive funding from sponsors who benefit from access to the game’s audience. How? By integrating branded content into the game. 

For instance, games like PubG and Call of Duty Mobile feature real-world products or ads all the time on their platforms. These ads fit seamlessly into the game environment and provide lucrative results. Not to mention that it also enhances the game's realism or appeal.

However, this strategy should be implemented in a way that feels organic to the game environment. This avoids disrupting the player experience. Effective partnerships can enhance the gameplay experience and increase the game’s visibility through co-marketing efforts.


Merchandising involves creating and selling physical goods based on the game's content, such as apparel, toys, or accessories. This strategy works best for games with strong, memorable characters or a dedicated fanbase. 

Merchandising can significantly extend the game's brand beyond the digital world, creating additional revenue and marketing channels. Developers need to ensure that the merchandise is of high quality and represents the game well to appeal to fans and boost sales.

Wrapping Up

Well, these were all of the options that deserved your attention in this report on the best mobile game engines. The 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 mobile app development companies from all over the world as well. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a mobile game engine?

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  • What engine do most mobile games use?

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  • What is the best engine for making a mobile game?

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  • Can mobile game engines be used to develop other types of apps?

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  • How do mobile game engines benefit expert developers?

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  • How do the costs differ for expert game developers using advanced platforms?

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  • What features should beginners look for in a mobile game engine?

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Sakshi Kaushik

By Sakshi Kaushik

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A passionate writer and tech lover, she strives to share her expertise with mobile app developers and fellow tech enthusiasts. During her moments away from the keyboard, she relishes delving into thriller narratives, immersing herself in diverse realms.

Uncover executable insights, extensive research, and expert opinions in one place.

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