Urho3D – cross-platform 2D and 3D game engine

Urho3D (originally known as Bofh3D) is a free lightweight, cross-platform 2D and 3D game engine.

The engine uses either Direct3D or OpenGL for rendering (Shader Model 2 or OpenGL 2.0 required as minimum). The Urho3D engine compiles into one library. Conceptually it consists of several “sublibraries” that represent different subsystems or functionality.

The engine seeks inspiration from OGRE and Horde3D.

Features include:

  • Direct3D9, Direct3D11, OpenGL 2.0 or 3.2, OpenGL ES 2.0 or WebGL rendering.
  • HLSL or GLSL shaders + caching of HLSL bytecode.
  • Configurable rendering pipeline. Default implementations: forward, light pre-pass, deferred rendering.
  • Component based scene model.
  • Skeletal (with hardware skinning), vertex morph and node animation.
  • Automatic instancing on SM3 capable hardware.
  • Point, spot and directional lights.
  • Shadow mapping for all light types; cascaded shadow maps for directional lights.
  • Particle rendering.
  • Geomipmapped terrain.
  • Static and skinned decals.
  • Auxiliary view rendering (reflections etc.).
  • Geometry, material & animation LOD.
  • Software rasterized occlusion culling.
  • Post-processing.
  • HDR rendering and PBR rendering.
  • 2D sprites and particles that integrate into the 3D scene.
  • Task-based multithreading.
  • Hierarchical performance profiler.
  • Scene and object load/save in binary and XML format.
  • Keyframe animation of object attributes.
  • Background loading of resources.
  • Keyboard, mouse, joystick and touch input (if available).
  • Cross-platform support using SDL 2.0 (Win, Linux, macOS, iOS, tvOS, Android, RPi including other generic ARM boards, and Web).
  • Physics using Bullet.
  • 2D physics using Box2D.
  • Scripting using AngelScript.
  • Alternative script interface using Lua or LuaJIT on all the platforms except Web platform.
  • Networking using kNet + possibility to make HTTP requests.
  • Pathfinding and crowd simulation using Recast/Detour.
  • Image loading using stb_image + DDS / KTX / PVR compressed texture support.
  • 2D and “3D” audio playback, Ogg Vorbis support using stb_vorbis + WAV format support.
  • TrueType font rendering using FreeType, AngelCode Bitmap fonts are also supported.
  • Unicode string support.
  • Inbuilt UI, localization, and database subsystems.
  • Scene editor and UI-layout editor implemented in script with undo & redo capabilities.
  • Model/scene/animation/material import from formats supported by Open Asset Import Library.
  • Alternative model/animation import from OGRE mesh.xml and skeleton.xml files.
  • Supported IDEs: Visual Studio, Xcode, Eclipse, CodeBlocks, CodeLite, QtCreator, CLion.
  • Supported compiler toolchains: MSVC, GCC, Clang, MinGW, and their cross-compiling .derivatives.
  • Supports both 32-bit and 64-bit builds.
  • Build as single external library (can be linked against statically or dynamically).

Website: urho3d.io
Support: Documentation, Forums, GitHub code repository
Developer: Urho3D Team
License: MIT license

Urho3D

Urho3D is written in C++. Learn C++ with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

Return to Game Engines Home Page


Ongoing series
Linux for StartersNew to Linux? Read our Linux for Starters series.
Free and Open Source SoftwareThe largest compilation of the best free and open source software in the universe. Supplied with our legendary ratings charts.
Linux ReviewsHundreds of in-depth reviews offering our unbiased and expert opinion on software.
Alternatives to GoogleAlternatives to Google's Products and Services examines your options to migrate from the Google ecosystem with open source Linux alternatives.
MicrosoftAlternatives to Microsoft's Products and Services recommends open source Linux software.
Linux System ToolsEssential Linux system tools looks at small, indispensable utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users.
Linux ProductivityLinux utilities to maximise your productivity. Small, indispensable tools, useful for anyone running a Linux machine.
Home Computer EmulatorsHome computers became commonplace in the 1980s. Emulate home computers including the Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST, ZX81, Amstrad CPC, and ZX Spectrum.
Now and ThenNow and Then examines how promising open source software fared over the years.
Linux at HomeLinux at Home looks at a range of home activities where Linux can play its part, making the most of our time at home, keeping active and engaged.
Linux CandyLinux Candy opens up to the lighter side of Linux. Have some fun!
Best Free Android AppsBest Free Android Apps. There's a strict eligibility criteria for inclusion in this series
Programming BooksThese best free books accelerate your learning of every programming language
Programming TutorialsThese free tutorials offer the perfect tonic to the free programming books series
Stars and StripesStars and Stripes is an occasional series looking at the impact of Linux in the USA
Share this article

Share your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.