Game Engines

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).

Support: Documentation, GitHub code repository
Developer: Urho3D Team
License: MIT license


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

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