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UE3 Home > Unreal Editor and Tools

Unreal Editor and Tools


Unreal Engine 3 contains a suite of tools used to create and edit levels, import and organize art assets, create specialized content assets, and much more. The cornerstone of these tools is Unreal Editor, or UnrealEd. Unreal Editor is comprised of a level editor, a collection of browsers, and a set of specialized tools.

Virtually every developer working on a project will spend at least part of their time working inside Unreal Editor. Level designers obviously will use the level editor to create environments and worlds for the game to take place in. Content creators will import their assets and use the specialized tools to set them up for use int he game. Programmers will use test levels to ensure their gameplay code works as expected and may be tasked with extending the editor's functionality or adding new tools.

Being familiar with Unreal Editor and its tools is essential for any developer working with Unreal Engine 3.

Unreal Editor Topics

Editor Modes

  • Geometry Mode - Guide to using the geometry mode tools for BSP.
  • Terrain Mode - Legacy outdoor terrain system.
  • Mesh Paint Mode - Overview of the system for painting mesh vertex colors.
  • Static Mesh Mode - Guide to using the Static Mesh Mode for placing meshes.
  • Landscape Mode - Current system for creating large outdoor terrains.
  • Foliage Mode - Tool for painting instanced faliage and decoration meshes in levels.




Unreal Editor contains a collection of browsers, which are seprate windows that perform very specialized functions. There is a main browser window within which all of the browser can be docked wherein they become tabbed windows. The functionality of browsers is generally specific to the map currently open in the editor.

The browser window can be displayed by clicking the contentbrowser_button.jpg button in the main toolbar. A specific browser can be opened directly by selecting it from the View > Browsers submenu in the main menu.

Browser Topics

Editor Tools


Editor tools are editors contained within Unreal Editor, but external to the map editing process. These tools are separate windows which perform functionality specific to a particlar type of asset, or types of assets.

The various tools can generally be opened by double-clicking on the asset that is to be edited within that editor, or by right-clicking on the asset to be edited and choosing the option to open the asset in the appropriate editor from the context menu.

Editor Tool Topics

Engine Tools


Engine tools are applications that are external from the editor and used to perform various functions in the development pipeline.

Engine Tool Topics
  • UnrealConsole - Guide to using the UnrealConsole tool.
  • UnrealFrontend - Guide to using the UnrealFrontend utility (formerly CookerFrontEnd).