Game Engines for Android*

With Android continually increasing in popularity it is always interesting to take a look at the latest collection of game engines available for the paltform. I am also further intersted in seeing which game engines include x86 support since the number of Intel x86 based mobile devices continue to increase. There are many game engine choices out there, all with a different set of features, pricing, maturity, etc. After doing some research, I found a wide variety of game engines that can be used for creating games that run on Android* based mobile devices. Some engines provide x86 support, while others can be ported to support x86 devices without too much effort.

Here is the ever expanding list of game engines I have collected information about. The list includes some features and details about each engine and an example game on Google Play if I could find one.

  • Project Anarchy by Havok -
    • FREE Cross-Platform Engine and Toolkit for Mobile Game Developers
    • Develop and release titles on iOS, Android and Tizen for free.
    • Extendible C++ plugin based architecture
    • Includes Havok’s Vision Engine together with Havok’s leading Physics, Animation Studio and AI tools
    • Available now
  • jPCT-AE-
    • A java 3D engine optimized for Android.
    • Nice set of features including 3DS, OBJ and other file support, skeletal animations, shader support, texture compression, collision detection, various lighting modes, transparency, fog, and more.
    • An all java game engine that supports x86 Android devices.
    • Free for personal and commercial use.
    • Example:
  • Libgdx -
    • Cross platform (Windows, Linux, OSX and Android) 2D/3D Android engine. Build, run and iterate on the PC before deploying to phone.
    • C++ and Java based engine that easily ports to x86.
    • Box2d physics, TMX tile map, shaders, 2D particle system, sprite support, camera apis, OBJ and MD5 model loaders.
    • Full source code available for free.
    • C++/Java based engine that with a few minor changes I was able to run on x86 Android devices.
  • gameplay –
    • Open-source cross-platform 3D engine aimed at the indie game developer ecosystem.
    • Supports BlackBerry 10 and PlayBook, Apple iOS 5+, Android NDK 2.3+, Microsoft Windows 7, Apple MacOS X, Linux
    • Full featured rendering system, node-based scen graph system, particle system, Bullet physics engine, audio and UI systems, etc.
    • Open sourced under the Apache 2.0 license
  • Esenthel Engine -
    • Modern 2D/3D C++ based game engine (Windows, Mac, Android and iOS)
    • Available for unlimited trial if used non-commercially
    • Scripting and C++ support, multiple renderers, animation system, physics engine, streaming game engine, GUI, etc.
    • DirectX 9,10,11, OpenGL, OpenGL ES 2.0, PhysX 3, PhysX 2, Bullet physics integration
    • Tools include a world editor, model editor, data browser, code editor and more.
    • One-click cross platform publishing
    • Android native x86 support
  • App game kit -
    • Cross platform (iOS, Windows, MacOS, Android, BlackBerry)
    • A 2D OpenGL based game engine with Box2D. Include support for Sprites, particles, input APIs, sound and music.
    • Looks like it is a C++ based engine that should easily port to x86 Android devices.
    • Write game code in BASIC or has an available upgrade option for writing native C++ code.
    • Free to try, license purchase required to publish.
  • Orx -
    • Orx is an open source, portable, lightweight, plugin-based, data-driven and extremely easy to use 2D-oriented game engine.
    • Cross platform (iPhone, iPad, Mac, Windows, Linux, Android) game engine.
    • Camera APIs, animations, sound, sprite rendering and data driven for fast and easy prototyping and development.
    • Free open source.
    • C++ based engine that should easily port to x86 Android devices.
    • Example:
  • DX Studio -
    • 3D game engine with editor.
    • Android limited features now supported.
    • C++ based engine that should easily port to x86 Android devices.
    • Currently offered for free.
  • SIO2 Engine –
    • 2D/3D cross platform (iOS, Android, bada, WebOS, WIN32 ) game engine.
    • Iterate via simulator on PC
    • Features lua support, exporters for various 3d modeling tools, Bullet physics engine, path finding, sound apis, shader support, animation and networking support.
    • C++ based engine that should easily port to x86 Android devices.
    • Various licenses available for purchase, free to trial.
  • Unigine -
    • 3D cross platform (Windows, Linux, Max, PS3, iOS, Android)
    • Physics, scripting, etc. Unclear what features are supported for mobile.
    • Evaluation available to companies working on commercial projects. License purchase required.
    • C++ based engine that should easily port to x86 Android devices.
    • Example:
  • Candroidengine -
    • 2D Java engine.
    • Sprites, tile animation, background APIs, etc.
    • Dalvik only engine that should work on all architectures.
    • Full source code available for free.
  • Mages Engine -
    • multiplayer client/server game engine
    • Java engine that should work on all architectures.
    • Full source code available for free.
  • Unreal Development kit -
    • No Android support in UDK. The full license on Unreal Engine needed for Android support.
    • This is the free edition of Unreal Engine 3 that provides access to the 3D game engine.
    • UDK supports iOS and Windows only.
    • Free to use UDK for noncommercial and educational use

The great thing about Android on x86 is that it opens a new class of devices for all of the games built on these engines. Unfortunately not all these game engines have support for x86 native binaries but it’s probably just a matter of time. x86 support is available in the latest Android NDK. Porting to x86 for some of these engines may simply be a recompile. We have created a couple of documents to guide you and have forums available to help along the way.

This post continues to gain in popularity, as does the number of Android game engine choices. I will continue to update this post with the latest information from user comments and news from the web. I hope this list helps as a great starting point for those thinking about writing an Android game. Feel free to post comments about game engines I am missing or any updated information you find.

For more complete information about compiler optimizations, see our Optimization Notice.


Nathan Totura's picture

Had a chance to go through the entire list and made sure all the latest information about each engine was captured. Came across Project Anarchy by Havok which looks to be available soon.

Nathan Totura's picture

Blog updated with three more great additions: Linderdaum Engine, ShadingZen and Esenthel.

esenthel's picture

What about Esenthel?
Since last release it even has native support for Android x86 -

Esenthel Engine -
- Modern 2D/3D C++ based game engine
- Cross platform (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS)
- DirectX 9,10,11, OpenGL, OpenGL ES 2.0
- PhysX 3, PhysX 2, Bullet physics integration
- Fully collaborative real-time development via Esenthel Editor and Server apps
- One-click cross platform publishing
- Sample Android game -

Oscar B.'s picture

Another option is ShadingZen, an Open Source (MIT License) 2D/3D Engine: It is java based and heavily optimized for mobile. Supports multicore CPUs.

anonymous's picture

ahm, what are the other reasons why i should pick jPCT-AE engine?hope can find an answer.:P

anonymous's picture

Linderdaum Engine -

Cross platform (Windows, Android) 2D/3D engine
C++ based engine that supports ARM and x86 Android devices (precompiled x86-libs are also included).
Free engine with full source code.

Nathan Totura's picture

Hi Daniel, thanks for pointing out my omission of jPCT-AE and Adobe AIR. Those two engines are great additions and I have added them to the list.

Nathan Totura's picture

Thanks for commenting, I think Corona is a fine choice for making games. There are many things to consider when contemplating what game engine to use. For instance if you plan on making a 3d game Corona may not be the best choice. If you want to write your code in higher level scripting languages Unity is another option. If you like writing in the lower level languages, engines like Cocos2d and libgdx would be better choices. Good luck with your game!'s picture

Thanks for the time you took on that post, Nathan. Me and a friend are begginers in Android/iOS development and, after spending some time on the "vanilla" Android SDK, we decided to search for an engine so we can focus on productivity. We are almost set with Corona and consequently, Lua. We are just 2 programmers looking our way out of a software factory, into the dream world of making games. I don't know how far you've gone into your research, but would you suggest a different engine?


Add a Comment

Have a technical question? Visit our forums. Have site or software product issues? Contact support.