Clion Unity

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Clion Unity

There are few IDE (Integrated Development Environment) supported by Unreal Engine.

Hmm, ok CMake creates makefiles (or something equivalent depending on the OS/what you says him to do) using instead of ' is the main modification, the other stuff is just to make your CMake easier to read.

Grab Preview from [](). Yes, this is a Preview, but already beat Visual Studio or Visual Studio Code in almost everything.

Deep understanding of the Unity game engine, which means that Rider can flag potential problems such as being careful with the use of the null coalescing and null propagation/conditional operators on types that derive from UnityEngine.Object. Good searching and navigation facilities make it easier to understand unfamiliar code. CLion doesn’t come with a compiler. If you are going to be doing any other C or C work with it you need one. At the time of writing, you can use the MSVC compiler changing some registry settings, but I recommend installing a better toolchain. CLion provides a user interface for Git, which you can enable in the VCS menu. It automatically detects all Git roots within the workspace. This will include bazel-drake, which is a Bazel-internal detail. But CLion finds unity this way(you can use ' to include). – Waxo Sep 9 '15 at 12:51. One has to include the directories and include the headers in SOURCEFILES, too. – moin moin Sep 9 '15 at 17:42. Add a comment Your Answer Thanks for contributing an answer to.

Rider is a new option for C++ in general and Unreal Engine from JetBrains. This company is well-known for providing excellent tools for programmers, especially multiple IDEs specialized in specific languages and industries. For example, CLion is a standard JetBrains for C++, but they work towards making Rider (traditionally a C# IDE) the 'gamedev IDE'. Rider already provides excellent support for C# and Unity, with a customized UI and debugger. And Resharper C++ provides support for C++ and Unreal Engine as the extension to the Visual Studio.


  • Nearly as lightweight and responsive as Visual Studio Code, despite providing much more features. It's extremely pleasant to jump from the Visual Studio which often runs very slow, hangs for many seconds during editing or using a debugger.

  • UI is modern, clean, very customizable. It's so much easier to find information, read debugger values.

  • Resharper is built-in, providing almost every feature from Resharper C++ (Visual Studio plugin). This gives us advanced (and fast!) code search, navigation, refactoring actions and code inspection! That's priceless while working with such a huge codebase as the Unreal Engine.

  • Resharper simplifies maintaining the coding standard and a healthy codebase in the entire team.

    • It thanks to auto-formatting and code inspection that works great, and you can tweak every single detail.

    • You can extract such settings as Code Style and Code Inspection to the team-shared settings saved to the repository.

  • Rider for Unreal Engine adds some voodoo magic. It's able to analyze assets in the Unreal project, so it can do things like. No other IDE does that, there are no such Unreal-specific features in VS or VSC

    • Displays blueprint classes inheriting after viewed C++ header. It creates links to these blueprints allowing to open blueprint editor with a single click.

    • Displays default values overridden by blueprints and .ini files! The editor also creates links to assets, i.e. material assigned to the property.

    • Find usages of C++ function in blueprints.

    • It can create property or class redirect in .ini if you rename property or class exposed to blueprints.

  • It supports all Version Control Systems out-of-the-box, including Perforce.

  • The final, production-ready version will be available on Windows, Mac, Linux. Supporting both C# with Unity and Unreal with C++ in one IDE.


  • It's only free during the Preview phase. The free license is valid till May 2021, although it may be prolonged (already have). Later on, you need to pay for it. See Pricing options. That's no issue for professional programmers, but might a barrier for enthusiasts.

  • It's not a default IDE in Unreal Engine. We might expect excellent support from JetBrains, but most probably Epic gonna stick with a free and proven Visual Studio as the default IDE. At least, for some time.

What's missing in Preview?

  • At this point, it only works on Windows with MSVC compiler. For this reason, working with Rider still requires intermediate Visual Studio project files, although Resharper uses its own project model for Unreal Engine (starting from UE 4.24).

  • Mac version is coming soon, they're just started work on the Linux version.

  • JetBrains team needed to write their own C++ debugger, as VS debugger is an integral part of the VIsual Studio. It might lack some functionalities or have bugs, although basically, it runs great!

  • It doesn't yet support debugging consoles.

  • It doesn't yet provide an equivalent to UnrealVS extension. You can still set command line parameters for the Unreal Engine process, but it's not convenient.

  • The official status report: Any ETA on production-ready Rider for Unreal Engine?

You can grab Visual Studio Community for free!


  • It's a proven and well-known editor for gamedev programmers. It should your default choice if you wouldn't use Rider for any reason.

  • C++ debugger is excellent, as is developed by the same company that develops Microsoft Visual C++ compiler.

  • For these reasons, it's the default IDE for Unreal Engine. Used by Epic Games for a very long time, so they provided these resources:

    • Setting Up Visual Studio for Unreal Engine - official guide installation and basic setup

    • UnrealVS Extension - it's a very useful extension, lets you easily add launch parameters and build many configurations at once


  • It's surprising, but VS support for editing C++ is... almost non-existent. There's Intellisense, but it doesn't work properly with huge codebases like the game engine. Many programmers simply prefer to disable Intellisense. There are also not many features for code search, navigating, refactoring.

  • Vanilla Visual Studio doesn't provide any Unreal-specific support.

  • Perforce plug-in isn't part of the Visual Studio itself. You need to add P4VS plug-in yourself, but it's free. This plug-in automatically checks out (marked as edited) every source file you're starting to edit. This way working with Perforce is convenient for programmers.

  • It's based on the old architecture and supporting so many languages, so it can't be easily reworked by Microsoft. It's still a 32-bit process that may use only somewhat above 2GB RAM. That's for IDE, all the plugins, loaded project data. Resharper C++ itself needs hundreds of MBs. That's the main reason why VS is so sluggish when used for big projects. And every Unreal Engine project is considered big since it includes engine source code.

  • The free Community Edition is only applicable for students, open-source and commercial studios with 5 or fewer concurrent (VS) developers. The bigger company should use a paid Visual Studio edition.

Fixing VS usability

Unreal Engine 4 codebase contains a few millions of lines of code. It's too much for clean Visual Studio to handle such an enormous codebase, so nearly every programmer needs a supporting plugin. And these also come with many editing features and Unreal-specific support.

You can choose one of these two described below. Both are paid, but definitely worth it.

  • Resharper C++ - yep, that's a JetBrains plugin described in the Rider section. Provides more features than Visual Assist, especially when it comes to code navigation and refactoring. It's also part of Rider, so it's super easy to switch between VS + Resharper and Rider.

  • Visual Assist (also know as VAX). It was the only choice for programmers for a long time. Not only for Unreal Engine programmers but also for devs working on in-house engines. VAX includes exclusive features for working with Unreal Engine.

    • Simply learn these top features. These few shortcuts are priceless time-savers.
  • UE4 Smarter Macro Indenting properly handles the indentation of the next line after UE4 macros. Thanks to this your code will look closer to the engine's Coding Standard and gonna be a bit easier to read.

    • This might be not needed if you already using Resharper C++ or a recent version of VAX.

It's not really an IDE, it's more like a smart Notepad. Although it's quite popular among programmers for few reasons.


  • It's totally and forever free.

  • It's built from the scratch, to be lightweight and modular. It's amazing at that. VSC code search can quickly find any string in the entire codebase of the Unreal Engine.

  • It's available on Windows, Mac, Linux.


  • Epic Games provide basic support for VSC, but it's sometimes broken with the new engine release.

  • It doesn't provide advanced editing or debugging features. And it can't because of its architecture. This is the answer of JetBrains engineer: explanation why there won't Resharper for VSC.

  • Studios often expect programmers to be familiar with proper IDE, like Visual Studio or Rider. It's because advanced features of these IDEs, VAX and Resharper helps tremendously to write better code and follow the coding standard.

CLion is a great IDE. Lately, I’ve been using it to develop some games with Unreal Engine 4. I’ve created a step by step guide on how to do this. You can get and install CLion from

If using MS Windows

CLion doesn’t come with a compiler. If you are going to be doing any other C or C++ work with it you need one. At the time of writing, you can use the MSVC compiler changing some registry settings, but I recommend installing a better toolchain.

The easiest way I’ve found to setup the compiler is to download and install MSYS2 from Once that is done just open “MSYS2 MinGW 64-bit” from the Start Menu and run:

Open CLion and go to Configure > Settings… > Build, Execution, Deployment > Toolchains and add a new Toolchain. Use this settings:

  • Name: MinGW
  • Environment: MinGW
  • Path: C:msys64mingw64

Wait a few seconds for it to detect the compiler and set these values:

  • C Compiler: C:/msys64/mingw64/bin/clang.exe
  • C++ Compiler: C:/msys64/mingw64/bin/clang++.exe

Then set it as default (move it to the top of the list) and just click OK.

If using Linux / MacOS

You are ready to continue.

UE4 Plugin for CLion (for UE4 >= 4.19)

Just continue to “Generating the CMake project file” down below.

UE4 Plugin for CLion (for UE4 >= 4.16, < 4.19)

Next you need to install the CLionSourceCodeAccess plugin. If using a git repo just go to your project folder and run:

Lear more about git submodules here. If you are not using git, or don’t want to use submodules, download the plugin from and extract it to the Plugins folder (create that folder if it doesn’t exist). In any case you should end up with Plugins/CLionSourceCodeAccess/CLionSourceCodeAccess.uplugin and other related files.

After that just open the your UE4 project and let it compile the plugin. You need to set a couple more settings. Go to Edit > Project Settings… > Plugins > CLion and enter the following:

  • C Compiler: C:/msys64/mingw64/bin/clang.exe
  • C++ Compiler: C:/msys64/mingw64/bin/clang++.exe
  • CLion executable: Select your clion.exe
  • Mono path: You need this for Linux/MacOS

There’s more information about this plugin on You can also get it from the UE4 marketplace at, but I haven’t tested that one.

UE4 Plugin for CLion (for UE4 4.15)

For UE4 4.15 follow the previous procedure but replace the following items:

  • Git repo:
  • Download link:

Before opening CLion you need to change one file: Intermediates/ProjectFiles/Definitions.cmake. From that file, delete the line that reads:

You need to do this every time you run File > Generate CMakeLists.

Generating the CMake project file

The next step is generating the CMakeLists.txt file that CLion can open. For that just click on File > Generate CMakeLists. You need to do this every time you add or remove classes from your project.

You can now click on File > Open CLion and the project will open. Finally to open CLion automatically when you double click on any class in the UE4 editor, navigate to Edit > Editor Preferences… > General > Source Code and change the Source Code Editor there.

Clinton United Methodist

Installing the Unreal Engine 4 SDK Support for CLion

There’s a plugin to get some extra functionality on CLion when working on UE4 projects. This will get rid of errors on UPROPERTY, UCLASS, USTRUCT and similar macros. On CLion go to File > Settings… > Plugins then click on Browse Repositories… and install Unreal Engine 4 SDK Support.

And voila! you can now benefit from the multiple features that CLion offers over other IDEs.

Clion Unit Testing

If there’s anything on this guide that doesn’t work or is incorrect, please let me know.

Clion Unity Program