Understanding the Differences Between Experimental and Early Access Features

As Unreal Engine continually evolves, we often release ‘Experimental’ and ‘Early Access’ features for developers to explore. As these names imply, these features are not yet production ready, but provide an opportunity to experience – and contribute to – various features while still in development.

With this in mind, it is important to have a clear understanding of what both ‘Early Access’ and ‘Experimental’ mean for your project, so please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the definitions below.

EARLY ACCESS:

Features available in Early Access give you the opportunity to learn how they work, plan your pipeline, and create test content. You should use caution when using these features in production, as we are still working to get to shipping-quality performance, stability, and platform support. We support backward compatibility for assets, and the APIs for these features are stable.

EXPERIMENTAL:

Features are sometimes made available in an Experimental state so you can try them out, provide feedback, and see what we are planning. We do not recommend shipping projects with Experimental features. Please keep in mind that we do not guarantee backward compatibility for assets created at the experimental stage, the APIs for these features are subject to change, and we may remove entire Experimental features or specific functionality at our discretion.

While not all features are documented prior to being production-ready, the Early Access Features and Experimental Features sections of the documentation are great for exploring brand new content and workflows in UE4. By testing these features early on, you can get ahead of the learning curve and share feedback with Epic and other UE4 developers before the features are released.