Using Cesium for Unreal in Unreal Engine 5

Hi everyone!

For Unreal Engine 4.26 and 4.27, the easiest way to install Cesium for Unreal is from the Epic Marketplace. Unfortunately it’s not currently possible to install the plugin for Unreal Engine 5 in the same way. It may be a few days or longer before the plugin is available on the Marketplace, because Epic likely has a significant backlog with everyone submitting their UE5 plugins for inclusion all at once.

In the meantime, we provide pre-built binaries for UE5 on our GitHub releases page:

Installing the plugin from GitHub is easy:

  1. Download the appropriate ZIP file from the “Assets” section on the release page (link above). For example, as of this writing you would download CesiumForUnreal-500-v1.12.1-ue5.zip.
  2. Extract the ZIP file to your Unreal Engine installation’s Engine/Plugins directory. For Windows and UE5, this will usually be C:\Program Files\Epic Games\UE_5.0\Engine\Plugins. You can choose to extract to a subdirectory, such as GitHub or ManuallyInstalled, to keep this manually-installed plugin separate from the standard Engine plugins.

That’s it!

Known issues with Cesium for Unreal and UE5 are being tracked here.

The above will work as long as the plugin package that you download and install is built for the exact version of Unreal Engine that you’re using. If you’re using a later version of Unreal Engine 5, and we haven’t yet released the plugin for that version, the above unfortunately will not work. Unreal Engine will complain that the plugin is for a different Engine version, and refuse to load it.

You can fix this by installing the plugin into your project instead of installing it as an Engine plugin. This works because Unreal Engine builds project plugins as part of the project itself. As long as the plugin compiles with the new version of Unreal Engine, all is well. Here’s how:

  1. Building Cesium for Unreal or any C++ Unreal Engine project requires Visual Studio 2019, so install that if you haven’t already.
  2. Convert your project to a C++ project, if it isn’t one already. The easiest way to do this is by adding a C++ class to it.
    a. In the Editor, go to Tools → New C++ Class.
    b. Choose “None” as the parent class, and click Next.
    c. Give your class a name, or leave the default (MyClass).
    d. Click Create Class.
    e. When prompted to edit the code now, click Yes.
  3. Close the Editor and Visual Studio 2019.
  4. Unzip the Cesium for Unreal plugin release package to a directory called Plugins under your project’s root directory.
  5. In Windows Explorer, right-click on your project’s .uproject file and choose “Generate Visual Studio project files”.
  6. Open the generated .sln file in your project’s root directory in Visual Studio 2019.
  7. In Visual Studio, select Debug → Start Without Debugging. Your project and the plugin will compile, and then the Editor will launch.

If you get compiler errors at step 7, it probably means that changes in Unreal Engine will require (probably minor) changes to the plugin. Let us know!

We will aim to release a new plugin version soon after each new UE5 release, but the above procedure should get you up and running if you want to try it sooner!

Kevin

Updated 2022-04-06: Modified the text to reflect today’s release of the final version of Unreal Engine 5.0.

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