Free, cross-platform, real-time 3D engines

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This list contains free engines, which specialize on real-time 3D rendering, opposed to 3D game engines, which aim to provide complete solutions (sound, networking, physics).

General information

General information
Engine name/link Active1 Stable2 Requirement3 Description4 License
Axiom Yes No Object oriented 3D graphics engine[1] LGPL
Blender Game Engine Yes Yes Integrated engine with logic bricks and physics[2] GPL
Crystal Space 3D Yes Yes Development kit for realtime 3D graphics LGPL
Delta3D Yes Yes Fully-featured game engine LGPL
G3D Engine Yes Yes Commercial-grade 3D engine BSD
Horde3D Yes No OpenGL 2.0 Small 3D rendering engine EPL1
Irrlicht Engine Yes Yes High performance realtime 3D engine ZLIB
jMonkeyEngine Yes Yes High performance scene graph based Java graphics API[3] BSD
Lightfeather Yes No 3D Engine for professional programmers ZLIB
Ryzom Core Yes Yes OpenGL 1.2 MMORPG Game Framework GPLv2
OGRE Yes Yes OpenGL 1.2.1 Scene-oriented, flexible 3D engine[4] LGPL
OpenSceneGraph Yes Yes High performance 3D graphics toolkit LGPL
OpenSG Yes Yes Scenegraph system to create realtime graphics programs LGPL
Panda3D Yes Yes Full-featured 3D game engine with scenegraph BSD
PySoy Yes No OpenGL 1.4 Multi-threaded 3d game engine AGPL
Soya 3D Yes No OpenGL 1.2 Object oriented "high level" 3D engine GPL
Xith3D Yes Yes Modern, feature-rich and fast scenegraph-engine BSD

1Development activity (releases, activity in repository) must not be older than one year 2'Stable' releases exist 3Minimal direct rendering ability needed, to run the engine in accelerated/direct/hardware mode 4Description of the project by the development team, no more than seven words

Native and binded languages support

Only languages that have free implementations are listed.

Languages and bindings
Engine name/link Language .Net Java Lua Perl Python Ruby Other
Axiom C# Default No No No No No No
Blender Game Engine C++ No No No No Default No No
Crystal Space 3D C++ yes csJava No yes PyCrystal No No
Delta3D C++ No No No No No No No
G3D Engine C++ No No No No No G3DRuby No
Horde3D[5] C++ Yes Yes Yes No Yes No D, Pascal, Squirrel, Haskel
jMonkeyEngine Java No Default No No No No No
Irrlicht Engine C++ Irrlicht.NET CP Bindenlicht, Jirr IrrLua No pyrr, Venom Irrlicht/Ruby Interface No
Lightfeather C++ No No No No No No No
NeL C++ No No No No No No No
OGRE C++ MOGRE, OgreDotNet ogre4j Lugre No Python-Ogre Ogre.rb No
OpenSceneGraph C++ No No No No No No No
OpenSG C++ No No No No No No No
Panda3D Python, C++ No No No No Default No No
PySoy Python, Vala No via JGIR No via Introspection Default No Javascript
Soya 3D Pyrex, Python No No No No Default No No
Xith3D Java No Default No No No No No

Yes means that the language binding is complete for the latest stable release version, Partial means that the binding is incomplete or that it is unknown whether the binding is complete, No means there are no bindings for the language

Other engines

These were not included in the comparisons, as not enough information about them and their capabilities is available.

Attention: The plan is to create a separate article for id-made engines and their derivates.

C#/.Net, MPL 1.1[6]
Cube Cube 2
C, C++, Cube Script, zlib/libpng
Deeplayer 3D
game engine
Java, GPL
Quake Engine
C, QuakeC, GPL
Quake II Engine (id Tech 2)
Quake III Engine (id Tech 3)
C, PHP, Python, GPL
C++, Python, GPL
C, Based on id Tech3, GPL

About this article

This article is a work in progress. You can help finishing it by editing it or by discussing it on it's talk page or start a thread on the forums.


  1. Axiom's about page
  2. Blender features
  3. What is jME
  4. OGRE's about page
  5. Bindings on Horde3D's wiki
  6. AgateLib License.txt file

External links