What is UnrealEngine build target

  • this post covers
    • what is the build target in unreal engine
    • why we need the several build targets
  • environment
    • Windows / 10
    • Unreal Engine / 4.19.2
    • Visual Studio IDE / 2017 Community


  • create new project with Basic Code in cpp tab
  • then you can see the directory like this
  • open the [ProjectName].sln and check out the csharp files whose name are ending up with Target.cs
  • now you may wonder…
    • what the Type = TargetType.Game means
    • what the heck is UnrealBuildTool
    • what is difference between [ProjectName]Target and [ProjectName]EditorTarget
  • do not hurry, first of all, we gonna learn about the build targets


  • most of you may have developed the game with no manipulation of Solution Configurations
  • when you folds it out, there are several options and each option is explained in this document detailed
    • DebugGame and Development : build output is stand-alone binary file, which has exe extension
    • DebugGame Editor and Development Editor : build output is dynamic link library, which has dll extension
    • Shipping : build output is stand-alone binary file, which has exe extension
  • the difference between
    • DebugGame and Development : the level and depth of debugging features
    • DebugGame, Development and Shipping : output of Shipping is more optimized for the reason of absence of command prompt and screen debug, etc. but, having no assets for the level presentation, both cannot be executed normally


  • yep, you have seen the Solution Configurations and what they do
  • and there is the way to change the behavior of each configuration by editing the Target.cs files
  • let us change the text Editor into Game in [ProjectName]Editor.Target.cs
  • remove the Binaries folder for checking the build output
  • build our project with Development Editor
  • look at the build output, what happened ? exe file has been generated, not the dll

  • okay, now I would think it is time to tell you how the build works

    • when you select DebugGame or Development, unreal engine does the build based on [ProjectName].Target.cs
    • also, when you select DebugGame Editor or Development Editor, unreal engine will build based on [ProjectName]Editor.Target.cs
    • and the Type in Target.cs file is a key value of build configuration, which is read by UnrealBuildTool
  • as a result, there is no significant difference except for the file names
    • first 5 files are built with Development and Test419.Target.cs with Type = TargetType.Game
    • later 5 files are built with Development Editor and Test419Editor.Target.cs with Type = TargetType.Game


  • this structure can help you customize build configurations
    • if you need to build for several enviroments, take care of the target files
    • there are many options not only Type value, find at this document
  • typically, the target file is used for building an unreal server
    • at that time, we will use [ProjectName]Server.Target.cs with Type = TargetType.Server
    • because, in the production level, we need a server executing unreal dedicated server


  • I will write about unreal server build and combination with aws game lift
  • in the following contents, this post should be useful for you
  • there is a good QnA for these subjects