List of first-person shooter engines

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This is a sortable list of first-person shooter engines.

Early first-person shooter graphics engines[edit]

Game engine First used for Date Other first-person shooters
N/A Maze War 1973
N/A Spasim 1974
Arsys Software Plazma Line 1984 Wibarm (1986), Star Cruiser (1988), Star Cruiser 2 (1992)
Freescape Driller 1987 Dark Side (1988), Total Eclipse (1988), Castle Master (1990), Castle Master II: The Crypt (1990), Total Eclipse II: The Sphinx Jinx (1991), 3D Construction Kit (1991), 3D Construction Kit II (1992)
N/A The Colony 1988

Early 1990s: wireframes to 2.5D worlds and textures[edit]

Game engine First used for Date Other first-person shooter
N/A The Super Spy 1990 Crossed Swords (1991)
Wolf 3D Engine 0.5 Hovertank 3D 1990
Wolfenstein 3D Engine 0.9 Catacomb 3D 1991
N/A Gun Buster 1992
Wolfenstein 3D engine Wolfenstein 3D 1992 Spear of Destiny (1992), Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold (1993), Operation Body Count (1994), Corridor 7: Alien Invasion (1994), Blake Stone: Planet Strike (1994), Rise of the Triad (1994), Super Noah's Ark 3D (1994)
Underworld Engine Ultima Underworld 1992 System Shock (1994)
KenTech Ken's Labyrinth 1993
Pie in the Sky Lethal Tender 1993 Terminal Terror (1994), Pencil Whipped (2000), various others (1994–1998)
id Tech 1 Doom 1993 Doom II: Hell on Earth (1994), Heretic (1994), The Ultimate Doom (1995), Hexen: Beyond Heretic (1995), Master Levels for Doom II (1995), Hexen: Deathkings of the Dark Citadel (1996), Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders (1996), Strife: Quest for the Sigil (1996), Final Doom (1996), Chex Quest (1996), Chex Quest 2: Flemoids Take Chextropolis (1997), Doom 64 (1997)
Aleph Zero Marathon 1994
Build Engine Legend of the Seven Paladins 1994 Witchaven (1995), William Shatner's TekWar (1995), Duke Nukem 3D (1996), Witchaven II: Blood Vengeance (1996), Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition (1996), PowerSlave (1996, PC version), Redneck Rampage (1997), Blood (1997), Shadow Warrior (1997), Redneck Rampage: Suckin' Grits on Route 66 (1998), Redneck Rampage Rides Again (1998), NAM (1998), Extreme Paintbrawl (1998), World War II GI (1999), Ion Maiden (2019)
Aleph One Marathon 2: Durandal 1995 Marathon Infinity (1996), Prime Target (1996), ZPC (1996), Damage Incorporated (1997)
Jedi Engine Star Wars: Dark Forces 1995 Outlaws (1997)
Gloom Gloom 1995 Gloom 2, Gloom 3, Gloom mods (1995-2015)
BreedTech Alien Breed 3D 1995
BreedTech 2 Alien Breed 3D II: The Killing Grounds 1996
N/A Assassin 2015 1996 Goosebumps: Attack of the Mutant (1997)
N/A Chasm: The Rift 1997

Mid 1990s: 3D models, beginnings of hardware acceleration[edit]

Game engine First used for Date Other first-person shooters
N/A Geograph Seal 1994 Jumping Flash! (1995), Jumping Flash! 2 (1996), Robbit Mon Dieu (1999), Pocket MuuMuu (1999)
N/A Descent 1995 Descent II (1996), Descent 3 (1999)
XnGine The Terminator: Future Shock 1995 The Terminator: SkyNET (1996)
Quake Engine Quake 1996 Hexen II (1997), Malice (1997), X-Men: The Ravages of Apocalypse (1997), Laser Arena (2000), Wrath: Aeon of Ruin (2019)
SlaveDriver PowerSlave (Sega Saturn version) 1996 Quake (1997, Sega Saturn version), Duke Nukem 3D (1997, Sega Saturn version)
TurokTech Turok: Dinosaur Hunter 1997 Turok 2: Seeds of Evil (1998), South Park (1998), Turok: Rage Wars (1999), Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion (2000)
RareWare Engine GoldenEye 007 1997 Perfect Dark (2000)
Sith engine Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II 1997
id Tech 2 Quake II 1997 Heretic II (1998), SiN (1998), Kingpin: Life of Crime (1999), Soldier of Fortune (2000), Daikatana (2000)
Lithtech 1.0 Shogo: Mobile Armor Division 1998 Blood II: The Chosen (1998)

Late 1990s: 32-bit color, GPUs become standard[edit]

Game engine First used for Date Other first-person shooters
Unreal engine Unreal 1998 Unreal Tournament (1999), Deus Ex (2000), Clive Barker's Undying (2001)
GoldSrc Half-Life 1998 Counter-Strike (2000), Gunman Chronicles (2000), James Bond 007: Nightfire (2002, PC version), Day of Defeat (2003), Counter-Strike: Condition Zero (2004)
Dark Engine Thief: The Dark Project 1998 System Shock 2 (1999), Thief II: The Metal Age (2000)
Torque Starsiege: Tribes 1998 Tribes 2 (2001)
id Tech 3 Quake III Arena 1999 Star Trek: Voyager – Elite Force (2000), Quake III: Team Arena (2000), Urban Terror (2000), Return to Castle Wolfenstein (2001), Medal of Honor: Allied Assault (2002), Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast (2002), Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix (2002), Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory (2003), Star Trek: Elite Force II (2003), Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy (2003), Call of Duty (2003), ioquake3 (2005), OpenArena (2006), Tremulous (2006)
Lithtech 2.x The Operative: No One Lives Forever 2000

Early 2000s: increasing detail, outdoor environments, rag-doll physics[edit]

Game engine First used for Date Other first-person shooters
Glacier Hitman: Codename 47 2000 Hitman 2: Silent Assassin (2002), Freedom Fighters (2003), Hitman: Contracts (2004), Hitman: Blood Money (2006)
Real Virtuality Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis 2001 VBS1 (2002), ArmA: Armed Assault (2007), ARMA II (2009)
Cube Engine Cube 2001 AssaultCube (2008)
SAGE Command & Conquer: Renegade 2002
Unreal Engine 2.0 America's Army 2002 Unreal Tournament 2003 (2002) Unreal II: The Awakening (2003), Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield (2003), Devastation (2003), Postal 2 (2003), Unreal Tournament 2004 (2004)
Refractor 2 Battlefield 1942 2002 Battlefield Vietnam (2004), Battlefield 2 (2005), Battlefield 2142 (2006)
Lithtech Jupiter No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way 2002 Tron 2.0 (2003)

Mid 2000s: lighting and pixel shaders, physics[edit]

Game engine First used for Date Other first-person shooters
Blam! engine Halo: Combat Evolved 2001 Halo 2 (2004), Halo 3 (2007), Halo: Reach (2010), Halo 4 (2012), Halo 5: Guardians (2015)
Diesel Ballistics 2001 Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter (2006, PC version only), Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 (2007, PC version only), Payday: The Heist (2011), Payday 2 (2013), Raid: World War II (2017)
Zero Star Wars: The Clone Wars 2002 Star Wars: Battlefront (2004), Star Wars: Battlefront II (2005)
Unreal Engine 2.5 Tribes Vengeance 2004 Unreal Tournament 2004 (2004), BioShock (2007), Duke Nukem Forever (2011)
CryEngine Far Cry 2004 Far Cry Instincts (2005), Far Cry Instincts: Evolution (2006), Far Cry Instincts: Predator (2006), Far Cry Vengeance (2006)
Cube 2 Engine Cube 2: Sauerbraten 2004 Red Eclipse (2011)
id Tech 4 Doom 3 2004 Quake 4 (2005), Prey (2006), Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (2007), Wolfenstein (2009), Brink (2011)
Source Half-Life 2 2004 Half-Life 2: Deathmatch (2004), Half-Life: Source (2004), Counter-Strike: Source (2004), Day of Defeat: Source (2005), Half-Life 2: Lost Coast (2005), Half-Life Deathmatch: Source (2006), Half-Life 2: Episode One (2006), SiN Episodes (2006), The Ship (2006), Kuma\War (2006), Half-Life 2: Episode Two (2007), Team Fortress 2 (2007), Dystopia (2007), Left 4 Dead (2008), Left 4 Dead 2 (2009), Zeno Clash (2009), NeoTokyo (2009), Bloody Good Time (2010), No More Room in Hell (2011), Nuclear Dawn (2011), Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (2012), Consortium (2014), Fistful of Frags (2014), Day of Infamy (2017), Black Mesa (2020)
Lithtech Jupiter EX F.E.A.R. 2005 Combat Arms (2008), F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (2009)
IW engine Call of Duty 2005 Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007), Call of Duty: World at War (2008), 007: Quantum of Solace (2008), Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009), Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010), Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2011), Call of Duty: Black Ops II (2012), Call of Duty: Ghosts (2013), Call of Duty: Black Ops III (2015), Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (2016), Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (2018), Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)
X-Ray Engine S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl 2007 S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky (2008)
Unity Deus Ex: The Fall (2013), Interstellar Marines (2013),Dead Effect (2013), Superhot (2016), DUSK (2018)

Late 2000s to 2010s: the approach to photorealism[edit]

Game engine First used for date Other first-person shooters
Unreal Engine 3 Gears of War 2006 Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas (2006), Medal of Honor: Airborne (2007), Unreal Tournament 3 (2007), Turok (2008), Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway (2008), Aliens: Colonial Marines (2013), Borderlands (2009), Tribes: Ascend (2012), BioShock Infinite (2013)
CryEngine 2 Crysis 2007 Crysis Warhead (2008), Entropia Universe (2009)
Dunia Engine Far Cry 2 2008 Far Cry 3 (2012), Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon (2013)
Frostbite Engine Battlefield: Bad Company 2008 Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Medal of Honor (2010, multiplayer only), Battlefield 3
EGO engine Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising 2009
Real Virtuality 3 ArmA 2 2009
Chrome Engine 4 Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood 2009 Dead Island (2011)
X-ray engine 1.6 S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat 2009
id Tech 5 Rage 2011 Wolfenstein: The New Order (2014), Wolfenstein: The Old Blood (2015)
CryEngine 3 Crysis 2 2011 Crysis (2011, console versions), Crysis 3 (2013), Warface (2013), Enemy Front (2014)
Vision Engine 8 Dizzel 7554 (2011)
Real Virtuality 4 ArmA 3 2013
CryEngine 4 2013 Evolve (2015), Homefront: The Revolution (2016), Prey (2017)
Decima Killzone: Shadow Fall 2013 RIGS: Mechanized Combat League (2016)
Tiger Engine Destiny 2014
Tesseract Tesseract 2014 Red Eclipse (2011)
Source 2 Dota 2 2015 Half-Life: Alyx (2020), S&Box (TBA)
id Tech 6 Doom 2016 Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (2017), Doom VFR (2017), Wolfenstein: Youngblood (2019), Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot (2019)
CryEngine V Hunt: Showdown (2018) 2016 Crysis Remastered (2020)
Unreal Engine 4 Barrage 2015 LawBreakers (2017), Hypercharge: Unboxed (2017), Insurgency: Sandstorm (2018), Borderlands 3 (2019), Bright Memory (2019), Descent (2019), Postal 4 (2019), Atomic Heart (2020)

2020s: 8K and high frame rates[edit]

Game engine First used for date Other first-person shooters
id Tech 7 Doom Eternal 2020
Slipspace Halo Infinite 2021
Unreal Engine 5

Specialized engines/engine middle-ware[edit]

Some features may be integrated into engines. For instance for trees and foliage a special "engine" is available, SpeedTree, that does just that (or could be integrated into general engines). The Euphoria character's 3D animating engine can be used independently but is integrated in the Rockstar Advanced Game Engine and the game Grand Theft Auto IV.

See also[edit]

References[edit]